DID YOU KNOWS…
Did They Think This Through?
Two aspiring restauranteurs in South Africa got smashed on the Internet for their “Asian” restaurant name. The two non-Asian men named their restaurant Misohawni, which is the phonetic spelling of a phrase used by a Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket. People quickly condemned the restaurant owners for their racist and misogynistic restaurant name.
SI TV Launches
Sports Illustrated TV, a subscription-based service on Amazon Channels, launched yesterday. SI TV costs $4.99/month and will start off with 130 hours of sports movies and original documentaries. It won’t carry live sports but it’s options sound 100x better than showing your guests non-stop reruns of SportsCenter all day long.
How-To: Thanksgiving Leftover Calzone [VIDEO]
Give your guests a fun little twist on the take of Turkey Day leftovers with a Thanksgiving Leftovers Calzone. Each slice has to be like 1000 calories, right?
FOR SALE SIGNS
Why it matters to you: Now might be the right time to sell!
Are you thinking of selling your restaurant group? Now might be a very good time to do so. It appears there is a bit of a gold rush happening as pertains to mergers & acquisitions in our industry. You need look no further than the offer from Roark Capital to take Buffalo Wild Wings private. There are many reasons for this exuberance, but mostly it’s tied to the cost of money. Many folks believe there is a recession coming and with it higher interest rates. By getting a stake in the industry with low borrowing costs an investor may be able to ride a future recession in an industry that can deliver solid profits over time. Add to the low borrowing costs, the dismal performance of restaurants over the past 29 months and you get a bit of a quandary.
Why is it that investors are flocking to the industry even under these fundamental issues? It could be a case of follow the leader or it could be that our industry survives these recessions well. Labor costs drop, commodities become cheaper, and efficiencies improve in recession. When I was frustrated by my staff’s dedication I would muse about a little recession would fix their attention. While that was a fun day dream, none of us want a recession for real, but it sure would be nice for the labor struggle ease.
Why it matters to you: Restaurants suffer from the same issue of bias our culture at large is wrestling with.
With the sexual assault and harassment stories dominating the headlines, one chef and Food & Wine magazine believe we are missing a wider issue of bigotry in our industry. Daniel Patterson of Alta Group in San Francisco penned a piece in F&W describing the missing conversation about racism in the current melee over harassment. He rightly points out that both biases are wrong and that our industry is rife with issues related to them both. While our industry is one of the last meritocracies around, we still have real problems with entitlement and exclusion.
If you are interested in learning more or sharing your own experiences with issues of bias, either associated to race or gender, F&W has set up an anonymous facility where you can share your story. Its efforts like this by cultural icons and industry leaders that will help us change the atmosphere in our restaurants to the egalitarian ideals that has made hospitality one of the most successful businesses in the US today. We are the second leading employer by segment after the government and it’s a place where future leaders are born and trained. Let’s make that a dream anyone can experience, irrespective of who they are or the color of their skin.