Today's Special: How much do you know about the minimum wage?


Under the streets of the medieval Belgian city of Bruges, a full two-mile pipeline is being built… exclusively for beer. The pipeline, which is expected to be completed this summer, will pump beer at a speed of 4,000 liters (about 1,057 gallons) per hour from De Halve Maan Brewery in the center of Brussels to its bottling plant outside the city.

Today's Special


Minimum wages are being debated all across the country and can have a huge impact on your restaurant. Take our quick quiz to test your knowledge and maybe even learn something new.


Why it’s important to you: You need to know your state and federal wage laws

Two dozen restaurants in Madison, WI are being ordered to pay $724,000 to 275 workers for compensation violations. An investigation by the US Department of Labor listed a series of violations including: improperly calculating overtime for employees who receive tips, paying overtime in cash at “straight time” rates, deducting uniform costs and broken items from workers’ pay, paying servers tips only, and more. Many of the owners claimed they didn’t know about certain compensation rules and are changing their policies to comply with the Feds.

This shows the importance of knowing exactly what the rules are for paying your staff. It can be confusing to keep track between state and federal laws, but operators need to know exactly what the laws are. If not, Uncle Sam and his friends at the DoL will come knocking at your door.


Why it’s important to you: It won’t be long before eSports become a highly request viewing option by guests

League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA, Smite… Do any of these names ring a bell with you? If they don’t, they will because the electronic games they represent are big business. Electronic gaming tournaments and events (aka eSports) grossed $473 million last year and the growth isn’t slowing anytime soon. In fact, it’s so big that TNT recently inked a deal to show some of these events during primetime on their network. With estimated audiences of 32 million people, the viewership is expected to grow to 50 million in the next year.

Electronic Sports League (ESL), a major eSports league, announced this week of the formation of the World Electronic Sports Association (WESA). WESA a governing body is tasked with providing structure, predictability, scheduling and transparency to competitive gaming. The best analogy for the current state of affairs in electronic sports in boxing. Too many sanctioning authorities that aren’t providing for the safety of its athletes, the growth of their sport and the expectations of their fans.

That isn’t to say the WESA is the ultimate fix, but it’s a start. If you were an early adopter of the UFC, then you know their meteoric rise happened because our industry embraced it first through PPV. With eSports, you don’t currently have those barriers. Add to the TNT broadcasts streams available on YouTube, Twitch or Major League Gaming and you have a ton of sources. Why not ask your guests if they are interested and see if you can lead the way with this one too?


Why it’s important to you: As the big guys go, so goes the industry

How would you respond if your sales had dropped continuously for the past nine months? At Applebee’s they are reacting by completely repositioning themselves. Yesterday they announced that all 2,000 domestic restaurants have installed wood fired grills and they are complete renovating the menus to match.

They started by dumping the ‘no-roll’ meat standard and elevating to choice, installing the new grills and retraining their entire teams to better understand their new menu approach and standards, all while keeping the transition quiet. This is a bold move and takes both conviction and lots of money. You may have the one and lack the other, but you need to learn from their lead. If you aren’t growing in our business then you are slowly dying. Is it time for you to reinvent your business? Applebee’s thought so and they pushed all their chips to the center of the table.