On a flight last week, I was sitting next to a boy and a girl who were both in their mid twenties. The girl noticed the “start-up magazine” in my bag, pointed to it and said to the boy, “Hey, have you heard of this magazine?” It was an obvious and awkward moment where I knew she wanted me to ask, “Do you have a start-up? If so, what do you do?” So.. I asked, she enthusiastically said, “YES!“ and then, blushing, said “OK. Here’s my spiel.” Her “partner” winked and gave… Continue
I received an alarming call last week; the message left informed me that my business “must not be doing very well.” Wow, that might have been a scary message except for the fact that things are going great.
So who left this message for me? My bank, a disgruntled business that was not happy with my service, or a competitor who was trying to ruffle my feathers? The answer is; none of the above. Instead, I was shocked to find out it was a vendor whom I hadn’t spoken with in a few… Continue
Now that we are entering the hottest time of the year, it’s a good time to examine the refrigeration units in your restaurant and make sure they are operating as efficiently as possible. No matter what you do, you’re going to end up spending more money on refrigeration this time of year than any other. However, that doesn’t mean you should have to spend any more than absolutely necessary.
Have you optimized your refrigeration efficiency? Doing so can save you a LOT of money. Here’s… Continue
One thing this world creates naturally is competition. It’s natural and healthy albeit scary and stressful. At first glance, who wants competition? You’d love to own it all, right? Well, that’s just not going to happen, and that is okay. One of the hardest habits to break is to try to take everything for yourself in business. Not only is it poor practice in life, it’s even poorer practice in business. Competition creates awareness and awareness creates patronage. Patrons can be broken into… Continue
Added by Joseph Szala on June 29, 2009 at 1:19pm —
At first, I was going to write a blog about the passings of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. More in a moment.
I have since, revised my plan, after watching the news coverage.
Every network and every show mentions "icon" in their respective
obituaries. There is truth to it. Each was an icon in his or her own
right , but come on, every other word ?
In all actuality, each was probably its own "brand" , much like "Kleenex"
Not to get on the Michael Jackson bandwagon, but it wasn’t lost on me last week as news broke of his cardiac arrest and death, that traditional, mainstream media sources were my last resort for breaking news.
Not that this should surprise me, but it’s been somewhat stealth. I’ve known for months that my media consumption behaviors and those of my culinary friends were rapidly changing. It was just never quite as apparent as it was last week as I worked to confirm what could have been… Continue
Well, I’ve always wanted to attend the NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show, a gargantuan gourmet foodie event at the Javits Center in New York, but even though I’ve written about food and retail for over a decade and can get into any other trade show, that ticket has always remained out of my reach. Until this year, when I decided that gift baskets might be a way of liquidating some cute but slow-selling merchandise I have in stock in my other life as a struggling start-up online retailer. That’s the… Continue
As a marketer, I usually think in terms of planned events, promotions, and how to effectively reach your target demographics, but yesterday, I happened upon a wonderful reminder of why sometimes it is better to put all your "marketing plans" and "PR promotions" and "Advertising" off to the side for a moment and just let your own personal passions shine through naturally in your restaurant.
Before I begin, I should mention that I am a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. He pretty much defined… Continue
Where are the top summer food shows? I know they are out there and we would love to hear about them, when and when they are. I do know that one big one in NYC is kicking off the season beginning this summer. The Fancy Food Show is more for foodservice professionals starts June 28th and runs through the 30th at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
In recent months the restaurant industry has been up in arms over the talk and passage of menu labeling laws that have begun to sprout up all over the country. What started in New York has now spread to 8 other cities, counties, and states across the country, and has caused quite a rift between restaurants and health advocates.
On the one hand health organizations like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the American Cancer Society argue that something has to be… Continue
Too often, website designers and restaurateurs focus solely on the look of a site. This is particularly true when it comes to high-end restaurants.
We've all been to sites where we are immediately inundated with music and a flashy intro. Most of us simply click the "skip intro" button and try to find a menu. Those types of intro's cost a lot of money and usually hurt search engine rankings so why do restaurants do them?
The simple answer is that most restaurant owners want… Continue
Added by EricL on June 24, 2009 at 8:47am —
There is no doubt that in the face of current market conditions, leadership in our business most likely will not sustain and grow their groups by maintaining the status quo. Change management must have a high priority in any Restaurant CEO’s or President’s vision. The question lies in how that leadership responds to the challenges of rising commodity prices, consumers who are less willing to part with their dollars, and a lending industry wary of where and to whom they make loans. There are… Continue
Added by Brian Bruce on June 24, 2009 at 8:07am —
Gone are the days when you could put up a site with stock photos and pretend you’re a billion dollar, multi billion dollar enterprise.
I don’t know if this ever worked, anyway. But now it really doesn't work. People know better.
We're all for transparency, as long as we look good. It seems to me that we just have to get better. As fellow Canadian, business writer Dan Tapscott says: in an age of transparency, "you'd better be buff."
Sometimes I just want to be a contrarian. As an entrepreneur, you learn to look at things differently – pull ideas and concepts apart, reverse the order and examine what if’s on a regular basis. Raise the bridge…or lower the water is one example of being a contrarian thinker. Over the years, I’ve gradually adopted this philosophy. When I was working with consumer facing companies. I frequently referred to investment banking as “practicing the… Continue
Foodservice, like physics, seems to have its own immutable laws and principles that govern the behavior of entities and individuals with the foodservice universe. For example, just as Newton's Third Law of Motion exemplified that for every action in the physical universe there is an equal and opposite reaction, the Third Law of Menu's states that for every portion sizing action there is an equal and opposite portion sizing reaction. In a foodservice environment emphasizing value, customer… Continue
It's a new day for the individuals that aspire to long term careers as restaurant managers, or for that matter, any type of management position, in these changing times.
The days of "I told you to do it, so do it," are as far removed as last week's garbage. Somewhere in a heap of discarded ideas are the management styles of the 70's 80's and 90's. Today's successful managers are playing by a whole new set of rules. Rules because if ignored or dismissed, certain consequences are… Continue
This past spring I attended two massive tasting events: the Hospice du Rhône (May 1-2) in Paso Robles, and World of Pinot Noir (March 6-7) in Shell Beach.
As much for myself as for your possible interest, here are some of the highlights from the Hospice du Rhône – all exceptional wines, worthy of a place in any wine list or cellar – out of about 100 wines tasted, listed in order of my personal favorites:
The chart of the week is ARA weekly chicken wing and boneless skinless chicken breast index prices. Boneless skinless chicken breast prices typically trade well above the chicken wing market. The chief reasons are pretty simple. The meat yield on a boneless skinless chicken breast is much higher than on a chicken wing. Additionally, most chicken consumers in the US prefer the white meat of a chicken. As of late though, the chicken wing market has traded at or above the boneless skinless breast… Continue
Added by David Maloni on June 19, 2009 at 9:47am —
Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co. -More-
Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!
During the first three weeks of sales, Pizza Patrón reported that La Ch!#gona represented more than 4 percent of the pizza sales mix, more than doubling the company's peak historical average for a new LTO launch.
Total revenues were $481.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 as compared to $463.0 million in the prior year first quarter. Net income and diluted net income per share were $22.5 million and $0.43, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. T
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.
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.
"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.
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.
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.
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?