BUSINESS: Offering a Secret Menu Can Be a Fun Way to Boost Sales & Create Buzz
Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard about restaurants’ secret menu items. In-n-Out possibly has the most notorious secret menus of all. And trust us, you haven’t lived if you’ve never experienced an animal style burger and fries. So, what is there to gain from offering a secret menu? Check out our post to find out.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Young Adults Lack Healthcare
The number of Americans who have no healthcare insurance increased in 2018, the first time since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2010. While young adults have the highest uninsured rate, the number of people with no healthcare rose most steeply among those 35 to 64 years old between 2017 and 2018.
Bundesliga is Heading to ESPN+
ESPN has signed a deal with Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, for an estimated $30 million per season. The league will air on ESPN+. Along with Bundesliga, ESPN gets the rights to Bundesliga 2 matches, shoulder programming, and highlights for ESPN’s site and app. Select matches will also air on ESPN’s networks. The deal starts in 2020. Be sure you’ve signed up to get the SportsTV Guide so you’ll know when and where all the Bundesliga matches can be found.
A Look Inside America’s First Cannabis Restaurant
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café opened its doors yesterday, making it the first licensed cannabis restaurant in the US. Diners can have their meal while smoking cannabis or eating cannabis-infused edibles on the premises. The restaurant’s kitchen is led by Andrea Drummer, a veteran cannabis chef with seven years of prepping cannabis-infused meals. Here’s more about America’s first cannabis café.
BEING RISK AVERSE
Why it matters to you: Be proactive when it comes to injury risks at your restaurant.
Here’s a number that should cause you great concern: 214,400. That’s the number of workplace injuries reported in 2017, of which one in four caused workdays to be lost. With that in mind, it is always a best practice to review your risk-related issues to ensure you aren’t creating a dangerous situation for staff or guests. We thought this list of 10 items every kitchen should have to avoid injuries was a great starting point to ensure you are not at unnecessary risk. The list focuses on a variety of changes you can implement to make your restaurant safer. Number one is the suggestion you use grease pans and auto drop technology on your fryers. The argument is the less you have to interact with 300+ degree oil, the safer your staff will remain. But it doesn’t stop there as the list encompasses everything from proper footwear to fire suppression systems.
You would think it intuitive to have protection like a fire suppression system, but are you maintaining it? Are your fire extinguishers up to date? Has your Ansel system been tested, and does your gas flow automatically stop when it’s tripped? These seem like obvious questions, but that doesn’t absolve you of ensuring they are in top shape. Maybe less obvious is having carts and dollies present to make moving heavy items around your restaurant. Strain injuries to backs and joints are common in our industry and these tools help mitigate their causes. Having floor mats is also a great way to reduce strain from long periods of standing and the risk of slips and falls. It’s always a good time to review your workplace injury risk and take action to make your restaurant a safer place to work and dine.
[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]
TECH TRENDS TO TEND TO!
Why it matters to you: Know what trends will impact our industry and be prepared to accommodate them.
Tracking the general trends in technology can have limited relevance to our industry. We seem to always be at the backend of any big tech breakthroughs, but is that our mistake? Surely there are insights in these trends that can help us better organize our businesses to take advantage of these technological innovations. That’s why we are recommending you read this blog on Forbes that reviews the seven biggest technology trends that we all have to get ready for now.
Of the seven we believe these are the most relevant to our industry: AI-as-a-Service, autonomous driving, and extended reality. The first is an obvious match to the business conditions in the restaurant industry. With modern POS being present in our industry for close to 40 years, we have become very good at collecting data. Unfortunately, the same is not true of using that data to our advantage. That’s where AI (artificial intelligence aka “machine learning”) comes is to make sense of all that data and leveraging it to make life easier.
Just think about never having to place an order again because your AI assistant takes your sales mix, historic trends, and weather (just to name three factors; there are hundreds, btw) into account and places them for you. Going further on the technology that is relevant to our industry, you can also see where autonomous driving will allow less expensive delivery options as well as reduce the risk to guests that have a drink and want to get home safely. The lowered exposure to the consequences of serving an intoxicated guest may drop considerably. Finally, extended reality will allow guests to simply frame your dish in their camera and see contents, guest reviews, and nutritional info. All of these technologies WILL be coming your way, whether you are prepared or not. So, why not be prepared and respond by adjusting your business to accommodate them?