The Daily Rail: The Unique Role of Restaurants and Civil Rights

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Today's Specials


SOCIAL MEDIA: These Restaurant Tweets are Pure Gold

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you know the struggle. We've found a collection of tweets that most accurately sums up the everyday challenges of servers, hostesses, expo, and chefs.

STAFF: The Dos & Don'ts of Restaurant Staff Behavior Contracts

The restaurant industry needs good leadership ideas when it comes to managing and motivating employees. Here's how to properly create restaurant staff behavior contracts to improve service.

SPORTS: Why Every Restaurant is a Sports Bar…at Least Ocassionally.

The SportsTV Guide is a utility serving restaurant operators for almost 25 years. Too often, when we offer our service to a restaurant operator, their first response is, “We aren’t a sports bar!” It’s high time someone challenged this assertion. It’s a fallacy and always has been. While only about 15% of all restaurants are traditional sports-themed operators, any bar or restaurant with at least one TV can become a sports bar based exclusively on a major event.




You Don’t Say

“Just get here when you can, don’t stress” said the Chef to no-one…ever! This video montage is a series of typical Chef rants turned on their heads. From “Who cares what it looks like, it’s not a sculpture”, to, “that’s my knife Jim, but you can use it.” Irony is fun, but with chef’s it’s funny as well.

Jimmy John’s Introduces the Double Dutch Roll

We have seen some horrible things done by employees captured by mobile phones and posted to social media. So, it’s less shocking than absurd that several employees at a Florida based Jimmy John’s were caught on tape jumping rope with raw dough. It was caught as a Snapchat story and went viral which immediately drew the attention of the franchise’s owners…oops. You can imagine these folks are looking for new employment as of this past week.


Ticket Tumble

Even if the Dallas Cowboys no longer hold the title of America’s team, they still have major market influence in the NFL. Their loss to Green Bay this past Sunday sealed the fate of Superbowl 51 ticket prices. The secondary market for SB51 tickets (think StubHub or SeatGeek) plunged by 25% of their previous level prior to the Cowboys’ exit. Average ticket prices dropped from $6,109 to just $4,603.

Know What You Don’t Know

Restaurant operators know the minimum wage, back and forth, top and bottom, right? Maybe not. Just because you klnow your local rates doesn’t mean you appreciate the total impact and import of the minimum wage. For example, near minimum wage workers (defined as earning more than Federal rate $7.25 but less than $10.10 per hour) are comprised of 76% white employees, just under half are under 30 and more likely to be women at 54% of them. This article has several more things you can learn about the minimum wage. Remember knowledge is power.



Why it matters to you: Sometimes a restaurant is more than a place that serves food.

Yesterday was MLK Jr Day, and many of us were reminded of how far we’ve come thanks to the civil rights movement. If you remember your history lessons, many of the protests took place in restaurants across the country, one, more famously at a Woolworth’s lunch counter. These sit ins sparked a wave of peaceful protests that helped abolish the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws.   

Beyond the protests, there was a lot more happening for the civil rights movement in restaurants and in our industry. Paschal’s in Atlanta became the unofficial headquarters of the movement, a place where black people were free to sit down and eat and have meetings. A woman, Georgia Gilmore aided the movement with her back-door restaurant and by selling cakes. It’s stories like this that remind us that establishments can be more than a place for a meal or a drink.



Why it matters to you: could tipping be killing your brand?

We can all safely say we throw our extra change in the tip jar after paying for our morning coffee. A recent Entrepreneur article looks at how small businesses that encourage tipping are actually killing, yes killing, their brand. Many of the cons of tipping in the article include providing the illusion that employees are underpaid, that having a tip jar looks “cheap” and that it can confuse global customers. All of these factors are seen to be providing the wrong impression to your guests about your business’ brand.  

In most businesses, the customer experience relies on a number of individuals and factors. If the customer feels inclined to tip, they should do so in their own terms. Also, many customers would like to receive recognition for their generosity, something that is difficult to do with the standard tip-jar process. Although many small establishments encourage tipping, there can be underlying messages which you may not readily assume.