The Daily Rail: Restaurants are looking to cash in on Pokemon GO

July 13, 2016

Today's Specials

Under 60 Seconds: Where did the cocktail come from? [VIDEO]

Love cocktails? Who doesn't? But every wonder where the cocktail got it's name? We dig through the history books to bring you three popular theories. Learn about the origin of the cocktail... in under 60 seconds.


Pluto’s New Neighbor

A new, icy dwarf planet has been discovered beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt. Dubbed 2015 RR245 (we’re really hoping for a catchier name), the dwarf planet is well beyond Pluto’s orbit. It’s estimated to be a mere 435 miles wide and takes 733 Earth years to complete one of it’s orbits.

Here’s a cool video animation of the new planet’s relation to the rest of our solar system.

From Streetview to Sheepview

Tired of waiting for Google to map it, Faroe Island is taken matters into their own hands. Their solution? Strapping 360-degree cameras to sheep. The sheep walk and graze around the island, taking pictures in the process. The images are then sent to the project’s coordinator with GPS coordinates. She then uploads to Google Street View. Genius!


Why it’s important to you: Your guests are gonna be looking for Pokemon in your restaurant, you might as well tap into the fandom.

Yesterday we talked a little about Pokemon GO, a new mobile app game based off the popular card game and television series. At least one restaurant got quickly tired about Pokemon trainers coming into their establishment looking for Pokemon to capture.

Restaurants are looking to cash in on Pokemon GO

But not every restaurant is so dour on the game. According to Eater and Polygon, Pokemon GO should benefit restaurants more than harm them — if they can find a way of engaging that community. 

“I forget where I saw it in Brooklyn, but a venue had a sign in front that basically said, 'Come in, a very rare and strong Pokémon was found here!’” Jeff Ramos, Polygon’s engagement editor said. One restaurant has claimed a 10% increase in sales since Pokemon GO was released last week. Another restaurant estimated a 25-50% increase over the weekend because the restaurant was a Pokemon hot spot. And in Chicago, Japanese street food spot/ramen house Yusho has embraced the fan’s passion by hosting Pokemon parties, complete with food specials.

Restaurants (like anyone) can also purchase in-game items called “Lure Modules” which will attract Pokemon to a particular stop for 30 minutes. It costs just $0.99. You’d be crazy to not spend a few bucks to have some Pokemon be your special guests for the evening. Just let your guests know via social media and your email list. And ask your guests to tag you in their Pokemon hunting photos. Have fun with it. Your guests are!

Here are some Pokemon GO tweets from restaurants like yours.


Why it’s important to you: Your fears about labor are shared by the whole industry.

Littler Mendelson’s fifth annual Executive Employer Survey reveals a sharp rise in concerns from the big player’s about increase regulation, rising labor costs and legal action by protected classes of employees. The executives surveyed revealed specific concerns about the new overtime rules with 82% expecting greater enforcement by the Department of Labor. Additionally, 74% anticipate more accusations of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

This poll of 844 high level corporate executives is instructive because players at this level are tasked with seeing the trends before they arrive. The good news is that they are experiencing the same pressures and concerns that independent and small group operators face. It’s always a good idea to know what they are thinking about so you can address those relevant concerns in your own planning and execution. Let them give you some free insights and then make the best decisions you can for your own business future.


Why it’s important to you: Any confrontation with China will have ripple effects across the world’s economy.

What do you say when you suddenly have 1.4 billion people angry with you? If you are the Philippines, you ask your friends (the United States) to help you keep the bully away from the pool. Since a tribunal at the World Court found resoundingly that China has no historic claim to control of the $5 trillion shipping lanes that cross the South China Sea, the Philippines will learn quickly just how much they can count on the United States for support.

The Chinese have promised to ignore the ruling and continue to build bases in the disputed region and assert their influence throughout the South China Sea. For our part, the White House encouraged all parties not escalate an already volatile situation. The reality is that the World Court has no authority to enforce the ruling and China’s vow to continue its expansion in the South China Sea may be a harbinger of greater trouble.

There should be no confusion, this is a very dangerous situation. China is the world’s second largest economy and its largest population. They also hold over $1.2 trillion of our national debt, which gives them several ways they can exercise their anger and influence that are not military. The good news is that they are also our largest trading partner and we theirs. There is nothing more stabilizing than doing business together…until it isn’t.


Why it’s important to you: Delivery is a valuable growth opportunity, but now you have one more review category to worry about.

As if there aren’t enough ways guests can comment on your performance, Seamless (the largest player in the food delivery segment) is now asking them to rate your performance on how fast, accurate and delicious the delivery was. They have been gathering data through guest feedback since December 2015 when the questions were just yes/no. They’ve now expanded their questions to a 1 to 100 ranking scale. They claim their goal is help guests who need guidance choosing the right location for their food delivery, but for operators it’s just one more Internet reputation point to monitor.

We have been telling you for months that partnering with a food delivery service is a sensible way to increase sales and capture more of your regular guest’s spending; this doesn’t change that advice. Unlike Yelp’s rating system, which uses crazy algorithms to manage ratings, this is a simple system that is based on your specific performance. Even better, the reviewer must at least have spent money with you to leave their feedback. If anything, it should be incentive to make the delivery experience as fast, accurate and delicious as possible.