After COVID, inflation is now a major threat to restaurants’ financial viability. How have they responded? By relying on their competitive strengths in operations. Big chains have used their size to control purchasing costs, whereas mom and pop restaurants have emphasized their authenticity and superior quality. Both are attempting to maintain customer loyalty and mitigate new threats with existing assets and resourcefulness. Video Spotlight: Restaurants Grapple with Rising Costs (September 15, 2022, CNBC Television) This post is based on the CNBC article, Inflation Forces Mom and Pop Restaurants and Big Chains to Lean on Their Unique Strengths, by A. Lucas, November 20, 2022, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. [...]
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More and more, consumers are turning to thrifting—partly for the value, partly for the fun, and partly because they view it as being eco-friendly. The trend is growing in both face-to-face stores as well as via online platforms like ThredUp. One survey reported that over 50 percent of sellers are at least 42 years old. Yet the purchasers are most often younger generations. One other interesting trend, however, is that affluent customers are increasingly among those looking to thrift, sometimes for luxury items that are otherwise hard to come by. Much of the stigma associated with buying secondhand, even among the wealthy, is gone due to the perceived sustainability benefits [...]
We have previously discussed on the blog how the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain challenges that accompanied it wreaked havoc with California ports. New sources of supply chain challenges are on the horizon. Multiple transportation methods may see disruptions this winter—rail, barge, ship, and truck. The rail strike appeared to have been averted, but that may have been premature. Six of the 12 unions approved the deal, but later, two rejected it. Although a strike doesn’t appear likely, the possibility still exists. Railroads move approximately 40% of long-haul freight. Strikes have also impacted various ports throughout the world. Barge traffic on the lower Mississippi River is being impacted by [...]
The adage goes that effective (and efficient) supply chain management extends from “a supplier’s supplier to a customer’s customers.” Manufacturers are all rushing to “win” the race to electric automobiles. With this comes literally thousands of new and unique parts, of which suppliers may not have the production and/or engineering capacity to meet. According to Opsahl, “The capacity of a supplier to launch new stuff…isn’t so much dependent on machine tools and production capacity as it is on human capital: business development, engineering and program management experts.” The magnitude of new parts requiring development—each of which takes 6-12 months of intensive work—will likely lead to parts shortages as automobile manufacturers [...]
Excavation work has begun for The Line, Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future of urban living. The plan is to construct two parallel skyscrapers, 500 meters high, 200 meters wide, and 170 kilometers long on the northwest coast of the country. The capacity is envisioned to be a future population of nine million residents. This remarkable project is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, which launched in 2016. Video Spotlight: Saudi Arabia’s Neom city design shows what life would be like living in ‘The Line’ (July 26, 2022, The Telegraph) This post is based on the CNBC article, Flying taxis, robotic avatars and holograms—Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with [...]
A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Miami has gone to a 3-day workweek. As Chick-fil-A restaurants are not open on Sundays, they have created 2 groups—referred to as pods. Each pod works 3 consecutive 13- to 14-hour days, and then has 4 days off. They also have one seven-day stretch of time off per month, and rotate weekends off. In addition to the employees that are in the pods, they have other employees that follow more traditional schedules. The 3-day workweek appeals to many workers. While other quick serve restaurants are looking for workers, this Chick-fil-A received 429 applications for a recent job posting. Many potential employees wanted the 3-day workweek. Lucia’s Pizza [...]