The Daily Rail: Raising Menu Prices Can Be Dangerous but Do Restaurants Have a Choice?

MARKETING: The Growing Demand for Food Delivery & How to Market Your Restaurant’s Delivery

There's a growing demand for meal delivery in the US. Doubly so when half the country is encrusted in ice and no one wants to leave the warmth of their couch. Here's how operators can market their restaurant delivery service.


NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship vs. Amazon

Amazon is claiming that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship cut into its video streaming last April so much that Prime Video had its fewest number of streams to date.

Fernet-Branca Was Once a ‘Cure’ for Cholera

Fernet-Branca, a brand of amaro, was once used as a cure for cholera in the 18th Century, according to Niccolo Branca, VP of Fernet-Branca. The company founder provided a local Milan hospital with the alcohol and it tested well with patients, helping the spread the company’s popularity.

Dunkin’ Donuts Removes Artificial Food Colors from its Doughnuts

Don’t like artificial coloring? Good news for you then. Dunkin’ Donuts has nixed fake food dyes from its doughnuts, completing a promise to do so by the end of 2018. 


Why it matters to you: There’s some fishy business in the restaurant industry & it’s going to hurt reputations.

 Recently Netflix created and released Rotten, a documentary about the food industry’s deepest and darkest secrets. Spanning from fraudulent sea food to “Big Garlic” (yes, apparently that’s a thing) to fake honey, and the shocking rise of peanut allergies in the US. There is a lot to take in here.

So what does something like “fraudulent sea food” even mean? A study that Oceana recently conducted in NYC concluded that 39% of surveyed restaurants served fraudulent fish, including every single sushi place. Essentially, at lower end restaurants, operators will occasionally (or more than occasionally) substitute a cheaper fish in place of what’s being advertised on their menu as a way to cut costs and increase profit margins. Makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint but it’s devious and bad for our industry as a whole.

White tuna” is a very common example. It usually isn’t tuna at all. Typically (94% of the time), this “tuna” is escolar, a snake-like mackerel that is a bycatch of tuna and swordfish. It has a smooth texture but has been banned in several places because it contains an oil humans cannot digest. It can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. Though this intentional mislabeling otherwise isn’t always dangerous to guests’ overall health, it does your guests a disservice and sows the seeds of mistrust to your business and our industry. We all should be better than that.



Why it matters to you: Raising prices can be dangerous, but do you have a choice?

 When is the last time you raised your prices? I know, right! You, like so many operators, are competing for the traffic you already have and it’s clear your guests are very price sensitive. To answer the question about what you should do, it might help to listen to the opinions of the major players in the industry as they navigate the same treacherous price issues you do.

We have to start by acknowledging prices have been pretty flat these last few years, but costs continue to rise. Just this past week alone, 18 states increased their minimum wage. Never mind that food prices have been rising, too.

“The ability to take price is limited,” Red Robin CEO Guy Constant said during an investor’s presentation this week. He isn’t alone in this thought. The CEO of Fogo de Chao said, “Consumers are smart… They look at the value proposition and the service model and the control they have over that dining experience. We’re going to continue to do well with those factors.”

This confirmation may be obvious, but what to do is not. For Red Robin, they are eliminating positions and consolidating job descriptions. This may ask more of their staff, but since they are being paid more it certainly seems fair to expect more.