Category Archives: Commentary

This weekend’s late night plan.

I’ll be at Lion Head Pub and the Apartment Lounge in #Chicago tonight. Stop by and check out our LVL UP Spring Kickoff party with a special talent lineup exclusively for this event including Khanh and Alex Wolf.
Tomorrow it’s DJ Lazz til 3 AM.
If you’re in the area come out and join us!



Why Tipping Won. It’s better for everyone!

As most anyone in the industry could have and did tell y’all! Everyone does better with tipping, the customers, the businesses and most of all the service staff!

This article is a concise and well documented explanation of why no tipping policies are not catching on, just as I predicted previously on this blog and in my interactions with my restaurant clients.

There will always be a few places in the highest price bracket who can write their own ticket, and of course the long time budget “no tipping” places in quick service. But in the vast middle tipping does not seem to be riding off into the sunset. As a former tipped worker and long time industry consultant, I see no reason why it should.


Gun Control Advocates Will Follow the Trail Blazed by Anti-Smoking Activists

However you feel about increased regulation of firearms, mark my words gun control advocates will follow the path of anti-smoking forces and focus on accountability for costs/damage and the role of industry advertising. This court ruling is a big step in that direction.

The Second Amendment makes it more difficult, but these are powerful arguments and they will probably succeed down the road as the anti-tobacco forces did. Not succeed in “banning guns” just as smokes are still legal, but succeed in placing accountability for costs with those who profit from sales. This will force civil agreements similar to the “Master Settlement” with cigarette companies by gun and ammo makers that will curtail the advertising and sale of not all weapons, but the ones that cause the most damage and death. Whether they can make guns socially unacceptable like smoking remains to be seen. That’s a PR quest not a legal one.

I’m not a believer that making things illegal works well (drugs, abortion, gambling, guns spring to mind). But accountability arguments for costs and damage are compelling.

What do you think?

My Quick Voting Guide

I’m not going to tell people who to vote for but I do get asked about it. What I do: (1) Always VOTE – don’t fail to use your rights that people have died to give to us. (2) I vote personal character first in a candidate, then policy. Issues come and go and the results are always compromise, so the most important thing is the personal character and behavior of a candidate, not the party, not the platform. (3) I vote for divided government as taxpayers always do best with a balance under our current system. I never want to see either party have unchecked power. In this election that means voting Republican for IL state offices and Blue for all national offices. I’m not a partisan. (4) Don’t be intimidated and think you can’t get informed about politics. With the Internet it’s easy if we use the same tools of reason that we use in our business and daily lives, do our own research, bypass the BS online and get the facts. The truth is available if we want it. Don’t let opinion media tell you who to vote for! They are trying to sell ads by getting everyone worked up. Think for yourself and VOTE! (5) YES we do have to vote “lesser of 2 evils” rather than not voting or 3rd Party.

God Bless America!

The best way to a clean vote.

We need to hire Apple to run our voting. You never get on the Apple Store without an Apple ID. My Mac has never gotten a virus and Apple Pay has never been hacked. They have the best IT brains in the world working for them so forget Russia.
Your polling place is your computer or phone, or any local library if you don’t have a computer. Every town has libraries with computers.
Have a “voting week” Monday through Sunday. No announcements til every vote is in. No BS media polling people right after they vote ’cause there are no polling places.
No fraud. No suppression or intimidation. No conflict of interest by having politicians anywhere near the actual voting.
I’m serious. This would work.

Restaurants that got rid of tipping are bringing it back.

Because, as I’ve relentlessly insisted, tipping works better for everyone: the server, the customers and the establishment.

From our friends at THE RAIL a great industry publication:

Why it matters to you: restaurants have not been able to successfully end the tipping system. 
The tipping debate has caused controversy in the restaurant industry for years now. Some establishments believe that tipping is an unfair practice that puts servers ahead of the back of house staff whereas others believe the tipping is a fair practice that shouldn’t be changed. It’s been less than a year since the Oregon-based restaurant, Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro decided to enforce a no-tipping policy and as of last week, they have reinstated tipping. The original deal was that they would raise food and beverage prices an average of 20 percent to include tip, but unfortunately the higher prices were too much for some diners. The prices are now reduced to not include the tip and it will now be given manually.

This restaurant made a vast effort to change the system which is incredibly noteworthy. Unfortunately, the tipping system is so ingrained in the restaurant industry that it becomes incredibly difficult to interject a new structure. According to a tipping expert and professor at Cornell University of Hotel and Administration, there is really no obvious solution to the problem. “The biggest reason for restaurateurs to keep tipping is that it allows them to reduce menu prices, which increases demand.” He goes on to recommend that restauranteurs look at the level of difference between employees specifically BOH and FOH, and replace the tipping system if this is where “the highest pay discrepancies exist.”