Discover more from The 21 Hats Morning Report
The Great Resignation Enters a New Phase
It’s known as “Quiet Quitting.” Here’s how one 24-year-old engineer explains it: “You’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond.”
Here are today’s highlights:
Restaurants are evolving from the business of hospitality to e-commerce.
If you’re looking for CRM software, don’t waste your time comparing features.
John Arensmeyer says the benefits for business owners coming out of Washington are largely indirect but real.
Will the Battery Belt reinvigorate the Rust Belt?
Grocery prices have risen much faster than restaurant prices: “Restaurants are taking on grocery stores over value, contending that eating out can be a better deal than cooking at home. They have some recent data on their side. Consumer prices at grocery stores and restaurants increased 13.1 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, year-over-year in July, according to the Labor Department—the biggest inflationary gap between grocery stores and restaurants since the 1970s. The unusual pricing dynamic has given ammunition to fast-food chains and sit-down restaurants, which are increasingly touting their prices and overall value in advertisements.” READ MORE
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Delivery services are pointing restaurants toward a new business model: “[Shaml] Thakrar is a co-founder of Dishoom, a small, fashionable chain of restaurants in Britain known for its vivid evocation of Mumbai’s fading cafés. When the pandemic hit, Thakrar’s most pressing concern was ‘to keep every member of our staff employed.’ Realizing that his restaurants would need to deliver, he sent each dish on a journey round east London, shook it up a bit and tasted it. He learned that ‘kebabs suffer, dal tastes fine and biryani is delicious.’ He immediately halved his menu. Within three months of lockdown, Thakrar had opened four new branches, including one in Park Royal. These were all modular dark kitchens, a world away from its meticulously designed dining room.”
“Dishoom is a bellwether for which restaurants will thrive in delivery’s expanding empire. It is exactly the kind of upmarket restaurant that lends Deliveroo legitimacy and attracts customers used to dining out.”
“Deliveroo works hard to court these chosen ones, offering them free dark-kitchen space in exchange for exclusivity. This helps apps counteract their biggest weakness: customers promiscuously flitting from platform to platform.”
“Restaurateurs I spoke to suggest that coronavirus may hasten the demise of eat-in dining. Suddenly, restaurants are no longer in the business of hospitality, but of e-commerce.” READ MORE
Increasingly known as quiet quitting, the Great Resignation’s latest phase rejects hustle culture: “The phrase is generating millions of views on TikTok as some young professionals reject the idea of going above and beyond in their careers, labeling their lesser enthusiasm a form of ‘quitting.’ It isn’t about getting off the company payroll, these employees say. In fact, the idea is to stay on it—but focus your time on the things you do outside of the office. The videos range from sincere ruminations on work-life balance to snarky jokes. Some set firm boundaries against overtime in favor of family. Others advocate coasting from 9-to-5, doing just enough to get by. Many want to untether their careers from their identities.”
“Zaid Khan, a 24-year-old engineer in New York, posted a quiet quitting video that has racked up three million views in two weeks. In his viral TikTok, Mr. Khan explained the concept this way: ‘You’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond.’”
“‘You’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life,’ he said.” READ MORE
Taco Bell is taking an unusual approach to improve its frontline experience: “At Taco Bell, every new corporate employee must work at one of the fast food chain’s restaurants for a week, sometimes more. It’s an important, humbling, and camaraderie-building experience to ensure that decisions around store policies, menu items, or new features like digital menus and ordering kiosks are made with frontline workers in mind. Moreover, the company says the mandate helps to reduce barriers between crew members and corporate employees and provides workers in white-collar roles with an increased awareness of the frontline fast food experience.”
“At a time when retail workers are hard to come by and even harder to keep, companies are quickly realizing that promoting better working conditions, upward mobility, and a culture of understanding helps to retain these in-demand workers, thus creating greater long-term value.”
“In addition to the weeklong training when they start, corporate employees are required to complete a full shift at a store each year. They take orders from customers, work the food prep lines, and handle cleaning and closing responsibilities.” READ MORE
THE 21 HATS PODCAST: DASHBOARD
What the Inflation Reduction Act means for business owners: In this week’s Dashboard, John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group for entrepreneurs and businesses, talks about what business owners can expect from the legislation coming out of Washington, D.C.—not just the climate, tax, and health care bill but also the CHIPS and Science Act. In many instances, the benefits will come indirectly, he says, but they will come.
You can subscribe to the 21 Hats Podcast wherever you get podcasts.
Could Ford’s F-150 Lightning give red America a stake in going green? “In the near future, the so-called Rust Belt, along with the Deep South, could become the Battery Belt. And the F-150 Lightning, paired with its growing slate of American-made competitors, could offer an all-around win: manufacturing revitalized, gas money saved, and the potential to curb the transportation sector’s leading 27 percent share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. A clean energy transition temptingly driven by strong, spacious, all-American vehicles with cultural cachet. A solution without sacrifice. Carrots, not sticks.”
“The Georgia factory is expected to produce 21.5 million kilowatt-hours in annual capacity that could power over 430,000 new electric vehicles each year once site construction is fully complete.”
“The sweeping new climate bill just passed in Congress allocates nearly $400 billion over 10 years to encourage the clean energy transition and the growth of factories precisely like this one.” READ MORE
If you’re shopping for CRM software, Gene Marks says not to bother comparing features because they’re all pretty much the same. What should you do instead? “First, make sure your user base feels comfortable using it. Some people like the Accord over the Camry not because there are more features but because it has a better look and feel. Others think the opposite. The same with CRM systems. I’ve had many people tell me that Zoho is very user friendly. I’ve an equal number of people disagree. Humans are complicated. Do your test drive and make sure the majority of your users enjoy the interface. This is where many CRMs differ.”
“Next, make sure your CRM system is going to address the specific goals you’ve established. That means putting actual data from your company into the system and then testing its capabilities to manage leads, contacts, calendars. Or do marketing. Or automate tasks.”
“Finally, and most importantly: focus on the CRM vendor. That’s because you’re not buying a product. You’re entering into a long-term relationship. Will this company be around in 10 years? Is CRM their core offering? Is their support sufficient?” READ MORE
Here’s how Slim Pickins, a shop in Stephenville, Texas, became the first Black-owned outdoors retailer in the U.S.: “For the first few years, Slim Pickins grew modestly. But like thousands of other small businesses, it struggled to stay afloat during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then everything changed in February 2021, when the Outbound Collective, an online hub for outdoorsy types, released a short film touting [Jahmicah] Dawes as the only Black owner of an outdoors retailer in the country. The video made Dawes something of a celebrity in the outdoors world. Slim Pickins–branded clothing gained a certain cachet, and this February, the outdoor-gear chain Public Lands, which is owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods, began carrying a line of Slim Pickins merch.”
“All of this led to one significant measure of success. ‘Our doors are still open,’ Dawes said. But the boom in sales also rang a little hollow. He and Heather began to reconsider what real success might look like. They decided to use their newfound fame to help diversify participation in the outdoors and within the outdoors industry.”
“Then came the murder of George Floyd. The couple discussed how they and their business could support the racial justice movement that followed. They knew how explosive racial tensions in their community could become.”
“Would speaking out now cost the Daweses their livelihood? ‘We had tense conversations,’ [said Heather, Dawes’ wife and cofounder]. They decided it was worth the risk.” READ MORE
In a beach town, millennials try to save their family businesses: “There are plenty of shiny, new hotels in Montauk, the beach town at the tip of Long Island’s East End, which has gone from rustic village to chic destination in the last two decades. ... Then there’s Daunt’s Albatross, a no-frills, 1950s motel, in the middle of it all. Leo Daunt, the motel’s 29-year-old general manager, is determined to make sure it stays relevant and independent in this land of big-money development deals. After all, the legacy of his family’s business is at stake. As jet-setters and influencers continue to flock to Montauk, deep-pocketed investors have pounced, offering longstanding mom-and-pop shops millions of dollars for their properties.”
“This spring Liar’s Saloon, a beloved watering hole that used to offer $1 beers, was rumored to be sold for millions.”
“But a small band of millennials with ties to the area, like Mr. Daunt, are taking over their family businesses and updating them to ensure they stick around for at least one more generation.”
“The idea is that as long as they are in charge, their families won’t be tempted to sell.” READ MORE
Adam Neumann is back with a new real estate business, Flow, that has raised $350 million from Andreessen Horwitz: “‘Neumann has purchased more than 3,000 apartment units in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville. His aim is to rethink the housing rental market by creating a branded product with consistent service and community features. Flow will operate the properties Neumann has bought and also offer its services to new developments and other third parties. Exact details of the business plan could not be learned.”
“The investment, the largest individual check Andreesen Horowitz has ever written in a round of funding to a company, values Flow at more than $1 billion before it even officially opens its doors.”
“Flow appears to be financially separate from the crypto company Flowcarbon, which was also co-founded by Neumann and raised $70 million in May in a round led by Andreesen Horowitz.” READ MORE
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