January 2012 Blog Posts (63)

OpenTable: Gift from the Tech Gods or Trojan Horse Designed to Steal Profits?

If your restaurant takes reservations you must have at least considered online booking. The pitch is enticing; free-up the staff, dump that 19th Century paper and pencil and use the application to reach savvy professionals who prefer booking their restaurant reservations online. So, what's the catch?

 

For starters, online booking…

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Added by Seth Gardenswartz on January 11, 2012 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments


Non-Operator
Behold the $100,000 bar tab

For those of you who think you’ve dropped a lot of cash on a bar tab in your day, we direct you to this receipt from the exclusive Cavalli Club in Dubai that made its way around Twitter last week. It’s from a Jan.2 birthday party at the nightclub that resulted in a final bill of 387,988 dirham, or…

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Added by Barry Chandler on January 11, 2012 at 5:21am — No Comments


Operator
RAOBK? Random Acts of Business Kindness

This week I made a Random Act Of Kindness (RAOK) video for one of the concepts I do marketing for, Café Metro. The vibe was awesome! The feeling of getting out there and doing random acts of kindness on a 12 degree morning were appreciated by all. We gave out gift cards, free…

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Added by Ty Sullivan on January 10, 2012 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

Which Came First: The User or The Design

Recently I read a blog, Elusive Cuteness and Building Approachable Systems, on a project run by the MIT Media Lab that leveraged people to try and make systems more intelligent, efficient and successful. The team built a robot named ‘Boxie’ designed to appeal to the masses — then let it roll through different parts of the campus…

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Added by Nate DaPore on January 10, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

How to Write a Resume for Restaurant Managers

Once you've developed the skills needed to manage a restaurant, successfully, and develop a strong team who are motivated and goal oriented, it is time to sell your skills.  The restaurant manager's job requires good communication skills, and the ability to present projects and reports in a way that will sell ideas to the team, management, investors, and to the customers who walk through the doors each day.

The resume is the first place you have to highlight your…

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Added by Robert Krzak on January 9, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments


Non-Operator
How does a natural disaster impact the food industry?

The immediate concern with a catastrophic event like a nuclear meltdown is going to be loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure. Soon after, however, issues such as long-term access to safe food takes center stage.…

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Added by Barry Chandler on January 6, 2012 at 5:10am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Bean Counters, Pea Cookers

Counting Beans, Cooking Peas

1st owner: A restaurant is a business.  When push comes to shove, it is all about the bottom line.

2nd owner: A restaurant is part of the hospitality business.  It is all about the customer experience. 

Of course, they are both right, and of course, they are both wrong.  The reality is: it’s about balance:…

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Added by Paul Letendre on January 5, 2012 at 5:30pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Is your Restaurant like Kodak Camera or a Disney movie?

I have you noticed that Kodak is nearly out of business. Growing up in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, every family had a Kodak Camera and I still have one of mine. Those yellow boxes were everywhere and getting your very own Kodachrome camera…

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Added by Steven Johnson on January 5, 2012 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Restaurant Operations Notes: Money Left On The Table

Restaurant Operations Notes:  Money left on the table

We had the opportunity to travel through the US in November and December and got into a lot of restaurants. We saw good things, and good people, but also some operational issues that have the result of leaving dollars on the table—revenue enhancement and expense related. We have seen these issues often enough throughout 2010 and 2011 to mention the commonalities.

None of this is brain surgery; restaurant professionals…

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Added by John A. Gordon on January 5, 2012 at 11:49am — No Comments

the south in southern california

mmmmmm i had escolar in lanuistine butter with cajun rice tonight with a f*r*st**e stout dark ale. both were sooooo delicious!!! granted, if youre looking for a great pairing, dont use this one lol. however if you just want to appreciate a really great beer and some really great food go here!!!

 

the  stout was quite good. on the smoother side, nice wheat, a dark sweetness. had a nice head ((ps beer is supossed to have head, some more than others) it helps to aerate the beer,…

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Added by Charlie Ford on January 5, 2012 at 1:04am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Shiny and New

Now that the presents have mostly been opened, let’s evaluate our position.  I was prompted to undertake this exercise by a recent conversation which ranged from (1) the errancy of Harold Camping’s 2011 end of the world forecast, which was surely a gift for many, to (2) the as-yet unproven accuracy of Mayan calendar predictions that Mr. Camping was only a year premature, to (3) the uniquely American apocalypse being…

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Added by Rod Guinn on January 4, 2012 at 7:55pm — No Comments

10 Food Tech Start-Up Lessons

I remember the first POS terminal that I ever saw and used was way back in 1977. It was a monster and weighed a ton! I have no idea what this thing cost or who made it. It was all metal and brown. It didn't have a screen but it did have a keypad for entering data It was not exactly an elegant design, so I know Steve Jobs wasn't consulted.  I learned about PLU (Price Look Up) codes, and remember the thing churning like it was thinking, or trying to.…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 4, 2012 at 9:30am — 8 Comments


Non-Operator
How mobile-friendly is your bar’s website?

It will come as a shock to no one that the use of smartphones is at an all-time high. At last check more than 1/3 of American adults own one of the devices. And according to at least one study, 90 percent of owners use their phones as an Internet portal, with 4 of 5 doing so every single day.

Which means if you’ve been listening to…

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Added by Barry Chandler on January 4, 2012 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

What Social Media Should Be…Collaborative

Social media experts create engaging content and have adapted extremely well to the idea of influence and the need to motivate share-ability. Yes, social media offers advantages. Most notably, ease of convergence across platforms, but can social media support loyalty simply through engagement?

People are changing and everyday life will never remain suspended, even briefly…ever again.

People are increasingly involved in brand activities and are seeking…

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Added by John Lawrence on January 3, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

How's your AdWords Campaign working for you?

Are you sitting down….Take a deep breath.. because what I am about to tell your may make you want to throw our computer out the window due to frustration with your AdWords campaign. If you are like tens of thousands of business owners you’ve been slapped in the face by Google. You have every right to…

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Added by New Media Vegas, LLC on January 3, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

New Jobs Trends 2012 – Prediction

Happy New Year!

With the beginning of a New Year, I challenge you to take stock in your business career. Where have you come from, where are you right now, and where would you like to be 3 months, 6 months, or a year from today?

Where is the economy today, where is it headed in the near future, and how will it affect your decision making?

Are you employed, unemployed, underemployed?

Do you like your job, tolerate your job, or hate the job you have right…

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Added by Bill Baumgartner on January 3, 2012 at 4:30am — No Comments

Plan your Marketing and Market your Plan.....

In the days of yesteryear your marketing plan was just a mere section of your overall business plan and more often than not an afterthought with very few budget dollars or labor hours allocated to it.  Gone are the day’s of the storefront sign, maybe an ad in the local newspaper or on your favorite radio station and if you were really investing in your marketing and advertising you might have had a billboard along a busy street or highway or an ad in the phonebook.  Today’s storefront sign…

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Added by New Media Vegas, LLC on January 2, 2012 at 4:41pm — No Comments

One New Message: "Your Table is Now Ready!"

Last week, a couple of friends and I decided to go out to lunch at The Counter. For those of you who aren't familiar, it's a standard burger joint, and the menu is a check list of items available for your burger, and you check off what you want. There was a 20-30 minute wait, but instead of giving you the standard pager or simply calling the name of the party, they asked for my phone number. I thought it was odd, but then when I asked why they needed it, they said they would send me a text…

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Added by Michele Wagaman on January 2, 2012 at 3:06pm — 4 Comments


Non-Operator
How Do You Measure Purchasing Performance in 2013?

When you realize that foodservice buyers are dealing with perishable time tables and changing supply markets, you begin to understand some the of complexities of determining if your buyer is doing a good job.

Based upon our firms'consulting experience with emerging chains, here are the top 5 performance measurements.

1. Cost $avings / Cost Avoidance

2. Percentage of spend under contract 

3. Department…

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Added by Fred Favole on January 2, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

How to Write a Resume for Restaurant Managers

Once you've developed the skills needed to manage a restaurant, successfully, and develop a strong team who are motivated and goal oriented, it is time to sell your skills.  The restaurant manager's job requires good communication skills, and the ability to present projects and reports in a way that will sell ideas to the team, management, investors, and to the customers who walk through the doors each day.

The resume is the first place you have to highlight your…

Continue

Added by Robert Krzak on January 2, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

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The Sip: Stay up-to-date on the beer, wine and spirits category with original content from SmartBrief -More

New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

Baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and the first price increases in nearly four years helped lead Starbucks to a 7% same-store -More

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National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

CROWD FUNDING

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.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

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