October 5, 2016
WATCH: 4 Issues Affecting Restaurants This Presidential Cycle [Under 60 Seconds]
Not sure how to vote this November? Here's where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on four vital issues affecting the restaurant industry... in under a minute.
BRAINSTORM: Shed The 'Bleh' With These 13 Content Marketing Ideas For Restaurants
Out of content marketing ideas for your restaurant? We give you 13 ideas to jump start your restaurant's content and digital marketing program. Number six on the list? “Go guerrilla…”
Football Schedule & Preview: October 8-9
Last week brought a big shake-up in the AP Top 25 college football rankings. This week features fewer quality matchups, but can still have an impact on the overall standings and playoff possibilities. Starting with a sleeper, Texas renews its rivalry at Oklahoma at 12 PM EST and (9) Tennessee travels to Camp Randall to take on the (8) Texas A&M Aggies at 3:30 PM EST. The best primetime games are (1) Alabama visiting (16) Arkansas at 7 PM EST and intra-state rivals (23) Florida St at (10) Miami at 8 pm EST.
Week 5 in the NFL sees the return of Tom Brady as the Patriots visit the 11 point underdog Cleveland Browns. This week is the second bye and finds New Orleans, Seattle, Jacksonville and Kansas City with the week off. Primetime games between Arizona and San Francisco, and Tampa Bay at Carolina should make Thursday and Monday interesting respectively.
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DID YOU KNOW...
The Most Popular Delivery Item Is…
Chicken! According to Eater (and Doordash/GrubHub), chicken is the most popular type of food item ordered and delivered. You’d think pizza, right? Check out this infographic for the full list.
The New Essentials
The NY Times had a great piece yesterday on 11 essential drinks at 11 great cocktail bars. Sounds like a great resource for getting your creative juices flowing with new drink ideas. When you’re done spying on the competition, head over to our Under 60 Seconds page and to watch our video on the history of the cocktail.
Man Pulls Out Baby Raccoon During McDonald’s Brawl
Some headlines just speak for themselves. Check the GIF out below!
BEEFLESS BLOODY BURGER
Why it matters to you: As the population grows and resources dwindle, we have to start looking to technology for more sustainable food solutions.
Impossible Foods has done, you guessed it, the impossible. They’ve created an entirely plant-based product that has the look, taste and bleed of real meat. Unlike “clean meat” which is grown in a lab from animal cells that are fed sugar to grow, this “impossible meat” is entirely plant based. It is vegan, but isn’t gluten free, sorry gluten-free people.
Techcrunch reports that Impossible Foods has raised $108 million from some super powerful investors, including Bill Gates. The company has other products as well including vegan cheese products. This is incredible news considering these products are far sustainable than their non-vegan kin—requiring far fewer resources to provide the same amount of nutritional value.
GOODBYE…RUBY TUESDAY…WHO COULD HANG A NAME ON YOU [Song]
Why it matters to you: When too much ‘inventory’ is a bad thing...
In their quarterly earnings call, Darden Restaurants, operators of brands like Olive Garden, Longhorn Steaks Houses, and the Yard House, pointed to some market conditions that he felt were causing issues in our industry. CEO Gene Lee explained, “I think there is some real uncertainty in the near term here, but that's going to pass, and from a consumer standpoint, I think we're focused on the long term.” Lee’s vision of the long term includes a reduction of uncertainty once the Presidential election is decided and a shedding of restaurant ‘inventory’ to reduce the number of outlets.
While there is an argument to be made that restaurant development has reached a saturation level, it is likely not the only reason things have been tough in the full-service segment. Couple that with grocery store food increasingly acting as a replacement for restaurant meals, the election uncertainty and the growing trend toward smaller, local restaurants and you have a perfect storm to reduce the number of outlets. Consequently, no one should be surprised that major operators like Ruby Tuesday and Fox & Hound have closed multiple restaurants. The only criticism of Lee’s assessment is one of tone, really. Referring to restaurant locations as ‘inventory’ and awaiting their demise seems pretty cold. In the end, Lee is right, only time will tell, but we strongly encourage our operators to focus on the guest experience first and worry about the uncertainty later.
Why it matters to you: Foreign guests may not understand our customs, but that doesn’t mean they should be punished
How would you feel if you were visiting a foreign country and they added a ‘special’ ingredient to your food only? That’s exactly what was happening at Ichibazushi in Osaka Japan. It seems that their chefs thought it would be entertaining to put copious amounts of the Japanese horseradish condiment into the food of unsuspecting foreign guests. This led to some folks who posted on a Korean travel site to refer to them as racist and even call them wasabi attacks…no, really that’s what the reviews said…awesome. There is, of course, a lesson for all of us that operate restaurants. Pay attention to what leaves your kitchen and demand that it be consistent regardless of to whom it will be delivered. It should be no one’s goal in our industry to be labeled a ‘wasabi terrorist’.