September 2008 Blog Posts (134)


Non-Operator
Dare to be better!

Dare To Be Better - By J. Ragsdale Hendrie



It is a strenuous leap from the pretty good to the excellent, and that chasm represents a stretch for many of us. So, let's focus on what we do well and aim to move the Hospitality Bar gradually.



Hospitality has been battered this year. The litany of missteps, calamity, cycles and volatile variables has been significant - the economy, the weather, short term thinking. (However, it really is the economy!) But, we shall rise from… Continue

Added by John R. Hendrie on September 26, 2008 at 1:58pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
A Proven Way to Reduce Turnover...

You need to make the first day the best day they will ever have.

To lean more click here

Added by Mel Kleiman on September 26, 2008 at 9:18am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Restaurant Gift Card Programs

I've worked successfully on these programs for several independent and chain restaurants. Given the economy and that we're all looking for new ways to drive customers into restaurants... take another look at how this works:



Is your gift card program working for you? Do you have a gift card program? Is it creating loyalty and incrementally driving new customers to your restaurant, or are you spinning your wheels trying to figure out how to meet minimum card runs with your… Continue

Added by Mark on September 26, 2008 at 7:08am — 9 Comments

Hell's Kitchen The Video Game: You too will yelled at by Ramsey!

Something completely out of left field was being advertised on my favorite web radio station this morning: Hell's Kitchen The Game.



Available on Wii, Nintentdo DS and PC/Mac as of Sept 8, this game is getting a mixed bag of reviews depending on the platform.



This follows my previous thoughts on how many restaurant and cooking games are on the market, with even more to come.… Continue

Added by Nathan on September 26, 2008 at 6:45am — 3 Comments

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Crazy cupcakes!



This pic is from the blog of the 30 Rock fictional character Frank Rossitano. Fab show, by the way.



Is there anything that's too cute to eat? Now I think there… Continue

Added by restaurantdotorg on September 26, 2008 at 6:00am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
I is for Improbable

... or Infinite Improvement, or Incredible, or Idiocy



Operators: week after week, this blog is intended to help put you on a more equal footing with the professional investors and lenders I’ve dealt with for so many years. Some of you, however, seem determined to put yourselves (and all your peers) at a disadvantage forever.



In almost every instance which prompts an operator or business owner to seek capital, whether debt or equity, the prospective providers… Continue

Added by Rod Guinn on September 26, 2008 at 6:00am — 5 Comments

The Great American Bail Out

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.



Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a 'We Deserve It' Dividend.



To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18 and older.

(Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.)



So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion -- that equals… Continue

Added by Joe Archuleta on September 25, 2008 at 10:50pm — 4 Comments

Double-Blinded by Illuminating Pinot Noirs

Double-blind tastings are always so broadening. All prejudices, except for the ones that persist in your mind (or sensory memory), are thrown out the window. Let the chips fall where they will: if you taste something you like that you previously didn’t, or vice-versa, there you go…



Here’s a tasting of ten that I did with a group of hardened Denver oenophiles last… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on September 25, 2008 at 7:06pm — No Comments

Are you cut out to be the next Food Network Star?

The California Restaurant Association included this in their recent e-newsletter. Just wanted to share with you all because I'm sure the next Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentis or Rachael Ray are among us ...

Learn more here.

Added by Judy "the foodie" Asman on September 25, 2008 at 5:21pm — 2 Comments

What comes first? Job or family?

You have an employee who stays to help you when you are understaffed due to circumstances such as people calling in. That employee in turn needs your help, they can't stay for that extra shift because they have a situation at home that needs their attention. A family member is in the hospital and that employee needs to take care of some personal business and the employee explains this to the manager in charge of that shift. However, you will be understaffed without them. How would you handle… Continue

Added by Merrili Jones on September 25, 2008 at 11:15am — 6 Comments

The other side of the beanstalk

I'm looking for some restaurateurs - they have to be in the Northeast (which I define as ME, MA, RI, CT, NH, VT, NY, NJ and PA) who are doing creative vegetarian and vegan items for the vegetarian/vegan customers.



This coming week on my website I'll have a guest column from an animal rights activist who complains that restaurateurs are not taking advantage of the growing numbers of vegetarians and vegans who are "bored" with the usual 'vegetable plate' offering of some miscellaneous… Continue

Added by susan holaday on September 25, 2008 at 10:31am — No Comments

Tipping points

Here’s a topic for you: tipping.



It’s how many dedicated restaurant workers here in this country make a living. Now it’s under siege. Are we at a place in our history where tipping is an anachronism? Should we make all waiters salaried employees? Or is applying service charges to all checks the answer? So many questions, so little time to answer them.



But let’s try.



Several events have triggered this issue. The recent influx of foreign travelers and their… Continue

Added by restaurantdotorg on September 25, 2008 at 9:33am — 2 Comments

Huffing: A Breathtaking Problem

Have you ever noticed your restaurant or cafe goes through cans of whipped topping sort of fast? Or find yourself reordering whipped topping chargers at an unusually frequent rate? You may have a huffer in your midst.



"Huffing" is the abuse of inhalants, such as nitrous oxide, aerosol sprays, gasoline and other fuel products, refrigerants and other volatile gases. The term sounds funny, but it can be addictive and… Continue

Added by OnTop(r) on September 25, 2008 at 9:03am — 2 Comments

The Proposed Federal Bailout and Commodities

Before you read any further, let’s be honest; we really don’t know how the proposed federal bailout or “rescue plan” will impact the commodity markets at least from the standpoint of market direction. So if you’re expecting the magic answer in this blog you don’t need to read any further….I certainly don’t have it. That being said, here are my thoughts for what their worth. One espoused expectation is for an increase in federal debt due to the bailout plan. And the chart below suggests that… Continue

Added by David Maloni on September 25, 2008 at 5:27am — 3 Comments

Creativity - The Mother of Invention

I would like to modify the age-old saying.



"Creativity - The Mother of Longevity"



If you haven't seen my latest video-post, "My Employees are so Creative,"

stop reading this post and go their right now!



I'll wait.



Watch it, then come back here.



Good.



Now, remember the girl in the red, yellow, blue and white?

Pretty impressive for an employee!



Right?



What if she were your employee.

A little… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on September 24, 2008 at 7:13pm — 1 Comment

The Devil Is In The Details

Often it’s the little things people remember about your business. Those subtle details which define your restaurant. Whether it’s the simple—unlimited chips and salsa, or the sublime—pre heated mugs and warm creamer for coffee service, it's the little details, performed routinely, that can elevate a good restaurant to a great restaurant. Here are some details I have seen lately;

  • Generic reading glasses at each table so guests can easily read your menu
  • Soup offered by…
Continue

Added by Les on September 24, 2008 at 7:10pm — No Comments

Hurricane Ike and Brennan's of Houston

Where to begin... I recently moved to Houston to work out my externship at Brennan's of Houston (one of the most renowned restuarants in the city). Unfortunatly, Hurricane Ike and an unpleasant act of god blew a transformer and burned the famous eatery down. Leaving only the brick shell and parts of the kitchen exposed. The incredibly nice and considerate people at Brennan's have tried their best to find new restaurants for thier empolyees to occupy. My dilhema is I have been unable to find… Continue

Added by Sam on September 24, 2008 at 6:16pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
What it is like being a new employee.

The quote below came from a new employee at a convenience store. She say a lot in one sentence. And we wonder why new employees quit at the end of the first day.



"Be nice to the trainee. Yes, they suck at working the register. Yes they have no clue what they are doing. Yes they are probably slowing down your busy life. But please understand that being a trainee suck, and knowing you suck...will it sucks."



Learn about how you need to treat new employees.… Continue

Added by Mel Kleiman on September 24, 2008 at 7:00am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Time for a Mid week Chuckle...Stories from the world of Travel

Well, here we are, mid week once again. If you read my profile or have seen my blogs or discussions, you're aware that I've spent my adult life in the travel industry.



My career has been a lot of work,very rewarding, stressful (at times), but

a whole lot of fun. I've worked for an airline and for two well established travel agencies in Columbia, Missouri.



After being in the biz, that long, I've heard my share of funny stories.

Some of these have been published in… Continue

Added by Keith Bernhardt on September 24, 2008 at 5:00am — 6 Comments

Clock's ticking for the FohBoh Innovation Challege.

Other than stand there and bogart all of the lobster, what would else would you do to operate an efficient lobster station at a wedding reception and provide a scrumptious experience for friends, family and crashers?



That's the question for this week's FohBoh Innovation Challenge presented to us by Chef Oscar M. Gayer.



There are some… Continue

Added by Judy "the foodie" Asman on September 23, 2008 at 10:56pm — No Comments

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Read the latest food and beverage coverage by SmartBrief in SmartBrief Originals: -More

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National News

Domino's Pizza Announces Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) announced results for the second quarter of 2014, comprised of strong growth in both same store sales and global store counts, which resulted in 17.5% EPS growth, or 67 cents per share.

McDonald's Reports Second Quarter 2014 Global Comparable Sales Flat

Global comparable sales were relatively flat, reflecting higher average check and negative guest traffic in all major segments - Consolidated revenues increase of 1% (1% in constant currencies), benefiting from expansion

Huddle House Diner Franchise Expands Into New Jersey

Huddle House recently announced its 10-unit deal in Long Island and has now signed an agreement with an experienced multi-unit investor to build six restaurants across the bridge in Northern New Jersey. Huddle House previously extended only as far as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Second Quarter 2014 Revenues Up 28.6%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.3% - Restaurant level operating margin was 27.3%, a decrease of 30 basis points

Tava Indian Kitchen Appoints Jeremy Morgan As New Chief Executive Officer, Announces Expansion Plans

Tava Indian Kitchen, the Bay Area's rapidly expanding fast casual Indian restaurant concept, announced that Jeremy Morgan, formerly SVP of Marketing and Consumer Insights for Smashburger, has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

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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