The Daily Rail: What Can We Learn From Chinese Takeout?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Today's Specials: 


SOCIAL MEDIA: How Fan Reaction Videos Can Be Your Marketing Secret Weapon

There's a little unknown gem in sports bar marketing, and that's fan reaction videos. Here's how capturing the excitement of the big play on video can boost your social media marketing efforts with 10,000+ views.


WATCH: How March Madness Affects Sports Bars & Restaurants [Under 60 Seconds]

Beer, food, and basketball. March Madness is the epitome of what bars and restaurants have to offer their guests looking for a good time. Here are some facts to keep in mind when preparing for the madness to ensue. 




DirecTV Still Won’t Carry SportsNET LA

AT&T and the Justice Department are close to a settlement in a case that alleges DirecTV colluded to keep SportsNet LA off their major pay providers in SoCal. However, the settlement doesn’t require DirecTV pick up the station.


Bizarre Restaurant Websites

So many restaurant websites look the same that these restaurant websites are pretty memorable – even if they’re horrible or bizarre. Everything from ‘90s Geocities Nostalgia to 8-Bit to Futuristic, these sites guests won’t forget.


Pop-Up Fail

Pop-up restaurants are all the rage, but not all of them are successes. Some of them are downright disasters, like this beach dinner in Sydney.



Why it matters to you: Delivery served with a side of analytics.

Uber has added an interesting feature to their restaurant delivery platform, and its analytics. The feature is called “Restaurant Manager, ” and it gives partnering restaurants a look into how their business is doing, based on delivery sales. From the dashboard, you can see what your best sales day was, what dish is ordered most, and customer feedback. The idea is to help you run your business better.

While there are a number of startups vying for your money to do as much as Ubereats has promised, and more, this add-on seems like a useful way to dip your toes in analytics. The benefit is, it doesn’t require any more work that setting up with Ubereats in the first place. Integration with POS systems can be costly and frustrating. Restaurant manager probably isn’t enough to save Uber from impending doom, but they can definitely give you valuable insight with their data platform.



Why it matters to you: treating your staff like family can lower staff turnover.

One of the most difficult aspects of staffing your team involves preparing for turnover. A few local restaurants have overcome this challenge with their family-oriented staffing techniques. Gamba’s Ristorante in Merrillville IN treats all employees from the busboys to the top chefs like they are a part fo the Gamba family. Restaurant owner Benito Gamba says, "The bottom line is you have to respect your staff. And care for them as if they were your family. That's really the secret."

Your team is a key component to driving sales, therefore, ensuring they are happy is crucial. One aspect that Gamba does well is teaching their team the proper knowledge that they need to succeed, for example teaching one busser English. Now, that busser is a top manager for the restaurant. Making the staff feel unified will help decrease turnover and increase communication causing for a healthier work environment.   



Why it matters to you: On second thought, delivery might not be the answer

Delivery, DeliverY, DeliverY….it’s seems like all we are hearing (and talking about) recently here at The Rail. Well, not everyone thinks the delivery is the cure for what ails the full-service restaurant segment. In a recent podcast with author Daniel Kline of the Motley Fool, the topic of delivery dominated the conversation. Kline rightly points out that delivery success is more complicated than just put it in a box and send it out the back door.  He specifically points to the quality expectations for different types of food as proof delivery isn’t for everyone. Specifically, he compares the way pizza and Chinese food perform for delivery versus a steak and French fries. No doubt, he’s right to say that people will tolerate pizza that might be a bit soggy from traveling as opposed to how a patron will react to an order of nacho that is 30 minutes old.

Functionally, this means that foods that are cater-able are far more likely to succeed in delivery than crafted or cooked to temperature items that won’t recover as well in a microwave (just sayin’). If we examine the success of various items for carryout, we can certainly learn from the Chinese restaurant approach. They make delicious food, very quickly that can also be reheated easily. However, this doesn’t mean that delivery is off limits for full service. First, review your menu and make sound decisions about what will travel well, then limit your menu to those items. Second, as a chain operator, you may be better off centralizing your carryout to a single kitchen and modified menu. At least this way you can maintain consistency and deliver the best product possible. Either way, this 7-minute podcast is a must listen if you are pursuing delivery in your restaurant now.