Industry News Roundup - September 5, 2014
Friday, September 05, 2014
Fast food workers strike again, Yelp case is dismissed, and 16 trends in NYC are highlighted; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
Fast Food Workers Arrested During Today's Strike
According to USA Today, strikers from chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King began gathering in over 100 cities starting at around 7 a.m. ET. Police have arrested 19 workers who sat on the street outside of a New York City McDonald's. Plus, "several dozen" fast food workers were arrested in Detroit.
Platt Chat: How a Critic Prepares for Fall Opening Season
Welcome to Platt Chat, the column where New York critic Adam Platt talks with Grub editor Alan Sytsma to discuss the dining world's most pressing issues. Today: How does a critic prepare — both mentally and physically — for fall-opening season in New York?
The IRS Wants to Tax Google and Facebook Employees for Their Free Gourmet Lunches
When it comes to Silicon Valley, those fabled, vast, all-you-can-eat cafeterias and magical-looking dining areas helmed by in-house chefs aren't really so much of a job perk these days so much as they are "kind of expected." So you can probably imagine the Valley's outrage at the news that the tax man wants all of those fruit baskets, whey shakes, millet pasta buffets, and then some figured into employees' yearly federal withholdings, and may even demand back taxes "that can amount to 30% of the meals' fair-market value," according to lawyers.
Fast-Food Protests Will Continue This Week With Biggest Strikes Yet
This time, plans include sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience, tactics some 1,300 workers unanimously agreed to at their first Fight for 15 convention in July, although so far, they're saying little about what these protests will entail beyond that.
Lucques Group Latest to Add 3% Health Care Surcharge
Yet another restaurant group is hopping on the health care surcharge bandwagon: Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin of Los Angeles's Lucques Group announced yesterday that they'll join the growing group of restaurateurs that add-on an additional percentage to diners' checks to help cover employee health insurance.
NEW YORK CITY
DFS releases approved premium rates
In a move hailed by patient advocate groups and blasted by insurers, Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky approved premium rates for next year far lower than those requested by New York insurance companies.
16 culinary trends sweeping through New York City
NY Times 9/2
Patrons at New York City's top restaurants and bars are likely to see several culinary trends take over this season, including pig and fish collars, free house-filtered water and seafood charcuterie such as Oceana's lobster terrine and smoked gravlax.
Denny’s Goes Upscale With $300 Champagne Brunch in NYC
Denny’s Corp., the restaurant chain known for dishes such as the Grand Slam and Moons Over My Hammy, is opening its first diner in New York City.
RESOURCES & GUIDES
Re-engineering your kids’ menu? Try these 8 healthful tips
Get input from parents and children to design kids’ meals that are nutritious, satisfying and tasty. The payoff: options that appeal to children are good for your sales.
5 mistakes new managers make
Receiving the trust and endorsement of your boss to lead a team is no small feat. That’s why new managers are often so eager to please their supervisors, get along with their employees, and solidify their reputations as true leaders. Unfortunately, this excitement can often lead to a few missteps.
TRENDS & TECHNOLOGY
Yelp Extortion Case Dismissed by Federal Court
Yelp — the much-maligned 10-year-old review site — has won one of its longest court battles. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed several class action lawsuits against Yelp that said the company altered business' rankings in exchange for payment.
Groupon Launches Time-Specific Reservation Deals
Daily deals site Groupon has launched a new feature that allows businesses to offer users reservation-based deals that may only be redeemed at pre-assigned times. According to a press release (below), customers can make a reservation or book an appointment through Groupon's mobile app or website for a specific time. The company hopes to install the service at all business that accept reservations or take appointments.
Restaurants tap into the selfie trend
Fast Casual 9/2
Whether it’s narcissism or confidence or playfulness driving this trend, one thing is certain – the selfie is here to stay. A handful of restaurants are leveraging the selfie craze by incentivizing guests to submit pictures of themselves engaging with their brand.
Restaurateurs split on phones at the table
USA Today 9/1
The issue of cellphones in restaurants — to ban or not to ban — has chefs stewing. Most just live with the disruption. Some even offer to charge phones.
Hey, Chef: Next Time, Skip the Fennel
Ny Times 8/31
The company wants to bring the wisdom of crowds to fine dining, and it does so at about 1,500 events a year, in 20 cities. Soon it will try this approach in a more conventional setting: a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The company plans to open at least one, and perhaps as many as three, in locations and with menus determined by the input of thousands of diners.
Insects Creeping Onto Menus in Latest Dining Trend
ABC News 8/29
Insects are worming their way into food all over the country. From cricket bars to “grasswhoppers” to tacos with worms inside, the latest trend in eating has worked its way onto the menus of some of New York City’s hottest tables.