January 2010 Blog Posts (133)

Three Ways To Not Get A Good Tip

#1 not greeting your tables in the first 60 seconds: Now I know you are in the weeds. Hey you might have been triple sat just now and you can't breath. I really don't care. Im the customer and I would appreciate you at least say hello to me. You know, acknowledge that I exist in your world. Here is all you need to do "Hi everyone, welcome to ABC restaurant. I will be right with you to take your drink and appetizer order." then when you come back (and don't take too long) thank me for my… Continue

Added by Kelly on January 25, 2010 at 9:43am — 8 Comments


Non-Operator
Web Based Staff Scheduling Question

I came across a simple, intuitive, and cost effective web based scheduling program last week and I was curious as to how many of you would already have a program like this in place and if you dont is this something you would consider?



I currently have a similar program in place in my two restuarants which allows us to post the schedule online and the staff simply visit our url to see when they are working and are able to give up shifts / take shifts (with permission), post their… Continue

Added by Doug Murless on January 25, 2010 at 7:02am — 5 Comments

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Consumer Scorned

Last evening I stopped by a local burger hot spot for take-out for my better half. He was in withdrawal and needed a banquet burger something fierce.



The place of choice is in Brampton and is probably the single largest contributor to clogged arteries in the area and loved by most. Grease abounds and the burgers and buns are large enough to take a bullet through the top and the metal never make it through to the other side.



The format is cafeteria style, so I placed my… Continue

Added by Terri Hitchcock on January 25, 2010 at 6:48am — 4 Comments

Tapping your voice

Maybe it’s a little late to be making New Year’s resolutions, but the 2010s are still in their infancy, so it’s only appropriate to be looking ahead at what’s in store.

Though the economic doom-and-gloom seems to be leveling out, the ongoing industry changes and battles continue. This is the time to get involved.

The National Restaurant Association 2010 Industry Forecast released last week predicts that,… Continue

Added by Angelica Pappas on January 24, 2010 at 10:41pm — 1 Comment

My Top 5 Restaurants - Number 4

Last Thursday I told you of what was number 5 of my top 5 favourite restaurants I have ever worked in. Not necessarily from a prestige point of view like how fancy the restaurant was or high falutin the guests were but just from a sheer enjoyment aspect.



Number 5 just in case you missed it was where I am now. My first foray into a corporate restaurant. I obviously because I am still there cannot mention it.



Number 4 is a family run restaurant. Not by any means an expensive… Continue

Added by Steve Nicolle on January 24, 2010 at 9:21pm — 2 Comments

Web Strategy: Most Important is Often the Simplest….

Online ordering is critical and nothing can over state the importance, particularly if you are interested in catering to the coming generations. Over the last 12-18 months, we have observed a growing number of restaurant operators who find themselves in a sticky situation. Many “Restaurant Operators do not OWN their URL”. This is a disaster and operators need to understand the importance of it, if they are remotely interested in safeguarding their brand and/or existence on the… Continue

Added by Atul on January 24, 2010 at 7:43pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Google is Searching for Your Restaurant





On a recent trip our group was in front of the art Museum in Chicago trying to decide where to eat. One IT savvy member used her cell phone to locate pizza places within 3 miles. The results led to menus, directions, reviews, transportation alternatives, and ratings.



That was then.



This is now



The above video features QR codes.



It's a pretty… Continue

Added by Paul Green on January 24, 2010 at 7:21am — 2 Comments

Filling the Seats on the Quality Bus

I am fanatical about what I do; it consumes my every thought. At the end of a long day most people would turn it off and just relax; I have never learned to do that. I am constantly chasing a vision, a dream that can’t be realized by myself. I need others to buy in, come along for the ride and believe our way is the right way to operate.



In our kitchen, as in most kitchens, the staff has different reasons for coming to work. I learned a long time ago that I cannot motivate or force… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on January 24, 2010 at 6:07am — 5 Comments


Non-Operator
Even "Sweethearts" Have Joined Social Media

You've heard of "sweethearts" , I'm sure. They're the heart shaped candy with different phrases on them, that come out each year before Valentine's

Day. We all got them in school. The pastel colored candy with "kiss me" "be mine" and "be true" , among others.





The "sweethearts" were developed by the New England Confectionery Company, a company that is over 140 years old. This was the first company to print sayings on candy.



Fast forward to 2010, and thanks to an… Continue

Added by Keith Bernhardt on January 24, 2010 at 5:03am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Burger King : Have it Your Way...with a Beer Chaser

I heard on the news tonight (Saturday) that Burger King (yes, THAT one , home of the Whopper) is planning to open a 24 hour eatery in Miami's South Beach.



Nothing unusual about that, but this one will be offering ice cold beer.

The scheduled opening date is in February.



From some reading and research, I have discovered that "South Beach" is

entering a burger phase, There are several "joints" that offer the gourmet burger, but I guess, Burger King wants to get in… Continue

Added by Keith Bernhardt on January 23, 2010 at 7:48pm — 4 Comments


Non-Operator
Pinot What? Wine Training for your Staff

Your restaurant might not call for a sommelier but even if it carries a modest wine selection, you may consider giving your servers a crash course in Vino.



Olive Garden, for instance, has gotten a bump in their revenue thanks to their strategically crafted “Steps of Service”. Every server has to fulfill these steps throughout the entire service process and it includes informing diners, when first approaching their table, about the house wine availability and characteristics. During… Continue

Added by Dean Small on January 22, 2010 at 5:49pm — 14 Comments

How Not To Be Flagged as Spam In Your Restaurant Email Marketing Campaign

Customers have a low tolerance for spam in their email inboxes. What you see as your restaurant's email newsletter, full of interesting content and attractive promotions, may be seen by your customers as spam.



Don't sully your restaurant's reputation by having your customers flag you as spam. Make sure that your customers know why they are giving you their email address, and periodically ask them in your emails if they want to continue receiving emails from your… Continue

Added by Erin Martin on January 22, 2010 at 11:28am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Varying Results

A few months ago I blogged about a Menu Labeling study done in New York City (Not Quite Time for Change). The results of that study showed that calorie posting was not having the desired results of lower calorie ordering in low income areas. Since those results created uproar around the restaurant industry, other studies have been performed which seem to contradict those findings.



One of… Continue

Added by Alyson Mar, RD on January 22, 2010 at 8:10am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Why the Fox Should Not Look After the Henhouse!



I recently met with Patrick McDermott, the Managing Director of Ireland’s Leading Stocktaking and Invetory Control Company for bars, Stocktaking.ie and I asked him why it is that the bar managers or bar staff should not be involved in the inventory count in the… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on January 21, 2010 at 10:34pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
How to Deal With Staff Members Who Need Time Off



Labor cost makes up a significant percentage of your cost base. Tracking, forecasting and achieving your ideal labor cost requires a systematic approach.



With some staff members costing more than others, it helps to know in advance who’s going to be on holiday and how much it’s going to cost to replace them.



Form the moment new staff members are hired, it is essential to have then adhere to your systems if you are going to achieve your labor cost… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on January 21, 2010 at 10:30pm — No Comments

DAWG Talk: Got Some Gamble in You?

With the market today having talented candidates willing and able to take a “step back” in title and compensation, is the company or the candidate taking the risk or “gambling”



The fact is the same talent level candidates that companies were having a “bidding war” or offering signing bonus a few years ago are now considering opportunities with less money, title, and responsibility than they are accustomed to.



Some companies would say, “What will happen when the economy… Continue

Added by David Rose on January 21, 2010 at 5:05pm — No Comments

Apple Tablet PC Think I-Pad

Tablet PC's are not new. But for Apple to create one, well, that's news. I pray those ugly PC-type boxes sitting on host stands will be tossed in favor of something as cool, efficient and sleek as the proposed Apple Table. My only concern is how easy these devices will be to steal. I sure hope there's a way to chain it to the desk, or a third-party creates a secure docking station (desk or wall mounted) so "guests" with sticky fingers don't take your reservations book with them!…



Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 21, 2010 at 3:25pm — 1 Comment

New Chef Attributes - do they increase salary valuation?

How many operators are now looking for chefs with social media and marketing skills? Should the following be added to job descriptions? How much would that be worth in additional compensation?



1. Responsible for assisting the strategic vision on incorporating social media as brand extensions for the company and accelerate the growth, increase awareness/engagement across all social platforms. Additionally, will need to effectively communicate the benefits of social communities to all… Continue

Added by Jeffrey J Kingman on January 21, 2010 at 10:20am — 2 Comments

Location, location, location (position, position, position)

A local restaurant operator in my area here in Wisconsin is a second generation restaurateur. He runs quick service restaurants his father built years ago. For the most part, these restaurants were in local neighborhoods and had been there for more than 25 years.



Then one day he decided to open a new restaurant on a very busy street next to a very busy mall, next to a very busy highway, out of his comfort zone, out of his neighborhood, and… Continue

Added by Mark on January 21, 2010 at 9:27am — No Comments

How to make a healthy pizza that actually taste good

Do this:
Grab a tortilla (any size you like) and put it on a pizza pan.
Put some sauce on it
Add feta
Add artichoke hearts
Add sundried tomatoes
Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes

Pop it in the oven at 400 for about 8-10 minutes. (or until it looks like it wants you to eat it).

Take it out and eat it.

This is the world’s easiest quick and healthy pizza. Enjoy.

Added by Kelly on January 21, 2010 at 8:12am — No Comments

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Report: Consumers want more protein, need more education

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Jump start their appetites with this fabulous flatbread appetizer topped with beets, goat cheese, arugula and California Walnuts. For this and more great recipes, visit http://www.walnuts.org/food-professionals/trending-recipes/.

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National News

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

Arby's Announces Development Deals With New And Existing Franchisees

ARG recently sold 14 company-operated restaurants in Tampa, FL to Mosaic Investments, Inc. (Mosaic), a fully integrated investment firm based in Atlanta. In addition to remodeling existing locations slated to commence at the end of 2014, Mosaic has committed to build 13 new Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area over the next nine years.

Smoothie King Appoints Vice President Of Business Development To Drive Brand's Expansion Across The U.S.

Prior to joining Smoothie King, Bruno served as vice president of retail sales, operations and franchise development for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, a division of 1800Flowers.com, where he oversaw a $69.5 million retail division that included 100 corporate stores and 45 franchised stores.

CROWD FUNDING

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TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

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