BUSINESS: 10 Practical Restaurant Lessons Every Owner Needs to Know
“By the time I opened my restaurant in 2008 I had been working for myself in one capacity or another since 1995. I figured 13 years of entrepreneurship was enough to tackle the restaurant business. I was so, so wrong.”
DID YOU KNOWS…
Kayak is a Cutthroat Sport
Yasuhiro Suzuki, a Japanese kayaker, has been banned eight years for lacing a rival’s drink in hopes he would fail a doping test. It worked, but Suzuki later admitted to lacing the drink with methandienone, a banned steroid.
Foam = Drink
A class-action lawsuit against Starbucks has been thrown out by a CA judge. The plaintiffs accused the coffee chain for knowingly under-filling lattes by around 25%, claiming that the cups weren’t big enough to accurately contain the volume claimed on the menu. The judge said there was insufficient evidence for a trial and dismissed the idea that foam shouldn’t count as part of the volume.
$135 Coffee Enema
Suffice to say, you should never take health advice from Gwyneth Paltrow. Right now, alas, she’s touting an at-home DIY coffee enema device that goes for $135. Detoxing in itself is a flawed concept, but coffee-enemas have caused three deaths. For the love of the gods, don’t do this!
IT’S NOT UNUSUAL [SONG]
Why it matters to you: Companies are finding great success in unique & strange marketing campaigns.
When was the last time you remembered a commercial? How about an ad on a bus stop? Companies are realizing that in order to market their business to a new generation they need to make an impact by doing something they have not seen before. Some restaurants are seeing great success in using humor on Twitter.
Twitter, however, can be risky. Several fast food giants have seen jokes backfire when they get too comfortable with the humor on the platform. That is one of the main issues with creating with a campaign that resonates with Millennials -- straddling the very fine line of what will offend vs what is objectively funny.
While there is no concrete plan to go viral whilst marketing your restaurant, you do have a few options. You could go the more honest-to-Twitter route like Wendy’s (see also: KFC & Arby’s etc.). Try print advertising, web ads, or commercials; the key is the imagery needs to stand out. Pizza Hut, Arby’s, KFC and others have given unique merchandise a shot. Other companies have tried super strange but more traditional campaigns, like TV commercials. The risk here is that you may annoy and scare off customers. However, an annoying commercial can also resonate – just ask Kars4Kids.
DON’T BE A DICK
Why it matters to you: New minimum wage increases are clearly causing confusion for consumers.
Fox Business is a cable news channel that focuses on the state of our economy and the regulatory changes that impact it. With 18 states increasing their minimum wage it appears consumers might be a little confused about how it all works. Let’s take Richard Var…uh, I mean Stuart Varney of Fox Business and his claim that people should tip less given that the minimum wage has increased to $15/hour.
Now, there are so many things wrong with this assertion we don’t have enough space in our newsletter to address, but I will try a little. To start, Stuart, not all employees receive the full minimum wage. For example, tipped employees in 43 states earn less than the minimum wage.
While our pal Stuart is woefully uninformed, he may also reflect a general confusion on the part of consumers, especially those that watch his program. If you are in a tip credit state, then as an operator you also benefit from tipping because you are allowed to pay your service employees less than your kitchen staff (for example).
Consequently, you want to protect that payroll advantage by making sure your guests understand that your servers don’t earn $15/hour. You can do something as simple as including a disclaimer on the menu. You can also make social media posts that are both supportive of your servers/bartenders, but also inform your guests so they have enough info to decide for themselves whether tipping remains a good idea.