The Daily Rail: Is Off-Premise Dining Undermining Your Restaurant's Traffic?

MARKETING: 5 Tips for Hosting Fantasy Baseball Draft Parties

Pitchers and catchers have reported, which means two things – we still have a month and a half left of winter (ugh) and baseball is around the corner (yay!). And that means another prime marketing opportunity for sports bars — fantasy baseball. And since Spring Training is basically here, it means sports bars should start their planning and marketing of fantasy baseball offers to guests soon. Here are some tips.


Fight for What You Believe In

Two people were arrested at a Meteor Buffet restaurant in Huntsville, AL after getting into a brawl over crab legs. Officers report that the two diners were using service tongs like fencing swords and shattering plates. Apparently, the diners had been waiting for the crab legs for more than 10 minutes when they lost their tempers. Those must be some damn good crab legs.

Pedestrian Death Surge

In the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35% while the combined number of all other traffic deaths declined by 6%. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association now estimates that the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018 was 6,227, a 4% increase on 2017 and the highest level recorded since 1990.

Infographic: U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Reach Highest Level Since 1990 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

RIP 365 Stores

Whole Foods (aka Amazon) is killing its “Millennial-pandering” 365 Stores. The news ends the two-year experiment where Whole Foods aimed to attract more “cost conscious” shoppers. The units will be turned into regular Whole Foods. RIP “Slightly Less Than Whole Paycheck” market.


Why it matters to you: Anyone who has ever Expo’d a busy night knows we can do this better and KDS appears to be the answer.

Full disclosure, Expo is my favorite position in the restaurant. The person at the Expo station is the quarterback of your operation and literally touches every plate of food served by your kitchen. While the thrill of leading a high volume shift from that position never gets old, the challenges on ticket coordination and check completion certainly do. That is why it’s only a matter of time before technology trends like Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) are essential aspects of a well-run turnout operation. KDS are exactly what the name implies, interactive displays that deliver station by station production information. Instead of a ticket, the line staff looks at the display to determine what product needs to be turned out and when.

KDS is already a proven solution and you can see that clearly in the fast food vertical. They have been using KDS solutions for years. Given that fast in their segment name, it just makes sense that they have proven KDS improves turnout speed. To the extent that you expedite by calling items to a station, KDS removes that extra step by displaying “called” orders and alerting the station that they have a new item. Plus they do so much more.

They eliminate potential lost or soiled tickets, saving paper as well as tracking fulfillment times. Additionally, modification can be done in real time if a server needs to add to an orders instructions. No more begging the Expo to fix a mistake, now the error can be corrected and displayed directly to the station that is responsible for correcting it. If you are determined to make your kitchen as efficient as is humanly possible, then you should probably be looking into this technology (yes, pun intended!)

[Source: FSR Magazine]


Why it matters to you: Is off-premise dining undermining your overall business?

It was only a matter of time before someone in the full-service restaurant segment noticed a connection between increasing off-premise dining and declining dine-in traffic. These two trends have gone hand in hand over the past couple of years and finally the conversation is switching to how to manage one in light of the other. You need look no further than Red Robin to see their dine-in traffic down a sharp 4.2% and their carry-out business increasing to 10% of total sales. Rightfully, the folks at Red Robin recognize these metrics as unsustainable. Consequently, as you are counting your profits from the food that is leaving out the back door, you must find new and creative ways to drive new visits through the front door.

Easier said than done, as most of you already know, but what can you be doing right now to increase your traffic? There is no more effective way to create new guests than going out of your four walls to find them. Community outreach is the number one method of introducing your restaurant to your neighbors and thus, the most likely pool of potential guests from which to drive new traffic. Whether it’s attending your local Chamber of Commerce events or participating in local initiatives making connections in your local market is the first, best and most tried and true path available, IMHO.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]