The Chaser: Restaurant News

The Chaser Restaurant and Bar Weekly News-1
// By Jordan Brydges // , Nov 15, 2019

Topics: Restaurant Management

Starbucks theme park in Chicago, Grubhub mischarges restaurants and McDonalds lets go of CEO for relationship. 


Starbucks Theme Park Comes to Chicago  


Source: Eater 


Who needs rides to be at a theme park?  The largest roastery from Starbucks is now open in Chicago in a five storied, 35,000-squared-foot theme park for coffee lovers.  The different floors are themed to showcase the roasting process and nearly every type of food and drink from the chain.  And of course, in true Chicago fashion, it will be serving pizza and cocktails.  


The experience starts right when you walk in, where you can grab a quick coffee and pastry and begin the journey through the park.  The coffee theme is the first thing you notice, with eight bronze-colored casks that run all the way up to the top distributing all the coffee beans the roastery will use everyday through the pipes. 


If you're hungry you can take the curved escalator, yes curved escalator, to the second floor where there will be the largest selection of pastries and foods.  Keep on escalating to the experiential coffee bar for some of the most sophisticated and interesting coffee drinks, Chicago themed cocktails and finally a seasonal rooftop, because why not? 


Grubhub vs. NYC Council 


Source: Nation's Restaurant News


Grubhub finally responded to the NYC Council after demanding Grubhub hire a third-party evaluator to review and refund all inaccurate fees collected from restaurants from phone orders.


Their response: "the task force will specifically look at how we can better communicate with our restaurant partners and make our system easier to use.  Task force leaders will report back with their recommendations in the next 60 days, which we will share with you."  Turns out this task force is actually made up of leaders within the company, hmm, seems a little biased Grubhub.  


Grubhub was also facing a lawsuit where they were charging restaurants for calls made through the app, even if they didn't result in orders, so Grubhub provided a period for restaurants to review all phone orders to 120 days back to check for incorrect charges.  The Council and Grubhub continue to butt heads as the Council lays out demands, and Grubhub continues to fall short of meeting them.


Not-So-Happy Meals 


Source: MarketWatch 


Last week, CEO of McDonald's was fired for having a consensual relationship with an employee.  It seems as though this trend has trickled through the company as at least 50 workers have filed sexual harassment charges against the company in the last three years.


Jenna Ries, 32, said problems for her started shortly after starting in a restaurant in Michigan in the fall of 2017.  She said the general manager ignored her co-workers repeated harassment and she was eventually transferred to another location, but the co-worker remained at the original location.  


McDonalds implemented a Safe and Respectful Workplace Training program in 100% of their corporate-owned restaurants.  And who is not required to offer the training?  Franchisees, who own 95% of McDonald's restaurants.  Low-wage employees can lose shifts or get fired if they report harassment to a manger and the former CEO walks away with an exit package that could be worth up to $85 million.  I'm not lovin' it.    


Delivery and Takeout Trends for 2020


Source: Nation's Restaurant News


Off-premise dining revenue has finally surpassed on-premise sales and shows no signs of slowing down.  2019 was the year of Mexican food, so what will 2020 bring?  According to DoorDash these are the delivery and take out trends for 2020.

  • Thai food
  • Side dishes
  • Desserts
  • Apple pie
  • Cream cheese rangoons
  • Build-your-own anything
  • Tortilla soup
  • Fried fish sandwiches


If these are the delivery and takeout trends for 2020, are any on your menu or plan to be?  With off-premise sales growing at a rate of triple on-premise sales, catering to consumer demand will be vital for restaurants to keep customers, and create loyal customers.


More Headlines This Week


Can Facebook Messenger Really Boost Foot Traffic?


6 Ways to Improve Off-Premise Sales 


Restaurant Industry Moves Away From a Recession 


Minimum Wage Scheduled to Increase, What Does This Mean for Operators?   


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Jordan Brydges

About the author, Jordan Brydges

Jordan is a marketing intern at Backbar and a business student studying marketing. She has been working in the restaurant industry for 8 years and developed a passion for cooking and a love of red wine.

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