SPORTS: Beta Test the SportsTV Guide’s New ‘Q Score’ Program
Our new “Q Score” program -- our algorithm that rates game quality for all events listed on your SportsTV Guide – drops today and we’re looking for some more beta testers. The Q Score will help sports bar operators and managers identify the best matchups and games for their establishment to show their guests. To learn more or sign-up for the beta test, check out our blog post here.
DID YOU KNOWS…
States with the Highest & Lowest Student Loan Debts
Student loan debt across the U.S. currently stands at $1.52 trillion, making it the second largest form of consumer debt after mortgages. That figure comes from LendEdu who published their Student Loan Debt by School by State Report for the fourth consecutive year. It found that in 2017, an average borrower left campus with $28,288 of debts and in 2018, that increased to $28,565. The research also looked into average student loan debt per borrower at state level and the following infographic shows where the amount owed is highest and lowest.
Over the years, numerous surveys have uncovered varying levels of distrust on a whole range of scientific issues ranging from climate change to vaccinations. In many cases, those misgivings have been exacerbated by politics with President Trump publicly expressing his doubts about scientific findings on numerous occasions. Given the current political climate, a new Pew Research Center survey published earlier this month showing rising trust in science will come as relief for America's research community.
Sinclair-Fox RSNs Move Forward
Sinclair’s purchase of Fox RSNs has been approved by the Justice Department, making them officially Sinclair RSNs. The RSNs will be under the new holding company “Diamond” which will live under the Sinclair umbrella.
CLOSED FOR SUMMER
Why it matters to you: Seasonal staffing has always been tough, but lately it’s damn near impossible.
As long as anyone can remember Labor Day has always been the unofficial end date to summer. Labor Day weekend is when most vacation area operators see their staffing disappear almost simultaneously as the volume drops. It’s been a symbiosis that has presided forever. That is, until the past couple of years where staffing woes have grown even more acute for vacation area operators well before the holiday. In fact, a Cape Elizabeth, ME restaurant operator just closed their restaurant until they can get sufficient staffing to reopen. On its social media page, Bird Dog Roadhouse told guests, "Due to an acute ongoing staffing shortage, we've reluctantly hit the 'pause button.'" This really isn’t that surprising to those of us that struggle year round to staff, but for these vacation areas there has always been a balance.
Even the government knows this issue is crippling our friends in the seasonal restaurant vertical. Immigration officials added 30,000 HB-2 visas this year in an attempt to help operators in affected communities. This action was taken after the summers of 2017 and 2018 saw incredible labor shortfalls. As our story indicates, it doesn’t appear to have done the trick. Estimates of staffing shortfalls nationally for seasonal operators run in the 10s of thousands. Consequently, it’s no surprise some operators have just thrown in the towel. Maybe the only good news for operators is that these fully-trained and summer-volume hardened staff leaving those vacation spots will be returning to staff our restaurants that are near colleges and universities.
[Source: WGME CBS 13]
ONE BOURBON [Song]
Why it matters to you: American whiskey is struggling to overcome European tariffs
We live in a global economy and few companies understand that more than those in the spirits industry. With an ongoing trade war being prosecuted by the US government, American spirits distillers -- especially those that make whiskey -- are feeling the pinch in a big way. The Distilled Spirits Council industry group says U.S. whiskey exports to Europe fell more than 20% from June 2018 to June this year. To make that statistic feel more real, imagine your business being divided between dining (45%), bar sales (30%), and off-premise sales like delivery/catering (25%). Those three business segments all contribute a significant portion of your sales.
So, let’s say your off-premise volume dropped the same 20% that American whiskeys have endured. That would translate into a 5% drop in your overall all sales. Now apply that to the over $1.6 billion in spirits that are sold to Europe by the US and you can see a 20% drop in sales means hundreds of millions in sales losses. Not only is that not good for our economy (and trade deficits), but it also means those profits will have to be made up by those spirit distillers. One of the ways they will absolutely consider is raising prices on their domestic sales and distribution. We are already seeing signs over the horizon of economic instability, we just have to hope this doesn’t distill into higher prices on domestic products.
[Source: Euro News]