Mobile payments are a hot topic within the fast-casual restaurant industry. We’ve seen Starbucks find success with mobile payments. We hear Chipotle is ready to invest $10 million in improving its current tech to allow for mobile payments. Still, there is a lot of doubt and uncertainty. Are my guests ready for it? Will we increase frequency or check average for our franchisees?
Just after stumbling out of bed each morning, the first thing I do is scan the local and national news stories posted on a half-dozen different websites. I don’t read every article, of course, but I do try to read the ones that are important to me either personally or professionally. And recently I find that I’m interested in more news items because of how they connect with my career as a hospitality trainer.
Within the quick-service restaurant industry, every executive has an interest in growth, innovation, and sustained success. This statement, while hardly novel, is more complex than many imagine or some care to recognize. Deciphering, dissecting, and analyzing the most relevant components—the information responsible for streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, improving morale, refining menu items, and customizing marketing initiatives—is a substantial undertaking, fraught with risks (of wasted money) and worsened by frustration (from individual managers).
Most restaurant openings contain rich backstories. Business models and financial projections seldom motivate individuals to pursue endeavors with 90 percent failure rates. In the world of quick service, this spirit of stubborn entrepreneurialism can often be experienced in its purest form by visiting new, independent restaurants and by spending time with the people who opened them.
Ordering a beer with your burger or a margarita with the taco special at your favorite fast-casual restaurant used to be a rarity, but more concepts are now offering alcoholic selections, from beer to signature cocktails. With the increased awareness and education of adult beverage culture in our society, consumers are expecting, even demanding, a better selection of adult refreshments with their meals, causing more fast-casual concepts to take a look at alcoholic beverage programming.
As consumer markets continue to converge, catering remains an important topic of discussion in the boardrooms of our community’s restaurant chains. Historically, catering was left to the “caterers” who focused on filling off-premise consumer demand, while restaurateurs focused on the in-store dining experience. Caterers had an advantage over restaurants, as they were not bogged down with the complex subtleties of managing advanced restaurant operations.
But things have changed. Not in a small way, but in a big way. I see it every day.
It is no secret that mobile wallets are trending upward for the foreseeable future. According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the global mobile wallet market is forecasted to reach $1,602.4 billion in five years, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.7 percent from 2012 to 2018.
The high chairs you keep on hand for your youngest customers are a welcome convenience for their moms and dads. But ensuring that high chair surfaces are cleaned and sanitized is often overlooked even in quick-service restaurants that employ the most disciplined hygiene procedures.
When it comes to ice, the Food and Drug Administration is crystal clear: Ice is considered a food—and it must be as safe as drinking water. The rule applies whether the ice is to be consumed or placed in contact with food or beverages to cool them.
Your playground is like a magnet. It attracts kids eager for fun and parents hungry for relaxation to your restaurant.
Unfortunately, it is also a magnet for microorganisms, including those that contribute to foodborne illness. On the playground, bacteria, fungi, and viruses pass from small hands to play equipment, to other hands, onto food and into mouths.