October 2008 Blog Posts (114)

Fewer Returns Means More Returns

Let me expand that headline a bit: Fewer returned orders means more return customers.



Returned orders are often an indicator of a job done poorly. (I say "often" because there are certainly plenty of occasions when it's entirely about the customer, not the food.) If you're doing your job right, you might get one or two plates sent back on a busy night. If you're seeing more returns than that, watch out – it could point to a much greater undercurrent of customer… Continue

Added by OnTop(r) on October 28, 2008 at 8:50am — No Comments

Hard times breed innovation.

Hard times breed Innovation. The silver lining.



Everyone would agree that times are freaking tough! Our industry is faced with this question - How will we respond to these desperate times in a screwed up economy?



We can play defense and complain while waiting for someone to come along and bail us out. Or... We can play offense, synthesize our talents and give birth to the greatest innovations our industry has seen yet. The revolutionary innovations that will… Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on October 28, 2008 at 4:28am — 6 Comments

I was beating myself up

If your like me, you probably focus way too often on the negative.



Really, way too much!



I have wasted many a day worrying about what bad things might happen.



In fact, it used to be the way I looked at everything.



I used to be the master of this philosophy.



I call it my “What If Philosophy



I can’t believe I went into job interviews with this mindset; my mind clouded with thoughts like these:



What… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on October 28, 2008 at 2:42am — 2 Comments

Earning liquidity, against the flow.



We all know how uncomfortable it is have our business or prospects stuck, or to feel the business wavering in uncertain times. Now's the time to be proactive.



Liquidity, in the form of capital and credit, can free us out of a current situation, allowing us to shift gears - but today, after years of being spoiled by easy credit in many sectors, we're seeing things dry up across the board. This is a deep concern, especially for companies that have little or no… Continue

Added by John Dumbrille on October 27, 2008 at 10:10pm — 1 Comment

What's the Next Step?

Bill, tell me what’s the next step.



So you just started your job search, you recently graduated, or you just don’t know if continuing your education is the best choice at this point in your life.



Like most all of your friends, you want to be on your own, you want to be self sufficient, you want to work at a job that you enjoy, and you want to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.



However, there may be some obstacles in your way, that you didn’t plan… Continue

Added by Bill Baumgartner on October 27, 2008 at 1:15pm — 4 Comments

The Great American Sports ... Promotion?

In a society where we're fortunate to have great sports, food and an abundance of both, I'm always amazed by how the two help each other when it comes to marketing and branding:



  • Hometown pizza joints such as Pizza Club La Habra in Southern California keep their store bustling by partnering with little league sports teams and offering specials for big pro-game nights
  • The Dodger dog reminds avid baseball fans which team is famous for selling the foot-long…
Continue

Added by Judy "the foodie" Asman on October 27, 2008 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

How to make it thru a tough economy. Make your restaurant "Top of Mind"

Let's face it... Things are tough for most families and businesses and it is likely going to get worse before it gets better. People are going to be more discriminating with their money. So are you just going to be a victim or are you going to take control of your destiny.



Families are busier than ever and people still eat two or three times per day. Convenience is the single biggest factor when considering lunch or take-out. "Convenience" is the new currency! "Time" is our most… Continue

Added by Jim Garrett on October 27, 2008 at 5:21am — No Comments

Customer Satisfaction Surveys - They're Not all Bad News

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a bad experience I had in a local tasting room, and the importance customer satisfaction surveys play in providing businesses the feedback they need to be able to turn around unpleasant experiences, save customers, and prevent future repeats. And while we know that there is incredible (you might even say indispensable) value in this, customer satisfaction surveys aren’t just about receiving bad news, they are also important messengers of good… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on October 26, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Worth Your Weight In Salt

We have all heard the statement “worth your weight in salt.” I had a general idea of what that meant, or did I? This morning while watching Sunday Morning I was treated to a segment that highlighted the new culinary trend – salt! Now, I am not a big fan to begin with, give me a margarita without it on the rim and I am fine. What was interesting to me was the fact that salt has now become the "it item" for restaurants from coast to coast.



Living in Detroit all those years I knew why… Continue

Added by Leslie Howard on October 26, 2008 at 7:50am — 1 Comment

Recruiting Hourly Employees

What are you looking for in hourly employees? And how do you recruit them? Do you put a sign in the window? Rely on your employees to bring in friends? Advertise online?



What do you wish you did?



I run Myfirstpaycheck.com, a job board for high school and college students. Every day we connect thousands of students who come to our site every day looking for local part-time jobs and restaurants looking to fill various (servers,… Continue

Added by Austin Lavin on October 25, 2008 at 1:35pm — No Comments

Labor Metrics Help Control Payroll and Labor Costs

(Part 4 of a Labor Management and Scheduling Series, read part 3 here)



Labor Metrics Help Control Payroll and Labor Costs



At the end of the week, time and attendance values will be collected to calculate wages and payroll for the normal “work week”. A side-by-side comparison of the actual schedule (time and attendance values) and the theoretical labor schedule (a labor pro-forma)… Continue

Added by Anthony Presley on October 25, 2008 at 12:05pm — No Comments

The economy and you, part II

Last post we had asked clients about the economy and its effects on thier businesses. It seems that companies take one of three approaches, "adding services," "cutting costs," or "raising prices" so that is how I have broken down some of the quotes (we're sorry we can't print every comment).



Adding Service(s) or Lowering Prices/Production:



"Planning consumer events wherever possible."

"We noticed people have adjusted their comfort level about $10. We used to be…
Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on October 25, 2008 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Where's my stop watch?

Can we talk about fast food restaurants for a moment? Or, should I say the

lack thereof, don’t get me wrong, there are no shortages of fast food

eating joints, it just seems some have forgotten the part where it says, "fast food". I have been on a mission to check out a few fast food establishments, in an effort to see who has the best service and the best food. You may be surprised to find out just what I discovered. In the course of my travels to various cities in this… Continue

Added by Stanley E. Roberts on October 24, 2008 at 8:48pm — 1 Comment

Living and working in tough economic times, part I

Living and working in tough economic times, part I



Chinese Proverb: "May you live in interesting times"



These times seem so strange -- like nothing I remember before. I remember the energy crisis in the 70s, other times when the stock market dove, etc, but nothing quite like now. I was wandering around the plaza in Sonoma with my daughter, who was here visiting from outside Spokane, WA. It seemed every store we went in we overheard people saying things like "Oh, that's… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on October 24, 2008 at 10:41am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
M is for Marginal

No business stands still. This truism particularly applies to the restaurant, retail, and hospitality worlds, which must appeal to changing tastes in both product offerings and environment in order to maintain their freshness.



So how does an operator analyze the costs and benefits of making a change which may not have been contemplated in the original plan -- whether to the menu, decor, or facilities? Equally important, how does the operator explain to his or her investors and… Continue

Added by Rod Guinn on October 24, 2008 at 6:00am — No Comments

The Protein Demand Debacle

The chart of the week is major protein market trends. What kind of influence has the recent financial market turmoil had on the protein markets? As one can tell from the chart below, choice beef, pork and chicken prices have all moved significantly downward since the financial markets debacle intensified in mid September. Why you ask? Demand particularly from the food service sector but also from retail has been sluggish to say the least. Yes the pork and chicken markets are typically declining… Continue

Added by David Maloni on October 24, 2008 at 4:06am — No Comments

Why Am I So Disorganized?

Have you ever wondered why disorganization continues in your work environment despite your best intentions? According to the experts, these five types of disorganization could be hampering your best efforts.



Habitual Disorganization - Disorganization formed from bad habits obtained over-time.

Example: Procrastinating when handling the schedule and waiting until the last minute to finish it.



Historical Disorganization - This is caused by rebelling or following the… Continue

Added by Leslie Howard on October 23, 2008 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

Start a group on FohBoh and let your employees join it.

There is some interesting discussions going on FohBoh regarding how best to connect, communicate and collaborate online with your employee group. I have two great ideas for you:



1. Public Groups. We offer public groups for free. Just go to the top navigation bar and click on Groups. This is our free group option and we have several hundred of those to join. If you peruse through the current groups and feel that you want something different, then start a group. As the group… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on October 23, 2008 at 3:51pm — 2 Comments

Foam is a Ticking Time Bomb

Here's another scenario: It's a busy night at the restaurant. The dining room is full, the kitchen is at full speed, the servers are on top of their tables and everything is going smoothly – but you know that at any moment, something could go wrong and the whole rhythm will be thrown off.



Sure enough, one of the guests at Table 8 has sent back his steak – something about it being too pink!? – and the grill station falls just a hair behind. This delays Table 5's order, which means the… Continue

Added by OnTop(r) on October 23, 2008 at 12:37pm — No Comments

Web 2.0 roundup

The graphical World Wide Web originated in the early 1990s. Since then, it’s changed the way we all do business and connect with friends and family — basically changed our lives. Y’all know this. Now we are smack in the middle of the Web 2.0 era, otherwise known as the second decade of the Internet.



Some applications and ideas have skyrocketed, while others have only achieved mild success. Everyday people ask me to do things or launch projects simply because they read or heard about… Continue

Added by restaurantdotorg on October 23, 2008 at 7:59am — 6 Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

PepsiCo exec Lisa Walsh shares path to leadership

Industry leader Lisa Walsh, vice president of PepsiCo Customer Management, has risen through the ranks at the company since j -More

Checkers, Philly Pretzel Factory seize opportunity at Wal-Mart

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Quickserve eateries entice customers with local and sustainable angle

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Galbani® Mascarpone. Gold Standard True Italian Taste.
Italy has a flavor all its own. When it comes to cheese, chefs who know choose Galbani. For irresistibly savory risottos and pastas, try classic Galbani mascarpone. Its rich, creamy goodness makes it perfect for favorites like tiramisu and cannoli. Galbani mascarpone, one of the fine brands from Lactalis Culinary. For paring suggestions, click here.

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Gen Z, the First True Digital Generation, Represents the Future Foodservice Consumer

Gen Z, the first true digital generation, represents the future foodservice consumer. They're a generation on the move that strongly prioritizes speed of service, technology, and having what they want, when they want it. Millennials, more so than older generations, prefer to visit restaurants that offer new and unique foods and flavors. Gen X and Boomers converge on several preferences—such as the importance of a convenient location.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Celebrates Its 500th New Restaurant Opening

Red Robin's 500th new restaurant opening will open on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., in Milpitas, Calif. at the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

Darden Completes Sale Of Red Lobster To Golden Gate Capital

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and Golden Gate Capital today announced that Golden Gate has completed the acquisition of the Red Lobster business and certain other related assets and assumed liabilities for approximately $2.1 billion in cash.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For Seven New Restaurants In Duluth, Minnesota With New Franchisees Brian And Sharon Weidendorf

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchisees, Brian and Sharon Weidendorf, to develop seven restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota and the surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in spring 2015.

Wendy's Names Brandon Solano Senior Vice President of Marketing

The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) announced today that Brandon Solano, 43, a veteran brand builder and product innovator, has been named Senior Vice President of Marketing.

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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