So far this year I've spent a lot of time asking questions and doing some soul searching.
This is a question I was asked by Kathleen Wood, a Business and Leadership Growth Strategist who is doing some work with our team. It's a question that I think we should be asking ourselves for our business and our careers in 2010.
If you were to reinvent your business or career today based on… Continue
During my career I’ve studied lots of research about service particularly in the restaurant industry. I’m always interested to learn what influences consumer behavior.
I spent 14 years with one of Applebee’s largest franchisees and I remember one study that stated the number one reason people won’t return to a casual restaurant. The answer was simply – “Employees Indifference”. I have no idea if this response was aided or unaided nor do I think it matters. This is a fascinating fact… Continue
Your toughest competitor for the next 10 years isn’t going to be a rival brand, a new channel or trend. It’s the suddenly massive US household debt. The pain it will put Americans through as they divert spending to hack down their card balances will rob you of guests far more effectively than could any competitor. Here’s why – and how smart companies are preparing.
About once a quarter for the past five years, our own Joe Dion would walk into my office glowering at a… Continue
I am clearing off this table tonight and I see a man gesture over at me from a table in the other section. Finished what I am doing I walk over to see if everything is alright.
He said sure but he thought I looked like a famous figure but couldn't put his name on it. Then he says I look like that guy Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Psycho from the 50's. You know the guy who stabs the woman in the shower. Well him and I couldn't think of the actor's name who played the… Continue
I grabbed this off the SBS research site and found it both interesting and amazing how they conducted their research. FInd the site here.
Starbucks’ customers purchased 6% fewer calories per visit at chain outlets that posted calorie counts without substantially affecting revenue say Stanford Graduate School of Business researchers Bryan Bollinger, Phillip Leslie, and Alan… Continue
The New York Times recently printed an article (December 23, 2009) detailing the efforts of Danny Meyer and other restaurateurs -- from Huddle House to the highest of high-end dining -- to manipulate their menus in order to keep customers coming in, spending money, trying new items, and generally combating the wave of consumer reluctance which has been an obvious and unavoidable corollary to the current portion of the economic cycle. It’s a valuable article, including commentary from… Continue
Added by Rod Guinn on January 8, 2010 at 3:00am —
I live by the philosophy that you can say anything to anyone as long as you are honest and your intent is positive. There’s no question that tact and timeliness affect our ability to be successful communicators. And, as our society and workforce become more inclusive, we find ourselves exploring new channels to deliver a consistent message.
People receive information differently. For a message to be communicated successfully, the… Continue
I’m always thinking about different ways that restaurants can appeal to the ever growing crowd of health conscious diners. There’s the obvious salad with dressing on the side and grilled chicken breast or salmon filet; but good business, especially in the food industry comes from innovation. It also comes from what I call innovative reproduction (AKA taking ideas from others and doing it better). I found an article on health.com titled… Continue
An opening has just come up for a dining room manager just 8 minutes from our place. It has an extensive wine list , nice white tablecloths , people with some money eat there etc..
But I wouldn't even apply for it now whereas one time I might have. You see the hours I would work will double what I am working now. I would be away from seeing my kids , it would interfere with my wife's schedule and the family take home pay would actually drop.
You're all set up, ready to go with your restaurant email campaign. You've got killer content, a mailing list full of customers hungry to hear from you and an eye-catching email layout. Now, all you need is a great subject line.
All too often, the subject line is a last-minute decision when sending out an email newsletter or promotion. A quick scan of my restaurant email folder in my email, and I see ho-hum lines like "Thank You" and my personal favorite:
Last week I kicked off a series of articles on controlling food costs.
I had the opportunity to work for one of the most respected CEO's in the restaurant industry who mastered the art of controlling costs. He was always saying, "You can't manage what you don't measure". It is an old management adage that is accurate today. Unless you measure something, you don't know if it is getting better or worse. You can't manage for improvement if you don't measure to see what is getting better… Continue
The Wall Street Journal says today that our economy is looking promising, based on a number of indicators. I like the odds so far, but that’s me.
On the social media front, there’s a lot cooking. Even with Twitter membership leveling off and Yelp continuing to increase their negative publicity rating (oh, those pesky sales people at yelp), life is good and cheap. Useful Web 2.0 tools are falling like leaves from technology trees. We’ll start to share these over the coming… Continue
As the new year starts, many of you are making resolutions. Perhaps your restaurant is not very full, business is slow and you could do with many more customers, or perhaps you just want to improve your business: streamline operations, reduce expenses and improve your marketing.
Here are some ideas for your new year's resolutions:
√ Do you have a restaurant website? If not, this is the time to create…Continue
Added by Jose L Riesco on January 6, 2010 at 4:00am —
I was commenting today on another group to a question raised by one of the group members " Wondering What Owners Want or Need to Market their Restaurant. Would restaurant owners chime in and share with me one thing? If I handed you a magic wand and you could do, get or have anything you needed to make your restaurant successful what would you get from this wand? "
After reading many comments written by others, below is my comment to this question. Feel free to add your… Continue
To follow up the discussion I started in the Gateway ProClean group last week over hand washing habits, it looks like recent numbers have even indicated that flu cases reported in November 2009 were actually lower than November of last year. Apparently, large scale efforts to raise awareness of proper hygiene have paid off. This elevated sensitivity paired with the H1N1 vaccination roll-out has caused less sick days in the workforce. Not all was good news. There was a 1.7% to 5.4% one-month… Continue
Note: Customerville works with retailers and restaurant chains. Though this post was originally targeted more at retailers, several white table cloth restaurant operators pointed out that much of this applies to them as well. Enjoy!
As we wrote last week, luxury retailers everywhere are fighting to reconfigure themselves to survive and – in a few cases – prosper in the new, austere economy. One of the first things they’ll need to do is overcome a historical discomfort… Continue
Added by Max Israel on January 5, 2010 at 4:57am —
My longest time I worked with a company was in the 90's when I did 5 contracts of 6 months each with Renaissance Cruises. The longest I have worked anywhere after that was about 2 1/2 years at a couple of places.
I have never been fired from any job and have gone back to work for a few. Not to toot my horn but I can only think of maybe 1 where I left on not such good terms.
Altogether I can probably name off the top of my head 36 jobs and then you can probably add on a few… Continue
Added by Steve Nicolle on January 5, 2010 at 12:00am —
Being the hospitality professionals that you all are, I know I’m probably preaching to the converted, however, it’s always helpful to be reminded sometimes of those things that seem less important in the grand scheme of things, yet can have a big impact on your business.
I’m talking about the customer dining alone, the solitary figure in your bar or dining room. This is the customer you need to pay that little bit more attention to. He’s… Continue
Even those of us who’ve been writing about the foodservice industry all our lives often don’t realize what it takes to make the dining experience happen seamlessly, but last night I had the amazing opportunity to have a seat at the table and simply watch as the extraordinary ‘ballet’ of New Year’s Eve took place before my eyes in my neighborhood restaurant, Navy Yard Bistro.
We’re lucky – those of us who live here because not only is it a beautiful, historic and special place to be,… Continue
You know the drill - money is tight so your spouse tells you to not spend too much money. So you start 'brown-bagging-it' to work. You feel a little foolish, maybe a little humiliated, that you’re forced to do this but you have no other choice. So you make up some story for your co-workers like, 'I’m trying a special diet' so you don’t look like a cheap-skate.
Anthony’s Fish Grotto, San Diego’s oldest family-owned and operated seafood restaurant company, is embarking on an ambitious effort to rebrand and remodel its restaurants, including the North Embarcadero flagship location that houses Anthony’s Fish Grotto, Anthony’s Fishette and Anthony’s Star of the Sea Event Center.
If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.
Vending machines generally offer up sodas, candy bars and chips. Not so for the one created by TED Fellow Gabe Barcia-Colombo. This artist has dreamed up a DNA Vending Machine, which dispenses extracted human DNA, packaged in a vial along with a collectible photo of the person who gave it. It’s charming and quirky, but points out larger ethical issues that will arise as access to biotechnology increases.
Privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian sees the landscape of government surveillance shifting beneath our feet, as an industry grows to support monitoring programs. Through private companies, he says, governments are buying technology with the capacity to break into computers, steal documents and monitor activity — without detection. This TED Fellow gives an unsettling look at what's to come.
What does the future of business look like? In an informative talk, Philip Evans gives a quick primer on two long-standing theories in strategy -- and explains why he thinks they are essentially invalid.
As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient herself, she is driven to know more about the neural activity that underlies invention, creativity, thought. She meshes these two passions in a rather mind-blowing talk on two cutting-edge brain studies that might point to a new frontier in understanding how (and what) we think.