The Daily Rail: Does the Restaurant Industry Have an Inventory Problem?

VIDEO: What are Wine Bottle 'Punts'? [Under 60 Seconds]

Ever wonder what the concave indentation at the bottom of wine bottles are? It's called a punt and it's had a variety of uses over the years. Here’s the fun history of the wine punt… in under a minute.


The Most Visible Brands on Social Media

Probably driven by the 21st century need of taking pictures of our food, McDonald’s is the surprise winner in terms of brand visibility on Instagram and Twitter. In an average month, the company’s iconic logo shows up in almost 900,000 photos on either of the two platforms. Here’s the rest of the Top 10.

Infographic: The Most Visible Brands on Social Media | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Brady or Jordan?

Who’s the better GOAT – Tom Brady or Michael Jordan? The stats give a murky answer, but this is some prime sports talk for engage your guests with this week.

Panera Bread Recalls Cream Cheese Over Listeria

Panera Bread is recalling its cream cheese products from a single day of production after sample tests showed positive signs of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Here are more details.


Why it matters to you: Understanding the implications of sexual harassment is everyone’s responsibility.

Tomorrow we host our inaugural episode of RailTALK, and we are taking on the incredibly important conversation about sexual harassment and assault in the restaurant industry. While we will discuss proactive steps you can take to navigate this newly sensitized issue, we are also going to focus on the human stories that have come to light as well.

One such story is that of chef Sara Moulton. In an article on the Huffington Post, Moulton outlines her experience in kitchens and her formative career that are typical of the industry. Locker room talk, blatant gender bias, and a general hostile environment abounded for her.

In a story about her time in France, she recounts a particularly hairy moment with famous French chef Maurice Cazalis. She was working for Julia Child at the time and Child sent her to apprentice in Cazalis’s kitchen where Moulton had to fend off his multiple attempts to “seduce” her. While that experience was patently awful, it was rivaled in awfulness by the reaction she got from her mentor, Julia Child. Famously not deterred by any obstacle, Child admonished her, “What did you expect?”

That is the single most awful question a victim of sexual harassment can be asked. Moulton goes on to call it exactly what it was, enabling and beseeches our industry to get better NOW. We also see the real challenges that operators face in a changing environment and that is exactly why we are hosting this topic on the first RailTALK. It’s time we only spoke honestly about our sexual harassment problem in the restaurant industry.


Why it matters to you: Some say there are just too many restaurants for the market.

Starbuck’s isn’t immune to the traffic malaise that our industry seems to be enduring over the past couple of years. Even with massive investments in technology, operations and even their people, SBUX showed only 2% same-store sales growth in the final quarter of 2018. The company has analyzed their own results and are pointing to traffic issues in the afternoon as dragging down their overall performance. The more salient question many analysts are asking is whether Starbuck’s has simply built too many points of distribution.

The conversation surrounding the over-supply of restaurants is not new to current analysis of the industry’s troubles. Many CEOs have pointed to the abundance of inventory as the reason they have seen slowed growth. There are simply a finite number of consumers to frequent the restaurants that exist, but the number of outlets continues to grow, even if the guest supply doesn’t. We have already seen several chains pare back their location “inventory” in an attempt to improve overall performance and reduce their footprint. The good news is that as the industry may be heading for a contraction, if you’re doing well then things can only get better.