Featured Blog Posts – August 2009 Archive (50)


Non-Operator
Now Look who’s Involved

It started out with labeling calories for chain restaurants in New York City and grew to include sodium, carbohydrates, saturated fats, and trans fats in counties and states all over the country. Now who’s up to the plate? The independents; and you would never guess who the allies are in this battle.



It wasn’t long ago that long time menu labeling rivals the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the Center for Science in the Public interest (CSPI) joined forces to support the… Continue

Added by Alyson Mar, RD on August 5, 2009 at 4:58pm — 10 Comments

Who Will Start the Dialog?

I enjoyed lunch yesterday with celebrated two-star Michelin chef, Laurent Manrique. Laurent recently left San Francisco’s award winning Aqua to pursue other culinary opportunities, including spending more time working on his winery in Spain. Chef Laurent is also a founding partner of Café de la Presse, a very successful French bistro located at the gates of Chinatown. Yes, location is important, but the Café is a big hit, especially for homesick visitors from Europe.



This was less of… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on August 5, 2009 at 9:33am — 7 Comments

Turning an uptrend in home dining to your advantage

We’re in a great industry: no matter what, people have a great love for food. And their love for food is like the air in a balloon – you can crush it on one end, but it comes up somewhere else. Which can be good news.



People are dining out less in many restaurant segments; in others, the growth has slowed to a crawl.



No use whining about it. The love of food is showing up in other areas, and if we follow where people are going, and… Continue

Added by Erle Dardick on August 4, 2009 at 9:37pm — 5 Comments

The Total Package Chef

I have learned a few things during my 30 plus years in the industry that I would like to share. I have seen many chefs and cooks with top notch skills and good intentions never reach their potential. An ongoing pattern of self destructive behavior and poor decision making has sidelined them from the fast track. We all need to take a look in the mirror from time to time and give ourselves an attitude adjustment. If you can change your thinking you can change your habits, that’s all it is, bad… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on August 4, 2009 at 2:37pm — 8 Comments


Non-Operator
Does Your Restaurant Have a Leaky Bucket?

Think of your restaurant as a 5 gallon bucket. Every day you fill that bucket with customers. Sometimes there’s a steady flow, sometimes it’s just a trickle, and sometimes it seems like a flood. No matter what kind of day it is, every customer flowing through your doors grades their experience and makes a decision on whether to come back or not.



The fewer holes you have in your bucket, the more customers you retain, and the more likely your bucket is to be full on a daily basis.… Continue

Added by Caribou on August 4, 2009 at 9:28am — No Comments

Who visits your website and how did they find you?

In my last blog, I talked about the importance of knowing how many people visit your website (website analytics). In this blog, I'm going to talk about more specific information you can get from that report and how to use that to get more customers.



Essentially, there are 3 ways prospects find your site:

1. DIRECT: The visitor knows your site and either types in the domain (e.g. www.XYZrestaurant.com) or has it bookmarked.

2. SEARCH ENGINES: The… Continue

Added by EricL on August 4, 2009 at 8:07am — No Comments

Is Pizza Hut's iPhone app a success?

The Pizza Hut iPhone app has been downloaded over 100,000 times. What does this mean for them? How will it affect their sales? How do I get an app for my restaurant? These are the questions that come to mind.



Well first things first. It's a great looking app. The design team that put it together did an excellent job. It's sexy, fun, and functional.



So what does a great looking app get you? Well, it gets you 100,000 downloads.… Continue

Added by Jeff Schacher on August 4, 2009 at 7:37am — 3 Comments


Operator
Cutting Through The SPAM to Get to The Ham! Notes From the Twitter Trenches!

Two weeks ago I was a special guest on a Web 2.0 panel for the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce regarding the success our restaurant is having with Twitter. One of the guests brought up a great question:

“I started a Twitter campaign but I’m getting more “spam” type accounts than actual locals. What can I do Ty Sullivan?”



I nodded my head and began to dig feverishly through my mind that was cluttered with waves of caffeine to find the… Continue

Added by Ty Sullivan on August 3, 2009 at 10:00pm — 6 Comments


Non-Operator
Political Correctness Strikes Resort Properties

If your establishment is located in a resort or gaming area you may be the victim of a need to "save face" when an organization considers not booking functions and meetings in an area thought to appear too lavish.







John Couwels, writing for CNN, discusses the issue.



Story Highlights



* Lawmakers object to government agencies discouraging meetings in resort… Continue

Added by Paul Green on August 3, 2009 at 8:40am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
Join The War Against Weak Words!

Have you ever invited someone to a party and their response is, “I’ll try to make it”? When a person responds to your invitation in this manner, how often does he or she actually show up? If your experience is like mine I’d say their chances of being at your party are slim and none. Why do you suppose that is?



In my opinion it has everything to do with the language we use. That little 3-letter word is what practically guarantees your invitee is a no show. In my book, TRY qualifies as… Continue

Added by Bill Campion on August 3, 2009 at 7:01am — 1 Comment

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Eateries turn to rationing as lime prices soar

Unrest caused by Mexico's drug cartels, along with floods in Mexico and a drought in California, are taking a toll on this ye -More

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Burger King to upgrade wireless with Whopper Wi-Fi

Burger King has teamed with AT&T to replace existing in-store wireless Internet with an upgraded system dubbed Whopper Wi-Fi  -More

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Jack in the Box saw its profits rise sharply in the first quarter, a few months after introducing its $6 Munchie Meal menu of -More

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National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

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: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

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