The Daily Rail: Is the Restaurant Industry Ready for Surge Pricing?

SOCIAL MEDIA: Are You Making These Three Social Media Mistakes?

The basics of social media marketing is easy. You create some content, load it to your preferred social media platform, hit publish, and let the hits come on in. Right? Right. Also, not right. While posting on social media is super easy, building a solid foundation and strategy for that simple task takes a little more effort. Don't Commit these three sins: Are You Making These Three Social Media Mistakes?


Knife Skills Scores an Academy Award Nom

Kitchen documentary Knife Skills has been nominated for an Academy Award. It follows a French fine-dining restaurant called Edwins as it opens, and its staff of stipend-earning students who are starting their careers in the restaurant industry. Bourdain’s a fan. Check out the trailer here.

Hundreds of Ways to Die… by Food Combos!

In Myanmar, a common poster details a million ways to die (or get sick). Things like eating ice cream & cucumber together, or rabbit meat & mushrooms, or Chinese potato & candy, etc. It’s quite the chart and based more off superstition than scientific fact. What about drinking orange juice after eating anything with mint, huh!?

Another Reason to Vote Against the Patriots

The Rail HQ is in New England, so we’re no stranger to the anti-Patriots feeling across the NFL. And it seems like Bud Light is jumping on board. They’re offering free beer if the Eagles beat the Pats in the Super Bowl. Considering how expensive that party can be, it seems Bud thinks the chances of the Eagles winning are pretty slim.


Why it matters to you: Be proactive and have a disaster plan.

 No matter your position on climate change, you can’t deny that last year was a whopper when it comes to disastrous weather events. From hurricanes that devastated Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico to the California drought that lead to the apocalyptic wild fires, operators have had plenty of reminders that disasters happen. You might be thinking, “I live in the Midwest (or Northeast) and these problems aren’t happening here.” Ask the folks in New England that experience coastal flooding earlier in the month and you might realize this can happen to any of you. And the Midwest gest plenty of tornados. Since the National Weather Service is calling for more disruptive weather in 2018, it’s time we all prepare a bit better.

One tactic taken by an operator is to have an easy transition to a limited menu in case of emergency. Waffle House has an entire playbook built to guide their managers during any exigent situation. This is a simple thing to execute. First consider all the potential outcomes of a storm or weather-related issue and then build your plan accordingly. In the west, it’s wildfires; in New England it’s major nor’easter storms; and the southeast it’s hurricanes. Add to that the potential disruptions (power outages, flooding or property damage) and you can think through responses in advance. Remember it’s not only your facility you are protecting. You are also responsible for your staff, guests and vendors. Now’s a good time to get started.



Why it matters to you: Some restaurants are beginning to try out “surge pricing” a ‘la Uber.

 Everyone knows that all restaurants have peak days and hours. It will almost always be easier to get into a place on a Tuesday at 7pm versus Friday or Saturday night. The same thing goes for your Uber or Lyft rides, yet they already capitalize on it with what is called “surge pricing.” This means during peak hours they add a multiplier to the usual fare due to demand

For example: Your usual ride home costs $14, but because it is during peak hours it is $14 x 2.2= $30.80. These peak pricing hours mean that their drivers and company all make more money in their busiest hours. The downside here is anytime you’d really need a ride there is almost always a surge. Goodluck dealing with this on New Year’s in a major city.

Given the success, it was only a matter of time before others adopted these methods. Now some restaurants are testing out surge pricing – or reverse surge pricing. A London-based restaurant called Bob Bob Ricard recently began testing surge pricing, yet in a far less gouging way (or at least far better worded). They are offering a 15-25% discount to diners on off peak hours. So, on Monday during lunch, guests are paying ¼ less for steak frites than if they ordered it for Saturday night dinner. Although it’s been met with some controversy, we think they may have something so long as the guests wins. Discounting guests on your slowest days in an attempt to increase traffic through your restaurant and benefit everyone doesn’t sound bad.