The Daily Rail: How Restaurants Can Be Vigilant with Food Safety

LEADERSHIP: Four Ways Restaurant Managers Can Lead with Empathy

What do you do when a staff member suffers a family loss? How do you handle an employee’s repeatedly lackluster performance? These problems and more can be addressed with an oft-overlooked soft skill called empathy. Empathy is literally putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. But it’s more than that. True empathy means dialing in on an experience or emotion that helps you feel and understand what someone else is going through. Here are four ways restaurant managers can use empathy to navigate a difficult situation.


Is Tiki America’s Hot New Cocktail Trend?

Sure, most of the US is frozen under a layer or two of ice. That doesn’t mean we don’t want a “tiki”-themed cocktail or two. Hell, if anything, maybe it’ll help us remember the days when the sun was bright and the air was warm. Anyways, tiki cocktails are having a bit of a renaissance and the folks over at VinePair talk about tiki’s origins in rum dens, what exactly tiki is and more.

Nintendo Switch Rises

Despite the fact that Nintendo sold a record number of 9.41 million Switch consoles during the past holiday quarter, the company had to backpedal on its ambitious goal of selling 20 million units of its newest game console this fiscal year. That little setback notwithstanding, the Switch continues to be a major success for Nintendo after its previous generation console, the Wii U had flopped miserably. As our chart shows, Nintendo had already sold more than 32 million Switch systems by the end of 2018, leaving the Wii U and the GameCube far behind.

Infographic: Nintendo Switch Rises Through the Ranks of Its Ancestors | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

AAF Partners with TNT, CBS, NFLN & B/R Live

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a new football league debuting on February 9th and has landed several key broadcasting partners. A deal with Turner means that TNT will televise one regular season and one playoff game; B/R Live will also stream one game weekly during the regular season and playoffs. In a somewhat surprising partnership, the AAF will also have two games per week airing on the NFL Network. Meanwhile, CBS will be promoting the league during the Super Bowl and will also air the AAF championship game in April. CBS Sports Network will also carry at least one AAF game per week. Be sure to check out your SportsTV Guide for updated dates/times/channels of the AAF games so you can keep your football fan guests happy.


Why it matters to you: Wayne Roberts of Brinker International says, if your traffic isn’t up, you should worry.

Chili’s is among the most recognizable brands in our industry. So, when they do something that shows results, it’s a good idea to pay heed. Recently, they rolled out their own version of a value meal. They call it a value platform and it includes a “3 for $10” lunch combo and a “2 for $25” dinner offering. Brinker CEO (parent company to Chili’s) Wyman Roberts pointed to the value platform as the reason Chili’s saw 2.8% traffic growth in the last quarter. 

On an analyst call this past Tuesday, Roberts said, “If you are not getting traffic growth in today’s environment, I’d be concerned. As pressure mounts on the category and you don’t have that established — the value proposition, that loyalty from your frequent guests and traffic-driving strategies — then what’s going to happen as things start to turn?”

You’d have to conclude that they are committed to the value platform approach and that their results prove it works. Why not take a look at your own menu and make the offer? You can limit it to mid-week nights to ensure you don’t cannibalize your existing traffic. Given that it’s January and money is tight for many, offering a value-based meal might be just the ticket to driving some new traffic. Test it out first and see what works. 

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]


Why it matters to you: Recent food safety issues remind us all to be vigilant. 

Between the recent government shut down and the constant news about food recalls/safety concerns, it’s hard to know how to respond as an operator. For example, Perdue had two recalls in just under two weeks for their chicken nugget products which comes on the heels of a huge disruption of romaine lettuce supplies due to contamination. You are at the mercy of your grocery, produce and protein providers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive in your approach to food safety.

Certainly, the place to begin is with your own internal sanitation and food safety systems. Nobody wants to mimic Chipotle’s problems with E.coli and norovirus outbreaks. Keeping your work areas sanitized and handling your food in the safest ways possible are a good place to focus. It also behooves you to ask your food vendors what they are doing to secure your product and safe from contamination. 

If they don’t have a ready answer, then you may want to look for a new vendor. Their answers should also assure you that they are a partner in keeping your guests and staff safe from contaminated or improperly handled food. Don’t be a victim of food safety problems; get ahead and make sure everyone you feed is safe.

[Source: USA Today]