The Daily Rail: Are Baby Boomers Killing the Restaurant Industry?

OPERATIONS: Inventory Tracking, Food Waste, and the Logistics of Farm-to-Table Dining

In recent years, the farm-to-table restaurant model has risen from relative obscurity into a worldwide phenomenon. It’s easier than ever for restaurants to purchase fresh, local foods and beverages, even in heavily populated urban areas. And in a logistical sense, farm-to-table is good for business and gives hungry guests something to feel good about. Here’s how.


Needle-Disposal Boxes

Starbucks is taking the Purpose Economy philosophy to a new level. They’re considering installing needle-disposal boxes in their bathrooms. The move comes after three baristas were struck by discarded hypodermic needles thrown away in Starbucks’ trash. It’s a good move, especially since the company opened their bathrooms to everyone – including non-customers.

Taco Bell Goes Vegetarian

Taco Bell plans to launch a dedicated vegetarian menu later this year. The company already has a number of vegetarian-friendly items on their menu but this will be the first time Taco Bell offers a completely vegetarian menu. This continues a growing meatless-option trend in the fast food sector.

Fighting the Flu

Flu immunization rates vary widely across the globe. While countries like Korea and Mexico top the list with immunization rates above 80% for those 65 an older, even industrialized nations like Spain, Japan or France only manage to vaccinate around half of their elderly population. According to data from the OECD, Germany, Norway and Denmark fare even worse, only vaccinating between 30-40% of seniors.

Infographic: Flu Vaccination Rates Low in Some Industralized Nations | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Baby Boomers are retiring and spending less and it could mean more trouble for restaurant traffic.

Over the full two years that we have published the Daily Rail, we have included observations about Millennials and Generation Z’ers 185 times. That is basically twice weekly. However over that same time span we have only mentioned Baby Boomers, the generation born from 1946 – 1964, 14 times. Well some recent data may prove we have been paying attention to the wrong influencer category to understand the changing traffic trends in our industry.

Baby Boomers have been the dominant generation in terms of influence for the past 50 years, and they are now retiring in droves. Ten thousand people a day are declaring their retirement, but only about 1/3 of them have any retirement savings at all. Further data tells us that seniors spend the lowest percentage of income on food away from the home of any age group. Can you see where this is headed?

As more and more Boomers sunset their careers and move to fixed income like Social Security, you will have fewer folks participating in the market. This, by it’s nature, will put pressure on our industry and reduce traffic. We all need to be aware that the market conditions are changing and we will have to focus on methods to get those aging Baby Boomers to visit. Has anyone seen my chalkboard so I can post my early bird specials?

[Source: RestaurantBusinessOnline]


Why it matters to you: Legalized sports betting may be a future marketing hook.

With legalize betting on the horizon in many states, it appears that gambling is one of those things that will impact the sports bar experience. In fact, it’s become cozy enough that the NFL has actually sold a sponsorship to Caesar’s Entertainment. This particular relationship is specifically for advertising their various casino properties as entertainment venues, but it breaks an imaginary wall between gambling and the NFL. For years the NFL eschewed any conversation about gambling and took pains to separate their product from any hint of gaming. Sure, fantasy football is a form of gambling, but the argument was that it takes skill to put together a team and manage it all season.

Slowly but surely these imaginary separations have fallen for the NFL. Who could forget two seasons ago all the hype surrounding daily fantasy? With this deal between the NFL and the most recognizable gambling brand in possibly the world, all veils have been lifted and pretense dispensed. You may even see an NFL team in Las Vegas before too long -- oh wait Oakland is moving there. The good news for restaurants is they can jump on the gambling bandwagon. While the rules will vary state to state, if sports betting become legal where you are, you will have real options to partner with betting services and a further hook to make your place the best to watch sports. While this might take a while to pervade, a marriage between Caesar’s Palace and the NFL is a good sign we are on our way.

[Source: Yahoo Sports]