The Daily Rail: Is Your Restaurant Gift Card Program as Good as Texas Roadhouse's?

RESTAURANT MEMES: Waiting for Night, Waking Up to Sunday-Funday, & Being in the Weeds

Looking for some fun content to comiserate with your restaurant's staff or share (and humor) with your online followers? Look no further than this week's restaurant meme series.


Reddit vs. Applebee’s

Applebee’s is getting absolutely dragged through the Reddit mud. A thread was started asking “What restaurant have you sworn to never return to and why?” and quickly amassed 5,000+ replies, and quickly devolved into an Applebee’s bash session. People share their oddball Applebee stories – everything from bees in mashed potatoes to and melted cheese slices on nachos.

Overwatch League Outdraws Thursday Night Football

Overwatch League drew a per-minute audience of 408,000 for their opening day and 10 million viewers total. Compare this to Amazon’s streaming of Thursday Night Football which got 372,000 for its opener in September. Of course, it’s more complicated than just those figures. We’ve been saying it for a while now, but sports bars need to start including eSports as part of their content packaging and experience if they want to grow their business. The Overwatch League success is more proof that there’s a huge market to be tapped.

Are You a Chicken Nugget Connoisseur?

If so, there’s a job waiting for you. B&M in the UK is looking for, no joke, a Chicken Nugget Connoisseur to join their team. Relevant experiences include: Getting the 20 share box of nuggets from McD’s and eating them all yourself, and falling at a buffet and saving your plate before yourself. Apply within.


Why it matters to you: Gift cards are a powerful way to grow your business.

As if we needed any more reasons to be impressed by Texas Roadhouse, they recently were cited in an industry report as having the most effective gift card program in the industry. What makes their program so much better is a variety of activities like customized cards, delivery via email, and discounts for high volume purchases. Just as important to success, according to the study, is understanding gift cards are worthy of marketing outside the holiday season. Things like graduation gifts, birthdays, promotions, and other occasions are opportunities to present yourself as a solution to the gifting problem.

The list of criteria employed by the study reads like a planning model for good gift card program execution. Efforts like improved discoverability, communication, packaging, online integrated sales, and B2B offerings make sense if you are selling in 1000 locations or just one. Other successes in their gift certificate game are Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s always time to reevaluate your execution on marketing and gift certificates are low hanging fruit. Besides, if you start to address them today, you’ll be perfectly prepared the next holiday selling season.



Why it matters to you: Implementing an OTS system is leading to food shortages, but is that a bad thing?

 OTS, or order-to-shelf, is a system designed to simplify and track purchasing, storages, displays, and sales within the company. One idea that OTS was hoping to bypass was the large stock rooms and a cutback on food waste. Food waste is a massive problem in the US. Roughly 50% of ALL produce in the US is thrown away, so this change from any grocer should be welcomed with open arms. It hasn’t quite worked out to plan. Whole Foods, which has been using OTS, is running out of everyday items at their stores all over the US and, consequently, are losing sales and pissing off customers at a rapid rate.

Customer anger and staff annoyance aside, is this a bad thing? With food waste being the massive, horrendous issue it is in the US, should we use this as an opportunity to transition into new methods? It’s worth a philosophical debate if nothing else.

Most produce is seasonal. Tomatoes do not grow in Minnesota in February, and while it is nice being able to get whatever we want whenever we want it, it’s a massive contributing factor to the US’s food waste issues. With less of these out of season items on the shelves could it lead to less waste? Maybe. Some countries are examining these issues and making changes. France banned supermarkets from throwing away any food period (they must donate or compost), and Germany has started the reform on expiration dates due to how problematic they are in leading to food waste. The issue at Whole Foods will not be a fix to the US’s food waste issues, but it could serve as an example and lead to at least making a dent in minimizing wasted food.