October 2008 Blog Posts (114)

A Little Veal (...and mostly guilt free...)

These racks and chops came from an All Natural 70lb Dressed Veal Carcass.

A friend of mine who runs a specialty meats processing plant just invented some of these items and sent me a box of various items to try out.

I was very impressed! The Milanese Pre Breaded items were outstanding in flavor and tender. I only used butter in a hot saute pan for the pre breaded items.





This is the 2-Bone Butterfly Veal Chop raw. It came in CryoVac Packaging.…

Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on October 31, 2008 at 4:53pm — No Comments

Happy Halloween!

Yum!!!!!


On behalf of the National Restaurant Association, I wish you all a very happy Halloween!

Are you dressing up? What's your costume?

Added by restaurantdotorg on October 31, 2008 at 1:08pm — No Comments

The US Dollar and Corn

The chart of the week is the grain corn market versus the value of the US dollar. The chart below gives another example of the recent financial market turmoil’s impact on the commodity markets. The US dollar and corn have a tendency to trade inversely to one another as depicted below. Why? Well because when our dollar depreciates it makes US products more expensive abroad. Of course the opposite is true when our dollar depreciates. And given that roughly 20% of the US corn crop is typically… Continue

Added by David Maloni on October 31, 2008 at 8:49am — No Comments


Non-Operator
N is for Numbers (Size Matters)

I know of a single-location local restaurant which has much better margins and food than Cheesecake Factory. I know of a small regional family dining chain which has much better food and service, and higher volumes, than Denny’s. I know of a burger place which has far better burgers and shakes than McDonald’s (fries -- maybe not!). So, I’m sure, do each of you, and yet this says nothing bad about McDonald’s, Denny’s, or Cheesecake Factory, each of which has built a strong, enduring business by… Continue

Added by Rod Guinn on October 31, 2008 at 6:00am — No Comments

Paint like Picasso



Bill, Help!

That was the title of the email she had sent me.



“I know what I want. They just don’t get it.” She proceeded to explain to me how she had started with XYZ Company, but now she felt that it wasn’t what she wanted. The job was boring. The owners lacked vision. The pay could have been a whole lot better.



Maybe she should have done more homework on the company, asked more questions during the… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on October 30, 2008 at 3:53pm — 2 Comments

Does anyone think of anything but the economy these days?

Judging from the scores of phone calls and e-mails I get every day, the answer is no. I realize it's a huge issue that does indeed affect everyone, but still.



I typically get a wide variety of media inquiries here - from "is not including spoons in place-settings a trend?" to "what's the safe cooking temperature for offal" - but over the past few months, I'd say about 75% of them are about how restaurants are doing in the current economy. As much as I used to gripe over the really… Continue

Added by AnnikaS on October 30, 2008 at 3:33pm — 4 Comments

Driving sales with updated comfort foods

Economic downturns freak us out - the need for comfort is more deeply felt than ever. This is something operators must know.

We get comfort from two main sources, by pampering ourselves with scarce pleasures ( the drive for luxury) and indulging in familiar things ( the drive to Mom's house).



Luxury can quickly become cost prohibitive, from both the operator and customer’s point of view. Providing an experience that is purely familiar also won't do either. By going 'back to the… Continue

Added by John Dumbrille on October 30, 2008 at 12:23pm — 2 Comments

Survey on restroom cleanliness discovers what we already knew

A survey conducted by SCA Tissue found that the cleanliness of restaurant bathrooms is a key factor in repeat business.

Shocking!

Okay, the results aren't earth-shattering, but I don't think I could have said it better myself: restroom cleanliness reflects the overall hygiene standards throughout the restaurant, including kitchen and food prep…

Continue

Added by Dani on October 30, 2008 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Creating a Group - I found success!

Thank you for fixing this, my group is up and ready to go!

Added by Jenna on October 30, 2008 at 8:02am — 3 Comments

Keeping the dream alive

My mother, a native of the Philippines, makes the best eggrolls ever. Or, so says anyone who has ever tried them. My vegetarian cousin even makes an exception for them. Now, that either shows how good they are... or how uncommitted my cuz is to her dietary regimen.



Nonetheless, people loved them so much that people asked her to make them for their events. You know, birthday parties, picnics and other similar important events. (My aunt also makes wedding cakes for non-banquet-hall… Continue

Added by restaurantdotorg on October 30, 2008 at 6:54am — 5 Comments

Life comes at you fast



Yeah, Life can come at you fast, and sometimes, unexpectedly.



So you’ve planned your next step, and your next, and maybe your whole life.

Your path is clear, the future looks bright, you’re ready for the challenge, anything life can throw your way.



Bring it on



I was a graduating senior, filled with possibility and eager to make my way in the world. It was only a few months before the diploma would be handed to me and I would… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on October 29, 2008 at 6:09pm — 6 Comments

Are You Prepared For The "Credit Card Squeeze"?

Today the New York Times carried an article about the tightening of personal credit.



I'm talking about credit cards: how hard it will be to get one; and more importantly

for the restaurant business….how spending limits are being cut back and interest

rates are being elevated.



Even the venerable American Express was quoted as saying they too might increase the interest rate on their cardmembers' cards by up to 3 percent!



Now what… Continue

Added by Roy MacNaughton on October 29, 2008 at 5:55pm — 2 Comments

Everyone is worrying about cutting expenses...

Some are cutting labor costs. Some are cutting food costs. Some are cutting their advertising budget, etc.



But, here's a tip of how you can cut back expenses on marketing without sacrificing anything...



First, keep in mind that marketing results are measured by how many people you actually contact. For example with direct mailing, don' t say 5,000 people cause that's how much coupon post cards went out to 5,000 residents. I mean how many people,… Continue

Added by B2B Restaurant Promotions on October 29, 2008 at 4:33pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Trick or Treat?

Video from CNNBC: "Obama's Loss Traced To Paul Paz"

Watch it here:
http://www.cnnbcvideo.com/index.html?nid=VZsy_eRnttWkJoS5L0W6ODEwMzc5Mjc-&referred_by=11610468-DAKgGUx

Added by Paul Paz on October 29, 2008 at 4:30am — 1 Comment


Operator
brownie

This is a tasty and simple recipe, I add step by step pictures so it will be easy to follow and make, enjoy :)



Ingredients:



500 g dark chocolate ( 400 g - grated)

60 g butter

3 eggs

150 g sugar

vanilla extra

1 cup flour

1 table spoon baking powder

3 table spoon nuts (option)



How to make:









1. Melt the 100 g… Continue

Added by amir arie on October 29, 2008 at 1:39am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
CHANGE... ADAPT! SURVIVE! ©

Ironically I wrote this almost 2-years ago. Boy, have things escalated since then!

The concept applies even more so now.

Paul







CHANGE FOR 2007: ADAPT! SURVIVE! ©

by Paul C. Paz January 2, 2007

TIPS ON TIPS #1 - Volume II



"Adapt! Survive!" is the classic motto from the US Marine Corps as part of their training on the ever-changing challenges in a hostile environment. The hospitality industry is unique from most other industries… Continue

Added by Paul Paz on October 29, 2008 at 1:17am — No Comments

New media tips for smaller restaurants

Great post here by Jason Falls on a restaurant in Northampton, Mass. using new media tools in a smart way.

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2008/10/27/social-media-for-small-business-caminito-argentinean-steakhouse/

Enjoy the creativity and immersion into social media by Caminito Steakhouse.

Added by Mark O'Toole on October 28, 2008 at 1:44pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Opportunity Amidst the Chaos - One Business Broker Explains Why Now is the Time to Buy a Restaurant

“Given the Choice of Parking your Cash at the Mercy of Wall Street or Washington, Most Entrepreneurs Simply Prefer to Bet on Themselves“



Washington Post headlines saying “The end of American Capitalism? Predictions of the Dow to slide further and differing opinions on what each person should do with their 401K. Economic bad news is the common theme of every headline.



The focus of this media attention is on giant businesses wreaking havoc on the overall structure of the… Continue

Added by Eric Gagnon on October 28, 2008 at 12:20pm — No Comments

Restaurant Recruiter Reveals Best Hiring Practices in a Tough Economy

With the current market negatively affecting the restaurant industry on several fronts, some concepts are cutting back on their recruiting efforts and many managers are hoping to ride it out with the concept they are currently with. The perception is often that the “sky is falling” and neither restaurants nor restaurant managers should make a move. In some ways, this is the best time for a quality restaurant manager to make a change. During uncertain times, restaurants need strong leadership… Continue

Added by Brian Bruce on October 28, 2008 at 11:35am — 1 Comment

Book Tour Update

It's been a wonderful ride so far. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has turned out at the events here in Iowa City, as well as in Fairfield, Des Moines, Ames, Madison, Minneapolis/St Paul, Kansas City and St. Louis. Now it's on to Champaign/Urbana, Louisville, Columbus and Chicago, and we'll kick off this leg with two Iowa Public Radio appearances. Remember, if you want me to come to your town, contact Ice Cube Press and we'll see if it can be worked… Continue

Added by Kurt Michael Friese on October 28, 2008 at 10:48am — 1 Comment

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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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