The Daily Rail: Modern Dating is Reducing Fine Dining Sales

BUSINESS: 3 Tips for Properly Implementing a Service Surcharge

With more cities (and some states) upping their minimum wage, it’s obviously becoming more difficult for independent restaurants to keep up with the added labor costs. It’s leaving restaurant operators with just a few main options -- increase menu prices, decrease staff/labor or add a restaurant service surcharge. Each strategy has their pros & cons, but if you’re looking to add a service surcharge, there’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.


V-Day Spending Grows

What's especially interesting about Valentine's Day 2019 is that average spending per participant is rising steadily, despite the fact that fewer people are actually taking part in the celebrations. Average spending per person is expected to be $162 for 2019, a considerable increase on planned spending levels of $103 back in 2009. How was your Valentine’s Day compared to previous years?

Infographic: Love Actually Does Cost A Thing On Valentine's Day  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Who are America’s Dreamers?

Currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was established by Barack Obama in 2012 and grants young people who came to the U.S. illegally permission to stay and work in the U.S. without offering a pathway to citizenship, Dreamers face an uncertain future (i.e. deportation) after the Trump administration ordered an end to DACA in 2017.

Infographic: Who Are America's 'Dreamers'? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

NFL Combine

ESPN will be airing two hours of the NFL Combine on ABC. This further solidifies ESPN’s dedication to the NFL, which was rocky after John Skipper left the network. The combine is on Saturday, March 2nd, so mark your calendars (or be sure you’ve signed up for the SportsTV Guide). The coverage reportedly will center mostly around quarterback and receiver drills.


Why it matters to you: Changing behavior for daters may be reducing sales in fine dining.

“Dating sure has changed since I was a kid” sounds like something your father would say, right? Well, turns out it is true. With the advent of online dating, the way people are experiencing their first encounters is changing and it is unpleasant news for the upscale full-service restaurant industry. The dating app Clover revealed that the top first-date spot in a 2018 survey of 3.5 million singles was Starbuck’s. And they weren’t the only fast casual chain on a list that also included Panera and Chick-fil-A. Take heart though; our casual-themed full-service operators also made the list as well with Buffalo Wild Wings and the Cheesecake Factory.

Turns out the reason is simple. Before online dating, people primarily met through other acquaintances or had prior knowledge of their intended. With digital introductions pervading, daters are less inclined to commit significant resources on a first meeting, hence the dominance of Starbuck’s. If you like the idea of your place being a first date magnet, then you may want to consider some alternative approaches. Start by highlighting your shareable menu items. The idea behind a date is to make a connection and what better way than getting to know each other over a shared plate of food. Ensuring you create an atmosphere that is conducive to conversation and comfortable to interact is the key to convincing your guests to visit on their first dates.

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]


Why it matters to you: Follow Dave & Buster’s shining example of creating a culture and see your business thrive.

Company culture is a decision not an effect. A shining example of that fact is the approach that a big company like Dave & Buster’s brings to their business. Full disclosure, D&B is a customer of ours, but that doesn’t change the thoughtful ways they approach building their culture.

They start with what they refer to as the four pillars of their ethos: Founder’s Spirit, You Got It, Everybody is Somebody, and Fun to our Core. Yes, these are clichés but so what? The idea here is to define your culture in a way that anyone can access it and then try to live it with the way you manage. D&B has learned to communicate top to bottom and embraced technology to ensure they can connect with their employees and not exclusively through the GM position.

By keeping the communication integrated at all levels of staff, they ensure their cultural message is honored. But that’s not where they stop. The entertainment titan also creates healthy competition by gamifying their sales contests and publishing leaderboards between the restaurants based on POS results. The goal is to keep the atmosphere in their buildings conducive to the fun they want their guests to experience. Culture by choice is an effective way to keep staff, transform the guest experience, and grow in today’s competitive and difficult environment. Follow Dave & Buster’s lead if that’s what you want for your place too.

[Source: FSR Magazine]