A recent survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association revealed that growing one’s own garden vegetables is 2010’s top restaurant trend. More independent restaurants grow vegetables for going green and cutting operation costs.
The Blue Water Grill in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for example, has increased the size of its garden from 1,000 square feet to about 3,000 square feet. The gardens now provide supplies of tomatoes, squash, peppers, sweet corn, herbs, and strawberries. Restaurant owners believe that such practice allows them to better control the quality of food and lower the food costs. Some restaurants also open their gardens for tours. During tours, creative chefs may offer to cook something “special” from the garden for guests.
Operating a restaurant is never easy, but is it particularly challenging for upscale restaurants? Restaurants Unlimited Inc., for instance, which operates 35 fine-dining and “polished casual” eateries, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware last week. Earlier in June, the Four Seasons Restaurant, an iconic spot for power lunch in Manhattan also closed for business after its reopening within less a year.
Are these two examples an isolated case or the tip of the iceberg? Then, if upscale restaurants are struggling to survive in today’s market, what challenges are they facing?
The rising labor cost According to the Bloomberg report, Restaurant Unlimited Inc. hires 50 salaried employees at the chain’s headquarter in Seattle, plus another 168 full-time and 1,885 part-time restaurant workers. The rising wages in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland have resulted in a total of $10.6 million wage expenses in the fiscal year of 2019. Nevertheless, its revenue for the year ended in May dropped 1%, at $…
A simple, relatively normal thing occurred while in the drive-through at Del Taco with my boyfriend the other day.After placing our semi-high maintenance food order, the person taking my order, in a forced monotone voice, unenthusiastically asks, “Would you like to add our new blah, blah, blah for dessert?”All my sweet-tooth-driven ears heard was “dessert” and I wanted something sugary to complete my four-course drive-through meal. My boyfriend asked if I wanted the donut thing they were trying to push, but I ended up going with a churro.As we received our food, my boyfriend told the server, “Good job on the upsell.”In which we received the same unenthusiastic “thank you” in reply. This all led to a discussion about suggestive selling, how easy it is, how to do it correctly, and how beneficial it is.Of course, this Del Taco drive-through upsell experience did not meet our standards of how to do it correctly, but it worked!
Easy-Peasy Both my boyfriend and I have sales and hospitality