The Daily Rail: What Industry Leaders are Talking About at the 2019 Future Restaurants Conference

GUESTS: Choose Your Third-Party Delivery Service Partner Wisely

Online delivery is expected to top $24 billion by 2023. That’s a lot of cash that restaurant operators are going to want a cut out of. And while we still increasingly believe that delivery is going to be a huge part of most restaurants’ future, some of our recent experiences as consumers using third-party apps should be a warning sign for operators to choose their partners wisely.


The Implausible Burger

Stephen Colbert might not be a meatless meat fan, but he’s jumping on the bandwagon anyways – or, at least, willing to throw a little shade at it. He debuted a parody commercial called the Implausible Burger, a product that is “so believably meat it can give you salmonella.” Watch the video here.

AT&T Sued

To add on what’s been a crazy month for AT&T, they are now being sued for allegedly creating fake DirecTV Now accounts to inflate subscription numbers. According to the class action lawsuit, AT&T pressured employees to create fake accounts for its DirecTV Now streaming service to boost subscriber numbers ahead of its 2018 merger with Time Warner Inc. They’re also being accused of secretly add the product to the accounts of existing customers without their knowledge.

All You Need to Know About Oktoberfest

Did you know Oktoberfest downs more than 7.5 million liters of beer each year? Or that it 1810 when a noble wanted a more public festival for his wedding? Or the German rules for beer? Here’s everything you need to know about Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest beers.


Why it matters to you: At a recent industry conference, these four concerns dominated the conversation.

Our industry has always been an insomnia inspiring challenge to all those who choose it as their career. If the “things that keep you up at night” can trend, the Future Restaurants conference last week in Austin, TX was where they went viral.

Decidedly tech focused, the panel discussions were dominated by issues like third-party delivery, high touch vs. high tech service, innovation, and integration. As we discussed earlier this week, small operators have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to these concerns, so the fears of bigger operators should help inform your own approach to managing the future of your restaurant. There isn’t sufficient space here to discuss all of the concerns enumerated, so we are going to focus on the one that is most relevant to full-service operators.

It’s a labor centered challenge between implementing technology -- all while not losing the human touch that makes the full-service experience worth the cost on the part of consumers.  For example, adding technology that frees your managers and staff to spend more time giving direct guest service might actually improve the guest experience you deliver. A good example is tabletop tablet ordering. By empowering your guests to order on their own you free your servers to focus more on the guest’s experience. Or managers that aren’t spending time on tedious admin can execute more and better training. If you adopt that as your focus to including new technology, you’ll likely get some well-deserved sleep.

[Source: Nation’s Restaurant News]


Why it matters to you: Checker’s settles class action suit around texting to folks that opted out.

Speaking of being kept up at night, most restaurant operators couldn’t imagine getting sued as a result of marketing program they implemented. Unfortunately for Checker’s, a text marketing program they ran has come back to haunt them to the tune of $3.5 million. The bottom line is consumers who opted out of their text messaging continued to receive marketing messages from the fast food burger chain. This will likely hit home for many of you that leverage the very effective method of texting to engage your guests. The problem for Checker’s is they ignored the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that strictly prohibits text offers once the recipient has opted out. The same is true of email, but it’s not specifically included in the law.

As an operator, the lesson here is obvious: DON’T DO THAT. But, it really shouldn’t end there. If you are directly communicating with guests -- which remains the most effective way of marketing your restaurant -- you have to offer content that keeps the person receiving it engaged. If you sending endless specials messages or only promoting how they can spend money at your restaurant, you will have people opting out. It’s about the content of your messages and always has been. Before you send a message of any kind to customer, take a moment and consider how you would react to receiving the same message. Believe it or not, that simple empathetic step could be the difference between keeping a guest engaged and a class action lawsuit. Don’t be Checker’s, be better.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]