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Last week’s 4 head-spinning moments: Delayed edition

The public may have indulged in some downtime before the fireworks, but surprising revelations ensured the restaurant industry would continue last week to be a prime source of business for chiropractors. Here are four developments that likely spun operators’ heads as much as any firecracker did.

1. What’s the best defense against organized labor?

A group of New York restaurateurs are betting it’s organized employers. A force calling itself the Save New York Restaurants Coalition sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, blasting his attempts to force through a minimum wage just for quick-service restaurants.

The group said it consists of more than 100 restaurants within the state and speaks for the 20,000 quick-service establishments statewide that would be affected by the unusual method of raising wages. With the encouragement of labor organizers, Cuomo called several weeks ago for a blue-ribbon Wage Board to recommend a pay increase specifically for fast-food workers. He would then act as state chief executive to enact their recommendations, bypassing the state legislature, an option afforded him by an arcane law already on the books.

“Plainly and simply – by forcing a wage increase on our businesses, you will put us out of business,” the Coalition wrote.

The governor is almost certain to call their bluff. In the Board’s last public hearing, held a week ago, one of the three members said the trio had already decided to recommend a $15 minimum wage.

2. Tech doesn’t always compute

The rapid influx of technology may have left the restaurant industry unequipped to handle it, according to survey results released last week by NCR. The canvass of restaurateurs found that 35 percent regard themselves as being more depending on technology, yet only 31 percent of the operations have someone on staff to manage their digitally driven equipment. More than half reported they lack the staff to adopt even more devices or capabilities.

3. Airport restaurants take off

Despite an effort to inject more local flavor in the nation’s airports, mom and pops have a long way to go. About 40 percent of the dining and retail options remain branches of national chains, according to the Airport Council International of North America. The figure was cited in a press announcement of another national player looking to blitz the terminals, Corner Bakery.

4. McDonald’s new way of pedaling fast food

Last week brought a rare hoorah! for one of McDonald’s recent innovations, though U.S. consumers may not even see the advance for months, if at all. Two weeks ago, stores in Amsterdam began offering a takeout package designed specifically for bicyclists. Internet buzz has built steadily in the days since, stoked in part by a rollout in Tokyo.

The box hooks onto a bike’s handlebars. It’s sufficiently sturdy to include a sandwich, fries and a full-sized fountain drink.

The online chatter is fueled in part by speculation as to whether the package will be offered in the U.S., where bike riders are growing in number but still fall behind the percentages tallied in places like Amsterdam or China. Yet sheer admiration for the cleverness of the idea is almost equal in volume.

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