The Restaurant Group Blog

Panera, Chipotle and Starbucks Investment in Customer Demand

With new technology and capabilities being released on a daily basis, the consumer’s demand for the next new and exciting product or service is higher than ever. There is no exception when it comes to restaurants either. The top contenders in the restaurant industry have to stay on their toes and be ready to implement changes into their menus, services, etc. at a moment’s notice. Here are some innovative approaches and services from industry leaders that are changing the restaurant game:

IRS Restaurant Service Charge vs Tips (REV. Ruling 2012-18)

Photo by: VXLAVXLA
Photo by: VXLA

How does the 2014 IRS Rev. Ruling 2012-18 affect restaurant service staff and restauranteurs?

2014 has brought many changes to the restaurant industry and one of the most buzzed about topics is Rev. Ruling 2012-18 according to news channel WFAA. This ruling implies that restauranteurs must differentiate between automatic gratuities and voluntary tips which can ultimately cost restaurants big bucks. Any sort of gratuity that compels patrons to automatically pay an additional percentage on their meals and services is no longer considered a tip and must be calculated as part of a server’s wages.

BBQ Restaurant Trend: Still Smoking Hot?

This summer’s restaurant menus are on fire with BBQ items. Seems like every year (around this time), restaurants ranging from QSRs to Fast Casual concepts and full service restaurants alike, feature limited time BBQ favorites on their menus. But, what’s been different these past few years is the notable growth in barbeque restaurant openings across the country, exposure on reality cooking shows, the increase of barbecue competitions and an almost fad like marketing effort from PR companies.

So, is barbeque the next big thing on the rise or is it just a summer fad?

Well, to quote LL Cool J – “Don’t call it a comeback”. BBQ has been here for years, and will continue to grow. 

How To Handle Online Restaurant Reviews

TRG Restaurant Consultants - Restaurant ReviewsNo matter how hard you try, you will never win over everyone. Receiving negative reviews or feedback is unavoidable in any industry, but in the service industry it is extremely important that complaints are addressed.

If handled properly, you will almost always be able to turn a bad experience into a good experience and you may even learn a thing or two. Here are some tips on things you should and should not do when responding to a negative review on Yelp, City Search, Yellow Pages, Google+, Facebook or any review site:

The State of the Craft Beer Industry’s Growth

Craft Beer Industry
Photo by Jono Haysom

Craft Beer History

Brewing craft beer has been a long-held tradition for centuries throughout European history, but breweries slowly crept over to the States as people migrated west. Because of prohibition and other various factors, craft beer breweries have trickled in and out of America over the past few decades, but in recent years the craft beer movement has expanded its reach in America and today’s breweries appear to be here to stay.

Online Marketing for Restaurants “do’s and don’ts”

Restaurant Marketing

Currently, the top marketing trend for restaurateurs involves the use of social media sites. Facebook of course heads the list of the top most popular and successful sites to advertise on.

However, Google+ and Twitter have become equally as important. The key to making these sites work for you is in making a commitment to maintain and follow up with key information on a daily basis; otherwise like any other tool when not utilized properly results will be unstable at best. While many business owners see this as just another chore, having a successful Facebook presence can increase revenue as well as your customer base. If done right, using social media for marketing can be easy and profitable.

The Importance of Buying Local for Your Restaurant

Buy Local For Your Restaurant
Photo: Frank Kehren

There are many great benefits to buying locally grown and raised foods for your restaurant.

For one, using local foods will reduce your restaurant’s expenses. The cost of shipping food and higher fuel prices can directly impact a restaurant’s cost of goods and profit margins. Purchasing seasonal ingredients from nearby sources ensures a better product at a better price. This means, that by passing along the savings and providing your customers with quality food you will create more brand loyalty and return business.

Is a Restaurant Consultant Right For Your Business?

Restaurant consultant
Image credit: National Restaurant Association. www.restaurant.org

If  you’re Considering a Restaurant Consultant for your Business, you are not alone.

39% of restaurants in the US have used a consultant.

Most restaurant consultants are not like Gordon Ramsey, by far. After all, a consultant’s job is not to increase a TV show’s ratings by creating drama. Instead, a restaurant professional consultant’s main role is to guide and assist owners in their business.

9 Hotels That Break The Traditional Mold

Photo Credit: mydoorsign.com and Yotel
Photo Credit: mydoorsign.com and Yotel

Would you book a stay at these high-tech hotels?

CNN published a list of nine hotels that break the traditional mold.

Monica Burton wrote “From going paperless to using heat and motion sensors, these accommodations are certainly advanced, but whether they really make life easier is debatable. We’ve taken the list and ranked the high-tech hotels from most to least useful, taking into consideration the problems that can arise whenever robots are involved and things start to get just a bit too futuristic. It’s safe to say, some of these picks may not the best for “getting away from it all.”

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