Today's Special: No way! It's your turn to clean the bathroom!

Proposed Emoji Has Us All Like \ (•◡•) /

Google has proposed a new set of emoji meant to promote the visibility of women in theworkplace and reduce gender inequality. One of the new proposed emoji characters is a woman chef. 

So now the 2016 James Beard winners can be all like...

Women chef emoji proposed by Google

On Tap

How Hollywood Sees Us: Spotting a fight before it happens

In this scene from Heat, we learn that it's not always easy to spot a bar/restaurant fight before it happens.

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Why it’s important to you: Fantasy players spend a significant amount of time in your restaurants

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing and Trade (yup, there is such a committee) held four hours of hearings on the subject of daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting. Mr. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) called for hearings as early September after an insider trading scandal caused the State of New York to review their decision to allow DFS in the state. That finally happened on Wednesday and there were some notable no-shows: Fan Duel, Draft Kings, NBA & NFL all received invitations they ignored.

Unless you lived on Mars last football season, you know that Draft Kings and Fan Duel offer consumers a place to play DFS and wager on their performance. They are able to offer this form of wagering under a loophole that identifies fantasy as a game of skill and not as gambling. Some 75 million people participated in fantasy football last season and that was increased significantly from the previous year due to the presence of DFS. As a restaurant operator, DFS is good for business. Fantasy players love watching multiple games at once and your places are an easy outlet for that desire. If fewer people are playing because fantasy reverts to season long structures, that will have an impact on our industry. This fight is just getting rolling, so stay tuned.


Why it’s important to you: Guests didn’t trust that price increases were going to staff

There is no shortage of media coverage surrounding the push to eliminate tipping at restaurants. While everyone has an opinion, the folks at Joe’s Crab Shack have some evidence as to the efficacy of a no-tipping policy. The results were mixed, but generally speaking the experiment didn’t work. In the 18 locations that implemented the no-tip experiment, there was widespread dissatisfaction. Sales dropped between 8-10% per location, 60% of guests said they didn’t like it, and the staff really didn’t like.

CEO Bob Merritt cited two reason guests rejected the policy: “The first is they don't want to lose control of the experience and lose control of the service by taking away the incentive and the second is they don't always trust management will actually pay the increased price to the employee." This should be a devastating revelation, with far reaching implications. The way your guests perceive you should matter. This should be a chilling reminder that it’s our job to earn our guests trust, not theirs to give it. At minimum, the lesson is that before you make a change get some feedback and don’t be afraid to roll back if you get it wrong.


Why it’s important to you: All public bathrooms are now a civil rights battleground

As if there isn’t enough effort expended by operators monitoring and managing their rest rooms. The continuing battle over North Carolina’s HB2 just adds to an already heavy burden. On Monday, North Carolina filed a federal law suit over the Justice Department’s (DOJ) application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964… and don’t you know, the DOJ sued them right back using the same legislation. At the heart of the argument is what the definition of sex is… nope, this is not an acid flash back to 1998. No matter your politics, when you run a restaurant, you are responsible for a public bathroom and consequently this issue could impact how you do things. None of you want to police your bathrooms and upset a guest on either side of the spectrum.

There is a simple fix if you have single occupancy restrooms. Make them non-gender specific and problem solved. If that’s not an option, then hold your breath and see what happens. You don’t need to be like Target, et al and declare a policy, unless you really want one. We did seem to survive for many years without focusing on this issue. Hopefully, it will go away and let us focus on what really matters in our businesses. 


Why it’s important to you: You can have a positive impact in your community

A Oregon man owes his life to his local Domino’s. Kirk Alexander was a regular with the pizza chain, ordering from them on almost a nightly basis. After a week-and-a-half of not hearing from their best customer, the Domino’s employees decided to swing by Alexander’s house to check in on him… at 1am (who swings by at 1am?). After not getting a response (the lights & TV were on), the Domino’s delivery driver called 911. Alexander was fortunately found alive, but in need of “immediate medical attention.” 

This just goes to show why it matters to pay attention to your guests, especially your regulars. Getting to know them and their tendencies is important from a business side, but it also happened to save this man’s life. Restaurants are always the center of neighborhoods, and stories like this show that pro-active restaurants can have a positive impact on the people around them.


Bar shames bad tippers on Facebook, gets torched online by guests
An Ohio bar is taking a lot of heat from guests after the owners took to Facebook to shame customers for tipping their service staff poorly.