The gist

Customer-facing robots have entered the U.S. food scene, approaching mental health conversations the right way at work, and why new hires are churning despite the success of remote onboarding.

Top 7

Why Loyalty Programs are a Must 🤝

42% of restaurants are working on launching loyalty programs. Loyalty program members spend 92% more when they dine in, twice as much when they order takeout. Beyond greater spend, there's also the issue of customer data - which is, now more than ever, lost to third party delivery apps. Restaurant Business Online (6 mins)

Robots are Delivering Groceries in California 🏠

Well, remote-controlled robots for now. Operators steer delivery robots to customers' homes located within a 3-mile radius of the store - all in service to the growth of online grocery orders. In 2019, online grocery accounted for 3.4% of US grocery sales, last year that number more than doubled to 10.2%. Fast Company (2 mins)

Robots are Also Taking Your Drive-Thru Order 🚙

White Castle and McDonald's are testing voice technology at drive thru's in Indianda and Illinois, respectively. The woman's voice on the other end of the McDonald's speaker is reminiscent of Amazon's Alexa. The stated goal is to eliminate human error as it relates to order taking and deliver consistent customer service etiquette. Mashed (2 mins)

What We Lose When We Onboard Remotely 👨🏻‍💻

Among hundreds of new hires that onboarded in person vs remote, satisfaction with each experience was virtually identical. The effects of remote onboarding are revealed later on when it comes to employee recognition and, within a matter of months, high turnover rates. Fast Company (3 mins)

When Your Employee Shares a Mental Health Issue 🧠

Thank them for sharing - it wasn't an easy thing to do - but be true to the nature of your relationship. Let them do most of the talking, and limit your questions. Partner with them to find a solution but don't overpromise. See more best practices here >> HBR (15 mins)

The Problem with Email and Our Growing Dependence On It 📩

Email saves us time and effort, but much of what we do in our inbox increases stress levels. More stress contributes to burnout, which contributes to high heath care costs and eventually turnover. A deep dive into how email exploits deeply ingrained social drives and what companies are doing about it. The New Yorker (12 mins)

How Online Shopping Affects American Food Producers ⚓️

The international supply chain is clogged. Americans are shopping online like never before, many of those products imported from abroad, and the increase has led to a backlog of food exports. Food producers are experiencing up to 2-month shipping delays because 1) ports aren't as efficient as they were pre-pandemic and 2) carriers are re-allocating resources to (more lucrative) imports. The Counter (4 mins)