Wednesday, February 15, 2017
READER RESPONSE: Restaurants Need a Seat at the Policy-Making Table
There's no denying that minimum wage and immigration reform have sweeping impacts on the restaurant industry. Here's what one of our readers thinks is the best way of protecting both business interest and caring for staff.
WATCH: What does big data mean for bars & restaurants? [Under 60 Seconds]
Big data has been a hot buzzword for a few years now in the IT/tech sphere, but it's only starting to seep into the restaurant industry. Of course, what the hell is big data? Why should you give a fig about it and how can it help your bar or restaurant?
DID YOU KNOWS…
Family Dining Horror Stories!
Here are two stories about terrible and gross kids (and their awful parents) getting a little out of hand while at restaurants. The joys of running a restaurant, eh? Shoot us an email and let us know what weird family dining experiences your eatery has had to deal with!
Weird Food Classification
Would you call a burrito a sandwich? What about a hot dog? Well in NY, both are categorized as sandwiches. Here’s a fun video of other bizarre food classifications.
Cow Escapes Slaughter House & Goes on the Lamb…
A cow escaped a slaughter house in Texas, leading cops in pursuit for two hours until finally being apprehended at a Taco Bell – of all places. Here’s video of the cow going on the lamb. Who knew they were so fast?
REMOVING OFFENSIVE YELP REVIEWS
Why it matters to you: Always monitor if a review was written for discriminatory terms.
A restaurant in Sacramento CA recently experienced a Yelp nightmare. An inter-racial couple who own a southern-style restaurant noticed server racist reviews posted about their establishment. After contacting Yelp, the owners say that the website took well over a week to remove the comments. Yelp’s policy for removing offensive comments is roughly 3-5 business days for the flagged review to be processed. The couple was told that they can pay to have it removed sooner.
So how can this be avoided? It helps to periodically monitor your establishment’s reviews and especially respond to the negative ones. Overall, the best method is to flag a review when deemed inappropriate or to pay to have the post removed. Yelp uses an automated review flagging system so the better option may be to pay for removal until a Yelp staff member can be reached.
YOU CAN SPELL SUCCESS WITH DATA
Why it matters to you: More companies are popping up making data led decision-making easier than ever.
Do you know what your most popular menu item is off the top of your head, or what dish turns first-time visitors into repeat customers? Chicago-based startup diningDATA does that by combining payment information and internal data to increase customer loyalty. One restaurant using the service was able to identify which item brought customers back and redesigned their menu to help it sell more. Overall business climbed by eight percent. That’s huge!
With the data platform, the same can be done with cutting losses and getting rid of items that are hurting business. As the landscape of our industry changes, so must the methods we use to grow sales. Rent and labor costs continue to grow, and so our adaptability must grow too. Using data allows us to do that. With technology, we can examine what’s working and what isn’t working quickly and making changes that make the difference between being in the black or red.
AS RETAIL GOES…
Why it matters to you: We can learn from the woes of brick and mortar retailers
As if we needed more evidence that our industry has been tough going over the past few years, we only need to look at what is happening in retail to see clues about our own troubles. As consumers are making more and more purchases online, this means they are less likely to be out shopping. Some believe that his reality has translated into the 2% drop in lunch sales industry wide and further provides proof we have to consider all our digital sales options, including online/app ordering and delivery.
BWW announced they are embarking on a 100 restaurant, third party, delivery test. They believe that this coupled with research they are doing into an alternative Fast Casual concept are the salve that will heal their sales woes. We agree that ever operator needs to consider their options when it comes to digital ordering and delivery before they are so far behind they can’t catch up.