BUSINESS: What ‘The Woods’ Lawsuit Can Teach Operators About Safe Alcohol Training [Sponsored by 2Cool Server Training]
We often hear about celebrity restaurant owners as they open their locations and garner as much publicity as their name can generate. What we don’t often hear about is celebrity owners embroiled in controversy regarding their handling of a basic operational responsibility -- like the responsible service of alcohol.
That’s why the lawsuit filed against Tiger Woods’ restaurant -- The Woods -- in Jupiter, FL is particularly heartbreaking. Most celebrity owners insulate themselves to these types of suits through corporate veils and other strategies and certainly have no insight into the day-to-day operations.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Colorado Banks on Weed
Colorado has passed another major marijuana milestone, surpassing $1 billion in state revenue since it legalized the drug in 2014. Up to May of this year, the state has seen more than $6 billion in total marijuana sales since the industry was given the green light. According to CNBC, Colorado now has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 people licensed to work in the industry.
The Rise of the Raptors
After winning their first playoff round in the 2000/01 season, it took the Raptors 15 years to win another postseason match-up in 2016. As the following chart illustrates, the newly crowned NBA champions made steady progress in recent years but crashed out three times against the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James. This year Toronto made it to the NBA Finals for the first time, where they promptly beat the back-to-back champions from California.
Hourly Earnings Climb (…Kinda)
Since it’s easier to grasp the development of real earnings from today’s point of view, we took the liberty of calculating real earnings in 2019 dollars and taking a look at what hourly earnings from 1964 onwards would be worth assuming today’s prices. As the following chart shows, today’s wages in the United States are at a historically high level. At $23.38, today’s average hourly earnings exceed the longtime peak dating back to February 1973 by 5 cents. Back then, workers had earned $4.05 an hour, which translates to $23.33 in 2019 dollars.
Why it matters to you: The trend to plant-based eating is pushing ahead.
When making an argument about the value of something, it’s always best to use data to confirm your hypothesis. In the case of plant-based eating becoming mainstream, you need only view two bits of stats. First, 49% of consumers have chosen plant-based foods because they perceive them to be healthier and, secondly, 36% of meat eaters want to increase their plant-based foods consumption. The first stat is confirmation of what we already know. Guests are asserting they want healthier foods in their diet, and it turns out plant-based foods -- like the Impossible Foods burger -- are perceived as just that. However, it’s not limited to issue of health.
Consumers also point to the environmental impact of meat and animal welfare as reasons to explore meat alternatives provided by plant-based foods. But the striking stat is that more than 1/3 of consumers that identify as meat eaters are themselves interested in changing their consumption to plan-based foods. That number should be startling to you, especially if you base your business on meat, like steak and chicken wings. If you have interest in what your guests want, it might be time to at least entertain a new plant-based product and see where it leads. In any event, you’ll make some 49% of your guests very happy and that should be a stat you want to embrace.
[Source: FSR Magazine]
WHAT IS THE RPI?
Why it matters to you: The National Restaurant Association uses the RPI to track the health of our industry.
If it feels like we are constantly talking about the financial situation in our industry that’s because we do. The last two years have been a master class in cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, you have sales growth across the industry and often times that growth has been robust. On the other, as a mitigating factor traffic has been steadily falling for months. Both of those data points are a part of the Restaurant Performance Index that is used by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to gauge the outlook of our industry. The index uses 100 as a neutral value for the performance of our industry.
As further proof, we are heading for a downturn, that index dropped to 100.1 done 1.8% from 101.9 in March. While that shouldn’t feel like a huge problem, sales and traffic both dropped in April. In fact, 50% of operators reported traffic declines, up from only 30% in March. To add to that, folks in our industry are also becoming less optimistic. Only 34% of you believe your sales will be higher in six months, which is down from 47% in May. Our economy is a complicated thing, but numbers like these are tell-tail signs that things are changing. Now is the time to stockpile cash and tighten your belt. It will be far easier than waiting for a full blow recession to prepare yourself.
[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]