The Daily Rail: The Regular Advantage

September 14, 2016

Today's Special:

WATCH: Farm-to-Table: Fad, Fable or Future of Food? [UNDER 60 SECONDS]

Heard of Farm-To-Table, but not really sure what it is? Watch our video, learn how this growing trend is changing what we're eating, who we're getting it from and how it's changing local economies.


The new rankings are out and not much has changed as Week 3 of the NCAA season arrives. That coupled with Week 2 in the NFL means a busy week ahead of football. The NCAA features 4 games between ranked opponents including (10) Louisville at (2) Florida and (14) Oklahoma at (3) Ohio State. This Bleacher Report preview should get you ready for all that action. The NFL Week 2 also has some appealing match-ups including the NY Jets visiting Buffalo on Thursday night and Green Bay playing at Minnesota on Sunday evening.  

Those of you that are seeking the PAC12 will be interested to know that DISH Network’s Sling product is now carrying the PAC12 Network on their streaming platform. This can mean more access to both their NCAA Football games, but also the incredible alternative content that is available on the network's streaming-only schedule. Also, for those of you that can’t get enough Drumline action, the SEC Network Plus is now showing the marching bands at halftime of all games on their streaming platform. Click your time-zone below for the schedule.






The Cookie Prediction

Guess you’d like to know who will be the next president of the United States, even before voters head to the actual polls in November!? Well, there’s an (almost) dead sure way of predicting who’s going to make the White House in November. Amazingly enough, it has to do with sticky dough.

Infographic: The Sticky Dough That Decides Who Makes it Into the White House | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Cider Takes the Crown

Are you stocking hard cider at your restaurant? If not, you should be. Consumer spending on apple- and pear-based cider soared 320% from 2010-2015. See how it compares to the rest of the alcohol industry in this chart.

Popsicle Man Gets Some Love

Strangers raised $165,000 in three days to raise money for 86-year-old popsicle vendor, Fidencio Sanchez. It’ll be a big help as Sanchez and his wife had to go back to work recently to take care of their two orphaned grandsons.




Why it’s important to you: Is government adoption of technology good or bad for you?

As if there aren’t enough ways for a licensed establishment to run afoul of the Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC), the Texas ABC has released an app that allows restaurant and bar guests to report an infraction by an operator via their mobile device. TABC:Mobile was released a few weeks ago and has already gathered 50 complaints filed statewide. Have no fear, though, there’s a feature that will make most operators cringe even more. Now you can make your statutorily required filings of ‘breaches of peace’ on the app as well. There is, of course, some good news. Gun carrying patrons (this is Texas after all) can now know before they visit if the establishment is a Red Sign (no guns) or Blue Sign (guns good) location.



Why it’s important to you: Dramatic income growth is a double edged sword.

Perhaps no segment of our industry relies on a robust middle class more than the casual-themed full-service restaurant. Consequently, when the Census Bureau reported yesterday that those incomes rose a whopping 5.2% (over $3,000) and the increase crossed all racial lines. Shouldn’t that be a cause for celebration in our industry? Unfortunately, no one has booked a marching band or organized a parade just yet. The news we are seeing about full-service restaurant results doesn’t square very well with these increases, which are the greatest year over year income improvements since tracking began back in the 60’s.

Where’s the disconnect? To start, you can’t deny the uncertainty of this year’s election cycle is having a dampening effect on sales growth. However, that can’t be the only factor. What we do know is, some of these income increases are a direct result of a tightening labor market and heightened competition for quality employees. That really means these tremendous results are bitter sweet for small business operators. Increased incomes typically lead to increased spending, but a competitive labor market leads to increased wage expenses. One step forward, one step back?



Why this is important to you: Maintaining relationships with your regular guests is one of the foundations of a successful bar or restaurant.

In an age of pop-ups and new restaurants coming out of the woodwork, why do so many people visit the same place week after week? For many, it’s the joy of familiarity, but more importantly, it’s a well-established relationship that draws guests back. Regulars are indispensable. From a business perspective, they are a steady stream of income and typically spend more per visit according to a study by the Journal of Services Marketing.

Beyond spending their hard earned money, regulars become an advocate for that restaurant. The value of word of mouth recommendations to their friends beats out any five-star review on Yelp. Aim to make each new guest a regular! The first step in creating meaningful relationships with your guests is great customer service and an inviting ambiance. It keeps people coming back for more. Do you have regulars? If so, make sure you’re doing all that you can to nurture that special relationship.



Why this is important to you: The DEA just can’t seem to focus on things that matter.

The DEA is moving to crack down on a substance known as Kratom. It's most often consumed as brewed tea. For many, it’s been an effective treatment for chronic pain, helping many wean themselves off of prescription drugs and alcohol. Apparently, this is a huge threat to Big Pharma, as the DEA wants to schedule the herb as Class 1, yup, the same category as heroin and LSD. Really guys?