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IHOPe You Weren't Expecting Pancakes

We start out with sad news this week. Or is it a silver lining story? Last Tuesday was National Pancake Day. This year unfortunately, revelers who made the pilgrimage to their local IHOP to claim a free short stack of pancakes were confronted with the sobering reality that a global pandemic is not the best time to pack out everyone's favorite chain diner (sorry, Denny's). Instead, in a move to both boost enrollment in their MyHOP customer loyalty program and add business to April, their slowest month, IHOP is issuing IOU's redeemable anytime during the month of April for a free short stack of pancakes. Well played IHOP. If only we at Unfiltered could bribe people with free pancakes to join this mailing list...

Fake It Since You Don't Make It

In other booze news, something surprising is happening in the wine and spirits world. It's not like, a good surprise though. It's more like getting Punk'ed. Counterfeiting is on the rise! 2 months ago, a major bust was made in Spain where a pretty sophisticated counterfeiting operation was uncovered producing tens of thousands of liters of counterfeit whisky using the label, boxes, brand name; even tax stamps of a well known whisky brand.

Another article posted this week supposes that fraud in the wine industry could represent up to a $3 billion gouge as well. The good news for our readers not currently buying 1941 Chateau Petrus at wine auctions is that a good deal of the fraud is happening with wines like this, which I'm sorry to our readers, you're probably not drinking. The bad news is, with the rise of online wine sales outside of the distributor system, winemakers in the $15/btl price range are seeing a massive surge in counterfeiting. What is one to do!? How do I know my Penfolds is not some 3 buck chuck packaged with a counterfeit label!? Easy! Buy it at a restaurant or liquor store. Hell, if you're in Miami, you've been getting gouged by 4X markup the whole time anyway. At least you can support local in the process.

The Guac Is Extra, Online Learning Is Not

Finally, some news that is near and dear to our heart. Chipotle announced this week that they are providing Udemy enrollment free of charge to all their support staff and others in the company working remotely. Udemy is one of the largest hosts of online learning for anything from gardening classes to management training. Chipotle has historically been one of the most forward thinking employers when it comes to investing in it's people, both hourly and management. For this reason we don't think it's a coincidence that the next related story about Chipotle is that their digital sales were up 177% in Q4 of last year.

Our Thoughts

One of the things we have found most surprising in doing the work we do, is ownership's reluctance to invest in staff and management. When steering the conversation towards manager development we often hear things like "What if I invest in them and they leave?" Our first question back to them is: "What if you don't invest in them and they stay?" How far is a burnt out manager with little education and limited room for growth really going to take your business?

The benefits of developing key people is backed up by just about any source you want to look up. A 2020 Gallup survey found that businesses with engaged employees that felt they had room to grow experienced 59% less turnover than those that did not. The list of benefits goes on and on, so we won't bore you with it here (or use up all our good material.) But, if you are interested in continuing this discussion, drop us a line HERE, Follow us on Linkedin and Instagram or just run into us at a bar around town. It's all we talk about these days.

Until next time. Keep getting better. (I think we'll stick with this one.)

What Else?

We're working on a new video series that's going to awe and inspire and actually teach you something.

Unfortunately, it's not quite ready yet. While you wait, here's a really cool video on how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.


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