American Express is Buying Reservation App Resy

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The financial services corporation American Express announced today that it will be buying the restaurant reservation booking platform, Resy.

In a move to offer more restaurant perks to its customers, the credit card company has been adding to its portfolio by acquiring different hospitality services.

Some of American Express's latest acquisitions include the travel-assistant app Mezi and LoungeBuddy, an airport-lounge booking service.

“American Express wants to be more central in our customers’ everyday lives,” said Chris Cracchiolo, American Express’s senior vice president for global loyalty and benefits to "New York Times."

Resy, which has emerged as a rival to OpenTable, has 4,000 restaurants on its platform and is used in 10 countries.

Last November, Resy acquired Reserve, another reservation company.

Before that, Resy was on an acquiring spree and bought ClubKviar, a reservation service in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain in April and in 2017, the company also acquired Servy, a market research service.

Resy's revenue has doubled every year for the last four years. According to Foodable Labs data, Resy has the highest Operator Sentiment score out of all the reservation services, meaning operators are much happier with this service versus others.

Now, as part of American Express's portfolio, Resy is expected to grow significantly.

“Putting Resy and American Express together will give Resy valuable scale,” said Ben Leventhal, Resy’s co-founder and chief executive.

Earlier this year, Resy partnered up with the American Express competitor Capital One to release a modern restaurant week and Capital One cardmembers got early access to book reservations during these weeks.

American Express' may now do similar campaigns to promote its dining reward credit cards.

Read more about the impending deal at "The New York Times" now.

Under the American Express' umbrella, Resy is about to become a real threat to OpenTable. Check out the video below to learn more about the restaurant reservations war.

How Seafood Can Improve Mental Wellness

In the U.S., one in five Americans suffer from mental health issues each day, which is over 40 million Americans. Almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the mental health crisis has been on a steady incline.

Your diet not only makes an impact on your physical health but also on your mental health.

With that in mind, at the last Foodable.io event in Seattle, there was a panel solely focused on mental health and the role a healthy diet plays.

We gathered three nutrition experts including Linda Cornish, president of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Dr. Tom Brenna, director at Seafood Nutrition Partnership, and Lionel Uddippa, chef de cuisine at Salt in Alaska to see how a rich seafood diet, in particular, has been proven to help improve mental health.

Seafood has been shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other mental disorders. Specifically, people who regularly eat fish are 20 percent less likely than their peers to experience depression. The American Psychiatric Association has even endorsed the fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment.

"The brain is fundamentally an omega-3 organ, it's richer in omega-3 than any other organ in the body...the effects of omega-3 EPA in depression specifically have been very consistent where those diagnosed with major depression using omega-3 rich oils have seen a consistent alleviation of symptoms," says Dr. Brenna.

Listen to the full podcast episode above to learn more about how seafood can make a positive impact on mental health and how the chef community can support itself and its customers through the food it serves.

Sustainability-Focused Brands Share Best Practices

Thanks to today's technology and data analytics, we are well aware of the impact we have on our environment. But knowledge is power.

Brands across the country now have teams dedicated to improving sustainable practices, all committed to a larger mission to reduce their carbon footprint.

At the Foodable.io Seattle event, we sat down with three sustainability experts– Jessica Myer, environmental specialist for Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Julia Person, sustainability and manager for Kona Brewing, and Nelly Hand, founder & and fisherman to learn about each of their roles and how their brands are providing eco-friendly solutions.

But to make sure that sustainable practices are being universally used within a business isn't always easy.

"As we grow as a company and our sustainable practices are actually coming into fruition, our biggest challenge is that our locations in eastern Washington and Oregon are very rural, so we don't have access to the recycling seen in Seattle or Portland. The city of Walla Walla (in Washington) doesn't have any glass recycling, which seems insane. But we have to find innovative ways to get our products recycled," says Myer. "Another thing is the plastic challenge. We are having to sometimes paid to recycle our plastic now, which is not necessarily sustainable for a business but we want to make sure we're doing the right thing."

This movement encompasses much more than recycling. There's water conservation, alternative power sources, fishing techniques, and harvesting practices– that all make an impact on our planet and its resources.

Listen to the full episode above to learn more about how these brands are looking for new ways to be more eco-friendly, while also closing the loop on consumers demands around full sustainability and responsibility from all sides.

Boston Beer Company and Dogfish Head Announces $300 Million Merger

Two publicly traded beer companies Dogfish Head and Boston Beer Company will be merging into one massive beer business.

Last week, the companies announced that they had agreed to a $300 merger deal where the Dogfish Head co-founders Sam and Mariah Calagione will receive about 406,000 shares of Boston Beer stock, making them the largest non-institutional shareholders. Boston Beer founder Jim Koch remains the largest shareholder.

Dogfish Head shareholders made $173 million in the deal and in 2020, Sam Calagione will be joining the Boston Beer's board of directors.

The Samuel Adams’ brewer Boston Beer is the second largest craft beer maker in the U.S. and Dogfish Head is the 13th, according to the Brewers Association.

“This combination is the right fit as both Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have a passion for brewing and innovation, we share the same values and we will learn a lot from each other as we continue to invest in the high-end beer category,” said Koch in a press release.

Koch and Sam Calagione discussed the deal back in February at the Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston while sipping on pints.

“We talked about how challenging the industry is getting, the indie craft definition, brands that consumers think are indie craft, active lifestyle beers, and we discovered how beautifully complementary and not competitive our portfolios were,” said Koch.

Dogfish Head is expected to sell 300,000 barrels of beer this year, with net sales of about $120 million. The company is only expected to grow significantly with more resources under Boston Beer. Dogfish Head current sales team that is only about 25 percent of the size of Boston Beer’s.

This isn't the first time the companies have worked together either. About eight years ago, the companies partnered to brew a collaboration beer for the annual SAVOR craft beer event.

Learn more about this big beer merger at "Brewbound."

Whenever a craft brewer sells or gets acquired, this often inspires a debate amongst craft beer lovin' consumers. Watch the video below to learn more.

The Combination to Restaurant Success

If there was a three-number combination lock sitting in front of you and you did not know any of the numbers, how confident would you be that you could open the lock? Granted, the possible combinations is easily over one thousand. How do you feel about being able to open it?

Most would say not very confident not knowing any of the numbers. Even if you had just one number, it still would take a lot of work and patience to finally crack the code. That is a lot of how most restaurants operate. They have one piece of the code and they struggle each day to try and open the lock to success.

So, for the first time (this month...), I am going to give you the code to restaurant success! Are you interested? I’ll give you a second to get a notebook out.

Restaurant success is a triad of three elements. Many have one or two of these working well, however without all three working in synergy, your restaurant will never reach the peak of performance. It’s like placing a governor set at 75 mph in a race car that has the potential of going 200 mph. As long as that governor is on the engine it will never reach its top speed.

The keys to restaurant success can be broken down into three elements: People, Product, and Process. Let’s break each down.

People

Think of this as the foundation of a house. How stable would your house be with a poor foundation? Would you allow your family to live in a house with a bad foundation? Of course not. Yet, everyday restaurants open without having set up the most critical element of their brand, the foundation. The cement that holds your foundation solid is your core values and your mission. These elements are what keep you and your brand held together when the market goes up and down. When economic conditions shift. Your values and your mission must be securely a part of your foundation before you start to build on top of it.

Once the core value cement has been set it is now time to gather the right people to your team. How do you attract the right people? By using those core values as a guide. People that do not align with your brand core values are just not a good fit for your restaurant.

Another valuable tool is you explore behavioral assessments like ProScan®️, DiSC®️, and the Predictive Index®️. Each measures the four cornerstone behavioral strengths that we all have (just in different combinations): Dominance, Extroversion, Patience, and Formality. Certain behavioral types work well together and are needed for harmony. Some are drivers that push for results. Some get energy from people. Others prefer spreadsheets and data. You need some of each to build a balanced team. Think of it as a tire on a car. You need all four wheels balanced or you are not going to get peak performance from the vehicle.

Product

For most this is the first key they focus on and that is a major mistake. Yes, your menu and what you sell is important. However, when you place it before people, you end up with a menu that cannot be executed consistently. Product is the low hanging fruit and it’s easy because most think that is what makes a restaurant. A restaurant is more than the menu. It’s a complex blend of service, ambiance, culture, beverages, and food. To isolate a restaurant to just it’s menu is like trying to play piano with just two fingers. Yeah, you can do it, it just sounds like shit!

The other thing to consider when discussing product is the elements that support it like those mentioned above: the style of service, ambiance, energy, brand identity, and the thousand other details that create a unique value proposition (UVP.) If you don’t stand out in a crowded market you will just blend in. The trick is not to stand too far out that your potential guests can’t relate to your brand. It’s far easier to be on the edge and disrupt the market. Then to be way out all alone trying to create a market. Many failing concepts learned this lesson the hard way.

Process

The last of the keys is the least glamorous of them and it secures and stabilizes the first two. Without systems in place that can be followed and implemented by the team, it’s going to be a hard journey. Peter Drucker the famous business consultant once said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” He’s right. Systems by themselves are worthless without three components: key metrics, strategy, and accountability.

Most restaurants have clipboards that sit idle on the wall and rarely get used. Why? Because they were not designed with expectations or used properly. A lazy manager decided to download a template from the internet, printed it out, put in on a clipboard and told the team to do it. You must always clarify your expectations when rolling out a new system to the team. What it is, how to use it, and why it matters. That last one might be the most important. Without a reason why the team will never buy into using it to its proper use. Sure, they’ll go down the list and check it off. When the leadership team doesn’t check their work and give them feedback, they just brush it off as not that important. You must always inspect what you expect. That is how you hold the team accountable to the brand standards.

Systems also are not valuable if you do not have a strategy for them. So, you have a yearly budget. What are you doing with it? Are you breaking it down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily key metrics that are constantly monitored? Do you have a plan for when things get off track (and they will)? What is your recruiting strategy? Just throw up a help wanted as when someone gives notice? That’s not a recruiting strategy, that’s a Hail Mary! Do you have a market calendar and a plan? Or are you just posting a couple of times a week thinking you’re making an impact on social media?

Finally, accountability is the crucible that becomes the Achilles heel for most. Everyone wants to be the leader until it’s time to step up and do what real leaders do...they take accountability for everything that happens inside their life and restaurant. Don’t think for one second that you can be one way at work with accountability and another way in your personal life. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that for true leaders. Accountability in your personal life will impact your professional life.

When you don’t have a clear, concise, and actionable strategy in front of your processes (with accountability thrown in there,) you’re playing to survive and not to thrive. If survival is your goal, then, by all means, keep doing that. If you want to break free from the roller coaster profit and loss experience that most have, then time to put the right pieces in the right order.

Here’s the formula for restaurant success:

Pe + CV = C * Pr + Br + E = UVP * Pro + KM + St/Ac = Sc

People plus core values equals culture, times product plus brand identity plus energy equals unique value proposition times processes plus key metrics plus strategy divided by accountability equals success.

Now you have the combination to restaurant success. The next question is what are you going to do with it? It’s your move.