MANAGEMENT: Restaurant Operators, You’re Rock Stars
I once read a poll that listed the least prestigious jobs in America and several of them were restaurant gigs. It really pissed me off. Having been a member of the restaurant industry since I was 15 years old, I take it personally when someone disses our world. The average “business professional” couldn’t handle a lunch shift on a Tuesday without melting into a puddle of tears.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Wine Bus Tour
If you’re ever in Queenstown, New Zealand, keep your eyes peeled for a vintage VW bus parked in front of a wine shop. The bus is named Amy Winedub and its owned by The Winery. The VW bus has been converted into a 46-bottle Enomatic machine, pouring some of the best wines in New Zealand. The Winery converted the bus so they could bring their business more easily to festivals while also being extremely eye catching.
According to a report published by GSMA, the global industry group representing mobile operators and other industry players, worldwide smartphone adoption stood at just 60% of all mobile connections in 2018, with many regions seeing adoption levels considerably lower than that. The lowest level of smartphone adoption was observed in Sub-Saharan Africa at 36%, with North America at the other end of the spectrum at 80%.
Best Picture Isn’t Lucrative
Having earned $144 million at the global box office so far, this year’s Best Picture winner Green Book was reasonably successful in commercial terms, especially considering its modest production budget of $23 million. However, it was still worlds apart from the breathtaking numbers "traditional" blockbuster movies routinely pull these days.
AI TO THE RESCUE
Why it matters to you: Watch artificial intelligence implementations to see where it will change our industry.
We can learn a lot about the future of our industry by observing our quick service restaurant brethren. Simply put: they engage way more consumers than full-service restaurants do. This means they must be more efficient and search out the most advantageous technology. Think in terms of Starbuck’s and Domino’s Pizza. For years, both have been investing in technology that assists the guest in ordering and streamlines their overall interaction and experience. That’s why the launch of a fully enabled AI (artificial intelligence) controlled drive-thru system, like the one implemented by a fast food location in Denver, is extremely relevant.
The creator of the technology running the drive-thru, Valiant AI, claims it relieves staff of the most complicated and stressful form of service in their industry. Of course, labor focused groups like United Food and Commercial Workers Union claim it will cost jobs and further hurt workers as they compete with technology. The truth of the role that AI will play is a bit less binary. If you are an operator that has tried to staff a tough position you might think, “Hmmm, eliminate a position while still serving my guests well, I’m in!” Consequently, there is no stopping how AI will reduce your work load, improve your performance, and take the pressure off your staff for difficult tasks.
Whether it’s through ordering that uses inventory results and previous sales trends or a scheduling software that knows your staff’s availability and manages all of their requests, AI could literally allow your managers to be more out front while still controlling labor and inventory (arguably their two biggest accountabilities). From a quality of work life perspective, AI may actually make working in the restaurant industry fun again.
[Source: Grub Street]
AS THE KIDS GO…
Why it matters to you: If children decide where families eat, get their experience right and you create loyalty.
If you have a family of your own, then you know that dining decisions are frequently made by the children. This infographic delivers a step by step look at how to improve your restaurant’s family friendliness and attract more little people with grownups in tow. Some simple steps like have a great kids’ menu, keeping the music and noise during early dining hours low, and having activities to keep children busy will all endear you to the person making the dining choice and the person paying for it.
Secondarily, a key strategy to enticing families is to find a menu that offers healthy choices for children that will also make their parents comfortable. Offering juice instead of soda or an apple instead of cookies are both obvious ways to get there, but your options are limited for your kids’ menu.
Almost half of Millennials polled say they are willing to pay more for a kid’s meal that is fresh, real and natural. Given that Millennials are the largest current generation by population and half of them have children, that’s a lot of folks seeking better choices for their kids to dine away from home. To capture that business, your menu matters, but simple games for kids to play at the table and safe seating like high chairs and booster are a must. The more you do to create an atmosphere that is conducive to a peaceful meal for mom and dad by containing and entertaining their children, the more likely they are to vote with their wallet and visit your place as a family…and often.