Effort to Kill the ‘Joint Employer’ Redefinition Draws Support in the Senate
Petitioning Congress – exercise seldom-used power. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) say they will try to kill the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial new definition of “joint employer” by petitioning Congress to exercise its seldom-used power to review and reject rules set by federal regulators. “We’re going to move as quickly as we possibly can to see if we can get hearings on this,” Manchin pledged during a press conference presented by the International Franchise Association, or IFA. “You’ve got me lock, stock and barrel. I intend to fight this all the way to the end.” Congress has the authority under a little-known 1996 law called the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations that are promulgated by a federal regulatory body. The measure was adopted to give the legislative branch a means of scuttling rules put in place by an outgoing executive administration. Although more than 200 proposals to invoke a Congressional regulatory veto have been aired since the Act was adopted, only a few dozen have triggered action. After President Trump left office, for instance, only three of his administration’s rules were overturned under the Act. Sixteen from the Obama administration were killed. The franchise community has been looking for ways of blocking the National Labor Relation Board from implementing its new joint-employer standard as planned on Dec. 26. Last week the agency broadened the definition of joint employer to include franchisors who merely have the potential to influence franchisees’ interactions with employees. The re-definition is expected to qualify more brand owners as joint employers of their franchisees’ staffs, meaning they’d be liable for any labor lapses by the licensees. The IFA has predicted that lawsuits filed by workers against a franchise chain will increase by 98%.
The Restaurant Revolution Has Begun
“Resetting in 2024.” Like so many other chefs, I was drawn to the restaurant business because it is exciting. I ignored its dysfunction and accepted that I’d forgo higher education, financial stability and holidays with family in order to share my craft with others. All it took was a pandemic, an enormous wave of inflation and an impossibly tight job market to force me and many others to burrow to the very core of what a restaurant does for its guests, workers and community and redefine it from the ground up. This is the silver lining of the pandemic and the never-ending economic uncertainty that has ensued: More places are finally figuring out how to make this business an actual business. The start of my story is a typical one. I gleefully started skipping school to work in kitchens at 15, then shipped off to New York to experience all kinds of “character building” abuse, and by my early 30s, I had made it in San Francisco as an executive chef … which meant 80-hour workweeks while barely scraping by. I eventually struck out on my own, deciding to play it safe by opening a restaurant with a normal business model. And as is usually the case, normal sucked. Our 80 seats were full every night, employing great folks and serving great food and cocktails — and sweating our $11,000 rent and roughly $90,000 payroll each month. Structurally, our mission to price affordably had landed us in the death zone: full service yet unable to charge fine-dining prices. The anxiety was weapons grade. The standard model for a business almost all of us engage with regularly, the one we frequently post our own reviews about, has barely worked for a majority of the more than 12 million people it employs. The restaurant industry accounts for some 4 percent of the G.D.P. in the United States but has been stuck in a deeply flawed business model with sadly outdated practices.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
MERCER COUNTY, SPORTS BAR/PUB FOR SALE
Photo used to depict “Sport Bar/Pub” only. Not actual representation.
Mercer County, N.J. combination Dive Bar/Sports Pub/Restaurant located on a busy County roadway. Free-standing building at a signalized corner on a half-acre lot with private parking for 40 cars. Serving up “killer pub grub” for almost 25 years. Cozy atmosphere accented by timeless pine wood paneling and rustic beams overhead. The dining room, with fireplace, is newly renovated with a 20 seat separate private room. 20 TVs, easily viewed from anywhere in the bar and dining areas. Family-owned and operated; owners have decided to retire. Detailed information available upon request. Financing available to qualified.
Contact Robert Gillis 732.673.3436 for additional information.
We invite you to visit our website, where you will find all our current listing inventory, a library of helpful industry resources and a collection of client testimonials expressing their assessments of our work and our service within the restaurant industry.
A voice for our industry. If you find these weekly bulletins informative and beneficial, we kindly ask that you write a brief Google review providing a vote of your appreciation. Simply Google “Bielat Santore & Company” and when the company name appears click the button on the right to write your review or if you don’t use Gmail, go to Google Maps, type “Bielat Santore & Company” – Allenhurst, NJ into Google Maps; scroll down and you will see an option to leave a review.
How to Adapt to Rising Labor Costs
A burden, it can also be a blessing in disguise. n the ever-evolving landscape of the restaurant industry, change is inevitable. The recent decision by the Chicago City Council to increase the minimum wage for tipped employees from $9 to $15.80 per hour is just one example of the ongoing labor-related transformations impacting our businesses. As this wage hike becomes a reality, it is essential for restaurant owners to assess the situation and adapt proactively. As a seasoned expert in the restaurant industry, I firmly believe that we need to view this wage increase as a catalyst for innovation rather than a burden. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you navigate this new era. Labor costs are indeed on the rise, and restaurant owners must accept this reality. While the immediate impact may appear daunting, viewing it as an opportunity to reassess your business model is crucial. Begin by conducting a comprehensive cost analysis and identifying areas where you can make adjustments. Consider: (i) Scheduling Optimization: Ensure that your staff schedules are efficient. Implement flexible scheduling, consider where employees work when the demand is highest, and reduce overstaffing during slow hours. Using technology to project guest counts and layering in the proper staffing ensures optimum results for the customer, the staff and the bottom line. Employees do not benefit from being overstaffed any more than operators do. (ii) Cross-Training: Cross-train your employees to perform multiple roles. This can enhance productivity and help you manage labor costs by reducing the need for excessive staffing. When employees are not cross-trained, they cut the productivity of the operation, which equals higher labor costs. (iii) Performance Metrics: Invest in systems to track employee performance and customer feedback. This data can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure that your staff is delivering the best possible service.
Weight-Loss Drug Worries Add to US Restaurants
Weak traffic woes. Investors will look for signs that U.S. fast-food chains, already contending with inflation-stung consumers preferring to dine at home, will also have to grapple with the explosive popularity of weight-loss drugs. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N) will kick off the earnings season on Thursday and its commentary will be scrutinized by investors worried that appetite-suppressing drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy will spark a fundamental change in food consumption patterns and hurt demand for burgers and fried chicken. “It’s very topical. It’s kind of the top of the list right now in terms of concerns … investors will likely want to hear more from these companies … on the impact,” said BTIG analyst Peter Saleh. The likes of McDonald’s (MCD.N) and KFC-parent Yum Brands (YUM.N) are already dealing with slowing traffic as high inflation saps consumers’ buying power, though Chipotle and Starbucks (SBUX.O) have some protection from their relatively more affluent customer base. As well, restaurants have stopped raising prices and offered extra promotions to get customers through the door, which could take a bite out of the margin gains that most chains likely saw in the July-September quarter, due to easing costs. Some companies have already sounded a note of caution due to the surging demand for the weight-loss drugs. Walmart (WMT.N) said earlier this month there was a slight pullback in food consumption among customers taking those treatments. Conagra Brands (CAG.N) said it might tweak portion sizes or ingredients. Investors’ knee-jerk reaction to those comments sent the under-pressure S&P 500 restaurants index (.SPLRCREST) down 1.3% at the time. However, it has since recouped those losses. Indeed, while analysts say these drugs could lead to consumers snacking less and ordering fewer appetizers or desserts, they also say it is too early to quantify the impact of these drugs on restaurants’ sales.
Four easy steps to improve your online presence. When people talk about restaurant SEO, what they’re actually referring to is “local SEO.” First, let’s define SEO—then we’ll cover local SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website or content in an effort to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP). The goal of SEO is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to your website by ranking higher on a search engine like Google. Local SEO is like regular SEO, but its goal is to focus on a specific area. So, instead of attracting people all over the world, it focuses on a state, city, town, or neighborhood. Because restaurants operate at a local level, operators will want to use local SEO practices. When hungry customers in your area are looking for something to eat, the first step is to jump on Google and search something like—“best thai food portland oregon.” Google then lists what they believe are the best Thai restaurants in Portland. Google finds these restaurants by “crawling” through every website and, depending on what they find, ranks them in the order they think will be most helpful. That’s where SEO steps in, and by following these four steps, you’ll be able to rank higher and pull in more new customers. Properly executing the steps I’m about to show you will tell Google that your restaurant is the best choice for your local area, and the sooner you do this, the better. You see, most restaurants aren’t completing these steps because they haven’t fully committed to managing their restaurant online—which gives you a huge advantage. If you start right now, your restaurant will immediately begin climbing up the SERP ranks, and once at the top, the longer you’re there, the more difficult it will be to knock you out of the top position. Soon enough, your competitors will be scrambling to figure out SEO while you’ll comfortably maintain the top rank months or even years ahead of them.
Customers are Going Digital
To find restaurants. Restaurants didn’t need a global crisis to realize the parameters of word-of-mouth marketing had changed. In truth, the premise didn’t go anywhere—customers still want to hear what other people think before they spend their money and time—it’s the outlets of engagement that webbed out. The pandemic forced discovery-minded diners, even those slower to migrate than others, into new channels of connection. Global scale-up company Deliverect explains this across four buckets: discover; delivery; delight; and drive. How restaurants can understand the way in which customers today find and pick restaurants; explore the delivery preferences and channels that redefine online ordering and dining experience; create a digital brand that fosters loyalty beyond transactions; and leverage data-driven insights to enhance operations and customer engagement. The baseline, company CEO and cofounder Zhong Xu explained, is customers are increasingly relying on digital platforms to enhance interaction. “Integrating a perfect blend of technology, human interaction and personalization is a must for all restaurants looking to make a lasting impact,” he said. Deliverect surveyed 5,000 consumers to provide a view into how restaurants should drive sustainable growth in a digital arena. Let’s start with the discovery phase. Respondents revealed they’re finding new restaurants through Google searches and third-party food delivery apps as much as recommendations from friends and family.
Tips to Transition Your Restaurant for Upcoming Holiday Season
Increase market share and drive profits by planning in advance. With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a pivotal time for operators to make needed adjustments and prep for winter trends. It is important to think about what can be done in order to attract more customers and transform the atmosphere into a warm and cheerful place to dine. Preparation is crucial for the upcoming change in season, which typically includes updating menus, creating new recipes, and adding new promotions for customers, such as gift cards and seasonal packages. There are a few key steps that can help make the seasonal transition run smoothly and ensure that your bar or restaurant is prepared for the changes that will come as the holidays get closer. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.” No one knows the importance of planning ahead like those within the hospitality industry. A well-defined plan increases the likelihood of success and minimizes the risk of failure. As we enter a new season, proactive planning helps ease the pressures that come with the sudden shift in business. It also creates opportunities to build an extensive customer base and boost profits. There are many ways that you can prepare for this, such as modifying the menu to add more seasonal food and drinks and creating a cozy atmosphere within the restaurant. These changes should be made accordingly, allowing at least 90 days to prepare. Another way to be proactive is to keep track of data over the course of the season. According to the National Restaurant Association, 55 percent of consumers plan to go out to eat, and 50% of consumers order takeout or delivery for the holidays. Focus on unique days, such as Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s, to help understand how traffic will impact the business.
How to Win the Restaurant Reservation Game
Scoring a table in New York can seem impossible. Why does it seem so hard to get a table these days in New York, and so many other places? With the approach of the holiday season, the busiest time for restaurants, we set out to find answers — and ways to improve our chances — by focusing on a single night at a single place: Semma, which has been packed since it opened two years ago in Greenwich Village. Semma let us review a month’s worth of reservation data leading up to a recent Thursday night, Sept. 14. Then we asked the people who scored those tables how they did it. Strategy? Connections? Dumb luck? To get some skin in the game, we also joined in (unbeknownst to the restaurant), using an assumed name to try for a table for two at prime dining time, 7 p.m. First, let’s look at how the tables were snapped up during the month when reservations were open for our big night. The reservation game has grown tougher in recent years. At Semma, as at many restaurants, you can no longer wangle a table by calling or emailing. Semma doesn’t even list a phone number. Waiting lists can help, but getting a high-up spot on them doesn’t necessarily pay off. On Resy Notify, everyone on the list is notified at once when a table opens up. And entering the competition requires commitment: putting down that $50 deposit, which Semma imposed to head off the bots, apps and scalpers that corral and sell reservations. All the same, scores of diners persisted, and landed a table for Sept. 14. We showed up that night and interviewed them. Here, from the moment in August when reservations opened to the seating of the last walk-in customers, is the story of when and how these players got a table — with their tips on how to win the game.
Did You Know?
Painting tips for restaurant and bar owners. Adding a coat of paint will always freshen up any space. The same goes for any restaurant or bar. Understanding how to prepare your staff for a fresh coat, what styles of paint, and finishes can help you create a space that is inviting, warming, or even exciting for your customers. Throughout my almost two decades of experience working with restaurant and bar owners these are the areas I always discuss with them when they decide to give their establishment a new look.
Prioritize mental health: strategies for managing stress in restaurants. Working in a restaurant is a marathon, not a sprint. To get through a long shift, chefs, managers, servers, hosts and waitstaff need to make wise decisions and take care of their health. Whether you work in the front of the house or in the kitchen, the stressors of every shift can wear you down. Eventually the weight of it all can take a toll on your emotional and physical wellbeing. If that toll is not addressed, anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges can develop. You might feel tempted or even peer-pressured to rely on substances to deal with the stress.