Wednesday, February 8, 2017
SOCIAL MEDIA: Effective Ways Restaurants Can Use Facebook Pages
Don’t go through life looking like an amateur. Here's a quick overview on how restaurants can leverage Facebook Pages, including setup, performance analysis & optimization.
V-DAY MARKETING: Five Easy Promo Ideas for Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Are you offering a special menu or cocktail to help people celebrate? If not, check out these easy ideas you can try at your restaurant.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. Here are some fun stats/stories to get you ready:
Americans spend a total of $20 billion for Valentine’s Day. Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually. And a quarter of Americans eat out to celebrate. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Under 60 Seconds to learn exactly how this holiday affects restaurant’s bottom line.
Most Romantic Restaurants on Yelp
USA Today asked Yelp for the most romantic restaurant in each state, according to its users. Figured into the choices – number of reviews, the ratings and how often “romantic” appears in reviews. Think you’re more place is more romantic? Let us know why!
Shred ‘Em & Forget ‘Em!
Hooters has quite the offer for their single guests. Go into any Hooters location on Valentine’s Day and shred your ex’s photo and they’ll give you 10 boneless wings for free when you buy 10. Seriously, 20 wings for the cost of 10 (plus some closure) sounds like the deal of the century. Is your restaurant catering to singles on Valentine’s Day?
RACISM RUNNING RAMPANT
Why it matters to you: Some Americans may need a lesson in where their food comes from.
A restaurant in Brooklyn is printing a message at the bottom of their receipts. The message reads, “Immigrants make America great (they also cooked your food and served you today).” Why is this even necessary? Because stories of rampant racism taking place in restaurants are growing.
Like one couple in Texas who wrote on their receipt everything about their meal was great, except they wouldn’t return because the owner is Mexican. “America first,” they said. In Chicago, a “cash mob” was organized in support of a middle-eastern restaurant because a diner left a $1 tip with a note stamped, “No Muslim Immigrants in USA.” In our industry, staff are like family. Do you stand up for your own?
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Why it matters to you: An age discrimination suit ends in mistrial and this should scare all operators.
Turns out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a civil suit against Texas Roadhouse with aclaim that the chain failed to hire a sufficient number of servers over the age of 40 (a protected class under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA). This particular suit is chilling because the EEOC brought it forward and THEN looked for individuals to join as co-plaintiffs. Under normal circumstances the EEOC joins a group that is seeking relief, not creating that group as is the case with this lawsuit. Federal Judge Denise Casper accepted the jury’s assertion that could not reach a verdict and has already scheduled the re-trial of the case.
This is a scary case for restaurant operators because, by no fault of our own, the bulk of our successful staff is well under 40. Many, if not most, folks over 40 have no interest in the rigors of a restaurant server’s job. This makes the lack of people over that age in service positions no surprise, but also it’s no conspiracy. If the EEOC sets its sights on our industry for applying the FLSA we are going to have a lot of frivolous investigations to manage. Texas Roadhouse, for their part, will not settle and looks forward to re-trying the case. While it’s likely under President Trump’s administration we may see this effort muted, you never know how regulation might impact you. Make sure you have all of your applications organized and you can justify why you chose not to hire a specific person for any position that is not related to a protected class.
YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE [Song]
Why it matters to you: Some believe it’s either grow or die in our industry today.
The reality of shrinking margins, increasing government-imposed expenses and rising rent/property taxes are causing the life of the independent operator to become ever more difficult. One such operator, Anito Lo of Anissa in NYC, is choosing to close her restaurant under the weight of all those external factors. Her base claim is she can’t see a future worth pursuing in the industry unless she grows to multiple locations, a choice she is unwilling to accept. Her interview onGrubStreet reads like a post-mortem on why independents fail.
Factors like the minimum wage increases, especially for servers, forced her to a no-tipping policy. Also, her real estate taxes have sky rocketed and she just can’t find the desire to continue the fight. Ironically, since she announced the restaurants closing date in May, business has improved. Lo said “People are coming back, which is great. I think people are nostalgic and sad, but it’s like, where were you last year?” No question, the economies of scale in operating multiple locations provides a path to greater financial independence, however, you have to be prepared for just as many challenges….they are just different. So, if you don’t feel like your business does enough to secure your future consider growing to another location as both a survival and success strategy.