The Daily Rail: Cooks Out of the Kitchen?

Friday, October 14, 2016


Today's Specials:


WATCH: It Takes a Village to Run a Restaurant Marriage Proposal [How Hollywood Sees Us]

Restaurants have always been a romantic destination for couples looking to get engaged. And many times the scenes in our eateries look just like this scene from Love Actually.

BEWARE: Seven Deadly Sins of Restaurant Loyalty Marketing

Investing in customer loyalty isn't just a 'check the box' initiative. Restaurant customer loyalty can be a businesses’ most powerful marketing channel. However, customer loyalty programs are tricky to get right. Here are seven pitfalls to avoid.


Trebek Talks Trash

Alex Trebek got a little mean-spirited recently when he asked one Jeopardy contestant what her favorite type of music is. Apparently, he isn’t a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop. He called the genre “losers.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Check the video out here.


“Magic” Cutlery

London scientists have invented a “diet cutlery” that changes the way food tastes. Dubbed Taste Buddy, the cutlery emits a low-level electrical current to make your taste buds think what you’re eating tastes like something else. Parents rejoice!

Wine O’Clock 24/7

The Abruzzo region in Italy just scored a free all-you-can-drink wine fountain. Vineyard, Dora Sarchese, installed the wine fountain to be part of the Cammino di San Tammaso pilgrimage route. And it runs around the clock. But how do you keep your children from drinking it? You don’t; they’ll learn their lesson.


Why it matters to you: Our guests are telling us that good wifi and online reservations matter and you need to listen.

It should come as no shock that guests believe technology improves their dining experience, but 79% of them? That’s right, a survey by tablet based POS provider Toast of 1500 diners helped establish that there are multiple ways you can improve the guest experience with technology. Some of their findings are obvious such as 56% of them finding wifi important and 77% of them wanting online reservation services available.
However, there were some interesting data that you wouldn’t expect. Only 8% of those polled thought technology had a big impact in a casual dining environment while 37% of fast service diners felt that way. This may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, since casual full-service dining has been slower to integrate technology than their quick service peers, especially in mobile. In the end, the report concludes what we already know, the technological evolution of our industry is well under way. Lead, follow or get out of the way, but in the end, you will be faced with including this new tech revolution. So, check out the results of the survey. It will at least give you a good insight into what you will have to manage next.



Why it matters to you: Clowns can be creepy, but poor Ronald McDonald didn’t ask for this.

You have likely heard about the creepy clown sightings across the US over the past few weeks. Some have even turned dangerous and now there is another innocent victim of this weird cultural phenomenon: Ronald McDonald. Yup, McD’s own man is taking a much-deserved safe-cation away from the public eye to ensure he doesn’t get lumped in with this newest nonsense craze. Some supposed that the fad is driven by an underground marketing campaign for the reboot of the Stephen King movie ‘It’, but that hardly matters. Ronald won’t be playing around and he and the Hamburglar are laying low!



Why it matters to you: Liquor licenses can make or break a business.

Liquor licenses are pricey and a pain to come by, which is why starting January 1, 2017, and for the first time in almost 80 years, San Francisco will offer a new liquor license for sale. The new licenses will sell for $13,800 rather than the $300,000 price tag, which pretty much precludes smaller establishments in lower income areas from competing against larger more centrally located establishments. The new licenses will total five in number and also will only be available for restaurants in more outlying neighborhoods in San Francisco.

This is great news for establishments like Old Skool Café in the Bayview neighborhood, which currently sells only beer and wine. The struggling restaurant can’t afford the traditional full license and so this new liquor license could really improve their earnings. In light of the current state of the restaurant industry new initiatives like these really help to improve the playing field and allow smaller joints to serve their community and hopefully help boost the economy in areas that have traditionally struggled.



Why it matters to you: Sometimes it takes a little creativity to create more fairness and a happier staff.

The disparity in pay between front and back of the house has been a source of contention between line cooks and servers for a while. One Portland, OR restaurant has endeavored to bridge that divide and offer a solution that benefits everyone, guests included. The owners of SuperBite’s decided to get the cooks out of the kitchen and serve as food runners and busboys.

The change creates a stronger link from the kitchen to table, but it also has allowed a bump in the kitchen workers’ wages three to four dollars. The pooled house recipe doesn’t hurt servers’ take home since the restaurant doesn’t have a need for runners and busboys. The bottom line is, this is a creative way to compensate kitchen staff more appropriately for their efforts. Everyone wins. Would you try this at your restaurant?