Featured Blog Posts – March 2011 Archive (22)


Non-Operator
A Report From The Front Lines

 

Greetings from the just-concluded Restaurant Leadership Conference, where your humble servant was a panelist.  More about the panel later, but first some overall impressions.

 

Ron Paul of Technomic reported broad-based signs of strengthening performance for…

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Added by Rod Guinn on March 31, 2011 at 3:30am — 2 Comments


Operator
Of Superman and Authentic Customer Service on Twitter

The staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there is the alter ego. Batman in reality is Bruce Wayne, Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, Spider-Man is really Peter Parker. When that character wakes up every morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man.

And it is in…

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Added by Ty Sullivan on March 29, 2011 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Social Media Tools Are Killing Their Own Value



I officially have conceded to the app developers and the contra-browsers mavens that are developing so many different ways to do the same thing, that I have lost not only count, but interest. Do we really need…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on March 29, 2011 at 3:00pm — 12 Comments


Non-Operator
Do You Treat Your Car Better Than Your Managers?

A new car is all crazy-fresh-n’good when it rolls off the lot, but more than anything you hope (darn well expect) that it will go for miles and miles without trouble. Granted, it is going to need some more gas, an oil change and, at some point, new tires. And if you get in an accident, you might need to straighten the frame, or give it a coat of paint. Would you say that your odds are better at having your car last longer/go farther if you stay current with all the maintenance and service…

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Added by Chase Leblanc on March 29, 2011 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

America's Next Great Restaurant: Where Is Social, Technology?

During the first four weeks of America's Next Great Restaurant, we've seen some of the…

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Added by Josh Hersh on March 29, 2011 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

DAWG Talk: Industry Wisdom: Responses

Recently, I had a simple request and you did not disappoint.  I asked you to share your industry wisdom.  Whether you led a giant organization or washed dishes in a single location.  Whether you managed a team or took direction.  Or, whether you ever discovered something as a guest, I asked you to…

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Added by David Rose on March 28, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments


Non-Operator
The Brand Killer

 

What do marriage and customer service have in common?  Let’s start with the obvious.  They are both about relationship.  They both require interaction.  They are about human emotion and feelings.  I’m sure you can add to the list. 

 

Just for fun, let's begin by examining the 3 phases of marriage. The following account is based on hearsay not…

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Added by Bill Campion on March 28, 2011 at 5:49am — 6 Comments


Non-Operator
The Cost of Nutrition Analysis: Local Spotlight

Hi all, a busy week at the office, so I took some blog material from the FoodCALC consumer blog Dining by Numbers, I hope you like it:

 

As someone who works in the restaurant industry, I know that a big complaint among restaurant operators when I ask them about providing calorie information to their customers is simple: cost.  You see, the traditional method that…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on March 24, 2011 at 7:54am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Private Equity Firms and Restaurants: Motivations and Results to date

 

Recently, the press has been full of reports of private equity (PE) firms receiving outsized returns on prior restaurant investments. Examples include the reported Sun Capital 13 times return on its 2003 Bruegger’s investment, Olympus’ Partners reported 8 times return on its  K-Mac predominately Taco Bell franchisee group, Falfurrias selling Bojangles (unit counts up 30% since 2007). CKE Restaurant’s is now working a dividend via new debt for its owners, as did Dunkin Brands…

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Added by John A. Gordon on March 23, 2011 at 7:16am — No Comments


Non-Operator
The Cost of Last Minute Reservations

Eat Metrics is a restaurant advertising and analytics company. We publish articles about restaurant technology, marketing, and advertising, often using aggregated data from our restaurant users.

 



Restaurants record when reservations are made, but rarely have an ability to see when customers want to make reservations. Many…

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Added by Eli Chait on March 21, 2011 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Is poaching fair game?

For many years, restaurateurs have checked out the competition and no one so much as commented on those activities. Chains coming into a new market would routinely have managerial personnel visit existing operations, observe the service, and sometimes make offers to particularly talented servers/bartenders/etc.



This happened recently in Boston, where national chains in the past often found it difficult to open new units. Today, with a number of real estate opportunities, we've…

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Added by susan holaday on March 19, 2011 at 5:42am — 10 Comments


Non-Operator
Who Will Buy your Burritos?

There’s good news and bad news regarding the prospects for an economic recovery. This should not be a surprise, especially since the news has to do with the findings of economists, perhaps the only subspecies of humans needing a third hand to settle arguments.  (You know the old joke: arguments which often include the phrases 'on the one hand...' and 'On the other hand.....’).…

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Added by Rod Guinn on March 17, 2011 at 3:30am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Are You Ready?

   The horrific recent disaster in Japan has reminded all of us here in the Seattle area about a relatively minor, but destructive, earthquake here a decade ago. Since that time, I have made it a priority to ask my clients about their disaster preparedness plans. I usually get a shrug or a blank stare. Sure, they all have the required fire extinguishers and first aid kit, but frequently that is…

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Added by Dorothy Frisch on March 16, 2011 at 1:39pm — 1 Comment

Checking in at SXSW

Checking in at SXSW in was nearly a full-time job. This being my first time I was a bit overwhelmed. If you don't know, SXSW means South-By-South-West, a conference held annually for the past 25 years in Austin, Texas. It started out as a music festival and now, more than 125,000 people attend during its 10 days. This place is nuts. It's where Interactive, film and music intersect. Tech executives, geeks, musicians and movie stars collide with movie buffs, authors, fans,…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on March 15, 2011 at 1:32pm — 2 Comments

Do It Yourself Meals: Blame the customer?

Sunday was the second week of America's Next Great Restaurant. The NBC restaurant reality TV show will pick a winning fast-casual concept to open in three American cities this summer - in Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis.

 

The idea behind the show intrigued me more than…

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Added by Josh Hersh on March 15, 2011 at 7:39am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Nutrition Information in Restaurants: Attitudes are Changing

About three years ago I walked into a room of restaurant professionals to talk about restaurants providing nutrition information.  During my talk I was laughed at, walked out on, and later told that both restaurants and consumers are not interested in knowing the nutritional value of foods served in restaurants.  My, how the times have changed. 

 

Last week I had a chance to attend and speak at the International Restaurant and…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on March 9, 2011 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments


Non-Operator
On The Fast Track – Practical Professional Development for Hospitality Managers

Over the years, I have been hounded by tribemates looking for a raise in pay (not unwarranted, but alas, still pervasive). If you want a pay increase to materialize at a faster pace, you must do some homework in addition to your work duties. What follows is the hospitality- manager response I have given to those on the money hunt: Whenever you are being evaluated for hiring, a promotion, or a raise, start with the most significant accomplishments you can cite from your recent…

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Added by Chase Leblanc on March 9, 2011 at 9:20am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Loyal Customer Not Safe at Safeway!

 

If you live on the west coast Safeway is a household name!  For my friend in northern California, he had been shopping at the grocery chain for 27 years - until last week!  

 

You have to know a little bit about the subjects in this story to get the picture.  First you must know the names have been…

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Added by Bill Campion on March 9, 2011 at 8:00am — 4 Comments


Non-Operator
Social Media: Cutting Through The Facebook Noise







Now that Facebook has updated their algorithm to only show the updates from the pages and people your fans engage with, how does your message cut through the…

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Added by Bj Strawter on March 9, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Top 5 plugins every restaurant should install on a WordPress website

WordPress Plugin Power

If you’re using WordPress as your backend to your website, then here are some third party must have plugins that will help you improve your search engine optimization or your website.



 

1. All in One SEO Pack

This plugin is key to making sure you optimize every page and post of your website. WordPress… Continue

Added by Robert Vasquez on March 3, 2011 at 1:41pm — No Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

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.

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: 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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