The Daily Rail: Can Indie Restaurants Keep Up with Big Chain's Sprint to New Tech?

STAFF: How Social Platforms Can Boost Your Employee Engagement

Social media has a cozy spot in our lives. We use it to keep in touch with our friends, read the latest news, and seek validation for what we do. If we focus on the new workforce, the impact can be seen even clearer. According to Digital Information World’s study, Millennials spend an average of 2.5 hours hours every day on social media and Gen Z spends more than three hours on social. On top, average use across all age groups shows a constant increase since 2012. But social can be used for more than just marketing your restaurant; it can also help boost your staff engagement. Here’s how.


KFC Donuts?

KFC is serving fried chicken sandwiches between two glazed donuts at dozens of locations and people are rightfully freaking out. It’s part of its “Chicken and Donuts” menu and is available for a LTO in locations in Virginia and Pittsburgh. You can get this extremely unhealthy abomination for $6 solo or $8 as a combo. KFC is calling this a test run. We’re calling it evidence that the US needs to slow it’s roll a bit. Either way, it’s generating quite the stir on social.

Is Spiked Kombucha the New Hard Seltzer?

Summer 2019 was the year of the White Claw, but what about alcoholic kombucha? Nonalcoholic kombucha flew on the coattails of the current health & wellness craze and is a “potential source of probiotics” among other claimed health benefits. So naturally, let’s booze it up. Hard kombucha offers consumers another low-calorie drink with flavors not typically seen in other alcohol drinks such as lavender, goji, hibiscus, and ginger. Count this as the beginning of another potential booze trend you’ll want to jump on.

How Much Beer Does Your State Drink?

Does your state rank among the biggest beer drinkers in the US? 24/7 Tempo analyzed per-capita beer consumption by state which ranged from 18 gallons to 40 gallons, annually. Among the biggest beer drinkers were Montana, New Hampshire, and the Dakotas. Check out the full-list to see where your state stands.


Why it matters to you: Big chains are running towards new technology, can you follow?

The wave of time-saving and work-altering digital technologies can feel like a tsunami for the average restaurant operator. Digital payment systems, tableside tablet ordering, cloud scheduling, online training, and a host of other new technologies are changing the way we manage our restaurants. While most of these innovations are a wonderful to maintain your relevance with guests and staff, they also require an enormous amount of time to research and implement. This struck me as I was reading about how Dave & Buster’s is turning to technology to transform their workforce management experience.

Unfortunately, for most of the independent operators -- small chain under 10 locations and single unit) that make up 68% of the full service restaurant segment -- they may never have the time, energy, and resources to leverage some of these technologies to impact their own businesses. A system with 110 locations, like D&B, has the ability to assign the task of vetting these technologies and determining which is in the best interest of their operation.

This resource divide means that independent operators may get left behind during this digital transformation of our industry. The good news is that digital tools will never replace the human touch that independent operators can apply to their businesses. Have heart, though; even if you have to move slower than the big guys it doesn’t mean you should eschew these new technologies. You just have to be more judicious in your choices. You may not be able to compete with their resources, but you can equal them with your connection to your own business and understanding of where digital free you to do more of the human side of your job.

[Source: FSR Magazine]


Why it matters to you: Generation Z is going to transform your menu.

We spend more than our fair share of time discussing the relevance of the various consumer generations to which you cater, but here’s a statistic that might command your attention: Generation Z will make up 31% of the world’s population by 2021. That’s a staggering number. Now you might be saying sure the world’s population but what about the good old U.S. of A.? While a little lower, the 25% of our population comprised of Generation Zers is no small thing and is already more than the Millennials can boast. But what will be the impacts of this emerging consumer generation on our industry, because after all that’s what we are here to discuss?

Great question! It’s going to be transformative. Let’s start with the fact that 79% of them are eager to reduce their meat intake and 60% they are ready for a more plant based diet. You may have been thinking this plant-based meat replacement trend was just that, a trend. This data indicates that you are not only wrong, but likely late to the party if you aren’t already including a meatless meat on your menu. KFC sold out of its plant-based chicken alternative in just a few hours. There is little doubt the world is changing and we aren’t really afforded the luxury in our industry of straggling behind. It might just be time to fry up some plant based chicken wings and sit down to watch that amazing League of Legends championship on Twitch.

[Source: Forbes]