The Daily Rail: Why inexpensive groceries is bad for restaurants

August 23, 2016

Today's Special

Responding to the new OT rules [Infographic]

The new federal overtime rules has many bars & restaurants scrambling to figure out how to comply. Here's a cool graphic showing what owners and operators are doing to keep the overtime pay to a minimum, plus five steps for getting ahead and into compliance.


The McDonald’s Man

Kanye West wrote a poem about McDonald’s. That is all.

The McDonald’s Man
Calabassas, California

McDonalds man
McDonalds man
The French fries had a plan
The French fries had a plan
The salad bad and the ketchup made a band
Cus the French fries had a plan
The French fries had a plan
McDonalds man
McDonalds man

I know them French fries had a plan
I know them French fries had a plan
The cheeseburger and the shakes formed a band
To overthrow the French fries plan
I always knew them French fries was evil man
Smelling all good and shit
I don’t trust no food that smells that good man
I don’t trust it
I just can’t

McDonalds man
McDonalds man
McDonalds, damn
Them French fries look good tho

I knew the diet Coke was jealous of the fries
I knew the McNuggets was jealous of the fries
I could see it through his artificial meat eyes
And he only be there some of the time
Everyone was jealous of them French fries
Expect for that one special guy
That smooth apple pie

McDonald's is lovin' it.

Conference USA moves to ESPN3

Conference USA is dipping it’s toes in the streaming waters. After not being renewed by Fox for TV rights, the conference has had to get creative. They just recently signed a deal with Campus Insiders and an expanded deal with ESPN3. Campus Insider’s will air six football games this season and a number of live-stream events from other C-USA sports. ESPN3 will air regular-season games, live content from Media Days and various championships.

Doesn’t taste like chicken

File under “Bizarre Restaurant Marketing” but KFC has released it’s own sunscreen called “Extra Crispy.” It’s not a food item (so don’t eat it, dummy!) but is an honesttogod real SPF 30 sunscreen that smells like “a healthy chicken aroma.” So while you roast, you’ll smell it happening. Yum.


Why it’s important to you: Finally something from either campaign that specifies what it will do for small business.

During the year plus of this election cycle, no candidate in a major party has released a specific policy position that claims to bring relief to small business owners. For what it’s worth, that changed this morning as Hillary Clinton outlined a proposal that would bring tax relief to small business owners. The idea is modeled on the deductions that all individual filers receive called the Standard Deduction. Clinton proposes to give the same tax break to small businesses so they don’t have to document or comply to receive a tax reduction. She also proposes healthcare credits to help with the cost of the Affordable Care Act.

To her credit, Secretary Clinton at least devotes some space on her website to small business, albeit buried a bit below the other minutia of her policy positions. Trump on the other hand has literally nothing on his site pointing to how his presidency will benefit SMB operations like yours. The truth is, both candidates take us for granted because we can’t pay them enough money to care about our causes or influence enough employees to vote their way. It’s a shame really because we ARE the ones that make America great!


Why it’s important to you: With so many places for prepared foods, you probably didn’t see regular grocery purchasing as a threat to your growth.

In an attempt to understand why restaurant sales are dropping at chain restaurants, Crain’s business published an opinion piece that points to cheaper grocery food as the culprit. While the premise is straight forward enough, the accuracy of the assertion that we are seeing a sudden reversal of fortune in our industry due to cheaper eggs is a bit specious. The reality is that grocery food has been a competitor of ours for many years. The article claims that people are cooking rather than going out and that is a truth that has existed since the Cooking channel debuted in 2010

Here’s the thing though, the article points to fast food chains as being the most vulnerable to all this inexpensive grocer fair. We would beg to differ. It’s casual themed and fast casual that is the real victim of better and cheaper raw ingredients. Consumers are now encouraged to make their own meals that rival those they get at a standard full service restaurant. In order to compete, we have to give our guests something they crave that they can’t satisfy on their own. That can be cuisine, entertainment, camaraderie or community, but it can’t be easily obtained elsewhere. Start thinking in terms of solving a guests problems and you may just beat that grocery store for their extra dollars.


Why it’s important to you: Watching Trump’s failure to court minority voters should teach you how not to market to a non-traditional customer demographic.

As the election cycle dips under 80 days remaining, Donald Trump’s most recent reboot includes an attempt to woo African-American voters to the Republican Party. Trump’s speeches have included specific language to convince people of color that he is the guy for them. As polls tell him that only 1% of African Americans and only 17% of people of color favor him, he is looking to a demographic that simply hasn’t connected with the GOP. His approach? Invoking Lincoln and asking them, “What have you got to lose?” Not being political strategists and all, we won’t opine as to whether it will work, but there may at least be a lesson in it for you as an operator.

When you visit a Hooter’s location, you have probably never noticed that they have a kid’s menu… no really they do! In fact, they have been catering to families for their entire 30+ years of service. Like the GOP to minority and low economic voters, Hooter’s is not known to be a place to bring your family. However, they don’t see it that way. They have always kept their operations set to accommodate families with kids. Why not take a look at your overall operations and try to find a demographic you aren’t attracting and follow Hooter’s lead. Figure out what they look for in a restaurant and make sure you inform them you have it and deliver it well. You may not win an election, but you will grow your business and at least get something from this year’s election circus.