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Find fresh business angles in restaurants

August 12, 2019

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Booze-free cocktails, training programs for front-of-house staff, and employees working out together are a few restaurant trends you can localize. (Photo by Dan Gold via Unsplash)

With many readers out enjoying the warm summer weather, the restaurant industry offers ample opportunities for local business stories. Here are some angles to consider.

Employee Training

Some restaurants are going beyond the typical onboarding and sexual harassment training to give employees more tools for preventing #MeToo situations. The Angel shots (ask the bartender for one if you need to get away from a stalker or bad date) that went viral a while back are one example. But there are also programs happening behind the scenes to train front of house employees to recognize bad situations and keep patrons safe.

For instance, the province of Ontario is investing $1.7M in training frontline workers to recognize and intervene in these situations. Additionally, Safe Bars trains staff at DC-area bars how to handle these situations. Are any local restaurants instituting similar programs? Are any training employees on handling unwanted advances from patrons? What does this training entail and what’s the impact?

Resources for Restaurant Employees

The restaurant industry can be notoriously hard on the body with long hours and post-shift drinks or heavy meals. But some restaurant groups are bucking this trend by offering group workouts for employees and other resources supporting a healthier lifestyle.

Meanwhile, substance abuse issues can be so prevalent in the hospitality that some support groups cater specifically to this demographic. One such group, San Antonio, Texas-based Heard, plans to expand into other Texas cities later this year.

What resources exist in your neck of the woods? Are restaurant groups or independent groups providing support to restaurant employees?

Booze-free Drinks

As many Americans rethink their relationship with alcohol for health or other reasons, CNN reports that investors are betting in the “sober curious” movement. As a result, some restaurants such as now offer a menu of zero-proof cocktails. Meanwhile, some bars such as Nymphaea Elixir Bar in New York City offer an entirely alcohol-free menu.

Are any local restaurants cashing in on this cocktail trend? Who’s ordering these drinks and why? Similarly, are any local breweries jumping on the non-alcoholic craft beer bandwagon?

Reporter’s Takeaway

National trade groups such as the National Restaurant Association or state-specific trade associations such as the Washington Hospitality Association may be able to provide statistics and context on industry trends.


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