Industry News Roundup - October 17, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Taco Bell tests Sriracha, Soda Ban comes back to life, and a great "selfie station" tip from hotels; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
Bakers will be honored by James Beard Foundation
Delaware Online 10/15
The James Beard Foundation is finally giving the nation's bakers some love.
UPDATE: Beer Brewer Exposes Illegal Pay-to-Play Tap Practice on Twitter
According to a post on Esquire's Eat Like a Man blog, the practice happens when a (usually bigger) brewery or distributor bribes a bar into devoting a tap exclusively to their beer(s).
California's Ban on Foie Gras Upheld by Supreme Court
Since 2012, chefs across the state have expressed resentment over the ban, and several large restaurant groups, backed by foie gras farmers and others including New York's Hudson Valley Foie Gras, have appealed the decision numerous times. The last appeal took place in a Federal Court in Los Angeles in August of 2013.
Raising the Minimum Wage, City by City
NY Times 10/11
Stagnating wages and widening inequality are the central economic challenges of our day. Without wage growth, the gains from economic expansion — as measured by income and wealth — become increasingly concentrated at the top of the economic ladder in a self-reinforcing process that makes broad prosperity impossible.
The Kitchen Network - America’s underground Chinese restaurant workers
New Yorker 10/13
The restaurants, connected by Chinese-run bus companies to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, make up an underground network—supported by employment agencies, immigrant hostels, and expensive asylum lawyers—that reaches back to villages and cities in China, which are being abandoned for an ideal of American life that is not quite real.
Is the Legalization of Weed Good for the Beer Industry?
However, new data shows that the availability of marijuana so far hasn't had a "significant impact on beer." On the contrary, per-capital beer drinking has seen a "one-time increase of about half a percent in the 10 largest states that have legalized medical marijuana."
NEW YORK CITY / NEW YORK STATE
City, beverage industry hold meetings over sugary drink ban
Fox 5 NY 10/16
City and health officials have reportedly met with members of the beverage industry about ways to limit the sale of large sugary drinks, a ban initially proposed by the Bloomberg administration in an effort to fight obesity.
(NYS Restaurant Association Interviewed)
The Tipping Debate Turns to the Tip Credit, and Whether Banning It Is Bad for Business
Needless to say, it's a complex issue, but he and other pro-tippers are up against a growing group of people, like Dirt Candy's Amanda Cohen, who oppose tipping, saying it is a poor way to compensate people. Cohen recently wrote: "If you do a job, you should be paid a fair salary.... Tipping is unfair to servers. If you do a job, you should be paid a fair salary."
Mayor de Blasio Is Still Quietly Trying to Ban Your Soda
The Wall Street Journal says today, though, that undismayed de Blasio has in fact still been "holding high-level meetings behind closed doors" to figure out how to revive the proposed law while avoiding its prior missteps. "The administration is currently considering plans on the best way to reach that goal," the mayor's spokesperson Phil Walzak says.
Forward Push on Soda Ban
Wall Street Journal 10/15
De Blasio Administration Considers New Ways to Cap Size of Sugary Drinks
Yogurt rules New York's snack world
NY Daily News 10/15
Gov. Cuomo’s fondness for yogurt – and New York’s booming yogurt industry – has reached a new high.
New York City restaurants are at risk from tipping culture
NY Post 10/15
The culture of tipping ingrained in the American culture is coming to a boiling point in New York City.
Las Vegas? Paris? This Tourism Push Asks New Yorkers to Think Closer to Home
NY Times 10/14
Called “See Your City,” the ads from NYC & Company spotlight sections of all five boroughs that might appeal to adventurous local residents.
RESOURCES, GUIDES, TIPS
Why Getting Feedback Is Important For Your Restaurant
No matter how you do it, it’s essential to get customer feedback about your restaurant! Whether you give customers a paper survey, use a website, or simply ask them questions, hearing what your customers think can give you invaluable information. Unsure where to start? FOHBOH lists several questions you should consider asking your customers.
Create A 'Selfie Station' At Your Hotel
Hotel News Resource 10/13
One additional easy way to encourage more social media postings is to create a “Selfie Station” in your lobby and/or other public areas.
How CRM can turn customers into regulars
Tools like post-dining surveys, mobile applications and customer recovery programs are key for restaurants that want to get to know their customers and keep them coming back for more, a panel of experts said in a webinar presented Tuesday by NCR titled “Closing the Loop: Turning Customer Engagement into Repeat Business“.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies
Operators are leaving dollars on the table by committing to cost-plus and value-based pricing.
TRENDS & TECHNOLOGY
The Chicken Wings Boom
NY Times 10/15
For years now, American chefs have learned to scoff at the word “fusion,” a dated piece of nomenclature that calls to mind the watery mango salsas of the Benetton years.
Five Smart Reasons Why You Need a Business Intelligence Tool
Nations Restaurant News 10/1
When it comes to BI tools, data and how it is visualized can have a substantial impact on how your team discovers, communicates and reacts to trends.
Restaurant Menu Watch: Taco Bell tests Sriracha menu
Nations Restaurant News 10/14
The world certainly seems ready to experience Taco Bell’s new Sriracha menu, which is reportedly available in the Kansas City area and includes a Sriracha Beef Griller, Sriracha Grande Scrambler, Sriracha Taco, Sriracha Taco Supreme, Sriracha Quesarito, Sriracha Nachos and a Sriracha Quesarito Box, which also includes a Doritos Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco and a medium drink, according to the International Business Times.
Restaurateurs look to snacks to boost revenues
Nations Restaurant News 10/7
The United States has become a nation of snackers, or noshers, if you will. While some nutritionists might frown on the widespread practice, it's proving to be a profitable opportunity for chain restaurants able to offer items that meet consumers’ diverse snack needs and set them apart from the growing pack of snack competitors.
Apps that Help Diners Skip Lines Are On the Rise
Reuters points out there has a been a growing number of mobile apps developed to help customers do everything from pre-order and pay for their morning coffee to order full meals. Essentially, these apps are "the equivalent of a fast lane on a highway for transactions."
The Google App Can Now Make Your Dinner Reservations
Google rolled out an update to its flagship app on Thursday that lets the app make dinner reservations and give better directions and reminders.
Takeout trends: Big data for small restaurants
Restaurant Hospitality 10/7
Restaurant operators already have a strong sense of who orders what from their takeout menu. Now new data provided by online/mobile food ordering company GrubHub is providing a broader perspective of takeout trends nationwide. If you’re looking to boost this part of your business, here’s what customers are hungry for now.
Cocktail-Making Robot 'Monsieur' Raises $2 Million
TechCrunch writes that the team behind the bot has now raised $2 million in seed funding. Essentially a "black box filled with booze," Monsieur can make a massive variety of cocktails.