The Daily Rail: NYC Restaurants Fight to Add Surcharge Fee to Guest Checks

MARKETING: How Bars & Restaurants Can Win the Tour de France [TV SCHEDULE INCLUDED]

The Tour de France is one of our favorite sporting events of the year and is great content to fill what is otherwise a pretty barren July. The trick is how to market for it. Here are some tips for creating Tour de France promotions for your bar and restaurant, including the month-long event’s TV schedule.


Fighting Avocado Ripening

Avocados are an amazing fruit, except that they get too ripe too fast. Apeel Science is hoping to keep avocados from going brown too fast with a special coating that acts as another “peel” layer. The coating should keep avocados good 2-3x longer (so, 10 minutes?) and is made of an edible, plant-based spray that’s touted as being sustainable while cutting down on the avocado food waste problem. Color us intrigued.

Why Instagram Opens Up to Long-Form Video

According to data from Ooyala, a video analytics firm, long-form video (20+ minutes) accounted for 54% of total video consumption on smartphones in the first quarter of 2018, up from just 29% two years ago. Hoping to build on its success with short-form videos in Instagram Stories, Instagram announced a new app for long-form video on Wednesday. IGTV, as the app is called, will allow creators to produce 4k videos in a vertical format strictly optimized for mobile viewers.

Infographic: Why Instagram Opens Up to Long-Form Video | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

American Dreamers

While public opinion on the recent child separations has been pretty clear, a new survey from Gallup has shed new light on what people in the U.S. think about some other key immigration policies/policy proposals. Of the four selected for the poll, the most support was for the so-called “Dreamers” - immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children but may be given the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time.

Infographic: How The U.S. Public Views Key Immigration Policies | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Restaurants in NYC fight to add a surcharge fee to their checks.

New York is an incredibly expensive city to rent in, no matter how you cut it. This is why restaurants in NYC are pleading with their local government officials to lift a current regulation that stipulates that restaurants cannot add any general surcharges or extra fees to checks. With the ever-rising cost of labor and the constantly skyrocketing rents, we understand why operators would feel the need for it. That said, NYC is also an expensive city to eat in, so added surcharge isn’t a win for guests. But the options are really either raising the price of the average dish or adding a surcharge fee. Ouch. This also would complicate tipping for as they try to navigate the fee: “Do we tip on the tab or the tab plus the surcharge fee?

The question is will this city bill pass and will it breathe life into fledgling NYC restaurants? We hope that some middle ground can be found because if these restaurants get into turning and burning further because rent prices then the guests loses 10/10 times. Although, can you imagine paying $20K-70K a month in rent? Absolutely madness. We’d ask New York “how do you sleep at night?!”,but we guess that’s why they’re called the city that never sleeps.



Why it matters to you: Introducing those tabletop tablets may have more of an effect than we’d all have ever imagined.

We all have seen it coming a mile down the road at this point -- tablets & flat screen monitors are being added everywhere, including in many restaurants. We use computers so often that adding some service-oriented tablets to our restaurants would help everyone involved, right? Wrong. A restaurant called Smokey Bones added tablets to their tables and has noted that the tech has been hurting its employees instead of helping. 

What exactly was happening? Well, Smokey Bones added a question, comment, concern feature to their tablet. If you can just quickly type something it feels a lot less painless than handwriting it doesn’t, right? We say stupid stuff all day everyday over text. Therein lies the issue. Patrons are reviewing their servers/experience more than ever due to this feature. The reviews are compiled into a score for servers which influences how many shifts they get, when and where. 

This is a very unfortunate way to do things. Not only do guests not have to speak to anyone about their concerns or problems, but they can dock their servers rating for any little thing that “they do wrong” during service which then effects the server’s work schedule. This amount of power given to guests. While technology can make our lives easier, we still need that personal human touch. And that includes handling guest complaints and building staff schedules. Nitpicky complaints shouldn’t hurt a server’s work schedule. So if you’re using a similar system, it’s important to make sure your scheduling manager is going through all the feedback to see what are legit concerns that need addressing and what should be generally ignored.