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

QSRs squeeze into unconventional locations

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

Optimize efficiency with an applicant tracking system

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.

JOBS & CAREERS

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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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