By the end of this year, some 800 million new credit cards will be coming to American consumers to replace the old magnetic-striped versions. All merchants should comply, but it is not mandatory, however the consequences of not doing so are severe – they could end up footing the bill for financial losses from fraudulent cards, mobilepaymentstoday.com reports. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the three companies which originally created the standard for smart payment cards. Accepting the new card standard is highly recommended, and the sooner your shop signs up the better, since there is a lot more to it than simply plugging in a new card scanner. Based on the experience of others, mobilepaymentstoday.com advises the following:
• Pressure your card processors for proper guidance
• Identify a team or individual to oversee EMV implementation
• Upgrade your equipment to EMV and NFC
• Upgrade your payments processing systems
• Consider a mobile EMV/NFC solution first, then add the whole EMV/NFC chip platform
Team Four and Value 4 have teamed up with US Pay to help in the important transition. Contact Team Four/Value 4 or US Pay today to get your free EMV terminal. It’s just one more way that Team Four and Value 4 bring value to our customers.
Craft Sodas Filling The Void
As consumers move away from high calorie and diet sodas, craft sodas are growing in popularity along with carbonated waters, CBS reports. Craft sodas are normally made in smaller batches using high-quality ingredients and have become the hit of the restaurant trade looking for that next big thing. That fact has not been lost on the big players, like Pepsi and Coke, who recognize that you can charge a premium for a specialty product. If your restaurant is not yet on board, do your clients a favor and get on board the craft soda express.
Chicken Versus Eggs, Which Costs More
With the Avian Flu killing 34 million chickens, you may think that the price of chicken is actually higher than eggs, these days. The problem is more of those chickens were egg laying birds. That means eggs still remain scarce. So much so that on a protein-per-dollar basis, eggs remain more expensive than chicken, Quartz reports.
Labeling Law Postponed, Now What
With the menu labeling law postponed for a year by the FDA, restaurants are breathing a bit easier, Restaurantnutrition.com reports, adding that it is a perfect time to start learning more about how the law will impact business. That process should begin with understanding why the FDA decided to delay implementation of the law itself. Later next month, "the FDA plans to issue a draft guidance document that provides answers to some of the more frequently asked and crosscutting questions that the agency has received to further assist covered establishments in complying with the rule," the FDA reports. Here is what you can do:
- Develop management and communications policies that will serve your business for the long term
- Start training your staff now
- Review your menu carefully and make healthy improvements before the new laws are implemented in order to work out any bugs beforehand.
Sommeliers Not Just For Refined Restaurants
The days of sommeliers in only the best restaurants are over. Thanks to the growing popularity of wine among diners of every type, more eateries are adding sommeliers and curated wine collections, The Los Angeles Times reports. Contrary to what many of us might imagine, a day in the life of a sommelier is more about work than sipping vintage wines. A lot of time is spent in the vineyards getting to know new wines to recommend to patrons. And with ever-expanding menus, sommeliers need to stay on their toes to match just the right wine with a meal. "I always tell people you can have great food and great wine, but if they don't go together, you don't have anything,” Wolfgang Puck says. “But if it's a match, it's like love — an amazing experience." That “amazing experience “ is now becoming more commonplace in restaurants that host wine tastings, right down to having a sommelier provide diners with a quick tutorial on enology.
Buckle Up, California, Here Comes Dunkin Donuts
Longtime Northeast favorite Dunkin Donuts is on an expansion tear. In a press release issued last week, the Massachusetts-based coffee, baked goods, and increasingly sandwich chain says it plans to open 275 stores in California. Ten stores are already there, but this move is part of an ambitious plan to open as many as 1,000 Dunkin Donuts in The Golden State.
Drought Affects Wheat Kernels
Nearly 20% of the U.S. wheat supply is showing signs of smaller kernels as a result of drought conditions, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports. The affected wheat is in Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and prices are declining due to the low quality grain. While the full impact of this developing story is still unfolding, the Herald-Republic says farmers are worried that prices might fall even more in the coming weeks.
Northeast May See Fresh Vegetable Shortage
If you live in the Northeast, you know it was a wet spring. So wet, in fact, that the heavy rains have impacted the availability of such fresh vegetables as sweet corn, green beans, onions, potatoes, and cabbage, The Packer reports. That means restaurants that depend on farm-to-table service may have to keep a close eye on product quality, as sources say that supplies remain adequate. For all of us, it means higher prices for the best quality vegetables.
Paying With Bitcoin
Businesses across the country are accepting payment in… bitcoin. If you think it is more like Monopoly money, think again, mobilepaymentstoday.com reports. "If people ask for a new way to spend their money, we’ll be more than willing to attract them," David Ayyash, of ChickPea in the D restaurant in downtown Detroit, says. Bitcoin is the world’s first virtual currency that enables a new payment system and completely digital money. Transactions have no middle men, meaning there are no banks and very low fees. While the chances are currently low that a customer wants to pay in Bitcoin, you can always be ahead of the game and set up your own account. For more information, check out: http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-bitcoin-mining-works/