The Daily Rail: Restaurants Need to Prepare to Counter Unconscious Bias

MARKETING: 3 Ways Restaurants Are Blowing It with Email Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

We, as restaurant operators, suffer from the worst cases of inertia in the entire business world. Our lives are so overwhelmed by repetition, and we are so busy we don’t know how to disrupt our own business to help it grow. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to email marketing. Our poll demonstrates how we are failing to take advantage of email -- which is more important now more than ever.


Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Blogs

We’re kicking off our DYKs with a little self-congratulation. Dot*IT named The Daily Rail one of the Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Blogs You Should Be Reading. We’re proud to be on this list with some other great restaurant sites, all of which we go through to give you all a quick summary of the state of our industry.

Candy Corn Pizza

While we’ll never agree on whether Hawaiian pizza is a monstrosity or not (spoiler: it is), we think we can all agree that candy corn pizza should be thrown straight into the trash. Sadly, some folks are tossing the Halloween treat and baking it on their pizza and the results are definitely on the treat end of the trick or treat spectrum. Ew.

Rust Belt Turns Away from Tariffs

According to a recent Ipsos/Reuters poll conducted among likely voters in the Rust Belt, tariffs are not a winning issue. In Michigan, a state which Trump narrowly won, roughly 45% of likely voters believe that tariffs are harmful to them and their families.

Infographic: Tariffs Not Playing Well in America's Rust Belt | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Data is the newest inventory item you didn’t know you needed to count.

Inventory control is among the most important responsibilities of any manager. We count, we manage, we stress, and we never let it out of our sight. And we’re good at it. Unfortunately, that skill has not extended to incredible data we produce about consumer behavior in our restaurants. As a matter of fact, that data is so valuable that California passed legislation on it. The Privacy Act of 2018 provides consumers with the right to request an accounting of precisely what personal information about them is being collected, how it’s being gathered, the way that information is being used, and who has access to it (either gratis or for a fee). In addition, consumers can have the information deleted upon request and can stipulate that the business cannot sell any collected information.

This mirrors legislation that was passed in the European Union to do the same and includes the right for consumers can have the information deleted upon request and can stipulate that the business cannot sell any collected information. For a single unit operator most of this happening with your POS provider or any other add on systems you use (think WIFI registration, table wait systems or post-POS systems). What these folks do with the data is bound to matter in the future. There isn’t much you can do today, but be aware this landscape is changing and, however unintentionally, it’s going to be your problem.

[Source: RestaurantBusinessOnline]


Why it matters to you: You need to prepare for an issue caused by unconscious bias before it happens.

Our industry employs people, lots of people. All from differing backgrounds with differing education and differing beliefs. Asking your employees to ignore the biases, conscious or unconscious is a tall order. However, if you want to continue to grow your business, you will be challenged to overcome those biases. What’s worse, if one of your staff expresses their own unconscious bias, it could be a costly public relations mess. Remember the two black men waiting for a friend that were arrested in a Philadelphia restaurant. The manner in which you handle a situation like this can have a lasting and irreversible impact on your business.

This article was generated after the MUFSO conference this week. The participants made several points about managing these disastrous events that are both relevant and helpful. The first point they made is that unconscious biases might be costing you money. If you get a reputation with any specific group as unfriendly, you can be assured they won’t visit your restaurant, nor will anyone that sympathizes with them. Additionally, in an incredibly tight labor market you can afford for your brands reputation to scare away a potential new hire. The panelists also suggested being prepared for how you will respond if you have an incident that reflects poorly on your business.

Take a recent situation and role play how you would respond if it happened at your restaurant. How about the Dunkin’ employee that poured water on a homeless man? How you respond matters and this is a great example that doesn’t include race or gender, but it sure does include an unconscious (or maybe totally conscious) bias on the part of the employee. Do you retrain? Do you fire the employee? What do you tell the press? How do you address your staff? These are just some of the things you will deal with in the event someone on your staff does ill. Getting ready is no different than training for an operational task, it just makes sense to be prepared for anything.

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]