The Daily Rail: Is Snacking a New Restaurant Trend or Happy Hour Repackaged?

DELIVERY: Should You Go with In-House Delivery or a Third-Party Service?

In-house or outsource? The decision you likely made hundreds of times for your restaurant. And that includes delivery service. But should you go with an established delivery company or set up your own? Weighing the operational (and financial!) control afforded to you by doing it yourself against the marketing power and convenience third-party is no easy task, and there’s no blueprint that works for every restaurant. We’ll help you boil down those choices to their simplest form so you can decide if DIY delivery or a third-party delivery service is the best option for your business.


Should This Taco Be Smokey?

Video of two Taco Bell employees smoking inside an empty restaurant, sparking a bit of outrage. Not only is this a violation of California’s Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law, it’s sparked quite the slew of Internet memes and roasts. This is the second video of poor employee behavior from Taco Bell. Earlier in the month footage of an employee berating a customer surfaced. Yikes.

The Worst Road Conditions

Think your state has the worst roads? A report estimates that as of 2017, the U.S. would have to spend $231.4 billion annually to keep its existing road network in an acceptable state and restore the backlog of roads in poor condition over a six-year period. It also lists the states with the highest share of roads classified as being in "poor condition" in 2017. Things could get bumpy for drivers in Rhode Island where 53% of roads were deemed poor while California and Hawaii followed with 45% and 42% respectively. Maybe we should invest in better roads; out cars would appreciate it.

Infographic: The U.S. States With The Worst Roads | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

NRA CEO to Retire

Dawn Sweeney, the CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), has announced she’ll be stepping down as CEO at the end of the year. Sweeney has been at the NRA’s helm for the past dozen years where the organization has grown 50% over that time. She will, however, continue on to lead the NRA’s Educational Foundation.


Why it matters to you: Is it a new trend towards snacking, or happy hour repackaged?

Consumer tastes and spending are fickle things and new trends can be elusive. However, one trend that has been growing over the past 20 years is “snacking.” This is especially true of cash-strapped generations like Millennials and Gen Z’ers. In fact, the National Restaurant Association show three major industry players discussed in depth their strategy surrounding snacking and it sure sounded more like a pricing strategy than a trend. Whether it was Chili’s offering three sizes of nachos or Firehouse Subs adding half of a medium sandwich as an afternoon portion size, these operators are responding to these evolving circumstances by giving guests what they want.

The standard American restaurant portion has been a contentious subject for a long time, so any move to limit or reduce size is a move in the right direction, especially if it’s driven by consumers and not costs. In fact, you can charge a premium per calorie for smaller portions to offset the loss in labor economies. For example, the half of a medium sandwich is about 65% of the price of the regular medium and only offered during afternoon snacking hours. Ask your guests if they would be interested in snack-sized items, either from your existing menu or new ones. There are no rules about when you can make food items available or not, so have at it. Worst case you’ll define a great Happy Hour menu, best case your deliver a value that your current guest class craves. No downside there.

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]


Why it matters to you: Think about these five issues before you buy a restaurant.

For most people the biggest investment they will ever make is their home; however, for those of us that have the desire to own a restaurant…well you get the picture. I can attest from personal experience, the process you employ to choose a restaurant to buy or open is as crucial as managing the cost of goods sold after you have opened. That’s why this post on Modern Restaurant Management is a great place to start on your journey to buying your own, or next, restaurant. The post identifies, in order, five factors that require your thoughtful consideration. Starting with location, the assertion is it’s the most important factor, which there is little disagreement. But your understanding of location’s importance has to extend to more than just is it on a busy street.

For example, if you want to open a cool tapas restaurant, but you are in a very mature neighborhood, you might have less success. Knowing the demographic that is near your location choice is crucial to determining if your concept will fly. From there, does the menu of the current operator have a distinct identity, signature items or an attractive theme that will be sustainable after you close on your purchase? If not, you might be looking at the wrong candidate. Finally, a review of the current staff, restaurant reputation and financials round out the aspects that your pre-purchase analysis. So, before you take the plunge, read the post and use it as a lens to whether your target restaurant fits your needs, but more importantly will succeed.

[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]