BUSINESS: It’s Time to Look at Your Restaurant Tabletops in a New Light
Your tabletop is where all the magic happens. Guests experience most of what you have to offer on your tables. A great menu, warm service and most of your direct marketing all happen there. But are you getting the most out of your tabletop strategy? It’s time to look at your tabletop as more than just where you wine & dine guests.
DID YOU KNOWS…
MREs might stand for Meals, Ready to Eat (aka combat field rations) but they often taste more like Meals Refused by Everyone. That might change, thankfully, due to the invention of the combat ration holy grail -- MRE pizza! It’s a 3x5” slice of Sicilian-style pizza with “melt-proof” shred of mozzarella and “pebbles” of pepperoni. And, since it’s qualified for MRE duty, it’s pretty durable.
Kavanaugh Losing Support
A Senate hearing to further discuss the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh was set for today, but has been pushed back indefinitely as the terms for the hearing are ironed out. A survey done by Ipsos for Reuters currently has support for the Kavanaugh at around 31%, while opposition to Kavanaugh now stands at just over 35%. Barely two weeks ago Kavanaugh was registering equal levels of support and opposition. A second alleged victim of sexual assault has stepped forward against Kavanaugh.
High & Die
Maine officials is investigating Legendary Lobster Pound for trying to sedate lobsters with marijuana smoke to make their deaths less tragic and more humane. Charlotte Gill, who owns the restaurant, is calling her restaurant the official home of the “high-end lobster.” The “smoked” crustacean isn’t available to guests yet, but the lobster pound is hoping it will be soon.
WAIT, A HANDSHAKE WITH TRUMP DID WHAT TO THIS RESTAURANT CHAIN?
Why it matters to you: A DC chain operator claims a meeting with POTUS dropped their sales 40%.
There has been no shortage of conversation surrounding how politics and restaurant prosperity are both inexorably linked and completely unrelated to each other. This contradiction is on stark display as the story of the Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop plays out. If you believe the operators, they claim their sales plummeted after one of its founders met Donald Trump at a Small Business Administration forum. His goal was to press policy points that were important to his business and his staff. In the aftermath of post-promoting that interaction, the chain saw their sales drop by 40% and they are attributing their demise to this shift.
While only 36% of Americans may support the president, the likelihood that a genuine attempt on the part of a restaurant owner to further their interests with a politician would sink their business is really low. That isn’t to say that bad press from an interaction with an un-favored politician doesn’t have consequences, just that you can be forgiven for believing it’s implausible. Each of you gets to decide how political you want your business to be. The fact that that political bent may have consequences; however, it’s as equally implausible that Papa John’s sales woes were due to poor NFL ratings.
TIS THE SEASON?
Why it matters to you: Everyone is gearing up for the holidays and this may be bad news for our industry.
We don’t always realize just how parallel our existence is with retail operators. Of course, the holiday season is always a stark reminder that we are connected in ways we don’t always anticipate. With Target announcing they will hire 120k workers for the season, restaurant operators should be worried. The new CEO of Darden has deemed it a War for Talent (hmm, that sounds familiar) and we couldn’t agree more. With almost 1,000,000 job openings in our industry, there is no doubt that Target (joined by giants like Amazon, Walmart, The Gap, etc.) ramping up means even more labor woes for our industry.
You can lay about and be a victim of this competition for employees or you can be proactive. Retail ramps up every year for the holidays and now is the time for you to do the same. You have a far more attractive value proposition for a potential career. First and foremost, your jobs aren’t seasonal. What attracts most seasonal employees is flexibility and that’s the hallmark of a career in the restaurant industry. Use that and the competitive wages (especially if you are hiring for a tipped position) to make your candidates see why your job is the one they really want. Don’t see this increasing pressure as a negative and leverage your inherent advantages to win this latest War on Talent.
[Source: Restaurant Business Online]