The Daily Rail: What Will Driverless Cars Mean for the Restaurant Industry?

TECH: Why Embracing Technology is Your Best Recruiting Tool

Have you been eyeing one of those amazing new tablet solutions that allows table side ordering, self-checkout and entertainment? I bet you didn’t know that those types of new technologies are also a recruiting tool. In a Deloitte Study, the newest generation of employees have indicated loud and clear that they want technology to be a part of their workplace — 74% of them to be exact. Restaurant operators should realize soon that old fashion clipboards will cost them good employees. Restaurants need to up their game. And fast.


Showdown Cut DC Restaurant Traffic

The Federal shutdown was a bit of a dumpster fire that not only hurt a lot of employees and contractors, but DC-area businesses as well. In fact, DC restaurant traffic was cut by 23% during the shutdown. The decline especially hit fine-dining restaurants the hardest, although Starbucks and Chik-fil-A also saw their traffic cut by over 33%.

70% Tax Rate?

Proposals to impose a 70% marginal tax rate on wealthy individuals making over $10 million have provoked controversy and significant debate. Navigator Research polled 1,116 registered voters on the matter in late January, finding that 48% supported it, 28% opposed it and 24% were not sure about it. Nearly 70% of Democratic voters were also behind it and significantly, so were a third of Republican voters. Historical top-end tax rate ranged anywhere from 67% in World War I, 94% in World War II, and 70%+ from the ‘50s through ‘70s until the Reagan-era cuts of the ‘80s. Current top-end tax rate is approx. 40%.

Infographic: Do Americans Support A 70% Marginal Tax Rate?  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Best-Selling Cocktails in the US

The cocktail seems to be going through a bit of a Renaissance period in the US and its little surprise. They’re tasty, customizable, and can fit into almost any occasion. But what are the most popular cocktails in the US? According to Nielsen, the Margarita takes top honors, followed by the Martini. Here’s the full top-5 list.


Why it matters to you: What does the rise of self-driving cars mean to our industry?

The rise of autonomous vehicles has enormous implications for our industry. While still some distance in the future, there is no doubt within the next decade there will be a pervasion of self-driving vehicles on the roads in the US. You can’t separate the restaurant industry from the motor vehicle industry, unless you want to be left without customers and product. A change as disruptive as eliminating human agency in cars will transform the way guests consume alcohol, eliminate parking shortages, reduce or eliminate the need for delivery drivers and, ultimately, increase your sales.

How, you ask? Think about a car with no driver but can find its own place to wait or a delivery truck that alerts you of its arrival. You can see the applications. Also, given how aggressive most communities patrol the roads for drivers that may be intoxicated, no one will ever have any excuse for drinking and driving. This won’t mean you can wantonly overserve everyone, but it sure does mean that extra cocktail may now get ordered with no fear of consequences. Among all the unintended outcomes that has to be the most promising. Just wait and see how our industry will be positively impacted by eliminating human responsibility for driving. Enjoy the ride. ;-)

[Source: Forbes]


Why it matters to you: Relationship partners should be careful becoming business partners, or pay a price.

Many of our independent operators have worked with their spouses. This can be a tricky thing. Full disclosure: I was one them for several years in a few different locations. The danger here is two-fold. First and foremost, if a restaurant is your life then your marriage is not. The imperative is to make time for each other as well as your restaurant. A tricky affair (pun intended) as you balance the way your staff perceives your spousal, or partner, relationship. If one of you is less qualified or doesn’t pull the same weight, you can have real rebellion that pits two people who love each other in a potential confrontation.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it does require a thoughtful approach. Start by being sure you are both up to the task. They don’t have to be equal, but the effort provided does. You can’t allow your team to believe that someone is in a position of authority because they are “with” the boss. Nothing sows discord. It’s better to abandon your partnership desires than prove to your staff one of you is not pulling their weight. If you can deliver equitable and credible leadership as a team, then the rest is sort of normal and can even create a more familial relationship with your staff. This is a ‘be very careful’ choice, but done well, it can also be very gratifying. Tread well.

[Source: FSR Magazine]