FOOD: Remembering Bourdain & His Rules for the Perfect Burger
Today is Anthony Bourdain Day. It’s been just over a year since the culinary world lost Anthony Bourdain. The celebrated chef and his strong -- often profane -- opinions helped bridge the gap between kitchens and the world of entertainment. His first book, Kitchen Confidential, is essential reading for any chef.
What made him so accessible was his ability to speak with the same reverence and eloquence (guttural eloquence, but eloquence nonetheless) about The French Laundry as he would a midtown hot dog cart. In this regard, he was truly singular, and his resume gave it an authenticity unmatched by any other food writer or celebrity chef.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Beer Costs & Sales Drop at Bars
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of beer and malt beverages at bars and restaurants dropped 0.5% in the last six months. This is the first time the cost of beers at bars have dropped in a six-month period since 1997. Why is this happening? For starters, beer sales by volume are declining nationally and globally. Another reason is the changing drinking habits of Millennials and Gen Z. They simply enjoy other types of alcohol over beer.
Are We the Baddies?
In a new study entitled 'The Age of Impunity?' by The Policy Institute at Kings College London and Ipsos MORI, 17,000 respondents from 24 countries were asked if they thought other states or organizations were mostly using their influence for good or for bad around the world. Iran is considered by the largest share of people to be exerting a negative influence, with 31%. Not too far behind though, is the United States, with 22% thinking it currently uses its influence for bad.
Rising Cost of Seawalls
At state level, Florida is expected to have to spend $76 billion on seawalls over the next two decades while Louisiana will have the second-highest bill at $38 billion. When it comes to the cities at the greatest risk, Jacksonville in Florida will have to spend $3.5 billion improving its storm-surge defenses while New York will have a $2 billion outlay and Virginia is expected to pay $1.7 billion. Galveston in Texas will have the fourth highest bill of any city with $1.1 billion which equates to $21,282 for each of its residents.
DIVING UP YOUR SKILL SET
Why it matters to you: The restaurant industry provides way more life experience than is appreciated.
With the real challenges associated with recruiting talent these days, you need every advantage when selling candidates on working in our industry. Among those advantages are the true life lessons that can be gained by working in a restaurant or bar. This piece on Thrillist does a great job of outlining a few of them through the author’s roots working in a local dive bar. The premise is bars -- and restaurants by extension -- are an amazing place to learn truly valuable life lessons that prepare you for the rest of your career. The author of this blog focus on three specifically with the first being, “Everyone sets aside differences when everything is in chaos.”
I learned this specific lesson on 9/11 as guests began to stream into our restaurant to see what was happening in the news (pre-Internet news). The subject of the article learned his in the ‘80s when NYC had the big blackout. The bar was the first place people in the neighborhood went in response to the lights being off. All cheeky observations aside, the bar was the place folks went to connect with other folks when things got hairy.
The other two lessons revolve around interacting with strangers. By far the best aspect for young professionals, of our industry is forced engagement with a person you don’t know. The skill to initiate conversation and find commonality inherent in our industry is one that every professional in business can benefit from mightily. As is the understanding that you can learn from literally anyone. So, if you are recruiting for your industry and you meet a candidate that hasn’t worked in our industry, but has some skill, sell them on the real-life lessons they can learn (and get paid for doing it), while working in the restaurant biz.
KNOW MORE THAN YOU KNOW
Why it matters to you: To compete in the digital world you need to start learning more about your guests right now.
Are you bored of us pontificating about the importance of knowing more about your guests? If you are, then skip this piece because you’re in for more of the same. Today we discuss how to drive online ordering, sort of. In reading this piece on NRN describing how to dominate online ordering, we realized this and much of modern marketing depends on specific insights into personalized info on each of your guests. We have previously discussed the role of customer relationship management (CRM) software in restaurant marketing, but with so much of your interaction coming from digital sources it’s time to revisit that subject.
The blog post specifically calls out the value of personalizing email, so that you are sending off-premise dining calls-to-action to people that are actually interested in dining away from your restaurant. There are a multitude of ways to collect, store, and respond to data on your guests; the problem is that most of you aren’t using any of them. Even if you start with the simplest version, your email marketing, you can segment your audience so that they receive messages appropriate to their interests. While this takes some investment to set up, the tools exist to do it in every major email marketing platform available. And more importantly, those email marketing platforms want to train you to use them so you are even more committed to their products. So, if you appreciate what CRM can mean to your business, but aren’t sure how to get there, drop us a line at The Rail Media and we will be happy to explain and show you the path to implementing it at your restaurant.
[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]