The Daily Rail: Falling on Hard Times? What Do You Do?

Friday, January 27, 2017


Today's Specials: 


WATCH: Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy [How Hollywood Sees Us]

Among the most dangerous moments for a police officer are when they respond to a domestic dispute. Nothing quite clouds good judgment as profanely as a confrontation with a significant other. This holds true when it happens in a restaurant as well as.


PROMO: Fuego & Frio: Terrific & Free March Madness Promo for Your Bar/Restaurant

Why it matters to you: Because a free March Madness promo is too good to pass up.

As an independent and small chain operator, you always seem to struggle when it comes to creating and deploying effective promotions in your locations. Here’s a great promo from our friends at Frank’s RedHot & Dos Equis that’ll leverage March Madness and ramp up your social media presence.




Salt Bae Comes to the States

Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, aka ‘Salt Bae’, is opening up two new restaurants – one in New York and one in London. He says, “meat has become a passion for me” which, after watching some of his videos, might be the understatement of the year thus far. He also says his flamboyant seasoning isn’t to show off but a way of “blessing the meat.” Bless away, Salt bae.

Ottoman steak 🔪

A video posted by nusr_et (@nusr_et) on



American chefs have won the Bocuse d’Or for the first time ever. The Bocuse d’Or is an international cooking competition held biennially in France. The competition has been around for 30 years and the US took home silver back in 2015.


Smart Chip Bag?

Tostito’s new party bag can tell you if you’ve been drinking. These limited edition “Party Safe” bags are equipped with sensors that turn into a red steering wheel if it detects alcohol on your breath. Better yet, it’s also equipped with an NFC, so you can call for a safe ride home via Uber. We live in the future!!



Why it matters to you: Maybe you can commiserate with these three restaurant operators.

What to do when you’ve hit hard times? It’s a fine line to tread when your restaurant has hit a slump. Do you ask for help or pretend everything is ok? Often it isn’t even your fault, January especially can be a challenging month especially in a college town when everyone is on break and new years’ resolutions equate to eating out less.

These three operators each have different tactics. One operator, cuts staff and fills in himself wearing many hats. Another took to facebook to make an embarrassing plea to visit their establishment. Another owner has servers tip out cooks so they can make a decent wage. While running your own restaurant can be rewarding, when times are tough it can be demoralizing to make less money than the dishwasher. On the bright side, it’s when times are tough that you’re forced to cut the slack and improve the product.



Why it matters to you: What is your restaurant’s protocol for dine and dashers?

Dine and Dashers are a plague that every restaurant has encountered at one point. But what is the proper protocol for the “chew and screw” guests that walk out on their bill? In many cases, restaurant policy requires the waiter/waitress to pay the bill out of pocket however it varies depending on the state. Many states do not allow the server pay the remainder of the bill if it brings them below minimum wage, whereas it is allowed in some states if the employee agrees in writing upon hiring.

While it’s hard to imagine an employee agreeing to this type of policy, some establishments bury the agreement in the terms and conditions contract assuming it’ll be overlooked. If this becomes an outstanding issue with the same server, then the subject can be discussed in context; but if it’s a one-time deal, then it is relatively harsh to make the server pay the bill. Multiple strategies can be used to prevent this situation some including security cameras, strong management oversight, and adequate record keeping. At the end of the day, a few stolen meals won’t break the business, therefore it’s crucial to ensure staff that you have their back.   



Why it matters to you: If immigrants are driven out of the US by these policies then the already tight labor market will get even tighter.

With his first few days in office, newly inaugurated President Donald Trump is beginning to make good on some of his campaign promises. An initial target is so-called ‘sanctuary cities’. Among his first directives on Tuesday was to sign an executive order stripping federal grant money from American cities that refuse to participate in enforcing immigration laws. While many think this will to be found an unconstitutional violation of state’s rights, we won’t know for sure until someone takes up litigation. In the meantime, for our industry, this may be a serious disruption. Given that some 28% of the 360,000 dishwashers in our kitchens are undocumented aliens and an additional 20% of the 2.8 million line cooks are reported to be here illegally, any major effort to deport them or block their employment will mean our, already impossible, the labor market will get that much more contracted.

This means that even if you have never employed any undocumented employees, you will still experience labor cost increases as there are fewer employees to fill already hard to staff positions. In response, some 80 restaurant operators have started a movement to protect folks here illegally by identifying Sanctuary Restaurants. As operators, it’s terribly frustrating to know that those that previously didn’t follow the law will end up causing turmoil for those of you that have never been in violation. Unfortunately, that’s the world we find ourselves in and we best prepare for this and any other disruptions a new federal administration may cause.