The Daily Rail: DoL Opens Commentary Period for New Restaurant Tip Pooling Rules

MARKETING: 3 Winning Strategies for Marketing NCAA Football

Of the six major American sports, college football is by far the most overrated one for sports bars. Not because it doesn’t drive traffic — it does! Not because there isn’t enough coverage — there is! Not because there aren’t enough fans — there are! No, college football is overrated because there isn’t much your guests can’t get at home on their own TVs. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to leverage this business. You definitely should. The trick is to play to your strengths and make sure your efforts are on strategies that deliver results.


Glenlivet Pods

OK, so are or aren’t we supposed to eat Tide pods? That’s the feeling we get after seeing that The Glenlivet has launched edible “cocktail pods.” They look like Tide pods but with whiskey in them. Or maybe they’re just Gushers for adults. Either way, instead of sipping or shooting your whiskey, you can now chomp down on a bag to get an “instant burst of flavor” of either citrus, wood, or spice. The downside (or maybe really upside) is that these pods are available only at the London Cocktail Week and not anywhere else… yet.

Looking at Syria

The situation is tense in Northern Syria after President Trump ordered U.S. troops into a shock withdrawal to facilitate a Turkish incursion across the border. The move will abandon Kurdish fighters who bore the brunt of the long fight against ISIS. Ankara has threatened to attack Kurdish militias along the border on numerous occasions and it considers the YPG a terrorist organization. The above map is based on IHS Markit data published by the BBC and it shows the current situation in Syria, focusing on territory controlled by faction.

Infographic: The Current Situation In Syria  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Child Obesity Epidemic Predictions

Currently, approximately 158 million children and adolescents aged between five and 19 are considered obese. By 2025, that is forecast to climb to 206 million before surpassing 250 million in 2030. While China (62 million), India (27 million) and the U.S. (17 million) are expected to have the highest number of obese children globally in absolute terms by 2030, smaller countries in the developing world are going to be most at risk, mainly due to traditional diets becoming more westernized and people consuming higher levels of fat, sugar, oil and starch.

Infographic: Over 250 Million Kids Will Be Obese By 2030 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: New DoL rules on tip sharing are relevant to every full-service operator.

The Department of Labor (DoL) has been grappling with sticky issues for our industry over the past several years. Most recently, they settled the overtime exemption discussion with new guidance and this week they are opening a 60-day commentary period on their next policy issue: Tip Pooling. The new rules will now allow restaurants to pool tips with both FoH and BoH employees, as long as they don’t pay service staff less than regular minimum wage. Two other revelations from the DoL’s guidance are a scrapping of the 80/20 rule and a definitive prohibition on employers taking money from the tip pool. The 60-day period for comments is standard practice for the DoL and helps them to determine whether the policy is widely supported or opposed.

The 80/20 rule addresses the side-work required by service staff that receive a tip-credit minimum wage. The rule dictated that staff cannot be paid the lower minimum wage if their side-work encompasses more than 20% of their overall responsibilities. Operators have long argued that servers and bartenders are the most highly compensated people in their restaurants and paying them additional wages for doing work that facilitates their earnings is excessive. This new rulings renders that argument moot as long as the work that is done is closely timed with the work they do to earn gratuities.

The prohibition on employers taking tips was a logical addendum to ensure that staff  -- servers and kitchen -- are entitled to all the money guests choose to offer them for the service they have received. We encourage you to read the DoL guidance on their site and add your own thoughts or let us know your thoughts by emailing us. But, please know that your voice does matter either way and it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s heard.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]


Why it matters to you: Plant based burgers aren’t the trend, its the culture.

The time has come to take the Impossible Burger and their competitors seriously. This is evident with the advent of Carl’s Jr putting it permanently on their menu. If you don’t know Carl’s Jr, they’re the ones that do the dirty hamburger commercials for the Super Bowl every year. This is no namby-pampy burger joint and their acceptance of the plant based alternative says something about the seriousness with which you should treat it. There are more than a few operators that have jumped into this un-burger war. When a coalition as diverse as Burger King, White Castle, Red Robin, Umami Burger, Hard Rock Cafe, Applebee's, Cheesecake Factory and TGI Friday’s all jump into the fray, it also says your actually behind if you aren’t already featuring a plant-based item on your menu.

Once again, we encourage you to turn to guests to be sure what is right for your restaurant. Run a limited special with a traditional version of your burger served as a plant based substitute. Identify the product and get feedback from guests. Do that with a few different burgers and determine your best choice. The trend says you’ll find the idea popular and your guests happy to participate. And, BTW, you’re not limited to burgers with other items like boneless (and meatless) chicken wings. You can wait to see if plant-based meats get any more popular, but by then the guests interested in these meat alternative products will have found someone else to deliver them.

[Source: Forbes]