The Daily Rail: Are the Restaurant Industry Experts Selling You Short?

STAFF: 5 Strategies to Transform Your Servers into Sellers

Sales slow? Maybe you’re not doing it right. Among the most powerful metrics in our entire industry is check average. Even small increases in it can have a substantial impact on your sales and profitability over the long-term. Unfortunately, few operators take substantive steps to improve it. While there are lots of little things you can do to drive it upward, there is only one way to truly impact that number -- suggestive selling.


The Best Games of 2017

Nintendo has made some incredible games over the years. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is, for example, the highest-rated game of all time on Metacritic. But has the release of their new console, Switch, put them on the top of the best games list?

Infographic: The Best Games of 2017 | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Yum or Gross?

Arby’s is testing a roast beef sandwich called the Arbynator. This sandwich is stuffed with curly fries, cheese sauce, and honey sauce. And it’s goddamn huge! Who’s ready to chow down?

We’re Live! OK, Maybe Not…

Nielsen hasn’t counted hundreds of thousands of live sports viewers over streaming delays, costing networks tens of millions. The reason is viewers who are 25 seconds delayed aren’t considered to be watching the game live, but they’re also not considered streaming. They’re in TV Viewing No-Man’s Land.


Why it matters to you: National sales trends seem positive & you should know how you compare.

The ups and downs of the past two years for restaurant sales can be maddening. In one sentence you read things look terrible, but wait a few minutes because here’s some good news you didn’t expect. It appears there is no relief in sight as the November results deliver equally murky conclusions about the health of our industry. November sales nationally were flat and that appears to be good news, sort of.

Why? Well, check averages are rising, but traffic is still falling. This represents an unsustainable mix given that there is just so much price growth to combat the dropping number of guests visiting our restaurants.

There is plenty of analysis about what’s going on, but it’s short on reality. “Experts” say that it’s an inventory issue; there are just too many points of distribution. Others say that because we have seen consistent sales and traffic declines that the modest growth of October and flat performance in November mean the downward trend is beginning to turn. All we know is that every restaurant situation is different and you need to be aware of metrics like total number of checks to track traffic and gross sales every month to determine how your restaurant is fairing. Don’t let the experts tell you what’s up; figure it yourself.


Why it matters to you: Make 2018 the year you eliminate sexual harassment in your restaurant.

As 2017 ends, there is little doubt that issues surrounding sexual harassment are among the year’s top stories. We have spoken early and often about the culture of harassment in many restaurants and why it creates such toxicity, however, we haven’t offered many solutions. In the upcoming year we are dedicating more energy to supporting you in finding proactive solutions to manage these situations in your operation.

For today, we are encouraging you to read any guidance you can find to determine how you will address this issue going forward. There are no shortage of thoughtful commentaries on how to change the culture in your restaurant from hostile to safe, but it’s up to you as operator to actually do something. Inertia is our greatest enemy in the restaurant business because we have so much to manage. Leaders can be overwhelmed by the challenges of something as unwelcomed and under reported as sexual harassment.

Consequently, we are going to focus on it in the first few months of 2018. You will see blog posts dedicated to the discussion, a survey to learn how you are managing these problems and a live discussion about how you can inoculate your restaurant from future instances of harassment. This is a complicated conversation that requires that everyone participate with open minds and open hearts. Please join us as we do just that.