Industry News Roundup - October 24, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Wage Board comes to NYC and 2015 trend reports start to pop up; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
Fogo de Chão Wins Case to Bring Chefs Over From Brazil
According to Businessweek, the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found 2-1 that Brazilian chefs who work at steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão may have "cultural knowledge and skills" that could qualify them for a special L-1 visa.
Restaurant Owners Look for Creative Ways to Escape Health-Law Penalties
Wall Street Journal 10/22
While some companies are enrolling employees in Medicaid to avoid the penalties, which go into effect next year under the Affordable Care Act, others are considering changing their ownership structure. Franchisees who own more than one restaurant could use that tactic to keep their number of full-time employees below the threshold that activates the law, which is 100 full-timers as of next year and 50 as of 2016. Still other employers figure it’s cheaper to pay the penalty than offer insurance.
Inside a restaurant staff dinner: Chefs cooking for colleagues is like family meal
The family meal is sacred in the world of cooks, servers and restaurant managers. It’s the tradition of breaking bread before or after service. It doesn’t matter whether you are a celebrity chef or minimum wage dishwasher — at the family table, ranks and hierarchy are stripped away and give way to war stories in hellish kitchens, regrettable one-night stands with co-workers, and dirt on nasty customers. The elegance of dining room jargon is thrown out the window to make room for the cursing and convivial laughter that always accompany such informal gatherings.
Why an Increasing Number of Restaurants Are Going Public
According to Nation's Restaurant News, despite recent volatility in the stock market, investment bankers "expect the flow of restaurant IPOs to continue." This is because investors are giving owners of restaurant chains incentives for taking their companies public by placing a "hefty price tag" on them, giving them large valuations.
Everything You Need to Know About the Michelin Guide
Every fall, chefs and diners lose their minds over a little red book published by a tire company. Here’s a guide to understanding Michelin Madness.
Tipped Workers Are More Than Twice as Likely to Live in Poverty
The debate around tipping isn't new, but is heating up lately since New York State is considering whether to do away with the "tip credit," which allows restaurants to pay their employees less than the minimum wage on the theory that the remainder of the wage will be earned from tips.
Above the Fray: How Restaurants Become Impervious to Criticism
The next time you visit your favorite big-city establishment, look around. If you count at least five of these telltale characteristics, it's safe to say your beloved restaurant has made the cut.
Poverty Higher for Tipped Workers in New York State: Report
Wall Street Journal 10/19
Advocates Want to See Employees Make State Minimum Wage
NEW YORK CITY / NEW YORK STATE
NYC Restaurant Closings Have Nearly Doubled Since Last Year; Is The Rent Too Damn High?
The newest Zagat Survey, released today, reported 160 New York restaurant openings in 2014, the highest number since the Great Recession began in 2007. But the bad news is that closings nearly doubled since last year, jumping from 42 to 82. It all begs the question: Why are so many restaurants failing while others are opening like gangbusters?
MAD, René Redzepi's Culinary Think Tank, Opens NYC Office
MAD NYC launches on December 1 and will be run by Eater alum Gabe Ulla. In addition to continuing to publish the MADfeed, Ulla will assemble a team and embark upon various publishing and event-related projects in NYC and across the U.S.
New York Considers Wage-Hike for Waiters
Epoch Times 10/20
The New York Wage Board held a hearing on whether to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers Monday, listening to testimonies from a multitude of service workers and business owners alike.
(NYS Restaurant Association Quoted)
Tipped workers gather to end $5 sub-minimum wage
Pix 11 10/20
Hundreds of tipped and low-wage workers and advocates will march to the Governor’s Cuomo Wage Board for better living wages Monday morning. The rally starts at a Harlem’s Domino’s Pizza at 9:30 a.m. and end at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office building around 10:30 a.m. before the hearing.
State panel hears calls to raise hourly wage for tipped workers
NY Daily News 10/20
Tipped workers went before a state Wage Board in Harlem on Monday to ask the state to eliminate the so-called subminimum wage that they receive. But representatives of the hospitality industry said forcing employers to raise wages for tipped workers would result in reduced hours, fewer employees, and some restaurants shutting down.
Restaurants in the South Bronx band together to save some dough
NY Daily News 10/19
The nonprofit SoBRO has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the USDA to study the possible future of a food co-op featuring 30 borough restaurants sharing food costs and warehouse space.
RESOURCES / GUIDES
2015 Food and Menu Trends Survey
Please take a few minutes and give us your thoughts by completing this survey by November 10. Your answers are completely confidential and will only be used for tabulation purposes.
7 tips for working with health inspectors
Restaurant operators and health inspectors aren’t adversaries. Think of a food inspector as a partner as you work together to achieve shared goals of preventing foodborne illness and protecting guests’ health.
Gluten-free dining: Back-of-the-house protocols
Gluten can hide nearly anywhere in a restaurant kitchen — a bit of airborne flour, breading remnants in a fryer, a trace of wheat-based soy sauce on the grill. One of the biggest challenges in serving gluten-free meals is preventing cross-contact in a busy kitchen. Start by identifying points of potential cross-contact and developing protocols to reduce these risks.
Mom-and-pop shops have new digital tool kit
Signpost, OnDeck and Wix.com announced Tuesday that they have released a virtual tool kit to help small businesses join the digital revolution.
5 reasons restaurateurs MUST vote in November
The results of this year’s midterm elections will be a determining factor in the direction of federal and state policies that impact restaurants. Here are five reasons restaurant operators need to turn out in force for the November 2014 elections.
Crafting the perfect PR cocktail for your restaurant
Restaurant Hospitality 10/15
Restaurants have many different options to consider when concocting their perfect publicity campaign, but it is paramount to remember that in order to achieve the desired result, the mix of media must be just right. Here are four key components to consider.
TRENDS / TECHNOLOGY
Can You Uber a Burger?
NY Times 10/21
Mainly, though, they are solving an old economic problem. They allow restaurants to better mitigate the risk that they will lose money on a diner who promises to show up and cancels.
This Restaurateur Tracked Down and Stalked a Yelper
When Yelper Ruchu Tan bemoaned the "packet of instant miso paste" and "angel hair" ramen at chef Bac Nguyen's new Cleveland restaurant Ninja City Kitchen and Bar in a one-star review last month, Nguyen sought out the customer on Facebook and confronted him about it.
Matcha, regional grains, coconut sugar & cannabis cuisine: What are the top 10 culinary trends for 2015?
From hop-free ales with lavender or elderflowers to ‘advanced Asian’ cuisine, Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) looks at the top 10 culinary trends it predicts will inspire the packaged food and foodservice industry in 2015.
This App Claims It Can Decant Your Wine Using Sound Waves
According to its inventors, users simply pour cold water into the device — the water acts as the conduit for sound-wave energy — then add their bottle of either red or white wine. The process claims to remove oxygen and sulfer dioxide from the wine in fewer than 20 minutes, thus improving the wine's "taste, aroma, and mouth feel.
Thanks to Lazy People Everywhere GrubHub Is Making Serious Money
Stock prices are up nearly six percent, and the company forecasts that it will generate somewhere between $68.5 million to $70.5 million in revenue before the end of the year.
10 Restaurant Trends for 2015
The restaurant industry is evolving faster than ever, according to leading food research and consulting firm Technomic. Technology, consumer and menu trends are all revolutionizing foodservice. Technomic lays out 10 trends that its consultants and experts believe may be transformative in 2015.
Yelp Expands Food Delivery, Adds Winery Reservations
The improvements come out of partnerships with EatStreet, ChowNow, and Ordr.in (for delivery); Hipmunk (for hotels); and CellarPass for winery tours. Yelp is already partnered with delivery.com, Eat24, and Booker (spa reservations). Reservations may be made both on Yelp.com as well as on Yelp's mobile apps.
7 Interesting Films for Foodservice Folks
We know the foodservice industry is a goldmine of stories and characters, and in the last few years creative filmmakers have put out some fantastic work. Next time you're back from a long day and collapse onto the couch, one of these films might be just what you need to unwind.