Featured Blog Posts – July 2009 Archive (60)

Here Come the Millennials: Tips for Connecting With Generation Y...and Beyond

Every decade or so, employers are faced with the challenge of gearing up to meet the needs of a whole new generation of workers. As the pace of cultural change quickens, the generation gap that defines each age group’s world views, values, and beliefs grows more pronounced. This can pose a problem for managers seeking to attract, hire, and retain talented young workers.



Historically, the hospitality industry has relied upon young workers to meet its ever-expanding demand for… Continue

Added by Patrick O on July 31, 2009 at 6:47pm — 3 Comments

A wine buyer's precise guide: taking it green

Green Wines Today



In California over 5% of the state’s total plantings of wine grapes (over 12,000 acres) are now certified organic by third party organizations like California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF). In a recent study of organic growers in Napa Valley, I found that percentage to be closer to +7%. Some industry analysts have it that over 90% of vineyards on the West Coast are… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on July 31, 2009 at 3:40pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Stop Giving Waste Fryer Oil Away!

Disposing of used vegetable oil has always been a problem for restaurants. In recent years it has gotten easier with the increasing demand for biodiesel. Now many restaurants depend on free pickup services by biodiesel companies as a convenient and cheap way to dispose of their used fryer oil. Some even pay to have the stuff hauled away.



But what if you could take that oil and use it to save money, instead of just giving it away? Enter Vegawatt, a power system that uses… Continue

Added by Caribou on July 31, 2009 at 12:46pm — 3 Comments

Comfort Foods... What Do They Mean To You?

Does Meaning Of 'Comfort Foods' Vary By Age?

by Karlene Lukovitz, Media Post Publications.





When it comes to which general types of foods constitute "comfort foods," there's no real generation gap.



However, more subtle differences in comfort food preferences do exist among age groups, according to a new "Generational Comfort Foods" trend mapping report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.



CCD's national online survey on… Continue

Added by Sarah on July 31, 2009 at 10:29am — 3 Comments

Is Social Media Enough for Online Success?

Poll your friends in the restaurant industry about online marketing and my guess is that most, if not all, would define internet marketing as social networking, email marketing or some combination of the two. Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, blogging and newsletters garner the vast majority of buzz surrounding online marketing for restaurants these days and believe me, I'm not arguing against building a solid social media campaign nor am I questioning the returns a business can see from an effective… Continue

Added by Mindi Cabe on July 31, 2009 at 10:25am — 1 Comment

Pork Producers Persistent Problems

The chart of the week is sow slaughter. First we remember that sows are the breeding inventory for swine and that a build up or reduction in the sow herd can give an early indication of pending pork production levels. As one can tell from the chart, sow slaughter during the first 6 months of this year was anything but alarming from the buy side. As a matter of fact, one might be able to derive from the chart that the breeding herd could actually have increased during the first 6 months. June… Continue

Added by David Maloni on July 31, 2009 at 8:31am — No Comments

Five Tough Interview Questions... And How To Handle Them

Many times a job seeker has spent the night before an eagerly-anticipated interview tossing and turning, haunted by visions of the difficult questions they’ll be facing the next day. Whether you’re asked to explain that gap in your experience, the terms under which you left your last job, or your worst professional mistake -- chances are good that you’ll be hit with at least one interview question that will make you cringe.



Let’s face it -- there’s just no way to predict in advance… Continue

Added by Robert Krzak on July 31, 2009 at 6:01am — 2 Comments

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

As we all know communication is the cornerstone of all things…business, relationships, results, you name it and it comes down to communication. Maybe I am the only one in a long-term relationship that has heard, “Well you obviously just misunderstood what I said”, right?



The other day I went to pick up my wife from getting her hair done and I was talking with her long term stylist and, as I often do, I made some sarcastic comment about the fact that I thought the directions on the… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on July 29, 2009 at 8:34pm — 4 Comments


Non-Operator
Online Ordering: Is It Your Future Blessing or Curse?

You can do anything on the internet these days, and increasingly people are relying on the web to do all kinds of things that make their daily lives more convenient. On paper, the idea of introducing an online ordering service sounds exciting to restaurateurs. After all, who can complain about making sales before your customer ever steps through the door?



At this point, it’s mostly national chains that have introduced online ordering, many with some considerable success. But… Continue

Added by Caribou on July 29, 2009 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Trend alert: restaurants strive to remain relevant amid recession

I'd like to share a few articles I read this week that address the changing climate of the restaurant industry and changes in the demographics and habits of diners. Each of these pieces touched on a common theme - that restaurants are going to have work harder to be relevant among a changing -and less loyal- demographic; one that is causing the market to become more competitive and more driven than ever by exceptional customer service.



First, a report released this week from the… Continue

Added by Dani on July 29, 2009 at 1:14pm — 2 Comments

Notes on the economy from a non-economist or Is that a glimmer of light?

The world of restaurants is starting to shrink, some say, and certainly as I sort through the ‘changes and nixies’ from the U.S. Post Office to mail the latest issue of Foodservice East, that does seem to be the case, with “nixies” outnumbering “changes of address.”



You can blame it on the economy, of course. A friend of mine talks about the “uncertainty” he picks up on from his clients. “It’s a smaller world,” he declares. “There’s a ‘last one standing’ mentality out… Continue

Added by susan holaday on July 29, 2009 at 7:00am — 3 Comments

Are Culinary Schools Helping or Hurting the Industry

There are so many culinary schools in existence today that the pool of students graduating with a solid foundation may possibly be diluted. The underlying need to keep enrollment up has often lowered the standards of acceptance basing admittance entirely on whether the student can pay. The bottom line is that many schools are business's and the need to make sales a.k.a. student enrollment. Slick commercials and mass media paint a picture of an exciting career that most students will never… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on July 28, 2009 at 5:07pm — 27 Comments

Linkedin Tip: Leverage Social Technology For Your Career Search.

Let’s say you discovered that Panera was hiring an HR manager and you wanted the gig. You know you're qualified, but you also know they’ve had about 500 applications submitted for the position. You have to come up with a way to stand out. The best answer is to have someone inside the organization recommend you to the hiring decision maker. But, let’s say you know someone who works for Panera. Here is an example of how you can use Linkedin to let your network work for you.…



Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on July 28, 2009 at 7:22am — 6 Comments

The Johnny Rockets Talent Show

In an effort of full disclosure, I will admit that I love to eat at Johnny Rockets and I used to be a Broadway wannabe.



I was very intrigued by the new Johnny Rockets campaign. They are partnering with the studio behind the new "Fame" movie and promoting a talent contest called "FAME National Talent Search." They are encouraging their guests to show their talents either at contests in Six Flags theme parks, or guests can submit videos on… Continue

Added by Jeff Schacher on July 27, 2009 at 11:50am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Hot Potato

Last week I was at an industry networking evening consisting mostly of manufacturing reps. I found myself in a nice conversation with one of the presenters from an earlier part of the day, and he asked me what my affiliation was. I told him I consult on customer service issues in restaurants and ( I love it when they do this!) he immediately said, “Oh! Let me tell you about our dinner last night!” He was out with four other folks from the foodservice industry, and they all agreed that they… Continue

Added by Dorothy Frisch on July 24, 2009 at 3:11pm — 7 Comments


Non-Operator
Devil's in the Details - You've Got To Outsmart the Label

Nutrition labels are better than the alternative - no nutrition labels. But like many things in these times, loopholes and deceptive tactics can mislead those who aren't paying attention.



Of course there are honest mistakes that slip through too - I read about a case where a jar of spaghetti sauce had 2 components that were 1 and 4 grams of carbs respectively. In the bold print above announcing the Total carbs said 2 grams. The manufacturer admitted and corrected the error, but that… Continue

Added by Mark on July 24, 2009 at 2:49pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
San Francisco Chef's Food & Wine Festival

A friend of mine works for a company that is promoting first annual San Francisco Chef's Food & Wine Festival so I couldn’t help but look into it and get excited. After doing some reading on the event website I have confirmed that this is going to be an amazing event so I thought I would share some information about the event and a promo code with my fellow FohBohers.



The website describes the event as:



“a four day food and wine event celebrating the unique flavor,… Continue

Added by Alyson Mar, RD on July 24, 2009 at 11:37am — 1 Comment

Restaurant chain, Denny's sued over salt

Yes, that is what I said, sued over the amount of sodium (salt) in their food. According to Restaurant News, “a New Jersey man sued Denny's Corp. Thursday in the first, sodium-related lawsuit against a restaurant chain, according to officials at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the consumer advocacy group that is supporting the action.”



Read the complete story at the… Continue

Added by Dara Bunjon on July 24, 2009 at 10:55am — 2 Comments

Saké Thinking

While exposure continues to grow and information is on the increase, saké is still highly misunderstood and under utilized in food pairings, cocktails, cooking and ultimately on wine lists where it provides an incredible option for unique food pairings.



Our friend Beau Timken in San Francisco works hard to explore saké and food pairings with cuisine from around the world and to our delight there is quite literally a saké for every flavor, dish and meal. So why has saké not yet moved… Continue

Added by SakéOne on July 24, 2009 at 9:27am — No Comments


Non-Operator
United We Stand? ... and Borrowing From CIT

Two topics this week, both of which have to do with unintended consequences.



First: As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a (mostly) reformed musician. As such, I try to keep an eye on things in that world, and I recently saw something which conveyed, in one brief example, both the hazard of displeasing a customer and the power of social media.



I’m referring to the song “United Breaks Guitars”, which can be heard -- and the accompanying video seen -- at… Continue

Added by Rod Guinn on July 24, 2009 at 3:00am — No Comments

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The Sip

The Sip: Stay up-to-date on the beer, wine and spirits category with original content from SmartBrief -More

New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

Baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and the first price increases in nearly four years helped lead Starbucks to a 7% same-store -More

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National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

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.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

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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