With 72% of Americans visiting a quick-service restaurant for lunch, it is no wonder that the United States culinary industry saw consumers spending up to $798.7 billion on food and drinks in 2017. However, even with its obvious profitability, there is no doubt that running a restaurant business is no easy feat, especially when you’re a newcomer to the industry.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Sam Adams beer is hosting a special event on Thursday at the Boston Brewery where they’re releasing a Tom Brady GOAT-themed beer. The beer is called “Too Old, Too Slow, Still Here” and is a 7.9% ABV double New England IPA. The first 199 people (for Brady’s draft number) will be able to purchase a crowler. After that, the beer will be available on tap until they run out.
Cops Arrest Elsa
It’s cold as all hell out there. So cold that the McLean Police Department have canceled “all criminal activity and acts of stupidity and foolishness.” They even “arrested” Elsa, the Disney ice princess from the movie Frozen with “NO BOND” for the unnecessary frigid temps hitting the Midwest.
World Wide Corruption
The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories on perceived public sector corruption where a score of 0 means "highly corrupt" while a score of 100 means "very clean." More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 in this year's index which means they have serious problems preventing public sector foul play. The average score worldwide was just 43. The U.S. had a disappointing score of 71 this year, four points down on 2017. That means it has dropped out of the top-20 countries for the first time since 2011.
SO, YOU WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?
Why it matters to you: Howard Shultz announces he wants into the 2020 election as an independent candidate.
There is no other brand more iconic of corporate responsibility than Starbucks -- and no leader of a major corporation more reasonable than Howard Schultz. So, when he left an active role with the company he stewarded to 30,000+ locations, few thought his public life had ended. Consequently, when he announced his interest in running for President of the United States, few were shocked. Certainly, his presence is exciting for our industry, but in the end policy is all should matter. So what does Howard Schultz believe?
At this point we don’t all of his positions, but he has been clear he is not for dramatic change. He has already been clear he doesn’t support single payer healthcare or dramatic changes to tax policy, but he is serious about investments in education and infrastructure. While none of this indicates how he would be for our industry, his efforts as a CEO might. Starbuck’s was an early adopter of robust employee benefits. They implemented health insurance programs accessible to every employee and implemented a paid time off program.
ON THE WAY TO AI
Why it matters to you: Applications for artificial intelligence in our industry have amazing potential.
In the past few years, we’ve heard more about artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in improving the service experience delivered by retail operators. If we take a peek at how AI is being integrated into other retail operations, we can project what we might see as it becomes more accessible to the restaurant industry. First and foremost among the benefits is facial recognition, which recognizes a guest and coordinates them with their purchases.
This will also be a powerful way to collect passive data about your guests’ behavior that is both valuable to you, but also the providers that deliver it. That is why the technology will continue to drop in price as more data is available for other uses. Take a company like Upserve that mines data from an integration with your POS system. Through this they are also able to track any number of data metrics in your restaurant.
This has two different value points. For you, good AI would make it possible to simply have orders automatically generated for your restaurant and then you receive them. This reduces the load on managers so they can focus more on interacting with staff and guests. For the provider, they are also tracking the usage of every company on their platform and aggregating it for other purposes. It’s your data and therefor you can demand you profit from its use.
No matter how you approach AI for your business, it’s coming in ways that you won’t even see. This is a forward looking conversation, but it’s definitely time to keep tabs on the improvements and applications of AI. We promise we will be as well.