BUSINESS: Beyond Compost: Innovative Uses for Food Waste in Restaurants
For the restaurant and hospitality industries, food waste today is a big issue. Today it is thought that around 44% of global waste is food and organics, a staggering figure of which the US restaurant and hospitality industries contributes approximately 11.4 million tons annually. However, despite the fact that food waste is such a big issue, the way we recycle that waste is still very much stuck in the past.
Today, however, there are various innovative approaches to using waste products, and there are now companies who will happily take food waste from your restaurant and turn it into something new.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Deforestation Made Brazil the Top Soy Producer
The current spate of fires is being blamed on the accelerated pace of deforestation, primarily for cattle ranching and soy production. Fire is used to dispose of felled trees and dried vegetation while it is also used by farmers to clear and maintain areas for agricultural use. Back in the early 1980s, Brazil's soybean harvest totaled around 14 million metric tons and the crop quickly boomed due to development of new cultivation techniques as well as the use of pesticides. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now projecting a 123 million ton harvest for 2019/20 which would make Brazil the world's leading soy producer ahead of the United States.
Most Important Issues Facing the US Today
Every month, Gallup asks U.S. adults what they think is the most important problem facing their country. In July, “immigration” was at the top of the list with 27%. In second place, presumably chosen by people on the other side of the partisan divide was the government and it's perceived poor leadership, at 23%. Healthcare is being focused on quite heavily by the Democratic 2020 candidates, but only 7% of voters listed this as their “most important” issue. Climate change ranked at the bottom of the poll with just 4%.
Yelp Feed Changing
Yelp is changing how its users’ feeds look, adopting what almost every other social media website does and using an algorithm. That means Yelp users have little to no control over what hits their feed. The Yelp algorithm will determine search results based on information users provide. We’ll have to see how this will affect restaurant’s use and strategy of Yelp moving forward, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
GONNA GET PAID
Why it matters to you: Wage theft is real and can be extremely expensive.
We have often mention celebrity chef Jose Andres on The Daily Rail. From him feeding furloughed government employees out of his D.C. to his ardent support for immigrant workers he is a constant source of feel good stories from our industry. That seems to have come to a crashing halt with the accusation by a former bartender at his Hudson Yards Spanish food market, Mercado Little Spain. Tina Braunstein claims that she was both underpaid for her overtime work and received the service minimum wage for the two hours of sidework she was required to do daily. Given that many of his celebrity chef peers have experienced the same accusation, you have to wonder how these vaunted characters can’t seem to pay their staffs correctly. Now, Andres is innocent until proven guilty…and frankly, if he is guilty, many of us that have admired him would be devastated.
But would we have the right to be? Let’s face it, power corrupts and our industry is no exception. As a restaurant owner, nobody ever cares whether you get paid; people just speculate on how much you make. These celebrity chefs appear to be of the opinion that they are entitled to confiscate wages or mis-pay staff for their time and work (until they get caught). Just check out the settlements and judge for yourself: Daniel Boloud, Mario Batali, and Dan Barber. The lesson for all of us as operators is to be meticulous in your record keeping, produce/enforce clear policies, and be 100% consistent in your approach. That needs to be followed by a sensitivity to how wage issues playout in public. You can’t win, because even when you are accused, you are not presumed innocent.
WOW, THAT’S NOISY
Why it matters to you: Guests are telling you that a loud restaurant sucks, are you listening?
Our restaurants are noisy places. It can’t be helped. What starts as a murmur at 5pm is a cacophony of sounds from all manner of sources. Music, equipment, guest conversation, and service ware banging around all contribute to what guests in to Zagat’s 2018 Dining Trends Survey, reported as the most bothersome aspect of eating out. Mind you, noisy restaurants came in ahead of bad service and prices. So reviewing these six cost-effective ways to reduce restaurant noise levels just makes sense if you are trying to deliver the best guest experience possible. And that doesn’t even account for the damage all that sound is causing you and your staff. With background noise frequently in the 75 – 90 decibel range, you could be doing lasting damage to your team’s hearing.
The good news is that addressing excessive noise doesn’t have to be expensive like most of the challenges you face. Simple steps like adding sound dampening fabrics or ceiling tiles will have an immediate impact on the ambient noise levels. But what do you do about equipment in public areas like your bar glass washer or blender? One example are the new machines that produce frozen drinks eliminate much of the noise created by the process. You can also insulate walls that separate the kitchen from the dining area and even consider lowering your background music. The one thing you shouldn’t do is ignore the importance of sound to the guest experience.
[Source: Toast POS]