According to The South Bend Tribune, employee theft costs U.S. restaurants 4% to 5 % in sales each year. The National Restaurant Association estimates that employee theft accounts for 75 percent of a restaurant’s inventory losses, totaling millions in lost profits. Based on a new book, Guess Who’s Eating Your Profits: The Manager’s Essential Guide to Restaurant and Bar Loss Prevention and Investigations, author and police investigator Craig Whitfield offers some professional advice on how to curtail employee theft:
1. Track your credit card. Some clients report that they have had their cards switched or copied when paying the restaurant tab only to find their card has been used to charge thousands in unauthorized purchases.
2. Track your purchases and take your receipts. If you don't it leaves a message that you don't really care or keep track of your expenses.
3. If you discover any irregularities, be sure to contact restaurant management immediately.
4. If you suspect an employee of theft, you need to respond with caution and collect any evidence you have, but you need to learn how to push back on denial. Doing nothing, says Whitfield, could cost you more money than you know.
Egg Prices Stabilize But Remain High
According to the USDA, egg prices across the U.S. are stabilizing after a sharp rise due to the Avian Flu. Still, prices are now more than 100% higher in some parts of the country affected by the shortage. Especially hard hit is the liquid egg market catering to the restaurant trade. To make up the difference, restaurants have been buying table eggs, which have increased pricing for consumers. While the USDA says the Avian Flu will subside in the summer months, it is predicting a return of higher egg prices in the fall as the holiday baking season arrives.
Foam Ban In New York City
New York restaurants are preparing for the ban on foam packaging and are already predicting higher prices, Crain'snewyork.com reports. New York is the largest U.S. City to prohibit the use of foam cups, transmission and containers used in the food industry. Businesses that gross less than $500,000 a year can apply for an exemption. A survey of New Yorkers from 2013 found 69% of respondents said the ban was justified because plastic foam blows around and becomes litter, takes hundreds of years to degrade and cannot be recycled economically. Restaurants and food truck vendors see the cost of packaging doubling as a result of the new regulation, and most say they will pass that along to consumers.
Comcast Spectacor Consolidates Foodservice Units
Comcast Spectacor has announced that it has consolidated its Ovations Food Services, Global Spectrum and Paciolan units into a single entity called Spectra, which will operate three divisions: Venue Management (formerly Global Spectrum), Food Services & Hospitality (formerly Ovations) and Ticketing & Fan Engagement (formerly Paciolan), Food Management reports.
Restaurants Sales Increase
Same store sales increased 1.1% last month, Black Box Intelligence reports. That is music to the ears of an industry worried by three previous months that witnessed a drop in both customer traffic and sales. The figures are based on approximately 35,000 restaurants with total earnings of $55 billion a year.
Wobbly Restaurant Tables May Be A Thing Of The Past
Who hasn't been driven mad by a wobbly restaurant table? Now a new solution is being offered to fix the age-old problem for good, promises flattech.com. All objects manufactured with FLAT® hydraulic technology will find their level on any uneven surface – instantly, the company says, noting that it has a FLAT solution for most tables and sizes. Want to finally end one of the most annoying complaints from patrons? Phone (Toll Free): +1-855-999-3528 or visit www.flattech.com for more information.
“Held” Meat Tastes Better
With BBQ all the rage, connoisseurs often bemoaned the chef who over cooked BBQ meats, or subjected them to steamers or heat lamps. Now, they keep them fresh for hours longer in special warming units that not only keep the meat moist, it improves its taste through a process known as holding or resting, NPR reports. Why better taste? Because cooking disrupts the moisture in meat and holding allows moisture to be redistributed back to proteins in meats, making for more moist and tasty dishes. Some pitmasters advise chefs to allow meats to actually rest several hours after cooking before serving for the best results, says Wayne Mueller, the third-generation pitmaster at the legendary Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas. The process, he says, help his restaurant improve quality from a low A to a high A.
Music Without License Can Be Costly To Restaurants
If your restaurant, bar, or cafe plays or performs music of any kind, you need a proper license from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) or Broadcast Music, Inc. group to do so, silive.com reports. Every year, the two agencies representing performing artists, sue establishments that play music without paying proper licensing fees. In one recent case in New Jersey, a restaurateur ended up paying $24,000 to BMI after courts found the restaurant had no license to do so. In several other instances, bars without the license were sued for playing as few as four songs over the course of an evening, mycentraljersey.com reports. The violations could be a result of music played on speakers, DJs spinning records, a band performing covers, or patrons screeching out karaoke. It really does not matter. What does is the fact that copyright laws are so complex they even take into account the square footage of a public venue and how many sound speakers and television sets a venue has in order to determine whether a license is needed to just turn on the radio or TV. BMI, for instance, charges from $347 for a jukebox to $2.90 per person listening to music in a public venue, which nets the company nearly a billion dollars annually. The moral of this story? If your place of business plays music, get a license...or you will be paying a lot more than quarters in a jukebox in court fees.
New Hourly Wages Hit Casual Chains Hard
In one of the first studies involving new minimum wage rules across the U.S., Moody’s Investment Services says that casual chains will be hit the hardest, The Wall Street Journal reports. The second of three staged federally mandated wage hikes kicks in this summer, when the national base wage rises to $6.55 an hour from its current level of $5.85. According to the National Restaurant Association, $0.29 of every dollar taken in already goes to wages. Facing the realities of increased labor costs, many restaurants are using higher quality ingredients, demand more professional staff, and raising prices to pay for it all.