The Daily Rail: Raise Menu Prices or Lose Profit

Thursday April 3, 2019

INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Stats for Creating the Perfect Gameday Menu

With your gameday menu in full swing, you’ll want to stay on top of emerging trends and customer preferences in order to adapt to changing tastes. Conversations with your guests are vital in this regard, but only as a microcosm. To get ahead of the curve, you’ll want to take a look at things on a larger scale.


RIP AAF League

After only eight short weeks of games and less than one season into Alliance of American Football's (AAF) existence, league owner Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all operations. According to ESPN, the league had been struggling from the outset, particularly with an issue around payroll sourcing.

Stop Horsing Around  

A recent spike in horse racing fatalities has activists wondering. Last Sunday, a popular thoroughbred named Arms Runner marked the 23rd equine death since December at the iconic Santa Anita Park racetrack in California, (there were only 20 deaths at the park in all of 2017). This Saturday brings the $1 million Santa Anita Derby—featuring a lineup of top Kentucky Derby contenders.

CBD Fuel

The FDA has set its first public hearing on legalizing CBD (the natural occurring oil found in cannabis) for commercial use in food and drinks. The hearing will take place on May 31 to determine how the Food and Drug Administration will regulate the newly legalized cannabis product.


Why it matters to you: It’s constantly a struggle whether to raise prices or lose profit.

One of the major concepts that keep restaurant operators up at night is the push and pull battle of whether to raise menu prices and lose potential profit. According to Restaurant Business Online, industry traffic hit a nine-year low at -4% in February while check averages touched a 10-year high. Specifically, check increases have now accounted for more than 100% of sales growth for the last 26 months — a metrics that raises eyebrows among restaurant owners.

Although this seems like a frightening thought, it’s not all gloomy. Same-store sales for the restaurant industry rose a respectable +1.1% in February. For restaurants, winter months are some of the most difficult to manage. Although it may seem like a smart decision profit-wise to raise menu prices, based on the recent metrics of dwindling restaurant traffic, it’s unadvised to hike up prices any further at risk of deterring more guests from seeking establishments with cheaper options.

[Source: NRN]


Why it matters to you: Pretty soon there will be relief for your seasonal staffing troubles.

Just recently, The Department of Homeland Security announced that it is allocating an additional 30,000 H-2B visas intended for foreign seasonal workers for this fiscal year. These visas are incredibly valuable for both the restaurant and hospitality industries that to both experience trouble finding Americans to cook, clean, and fill other low-wage jobs during the summer season. According to The Boston Globe, the new visas, which are in addition to the 33,000 already issued for positions beginning April 1, will be available only to returning H-2B workers who have worked in the United States in the past three years.

Access to foreign labor has become a significant issue for seasonal businesses that have for years struggled with severe worker shortages. For the hospitality industry, these H-2B visas relieve much of the difficulty in seasonal hiring. In many seasonal tourist areas, such as Cape Cod, the labor shortage has been impactful enough to reduce operating hours and turning away potential business. During a time when price hikes are imminent, and restaurant traffic is at an all-time low, restaurant operators need as much leeway on seasonal labor as possible to make up for the already damaging forecasts. The Department of Homeland Security has not specified when employers can begin applying for H-2B visas.

[Source: Boston Globe]