The Daily Rail: Is The Restaurant Golden Age Over?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Today's Specials:


WATCH: How to Handle a Hangover [UNDER 60 SECONDS]

We've all googled "hangover cures" at some point in our lives. But do any of them actually work? Science says no, so learn what you can do about a hangover this holiday season.


MARKETING: 7 Steps for Marketing Your Restaurant to Tourists

Are you located in Destination City? Let’s talk about marketing your restaurant to tourists.






Resolutions for Restaurants

The Time’s Union in Albany published a short little list of New Year’s resolutions for restaurants (and their guests). Among the list – put your phone number on your website and stop the auto-play music.


INFOGRAPHIC: Shed Those Pounds

Feeling a little heavy after the holidays? Here’s an infographic on the best diet to shed away the holiday pounds over the next several months.

Infographic: The Best Diets To Shed The Holiday Pounds | Statista

How to Fight a Troll (& Win)

Typically, engaging with Internet trolls is just a waste of time. But once in a while, the marks get the better of their harassers. Here’s how Wendy’s got their troll to delete their account after their honor was called into question.



Why it matters to you: Service charges and tipping are a hot topic.

Good news for restaurant customers in India, the central government has decreed that service charges from hotels and restaurants aren’t mandatory. Much in the same vein that American diners aren’t required to tip if service was unsatisfactory. While this decree helps to protect the consumer, it definitely becomes a slippery slope and begs the question, who is responsible for a worker’s pay?

Elsewhere, Harrods is under scrutiny for allegedly keeping up to 75% of service charges that customers believe are actually going to workers. Staff are organizing a demonstration to demand greater transparency. This is actually not an uncommon situation as TV chef Michel Roux Jr admitted to keeping his restaurants' service charges only a month ago. During a time that restaurants are seeing lower returns and the custom of tipping is under scrutiny, these stories don’t bode well for a solution of service charges to replace gratuity.



Why it matters to you: Here’s what to prepare for financially in 2017.

Could the restaurant industry be in for a rough 2017? Well, a recent Thrillist article refers to the American restaurant business, as a bubble about to burst, so possibly! The writer goes in depth about his experience traveling around the country talking to chefs, restaurant owners, and other industry professionals. The problem he sees is that too many restaurants have opened in the last two years without the enough skilled hospitality workers to fill the open jobs. In turn, this has increased the cost of quality labor in addition other issues such as rent increases, and customers unwilling to adjust to higher prices.

The “golden age” for restaurants refers to the time when establishments could succeed without as much effort. The article goes on to follow the owners of AQ, (the cutting-edge San Francisco restaurant) and their recent financial experiences. AQ was originally a success upon opening in 2011, turn to 2016 and revenue was down close to a million dollars. OUCH! Overall, the drop in profit was linked to changes in economic activity including labor, changes in rent, commodities as well as an increase in food delivery.



Why it matters to you: Start preparing now for mass deportations if you employ undocumented staff.

With any new executive administration, the focus of the Presidency changes. In the case of illegal immigration, there is a significant uncertainty surrounding what a Trump Administration will do to stem the tide of new arrivals. Although little reported, President Obama’s administration has deported a record 2.5 million immigrants since 2009. If Trump stays with his campaign promises, he will continue that trend. The President-elect has specifically targeted “criminals” as the object of his administration’s efforts, but that only accounts for about 800k potential deportees.

As this New York Times article describes, getting more people out of the country will mean the government must expand their definition of criminal to include those only charged with crimes or those that have misdemeanors like traffic violations. If you employ, even a few, folks that you aren’t 100% sure are legal residents, then you may be exposed if he starts going to employers as a way of achieving his deportation goals. Frankly, it might just be easier (and cheaper in the long run) to part ways with anyone that is not fully documented and eliminate your exposure. Either way, you shouldn’t be surprised if a Donald Trump led government knocks on your door and asks you for their documentation.