Did You Know…
MSG GOES REGIONAL
MSG announced the creation of a new regional sports network for New York, called MSG Western New York. The station will have content produced by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, including airing Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills games.
Archeologists are finding ancient ruins by using Cold War spy photos. The photos were taken by satellites during the Cold War but, unlike today, the photos couldn’t be send remotely to the US.The satellites had to eject the film back to earth where a parachute would deploy and then be picked up — mid-air — by a plane. How was this never a premise for a James Bond movie? Seriously, Hollywood…
KEEP CALM, CARRY ON
Why it’s important to you: The Brexit vote caused markets, including the NYSE, to drop.
Well, it’s done. The Brits have voted to leave the European Union, so what’s next. To start their Prime Minister, David Cameron has resigned, and their currency has tanked. There have been a lot of speculation about how their exit from the EU will impact the US. The truth is no one really has a clue because it’s never happened before. What we do know is that the US is the largest investor in the UK and we have used it as a gateway to the markets served by the EU. This could mean some upheaval in the markets, but frankly may have little impact on you and your business.
In reality, it will take two years for Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon (that’s the one that created the EU) to be completely implemented and likely that long to truly understand the consequences of the Brexit. We do know that there is fairly high sentiment in other countries to do the same, with the Netherlands, Hungary and Sweden leading the way as the next contenders to make a break for it. Is this the end for the dream of unified Europe? Only time will tell.
IS IT SO HARD TO BE A GOOD SPORT?
Why it’s important to you: As sports-themed operators, we profit from the fanatical excitement surrounding sports in all cultures.
Benjamin Best is journalist, documentary film maker and admitted sports fan. His latest film, Dirty Games, is about the passion and corruption surrounding sports. In it, he sets out to investigate the conditions behind the sports so many of us love. This took him around the world to such far flung locations as Qatar, Brazil, Boston and Khatmandu. He knew he would find problems during his two year effort to uncover the ills brought by greed for sports, but he wasn’t prepared for the depth of the depravity.
Whether it was outlining the callous disregard for human life in the construction of stadiums for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup or the blatant fixing of boxing matches here the in the US, Best was confronted with a terrible conclusion. “The biggest shock was that you have those mega-sporting events and there is no price too high to pay for it,” he told The Daily Beast. “You have people dying.”
While our restaurants don’t cause any of this pain, they are places where this mentality is facilitated. Maybe the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that there is one.
ILLEGAL ALIEN [Song]
Why it’s important to you: Immigrants disproportionately make up our staffs.
Estimates put the number of undocumented people in the United States at 11 million. Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down rules implemented via executive order by President Obama, paving the way for lots of uncertainty surrounding immigration. The ruling stays the president’s attempt at immigration policy reform because the US Constitution specifically directs the Congress to that task. Unfortunately, the gridlock in Congress hasn’t mustered any alternative and now millions more people face deportation.
The irony is that more illegal immigrants have been deported under President Obama than any other president in US history. We know the dirty little secret in our industry is many of us rely on these hard working and less expensive folks to populate our kitchens and clean our restaurants. Likely, nothing will change with regard to deportations or the penalties for employing an ineligible worker, but this issue is screaming to be resolved. Does our Congress have the capacity to create legislation that is both humane and realistic? Maybe not, but as long as they don’t, this will remain a very unsettling issue for restaurant operators.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Why it’s important to you: The momentum towards more employee rights continues
Chicago joins the 24 cities, six states and one county that have approved Paid Sick Leave for their employees. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel called it “earned” sick leave in his praise for the ordinance, but the local chamber complained that the city was just piling on more bad regulation after the next.
No matter your position on what benefits are appropriate for our staff, you can’t deny this forward march towards more of them. We have long complained that our employees weren’t stable, transient, and unreliable. Maybe it’s because they never saw their positions in our restaurants as real jobs. Certainly, benefits like PSL and health insurance represent real job status. Thus far no city or state that has implemented PSL has reported any debilitating results for their restaurants, so the march will continue. The real question remains, is that really a bad thing?
Man In Restaurant image by Sascha Kolhmann