The Daily Rail: Are Extraordinary Expenses a Reason for an Ordinary Surcharge?

OPERATIONS: How to Build & Test Your Gameday Menu

Composing and perfecting your gameday menu should begin long before the season does. When considering all aspects of the menu — from ordering to execution — balance should be at the front of your brain.

Just like your full menu, you never want your special offerings to come off as one-note or repetitive. This same attention to parity on the line will keep any one station from getting bogged down during the gameday rush. Here are tips for how to build the ultimate gameday menu and test it for service perfection.


Everything You Wanted to Know About Heinz

Heinz turns 150 this year. Yup, Heinz ketchup is older than the lightbulb and the Eiffel Tower. But just how much do you know about the company? Delish serves 11 interesting tidbits about Heinz, including where 57 came from and what the early bottles looked like.

The Fight of 15

The Democratic presidential primary is packed with a wide array of candidates, from a self-help author to long-time politicians. Six women and five minority candidates have thrown their hats into the race, making it one of the most crowded and diverse competitions in American politics to date.

Infographic: Total of 15 Democrats Have Announced Presidential Bids  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Like Father, Like Son

If you’re a Soprano fan, then you’re probably familiar with the final scene of the show where the late James Gandolfini sat to end the series. Well his son, Michael, paid a visit to that same Holsten’s Ice Cream Parlor booth in New Jersey to snap a quick pic of himself. A cool little moment.


Why it matters to you: We Work coworking space is opening an incubator for food related start-ups…cool!

The world of the start-up has been greatly facilitated over the past 10 years by the advent of shared workspaces. When companies like We Work and General Assembly started, their mission was to provide facility infrastructure at a price any start-up could cover. They did little things like offer snacks, happy hours, and general training support. It appears that mission has expanded and they are now providing a space in NYC they are calling We Work Food Labs. It’s a food-centric co-working space and innovation lab that will contribute $1 million in equity investments to a cohort of startups in the food innovation space.

The space is located in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan and will facilitate the development of new products and technology to support the food industry. We so often hear about innovation and creation done for other industries and for consumers, but our industry feels like we have been stuck in the last century. Sure, there are a ton of “apps” you can now access to improve your business, but nothing revolutionary that will dramatically change the way we do business. Since the invention and pervasion of POS, we haven’t had any demonstrable breakthroughs during this most run of economic development. So, thank you We Work for jump starting things and we hope your investment pays off handsomely.

[Source: Eater]


Why it matters to you: Are extraordinary expenses a reason for an ordinary service charge?

At the end of a great meal in a cool new restaurant, I was handed card with my guest check that explained there was a 4% surcharge on my bill to compensate the kitchen staff. As an industry veteran with plenty of time in a chef coat, I appreciated the idea of compensating the people who actually made my food. However, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t a little miffed. This came to mind when I read a question posed to the editor of Restaurant Business Online asking whether it was legal to add a credit card fee surcharge to a guest’s check. Fortunately, the editor and I agree that while it’s legal, it’s also a bad idea.

We appreciate the expenses that are required to deliver high quality food and service, but that is the job which you and your team have chosen. Consequently, charging extra for the food prep or credit card services seems like are nickel and diming the customer. Sure, that is a negative perception of a serious attempt to mitigate your expenses. To be direct, too bad. Small numbers like a 4% surcharge for credit cards or a service charge can be added to prices in a very discreet and not too disruptive way.

For example, if you have a $9 appetizer, raising the price $9.49 (a 5.4% increase) won’t be a terrible disruption and more than cover the additional costs you are bearing. However, by making it the guest’s expense you message them that your prices can be assumed to their cost. Tipping is so inherent in guest behavior that no one considers it an extra. They will consider it for sure with any type of service charge and now you are drawing attention to your prices rather than just serving your guests. So, color us as squarely against service charges for any extra expense and in favor of adjusting your prices instead. 

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]