DID YOU KNOWS…
Defending champions Manchester City are the favorites with current average odds of 1.63 . Liverpool, who followed up an impressive season with a big-spending and promising transfer window, are in second with 4.91. United's odds are 8.61 while Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal are rather seen as outside chances in terms of the 'big six'. As Leicester (current odds of 237.93) showed in 2015-16 though, anything can happen in the Premier League!
Food Safety Alert
We don’t think this is affecting too many of our subscribers, but it’s good to know: Monsanto’s Weed Killer “Roundup” has been found in Cheerios and Lucky Charms at “alarming levels.” The Environmental Working Group took 61 samples of several grain-based cereals and found traces of the poison in 48 of them. According to basic nutrition and toxicity standards, 160 ppm of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is considered a cancer risk. Quaker Dinosaur Eggs contained between 620-780 ppm, Lucky Charms 230-400 ppm and Quaker Old Fashion Oats at around 1,100 ppm. Yikes!
Snapchat Loses 3 Million Users
Snapchat failed to re-accelerate its user growth in the second quarter of 2018. In fact, the social media app, particularly popular among teenagers, even saw its user base shrink for the first time in its brief history. In the second quarter, Snapchat had 188 million daily active users on average, down from 191 million in the first three months of 2018. As our chart illustrates , the negative trend in active users wasn't limited to one particular market. Instead, the platform suffered declines in each of the three regions it breaks out separately: one million each in North America, Europe and the rest of the world. Something for restaurant marketers to keep in mind.
BET ON CHILI’S
Why it matters to you: You can learn a lot about the health of our industry from Brinker’s most recent shareholder call.
The conversation about sports betting and gaming was front and center at this quarter’s shareholder call with the leadership at Brinker International. Spurred by prospect of gambling profits, companies like Brinker and Buffalo Wild Wings have a fiduciary responsibility to pursue anything that will drive profit and success. There is a double-edged sword for a restaurant chain that also want to be seen as family-friendly when they consider adding gambling to their revenue streams.
These types of struggles on the part of the big chains should foreshadow your own trepidation about bringing sports gambling into your restaurant. Sure, there are profit opportunities, but you could fundamentally change the character of your restaurant operation. Our advice here is take this cautiously, especially if you are anything but a bar-focused operator.
Also featured in the Brinker call were net revenue and traffic gains at both their signature concepts -- Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy. The growth was the best in three years and they are pointing to their off-premise efforts as really contributing, especially in Q4. This all means that people are out and ready to spend on a great experience and sometimes that experience will include your food, just at their own spot. We have been hollering about delivery and carryout for the last couple of years, so thank you to Brinker for that little bit of affirmation.
DISNEY DISSES DEAL
Why it matters to you: The subsidized deal should teach us that we can ask for help from our communities, too.
Disney has sidelined a hotel deal in Anaheim because the city might not authorize the tax breaks they were originally promised. This is instructive because deals like this happen all the time. There are even deals available for folks as small as a single unit operator. There are economic revitalization zones and other federal, state and local programs designed to work with businesses to attract and keep them in certain communities. It’s a matter of researching what is available in your community.
The same is true of employment subsidy programs that pay for the training of new people or greatly subsidize their labor cost to the participating restaurant. Whether you get a tax rebate or subsidized labor, you have a right to these programs -- just as Disney does -- and should take advantage of them. Start by calling your local community and see what they offer. From there talk to your state representative and ask them if there are any programs. Finally, you can call your congressional or senate representative and ask them for help on any federal programs. Let these folks work for you, for a change.