The Daily Rail: Are Your Restaurant's Guests Faking Allergies?

Wednesday, June 7, 2016

FINANCE: We Analyzed 357,806 Supplier Purchases Last Month... Here's What We Can Tell You About Pricing [Feature by Orderly]

Ever wanted to know the state of supplier pricing? Orderly did. They analyzed 357,806 supplier purchases from over 4,100 restaurants in their system. Here’s what they can tell you about pricing. Spoiler: some of you are paying too much.


Slower Economy Not Slowing Restaurant Hiring

US employers slowed their hiring in May, but 1 in 5 jobs added were at restaurants. Our industry added 30,300 jobs last month, according to new federal data. Over the past year, the restaurant industry has added 267,000 jobs, a hiring rate of 2.3%, which is higher than the 1.5% rate for the overall US economy.

Classic Charles Barkley

Love him or hate him, Charles Barkley is rarely dull. He went to last night’s Stanley Cup Finals game where he bashed the NBA and says an alligator should eat Jeremy Roenick. Wut!?

Netflix: ‘The Internet Doesn’t Add Much Value to the Sports Experience’

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says the streaming entertainment company isn’t interested in streaming sports, claiming that the Internet doesn’t add much value to the sports viewing experience. This is a bit counter to what Twitter found with their sports-streaming experiment.

Would You Like a Side of Cocaine With Your Meal?

A Steak ‘n Shake waitress dropped her stash of cocaine into a guest’s drink. And if you’re thinking “Damn, that’s pretty awful” you’ll love it when you find out she dropped it into a police officers’s drink. Oops!


Why it matters to you: Meal replacement is a serious threat to all dining operators.

If you don’t know mail order meal prep business Blue Apron it’s not because they aren’t trying. In the first quarter of 2017, they spent over $60 million on marketing or 24.8% of their revenue. Bear in mind that the average restaurant operations dedicates less than 5% of their revenue to direct advertising. It’s clear that they are top line growth focused and that should matter to all restaurant operators.

Why? Because the dollars they capture come from somewhere and in many cases are a direct draw from discretionary money spent on out of home dining.

The woes of fast-casual and full-service dining operators are well documented, and this drive for sales by Blue Apron is only one of the causes. However, we need to understand that some of your guests are making the trade to high-quality and easy to prepare meals at home from dining out. The only good news is that Blue Apron to date is losing money -- and lots of it. Last year alone they lost $54.9 million and so far in 2017 they are over $52 million in the hole. That isn’t sustainable, but can they make the revenue grow enough to stem the tide? Only time will tell.


Why it matters to you: Some guests are making up allergies, but we can’t stop being vigilant.

As with all things related to food, allergies have their own trends. Twenty years ago there were people that had gluten allergies, but we didn’t know anything about it. Fast forward to the present and all you hear about is gluten-free this and lactate-free that. While these allergy issues are real and demand your attention, many folks are jumping on the bandwagon.

Unfortunately, that can sometimes mean our servers are less focused on protecting guests with actual allergies.

While it may be annoying to see a guest who just claimed a gluten allergy munching on a piece of pizza their dining companion ordered, that in no way diminishes our responsibility to be thoughtful and responsive when an allergy is identified. We encourage you to take your lead from a great operator like Ming Tsai and create a system that identifies potential allergens on your menu. It’ll allow you to respond in a humane and kind manner. Remember, all it takes is one mistake and you have to live with those consequences forever.