FINANCIAL: 7 Tips for Improving Your Restaurant's Cash Flow
Unlike most other businesses, restaurants have unique cash flow challenges to deal with. Issues like handling fresh inventory and dealing with a volatile income. This can make predicting or projecting cash flow for small business restaurants difficult. However, there are certain changes you can make to improve your cash flow and bring some financial stability to your business.
DID YOU KNOWS…
I Want to Drive the Zamboni
Late Superior is at about 77% frozen and could (though a stretch) reach 100% ice cover before winter ends. This got U.P. Supple Co. wondering: how long would it take to resurface Lake Superior with a single Zamboni? Well they did some serious math and they concluded it would take 693 years to resurface the entire lake. Something tells us the lake might melt before then.
State of the Unions
Late last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data detailing the U.S. states with the highest and lowest rates of trade union membership in 2018. Membership rates have dropped massively in recent years, falling from 20.1% in 1983 to just 10.5% today. In 2018, Hawaii had the highest rate of union membership at 23.1%, followed by New York (22.3%) and Washington (19.8%).
How to Spot Malicious Emails
According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, 55% of emails received by employees in 2018 were categorized as spam and 1 in 412 emails was considered malicious, i.e. potentially harmful. The following chart, based on Symantec’s findings, shows which subjects, attachments and keywords are most often used in malicious mails and should be considered red flags to vigilant employees.
GOTCHA! UM…I THINK
Why it matters to you: Is it a good idea to wittily rebuke negative reviewers?
Have you ever wanted to clap back at a negative online review? We all have. But then you consider the consequences of picking a fight with an angry reviewer. Turns out a pub owner in Cornwall England decided it was his role to respond pithily to some negative comments made on his TripAdvisor profile. Roger Salzy believes it’s his role to be a zealous advocate for this pub and he doesn’t mince words when he does.
For example, after being dinged by a woman named Kitty, he went into her other views and reviewed her prior comments. “You use the words Rude and Arrogant with gay abandon don’t you?” he wrote. “Or we read about when you complain that the waitress had asked you to stop your children playing on the stairs 4 times, the poor girl … or when another venue got slagged off because you weren’t allowed to move the furniture … Kitty, you had probably put in front of a fire escape or something. Trust me Kittyminx, when it comes to rude and arrogant you might want to look a little closer to home.”
Ok, so that was probably satisfying, but is it the right choice for most of us? As the Magic 8 Ball will tell you every time, the answer is Decidedly NO! Yes, you might get a momentary thrill, but folks seeking a place for their meal will read your responses and that’s the real problem. We already know that people pay attention to how you interact with reviewers. There is simply no upside to attacking them. You can dispute false claims, but even that may come at a price. In the end, you have to decide how much you’re willing to risk your business to satisfy your sense of fairness. We suggest it should be a very high bar to clear before you take that risk.
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING [Song]
Why it matters to you: Angry employees are capable of almost anything.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in labor actions in our industry, especially in the quick service/fast food segment. McDonald’s workers have struck for higher wages and the Fight for $15 rages on as the Restaurant Opportunity Council keeps that fire burning. To that end, recently all of the employees at three Ohio Sonic Drive-thru locations have walked off the job. Specifically in Circleville, OH, the crew left a grammatically deficient manifesto of their complaints in the drive-thru window. They expressed their outrage and voted with their feet after their location was sold to new management and lay-offs and wage cuts ensued.
We can’t presume to know the exact circumstances that precipitated this mass walk out, but we shouldn’t dismiss it as frivolous either. For example, this group claims that the company cut their wages from $8.55/hour down to $4 plus tips. If that’s true, then the operator brought some of it on themselves. And to be fair, they may have wanted to re-staff the location as a part of their takeover. Of course, if they cut wages in half and didn’t expect a backlash, they were colossally dumb.
Also, consider the cost of turning over your entire team. Only replacing 10 of their staff and two managers likely cost this operator in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now we aren’t saying you shouldn’t make changes or you should fear your employees. However, we are saying that showing some thoughtfulness and compassion will certainly get you less negative press coverage, IMHO.