Calif. high court rules bosses don't have to ensure breaks | Quickservice chains see kids meal sales slow | McDonald’s takes heat for Australian documentary
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April 13, 2012
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On the Front Burner
Calif. high court rules bosses don't have to ensure breaks
California's employers must provide workers with breaks but they're not responsible for making sure workers take them, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The unanimous ruling came after an eight-year legal battle by employees of Brinker International restaurants, and has the potential to affect hourly workers across a multitude of industries. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (4/12)
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Restaurant News
Quickservice chains see kids meal sales slow
McDonald's and other chains are seeing a slowdown in demand for children's meals, as parents increasingly choose less pricey a la carte items from the value menu and children outgrow Happy Meal toys at a younger age, according to NPD Group. Quickservice visits that included kids meal purchases have been on the decline since 2007 and fell 5% last year. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (4/10)
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McDonald?s takes heat for Australian documentary
McDonald's has come under fire from critics in Australia over a recently aired documentary that shows six consumers exploring the sources of the chain's food. The company funded the project, but the station that aired it said McDonald's had no editorial input; critics say the piece is less documentary and more advertorial. BurgerBusiness.com (4/12)
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Other News
Happy Hour
Leading VoicesSponsored By
How e-mail and texts can bring in more guests
Customers are 10 times more likely to redeem mobile coupons than traditional paper ones, and half of a restaurant's customers will make a special trip to redeem mobile coupons, writes Punch Mobile Marketing's Sara Petersen. She shares tips to boost traffic and sales via e-mail and text campaigns, starting with using QR and short codes to build a bigger mailing list. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (4/13)
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Why cross-training workers can be a win-win
Training workers to do a variety of different jobs is a vital tool for managing a restaurant's labor force, and it's also a plus for workers, who learn additional skills and stave off the boredom that can come with doing the same tasks every day, writes Rosati?s Pizza president Marla Topliff. She shares a list of do's and don'ts for implementing a cross-training program. PizzaMarketplace.com (4/12)
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How restaurants can prevent POS hacking
In 2011, more than 85% of all data breaches occurred in the food and beverage, retail and hospitality industries, according to investigating firm Trustwave. Restaurant owners can help prevent cyber criminal attacks by educating their employees, enacting better password policies and conducting ongoing security system assessments. Forbes (4/11)
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Start-up aims to unseat OpenTable
Start-up reservation service CityEats launched in Philadelphia this week, promising restaurants everything industry leader OpenTable delivers, plus photos and videos, at a lower price. "What we?re trying to do is bring in the atmosphere, the feel, the menu of the restaurant, so that a customer can feel, ?I?m really making a confident decision,'" said president Sameer Deen. The Philadelphia Inquirer (4/12)
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Worried about Yelp?
Learn how to get to great reviews online and off! Join this April 16 teleconference with Andy Sernovitz and Guy Kawasaki sharing word-of-mouth secrets for just $35 ? and get Sernovitz's book "Word of Mouth Marketing" and Kawaski's e-book "What the Plus!" free. Sign up now!
 
Culinary Spotlight
Rubio's to add healthier, higher-end menu items
Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill has taken several formerly popular items off the menu, including highly-sauced enchiladas, barbecue chicken and cheeseburger tacos, and has been adding healthier premium seafood and other fare aimed at fending off fast-growing competition from fast-casual rivals including Chipotle, says founder Ralph Rubio. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/12)
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English chef takes fresh seafood to the next level
The world's only two-star Michelin seafood restaurant lies in tiny Rock, England, where chef Nathan Outlaw heads up fine dining at the town's only hotel. Outlaw's menu changes on a daily basis because he relies on whatever fish local fishermen catch in the nearby bay. "I don't have any signature dishes at all on my menu because I rely totally on what is fresh and available each day," Outlaw said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/12)
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Editor's Note
Win free passes to a word-of-mouth marketing master class
Want to get in-depth secrets on Google+ from former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki -- along with word-of-mouth marketing tips from Andy Sernovitz? SmartBrief has you covered with two easy ways to win a free pass to a webinar scheduled for Monday. Your pass could be just a tweet or a blog post away. Check out our blog for details. Entries due today.
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Food for Thought
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
German writer and scientist
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