The Daily Rail: Are Millennials Killing the Restaurant Tipping Culture?

STAFF: Two Unique Ways to Retain Your Kitchen Staff

There's no doubt that the restaurant industry (as a whole) has a wage-gap issue. One that's not only creating a rift in the industry but also among restaurant's staff. It's also a gap that's making it more difficult for restaurants to keep and retain their best employees -- especially your kitchen team. Here are two ways restaurants are trying to keep their best chefs & cooks.


America’s Craft Beer Revolution Still Strong

What a difference a decade makes. Back in 2008, small and independent brewers produced 8.5 million barrels of lager, stout, pale ale, india pale ale, porter and countless other varieties. By 2018, output climbed steeply to nearly 26 million barrels. The brewery count has been rising steadily in tandem with output and last year, over 7,000 were operating across the country. Again, that's a huge increase on where the industry was a decade ago when just over 1,500 were open.

Infographic: America's Craft Beer Revolution Is Still Going Strong  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Long-term View of Wages in the US

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March 2019 update on real wages in the United States on Wednesday. Denominated in constant 1982-1984 dollars, average hourly wages dropped from $9.40 in February to $9.38 in March, with average weekly earnings amounting to $315.98. Since it’s hard to grasp the value of $9.38 in 1982-1984 dollars from today’s point of view, we took the liberty of calculating real wages in today’s prices and taking a look at what wages from 1964 onwards would be worth today.

Infographic: A Longterm View on Wages in the United States | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Game of Thrones Promos

The final season of Game of Thrones begins this Sunday and some restaurants are ready to cash in on the franchise’s ravenous fans. Here are 12 GoT restaurants promos worthy of the Iron Throne. Also be sure to read our post on how your restaurant can cash-in on non-sports fandoms.


Why it matters to you: Is it a sin highlight why you’re different than your competitors?

When I read this story on Grub Street about a new restaurant concept that is being described as “clean” Chinese, I was, at once, amused and infuriated. Owner Arielle Haspel (who is also a nutritionist) is marketing her new Chinese cuisine restaurant as a healthy alternative to traditional Chinese restaurants. Her positioning is drawing the ire of folks who think the trope of Chinese restaurants being dirty or the food unhealthy has a racial element to it. This fact is what draws my ire. Even as an advocate of progressive values, I think it’s a bridge to far to expect businesses not to focus on the market they choose.

As an operator that is focused on Chinese cuisine, Haspel perceives the customers of traditional Chinese restaurants as a source of significant opportunity. Her reference to clean is not directed to the hygiene of Chinese traditional Chinese restaurants, but specifically on the healthfulness of their foods. Items made with heavy starch, sugars and preservatives like MSG are not healthy versions of Chinese cuisine and this owner aims to make her case with the language she felt best described her point of differentiation. 

If we agree, you don’t have to be Italian to make pizza, then you don’t have to be Chinese to produce Chinese cuisine. It is neither cultural appropriation nor culturally insensitive to point out that your competition doesn’t do something well, which you do. If that’s a problem, then marketing itself will be impossible -- and that should make sense to no one.

[Source: Grub Street]


Why it matters to you: A new generation may give rise to a new tipping culture. 

Tipping seems to be under assault these past few years. This appears to have hit a peak recently when CNBC identified “tipping less” as a life hack. As folks in the restaurant business, our perspective on where tipping fits in American culture is biased by its impact on our team and our profitability. Some observers of this CNBC piece found it more offensive than others, but I would assert that it should surprise no one that this is a conversation that is serious enough to be had on a national TV outlet.

The irony is a whole generation of folks have no interest in the tipping paradigm, which might account for this actually being suggested as a life hack. Millennial generation folks have been eschewing full-service restaurants for years. The rise of fast casual as a segment is full proof this generation favors a more efficient transaction to experience out of home dining. They don’t want to interact more than is necessary and can only afford to pay for what they consume (given the trillions on student loans they all have). No other threat to tipping (other than outlawing it) is likely to be as disruptive to the tipping paradigm as Millennials not being able to afford the luxury of an 18% tip.

[Source: Eater]