Featured Blog Posts – May 2011 Archive (25)


Operator
BECAUSE Pt. 2: Beatles, Customer Service & Biz, Oh My!

I believe that everyone should work as a waiter at one point in their life.

Not because the money is pretty darn good or because you get one shift drink that can turn into two or three if you are good chums with the bartender. Rather, they should become a waiter to learn the true value of great customer service and its rewards.

It worked for me and I can say, with no ego but…

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Added by Ty Sullivan on May 31, 2011 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

Chicago Rising Star Chefs & Pork Carpaccio

Online culinary mag StarChefs feted its pick of Chicago's rising star chefs at a tasteful gala on Monday, May 23. The event took place at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel Chicago and hosted by executive chef Brad Parsons and Beverly Kim Clark, chef de cuisine at Aria. Chef Clark's Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Semifreddo with Port Foam and Five-spice Walnuts was a sweet-savory delight, served in a miniature ice cream cone.

 …

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Added by Joseph D'Alessandro on May 31, 2011 at 11:30am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Blowing Up Age Old Paradigms

 

 

Remember when “shifting paradigms” was the buzz phrase back in the 90’s?  It became “marketing speak” and just like any great phrase it got used and abused and eventually lost its meaning.  I’m bringing it back for this blog because quite honestly I can’t think of a better way to communicate my point. 

 

Shifting a paradigm is described by Wikipedia as follows:

 …

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Added by Bill Campion on May 31, 2011 at 8:39am — 6 Comments

Staff Morale

Currently, I'm working FOH in a busy restaurant with a small service staff. We had about 7 full time servers and the servers really own the floor. Management is helpful but the pooled house selects servers as the top of the food chain.

 

My question / concern is with staff morale. This past Saturday night, management seemed to be on a warpath with the waitstaff. Forgive my bias, but I don't think we do a bad job. We were nominated best new restaurant in the NE b James Beard…

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Added by Brandon M. Roderick on May 29, 2011 at 9:53pm — 5 Comments

Austin's Famed Food Truck Scene

Photo By Daina Falk



Lately, it seems like we're all about the fine wining and dining experience. But as a posh professional in high demand, you're often pressed for time and have to resort to that sin of all sins: fast food. Fear not, when in or traveling to Austin, let that fair Texas city's famed trailer cuisine rescue you from culinary mediocrity. Who knew fast could be so delicious...or naughty?

Love Balls Bus

How much do we love Love Balls? Enough to avoid… Continue

Added by Magazine BLU on May 26, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Vacation Pictures

I’ll acknowledge up front that subjecting non-participants to vacation pictures puts a strain on the strongest and healthiest relationships -- there’s no way the one who wasn’t there can appreciate the full context, although a skillful photographer can at least convey some of the beauty or exotic features of a destination.  I’m decidedly NOT a skillful photographer, so I’ll spare you the amateurish snaps.…

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Added by Rod Guinn on May 26, 2011 at 3:30am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Before They Walk in the Door: The Importance of Interior and Exterior Photography

Guest Post by Catherine Murray

of Photo Kitchen

 

Does your website have a virtual tour? Well,…

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Added by Barry Chandler on May 21, 2011 at 6:57am — No Comments

Wake up Parents! this Common Drink is Loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup.m4v





This is the most common drink for kids at restaurants. Chef Marcus Guiliano tells you how to get a healthier version of this drink.



Marcus Guiliano is the chef & owner of Aroma Thyme Bistro located in the bountiful Hudson Valley of New York. Chef Guiliano has been an advocate for over 10 years on healthy, sustainable, local & real food. He found his mission in cooking when he reversed over a handful of medical conditions including 28 years of…

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Added by Marcus Guiliano on May 20, 2011 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
From menu to label: Restaurant foods begin hitting grocery shelves

Stroll the aisles at your local supermarket and you may find yourself wondering if you just entered a grocery store or a popular restaurant chain’s dining room.  TGI Friday’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Taco Bell, and PF Chang’s are just a few restaurants who have licensed retail versions of their menu items to…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on May 19, 2011 at 7:41am — No Comments

Why I "Eat More Chikin"

I often ask myself, why are you obsessed with Chick-Fil-A? Maybe it’s their waffle fries, or tasty breakfast options? Maybe the incredible customer service is to blame. Maybe it’s that the nearest location to me is hours away, and we all know absence makes the heart grow fonder. In the end I tend to blame it on the Polynesian sauce.   …

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Added by Emerald Reilly on May 18, 2011 at 2:56pm — 7 Comments


Operator
The Superman Complex & Customer Service

I, like many other Americans, tuned in to watch the final episode of Smallville this last Friday night. For those not familiar, it is the story of Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, Kansas and his life lessons and upbringing that lead him to become the Man of Steel.

 

 …

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Added by Ty Sullivan on May 17, 2011 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
What Does It Mean To Be “Customer-Centric”?

 

 

Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.



Our mission is to support our stores so that they are able to do what is most important in retail — serve our customers' needs.



The mission…

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Added by Bill Campion on May 17, 2011 at 2:30am — 10 Comments

All California Restaurant Employees Required to Obtain Food Handler Card

Last year California passed a law (SB 602) that several other states already have: the requirement of all restaurant employees to obtain a California Food Handler Card. The law is designed to ensure that restaurant employees receive a reasonable level of training in food safety practices to reduce the potential for food borne illness.

 

While not much has been publicized about the passing of this law, the deadline for employees to obtain these cards is coming upon us quickly.…

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Added by Emerald Reilly on May 16, 2011 at 5:24pm — No Comments

Can You Cook an Egg On It?

Stay in this business long enough and you’ll end up speaking Kitchen-ese.

For example:



“I need a grill.”

“A griddle or a char broiler?”

“Just a grill.”

“Upright, range-match, counter model or free-standing, flat-top or grate-top, what length, on casters or legs, cast radiants, cast grates, what grid spacing, chrome or cold roll steel, round or scround, grooved or flat, safety pilots, piezo or…

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Added by Joe Ferri on May 15, 2011 at 8:36am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Waiter Training - Teach Your Waitstaff Basic Food Knowledge & Preparation Methods

As owner/operator of a restaurant, if you asked one of your waiters: "what is the difference between broiled chicken and roasted chicken?' or "what is a ragout sauce?' Would you be provided with the correct answer? If not, then I highly suggest that you start teaching basic food knowledge and food preparation methods in your waiter training programs. Otherwise, precious revenue and service reputation is being lost unnecessarily everyday in your restaurant's dining room.

Most chefs…

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Added by Richard Saporito on May 9, 2011 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

The 2% Effect for Restaurant Profit Improvement

How a 2% increase in menu prices can make a big profit improvement in profit. And when a 2% increase in customer numbers is added, the effect multiplies. How can you apply these ideas to your business?

 

Added by Ken Burgin on May 9, 2011 at 2:10am — 1 Comment

Thinking Out of the Box – Managing Within the Four Walls

This post continues my multi-part perspective on restaurant social media and social media brand management. The following is excerpted from my forthcoming book, Restaurant Social Media – Staying ahead of your customer.

 

TGI Friday’s restaurants have history. They were innovators and changed casual dining in the 1970′s. They brought us brass and plants and stain-glass in a well lighted high energy environment. They created happy hours and potato skins. They introduced…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on May 5, 2011 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
What Facebook Deals Means for Your Bar or Restaurant

Last Tuesday, Facebook launched a trial run of it’s new service, Facebook Deals, in five cities:  Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San…
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Added by Barry Chandler on May 5, 2011 at 3:00am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
The Royal Wedding: A Celebration of Not so Nutritious British Foods

You may have heard about a certain royal wedding that took place last week in Great Britain (*insert sarcasm here*).

 

The buzz was awfully hard to avoid!  One of the girls in the FoodCALC office got especially into watching the coverage, and even went so far as to throw a “royal wedding viewing…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on May 4, 2011 at 10:33am — No Comments


Operator
People Report Summer & Digital Brand Camp: Keeping the Social in Social Media

Come. Sit down around the camp fire faithful campers and let me tell you a tale of friendship and growth. It is a tale of a gathering of people from all walks of life, all corners and crevices of the country. It is a story of “tribe”.

 …

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

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National News

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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.

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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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