DID YOU KNOWS...
Native American chef Sean Sherman raked in almost $150,000 from 2,358 backers in just 30 days on Kickstarter. It’s the most individual backers for any restaurant via crowdfunding. Sherman says he’s calling his restaurant The Sioux Chef and will be serving traditional indigenous meals. It’ll also house a culinary education center for indigenous peoples.
Hot Things Are Hot!
Paqui’s Carolina Reaper Madness is a hellishly spicy tortilla chip. It’s so hot that you get just one per package and it comes in a coffin-shaped box (how thematic). Here’s the video of the poor souls brave enough to look Death in the face.
Blitz Your Appetite
If you’re a restaurant operator, you probably don’t get a ton of chances to go to an NFL game, but you can definitely learn what the best damn things are to eat at each NFL stadium. Hell, maybe you can even “homage” your local team’s cuisine!
CHIPOTLE’S MAKING A COMEBACK?
Why it matters to you: How to make a graceful comeback.
It’s been a tough year for Chipotle. Despite earning first place in fast-casual restaurants in regards to its antibiotic-free meat, they’re still losing customers to McDonald’s because of the E. coli outbreaks from last year. They’ve tried handing out free burritos, a campaign where kids eat free and Chiptopia, a reward program, all in an effort to boost sales. Their latest attempt is a new food-safety program designed by a former chief medical officer of the FDA and an advertising campaign to tell us about it.
Beyond food safety concerns, Chipotle has employee-based issues to address as well. Last month, almost 10,000 employees sued Chipotle for unpaid wages. Whoops! In a few days they’re looking to hire another 5,000 employees during their “National Career Day”. How will they do it? With awesome benefits. They’re offering a competitive package that’s hard to beat including: paid sick leave and vacation time, tuition assistance, a 401k with match and an annual bonus. With an offer like that, why not work at Chipotle?
FOOD SAFETY FOIBLE
Why it matters to you: You never know when you’re being filmed.
A Boston news station released a controversial video on Monday showing the non-FDA compliant practices of local restaurants loading up meats and other perishables without any refrigeration at a local Restaurant Depot. The news team even went so far as to ask some restaurant workers why they were loading meats and cheese in their trunks without refrigeration. To see how long these items were travelling in three-digit weather, they followed one vehicle to its destination. The trip took over an hour. This exposé begs the question; how many eateries aren’t following FDA regulations?
O/T RULE HITS ROADBLOCK
Why it’s important to you: Approximately 4 Million restaurant workers will be affected by the new O/T rules.
Twenty-one states have banded together and filed suit against the new federal overtime rules that are set to take effect in December. If you don’t recall, the Department of Labor (DOL) published new overtime rules this past spring that elevated the minimum salary for overtime exemption from $23,360 to $47,476. It’s the first increase since the 70’s and has a lot of operators scrambling to figure out how to respond. The states include: Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Mississippi and Michigan, and they contend that the DOL overstepped its authority. They also argue that President Obama used extra-legislative authority to implement the increase.
These states are concerned the rules don’t address differing job duties and will cripple already vulnerable small business operators with expensive new labor rules. This is a complicated issue and will certainly become more contentious. So while the rule is set to launch in just 70 days, there appears to much left to learn about its future. What are you doing to prepare for the rule as it currently reads? Check out this infographic and 5 strategies we offer in case you still need to decide.
MONEY SAVING FOOD APPS
Why it’s important to you: If your guests are using a specific mobile app you need to know how it works.
So mobile continues to be a mystery to most operators. A few have tried their own, or gotten involved with third party apps that promised to drive business, but maybe you should check out this list of 7 apps that your guests are actually using. US News published their picks for apps that provide discounts and service opportunities. It includes mainstays like OpenTable and Valpak, but also features a few that you might not be familiar with. You may want to learn more about Forks and LivingSocials new app Restaurants Plus which deliver targeted discounts to registered users. At least you will know what the heck they’re talking about when they ask if you are on SpotLuck?