Menu Innovation Presents Growth Opportunities

Restaurants seem to be in a funk.  Declining sales are often blamed on the economy.  But are there other factors at work?  Of course, hospitality and ambiance are important, along with other factors (e.g. affordability).  Looking deeper limited menu options may be a major issue.  Visit most restaurants in the United States, especially in the […]

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Starbucks Innovates to Continue Growth

Restaurants have been facing an increasingly challenging environment in recent years.  2016 was an especially difficult year, with declining sales for many brands and widespread talk of a “Restaurant Recession”.  Forecasts for 2017 predict much of the same. Typically, the economy gets the blame for falling sales – although 2016 was a solid year for […]

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2017 Minimum Wage Increases. WWTD?

Minimum wage increases came with the new year in 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, boosting wages for 4.4 million workers.  Some as a result of ballot initiatives in the 2016 Election, while others had already been slated to occur.  As expected, the restaurant industry is among those most impacted.  What will Trump do […]

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Retain Top Staff with Technology

Too often the use of technology in restaurants is viewed in simplistic terms.  Some servers view it as a threat.  Something that can eliminate jobs.  In reality, technology is primarily a tool to improve productivity, much like a laptop or a smartphone.  As such it produces a win/win situation for both servers and restaurateurs. Servers […]

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Diners Want Control

Technology is a tool that can increase hospitality by giving diners more control.  And it’s a factor that has become more critical as consumers have grown accustomed to using smartphones in their daily lives.  Information at your fingertips.  The ability to purchase anything of interest wherever you are.  Ubiquitous new services like Uber that can […]

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Faster EMV is Coming

EMV has met with resistance by consumers, as transaction processing time has been slow compared with the more familiar mag stripe process.  As a result, both consumers and merchants have complained.  Hearing these complaints, the major payment card companies such as Visa and MasterCard have developed new technologies to accelerate transactions.  Or at least create […]

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CNP Fraud a Growing Issue for Restaurants

Restaurants have decades of experience learning to identify and prevent fraudulent purchases.  At a minimum, most have learned to minimize chargebacks.  But changing trends make restaurants increasingly vulnerable to a new type of threat.  Card Not Present (CNP) Fraud. An issue for many years for online commerce vendors and those that sell over the phone, […]

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Minimum Wage Ballot Measures to Watch for Election Day 2016

UPDATE (November 9): With most votes counted, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington State have all approved the ballot measures outlined below.  Generally by wide margins from the mid 50’s to 60%.  In South Dakota, by a wide margin of 71% to 29% (with 99% of precincts reporting) voters rejected a measure to *lower* […]

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Redefine Social

We’ve all been there.  Sitting with friends or family, and nobody is talking to one another.  In fact, nobody is even *looking* at one another.  Instead, they’re all staring at their phones. A decade after the introduction of the smartphone, a bit of a “smartphone backlash” has come about.  Or at least fatigue with being […]

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“Lunch is for Wimps”

Was Gordon Gekko the person who killed lunch?  In the 1987 movie “Wall Street” Gekko uttered “Lunch is for Wimps”.  At the time the lunch hour was still common, and most people still went out every day to eat with friends or colleagues.  Since then lunch has made a precipitous decline. Today, lunch is used […]

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