The Daily Rail: Is Your Restaurant as 'Kid Friendly' as You Think?

OPERATIONS: Keeping Your Restaurant’s Kitchen Air Fresh and Clean

When it comes to managing air quality, restaurants face unique challenges. You have doors constantly opening and closing. Meanwhile, the exhaust hoods over cooking equipment constantly extract smoke and grease-laden vapor which creates negative air pressure. Furthermore, kitchens get incredibly hot from the equipment while the dining area needs some heat, especially during winter. Achieving a balance between the two major parts of a restaurant is a concern among many restaurateurs. Here are some ways to reach Zen.


What to Know About African Swine Fever

Pork prices are being driven by the current trade war with China but also an epidemic African Swine Fever (ASF) that’s plaguing the Asian hog market. The good news is ASF is not a human health risk, but it does mean that pork prices can be expected to rise between now and into 2020. Poultry will most likely be the main substitute for the “other white meat.” Here are tips for offsetting the rising pork prices.

Where Is the FDNY Now?

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that "it is almost incomprehensible that after losing 343 members on September 11, we have now had 200 more FDNY members die due to World Trade Center illness." The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that exposure to the attacks has resulted in a range of health conditions from traumatic injuries to diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems.

Infographic: 9/11 Illnesses Still Having A Devastating Impact On Firefighters  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Is Shaq a Slam Dunk for Papa John’s?

Papa John’s is still looking to bounce back from the PR nightmare that was its previous CEO John Schnatter. They’re turning their hopes to Shaquille O’Neil and a “Better Day” campaign – a spin from the brand’s “Better ingredients. Better pizza.” slogan. The first commercial has Shaq palling around with Papa John’s employees, tossing pizza dough, looking serious at a boardroom meeting, and feeding school children. You can watch the video here, but the question is – will customers come back?


Why it matters to you: Why aren’t sports restaurants considered kid friendly?

Open Table announced its top 50 Kid Friendly restaurants in the country and there appears to be an obvious error in their choices. There isn’t a single-sports themed operator on the list. Sure, the Benihanas of the world are fun places for kids with all those shrimp tails flying about, but how is that not one single sports-themed restaurant made this list?

 Maybe because we aren’t as kid friendly as we think. There are myriad reasons why operators don’t focus on making kids welcome, but none of them make a lot of sense. Given that total traffic is down over the past five years, one would think sports-themed operators would be scrambling for any opportunity to fill seats they could muster. While the Open Table list isn’t exhaustive and only used customer provided views to ascertain who is best, the point is still clear: sports-themed restaurants need to more to attract families.

You have a significant advantage over many of your full-service restaurant competitors. Start with all those TVs. In today’s world, many parents taking their children out for a meal at a full-service restaurant simply hand their kids a cellphone to keep them busy. But your restaurant can relieve them of their battery burning burden by simply offering to switch the TV nearest their table to a kid-centric programming option. It just makes sense that if you would tune into a specific game for an adult guest, you would do the same to keep a family happy during their visit. From there you can envision things like a kid centered drink menu with cool mock-tails or a kid’s menu that isn’t boring as ways to attract more families. How do you currently address the specific needs of families dining at your restaurant? Please tell us, so we can give some specific insight to the entire Daily Rail community.

[Source: Open Table]


Why it matters to you: Don’t believe all the hype about destruction caused by increasing the minimum wage.

We don’t normally promote podcasts on The Daily Rail, but an article on Eater about a restaurant operator embracing the need for a $15 minimum wage is prompting us to do just that. The podcast is an episode of Nick Hanauer’s Pitchfork Economics with economist Ben Zipperer of the Economic Policy Institute. They discuss the specifics of how minimum wage increases in Seattle have really impacted the restaurant industry. During the episode, Zipperer effectively debunks a University of Washington study that described a catastrophe caused by increasing the minimum wage to $15. Conclusion: After instituting the increased minimum wage, Seattle not only saw job growth, but also experienced a real increase in restaurant outlets.

As a corollary to that podcast is a post on Eater by Amy Cohen, owner of Dirty Candy in New York City. NYC also statutorily increased their wage to $15 on January 1st of this year. Cohen explains that she didn’t have to raise anyone on her team to that wage level, but had to increase existing back of the house team members making that to $16-18 to ensure they would stick around. She claims to be embracing a truth about these labor cost explosions that were happening before the new wage minimums were implemented -- it’s time to raise prices. This ties well to the Pitchfork Economics podcast that argues not only will prices go up moderately, but that because all these lower wage folks have more disposable income, so will sales. So, while we are not advocating for increases in labor, we do want you to at least understand that it won’t be the end of the world…for everyone at least.

[Sources: TYT / Eater]