The Daily Rail: Soda Blues from Sales Tax

Monday, November 14, 2016



Today's Specials:  



HACK #052: Do What You Say You’re Going to Do [Hacks]

Your team counts on you to deliver on your promises. Whether it’s processing a direct deposit form or providing development opportunities, fulfilling your commitments is a strong proof that your care about your staff. When a manager takes responsibility for a task and completes it, this is powerful proof that the manager can be trusted. Read more about how your leadership matters.


READ: Six Sure-Fire Ways to Win at the Waiting Game

A busy restaurant is a double-edged sword. It means you're popular and people enjoy your food, drink & experience. But it can also mean long wait times that turn guests off from ever visiting again.






I Hate Being Trolled

The Brits are so much better at humour (English spelling for effect) as these bar signs demonstrate. We showed you some of our own last week, but these are specifically related to our President-Elect and how the other side of the pond responded.


We’re Number 12! We’re Number 12!

It sure felt like a lot of people were energized by this year’s election cycle. Terms like ‘movement’ and ‘revolution’ were used to describe new engagement on both the left and the right. So, when viewing this infographic on world rankings of voting participation, you might be surprised to see the United States ranked #12. Check out the whole list here to see who led.

Infographic: U.S. Voter Turnout In Perspective | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista




Why it matters to you: Taxes on sugary drinks means lower margins for restaurants

Is it the nanny-state trying to get our citizens to lay off on something, a government exploiting a weakness of its people to control themselves? Either way, it’s a clear targeting of our most profitable menu items. With soda margins so low, they were bound to target it for taxation. Now with Chicago, San Francisco, Boulder, Oakland CA and Albany CA passing their own sugary drink tax we will see the impact. Prices for some retail products will double, according to reports. This will cost operators and consumers in those municipalities. This may change profit for some significant portion of QSR and fast casual operators, but less for tavern and bar equipped operators.

If you are in a community that is about to experience the reality of this new tax, what can you do? Why not totally reboot your alcohol-free beverage menu. The tax is on distributor delivered sugary drinks and not on craft-made or naturally sweetened beverages. This gives you license to make a high margin item without paying the tax and you satisfy the guest. You need only look at the success of Ruby Tuesday’s alcohol-free beverage program to know the real opportunity is to build profit. Check out this previous discussion on updating your soft beverage program for some ideas.



Why it matters to you: It’s okay to mourn the loss of old culture as long as you embrace new culture

As the demise of a cultural icon like Out of Town News in Harvard Square becomes imminent, we should feel the nostalgia about the death of old ways. The way people gather is changing and the death of old media is a symptom. Consumers don’t need to go to places to get services and interact.  The creeping demise of the full-service casual dining experience is further proof that change is coming to our industry as well. As fewer millennials want to engage with a person and prefer to use their mobile device to gain service, we will see the full effects of this consumer change. Let’s just hope we won’t go the way of the newsstand.



Why it matters to you: More proof Facebook remains premier place for social media influence

It seems that when one side loses they look to see who they can blame. This week an internal Facebook chat among executives revealed they discussed their role in the outcome of the election. It appears they were sensitive to potential staff concerns the social network has influenced the vote against Hillary. They have been embroiled in accusations they facilitated the spread of misinformationIn on example they are accused of allowing a debunked story about Pope Francis endorsing Trump get shared a million times, but its correction hardly audible.

Much has been said about how the social media networks filter user generated content. Most recently their news algorithm and live curation have both come under fire for filtering to a left-leaning voice. So, it’s sweet irony if they then unintentionally influenced this election to the right. Heavy is the crown, is the cliché woe that Facebook will continue to live as long as 1.5 billion folks tune in for the show. Just further proof they are the premier social exchange and influencer, as if we needed more.