Industry News Roundup - August 1, 2014
Friday, August 01, 2014
Employees can start using accrued paid sick leave, Yelp adds video to reviews, and NLRB's ruling announced for franchises; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
Will House fix ACA’s seasonal employee problem?
A bipartisan group of House members has introduced a bill intended to change one of the many confusing aspects of the Affordable Care Act: its two definitions of “seasonal” employment.
McDonald's Ruling Sets Ominous Tone for Franchisers
The decision by the NLRB's general counsel, announced on Tuesday, came in response to complaints alleging that McDonald's and its franchisees violated the rights of employees involved in protests against the company.
Babies Effectively Banned at California Restaurant
A popular restaurant on Monterey, California's Old Fisherman's Wharf has effectively banned babies by prohibiting use of strollers, high chairs, and booster seats, despite the fact that the wharf is a popular tourist destination for families.
Chefs Weigh In: Does Culinary School Get Cooks Hired?
It's no secret that culinary school is expensive, and that the pros and cons of attending have long been a subject of disagreement amongst members of the culinary community.
Restaurant economies shift with minimum-wage increase
The Sacramento Bee 7/27
When California’s minimum wage jumped from $8 to $9 on July 1, owners of restaurants, coffee shops and bars braced for the fallout. They would either have to bump up prices and risk losing customers or absorb the hit and deal with slimmer margins.
Wage growth picking up in some sectors
USA Today 7/27
Pay hikes have picked up in sectors such as leisure and hospitality, business services, construction and retail, Labor Department figures show.
Chefs Vs. Critics: When Tempers Flare
Reviews still matter greatly in the industry, and in certain outlets, can elevate a new spot to fame — but while many chefs court the favor of critics, they’re far more concerned with doggedly pursuing their own vision, which they don’t want to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
NEW YORK CITY
Biz owners still mulling paid sick law
They are still figuring out how much the new law will cost them, especially when employees call in sick at the last minute. The law went into effect Wednesday.
(NYS Restaurant Association Quoted)
Sam Sifton to head new ‘Food’ desk at Times
Ny Times 7/30
The New York Times is creating a new department called Food to be edited by former national editor and restaurant critic Sam Sifton.
Australian Cafes Arrive in New York
NY Times 7/29
What started as an expedition a few years ago has become an invasion, with four cafes opening in New York since the fall: Little Collins (named for a street in Melbourne), Brunswick (also named for a street in Melbourne), Bluestone Lane (named for the paving stones on a street in Melbourne) and Two Hands (named for a Heath Ledger film).
NYC Workers Can Begin Using Paid Sick Leave
NY 1 7/30
Today is the first day that workers covered by the city's new paid sick leave law can start using their accrued sick time.
Paid Sick Leave for Restaurant Workers Starts Today
Starting today, restaurant workers can start claiming days through the city's first paid sick leave law.
City's mandatory sick-leave law gets $1.3M outreach campaign as it goes into effect
The city's mandatory sick-leave law takes effect Wednesday amid a huge outreach campaign to inform workers of their new benefits — and companies of their obligations to provide them.
NYC Will Spend $100 Million To Make Sunset Park Trendy
According to the Wall Street Journal, the de Blasio administration plans to dedicate $100 million to renovating Brooklyn Army Terminal, and private investment firms last year bought a 49 percent stake in Industry City with the hope of turning the rambling space into Brooklyn's version of Chelsea Market.
NYC's Asian restaurants hit by higher rent, taxes
China Daily 7/29
Two years ago, Chou opened her second Malaysian restaurant, Aux Epices, in Chinatown. Now she said she is struggling to pay her $6,000 a month rent, plus additional fees to stay open.
(NYS Restaurant Association Quoted)
Chefs Move Beyond New York
NY Times 7/28
Smaller cities are increasingly attractive for New York chefs; they find savvy audiences who support innovative restaurants. It’s yet another sign of the change in food culture in the last decade, in which people everywhere are more interested in where ingredients come from and the creative possibilities of how they are prepared.
De Blasio Administration Announces 'Small Business First' Initiative to Reduce The Regulatory Burden on Small Businesses Across The Five Boroughs
Collaborating with more than ten City agencies, the initiative will build upon existing regulatory reforms by reaching small businesses and underserved New Yorkers across the five boroughs, promoting education and compliance as part of enforcement, and reducing violations by focusing on cross-agency collaboration to simplify rules and compliance processes.
GUIDES & RESOURCES
Local SEO: The Most Powerful Customer Acquisition Strategy
Local SEO improves a restaurant’s rankings in local search results and puts businesses in front of consumers at the very moments in which they are actively searching and looking to make a purchase.
3 tips to choose the right energy-efficient equipment for you
Save money in the long run by investing in energy-efficient appliances and equipment. While they might cost more at the start, they can help you achieve your sustainability goals, says Richard Young, education director, Food Service Technology Center.
TRENDS & TECHNOLOGY
Oceans of Opportunity
The cruise line industry is growing, and adding full-service restaurants onboard—from casual franchises like Johnny Rockets to upscale steakhouses and fine-dining enclaves.
UPDATE 1-U.S. government warns retailers about malicious software
The U.S. Department Of Homeland Security warned retailers about a type of malicious software attacking point-of-sales systems, dubbed "Backoff," that it said is undetectable by most types of anti-virus software.
Beverage Media Group Forms Partnership with BinWise to Automate Online Ordering for Restaurants
Beverage Media Group 7/30
The BinWise platform, which automates purchasing, inventory and beverage list management, will have access to distributor pricing and electronic order integration from Beverage Media.
Look Out: Yelpers Can Now Post Videos in Their Reviews
According to Yelp's blog, mobile app users can officially add three to 12 second videos to restaurant reviews, a feature that was hinted at earlier this year.
Google Updates Searches to Give Yelpers What They Want
The Search Engine Land blog reports Google's recent update, which promises more accurate local search results, offers the top search results to Yelp when the word "Yelp" is included in the search phrase.
Creepy Restaurant App Uses Apple's iBeacon to Track People's Dining Habits
According to the Wall Street Journal, the iBeacon can can pinpoint a user's indoor location to within five to 10 inches.
Hold the Regret? Fast Food Seeks Virtuous Side
NY Times 7/25
But it came as no surprise to a new generation of smaller fast-food chains that are coming up fast behind Chipotle and its peers, and taking its “food with integrity” mantra even further.
23 Eye-Opening Charts of Major Food Trends
Review site Yelp has launched a data tool which graphs the popularity of trends — like the ramen burger and the Cronut — over time. According to the company's blog, the feature is called Yelp Trends, and it "searches through words used in Yelp reviews" to show users "what's hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off."