TECH: How Technology Is Transforming Restaurant Loyalty Programs
According to a 2016 “brand loyalty report,” American individuals take part in a total of 6.7 loyalty programs at any given time. Restaurants represent a significant portion of these memberships. But we need to take away two things from this number: 1) Not all of these loyalty programs are “succeeding” in a way that’s measurable beyond “enrolled participants.” 2) Restaurant loyalty programs might be leaving a lot of money on the table if they’re not taking advantage of modern technologies. Here’s what you should know about modernizing your restaurant’s loyalty program.
DID YOU KNOWS…
17 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee
It makes Mondays bearable and helps the world go ‘round, but how much do you know about the world’s favorite beverage? Like coffee beans come from cherries or the Bach wrote a song about it? Here’s 17 things you (probably) didn’t know about coffee.
US Slashes Refugee Limit to Historic Low
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program was established in 1980 when the Refugee Act was passed by Congress. After taking office, Trump cut the limit to 50,000 in 2017; 45,000 in 2018; and 30,000 this year. The new 18,000 cap pales in comparison with the 231,700 limit in place at the program's outset under the Carter administration.
The Bear Necessities
A California bear was caught on camera stealing some pinot noir grapes from Navarro Vineyards & Winery in Anderson Valley, CA. The bear has been nicknamed “Navarro’s Silly ol’ Bear”. This also isn’t the first run-in the vineyard has had with late-night guests. The winery posted a similar video over the summer showing a bunch of wildlife coming to enjoy the fruits of the winery’s labors.
Why it matters to you: Have heart, even the best chefs fall flat once in a while.
If you’ve never experienced failure in our industry, then we say, “Well done.” But for the rest of us that have known the ups and downs of our industry, this review of failed venues headed by celebrity chefs might be some cold comfort. As it turns out, these recognized titans of our industry have seen more than their fair share of failure and it humanizes them in a not so human fashion. Take the most famous of the famous celebrity chefs, Gordon Ramsay. He’s seen nothing but fortune from his media career and much of the same is true of his restaurant operations -- except this one time. Ramsay’s Fat Cow only lasted 18 months in LA’s tony shopping center, the Grove. One reviewer described her fish and chips batter as, “thick and doughy and more like something you’d find surrounding your deep-fried Twinkie at a sketchy carnival than the work of a kitchen headed by a world-famous chef.” Ouch.
Other spectacular celebrity chef flops include Scott Conant, a judge on Chopped, who found a way to close four restaurants in an 18 month stretch. Some of Conant’s joints were in winner locations like Masso at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, but he just couldn’t muster the success he experienced pontificating as reality TV competition show judge. Then there is healthy food crusader Jamie Oliver who filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in England after closing 20 restaurants. His explanation was, “If you’re not bendy like this pasta, then you break and that’s what happened.” In any event, they are all proof that just because you can look good on TV, doesn’t mean you can perform well IRL, and each of you should feel pretty good if your restaurants are going strong in the face of the same challenges, these so called experts had to manage. IMHO.
INTO THE BREACH DEAR FRIENDS
Why it matters to you: What can you do to avoid a data breach?
For most restaurant operators, the thought of a data breach is really somebody else’s problem. So when New York’s Attorney General sued Dunkin Donut’s this week, you’d be forgiven for not noticing. The suit stems from a 2015 breach where under 20,000 guests allegedly had data exposed to a hack. Of course, Dunkin Brands denies any wrong doing, but AG Letitia James claims they neither protected their users nor informed users that their info had been hacked. Now, that pales in comparison to the breach that affected as many as 4.9 million DoorDash subscribers who joined the app prior to April of 2018. What these both have in common, however, is that they were both on major, and presumably, secure platforms. What can a single-unit operator do to protect themselves from these breaches?
You have to begin by knowing where you are exposed. Your POS system, if it is internet enabled, is likely the most exposed place you have, but your email marketing list can also be point of risk. The good news is, if you use DoorDash for your third-party delivery or other major platforms for your customer data, it’s not really your problem. Although, it’s imperative that you read your terms of service to ensure that you are fully protected from liability, the reality is the service provider is on the hook for their own mistakes. But that doesn’t mean security isn’t your concern. Whether it’s your bank accounts, general ledger software with payment options, or any other cloud-based software you access, best practices dictate limiting access to only trusted stable employees and changing passwords regularly. If don’t take care of what you ARE in control of, then the problems will be ALL yours.