Thursday, September 7, 2017
BUSINESS: 5 Little-Known Ways to Hack Restaurant Inventory [Sponsored by Orderly]
While labor is an equal contributor to Prime Cost, it’s harder to control based on business circumstances compared to COGS. This article from Orderly will focus on the best defensive weapons you have to keep COGS under control and lower Prime Cost.
DID YOU KNOWS…
MLB Apple Watch Cheating
The Red Sox allegedly used an Apple Watch to receive messages about what type of pitch was about to be thrown in a recent game. The MLB investigation found that Boston had an off-field person watching a camera feed of the catcher to relay pitch information via his Apple Watch. The MLB is looking into whether this was the case in other games. Strike. Out.
This week President Trump ended the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) intended to protect undocumented immigrant children in the US to work or to study. To put the issue in perspective, this infographic shows the states with the most DACA applications granted between April 2012 through March 2017.
Monday Night Football in Spanish
Beginning September 10, ESPN2 will simulcast ESPN Deportes for Monday Night Football, giving MNF a much bigger audience. This isn’t the first time that ESPN and ESPN2 have simultaneously broadcasted ESPN Deportes for a sporting event, but it is likely to drive much more traffic to MNF.
TIP OF THE ICEBERG
Why it matters to you: Minimum wage – the conversation that won’t end.
Talk of a $15 minimum wage and unionized restaurants is likely to cause the average operator to break out into a cold sweat. With recent peaceful Labor Day protests in cities like Boston, Detroit and Phoenix, we can see on display the reality of this push. It has gained momentum as a part of the “resistance” to the current administration’s perceived pro-business bias. In Seattle and San Francisco, they are already driving towards an increased base wage, and Chicago will reach $12 per hour for their minimum soon. Is it really that far from a reality nationwide?
There are varying opinions on the efficacy and necessity of a minimum wage. Those states that allow tip credit will likely find less resistance in the full-service restaurant segment because we are already paying close to those numbers for many on our staff. However, if you are in a state that doesn’t allow tip credit, then a $15 minimum wage will at least force you to consider eliminating tipping in favor of a service charge to cover the increased labor cost. There are no easy answers in this debate. Sure you want to save money on labor, and what’s fair is fair, but it’s the small operators that are most vulnerable to huge increases in payroll. Just once, it would be nice if they asked our opinion.
ON THE CARD
Why it matters to you: Have you experienced these gift card program errors?
Restaurants use many tactics to appeal to their customers from referral programs to contests, to gift cards. Many restaurants create and implement successful gift card programs to provide loyal customers with an easy way to refer your business to their friends and family. Gift card programs, if executed correctly, can increase relationships within the community and strengthen the customer base to develop stronger sales revenue. Although many gift card programs are beneficial in the long term for an establishment’s revenue, there are multiple ways they can be botched before they even begin.
A recent study by American Express revealed that a handful of gift cards are not typically purchased at restaurant locations. Roughly 27% of customers reported purchasing restaurant gift cards in grocery stores, whereas 20% reported purchasing them from mass merchandisers.
If your gift cards aren’t available through third-party retail channels, a large chunk of potential buyers possibly won’t be purchasing them. Other places of error include tracking financial success gift card programs. Sometimes management hands out gift cards to satisfy unhappy guests; however, this can throw off financial data tracking in the long term. This is where industry professionals recommend using comp cards instead to tracks numbers by purpose. Overall, gift cards are a great and successful way to market your restaurant; it is just important to know where the process can get fuzzy.
Hero image courtesy of Time Magazine