The Daily Rail: How your restaurant responds to business challenges matter

June 28, 2016

Today's Special


It ain't your father's ATARI console anymore. It's big bucks. It's big audiences. And it's REAL.

Do you know eSports, or are you GAME OVER?

Did you know…


Pat Summit, the legendary Tennessee Women’s Basketball coach, passed away this morning at 64 years old. Check out some of her gaudy stats to know; she was among the greatest coaches of any gender to ever step on the court.

  • 8 National Championships
  • 16 SEC Championships
  • 1 Olympic Gold Medal (1984)
  • Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (2000)
  • Never had a losing record in 38 years of coaching
  • Made the NCAA Tournament every year she coached


Researchers have discovered the Majorana Fermion particle actually exists. The elusive particle was hypothesized some 80 years ago and has matter and antimatter properties thanks to lacking a charge.


Why it’s important to you: Yahoo’s NBA Draft Day coverage was a major success and a threat to ESPN.

Last week, we told you about Yahoo’s debut NBA Draft Day live stream on their site The Vertical. Well it seems Yahoo’s coverage was a hit with fans. Their Draft Day coverage got 2.8 million unique viewers and 3.8 million total viewers. Meanwhile, ESPN averaged just 2.994 million viewers over the course of the draft and had it’s lowest rating since 2012. Yahoo was touted with having the better coverage format of the two, and also was announcing selections well before ESPN’s TV broadcast.

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s vital for sports bars to mix things up and not be a cookie cutter of every other bar in town. That means the type of content you’re showing which includes showing Internet live streams on your TVs. How many of you that showed Draft Day streamed Yahoo?


Why it’s important to you: Didn’t you ever just want a do over?

In a great case of English irony, just days before the Brexit vote a “Leave,” a proponent created an online petition demanding a second EU vote be taken. The creator of the Petitions Committee request, William Oliver Healy, posted the petition when he believed his side might lose, "with the intention of making it harder for 'Remain' to further shackle us to the EU." In a twist only Monty Python could have anticipated, that same petition has now gathered 3.5 million signers and Healey has accused the “Remain” supporters of hijacking his petition.

The Parliament has a policy that any petition that gets more than 100,000 signatures must be considered by the Petitions Committee, but current Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed the notion of a second referendum, so the issue seems settled. That being said, you just never know…do-over please!


Why it’s important to you: Is your business flat over last year?

According to the NPD Group, a research company for the industry, restaurant sales are flat with no growth on the horizon. Mike Kalinowski, analyst for the Nomura Group has connected that slowing sales trend to the uncertainty of this year’s election process and officially condemned our businesses to a ‘“no growth” finish in 2016. 

While NPD Group says restaurants sales are flat, the NRA figures say otherwise.

"The whole restaurant industry in aggregate is pretty lackluster," Kalinowski said. "It's not impossible for things to get better, but it does look like the odds are against a rebound." He goes on to add, “People spend more when they feel confident about who the president is and the direction he or she is leading the country."

Kalinkowski’s analysis notwithstanding, other indicators (see image) in the industry show restaurants performing above expectations, even with the election cycle impact. So which is it? Let us know how your year end sales look and what impact you think the election is having on your business and we will share it in a future post. 


Why it’s important to you: How you respond to the challenges in your business matters.

If you are looking for “how to” guidance on responding to changes in your business conditions, we have two for you today…well that is to say, one “how to” and one “how not to” example.

Barnes & Noble have announced they are opening four full service restaurant outlets in stores to leverage the book store experience against the dining experience. While they have long had cafés in their stores, these will be the first full service locations (read: serving beer and wine). As the market for books moves increasingly to on-line sellers and eReaders, Barnes & Noble has struggled to retain their traffic and stay relevant. Their thinking is to leverage their traffic by creating non-book areas, and giving consumers more choices of both products and experiences. Whether this will succeed or not, it feels like a great idea. When things change, find ways to improve your guest accommodations not limit them.

Speaking of limits, Chipotle is the other half of today’s discussion on changing business conditions. In an effort to win back guests, they are launching a loyalty app called Chiptopia. While on the surface the program seems pretty convoluted and confusing, the aim is actually very thoughtful. Over the past year as Chipotle has continually stepped in poop, they have turned to giving away free burritos to gain back customers. The problem is most customers redeemed their free food and never came back. 

This new app aims to target their most loyal customers. "They need to focus on the people that matter," says Zach Goldstein CEO of loyalty system provider Thanx. “Pretty immediately, they should take whatever marketing budget they're planning to utilize on discounts, promotions, etc., supercharge that budget for VIPs, and diminish that budget for just about everyone else…they’d be much better off giving five free burritos to a lifetime loyalist rather than one burrito to someone who will never be back." This is thoughtful advice when you consider the statistic that your top 25% of guests drive 66% of your revenue. So, while we applaud Chipotle’s effort to win back their most loyal guests, we think their approach is confusing as poop.

Barnes & Noble image by Midwest Communications