Bonji Foods Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 41
Restaurant Industry News Update
Hi all, welcome back to the Bonji Food Aficionado Smart Brief! We hope the weekend treated you well and that you are ready for a new week full of new opportunities! With so much happening each day, it can be difficult to keep up with the rapid news cycle, especially when focusing on the restaurant industry itself. Thus, as you've been enjoying your summer, restaurants continue to have their worlds shaken a bit. Here are some of the top restaurant-specific news stories from the Summer.
The First Chipotle Store Unionizes in Maine + Michigan At the start of the summer months, a Chipotle store in Maine voted to unionize. However, Chipotle's corporate office wasn't too excited about the news and soon closed the store permanently. Now although Chipotle says they closed the store due to “staffing struggles," it appears to have been a ploy to union bust; which is something we must keep a close eye on in the coming weeks with yet another store voting to unionize. In Lansing, Michigan another Chipotle store is set to unionize just last week. Considering how Chipotle has handled similar situations in the past, this may start a chain reaction of major events for this megalith of a company. It's also worth keeping an eye on Starbucks, who has implemented similar tactics as restaurant workers aim to be a part of unions.
Costs Set to Continue Rising
Now we won't dive too deep into economy talk with inflation and interest rates. However, it does play a factor when it comes to raw ingredients, payroll, and other costs. Nonetheless, there has been a steady rise in prices of ingredients over the past year or more. In addition to those price increases, employee turnover has been skyrocketing, with many restaurants struggling to find workers. This may not fully revolve around money though, as many industry leaders have taken a stand to say that culture in restaurants is the number one factor for employee retention. Truthfully, we couldn't agree more. Culture is everything when it comes to keeping both employees and customers happy. Yet, costs, on the whole, are set to continue rising, even with predictions of up to 153%!
A Plant-Based Summer
We've all probably been aware of the steady rise in plant-based options, which has yet to slow down. In fact, each week more chain, fast-food restaurants are adding plant-based menu items. For instance, Burger King has been at the forefront of attempting to adapt to the changing habits of consumers. They've not only joined the “Impossible” style wave but have also introduced a plant-based chicken sandwich this past month. It appears that a war is going on between the major players to see who will become the first plant-based chain. Of course, there are smaller players who completely revolve around a vegan or plant-based menu, however, we are still awaiting the one or two to truly takeoff.