Restaurant News Roundup: June 2018
From the passing of one of the most loved food industry celebrities, to the most talked about letter change from IHOP, June was filled with plenty of news for the restaurant industry. 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 June.
Bourdain’s Brash, Unfiltered Tongue was Adored by Legions of Fans
One of the strongest voices in the hospitality industry died unexpectedly this month. Anthony Bourdain, 61, the author of Kitchen Confidential and the star of the award-winning travel show Parts Unknown, was adored by foodies, colleagues for his unfiltered look at the world. “Bourdain was the opposite of political correctness. His brash and often ruthless commentary was why legions of fans adored him. He showed no mercy”. In this article, NRN rounds up memorable quotes from interviews of Bourdain over the years. Bourdain will be missed, not only for his work but for his passion for people, food, and story-telling.
IHOP is now IHOb, and Burgers are the Reason Why
At the beginning of the month, IHOP teased the nation by turning their last letter in its name upside down but waited to reveal what the new name would stand for. After a week of speculating, IHOP finally revealed that IHOb stands for burgers and it would only be a temporary name change. The reason: the brand debuts a new menu item, Ultimate Steakburgers. “Everyone knows that IHOP makes world-famous pancakes so we felt like the best way to convince them that we are serious about our new line of Ultimate Steakburgers as we are about our pancakes, was to change our name to IHOb,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer of IHOP. The temporary rebrand got everyone talking and garnered more than 8 billion media impressions. Check out this story to see what other restaurant professionals thought of the PR stunt, including our Director of Marketing, Amber Mullaney.
Quick-Service Restaurant are Raising Their Minimum Wages as They Shift Focus to Labor and Retention
In 2016, restaurant turnover rate was about 73%. According to the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, turnover costs the average full-service restaurant operator about $146,600 annually. This leaves operators looking for ways to retain employees to improve their bottom line. One strategy: increase their minimum wage and make people their priority. Forbes states that “paying employees higher wages and sick leave is a good way to meet that objective, particularly in the intensely competitive yet notoriously high-turnover restaurant industry.” QSR concepts like Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, and Sonic are noted for placing value and investing in their employees.
Resources for Maintaining Your Mental Health in the Hospitality Industry
Anthony Bourdain’s unexpected suicide has echoed throughout the culinary world but also unveils how common suicide is in the hospitality industry, especially in the kitchen. “Not only is food service alone the nation’s largest industry, it posts the highest rate of drug and alcohol abuse as well as a stunningly high rate of divorce and broken relationships.” In this article, Culinary Agents released eye-opening statistics from a survey of 1,600 people who were mostly kitchen staff about mental health. One of the most shocking stat is 84.2% of those who responded suffer from depression. 68.6% did not want to be thought of as weak. Culinary Agents provides a list of industry-related resources that offer support to those who may be struggling with mental, physical or financial health.
In Boston’s Newest Restaurant, all the Chefs are Robots
In a data-hungry, tech-happy restaurant industry, it comes to no surprise to hear that more concepts are fully operated by robotics. Spyce, the latest robot-restaurant, opened in Boston this month. Digital Trends interviewed co-founder and lead electrical engineer Brady Knights. His take on how technology enhances the guest experience: “Being that our robot does the portioning and the cooking, we can ensure meals are being made consistently and accurately. Another advantage is that our technology allows employees to focus on creating more meaningful connections with our guests.”
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About the Author
Chrisea Chosta is QSR’s Product Marketing Manager. Chrisea graduated from Western Kentucky University and works to launch new product initiatives and develops product resources. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with family, her chocolate and black labs, and aimlessly walking down every aisle of Target.