Why Restaurants Struggle to Eliminate Tips

“It’s been three years since Danny Meyer became the unofficial leader of a movement to abolish tipping at restaurants, in an effort to level the playing field for front-of-house and back-of-house employees, among other things. In the process of converting his own restaurants to his so-called Hospitality Included model, he convinced a number of major restaurateurs to adopt similar pay structures. The upside, of course, is that these tip-free models theoretically decrease pay discrepancies between people who work in the dining room and the kitchen, and don’t rely on diners to essentially supplement workers’ incomes.

But after giving it the ol’ college try, two major restaurants have returned to the old way of doing things. The Wall Street Journal reports that Agern, the Nordic restaurant from Claus Meyer, and Michelin-starred Cafe China in midtown have both returned to the traditional tipping model and have seen great results.”

View more here.

Best Restaurant POS Tools: How to Choose the Right System for You

Breadcrumb POS inside of a restaurant

“Understanding the needs of your restaurant is a most important first step in choosing the best POS software. After all, the needs of a small brewery with no food service differ greatly from those of a large restaurant. To assess your needs and find the best restaurant POS system for your growing establishment, here are a few things to consider.”

“You’re likely already using tools to manage your accounting, payroll, food costs and scheduling. These tools are essential for the daily operations in your restaurant. That’s why we suggest choosing a POS system that integrates with these tools that you already use. This will reduce the organizational disruption in your restaurant and ensure that your POS leverages data from the past to make more informed suggestions for the future.”

Read more here.

How Hudson Yards Chose Its 25 Restaurants

“On March 14, 2019, Hudson Yards will fully open its eastern portion. Twenty-five restaurants will fire up the stoves. More than 100 stores will fling open their doors. Marquee companies like BlackRock, Wells Fargo, and HBO will occupy office space. An entirely new neighborhood will spring into existence in what seems like an instant.

In reality, though, it’s taken mega-developer Related Companies over a decade to get to this moment. In that time, Hudson Yards — the stagnant rail yard area between 30th and 34th streets and 10th and 12th avenues — has turned into a modern adult playground of luxury retailers and restaurants, park space, and public events that have come to fruition through the vision of Related Urban CEO Kenneth Himmel.”

“Everything is designed to pull people in and up: the escalators, the open floor plan, Neiman Marcus starting on level five, the Keller and Estiatorio Milos flagships on five and six. Restaurants on higher floors are common in other countries, especially in Asia, but the format has not quite caught on in the United States — yet, if Himmel has his way.”

Read more here.

New York restaurant La Sirena to close

New York restaurant La Sirena to close

“B&B Hospitality Group’s New York City restaurant La Sirena is scheduled to close after the end of the year, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

“We are very proud of our hard-working, dedicated professionals who deliver great dining experiences to our guests every day. Our guests know just how special La Sirena is, and we’re grateful for their patronage,” the statement said.

Batali, who co-founded the company with partners Joe and Lidia Bastianich, opened La Sirena in 2016. According to Eater, the restaurant began struggling even before Batali was accused of sexual misconduct. Batali is the subject of both civil and criminal investigations.

Read more here.

Opportunities: CohnReznick Presents 2015 Hospitality Webinar Series


CohnReznick LLP, one of the top accounting, tax, and advisory firms in the United States, will hold the second session in their Hospitality Webinar Series on May 21st titled The Technology Landscape: Understanding What You Need and What Works. This webinar will cover the past, present and future of hospitality industry technology and identify the best platforms based on a company’s technological need. The webinar will be moderated by Christopher Mahon, Partner at CohenReznick and will feature James McGhee, Partner at Results Thru Strategy. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.39.44 PM

The series goal is to present webinars focused on the financial and operational issues that face hospitality companies. Other upcoming topics for the series include Public Relations and Social Media Strategies, The ABCs of Lending: The Finance Market for Restaurants, Both Big and Small and Legal Issues for the Hospitality Industry.

CohnReznick, headquartered in New York, offers specialized services for middle market, Fortune 1000 companies, private equity and financial services firms, government contractors, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. Founded in 1919, they have over 300 partners, 2700 plus employees and bring in an annual revenue of more than $500 million dollars.

To register for this webinar, please click here

US Demand for Ethnic Flavors

The US foodservice market is very attractive to international operators looking to expand globally. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant industry sales last year surpassed $680 billion, with the limited-service sector accounting for a third of the total. Due to the rise of importance of the millennial generation, ethnic flavors have become more in demand than they ever have before, which is causing international brands to be able to boom and grow their brands across the US.

As the popularity of the global fast casual concepts grows, chains from Brazil, Asia, Europe and South Africa are jumping into the US foodservice space to compete and expand their concepts. For example, London-based Pret A Manger is thriving by marketing their healthy and fresh products in urban areas with a high pedestrian traffic count. Lauren Hallow, associate editor of news and concept analysis for research firm Technomic states that Pret “really lets people know they use natural, preservative-free ingredients, so the fresh factor is still there. They do have a higher price point, and I think that’s why they’re sticking to these urban areas with affluent consumers.”

Le Pain Quotidian is another chain, from Belgium, that has grown exponentially in the US last year. Aside from the fresh, healthy menu items, what has made LPQ attractive in large urban areas which can at times feel lonely, is their store layout which always includes a large communal table. CEO Vincent Herbert was excited by the challenge of breaking into the US market and was confident they would succeed given their strong core values of enjoying the hospitality aspect and not just the service aspect. LPQ faced higher rent terms than accustomed to in Europe, so Herbert explains that the chain had to ensure that each location would yield high profits quickly, and that their success really came from the brand’s ability to not look like a chain.

Giraffas, a Brazilian steak and burger brand also chose to take on a challenge and enter the US market, but before doing so realized they needed a fast casual makeover to succeed. João Barbosa, CEO of Giraffes, says that the key to keeping the food costs low lays in the cut of the beef known in Brazil as a ‘piranha,’ which is relatively inexpensive in the US and has become popular in their first locations in Florida. The brand is looking to target more urban areas this year such as New York and Boston which will serve as a gateway to these expand westward and eventually franchise.

To read more about international concepts that aim to expand their brands in the US market due to an increased demand for global flavors, click here


NYC Hotel Forum

The NYC Hotel Forum will take place this Friday November 7th at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center on 1221 Avenue of the Americas. The forum will run from 8AM to 11:20AM to discuss major topics in NYC Hotel development. Attendees will include investors, owners, developers, lenders, architects, designers and essentially a whole range of key players in the hospitality industry. The forum will begin with a continental breakfast and networking opportunity followed by the keynote address by Donna Keren, Senior Vice President, Research & Analysis, NYC & Company. The remainder of the morning will consist of a two panel discussions with a networking break in between. Panel 1 will discuss The Anatomy of Successful Hospitality Deals and Panel 2’s title is: Will Demand Stay Hot for Hotels? Hotel Development Trends. The closing keynote address will be delivered by Adele Gutman Milne, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Revenue, Library Hotel Collection.

Many major topics will be discussed throughout the forum including:

  • Strategies for Launching New Developments in an Economic Upturn
  • Managing Construction and Renovation Projects Delayed During the Recession
  • Financing Your Hotel and What Lenders Look for in an Ideal Hospitality Project
  • Integrating Technological Advances for Future Hotel Rooms and Guest Experiences
  • Modernizing Old Hotels and Recognizing What is Critical When Rebranding a Hotel

An individual ticket will cost $125, while association members will be able to purchase tickets at a reduced fee of $75. To read more about the forum and to register, click here