Restaurant News Roundup: January 2018
January was filled with plenty of newsworthy restaurant industry topics. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few but we think you’ll enjoy our choices. Below is a recap of restaurant news that hit the wire in January.
Restaurant industry reports first quarter of growth in two years
According to TDn2K’s The Restaurant Industry Snapshot same-store sales increased 0.4 percent, marking the first quarter of growth in the past two years. “It is a welcome change to report a positive quarter for our industry,’ said Wallace Doolin, founder and chairman of TDn2K. ‘Our research leads us to conclude that not only the industry has changed, but the performance results continue to change. In 2018, we expect the macro economic climate to improve for the industry; however, it will not be a rising tide for all brands.” Despite a positive quarter, 2017 was a challenging year for restaurants. Read more about why here.
You may love high-end restaurant delivery – but the chefs kind of hate it
As more restaurants cater to the delivery trend, upscale establishments are packing their fancy meals into a to-go container to diners who are at home watching TV. By 2020, Morgan Stanley analysts predict 40 percent of all restaurant sales will happen online. Although most operators agree that delivery impacts their overall revenue and generate more business, they are also fearful of losing control of managing guest expectations. Will customers on their couch be as happy with their food as they would be in the restaurant? Read what the chefs are saying here.
The little things that infuriate restaurant diners
As a restaurant operator, you often spend your day fixing problems and managing guest expectations. Sometimes it is the smallest details that impact how enjoyable restaurant dining can be. A Reddit user asked “what minor things infuriate them when eating out?” Here are a few to take note:
“Not knowing if I’m supposed to pay at the table or at the counter”
“When the music is so loud I have to shout at my partner just to have a conversation”
“When the tables are incredibly close together. My boyfriend and I will go somewhere else if we have to be seated at a two-top that’s nearly touching elbows with the other table”
Read more restaurant pet peeves here.
Delivery poses conundrum for restaurants
Faced with consumers demanding more convenience, many big restaurant companies are assessing the delivery landscape and struggling to make the economics work. “There’s a whole set of consumers who are what I call ‘on-demand consumers,’” Noah Glass, CEO of Olo, explained. “They will not have you in their consideration set if you don’t offer delivery to them. Brands have to engage, and to do so thoughtfully.” Big brands like Dominos, Darden, and Red Robin has different outlooks on delivery in the restaurant industry. While Dominos says the economics of delivery will rule the day, Darden is slow to move, testing out all options and strategies before making any decisions. Read what other brands have to say about delivery here.
A simple change in tipping could take $5.8 billion from American waiters, bussers and bartenders
The US Department of Labor is looking to do away with tips by making it legal for employers to pool their workers’ tips as long as they are being paid minimum wage. On the other side of the argument, no one can agree with what happens to the tips once they are pooled. There are no laws in place stating that employers must distribute pooled tips amongst their staff. There is actual evidence that, illegally, employers already pocket tips: research on waiters in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York found that 12% of tipped workers had tips thieved by a supervisor. According to Economic Policy Institute estimates tipped workers could lose $5.8 billion in tips to employers if the rule passes. Read the full story here.
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About the Author
Chrisea Chosta is QSR’s Public Relations & Communications Manager. Chrisea graduated from Western Kentucky University and works to secure ongoing press opportunities as well as strategic development and executing trade shows and related events for QSR. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with family, her chocolate lab, and aimlessly walking down every aisle of Target.