Morning Brew - ☕️ Clopen minded

All the QSR lingo you could want to know.
Morning Brew June 15, 2022

Retail Brew


Hi there. Apparently, getting “Krissed” is the new Rickrolling—and PacSun got us good.

In today’s edition:

Andrew Adam Newman, Glenda Toma, Jeena Sharma


86 the roast beef!

Good Burger gif Good Burger/Nickelodeon via Giphy

In a glowing review of Jennifer Close’s new novel, Marrying the Ketchups, the New York Times gave plenty of plot summary, but it didn’t get around to explaining the title. Close herself, however, explained in a YouTube video that the title has turned out to be a sort of Rorschach test.

“One of the funny things that happens when people ask me what my new book is called, and I tell them, Marrying the Ketchups, is that they either smile knowingly at me, or they look at me confused and ask me to repeat it,” Close said in the video. “And from that reaction, I can tell who has worked in a restaurant—and who has not.”

  • For the uninitiated, Close proceeds to demonstrate the term, which is when staff collect all the ketchup bottles from the tables and combine them so that, say, 24 partially filled bottles become 10 filled ones.
  • It’s a common end-of-shift task, typically called—here’s another term—side work.

Marrying condiments may make some restaurant-goers squeamish and inspire SNL writers, but it also highlights the colorful and mysterious language of the restaurant trade. Here at Retail Brew, it’s QSR Month, which, maybe you didn’t know—no shame, we’re all friends here—stands for a quick-service restaurant, as opposed to FSR (full-service restaurant).

Before we serve you up more restaurant-related stories in the coming weeks, here are some terms peculiar to the trade.

86: The way workers are told an item has run out, so they know to warn customers that it’s not on the menu. Etymology is a mystery, although theories abound. 86 the shrimp.

Bev nap: Small square bar napkins, the kind on which randy singles write down their phone numbers in movies.

Back of house (BOH): The area beyond the dining room where the kitchen staff works. This area was largely unseen in earlier eras, but is now increasingly visible with the popularity of open-kitchen designs.

Clopen: A portmanteau of close and open, meaning working a closing dinner shift and then an opening breakfast or lunch shift the following day. Not exclusive to restaurant workers, but can be particularly onerous to them when kitchens are open late.

Daypart: The time of day for a menu offering, typically breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and increasingly expanding into late-night snacking, as Taco Bell famously did with its “Fourthmeal” campaign.

Double: Working back-to-back shifts, such as breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.

From SOS to table tent, click here to get a larger portion of lingo.—AAN



What’s trust got to do with it?

Shopping bag that says thank you Francis Scialabba

Trust us, you’re going to want to read this. Today, Morning Consult dropped its list of most trusted brands, and for retailers, it’s a balancing act as they’re front and center in the minds of consumers.

Consider that, for all the supply-chain chaos we’ve been reading (and writing) about, consumers seem to have given shipping companies “a pass,” Morning Consult’s Lisa Whalen told Retail Brew, ranking the category as one of the most trusted, while retailers—who often have to manage customer expectations—bear the brunt.

Lead the way: CVS (No. 1) and Walgreens (No. 3) ranked at the top for retail and e-comm brands, thanks, in part, to their providing vaccinations throughout the pandemic. But more pandemic-era trends—like all things home and omnichannel—helped round out the list of 10, which included Home Depot (No. 2), Lowe’s (No. 4), Target (No. 6), and Best Buy (No. 7).

  • Building trust is a “slow burn,” Whalen said, so it’s no surprise how store-heavy the roster leans. When looking at e-comm, only Amazon made the list, at No. 5.
  • In fact, the report found that, among consumers who prefer to shop in stores, there’s a “notable trust deficit” for online-only companies, again, exemplifying the time it can take to gain trust.

Dos and don’ts: A key factor in building trust, Whalen explained, is having high-quality products (and services) at a great value. And one can imagine the importance of the latter is only heightened in today’s environment…

But, when it comes to what impacts trust, raising prices can have a “massive effect,” Whalen said. “Consumers really value being able to predict what a brand is going to offer them in terms of not only the experience, the product, the quality…but certainly the pricing.”

  • She suggests being as transparent as possible with consumers. “We find that breaking trust is a lot easier than building trust.”

Still, the biggest factor that makes shoppers lose trust is a bad customer experience. That’s been particularly difficult for retailers to address recently, Whalen noted, because of worker shortages.

+1: And what about ESG? “Concern over the environment has sort of taken a back seat to meeting basic needs,” she said.—GT



From post to profit


You have a flawless social media strategy, your budget is approved, and you even found the *perfect* influencers for your brand. But what happens after your site starts seeing this influx of influencer traffic?

If you don’t have the right digital marketing platform, that traffic might not stay on your site for long, let alone convert. To turn your site traffic into revenue, turn to Listrak. With its Growth Xcelerator Platform (GXP), your social media traffic (thank you, influencers) will do what it should: make you $$$.

Listrak’s GXP will:

  • identify more anonymous site visitors
  • collect more zero- and first-party data
  • personalize their shopping experience
  • retarget them with highly relevant messaging
  • deliver *guaranteed* results (yes, you read that right!)

That’s how Listrak GXP accelerates the purchase and drives increased conversions for you and your brand. Get a guaranteed revenue estimate here.


Coworking with Melody Brue

On Wednesdays, we wear pink spotlight Retail Brew’s readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

When Melody Brue first joined Moor Insights & Strategy as a principal analyst in 2020, she figured she’d mostly be drawing on prior experiences, like being on the founding team of ProWallet, an e-wallet startup, to help clients with their biz strategies. But when it comes to insights about anything related to Gen Z (or younger), Brue can go right to the source, often turning to her seven kids—ages 12 to 25—to understand the shopping habits of a demographic more likely to be putting together choreography for TikTok. Here, she shares more about her day-to-day.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? I research, analyze, and write about trends happening in the financial tech and retail tech space. This means all the technology we use to power our banking, payments, investment, and shopping experiences and decisions.

One trend you’re most excited about: Autonomous checkout. It solves so many problems, from wait times to labor shortages, and allows retailers to better track store layout preferences and performance. More immediate supply and inventory management also leads to more sustainable on-demand restock delivery, eliminating unnecessary trips for truck drivers and suppliers.

Hands down, the best fast food restaurant chain is…In-N-Out—controversial since I live in Texas.

What was your favorite job in high school or college and why? I started at CastleRock Entertainment as an intern in college working on Seinfeld. It was the early 90s and the show pushed the boundaries on content at the time (remember the handicap parking-spot episode?). This was fun and challenging, handling publicity for a show that people loved and hated so much. The team was also so fun to be around. Larry David is actually that funny!

What’s the worst piece of retail advice you ever received? People will never use QR codes.

What’s the most embarrassing product in your order history from Amazon that you’re actually willing to admit? Yoga Toes! They look completely silly, but after being in heels all day at a conference, it’s so worth it.



  • US retail spending dropped 0.3% in May as shoppers felt the impact of inflation.
  • H&M’s sales saw a 17% boost in its fiscal Q2, but the numbers were still lower than prior to the pandemic.
  • The Ocean Shipping Reform Act is headed to President Biden’s desk after it passed in the House.
  • Forever 21 is taking a third shot at opening a store in China.
  • Ikea said it will further reduce its business in Russia and Belarus, with plans to scale down its workforce and sell its four factories.



Drive more sales with social. To reach an audience immersed in social media, you need a social commerce strategy that aligns with the platforms they engage with most. In their Guide to Social Commerce: Capabilities by Platform, Mavrck shows how to use social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat to sell products and build brand loyalty—and which platforms are best for your brand and audience. Download it here.


Today’s top retail reads.

Tampoffs: Supply-chain challenges, recalls, and other factors causing the tampon shortage. “We understand it is frustrating for consumers when they can’t find what they need,” said Tampax maker Procter & Gamble. “We can assure you this is a temporary situation.” (the Washington Post)

Sweat equity: The skyrocketing success of Aviator Nation, the American-made brand that sells hoodies for ~$190 and has exploded on TikTok—and which has minted its 42-year-old founder one of the richest women in the US. (Forbes)

Watch your waste line: This San Francisco restaurant makes all its dishes from food waste. (Eater)

Lights, camera, Brew: Morning Brew is on YouTube! Our shows cover the tech, trends, and companies you care about—and don’t worry, we’re not jargon people. Watch here.


Be there or be square

Be there or be square

Tonight! We have a few spots left; if you want to join us RSVP here ASAP to save your spot.

Stay connected to the generations of tomorrow: join us in-person on Wednesday to listen as Danielle Brown, the VP of marketing for cookies and crackers at Campbell Snacks explores Gen Z’s evolving consumer tastes. Claire Tassin, retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult, will also join us to unpack shifting Gen Z purchasing habits.

In two sessions, you’ll hear:

  • How a new generation of spenders is making their preferences and values known
  • What retailers can do to address shifts in consumer spending power
  • How a brand can make a statement—and know how to nail the message

Come for the food and drinks, stay for the conversation. We can’t wait to see you there!


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Written by Andrew Adam Newman, Glenda Toma, and Jeena Sharma

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