Table-loids: Google Lens Menu Reviews, What Your Wine Says About You, and More Industry News You Should Know


Happy June! This month’s first edition of Table-loids is focused on some new noteworthy technology, the importance of food and wine at your events, and the probability that your venue’s guacamole will be costing your customers a pretty penny come Monday.

1. Pointing the lens at your menu.
The newest addition to restaurant reviews is here, and it has the potential to be pretty awesome. According to TechSpot, Google Lens will allow restaurant-goers to use an app on their phone to gather reviews on specific menu items. All you’ll have to do once you download the app is point your phone’s camera at a restaurant’s menu to see user reviews and photographs of the dishes. If you use a Google phone, you won’t even have to download an app; the feature is already built into the camera.

If this technology takes off, it could seriously change the restaurant review game. What I like about its potential is that it doesn’t focus on the restaurant as a whole, but on specific menu items. I don’t really care if you think your server was rude the last time you visited a restaurant — usually, reviews like that are unwarranted — but I’d love to know if the salmon was fresh or if you’d recommend the hangar steak. Of course there will still be the angry Yelp-like reviews of dishes that are exaggerated and fueled by anger and Merlot but for the most part, I think Google Lens could be a fun way to gather opinions. 

2. Good food = event success
Ever wonder what the number one factor is when it comes to selling out your event? Well, according to Eventbrite, it’s the food. They recently polled 2,000 Americans to find out what they think makes or breaks an event and the overwhelming majority said it was the food they were served. In short, if an event’s food is second-rate the first time they attend, they won’t attend again even if the speakers or performers are impressive. This type of attitude also comes into play if you host personal events like weddings or corporate gatherings. I’d bet if someone attends an event at your venue and the food is disappointing, they’ll remember and decide right then and there to never host one of their events at your establishment. Eventbrite created a fun infographic as well, highlighting further points like the fact that 62% of people polled said they would attend an event just for the food. 

3. Trump’s tariff
The countdown is on for President Donald Trump’s tariff deadline with Mexico and a lot of you are probably wondering how it could impact the restaurant industry. Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t great. According to Restaurant Business online and an analysis done by the Special Food Association, restaurants will feel an immediate and major impact on food costs if Trump’s tariff on imports from Mexico is imposed. Trump has said he’ll initially impose a duty of 5% on Mexican imports starting next Monday, June 10, but could raise the levy to as much as 25% by October. Although the effects will mostly be felt in the fast casual sector, all restaurants and food service businesses will be impacted in some way. The longer the tariff is active the worse the damage will be as Trump plans to raise the levy by 5% for every month the Mexican government doesn’t comply with his request of halting the flow of undocumented immigrants across the U.S. border. For now all we can do is sit back and wait until Monday to see how this all plays out. Fingers crossed that if the levy is imposed, it’s short-lived and we can celebrate by enjoying avocados that don’t cost more than a gallon of gas.

4. Pass the red … and turn up that Coltrane.
This last one is a fun and interesting read. Modern Restaurant Management recently released poll results and an infographic regarding the habits of those who prefer white wine to those who prefer red wine. Some amusing finds include the discovery that white wine drinkers tend to be night owls who listen to punk music while red wine drinkers are more likely to be early risers who appreciate jazz. What does this have to do with event professionals? The study also found that more wine drinkers in general enjoy drinking wine at events rather than in the comfort of their homes. So offering those red and white options at your next event is a smart idea.

Interested in more trends?
Check out Tripleseat’s posts on trends and information for the event industry.