DID YOU KNOWS…
How To Describe Craft Beer
Craft beer sales in the U.S. have increased by more than 60 percent in the past four years and account for roughly 14% of total beer sales in the United States. Although craft beer sales are rising, people still don’t understand many of the words used to describe craft brews. These are the words people do know.
Working In a Mob Restaurant
A lot of illegal activity can happen in restaurants. One waiter documented his experience working in a restaurant secretly known for its organized crime clientele including the challenges he faced. Spilling something could get you stabbed.
Wahlberg Tips Waffle House
Waffle House workers in Maryland were not too happy when a huge crowd of people packed the restaurant at 2:15 am on a Monday. Luckily, it was Donnie Wahlberg (Mark Wahlberg’s brother) and his TV crew fresh off the set. Wahlberg tipped both servers $500 including the grill cook.
IS OUR CUISINE TOO ETHNIC?
Why it matters to you: For restaurants, diversity truly is our strength.
American cuisine is a wonderful amalgamation of flavors, national origins, and styles. Where would our culinary culture be without Italian pizza, Mexican salsa, and Jewish bagels? It appears some communities in Europe want to find out. Take the Italian town of Forte Dei Marmi, where they have severely limited or blocked the opening of ethnic restaurants in their community. Their justification is that their tourism revenue depends on a uniquely Italian experience and other cuisines dilute that for tourists. Similar arguments are being made from Denmark to Paris, but are they right?
A simple analysis says not really. For example, the first food you think of as Italian is spaghetti sauce. However, the tomato wasn’t available in Europe until the mid-1500’s since it was only discovered in South America by then. Also, pasta was brought to Europe by Muslim merchants in the middle ages. So what really is unique Italian cuisine, if not a mix of influences that present to a culture over time. Here in the US, there has been a rise of crime against immigrant-owned restaurants. Would those angry enough to vandalize a Kabob place in Oakland or graffiti an Indian restaurant in Denver be willing to do the same to their local Pizza place? Since Italians, Greeks, Jews, and Asians have used our industry to find their American dream, we won’t likely see any homogenization of our cuisine anytime. Besides, curry and halal can be found all over our country today and that just gives our industry all the flexibility it needs to satisfy an ever increasingly diverse guest population.
TRUMP DOESN’T PRESS OVERTIME HIKE
Why it matters to you: We could be seeing more changes to overtime regulations.
As of December 1, 2016, businesses were technically required to pay an overtime rate to anyone earning below $47,000 annually after logging more than 40 hours per week. The Trump administration revealed last Friday that it will not press for increasing the threshold that determines which salaried restaurant employees are eligible for overtime pay. The Obama administration brought forth the change, however, Trump not pushing for an increase could potentially save restaurant employers millions of dollars in overtime pay intended for distribution to managers and assistant managers. Though, the U.S. Department of Labor indicated that it still may change the rules to make more salary earners eligible for time-and-a-half pay.
This controversy has been viewed multiple ways within the restaurant industry. On one side of the aisle, executives from the NRA are applauding the Dept. of Labor for working in the best interest of the American worker, whereas many restaurant operators are pushing to lower the salary for overtime employees to save money. Overtime problems are also causing confusion in restaurants. A New Jersey Chipotle was recently sued by managers arguing the new overtime rules were not followed; therefore, they should be compensated accordingly. Overall, this is a topic that we will see more of in the near future.