Twenty-Five Percent of Diners Say Tech Options Factor into Restaurant Choice

The first part of this article from Hospitality Technology summarizes the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 forecast which boasts good news for the industry this year. We’ve already talked about that and are very excited for what’s to come.

What I found interesting was the latter part of the article discussing consumer trends and their demand for technology. They still want and like the personal aspect of eating out, but most want some technology to make the ordering process more efficient and convenient. Interesting stat from the article: 8 of 10 don’t eat out as much as they’d like to. So you have to wonder how do we get them to eat out more?

Check out the full article here. 

2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast Released

The National Restaurant Association has released it’s 2015 industry forecast and it’s looking pretty good. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Estimated industry sales of $709.2 billion
  • Estimated to hit 1,000,000 locations in the US
  • Estimated to employ 14 million people

The biggest challenges will be rising food costs and more competition in the labor market as more jobs become available across industries.

Click here to read the full article from the Missouri Restaurant Association or view the quick 3 minute video summary from below.


First Watch Restaurant Shut Down for Live Insects

Here is another example of one bad actor running unsafe operations bringing unwanted media attention to the whole chain.

Click here to watch the news report

This is a trend, local news stations are trying to own food safety. In Denver, it is Fox 31; this story is by an ABC affiliate in Tampa. The reporter states to friend her on Facebook and send her tips on dirty restaurants. We can expect to see more of these stories.

Report Card:

First watch corporate based on our information gets a C.

Things they did well:

  1. They got Steritech in there to deal with the roach problem quickly.
  2. They released a statement from corporate.
  3. I’m inferring this from the report, they use Steritech or some other company, to inspect several times a year.

Things they could have done better:

  1. The completely glossed over the troubling things: roaches are gross, but they aren’t as dangerous as 56-degree pancake batter.
  2. Chemicals cross contamination is terrifying; ask the poor woman in Utah, who drank the bad sweat tea.
  3. The biggest ding against First Watch corporate; they don’t have the proper systems in place to identify issues and to ensure that their restaurants are performing safely at all times.

3rd party inspections a couple of times a year aren’t enough. You need systems in place to identify issues on a daily basis and to hold restaurant managers/owners accountable. I’m not advocating Orwellian type oversight. I’m not saying you need more area manager’s or a restaurant cop in every restaurant every day making sure that nothing bad ever happens.

I’m advocating:

  • Building a culture of responsibility and using those cultural standards to weed out people who don’t fit in your organization.
  • Setting up incentive based systems where you reward your teams for doing things right.
  • Designing your systems so that everyone is getting training on the critical things frequently.
  • Using technology to gather information.
  • Most importantly having the due care processes in place, so that when you identify an issue there is a clear set of guidelines that your team follows to correct it.

My name is Tommy Yionoulis and I’m a restaurant and software guy.  If you like what you read, please follow OpsAnalitica on LinkedIn and follow our blog.

Chain Restaurants Close 2014 With Sales Growth

A nice positive article from FSR Magazine to start off 2015 as it relates to a growth in sales for chain restaurants. Here are a couple of the highlights:

  • December recorded the best same store sales in three years at 3.1%
  • The fourth quarter registered the best same-store sales results reported in six years of Black Box Intelligence tracking at 2.5%
  • Aggregate growth of 0.8 percent for 2014 vs. -0.1 percent posted in 2013 by the industry
  • Excluding this first quarter, same-store sales grew at an average 1.3 percent during the rest of the year
  • Traffic grew by 0.6 percent during December, the best month for the industry since February 2012
  • The increases in same-store traffic mirror the jumps in same-store sales, meaning that it was a true improvement in sales fueled by attracting more guests into restaurants, and not just the effect of rising prices
  • The improvement in sales has been widespread across the country with all 11 regions posting positive same-store sales during the fourth quarter, which has not happened in any other quarter over the last three years

Read the full article here. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come in 2015. Only time will tell for sure.

The NRA’s Response to the State of the Union Address

Please take a look at the National Restaurant Association’s Official Response to the State of the Union Address.  I would like to add two personal notes to this story.

I started my working life at age 14 at a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in Columbia MD.  I think it is fair to say that at the time I wasn’t the most productive or highly skilled employee, I was uncoordinated and goofy.  I would never have made that first paycheck or been able to get that first job at Jerry’s if they couldn’t afford to hire and train me.

In 2008,  I managed the Franchise Assistance Program at a large sandwich chain.  My job was to offer business coaching and assistance to franchisees who were struggling.  Remember how franchise chains work.  When you see the Subway in your local strip center, it isn’t owned by the Subway corporation with it’s billions of dollars in revenues and resources; it is owned by one of your neighbors.

Please click here to read the NRA’s Official Response to the State of the Union Address.


My name is Tommy Yionoulis and I’m a restaurant and software guy.  If you like what you read, please follow OpsAnalitica on LinkedIn and follow our blog.


Health Department Investigating Illnesses At Opryland Hotel

This article, Health Department Investigating Illness at Opryland Hotel, illustrates one of our key beliefs at OpsAnalitica. In today’s connected world, a news story like this can reach a national audience in minutes. I live in Colorado, and this article was sent to me by a friend.

The title of this article is meant to alarm people. When you read the article it seems as though Opryland acted responsibly, self-reporting to the health department, and went above and beyond to help their guests by supplying medical care.

On the OpsAnaltica blog, we are going to call them as we see them, and we believe that Opryland Hotel handled this situation well.
If they were using the OpsAnalitica platform they, would have been able to show investigators every self-inspection they had done to ensure the safety of their guests but that fact is for another post.