The Daily Rail: The Impact of Mental Health in the Restaurant Industry

Friday, December 9, 2016



Today's Specials: 



WATCH: What Not to Do When You Get Fired [How Hollywood Sees Us]

It's that one conversation that no employee or restaurant operator wants to have; employment termination. Melissa Mccarthy in the movie Tammy does a great job of showing the (hilarious) worst-case scenario.


STAFF/FINANCIALS: 6 Things to Consider Before Going No-Tipping

With rising wages & benefits, no-tipping is becoming more mainstream in the US, but is it the right move for everyone? Find out if your restaurant should go no-tipping to a service surcharge or other alternates.


OPERATIONS: How Does the Credit Card Chip Impact Restaurant Chargebacks? [Presented by Upserve]

It appears that there have been more chargebacks than anticipated, in the last year or so. Regardless of EMV implementation, chargebacks are a part of running a restaurant. Fortunately, having a greater understanding of how to deal with (and even prevent) chargebacks can help – perhaps even more than EMV implementation! You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers…








Restaurants Beware!

The Charlotte-area has seen a rash of scammer reviews. According to police, a fake reviewer is posing as a media executive to obtain free meals. It’s important to be vigilant and do your research before exchanging free meals for reviews.


Boost for the Fight for $15

Seattle is making the case for increased minimum wage even stronger. The latest data out of the city shows the city unemployment has hit a low of 3.4%. Seattle was the first major city to increase the minimum wage to $15/hr in 2014.


Marketing Fail

We tell you all the time to think outside the box and be creative, but here’s a story to serve as a reminder to be cognizant of your choices, too. MobCraft Beer let their customers choose the name of their new beer. The winning name? “Date Grape.” Yikes. The blowback was fast and furious. MobCraft said they didn’t have a process for screening name submissions (huge policy fail). They have since changed the name and will donate portions of the sales to the local rape-crisis center.


Should Call it the Oy Vey Burger

BK in Israel has created a Hannukah burger called SufganiKing – a play on sufganiyah, the Hebrew word for the festive jelly doughnut that comes fried in oil and dusted with powdered sugar. The burger lives up its lineage – the usual Whopper toppings but sandwiched between halves of fried dough.





Why it matters to you: How welcoming is the restaurant industry to gender equality?

The culinary world has been known to be very much male-dominated. In 2016, the culinary/restaurant industry has seen a spike in female chefs assigned to lead positions. In the past, top female chefs have struggled to gain the same recognition and press as their male colleagues. A notorious 2013 Time magazine story on the world's most influential restaurant chefs, basically ignored women. The story provoked a national conversation about gender inequality in the culinary/restaurant industry.

This new rise in culinary leadership has become an encouragement for more female culinary students everywhere. Working in the restaurant industry, there becomes a connotation in which “male-powered” is more successful in terms of food service, but is just plain incorrect. As more female chefs take lead in running large kitchens, the gender stereotypes fade which proves that the industry in much more progressive than we give it credit for.    



Why it matters to you: Depression and drug abuse are no joke.

It’s really only been in recent years that the issue of mental health has become an accepted public discussion. It’s a sad truth that mental health issues pervade our industry like depression and drug use. Recently Chef Landon Schoenefeld is leaving his restaurants Nighthawks and Birdie, two critically acclaimed Minneapolis-Saint Paul establishments. His reason for time off? Depression. Schoenefeld works 80 hours a week regularly, yet still, lives paycheck to paycheck. This isn’t unusual, but facing the brink of suicide is.

Similarly, drug abuse is an issue that restaurant works face as well as restaurant owners and managers. Managers at a Pennsylvania restaurant have caught their workers stealing from the restaurant in order to support their opioid addiction. Sometimes we joke about a sniffling cook or the pervasiveness of alcoholism in our industry, but we should take these things seriously. Mental illness and addiction go hand in hand, and it’s a struggle as restaurant leaders to watch our staff spiral into the hopeless abyss.



Why it matters to you: Coke and Pepsi prove that marketing to emerging generations is really hard.

For so long Coke and Pepsi have both dominated and controlled the beverage market you would expect their success to translate generation to generation. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t. Primarily the issue is up and coming generations are more health conscious. They are willing to pay more for better and want less of what’s not good for them. No one will argue that Coke or Pepsi are good for them, at least anymore. So, what can they do?

Frankly, not much except to change their portfolio’s to reflect products that will attract the next generation of consumers. To that end, both have acquired other products including premium waters, iced teas, and sports drinks. You should pay heed to their struggles. If people are drinking less soda, then you need to look at your own beverage program and respond. But don’t stop there. Look at your menu and see where you can add or adjust new products that will reflect what younger consumers want to eat. Don’t be married to old favorites and young consumers will reward you with their patronage.