MARKETING: Top 4 Marketing Challenges for Restaurant Managers
To succeed, restaurateurs have to make sure to stay up-to-date with food trends and how they impact their menu, day-to-day operations, marketing, and a whole lot more. If you have to juggle so many things in the air, how do you ensure your restaurant’s success? We work with some small and medium size restaurants nationwide and we asked them what, in their experience, the biggest challenges are in the restaurant industry. We were able to identify these four restaurant marketing challenges.
DID YOU KNOWS…
NOLA No Call Float
New Orleans never forgets. One of the floats at this year’s Mardi Gras parade, entitled “Willful Blindness”, showcased took shots at both NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and official Bill Vinovich over the blown NFC Championship game against the Rams. The marchers wore ref shirts and images of Goodell as a clown on the back. They also wore “robber” masks around their eyes. Well played, Saints fans. Well played.
When Nintendo released the first Pokémon game in Japan on February 27, 1996, no one would have thought that it was the birth hour of the second largest video game franchise in history. Over the next 23 years, the Japanese video game giant went on to sell more than 300 million copies of more than 70 Pokémon titles, trailing only Super Mario in terms of its longevity and global popularity. To mark the 23rd anniversary of the Pokémon franchise’s birthday, Nintendo announced two new entries to the popular series on Wednesday.
The Daily Wager
ESPNEWS is adding a daily gambling show to their lineup. Titled Daily Wager, the hour-long show will debut on the network on March 11 at 6pm. The show will be a “news and information” show, discussing odds and money lines. Unlike other sports betting shows, Daily Wager will have a mix of sports reporters (making no picks) and sports betting experts (making picks). This could end up being great alternative content for sports bars as many of their patrons may already be partaking in sports betting.
A RETURN TO THE MEDIAN
Why it matters to you: The Department of Labor has proposed a compromise on the salary threshold for overtime exempt staff.
You may recall in 2016, the Obama Administration announced an increase in the salary required for an employee to be exempt from overtime to $47,476 (up from $23,660). Of course, that never happened; shortly after Trump’s inauguration his Administration announced they were reviewing that guidance and put it on hold. Well, the Department of Labor (DOL) has returned to this issue and are now considering a compromise increase to $35,000 as the threshold for overtime requirements based on work over 40 hours in a week. This might actually be a shining moment of realism by a government agency. Even the most liberal around us saw the $47k threshold and thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of money!”
However, by meeting the threshold increase halfway, between the 15 year old (and somewhat laughable) $23k value and the proposed increase to $47k, the DOL might actually address an issue of fairness for workers while not simultaneously crushing business owners. The truth is that the median income for an entry level manager is over $49,000 per year. Consequently, if you are in a market where that is the cost of managers, you don’t care much about an increase in the overtime exempt threshold. However, if you are a manager in a lower income market that was working 55 hours per week for under $35,000 per year, then you might actually experience some economic benefit. Either way, there is a period provided for comment by the DOL, so have at it if you think your hourly managers that earn under $35,000 per year are making too much money.
[Source: Restaurant Business Online]
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE LEBOWSKI [Video]
Why it matters to you: Texas Roadhouse continues to show us all the way to growth, the guest experience
Texas Roadhouse just keeps chugging its way to chain operator dominance. They finished 2018 with monstrous same store sales increases of 5.6% at their company-managed locations and 4.8% at their franchise outlets. Underlying their sales increase has been an awesome traffic increase of 3.9% over the previous year. Those numbers are so far ahead of industry numbers it’s amazing. Overall the industry saw both a 1.4% sales increase and a concurrent drop in traffic of -1.9%. The traffic drops have been buffeted by guest check sales that increased 2.6%, which have dulled the pain of guest visit declines. So, how is Texas Roadhouse achieving these jaw dropping results? They claim it’s 100% because of their investments in finding, training and retaining the best possible staff.
They also claim to be fully staffed just as the industry begins to buckle under the weight of labor shortages and wage increases from the scarcity of qualified people. Unfortunately, these labor victories come at a cost as their labor expenses are in danger of outstripping their sales increases. That is why they are increasing prices this year by 3.2%. The irony is they don’t project any disruptions from those price increases, simply because they are delivering the best experience possible to their guests. Their focus on staff and shaping the guest experience are the core of why they’ve grown and they are doubling down on that by asking guests to pony up for the pleasure. Turns out, guests are happy to do just that when they feel a return on their investment… who knew?