Food Ingredient Expo on March 8, 2017. Join the Southern California Institute of Food Technologist Section for a FREE, Industry-Only Food Ingredient Expo at the Disneyland Hotel Exhibition Hall in Anaheim, CA. More than 600 suppliers will be on hand to showcase food ingredients for your kitchen from 3:30-8:00 p.m. Discover the latest ingredients, new concepts and unique products. Followed by a FREE networking reception. Register today!
For such a simple food, pizza sure is having a moment of innovation.
Dominos might just be the best delivery startup in America, despite the huge investments made by Silicon Valley venture capitalists into startups like Grub Hub and Maple. California’s Zume Pizza has recently made waves for using robots to cook and assemble their pies. And, college students can now grab a $9 personal pizza that is ready in only three minutes via Pizza ATM.
Because pizza is relatively easy to prepare and has near-constant demand, the segment has come to inhabit the bleeding-edge of efforts to automate restaurant operations. True, the results generated by innovating pizza companies could be difficult for other segments to replicate, but the potential to reduce labor costs for restaurants besieged by surging operating expenses will certainly be tempting.
Zume Pizza is currently spending 14 percent of its earnings on labor – compared to the 30 percent of Wall Street darling Dominos – and this number will only get smaller. The Bay Area-based company plans to work towards only hiring employees to create new recipes and prepare fresh ingredients.
"it would be like dominos without the labor component. you can imagine how incredibly profitable that would be." zume pizza co-ceo alex garden
A recent article from Quartz championed Zume Pizza’s plan to hire fewer, better-compensated workers as a positive development. For the select few able to gain one of these jobs, maybe it will be.
But, what message is sent to the masses of job-seekers looking for an opportunity, when government policies become advantageous to business models light on labor?
Nearly one-third of American employees worked their first job in the restaurant industry, and the data shows how important these first job experiences are to building a successful future in any workplace. Furthermore, new research on minimum wage increases has found evidence that employers will seek out more-skilled employees when paying higher wages – making it even harder for those lacking any work experience to enter the workforce.
On New Year’s Eve, I visited a local Round Table Pizza to pick up food before meeting up with friends. Inside, there were multiple teenagers working at every facet of the business. In the context of the growing push for automation in the restaurant industry, it has now become reasonable to ask whether this will be a fixture of the past and who the “winners” and “losers” will be.
The innovator seeks to disrupt where he or she finds opportunity. In the case of the restaurant industry, its thin margins and heavy reliance on manual labor look more and more like a golden opportunity for disruption in a scenario of exploding wage costs. That makes the push for a $15 minimum wage, something with the potential to further disconnect young Americans and low-skill workers from gaining the foothold into the workforce they desperately need.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2017
916.431.2749 | email@example.com
California Restaurant Association Issues Statement Regarding San Diego Restaurant Surcharge
Dear San Diego Restaurant Patrons,
Today, the San Diego City Attorney raised concerns about the manner in which surcharges were placed on customer receipts at some restaurants at the start of the new year. We appreciate her comments and respect her statements.
Because there has been some debate about surcharges, we think it’s critical that you know why some restaurants chose to adopt a surcharge. Many businesses all over California have been scrambling to find ways to adapt to the rising minimum wage. In a restaurant, labor costs often account for a very large portion of overall operating expenses, in an industry with remarkably low profit margins and high failure rates. This is why, when you hear about the minimum wage, you often hear about how it impacts restaurants.
To adapt to wage increases, restaurants around the state have either raised menu prices, reduced employees’ hours, reduced their own hours of operation, or adopted a surcharge or, in some cases, eliminated tipping and are now using a service charge. San Diego is not alone in this challenge and restaurants are not the first business to use a surcharge -- many hotels and transportation providers also use a surcharge.
Whatever avenue each business chooses as a way to survive into the coming years, restaurants in San Diego and in every city want to be around for a long time to come.
About the California Restaurant Association: The California Restaurant Association provides ultimate access to the resources and support restaurant professionals need to lead thriving businesses, while serving as conscientious, contributing members of an unparalleled industry. California is home to more than 90,000 eating and drinking places that ring up more than $72 billion in sales and employ more than 1.6 million workers, making restaurants an indisputable driving force in the state’s economy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2016
SACRAMENTO - California Restaurant Association President & CEO Jot Condie released the following statement today, in reponse to President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Andy Puzder as Secretary of the US Department of Labor.
"The California Restaurant Association welcomes President-elect Donald Trump's choice of Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor.
As CEO of CKE Restaurants, Andy has led one of the country's most recognized brands -- at times through financial and economic challenges -- and succeeded. He is the very definition of a job creator, one who believes that Americans should have the opportunity to succeed.
In him, American workers will finally have someone on their side who understands how businesses work and how jobs are created."
Last Wednesday, the State of California issued a noticed regarding Health and Safety Code Section 114094(d) which provided that menu labeling requirements become effective in California on December 1, 2016. Local environmental health agencies may begin enforcement of the menu labeling requirements for those qualified restaurants and similar food businesses on or after that date.
California’s effective date does differ from any enforcement activities that will be conducted by FDA starting on May 5, 2017, because the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act prohibited expenditures of any federal funds in the enforcement of menu labeling requirements until after that date. The act does not have any impact on use of state or local funds in the enforcement of these provisions.
Since this notice was released, the CRA has been in constant contact with the California Department of Health. Unfortunately, the holiday weekend delayed a response from California officials.
In the interim period since last Wednesday, the FDA has confirmed that the calorie menu labeling law will take effect on May 5, 2017, yet “clarified” that the original December 1, 2016 compliance date remains in effect.
At the same time, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has advised that the law becomes effective in California on December 1, 2016. CDPH “recommends” that regulators implement the new requirements “through an educational approach for the first six months” to give businesses an opportunity to comply. It is difficult to predict the precise manner in which the California state and local authorities will enforce the new law. We are awaiting guidance document from CDPH recommending an educational approach in advance of the May 5, 2017 deadline.
Please see below for additional details.