Featured Blog Posts – May 2010 Archive (33)

Praying for salvation: when will we be rid of stinky corks?



Originally published in Sommelier Journal (January 2010):



The fall of 2009 was not a particularly kind on my longtime love/hate relationship with natural corks. It started with attendance an East Coast wine festival, where I was asked to judge 24 chardonnays. Two of them are badly… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on May 28, 2010 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
FOHcus: Engagement





























Image taken at Flea Street Cafe by Michael Biesemeyer



We hear the term engagement thrown around a lot these days. "We need to engage with our customers." "We need to find new ways to be more engaged in the social media space." " We had better start engaging with our audience before we lose their attention to… Continue

Added by FohBoh on May 28, 2010 at 12:00am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Why Franchise? Or Why Not?

The subtitle for this week might be “Franchising -- Not For Dummies”. We’re continuing along the first few steps in the path I introduced recently, looking at some of the key success factors -- and pitfalls -- for franchisees and franchisors. This week’s focus is on the franchisor.…

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Added by Rod Guinn on May 27, 2010 at 4:00am — No Comments

Is the iPad a realistic point of sale device?

Over the past few weeks there has been some talk of companies building point of sale software to run on the iPad. This sounds fun, but I'm not sure anyone who has worked in an actual restaurant environment would consider it a good idea. The iPad was not designed for a restaurant environment and would probably drive waitstaff and managers alike crazy.

Here's…

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Added by Steven Wei on May 26, 2010 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

Social Media and Restaurants

This week at the NRA Show there was a lot of chatter about the future of social media and how it will be used in the restaurant world. Right now most, like myself, are just trying to find our way. Youtube is five years old and growing up fast. Facebook, twitter, and all the rest are changing by the day if not minute. There is a new tool being created constantly. So how do you figure out what, how and when? Who cares, stop over thinking this and get in on the action before it is too late.…

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Added by Michael Minichello on May 26, 2010 at 2:00pm — 22 Comments

Sulfite vs Tannin Reactions in Wine

Many people assume that they have a sulfite reaction to drinking wine. In actuality there is a very small portion of the population with a sulfite allergy. Most people are experiencing a tannin reaction to red wine.



Here is one way to self test. Eat some bright apricots. If you get the same reaction from eating these as when you drink wine then you have a true sulfite allergy. These bright apricots are loaded with sulfites.



Most people associate red wines with sulfites, but… Continue

Added by Marcus Guiliano on May 26, 2010 at 10:00am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Writing a Restaurant Business Plan

by Doug Marranci



In the early 90’s I wanted to create a business plan to open my first coffee house in Charlotte NC. I did a lot of research and found many different types of plans that could be written. After going to the library and looking at many books and SBA information about writing a business plan, here are some of my thoughts on writing that first business plan.



1. If you address all of the areas of a standard business plan, you will probably have uncovered all… Continue

Added by Doug Marranci on May 26, 2010 at 5:15am — No Comments

Hold the Server, I'll Tweet My Order

Waiting for our food to come, I was discussing with one of my good friends the possibilities of using Twitter in restaurants and bars. We weren't sure if such a place existed, but how cool would it be to be able to order your dinner via Twitter or even by texting?



I'll spare you the intricacies and hilarious details we brainstormed between the time we ordered and when we got our food. But after dinner, I began to think about all of the things that are near automated in our culture.… Continue

Added by Josh Hersh on May 24, 2010 at 10:00pm — 11 Comments

DAWG Talk: Perspective That Will Rile a Reporter

Have you ever been watching a live news report and noticed someone in the background waving? It’s often someone young, or young at heart. For a fleeting few seconds, that person’s sole objective is to be seen.



The calm and professional reporter will often move seamlessly through the report. Of course, we’ve all seen the videos of reporters who lost their cool (search: “Reporter Freaking Out” on You Tube for a sample) only to recall that there are cameras recording the… Continue

Added by David Rose on May 23, 2010 at 1:24pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Server Not Servant, Question #1

Book Chapter: Manners/Gratitude

Shortly after deciding to write a book, I circulated a questionnaire to everyone I knew and everyone I met to solicit their insights, opinions, and stories about customers, servers, hospitality and human interactions. I'm still accepting completed questionnaires for my…

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Added by Patrick Maguire on May 23, 2010 at 11:00am — 5 Comments


Non-Operator
FOHcus: We Are Growing

FohBoh is growing and changing along with the needs of our community. Our platform for connecting the members of the foodservice industry is a dynamic space; creating and maintaining an environment where people can interact demands constant innovation and adaptation.



It'd be easy to get caught up in the numbers, but there is something more meaningful taking place here. FohBoh is a representative cross section of the collective brain trust of the emerging 'socially networked'… Continue

Added by FohBoh on May 21, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

It’s All about the Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce is not that easy to prepare, but once you have perfected the ingredient, you are definitely going to impress your guests. You do not have to be an outstanding chef in order to learn how to prepare delicious barbecue sauce. Of course, your food newsletter can probably give you an idea how to do this, so do not unsubscribe…
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Added by ChefBlogDigest on May 20, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Cutting the Salt

First it was saturated fat, and then it was trans fat, the new culprit on the menu: SODIUM. And not without reason: In salt-sensitive people, elevated levels of sodium in the diet have been shown to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. So it’s no surprise that health advocates like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have been lobbying for government control over the use of…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on May 19, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Harry Hogan is my Hero!

How can Harry Hogan be my hero? I've never met the man yet he taught me an invaluable life lesson for which I am forever grateful. I'm sure Harry was no Hulk. I doubt if he was even around when Hulk Hogan was the king of wrestling (I use the term wrestling loosely). While I thought Harry was great from the beginning, as I grew older he became a legend in my mind.





To this day I work hard to apply the lesson I learned from him between the ages of 5-17. So you may be wondering… Continue

Added by Bill Campion on May 19, 2010 at 12:02am — 2 Comments

Inspiration 101

Two ways to do it…..



Do it because I pay you.

Do it because I inspired you.



Both work.

One gets amazing results.

One gets short-term results.

One takes a lot of work, one not so much.



Inspiration takes a lot of work and some folks just aren’t willing to give what it takes to lead from this very important value.



What does it take you…
Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on May 17, 2010 at 6:59pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Comfort Zone Plateaus - Barriers to Success

Every once in awhile I find myself on what I call the “comfort zone plateau.” I recently just jumped out of a comfort zone plateau. Basically, I was working hard, extremely customer focused and maximizing results. Many people would applaud this type of work effort because it does produce amazing results, creates forward progress and delivers high levels of customer satisfaction.…

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Added by Kathleen Wood on May 16, 2010 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Web-Browser based POS on iPad/iTouch/iPhone Lets CEO Visit Any Table at Any Restaurant

Over the past two weeks I've been fortunate to play with a POS system demo'd on an iPad, iPhone and iTouch. Developed by a Portland, OR based firm who lists as a partner a former Regional Director of Rockbottom and before that TGIFs, this system is phenomenal.



Imagine you're the CEO of a major multi-unit restaurant outfit. You call one of your GMs and ask "how's the day going?" Of course, you're going to get the response that things are good, things are busy.



Now imagine you… Continue

Added by Jeffrey J Kingman on May 15, 2010 at 1:01pm — 4 Comments


Non-Operator
Be FOHnomenal



Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve what one has to offer.

-Rick Pitino





Take heed, all front of house staff. Today's diners are armed with powerful tools that give them access to dynamic, richly presented information about your restaurant's food, wine, ingredients, service reviews, and more. They are connecting through social… Continue

Added by FohBoh on May 13, 2010 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Syrah, Syrah, Syrahs at Hospice du Rhône (and in Santa Barbara)

When we talk about “Rhône” grapes, we usually mean more than syrah; but also grenache, mourvèdre, viognier, roussanne, marsanne, and some sixteen other varieties, as well as blends of such, associated with the vast expanse of Southern France, from the Riviera to the Bay of Biscay (in this sense, these aren’t nearly so much Rhône Valley grapes as they are Southern French grapes).…



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Added by Randy Caparoso on May 13, 2010 at 6:30am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Zombies Among Us

Recent hits in popular cinema and literature have brought renewed attention to vampires (the “Twilight” series, among others) and zombies (everything from George Romero’s films to the amazing Jane Austen homage -- or parody -- entitled…

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Added by Rod Guinn on May 13, 2010 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

QSRs squeeze into unconventional locations

Nontraditonal quickservice units are popping up wherever people are, moving beyond street-side and mall locations to military -More

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Businesses increasingly are turning to software programs that make applicant tracking more efficient.  -More

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All-new pasta dish features Grand Cru® Alpine-style cheese
Roth® Grand Cru® cheeses have a complex and full-bodied flavor that's crafted to achieve excellence in your menu applications. Try it in Manicotti en Croute with Brandied Fig Dipping Sauce. This elegant and inventive dish recently won our recipe contest for postsecondary culinary students, and is perfect as a sophisticated appetizer, passed hors d'oeuvre or savory dessert.

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National News

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.

Panera Bread Company Reports Q2 2014 Diluted EPS of $1.82

Q2 2014 Revenue increased 7% to $631 million - Q2 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe transactions up 0.4%

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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