Google maps can Help Avoid Long Waits

UnknownNot only can Google maps help you avoid traffic and find the fastest routes to destinations, but now Google maps can help you avoid long lines at your local coffee shop. With a new update, Google maps will show potential wait times at coffee shops and restaurants, helping consumers avoid lengthy lines.

Google Maps has already implemented location information including hours of operations, contact details and even menus. Listed establishments with these already location cards will now have a timeline charting their busiest hours. While some data can be easily predicted, such as Starbucks being busiest in the morning rush, it is featured to be more useful with utilizing it alongside other Google maps tools. Google maps will now be able to re-route around delays and plan out routes to avoid long lines.

The new feature is available to Google Maps users in Android apps and on both Chrome and Safari apps for iOS.

To read more, click here.

28 Outstanding Coffee Shops in NYC

New York City is iconic for its coffee shops and its cafes. Eater has updated a guide to New York’s best coffee shops to navigate better brew and really good drip coffee.

The Smile Newsstand-177 Franklin St

Birch Coffee-21 E 27th St

Padoca Bakery-359 E 68th St

El Rey-100 Stanton St

Fair Folks & A Goat-96 W Houston St

Abraco-86 E 7th St

Hi-Collar-214 E 10th St

Everyman Espresso-136 E 13th St.

Stump town Coffee Roasters-18 W 29th St.

Culture Espresso-72 W 38th St.

Intelligentsia Coffee-180 10th Ave.

Joe ( the art of coffee)-44 Grand Central Terminal

Ninth Street Espresso Uptown-109 E 56th St.

Oslo Coffee Roasters-422 E 75th St

Petite Shell-1269 Lexington Ave

The Queens Kickshaw-4017 Broadway

Sweetleaf-10-93 Jackson Ave

Propeller Coffee-984 Manhattan Ave

Cafe Grumpy-193 Meserole Ave

Budin NYC-114 Greenpoint Ave

Toby’s Estate Coffee-44 Charles St

Blue Bottle Coffee-160 Berry St.

Devocion-69 Grand St

Gimme Coffee-495 Larimer St

Underline Coffee-511 W 20th St

Pushcart Coffee-399 W 25th St

Bluestone Lane Coffee Shop-805 3rd Ave

Third Rail Coffee-240 Sullivan St.

To no surprise Stumptown Coffee, which has been a reigning champ in a city of contenders known for their cappuccino, has made the Eater’s list. More notably, Padoca Bakery has been acclaimed for their tasteful espresso sourced from Brooklyn’s Nobletree, which is a roaster that also oversees growing of bean from their own fields in Brazil, despite opening only a month ago. Padoca is a new contender in the city’s coffee industry but has made a statement with their playful, and chic Brazilian vibes. To check learn more about the 28 Outstanding Coffee Shops in NYC, click here.

Olive oil is “Critically low”

UnknownLast week, the price of Spanish olive oil has surged at a 5 percent increase to $4272 a metric ton, the highest since April 2006. A bacterial disease xylem fastidious and fruit-fly infestations have contributed to a 50 percent decline in Spanish and Italian olive oil. Spain and Italy account for 70 percent of the world’s olive oil and because of disease, extreme dry, hot weather and infestations olive oil is at “critically low levels.” “It’s quite a concerning acceleration in the price of olive oil. The supply shortages as a result of the drought, and particularly underproduction in Spain, have filtered though to the marketplace” says Lamine Lahousnia, head of packaged-food research at Euromonitor International in London. According to research on Euromonitor, consumer prices for olive oil increased about 10 percent on average in the past year, which is faster than overall inflation for packaged foods at about 3.7 percent.

To read more, click here

Enterprise Insight: Employee Tips get boost from POS systems

It’s not news that your Point of Sale can drastically affect operations. However, we’re seeing a new trend—the POS boosting employee tips. In this month’s Enterprise Insight, we will discuss the different types of point of sale systems, the effect mobile terminals have on tipping, and the concurrent changes in minimum wages.

Type of Systems

Point of Sales systems can largely by classified into either legacy-based or tablet-based systems. Legacy systems are those that run on proprietary hardware that hasn’t caught up technologically to what is available to consumers. These terminals operate on touch screens that are linked to an in-house server. These systems are good for keeping data on site, but that is largely no longer necessary. Aloha and Micros are great examples.

Tablet systems use hardware such has iPads to run a cloud-based point of sale software. These tablets process orders locally and push the data into the cloud, which is then accessible from anywhere. One of the biggest selling points of these systems—namely Square, Revel, Shopkeep, and Lavu—is the ease of use and mobility of these systems. The graphical user interfaces are friendly, editing the menu doesn’t require using a Windows-based database software, and the back of house reporting is more visual than legacy systems.

Furthermore, these terminal do not need to be tied to a centrally-located server, which let’s users take orders from just about anywhere. Lastly, these systems all allow guests to sign for checks on the screen—which driving major changes in tipping practices.

iPad POS Systems Driving Up Employee Tips

Software research company Software Advice recently surveyed customers familiar with iPad point of sale systems and found compelling results: quick-tip buttons improve gratuity. Software Advice’s research found that the proximity to the server, the automatically-calculated tip amounts, and the presence of “no tip” buttons all create more frequent, more likely, and higher-value tipping.

Meanwhile, this tip creep in the industry comes at a time when two other significant changes are taking hold: an increasing minimum wage and a trend towards abolishing tips in favor of “service charges.”

New York State just passed legislation that increases the minimum wage of foodservice employees of chains with 22 or more locations to $15 per hour (by 2021.) Unfortunately for these employees, though, these operators are now less likely than ever to use iPad terminals with suggested tipping—with the increased cost of labor passed on to customers, the guests certainly won’t feel so willing to tip.

Furthermore, this comes just as the City passed legislation increasing the tipped minimum wage to $7.50. And given the recent unrest surrounding the difference in pay between service and kitchen staff, more and more full-service restaurants are prohibiting tipping and instead applying the gratuity automatically as a charge on the bill. This charge is then equally distributed amongst the entire staff, not just servers.

However, full-service restaurants will soon be operating in a more quick-service fashion once EMV payments are required, and the guests must process their cards themselves; the guest will come face-to-face with the POS terminal, just as in a quick-service setting. Perhaps the “service charge” will become preset buttons just as in the current quick-serve template, creating “service charge” creep at this end of the spectrum, as well.

To read more about Software Advice’s research, click here.

To read more about the increase in minimum wages, click here.

Fight for 15 in Action

New YorkFight-for-15 City’s fast food worker minimum will rise to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The increase in wages is in efforts to improve the lives of chain restaurant employees whose wages can keep them reliant on taxpayer-subsidized welfare programs. This policy will apply to not only company-owned restaurants with thirty or more nationwide locations but to franchise locations as well. As wages increases, labor costs increases resulting in price hikes for consumer goods. In a recent survey of 924 fast food businesses in New York, 70 percent were “very likely” to raise prices in response to the increase in minimum wages, and 83 percent of respondents claimed they were very likely or “somewhat likely” to reduce hours of staffing levels. This increase in higher wages could potentially prompt competitive salary increases throughout the hospitality and retail industries to avoid drama of workers who’ll suddenly find fast food jobs more attractive.

The New York City minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur on December 31st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at $10.50, $12.00, $13.50, and $15 respectively. While the changes to the New York State minimum wages will be broken down from 2015 to 2021, at $9.75, $10.75, $11.75, $12.75, $13.75, $14.50 and $15 respectively.

To read more, click here.

Food Startups will Dominate in 2015

shutterstock_231815896More than 80,000 food companies coexists and thousands are starting a new food business every year. Lisa Curtis, business and food tech analyst, believes 2015 will be the year that food startups will receive broader recognition. In 2014, there was a record breaking sales of $2.36 billion raised in the food and agriculture industry. The industry continues to grow as it becomes more attractive to entrepreneurs. Food is a commodity that everyone needs and is flexible to adjust towards changing consumers’ demands. The industry also holds potential fortune justified by mergers and acquisitions from major food companies that resulted in billions in sales.

Because food stands as a universal demand, food companies can effect and shift an entire supply chain, which attracts investors because of its huge reach and impact. Not only are investors seeking new startup food companies to join, but technological innovators are attracted to the startup food industry. The food industry is creating more sustainable, animal-free and fortified foods but also improving logistics and increasing convenience for consumers. The technological industry is collaborating with and overlapping into the food industry to meet demand in food through technological innovations.

The rapid increase in the amount of funding, pitch events and acquisitions in food direct an increase in the in the popularity and interest in the food industry and food startups.

To read more about, click here.

House Passed Bill on GMO Labeling

An on-going major Unknowncontroversy is genetically modified organisms, GMOs, and whether foods with GMO ingredients should be labeled. However, the House just passed a bill that would prevent states from enacting laws mandating labelings. Many argue that consumers have the right to know what is in their food. Representative Rick Nolan of Minnesota said “The issue isn’t whether GMO foods are healthy or safe, it’s about the right to know what’s in the food we buy for ourselves and our families. This is a serious problem begging for a solution. As yet, we haven’t’ seen a good one.” However, others in the food industry rebutted that individual state standards would lead to confusion and costly compliance, and that labeling suggests that GMOs are not as safe or healthy of an ingredient which has yet to be a proven scientific matter.

The recent bill has drawn strong oppositions from consumer advocates and environmentalists. Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group claims “This House was bought and paid for by corporate interests” and has every intention to defeat the bill in the Senate.

To read more about this article, click here.

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