The Daily Rail: Racism in Restaurants: Is it a Problem?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



Today's Specials: 



GALLERY: Best of #WineWednesday on Social Media

We've seen in before. Deals for signature days of the week respond well in terms of guests. They know exactly what to expect and you have a better chance to build guest retention. Promoting these days can be done in a variety of ways; in person and online.


TIPS: Six Ways Restaurants Can Use Snapchat

Sure, everyone's loving Instagram Stories, but Snapchat is still alive and strong. Here are six ways you can use Snapchat to get creative with your digital restaurant marketing.


WEBINAR: Survive the Restaurant Recession!

Consumer spending at restaurants is down and this has triggered reports of a serious restaurant recession. But you don't have to sit back and take it. Consumers spending on on-demand products and services continues to grow and is now estimated at $57.6 billion. In this mobile-first world, if you can engage guests where they are and when they're ready, you're guaranteed to stay competitive.






The Big Crunch

Oreo just unveiled their own chocolate bar – Oreo Big Crunch Bar. Unlike some of their weird product developments (Swedish Fish Oreos?! Yuck!), we’re 100% behind this one. Check it out here.

Extreme Takeout

It’s the ultimate takeout experience gone wrong. Jimmy’s Famous Beef & Seafood located in Danvers, MA experienced some short-term chaos after a car drove through the restaurant taking down a table along the way. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the woman was successfully able to order her takeout and drive away.


Junk-Up Your Taste Buds

Junk-food may have more negative consequences than we thought. According to an article on Mashable, artificial flavors are making you hate healthy food. The article describes how synthetic flavors in junk foods cause a chemical effect on taste buds resulting in healthier foods to taste less satisfying…ugh!


Drink Up

According to a recent study, overall guest satisfaction at top casual-dining chains is higher among those who purchased adult beverages (58%) than those who did not purchase alcohol (52%). Keep this in mind next time you take a drink order.  Cheers!




Why it matters to you: Are you going to let McDonald’s be ahead of you on trends?

When 2016 ends, it may be cast as the year that McDonald’s became a trendsetter again. As a fast food pioneer, McDonald’s set the standard for innovation and responsiveness to guest tastes. Unfortunately, they focused primarily on service improvements and not menu development prior to 2016. That all changed in January when they finally offered breakfast all day. That drove Q1 sales growth that was stronger than expected and they haven’t stop innovation since then.

If you visit a Columbus-area location this month, you will be treated to the Sriracha flavored Big Mac. Oh, and they are also making the Sriracha sauce for that sandwich available as a dipping sauce for Chicken McNuggets and their already awesome French Fries (check out the sandwich here). But they haven’t stopped there. In Italy, they are testing a Nutella Burger. This ‘sandwich’ is actually a specially made bun with a dark exterior strip to imitate a burger that is smothered in…you guessed in Nutella chocolate spread….YUM! The lesson here is innovation. Whether you follow what is trending or set your own, take some food chances. It will keep things fresh, give your staff something to tell guests about and might even sell you some incremental items.



Why it matters to you: Charges of racism or bigot are bad for business

Many marketing professionals believe any publicity is good publicity. Of course, that is, unless your negative publicity goes viral. Such was the case this past Friday on Veteran’s Day when a Dallas area Army veteran visited Chili’s to enjoy a promotion honoring, current and former, military personnel with a complimentary meal. Earnest Walker was in the restaurant getting his free meal when a manager approached him and unceremoniously took back the meal. The manager claimed another patron expressed doubt that Walker was a veteran, but the man had his discharge papers in hand along with his identification.

Obviously, this is a mess for a chain like Chili’s. They are responding to angry posts on their social media and trying to craft a response that will not cause further offense and arrest the situation.  There can be little doubt that Chili’s didn’t want this to happen. Take the restaurant in Lincoln New Hampshire where an African-American guest complained the server made her party wait, while she seated non-minority parties ahead of her group. Once the story went viral, the restaurant was flooded with 1 star Yelp reviews. Unfortunately, we are all exposed to the biases of our staff, no matter how much we train. The only solution is to communicate regularly to your staff about how to handle difficult and sensitive situations. The more you speak to them, the more likely they will get it right and not land you in a viral nightmare.



Why it matters to you: As a manager or operator, it’s your responsibility to defend your staff from discrimination.

Foodservice workers are in a pickle. The minimum wage has been climbing in some states, but despite this 13% of all foodservice workers are on SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. That number might get even higher. Since Trump has been selected as the nation’s next leader, incidences of racism, sexism and bigotry have been climbing.

According to the Food Chain Workers Alliance, minorities and women make a fraction of what white men make in the food industry. While discrimination is growing across the country, those numbers can only get worse especially since most servers earn their money as tipped wages. Discrimination is disgusting. If you’re the employer of women and minorities, it is your responsibility to defend them from those who believe that all are not equal.