The Daily Rail: Can Restaurants Stay Neutral in Politics?

STAFF: 4 Reasons Why You Need Staff Feedback at Your Restaurant

As restaurant operators and managers, we’re obsessed with what our guests think of us. And it makes sense. Guests are the ones carrying the cash, so happy guests turn into a happy sales report, right? So, we obsess over what they think of us. We scour Yelp reviews and ratings on our Facebook page. But by focusing on making our guests happy we can’t ignore what our staff has to say. Here are some reasons why you should regularly ask your staff for feedback.


Why Oktoberfest is Held in September?

Every wonder why the beer-slinging event of Oktoberfest is held in September instead of, say, October? The answer is pretty simple. The last day of Oktoberfest has a fixed date on the calendar – the first Sunday of October. And as Oktoberfest has grown in popularity, event organizers have worked backward to take advantage of the warmer September weather. 

San Antonio First for Millennial Debt  

Millennials in San Antonio, Texas, shoulder the nation's highest debt burden with a median non-mortgage debt of $27,122. Pittsburgh comes second with a median of $26,403 while another city in Texas, Austin, rounds off the top-three with $26,164. The lowest median debt burden was recorded in three cities in California - San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles. All three of them have debt levels below $20,000. Meanwhile, Downtown Los Angeles is seeing the greatest Millennial population increase, jumping 91.4% since 2011! 

Infographic: America's Cash-Strapped Millennials | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista Infographic: The Trending Millennial Hot-Spots of the U.S. | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

No Sports on Netflix

Netflix has no plans on pursuing live sports rights. This goes against the current trend of streaming services, such as Amazon Prime, looking to capture sports streaming rights. And their reasoning is pretty simple – they don’t see how they can improve over the current broadcasting model. So, they’re gonna stick with what they’re good at. Can’t argue against that. 


Why it matters to you: Is staying neutral to politics the answer for your restaurant? 

One hallmark of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech is that you can choose to speak out and have no fear of government reprisal (in most situations; for example, no yelling fire in a crowded theatre). That simple analysis ignores the other basic freedom about free speech -- the right NOT to speak at all. This is exactly what a Bozeman, MT restaurant did when they announced they would not host a rally for the local senate candidate supported by Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The operator of Midtown Tavern in Bozeman made the following statement, “We definitely don’t want to take political sides. That’s never our intention. That’s just not who we are. We just try to stay politically neutral.”

In today’s partisan atmosphere, it makes increasing sense to not wade into politics if you want to avoid bumming someone out. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own opinions, just don’t use your restaurant to espouse them unless you are willing to bear any consequence for your speech. Because business consequences to free speech are not protected by the First Amendment. Of course, staying neutral can be tough as silence is often seen as taking one side or another and situations can get sticky fast, especially as larger names in politics approach your venues. 

[Source: Bustle


Why it matters to you: These three political debates will impact restaurants and demand your attention. 

As we reported yesterday, there is still no clarity on the NLRB Joint Employer Policy, but it’s not the only place where uncertainty in politics is impacting our industry. Starting in Washington DC, where the Fight for $15 is overlapping with the Server Tip Credit. A referendum passed last election approved raising the minimum wage in the District and eliminate employer tip credit for wage purposes. However, the local DC legislators are moving to reinstate it. Once again confusing and frustrating parties on both sides. 

Ironically, employees in Minnesota are suing for the right to make less. Their concern is that their wages will drop if restaurants are forced to contend with managing labor expenses without the tip credit. It’s a twist, but it’s also proof that this conversation is complicated and requires a defter approach.

These upheavals aren’t limited to our just labor policy. Allegations of sexual harassment have been filed against the main restaurant employee union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They are joined by allegations against McDonald’s widespread harassment in their ranks as well. In the end, every company should be required to manage between the lines, whether they are a national chain or a labor advocacy group.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]