The Daily Rail: SPOILER: Higher Staff Wages Means Higher Menu Prices

RESTAURANT MEMES: Dogs, Cats, Heat, Picking Up Extra Days, and More!

It’s been a scorcher out across America, so start your week off with some cool restaurant memes. In this week’s batch: abs vs. kebabs, loving your AC, real-world wine tasting, living with cats, and more. Share ‘em with your guests on social media or with your staff for the lulz.


The Murder Rate in U.S. Cities

While some cities such as Las Vegas and Boston saw their murder rates rise by 25.9% and 14.6% respectively, other notorious places for violent crime such as Detroit and Chicago experienced large decreases. Chicago garnered a reputation as one of America's most dangerous cities in 2016 with more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined with an average of 12 people shot every single day. The Windy City finally experienced a 12.3% decline in its murder rate last year, though it still has a lot of work to do.

Infographic: The Murder Rate Dropped In Many U.S. Cities In 2017  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Roger Federer Is the King of Athlete Endorsements

When the defending champion Roger Federer stepped on the Center Court at Wimbledon for his first-round match on Monday, many spectators had to look twice before realizing it was indeed the 36-year-old Swiss stepping onto the court. It wasn’t a new haircut or a beard that threw them off, but Federer’s unfamiliar outfit: for the first time in his professional career, the Swiss maestro wasn’t dressed in Nike. Instead Federer wore gear made by the Japanese brand Uniqlo. According to industry chatter, the 10-year Uniqlo deal is worth $30 million a year to Federer, adding to his already impressive take of $65 million over the past year.

Infographic: Roger Federer Is the King of Athlete Endorsements | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Will Coffee Make Your Life Longer?

According to a new study, coffee cuts your risk of dying by up to 16%. The study was conducted by researchers at the US National Cancer Institute using data from UK Biobank. The researchers found that people who drink two to three cups per day had a 12% lower risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers. This held true to people who only drink decaf and people with caffeine sensitivity. People who drink six to seven cups got upward of 16% decrease in all causes of death.


Why it matters to you: As restaurant workers’ wages increase so too will our menu prices.

As the minimum wage increase to $15 in many areas, so must other things increase with it (or at least change). One way the industry is going to have to implement to adapt is raising menu prices. We know how unpopular of a move this is for guests which means it’s unpopular with operators. What this comes down to is everyone’s margins will continue to shrink as staff pay increases. If the margins suffer too much, everyone in your establishment suffers as that is when cuts happen. So menu price increases is one of the better ways of keep margins at sustainable levels.

So how do we all prepare our diners for these increases? Well, we’d hope that most of our regulars would understand. Although hoping and assuming never helps much. One approach is a small explanation on the menu, newsletter updates, and/or social media post(s) to help give our diners a heads up. The key is to do it in a way that won’t be interpreted as whining or complaining about your staff earning more. That never goes well. Alternatively, you can just increase the prices and hope no one notices. Most won’t expect for your regulars. With any luck these increases will ease themselves in to our daily lives without causing too much trouble.



Why it matters to you: Is cramming more barstools into restaurants a good idea?

The Wall Street Journal published a piece called “Pull Up a Stool: Restaurants Squeeze in More Seats.” The story talks about restaurants making 50% more profit on a barstool than a normal table because they offer restaurants higher turnover and take up far less space than a table (aka, we can cram more guests into the same space). The WSJ also noticed that customers spent an average of 85 minutes on a meal at the bar versus 105 at a table (we think this bit probably has to do with a server having multiple tables). 

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the barstool. Pros: less room taken up, higher turnover rate (likely due to less comfort), more casual feel to the restaurant, better for a more bar-centric location, some people prefer no back. Cons: guest experience tends to be worse than on a seat with a back comfort/personal space, nowhere to hang a jacket or purse if there is no coat check, cannot lean back, crowded.

There is no clear winner here as to whether or not it is worth it for our guests. We’d say if you have a location that is more of a bar go for the barstools; however, if your spot is more of a restaurant-vibe we’d recommend something with a back and more personal space. A major key to repeat customers is always a great guest experience.