MENU: “Give Me All the Toppings” [Presented by LambWeston]
78% of guests are interested in topped fries, so get creative with your fry offerings by adding ingredients that are already in your restaurant. Put a topped & loaded shareable on your menu, or try out a topped & loaded LTO. For more menu tips visit LambWeston.com/Recipe.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Domino eBike Delivery
Domino’s considers itself a technology company more than a pizza company, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to see Domino’s continue to look for innovative ways of running its business. Its latest idea is using eBikes to delivery pizza to hungry customers. The eBikes are typically electric two-wheelers with a 20MPH top speed and insulated cargo hold that can handle up to 12 large pizzas. One delivery biker can drop off several orders before swinging back to base – plus it has the allure of being ecofriendly.
US Gun Laws
In Texas and Ohio where two mass shootings occurred recently, military-style assault rifles and large capacity magazines are legal. In both shootings, in fact, the weapons used were acquired legally. The vast majority of U.S. states do not restrict the sale of military-style weapons and only six states and the District of Columbia have banned them, according to the New York Times. When it comes to large capacity magazines capable of holding up to 100 rounds, only eight states and the District of Columbia have restrictions in place. Here’s what US gun laws look like around the country.
Prez Hopefuls Hit Iowa Fair
Getting photos of presidential candidates eating is, for some reason, an American fetish. So when a slew of them hit up the Iowa State Fair this past weekend, the paparazzi were salivating at the candidates trying to eat. Here’s photos from the event – including Andrew Yang eating turkey legs, Kamala Harris flipping burgers, Elizabeth Warren carrying a corn dog and more. In fact, several candidates ate corn dogs while displaying that there’s no photogenic way of eating that damn thing.
ARE LABOR PRESSURES RELEASING?
Why it matters to you: New labor stats indicate some relief from constant staffing issues.
The labor shortage has been a conversation in our industry for the past 5+ years and it hasn’t been a pleasant discussion. So, you might be excused for taking heart to learn that in the second quarter 2019, the end-of-month job openings in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector averaged 889,000 (on a seasonally-adjusted basis) which is a 58k drop from the previous high recorded in fourth quarter of 2018. On the flipside of that equation are the number of new hires made during the second quarter was 970,000. This means that hiring is outpacing posting and spells some relief for weary managers that have been struggling to stay staffed.
Of course, it’s no panacea, but when hiring outpaces job postings it means that restaurants are staying abreast of their staffing needs. Complicating this delicate balance is the fact that employee’s voluntarily leaving their posts reached record highs in the second quarter as well. The total number of separations has stayed relatively consistent with the number of job openings available, which implies that much of the turnover is internal to our industry. This fact has positive implications because even if you’ve lost someone the industry is retaining its qualified employees.
Unfortunately, it can also be a precursor signal that the economy is tightening as labor loosens. We have already seen a similar signs of tightening with dismal traffic numbers most of our industry is experiencing. So, while we aren’t calling for the sky to fall, beware it getting easier to staff as it may lead to it being harder to sustain your volume based on a declining economy.
[Source: National Restaurant Association]
Why it matters to you: When your values don’t align with your investors, how do you respond?
You’ve likely heard about the flap surrounding, billionaire real estate developer, Stephen Ross’s fundraiser supporting the re-election of President Trump. The boycott calls for Equinox and SoulCycle have made a lot of noise, but were they effective or even relevant? Well, it turns out Ross hasn’t just invested in personal fitness with stakes in familiar restaurant names like Momofuku, &Pizza and Milk Bar. Ross is an investor and, as such, seeks solid opportunities to turn him money into more money. The aforementioned restaurant operations are all emerging brands that benefited mightily from the investment money that people like Ross and others have provided. Which is why this whole controversy is so interesting -- and relevant.
After the boycott Equinox/SoulCycle stuff exploded, some of the restaurant operators that Ross’s investment company has funded made statements to the affect that he has not direct affiliation to their operations and his values are their values. However, Momofuku’s David Chang went a step further on his podcast and excoriated the President and then promised to donate proceeds from his restaurants to organizations like Planned Parenthood and RAICES. But, even as a progressive myself, I have to question whether Chang should have thought of that before he took the investment? Not to defend Ross, but he also founded an organization, RISE, which combats inequality and racism. So this whole thing is really complicated.