February 2009 Blog Posts (119)

Menu-labeling passes Indiana House - make sure your voice is heard

The Indiana House Bill on menu-labeling passed with a vote of 51-46 this week. The bill will be assigned to a Senate committee before likely moving on to the Senate for a final vote.



HB 1207 would require chain restaurants with more than 20 units in Indiana to place calorie and carbohydrate data on menus or menu boards by July. These restaurants would also be required to make available to customers data on… Continue

Added by Dani on February 28, 2009 at 7:26am — 3 Comments

Quiznos......Seems Like One Fiasco After Another

If you've ever owned a franchise (any business!), or even thought about one, this is required reading material.

There are so many lessons to be learned here, I don't even know where to start.



I've been hearing and reading about various legal problems and general unhappiness with Quiznos Franchise Owners vs Corporate over the years but never really paid a lot of attention to it.



I remember a lawsuit about the Corp. Office not only taking their 4% Gross for Marketing… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on February 28, 2009 at 2:37am — 3 Comments

Building Brand Awareness

Several years ago I wrote an Appell Pie column outlining the difference between advertising and public relations. In this economy I feel it is important to revisit the topic and add that growing your brand’s awareness now is essential to growth in the near future. Let’s take a closer look.



Public Relations VS. Advertising - According to public relations companies, PR firms are not usually involved in the design or placement of ads. They are responsible for the placement of stories in… Continue

Added by Howard Appell on February 27, 2009 at 5:57pm — 4 Comments

Blog Report from Catersource TradeShow and Conference for the Catering Industry.

I know that what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there....(and some of it will) but I figured some of you might be interested in what happened this week at the Catering Conference......so here's my report.



I only spent my time involved with the Tradeshow aspect and did not partcipate in any of the side events, so my perspective is limited to this.



Arriving on Monday, I checked in to Treasure Island and even though it was early, I had no problem getting my room. I've… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on February 27, 2009 at 5:21pm — 11 Comments

From My Window

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=101106



If you missed it, yesterday MarketingDaily(.com) ran a piece by Karlene Lukovitz, on the sudden rush of free meal promotions linked with Social Media. Following Denny's Super Bowl deal earlier this month, IHOP and Quiznos have followed suit with their own version of the free Grand Slam, with iHop raising money and corporate citizenship with a big buck donation to charitable causes. Both of the ladder… Continue

Added by Michael Albert on February 27, 2009 at 3:36pm — 3 Comments

Event Sales Managers a Little Rusty on The Cold Callling

Speaking with my customers I am seeing that more and more private event sales managers are going “old school” and doing more outbound calling to drive catering business. Outward bound marketing with e-mail, direct mail and calling is a good strategy but event sales managers need to be careful when placing cold calls.



Potential customers are wearing more hats these days and are asked to do the work of many, therefore their time, and patience is very short. It is critical that before… Continue

Added by Jonathan Morse on February 27, 2009 at 8:31am — No Comments

The unpleasant sound of silence

I dug Uncle Tad’s ear trumpet from the attic, thinking my ears might have missed the uproar. But there’s apparently no outcry to be heard. The federal government is about to spend an unimaginable sum to shore up the nation’s infrastructure. Yet the industry hasn’t so much as uttered an ahem for a piece of the foundation that’s been crumbling for years, putting the business and its customers in peril.… Continue

Added by Peter Romeo on February 27, 2009 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Organic wine & food matching: Domaine Tempier Bandol & smoked pulled pork

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on February 26, 2009 at 10:50pm — No Comments

Pay what you want?!

I'll bet that title conjures up a lot of interesting thoughts.
What is this all about you ask?
Well, making the news this morning here in Canada, was a story out of Montreal Quebec about a restauranteur providing a very unique, and different, approach to the present economic doom and gloom.
Please check out this provided link and see what it's all about.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090225/montreal_restaurant_AM_090225/20090225?hub=CanadaAM

Added by Patrick O on February 26, 2009 at 8:21am — No Comments

Protein Deflation

The chart of the week is weekly beef, pork and chicken cutout changes versus the 5 year averages. As one can tell from the chart, the major protein markets have been trending well below their 5 year averages for most of 2009. February has been a particularly difficult month for protein prices. As of February 25th, key restaurant protein items 90% beef trimming (10%), choice beef strip (18%), boneless skinless chicken breast (11.5%), and pork belly (8.3%) market prices were well below the same… Continue

Added by David Maloni on February 26, 2009 at 4:00am — No Comments

Your Stock is way down!



So the economy is tanking, people are saving their money, buying less things, and the stock market is crashing faster than a wet paper plane and let’s face it your stock as an employee, manager, or anything short of owner must feel like it has dropped as well. Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s no way to talk, it shouldn’t be that way, people are different…they aren’t stock. Well you can stick your head in the sand with that attitude or you can face the… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on February 25, 2009 at 8:14pm — 1 Comment

Why Twitter matters to foodservice

Gary Vaynerchuk is a well known social media guru who walks his talk. He has expanded his family's wine store in NJ through his blogs, video, Twitter, etc. This video shows why we need to be tuned in to Twitter - our customers sure are!

Added by KT on February 25, 2009 at 4:06pm — 10 Comments

From My Window

Working on creating a tagline for a seafood company. A special seafood company, one that will provide a sustainable, healthy, delicious supply of a wonderful marine white fish, cobia (aka lemonfish) using open ocean aquaculture methods, unlike traditional fish farms. Using the new era technology is enviromentally respectful to the oceans and their stakeholders. Like everyone on earth.



Back to taglines. I have noticed some from really big firms that really stink:



Connect… Continue

Added by Michael Albert on February 25, 2009 at 2:50pm — 5 Comments

Real Private Event Sales Manager Shares His Secrets

It occurred to me recently that in all industries there are networking groups, meetings, and social gatherings where like minded professionals get together to discuss the topic of the day but for restaurant event managers there seems to be something missing.(except for FOHBOH of course)



Locked away in the tiny office somewhere behind the kitchen next to the exit it is easy to feel on your own. Adding to the isolation is that most event sales managers are a competitive lot and are… Continue

Added by Jonathan Morse on February 24, 2009 at 5:22pm — No Comments

<b>When Special Promotions Go Wrong</b>

Added by Ron Mathews on February 24, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

How To Handle Unsatisfied Customers?

Added by Ron Mathews on February 24, 2009 at 11:37am — 1 Comment

Gifts from the Recession

I know we’re in a recession when I went to the ATM this morning and it said “insufficient funds” and I wonder if it’s them or me.



Last year this time I had just purchased a nice pair of Prada’s, I was planning a sexy trip to Cozumel and enjoying the benefits of non-commercial air travel. This year I’ve considered selling the Prada’s to make my car payment, hiring a virtual assistant from another company for cheaper labor and hitting on airline employee’s as a lame attempt to have… Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on February 24, 2009 at 7:01am — 5 Comments

Dog Friendly Restaurants, Wineries & Hospitality Businesses, Part II: The Survey Results

Everyone has their opinion. And of course I have mine as well. You can see two of my 'kids' here -- Emily & Roux. Like most dogs, they think they should accompany me everywhere I go. Emily is a pretty good girl, and in most cases really knows how to mind her manners. Roux is all boy (and a rough and tumble one at that), so we are still working on his public social skills! Reading all the responses has reinvigorated my desire to brush up their… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on February 23, 2009 at 2:02pm — No Comments

Dog Friendly Hospitality Businesses

Whether or not you are a pet owner/lover or not, you have to have noticed the growing partnership between the booming pet industry and the hospitality industry. Dog bakeries seem to be in every town, doggy day camps, dog boarding, dog grooming, pet portraits, and an unbelievable array of dog accessories that are available at high end boutiques to Target and Walmart. It is not surprising that more and more in our industry are jumping on board.



I was speaking with Len Kain, co-founder… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on February 23, 2009 at 1:53pm — No Comments

Service Overload: Is there such thing as too much customer service?

It isn't something I had given much thought to in the past. However, a recent experience made me give it considerable thought. I'd love to know what you think, and if you've ever experienced "service overload."



It started with the Bottle Shock James Beard Wine Dinner tickets we had to give away. Many of you submitted your entries, which included submitting "what food & wines you would serve, and who you would invite" to a Bottle Shock Party. I loved reading all the entries, but… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on February 23, 2009 at 1:44pm — No Comments

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

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Galbani® Mascarpone. Gold Standard True Italian Taste.
Italy has a flavor all its own. When it comes to cheese, chefs who know choose Galbani. For irresistibly savory risottos and pastas, try classic Galbani mascarpone. Its rich, creamy goodness makes it perfect for favorites like tiramisu and cannoli. Galbani mascarpone, one of the fine brands from Lactalis Culinary. For paring suggestions, click here.

JOBS & CAREERS

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National News

Gen Z, the First True Digital Generation, Represents the Future Foodservice Consumer

Gen Z, the first true digital generation, represents the future foodservice consumer. They're a generation on the move that strongly prioritizes speed of service, technology, and having what they want, when they want it. Millennials, more so than older generations, prefer to visit restaurants that offer new and unique foods and flavors. Gen X and Boomers converge on several preferences—such as the importance of a convenient location.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Celebrates Its 500th New Restaurant Opening

Red Robin's 500th new restaurant opening will open on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., in Milpitas, Calif. at the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

Darden Completes Sale Of Red Lobster To Golden Gate Capital

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and Golden Gate Capital today announced that Golden Gate has completed the acquisition of the Red Lobster business and certain other related assets and assumed liabilities for approximately $2.1 billion in cash.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For Seven New Restaurants In Duluth, Minnesota With New Franchisees Brian And Sharon Weidendorf

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchisees, Brian and Sharon Weidendorf, to develop seven restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota and the surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in spring 2015.

Wendy's Names Brandon Solano Senior Vice President of Marketing

The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) announced today that Brandon Solano, 43, a veteran brand builder and product innovator, has been named Senior Vice President of Marketing.

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

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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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