• Sidewalk newsstands may be your next competitor
• Labor Day provides big weekend for beer sales
• French restaurateurs want reviews validated
• Mobile ordering could lead to dynamic pricing
• Uber could revolutionize your lunch takeout strategy
Forget the corner hot dog vendor. The sidewalk newsstand just might be your next competitor.
Chicago-based nonprofit e.a.t. is repurposing out-of-use newsstands into havens for healthy food, according to a Huffington Post report.
"Our mission is to impact local food systems through education, agriculture and technology and we are doing that through social ventures, like e.a.t. spots, that have far-reaching implications," founder Ken Waagner says.
E.a.t. (short for "education, agriculture and technology") opened the first of four planned "e.a.t. spots" this week in downtown Chicago, with more planned for September. The kiosks feature items like sandwich wraps, savory scrambles and kale salads priced between $4 to $7, as well as produce largely sourced from local farms.
The kiosks are staffed by members of StreetWise, a workforce development group that helps homeless find steady employment.
In addition to Memorial Day and Independence Day, Labor Day weekend is one of the big three summer events for the beer industry, according to a Technomic analysis. Restaurants can profit on the buzzy weekend by partnering with local festivals or simply running beer promotions.
While total beer volume was flat in the second quarter, according to research firm Drink, summer is prime time for beer, and Labor Day 2014 is critical to the industry’s health in a year that started off slow.
Another all-American favorite, bourbon, will likely find its place at Labor Day picnics and barbecues. Drink shows American whiskey logging a 6.5-percent gain in the second quarter, and its momentum will certainly be further sparked by Labor Day promotions at retail and in restaurants and bars.
If you’ve got nothing nice to say about my restaurant, don’t say anything at all, writes a group of French restaurateurs and hoteliers on a petition to ban all "defamatory" reviews.
The petition, according to French news site The Local, was started by Michelin-starred chef Pascal Favre d'Anne and currently has well over 1,700 signatures. It requests that the Minister of Commerce prohibit "judging and posting defamatory comments and subjective observations on members of staff in our restaurants. We ask reviewing sites to moderate their users and to ask for proof of their visits to our establishments."
Restaurateurs and hoteliers are frustrated with sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp that allow anyone to comment, regardless of whether or not they actually visited the establishment.
As mobile ordering becomes increasingly more prevalent, it may allow the restaurant industry to take supply-and-demand economics to the next level.
The restaurant industry has largely stayed away from “dynamic” or “surge” pricing, a process adopted by several other industries, including airlines, hotels and sporting events. But just as companies like Uber use mobile orders to forecast demand, digital ordering for restaurants could enable fluid pricing in the same manner, according to a Smartblog author.
For example, if a concert lets out at Madison Square Garden, Uber might charge higher rates to encourage drivers to come to the area. The local burger shop might also experience a flood of mobile orders. Algorithms via mobile device data could calculate that demand and create real-time price increases for the restaurant, while direct connections to POS systems allow changes in price to be displayed on digital ordering devices.
Speaking of Uber, the company is testing a meal delivery system called UberFresh that could revolutionize your lunch takeout strategy. According to the company’s blog, customers in the Santa Monica, CA, area can have lunch delivered between 11:30 a.m and 2:30 p.m. through the Uber App.
A TechCrunch article says the prix fixe menu "offers a different selection each day and is refreshed every week." The menu offers a range of soups, salads and sandwiches. Each lunch costs $12, but there is no additional delivery fee and no tip is required.