The Daily Rail: It's time for restaurant operators to diversify

June 22, 2016

Today's Specials

UNDER 60 SECONDS: Best ways to prevent foodborne illness [VIDEO]

Almost 50 million Americans catch a foodborne illness every year, and many of them end up in hospitalization or even die.

But there are lots of ways bars and restaurants can protect their guests from getting sick. Learn the best ways how in under 60 seconds.

TAKE TWO: #SERVERPROBS (Sponsored by Upserve)

Why it’s important to you: These are 10 things all servers know to be self-evident… but let’s have fun and list them anyways!

Nearly 50% of U.S. adults have worked in the restaurant industry at least once in their life. Working in a restaurant has its perks, but just like any other job, it also has things that make us tick. Here are 10 of these things.


Why it’s important to you: Alternate sports content can be a huge differentiator from your competitors.

The NBA Draft is tomorrow and this year you have options on which coverage to show. Yahoo Sport’s NBA crew will be doing it’s first-ever NBA Draft show via it’s site The Vertical. Adrian Wojnarowksi will be there to break picks and give ESPN a run for it’s money. The show will start at 7pm ET and go through the end of the first round.

This is a perfect opportunity to show some alternate content that’s directly related to a major sports league. If you’re throwing a NBA Draft day event (or even if you’re not), it’d be amazing to have ESPN and Yahoo’s coverage on two TVs. Just stream Yahoo’s live-steam from a laptop to your TV and you’re golden. It’s a great way of adding additional value and doing something different than other sports bars in your area.


Why it’s important to you: The government always get their money.

Is the “I am R&B icon” defense valid under the law? It may be all Gladys Knight and her Georgia-area Chicken & Waffles restaurants have left after they were raided by the State Department of Revenue. Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, runs the restaurants and is at the center of the GDOR investigation. On Tuesday, the restaurants were closed, employees told to go home and records/computers confiscated. Hankerson seems to have taken a Midnight Train FROM Georgia as officials tried to arrest him unsuccessfully. Bottom line is the government will come for their money no matter how many Grammy’s you have or how many times you were on the Merv Griffin Show.


Why it’s important to you: Great chefs lead and this group is telling you to diversify.

Every year American Express and Food & Wine magazine host a series of roundtables at their event in Aspen. This year’s discussion featured several nationally recognized chefs including Tony Mantuano, Tom Douglas, Barbara Lynch and Hugh Acheson. While they discussed a variety of topics, one in particular resonated with those of us tasked at making money in the restaurant industry. Each of them has plans or is actively trying to diversify the products they deliver. 

No, they aren’t all considering opening a fusion concept. They are all experimenting with a variety of revenue ideas to drive their businesses without increasing labor. Cookbooks, sauces, catering and delivery were all discussed. The takeaway is with the specter of a $15/hr minimum wage, increasingly available technology and competition from all quarters, they need to be flexible in how they view their product offerings and move with the times. That sounds like sage advice to us.


Why it’s important to you: Every great concept has a creator with a story.

The Huffington Post has begun an initiative called #TalkToMe that encourages folks to record conversations between themselves and their parents. Already, Oprah, Richard Branson and Michael Bloomberg (to name just a few) have participated and they really are entertaining. The one we are linking today is between Starbucks founder Howard Schultz and his son, Jordan. Schultz reveals an interactive between himself and his father-in-law that was pivotal to the existence of Starbucks. It’s very engaging and worth the two minutes.

What’s more, Huffington Post is encouraging people to access Facebook Live as their medium to record, using their hashtag #TalkToME. This is a great and ready-made promotion, if there’s ever been one. Why not encourage guests to share their own #TalkToMe conversations in your restaurant? Imagine being the place people come to express this type of generational exchange and then posting those live videos on your Facebook presence. Yes, we are a little enamored of Facebook Live here at The Rail, but the potential is just too amazing to not to get behind it.