February 2009 Blog Posts (119)

To Survive We Must Think Differently

In the world of casual dining, the segment has enjoyed more then a decade of uninhibited growth. The consumerism of the Baby Boomers as well as the rise in interest in culinary arts (enter the Food Network and all the culinary reality shows) have driven the restaurant and food service industry in general to almost unimaginable heights. The current estimate is that the industry will see $566 Billion in sales this year that’s approximately $1.5 Billion of sales per day. But if were honest we’ve… Continue

Added by Jerry A. Heilpern, CFBE, FMP on February 18, 2009 at 12:52pm — 4 Comments

From My Window

Just how much is $787 billion?

David Herszenhorn, a NY Times reporter, noted the mathematical calculation that Senator David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, offered in historico-religious terms: "This is so much money that if someone had begun spending $1 million a day -- $ 1 million every day -- when Christ was born, we would not yet be in 2009 to the full cost of this bill."

I still can't fathom this amount. I wager future generations will be footing the bill.

Added by Michael Albert on February 18, 2009 at 9:18am — 3 Comments

More potshots at dining out. Time to fire back?

Some folks here in Fohboh were a bit put out by Suze Orman's suggestion that consumers avoid restaurants for a month. Put out, murderous--it's a fine line.

But the TV star's recommendation is nothing compared to a new public service campaign being waged by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Advertising Council, two well-known trade groups. Their… Continue

Added by Peter Romeo on February 18, 2009 at 8:04am — 3 Comments

When The Chips Are Down: Marketing Tips for the Rough Ride

In light of the fire and brim stone Jim Sullivan recently laid out regarding the comments of Suze Orman, it prompted me to revisit some ideas I put forth in an article I did for a publication last year on how to step up our game in this industry and get hungry bellies in our doors, especially with the economic climate being a little on the cloudy side.

It’s tough out there my friends. I am the Director of Marketing for a rather large QSR… Continue

Added by Ty Sullivan on February 18, 2009 at 7:08am — No Comments

Now is Not the Time to Nickel and Dime!

I know we are all trying to figure out ways to increase profits and cut costs. Some restaurants have come up with very creative and ingenious ways to do these two things. But there are some restaurants out there that are choosing to do this by either passing the cost on to the guest or cutting labor in ways that affect service. Even worse, some restaurants are sacrificing quality for lower costs. I am not a fan of the band-aid approach and that is… Continue

Added by Robert Dominguez on February 18, 2009 at 6:12am — 1 Comment

What Is A Restaurant Branding? How To Create Your Own Great Restaurant Brand?

To watch the video part visit Restaurant Branding

7 Important Aspects Of Great Restaurant Brands:

When you talk about a restaurant brand, it is a trade mark or identity of a company that reflects the quality of it’s product or service. For example Starbucks is a brand. Starbucks- it’s name and the logo embodies the… Continue

Added by Nash on February 17, 2009 at 10:04pm — 1 Comment

Did this SNL Skit actually predict the future?

I cannot believe what I just read. I have just been 'WOW'd'...and not in a good way.

The quote:

"Today's plan is significantly more aggressive because it has to be," Wagoner told reporters Tuesday night. "We have taken stronger actions, we needed to."

In December, GM said it might need a total of $18 billion in government financing but only got a commitment of $13.4 billion, including $4 billion that the automaker received Tuesday.

GM predicted it could run… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on February 17, 2009 at 6:06pm — 1 Comment

From My Window


I realize that I have commented on many others' blogs, stating my point of view relative to opinions already stated. But, I have not initiated any new thoughts or questions of my own. Fear, I believe, has been my barrier. I am not lazy. I dig discussing topics with those who both agree and disagree with my thoughts. At times I change my perspective after thinking what other folks have stated. I like that about myself. But, it's time for me to pony up and start something… Continue

Added by Michael Albert on February 17, 2009 at 1:27pm — 4 Comments

Why Cater Now?

Catering Builds on Your Existing Business.

For the past few years, you've invested a considerable amount of time and energy building your retail clientèle. You're still around, meaning you've been able to deliver a consistent and predictable experience. And you have nailed down the service, quality and experience equation. You've got some customer retention and have built up your brand equity.

Now what.

Especially in these times, it's good to characterize your… Continue

Added by Erle Dardick on February 17, 2009 at 9:29am — No Comments

The Recruiting Game is Changing Fast. Are You Keeping Up?

The recruiting game is changing fast are you keeping up? Here are some tips from your friends at Talent Revolution (tips we got from our friends and experts leading the game).

Nothing is Hotter than Employment Branding. Paradigm Buster: Recruiting is not a sales function it’s a marketing function! Focusing on the candidate experience and impacting the employment brand.

• Revitalize your corporate job pages.… Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on February 17, 2009 at 6:54am — 8 Comments

The 3 Things Guest Want Right Now

People are still eating out, albeit maybe not as much as before, but they are still doing it. Make sure that you are not giving them a reason to NOT visit you again. Guests are basing their decisions on where to eat out at on three general areas.

Value – are they getting more than they expect for the money they are spending. Some guests are looking for small prices and big portions; others are looking for adequate portions but great service.

Service – Some people are ok… Continue

Added by Robert Dominguez on February 17, 2009 at 5:38am — 2 Comments

Artificial Sweeteners: They're Enough to Give Some People a Headache

From The Washington Post

By Jennifer Huget

I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners. I don't care for the way they taste, and one variety in particular gives me headaches. So imagine my dismay when I recently shopped for my favorite chewing gum and found its tiny but satisfying amount of real sugar had been replaced with aspartame, one of the leading fake sweeteners on the… Continue

Added by Mark McKellier on February 17, 2009 at 2:56am — 2 Comments

Video Training from the CIA is Coming Soon

Our partnership with Ideal Media and MonkeyDish, also allows FohBoh to leverage their relationship with the Culinary Institute of America to bring you hundreds of educational videos at no charge. We love free, as I am certain you do.

As the restaurant industry's largest and fastest growing peer-to-peer knowledge bank, our commitment continues to be to you, the restaurant professional. In connection with this, please look out for more rich media content in the future.

Added by FohBoh on February 16, 2009 at 4:22pm — No Comments

Time to get really mad!!

Like Jim Sullivan and Paul Green, fellow FOHOBOHists, I"m mad as hell- I heard a brief comment on CNN this morning that was about opponents of the new stimulus package, complaining that it was a terrible "giveaway" because it includes billions of dollars for schools.

Schools! That means some of the money in that package may benefit the nation's youth - the future of our country. Wow - isn't that terrible!

School foodservice in many schools across the U.S.… Continue

Added by susan holaday on February 16, 2009 at 8:40am — 23 Comments


Napoleon said, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.” Strategies, careers, companies, they’re all made of decisions the way glass is made of sand. The quality of your decisions is what makes you valuable. It’s been said that the toughest decisions are the ones that can’t be delegated.

You would think people would give serious thought to such a serious business. Are you serious about decisions? Start with the Latin decidere. It means… Continue

Added by David Hottle, CPC on February 16, 2009 at 7:57am — No Comments

How Are Your Career Advancement Strategies ?

"There is a phrase I want to share with you, that I think will help you." These are the words my friend and mentor, Mike Litman, recently shared with me, and now I want to pass on to you.

First, allow me to say this. 'All of you have had "moments of brilliance" in your life'.

You have.

You may have run the perfect shift. (Your people were working as a team, your food quality was excellent, your service times were… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on February 15, 2009 at 11:01am — 1 Comment

It's Cherry Thing-a-Ling Day in Batesville!

Every year for the past 40+ years, the Schmidt family bakery in Batesville, Indiana has produced these unique cherry delights called Cherry Thing-a-lings™. Thing-a-lings have an almost cult-like following with shipments being requested months in advance.

It started out to honor George Washington and his fondness for all things, well, cherry. Clem Schmidt, founder and owner… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on February 15, 2009 at 10:44am — 2 Comments

Bringing in business in tough times

The desire to build business in a challenging economy is leading operators to come up with all kinds of creative ideas and promotions. Beyond the three-course prix fixe we've been seeing lots of here in the Northeast this winter, is a clever campaign from the New Jersey Restaurant Association called, appropriately, "Dine Out Often."

Jimmy Thornton, chairman, says "the messaging is simple:

The scripts read:

Dine Out Often --- It creates jobs, brings friends and family… Continue

Added by susan holaday on February 15, 2009 at 8:21am — 3 Comments

Employees are Assets, Not Liabilities

(Part 6 of a Labor Management and Scheduling Series, read part 5 here)

In many businesses, employees are perceived as a required evil – payroll is a liability that is necessary to be in business. Unfortunately, in many service oriented industries (such as food-service), this attitude harms the business by increasing turnover, deflating morale, complicating…


Added by Anthony Presley on February 14, 2009 at 2:38pm — 2 Comments

Pikes Fish Market, Seattle Washington

Ah, Seattle Washington, what a wonderful city. Have you ever been to Seattle? If your answer is no, you may want to rethink your vacation plans, really! Besides the fact that Seattle sits in the shadow of Mount Saint Helen, this is a beautiful city. I have had the pleasure of visiting Seattle twice, I was there, back in 1998 for the National Association of Black Journalists Unity Convention, and again, last summer while on a road trip to British Columbia. While visiting Seattle most recently,… Continue

Added by Stanley E. Roberts on February 14, 2009 at 10:58am — 1 Comment

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


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McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More


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National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

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.


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: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

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.

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