Strategies to Mitigate the Rising Cost of Healthcare
For your hospitality business. Employee retention is a serious issue that employers in the hospitality and food service industry are facing today and as businesses recover from impacts of the pandemic, labor shortages still threaten the progress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry has an annual turnover rate of 73.6%1, much higher than any other industry. As the hospitality industry focuses on overcoming the labor shortage in advance of the holiday season, many are turning to employee benefits as a strategic incentive to attract and retain talent. According to a recent survey by Joblist2, an employment search site, 38% of hospitality workers were not planning to return to the industry, citing a desire for higher wages and more benefits than the industry can support. About 45% said they wanted higher pay and 29% wanted better benefits. However, for employers across all industries, rising healthcare costs have unfortunately been a common trend during employee benefit plan renewals this year. This has largely been a result of several factors since the start of the pandemic and beyond.
Restaurant Sales Are Going Up
But dining out is on the decline. Chain restaurants have been reporting growing sales in the third quarter. But more sales don’t mean more customers. In fact, industry watchers are noticing that foot traffic to restaurants has been falling in recent months. That’s because as inflation eats into consumers’ budgets, many have been cutting back on their restaurant visits and eating at home more often. “You’re seeing that dichotomy where you see solid sales numbers, but at the end of the day it’s mostly … because of price increases,” said RJ Hottovy, head of analytical research at Placer.ai, which uses location data from mobile devices to estimate visits. Many restaurant chains “have out-priced their consumers,” he said. “They’re going to have to find ways to bring people back in.” Restaurants have been raising menu prices over the past few years, so they get a sales boost because each bill is higher, even if fewer customers are buying their food or people are coming in less often. The price increases weren’t enough to keep consumers from dining out at the start of this year. In January, foot traffic across fast food, fast casual and full-service restaurants, where someone takes your order at a table, were up between 20% and 31% compared to the previous year, according to data from Placer.ai. But by August, when consumers had been coping with high inflation for months, every category was in decline. In that month, traffic at fast food restaurants fell 1.2%, dipped 1.7% for fast casual and dropped 4.7% in full-service eateries. Fast food traffic bounced back slightly in September and October, but fast casual and full-service traffic remained negative.
What the Q3 Earnings Tell Us About the State of Restaurants
Summarizing the quarterly earnings of major restaurant companies. Today, we’re talking about what we learned from Q3 restaurant earnings. Earnings time is like Christmas for financial analysts and for restaurant reporters as well. It’s a time when restaurants report their earnings, and we get to cover an endless stream of quarterly statements from brands who have either done well or not so well over the past three months. During the third quarter of this year, we saw trends emerge, like we previously talked about with Alicia Kelso about chains returning energy to the city, among others that I won’t spoil for you in this episode featuring managing editor Leigh Anne Zinsmeister.
Is Your Restaurant Loyalty Program Ready
For the Holidays? When customers opt into a loyalty program, they are agreeing to share their data with a restaurant. The onus is then on the brand to ensure they are collecting the right data. With the 2022 holiday season upon us, restaurants are laser-focused on how best to increase foot traffic and optimize sales. Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin’ saw a 25 percent and 9 percent respective increase in foot traffic in the first seven days of launching their fall menus. While some aspects of restaurant operations will remain similar, this holiday season will look different from years past. The pandemic drove massive staff turnovers and saw new technology adoption and implementation across the industry, with 36 percent of restaurants upgrading their technology in 2021. For many, this season will be the first time the new personnel and technology are coming together in full swing. While restaurants must focus on operational excellence and execution, they must also prioritize the opportunity to attract and retain customers heading into the new year. Here are three questions restaurant marketers should be asking to guide customer loyalty programs in the coming months.
How Independent Operators Are Embracing Change
And reaping the rewards. This year’s Restaurant Business Top 100 Independents list reflects what was happening inside restaurants across the United States in 2021. Yelp’s 2022 State of the Industry described 2021 as a transitional period for the restaurant industry. Restaurants were experiencing rapid change after 2020, clawing themselves out of one of the worst financial periods on record. Today, many restaurant operators find that the work they put in helped them to exceed their own expectations. South Beach, Miami’s MILA (No. 5 on this year’s list), which completed its first full year of business in 2021, was originally designed to handle a volume of $9 million, according to Greg Galy, founder and CEO of Riviera Dining Group. The restaurant more than tripled its revenue during 2021, topping $27 million in gross food and beverage sales. Similar stories have emerged from the Southern region, where pandemic mandates were less restrictive at the start of 2021, resulting in many restaurants reporting their best sales year ever. “Versus 2019, we’re up 7% in guest count and 23% in sales,” says Tim Fulton, manager at Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (No. 50 on the list with gross sales growing from $13,726,748 in 2019 to $16,702,024 in 2021). “The sales increase is up because of required menu [price] increases driven by rising food prices.”
How an Immersive Customer Experience Helps You Stand Out
From the competition. Restaurants of any kind can use their creativity to deliver something truly memorable to their patrons. The foodservice industry is always one of the first to feel the effects of macro-level changes in the economy. It can be difficult to succeed in the business at the best of times, but these challenges are greatly exacerbated by situations such as the current economic downturn. With inflation on the rise and the cost of living generally increasing, many consumers are becoming increasingly selective about where and when they go out. At the same time, supply chain and staffing issues have made it difficult for many restaurants to get back to business as usual. For restaurants hoping to thrive in the difficult environment of the present, simply serving good food is not enough. To entice customers to come out to restaurants — and to keep returning after their first visit — restaurateurs need to think about the customer experience first and foremost. While an immersive customer experience is a concept we tend to associate with fine-dining establishments, restaurants of any kind can use their creativity to deliver something truly memorable to their patrons.
Restaurants are Cutting Hours and Closing Early
Amid employee and customer crunch. Tough getting a reservation lately at your favorite restaurant — or any restaurant for that matter? Across the nation, restaurants are open fewer hours and closing earlier. Nearly 4 in 5 restaurants nationwide have reduced their hours since 2019. They’ve done so by an average of 6.4 hours (7.5 percent), according to a recent Datassential report. Restaurants that were once open until 10 or 11 p.m. are now open until 8 or 9 p.m. Washington, D.C., Vermont and Maine topped the list of states where restaurant hours have declined the most; Alaska was the only state that actually saw restaurant hours increase. There are two main reasons, Sean Jung, an assistant professor at the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University, told Grid an average, restaurants are open 6.4 hours fewer per week than they were in 2019. Wait, aren’t a good chunk of us putting on actual clothing (other than sweats) and heading back to restaurants to eat? Yes, but not all of us. Compared to pre-covid numbers, consumer demand for restaurants has declined, especially in areas closed down during the pandemic.
Why Restaurants Need to Start Thinking Like Tech Companies
Amid an ongoing labor shortage. Restaurant management is changing. Customer expectations are evolving, and delivering excellent food is just one piece of that critical relationship. Restaurant operations, customer intelligence and support must all work in sync with speed and precision to deliver exceptional experiences consistently, which is why it’s time for restaurants to start thinking like tech companies. Innovation is driven by customer preference. The face of the restaurant industry changed irreversibly in the past few years and those who weren’t immediately ready to leverage the newest technologies were quickly left behind. Some even had to shut their doors for good. It’s safe to say that this change is here to stay, and technology is not just the future of the restaurant industry — it’s the present. Streamline operations and deliver innovative device-based customer experiences with modern DevOps practices.
All 36 New Jersey Restaurants
Featured on ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’. Since 2007, celebrity chef Guy Fieri has crisscrossed the country countless times to discover locally known restaurants through his show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Many times, Fieri’s “flavortown” stops have included some New Jersey favorites, from all corners of the state. Among the 419 episodes filmed, we counted 36 Garden State restaurants that have been featured. Check out our list of all the New Jersey restaurants featured in “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” alphabetized by town.
Did You Know?
3 problems with traditional restaurant loyalty and what to do instead. Loyalty has been at the top of minds for the restaurant industry as of late. Restaurants of all sizes—from emerging concepts to global enterprise brands—are launching and relaunching programs in unprecedented numbers. In a post-pandemic world, as digital purchasing channels became table stakes, loyalty, too, has become critical. Loyalty is no longer a “nice to have” for restaurants. Unlike digital ordering, however, loyalty programs are not a new or novel concept. They have evolved over time, from business cards in the fishbowl and physical punch cards to the ultra-sophisticated tech-powered options that exist today. Although most loyalty programs have gone digital, many platforms are still stuck in the legacy “spend X get Y” mindset.
Inflation may be hurting servers’ tips. Fewer diners say they’re tipping 20% now than they were at this time last year, according to a new study by Popmenu. Inflation appears to be making restaurant customers a little less generous. Fewer diners are tipping 20% now than they were at this time last year, according to a survey by technology supplier Popmenu. But the holidays could bring some relief for restaurant staff. According to the survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers earlier this month, 43% said they usually tip 20% or more at restaurants, down from 56% who said the same last year.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
BIELAT SANTORE & COMPANY SELLS TOMS RIVER, NJ RESTAURANT
Sales agent Robert Gillis sells a second seafood restaurant to a local entrepreneur. Soon after selling Gregory’s Seafood in Manchester Township, New Jersey, Gillis sells Pisces Seafood Restaurant in Toms River.
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If you are looking to buy or sell a restaurant or other hospitality-type property, not any New Jersey Commercial Real Estate broker will do. Confidentiality is a precondition when considering such a sale. Therefore, the sale of a restaurant demands the engagement of professionals who are vastly experienced in the hospitality business and real estate marketplace. Such professionals can be found within the commercial real estate firm of Bielat Santore & Company, Allenhurst, New Jersey, serving the business and real estate interests of restauranteurs since 1978.
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