September 27, 2016
SOUND OFF: Restaurant Owners, What Does This Year's Election Mean To You? [POLL & PRIZE]
With the presidential debates underway, we want to know what political issues matter most with restaurant owners and operators. Time to sound off!
GALLERY: The Best Football Promos (so far) From Citizens of the Rail
Social media can be a useful tool to keep guests coming back for more when used correctly. Our Citizens of the Rail have been churning out some great content on their social media feeds to really engage their guests. We've highlighted a few creative posts that work well for football season promotions.
REMEMBER: Join the #ArnoldPalmerOnUs Initiative
Here's a great way to remember the King of Golf, who also touched the restaurant industry with his legendary drink.
DID YOU KNOW...
Pot Goes the Weasel
Next time Harold and Kumar get hungry, they should go to Jack in the Box. The fast-food burger chain was named the restaurant that could benefit the most from legalizing recreational marijuana. There are five states with legal marijuana laws on the ballot, including Jack in the Box’s home state of California.
Wine-ing About No Tipping
We all know that no-tipping policies means an increase in food prices, but have restaurants boosted their booze prices, too? Well, when it comes to wine, restaurants are opting to keep their cheaper bottles cheaper and raising the prices of their more expensive vintage. It’s like a Robin Hood tax for wine.
Doritos: ‘Don’t Be a Flavorless, Crunchless Chip’
Doritos teamed up with Rock the Vote to help young people realize the importance of voting. They set up a vending machine with the option of Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch (red & blue packages), but with an interactive screen asking if they’re registered to vote. If they do, they get the bag they chose; if not, they get a gray bag with a flavorless, crunch-less chip. The video is great.
THIS TIME YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR [Song]
Why it’s important to you: Vancouver’s proposed natural gas ban will be impossible for restaurants to swallow.
Ok, now wait one minute, what do you mean zero natural gas usage in Vancouver BC Canada by 2050? Yup, you read that correctly, apparently, the west coast of Canada is just as crazy as the west coast of the US. However, this ban isn’t a joke, but an actual plan being implemented by the city of Vancouver and they aim to achieve it. They already supply 97% of their electricity from renewable means and they want that to extend to space and hot water heating by 2050.
You can imagine how the community of restaurant operators have responded to this little initiative. Ian Tostenson, CEO of the BC Restaurant Association thinks, “When policy is arbitrary like this, it just creates uncertainty and havoc.” While the city has not confirmed if they will enforce a ban on restaurant use of natural gas, they haven’t dismissed it either.
We are all for grand green plans and an ambitious approach to combating climate change, but eliminating a burning flame from food preparation is just plain silly. You can’t easily deglaze, you can’t reach super high temperatures and you can’t control heat with any consistency. Don’t you think they could focus on the 3.5 million cars running around BC before they worry that my fajitas are causing a rip in the ozone? Just sayin’!
VINYL AND VEGGIES
Why It matters to you: Rather than doing your own market research, follow big brands for consumer trends.
With restaurant growth stalling, big chains are looking to consumer trends to pump sale. Cracker Barrel is updating its retail store’s merchandise. In an interview, the company’s CEO acknowledged the plan to appear more relevant to millennials and open their doors to multicultural communities. Don’t be surprised to find more artisan-made objects on shelves in addition to new menu choices.
Just as Cracker Barrel is adjusting its retail shelves, fast casual chains have finally caught on that guests care about their health. For example, Taco Bell has made it easier to substitute beans and rice instead of meat. Companies like McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A have removed Iceberg lettuce from their salads and are branching out to items like kale. Trends aren’t rocket science. If the big names are doing it, it’s because it works.