Online shopping reaches 5.5% of total grocery sales

Online spending has reached 5.5 percent of total grocery spending in the United States, with current shoppers at online grocers driving most of the growth by increasing order sizes. But a new report warns that even though supermarkets are in a “strong position” to serve this demand, Amazon is challenging by linking its grocery services to Prime discounts and investing in Whole Foods Market.

Grocery shoppers that use online services most actively increased their weekly online spending as a part of total weekly grocery spending from 28 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2018, according to the new study, published by Brick Meets Click and sponsored by Winooski, Vt.-based grocery ecommerce platform MyWebGrocer.

Additionally, with the nearly 30 percent of U.S. households that already grocery shop online, average order size increased $62 in 2017 to $69 in 2018, while both penetration and order frequency remained relatively flat. This suggests that current users will drive near-term growth.

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Astoria Will Soon Have Its Own Food Hall

The city’s aggressive insistence on opening food halls has now reached Astoria, where yet another real estate company is planning a multi-restaurant development.

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Essential Restaurant Reports To Keep You On Track

Big data is a big deal, especially in the restaurant industry. Because almost everything nowadays is trackable, restaurant reports give managers and operators access to an unprecedented number of juicy operational insights that can help them take their business to the next level.

The thought of having a world of data at your fingertips can sometimes feel intimidating or even overwhelming, but it should always feel exciting. Understanding the what, why, and how of restaurant reporting opens new doors of opportunity for you and your business.

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Why $5 deals resonate with quickserve customers

“Chicken chain KFC has its $5 Fill Ups. Subway brought back its famous $5 Footlong sandwiches this winter. Little Caesars boasts a $5 Lunch Combo and Taco Bell has its $5 Buck Boxes. Plus, there are Dairy Queen’s $5 Buck Lunch and Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s $5 All Star Meals that debuted in September.”

“Psychologically, $5 still seems like not lot of money. It’s just a denomination of a bill,” said Ravi Dhar, director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management. “It can make it easier than if you’re spending $5.50 and you have to break a $10. You’re spending 50 cents more, but it feels like more.
That sense of getting a bargain is significant, especially among millennials.”

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McDonald’s Takes Aim at Big Labor Problem

Quick-service giant McDonald’s, which employs some 850,000 individuals across the U.S. either directly or through its franchise partners, is beginning to craft thoughtful, calculated solutions to a problem affecting its restaurants and other businesses across the country.

As a large and prominent U.S. employer, McDonald’s understands it has a leading role to play in addressing the soft skills gap, Kersey says. To that end, the Chicago-based corporation has already taken action to modernize its training programs for restaurant employees, including the debut of digital training that places a greater focus on hospitality and prioritizes teaching people skills like customer service and teamwork while emphasizing attitude and communication.

Soft skills developed in first jobs, Kersey says, establish a strong foundation from which employees can build upon over the course of their working lives, which heightens the value of McDonald’s efforts—and those of many others—to address the soft skills gap.

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Yelp to go national with health inspection program

Yelp is planning to bring more than just user-generated reviews to your screen.

Yelp will be nationally expanding its LIVES program, which displays health inspection information of various businesses. Launching the program in 2013 for San Francisco-area restaurants, Yelp collaborates with local governments and HDScores, a platform that aggregates health inspection reports nationwide, to display health scores on a 0-100 scale to users.

Since the launch of LIVES, Yelp has inserted health scores to 200,000 business pages. The company said in a blog post that this number will more than triple, as it added data for more restaurants in New York, California, Texas, Illinois and Washington, D.C., today. Yelp plans to continue to roll out updates across various states in the coming months.

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Restaurant Food Cost Formulas You Need to Know

“If someone asked you about your cost of goods sold (COGS), prime costs, overhead rate, or sales per square foot, could you tell them your current numbers? What about your food costs? Not just your overall monthly costs, but which is your lowest cost item, or which item nets the highest profit dollars?”

“According to recent studies done by Professor Dr. HG Parsa, 59 percent of hospitality businesses fail in the first three years, and 26 percent fail in the first year alone. One of the largest contributing factors is a lack of both accounting skills and a basic understanding of important restaurant matrixes for costing.”

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Restaurants Near the Steam Pipe Explosion Are Losing Tens of Thousands of Dollars

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“Flatiron restaurants are losing tens of thousands of dollars in the days following the steam pipe explosion in the neighborhood — an incident last week that sprayed asbestos throughout the area and forced dozens of buildings to evacuate.

Taj II, a two-floor lounge and popular private events space on 21st Street, is in its fifth day of closure since the explosion on Thursday morning. Operations director Christopher Collins canceled several private events over the weekend, including a bar mitzvah, and two brunch services that would have had more than 400 people at each. He lost more than $100,000 in the process, he says.

Besides restaurants and other businesses, the steam pipe explosion impacted residents in the area, many of whom still couldn’t return home by Sunday night. Though only minor injuries were incurred with the incident, many people are fearful of the longer-term health impact. The city and ConEd, which operates the pipe, has yet to figure out what caused the explosion.”

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New York Teaches Food Business to Public Housing Residents

Launched in 2015, the program brings together key city agencies, including NYCHA and the NYC Department of Small Business Services, with additional support from nonprofit partners. The largest donor is Citi Community Development, a Citigroup , Inc. unit, which has provided approximately $500,000. The City of New York has provided $215,000 in public funding as well.

Sandra Mathis, a graduate from last year who runs Grace Kelli Cupcakes, said the program has given her the confidence she can eventually succeed. Still, operating the baked-goods company named after her daughter is a challenge—revenue can range from $100 to $3,000 a month.

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Business Expenses You Can Reduce or Eliminate to Save Thousands

9 Business Expenses You Can Reduce or Eliminate to Save Thousands

According to Business Insider, cash-flow problems account for 82 percent of all small-business failures. That’s nearly double the second-place factor (no market need for the product). If you run a small business, you’re more likely to succeed by selling a product no one wants than you are with a weak cash flow.

Necessary expenses either make you money or differentiate your business from the competition. If you pay a lot for customer service representatives, but your company offers the best service in its niche, that’s not an unnecessary expense — it’s a market differentiator. If you spend tons of money on an automated service line that’s rarely used, that’s an expense to chop.

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