The Daily Rail: Have I Got a Tip for You!

Monday, January 23, 2017


Today's Specials: 


BUISNIESS: Being a Restaurateur in 2017

It's always tough being a restaurateur. Sometimes we wonder why we even got into the business... and then we remember. And we smile.





This may come as no surprise to know the United States has the largest migrant population in the world, but you might now predict the origin of all these migrants. This infographic does an interesting job of showing the inflow and outflow leaders.

Infographic: Which countries host and send the most migrants? | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista


Rock ‘n Roll All Nite…with a side of fries [Song]

Maybe you know this one already, but Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of ‘Kiss’ fame also own a very cool chain called Rock & Brews. They recently opened their 20th location just outside of St. Louis in Chesterfield Missouri. If you haven’t seen one, they have perfected the themed restaurant and the good restaurant under one roof. The duo vows they are going national and recently inked a casino property near Wichita Kansas. I guess platform shoes also give you a big picture perspective.



Why it matters to you: When guests have perception based on bad intel, it can be YOUR problem

There are no shortage of consumer sites dedicated to the topic of food lifestyle. We frequently comment on stories sites like Eater and Thrillist publish that are related to our industry. These sites may have restaurant people that work for them, but that doesn’t mean they have your best interests at heart. For example, take this piece on TheDailyMeal, where they “reveal” 6 ways restaurants get you to spend more money. The blog is positioned like an insider’s view, but misses the truth by a wide margin.

When a blog claims that asking a guest, “Can I start you off with a Cocktail?” is some nefarious plot to bilk the sucker where we know there’s trouble ahead. Add to that, offering bottled water or inquiring into their interest in the specials are just check pumping gimmicks that the savvy consumer can see right through. Frankly, it’s insulting to those of us in the industry that believe communicating with guests, about what is available and guiding their experience, is our job in the restaurant industry. Sure there are operators that make it heavy handed, but they never last very long. The savvy guest knows you are there to make it right.



Why it matters to you: Should a manager/owner keeps the tips they earn while covering tables?

A thought provoking question was asked on RestaurantBusinessOnline. Should owners or managers that serve tables, or at the bar, keep the tips generated from their work? It happens quite frequently and can cause hurt feelings among staff and other managers. Having worked as line manager and owner, I never kept gratuities and always handed my tips to the kitchen staff. That means I was taking a section and cared for the guest throughout their experience, not just supporting the servers. I just felt like I was paid enough to do the job without extra and I can reward others with it consistently which is a win. Please share your opinions on this in the comments. We are fascinated by other people’s experience.

Although, one thought did cross my mind with regard to allowing managers to serve. With new overtime rules, increasing minimum wage requirements and health insurance for full time staff, it’s never been harder to make ends meet with labor. As an operator, consider the tipped shift supervisor as an alternative to a full time manager. They are never alone during revenue but can open and close the restaurant successfully. You can pay them full minimum wage (not tip credit level) or even a premium above that and they can relieve you of some management hours. It’s at least one response to the ever increasing wage in our industry.



Why it matters to you: Make your bar a safe environment regardless of gender

Can male bartender be sexually harassed by a female guest? Of course, the answer is YES. However the terms are different, but the experience is no less demeaning or offensive. If you operate like most folks do, you assume that a male bartender complaining about too much female guest attention is a lot like someone taking Viagra complaining about it lasting all four hours. And for some men that may be true, but for most people too much unwanted attention is truly uncomfortable and downright painful.

As an operator, pay attention to how your male bartenders are doing as you would with your female staff. It’s just good form to care enough about anyone on your staff that you want to avoid them ever being uncomfortable to serve a guest due to too much attention. It’s about the atmosphere you create as a leader and participating in the experience of your staff. We have long said, “If you don’t serve the guest…serve the person that does.”