TECH: Using Marketing Automation to Grow Your Business
Marketing automation is a great way to supercharge your restaurant’s marketing efforts quickly and simply, creating a loyal customer base and a strong online presence. When used well, marketing automation gives your restaurant the tools to send individual communications and marketing messages to each customer, giving them exactly what they want exactly the right time. The result? You’ll increase your footfall, create loyal and returning guests, and improve your bottom line.
DID YOU KNOWS…
A Berlin waster plant teamed up with Xylem, a water tech company, to create Reuse Brew, a beer made from recycled waste water. The process includes a carbon purifying process that supposedly eliminates 99.999% of pollutants and harmful chemicals. As for the beer itself, it was brewed as a traditional German Altbier. Alas, Reused Beer was a one-time experiment, but was a nice demo of how we can better reuse our resources.
Everyone loves Taco Tuesday, right? Well LeBron James loves it so much he’s trying to buy the trademark. According to paperwork filed with the USPTO, LeBron wants to use “Taco Tuesday” for “podcasting services” as well as “online entertainment services” which includes streaming video, and social media posts about sports, current events, and pop culture. Of course, there are currently 29 trademark applications on file related to “Taco Tuesday” and he’ll have to duke it out with Taco John’s, the chain that claimed the trademark 30 years ago.
Hurricanes/Tropical Storms Do Most Damage in the US
Tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes and tropical storms) have done the most monetary damage compared to other natural disasters in the U.S. since 1980, according to a study by the NOAA. Over nearly 40 years, cyclones have caused about $920 billion in damage. While tropical cyclones, made up about 17% of all natural disasters during that time period, they hit with the most force. In the past two years alone, the U.S. has been hit with six separate billion-dollar cyclones.
Why it matters to you: Is the economy slowing? Restaurant CEO’s don’t think so.
The US economy seems to be humming along and our industry is no exception. For example last quarter Starbuck’s experienced 7% same store sales growth and McDonald’s achieved 5.7% growth.
In fact, the CEO of Darden Restaurants, Gene Lee said back in June, “The economy continues to be strong. Unemployment is at its lowest levels in nearly 50 years, wages are growing at a healthy rate, outpacing inflation, and consumer confidence remains high.” Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison also observed on CNBC recently, “From where we sit, the consumer is really strong in the U.S. The most important thing for driving demand for pizza is having employed customers that have disposable incomes to be able to afford to feed their families. We see a very strong consumer today.”
With all this bullishness on the economy then why did CEO confidence drop 6% in August? Well, nearly 2/3 of respondents point to the ongoing trade war is hurting their outlook. Unfortunately, for our industry the disruptions felt from that trade war are muted. First, the tariffs on items we use regularly have only recently come in to play. Second, the parts of the economy that are impacted take more time to equalize in the market and thus cause the disruptions. We cannot in good conscience agree with these CEOs because there are flaws in their optimism. Just look at the traffic numbers to see the major hole in their outlook. Traffic has been depressed and dropping for months. Consequently, most of the growth these chains are experiencing are from premium sales. That’s a house of cards waiting for even a gentle breeze to know it to the ground.
[Source: Restaurant Business Online]
MIND THE GAP
Why it matters to you: Address your gender pay gap before someone forces you.
If you haven’t noticed, there appears to be momentum in our culture that is pulling us to the left. For some that will be scary while others will welcome it; however, none of that is relevant to how you manage it.
For example, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would further wage protections for women. The Paycheck Fairness act was passed 100 days ago, but is languishing on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk. However, when that swing to the left is realized next November, it’s possible Leader McConnell might no longer hold the power he currently wields.
While our industry might not be ground zero for gender-based pay disparity, we certainly have our own issues as pertains to wage fairness. That’s why now is the time to review your own numbers and determine where you are exposed and create a policy that addresses equity between genders. A survey of almost 2100 restaurant management professionals collected by Gecko Hospitality in 2017 found that men earned $4,728 more per year than women. Let’s face it, the winds of political change might not suit our personal beliefs, but they are also the world we navigate to manage our businesses. That’s why you need to review your salary approach and set a policy that ensures no gender related pay disparities.
Start by defining base salaries for your positions exclusively by the job description. You can add modifiers for specific experience quality or educational levels and any other factors you employ. Make it gender neutral for every aspect. Then see how it applies to your current staffing. That comparison will tell you if you have a problem you need to address. It’s fair to say that if you believe women aren’t worth the same value as men for the same position/experience then you are at least out of touch with the world today. At most, you’re exposing your business to a forced correction if our government moves significantly left in the next election. The tea leaves are telling us be prepared for the latter.