Featured Blog Posts – September 2008 Archive (86)

Ready for menu transparency?

First it was trans fats; today Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that enforces the posting of calorie information on menus and indoor menu boards throughout California.



Already, services like Calorie Count(TM) provide web access to nutritional information; some establishments like chicken restaurant chain Koo Koo Roo are using nutritional transparency as a selling point.



As of July 1 2009, chains with… Continue

Added by John Dumbrille on September 30, 2008 at 9:54pm — 12 Comments

The Importance of a Smile

"A SMILE costs you nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature's… Continue

Added by Merrili Jones on September 30, 2008 at 9:33pm — No Comments

Rookie manager has the first ever CRAZY day, and did NOT freak out........

Have you ever had one of those days when you woak up and just thought " Hmmm, I'm up earlier than my alarm, I'm kicking some ass today, and then one thing leads to another......



Well today was one of those days for me! I was out of my house at 6:15, and excited because I left my house before my ONTIME, and excited to check in my first ever truck order. So I am driving to work and when I am about almost half the way to work I realized, "S***, I forgot my ^&^&*$$ keys". ( I'm… Continue

Added by Cindi Digiantonio on September 30, 2008 at 9:05pm — 5 Comments

Start going green and saving green tomorrow

Tomorrow NRA Conserve hosts a free online seminar, 'Go Green to Save Green,' tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. Vaughan Lazar of Eric Haley of Pizza Fusion and Matthew McLaughlin from The Rockfish will share their stories about how they made their restaurants more sustainable. Conserve project manager Chris Moyer will also chime in with some of the latest… Continue

Added by restaurantdotorg on September 30, 2008 at 1:23pm — No Comments

Spray Can Safety, Part 2

Ever notice the fine print on the side of a whipped topping can?



WARNING: Contents Under Pressure. Do Not Expose to Temperatures Above 120° F. Do Not Puncture Or Incinerate Can. Keep Out of The Reach of Children. Choking Hazard, Cap Contains Small Parts.



I've already explained why all that pressure isn't such a good thing for your desserts and hot beverages. Now let's… Continue

Added by OnTop(r) on September 30, 2008 at 8:27am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Stay Home ?....And Do What ?...Watch the (Bleak) News ?

I saw the news that the House of Reprsentatives has turned down the $700 billion "rescue" package (Congress doesn't want to use "bailout"). Some officials have said the wording is "obscure" and that there was too quick a turn around.



Before I heard this news, I heard something equally disturbing, over the

weekend. This is "National Stay at Home" week. Is this a new tradition ?

This means what, exactly ? No restaurants ? No weekend getaways ?

No movies ? No "guys night… Continue

Added by Keith Bernhardt on September 30, 2008 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Wine 2.0 - a Webster Hall Wine and Technology Extravaganza

When I first heard of Wine 2.0, with its unabashed tongue-in-cheek reference to Web 2.0, I knew that the audience would be a decidedly "wired" crowd. Indeed, walking into cavernous Webster Hall in the East Village, a venue that is ideally suited for dance parties, burlesque shows, and the hippest New York crowds, I expected that almost anything could happen. Attractive models and self-described "sexy sommeliers" walked the floor, hawking wines from such companies as Raymond Vineyard &… Continue

Added by Emiliano De Laurentiis on September 30, 2008 at 4:33am — 1 Comment

"Another Brick Closer"

Regardless of what rung of the management ladder you are standing on, you undoubtedly have some plan of where you want to go next.



At least, I hope so.



If you were like me, you're chasing a job title,

a new pay level,

or the next promotion.



It would seem that these intentions should keep you or I adequately motivated

to move our careers forward.



If I wanted to be the next general… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on September 29, 2008 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

Stop blaming the economy

I’m sure getting sick of hearing that our problems are caused by the economy. Everyone keeps talking about the “economy” and how it has caused this massive mess we’re in right now in our industry. Others keep asking if the sky is falling…or not.



I believe that if you think this is just a ‘temporary economic trough’ we’re in…and it will pass just like all the others in the last 50 years….this time, you are sadly mistaken.



As Don Henley and the Eagles say in their… Continue

Added by Roy MacNaughton on September 28, 2008 at 6:46pm — 23 Comments

Is the sky falling?

Is the sky falling? Should we all be playing "Chicken Little" and panicking as one might think if they read too much news and listen to too many TV commentators?



Or is this a time to step back, take a deep breathe, and focus on some age-old realities?



The securities industry in New York is said to account for five percent of its jobs but more than 20 percent of wages. There will be repercussions from the loss of jobs on Wall Street, to be sure. Making the pain a little bit… Continue

Added by susan holaday on September 28, 2008 at 5:46am — 6 Comments


Non-Operator
POW + WHAM = WOW

You do not have to be a Super Action Hero from the Classic Comics to appreciate the impact of these words: POW, WHAM and WOW. They are usually displayed as some nefarious dark character is dismissed, paving the way for goodness and light. This is a bit like we would wish to accomplish with our Brand, reflecting energy and passion, as we deliver on the promise.



The crux of being a successful brand in the Experience Economy revolves around orchestrating 'Branded Moments of Truth', not… Continue

Added by John R. Hendrie on September 27, 2008 at 9:58am — No 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

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

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

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

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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: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

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.

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