The Daily Rail: The huge 'race pay gap' in the restaurant industry

June 23, 2016

Today's Specials

9 things you are getting wrong in marketing football

The football season is right around the corner and we're sure you're hoping for another boost in volume at your sports bar or restaurant. Make sure you're ready for the season by avoiding these nine football marketing mistakes.

This Week in eSports: Could we see eSports in the Olympics one day?

This week’s top eSports industry news… One game developer sees the Olympics in eSports future, AMC & Machinima create an all-eSports network, and what life as a competitive gamer is really like. Keep up on the industry news and be the eSports expert in your area.


Why it’s important to you: If you are a The Daily Rail or SportsTV Guide subscriber, you are in great company.

Technomics, the best resource for big data surrounding our industry, recently released their Top 500 Chains list and it is good news for subscribers to The Daily Rail/SportsTV Guide. Over 10% of the 50 highest ranking operators are subscribers to our daily newsletter. Even more impressive, 100% of the most highly ranked sports-themed chains also subscribe to the SportsTV Guide paid service. Now, we’re not saying that we are responsible for their success, but…. ;-)


Why it’s important to you: There is a change coming to our industries labor practices; will you lead, follow or get run over?

Issues of race are never easy to discuss. It evokes incredibly strong feelings and force people into camps they would prefer not to join. Therefore, when the Restaurant Opportunities Center released their study Monday that concludes there are huge wage disparities between whites and people of color, we all need to take a moment and consider the consequences of their findings. The report cites an $6+ difference between the hourly wage of white workers and workers of color. Additionally, men in fine dining make more than $3/hr than their female peers.

Are Paid Sick Leave policies good for restaurants?

There are other disturbing findings about the state of labor in the Bay Area restaurant industry including statue mandated Paid Sick Leave not being honored. In fact, almost 2/3 of sick workers said they had coughed or sneezed while handling food.

Obviously, you can only manage your own business and have no responsibility for the way others operate their restaurants. However, there is a clear trend emerging in our industry towards improving the working conditions of hourly employees and line managers. Initiatives like the Fight for $15 minimum wage and the new OT rules are just the tip of a very large iceberg. To avoid the consequences of this movement — or at least mitigate it — we have to acknowledge that basic fairness is a state we should all like to aspire to in our businesses. At least, look harder at your own practices to insure you aren’t contributing to the problems. If you don’t someone else will and we all know how much restaurant operators hate being told what to do!


Why it’s important to you: Facebook Live is a brand new tool bars & restaurants should look into using.

Facebook signed deals with 140 media companies and celebrities worth more than $50 million to have them create content using Facebook Live. Included on the list is none other than celeb-chef Gordon Ramsay.

For those who don’t already know, Facebook Live is a brand new tool that lets users live-stream through their mobile devices straight into their followers news feeds. Friends and followers get notifications when someone they follow goes live and allows them to like, comment and interact with the streamer. It’s just like Periscope but, unlike Periscope, the video is saved on Facebook so users who missed the stream can watch it later.

This is a fantastic marketing tool restaurants should consider using to stay in contact with their guests. Traditional advertising still has it’s place, but content is king and marketing content is a great way of delighting your guests while promoting your establishment. It can be as simple as doing live chats with your staff, so there’s a name and personality to go with a face, or something more elaborate like a live behind-the-scenes look into how your restaurant operates. So brain storm and see what you can come up with. We’ll be doing the same over here at TheRail HQ, so stay tuned for more Facebook Live ideas.


Why it’s important to you: Uncertainty with health insurance has already disrupted our industry.

In 2010 when Obamacare was passed, the Republicans vowed to “repeal and replace” it with a plan they claim will fix the issues surrounding healthcare cost in the US. By some estimates the Republican controlled Congress has voted 62 times to repeal Obamacare, but to date, the “replace” part of “repeal and replace” has remained elusive. Well, the wait is over. Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new plan from the Republican Party that would replace Obamacare. 

It’s unlikely that any Republican repeal and replace effort will succeed, unless there is a president from their party and they retain control of Congress this November. However, their outline is at least a fulfillment of a long made promise, so we have provided a short synopsis below:

In a 37 page report, the Republicans outlined their plan. Gone will be the individual mandate. A tax credit will be given to those that don’t have insurance through their employer. This would apply very much to our employees, since most restaurants are below the 50 employee minimum that would require health insurance benefits from an employer. Additionally, insurance could be purchased across state lines, thus creating national market for insurance, instead of the state by state version under Obamacare. The signature protection created under Obamacare was insurance guarantees even with a preexisting condition. The Republican version modifies this a bit allowing insurers to increase rates if your insurance has lapsed, but generally maintains this provision.


Why it’s important to you: If you have considered a mobile app this matters.

Many of you have attempted to implement a dedicated mobile app as a part of your marketing strategy…and many of you have failed. A report from the Application Resource Center (ARC) might finally explain why. They ranked the top 55 restaurant chain apps and concluded a couple of factors matter when it comes to app success. 

First and foremost, your app must have a purpose beyond conveying information already easily known from your website or Facebook page. Functions like loyalty give guests a reason to both download and keep an app. Second, and far more importantly, all of the most successful apps provide a facility for ordering and paying that improves the guest experience by increasing the speed of service. Granted all of the most popular/successful apps on this list are for quick service restaurants, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing for us to learn. Expend the energy on a personalized app if you want to drive sales through carryout, loyalty and mobile payment; otherwise don’t bother, it simply won’t work.