Featured Blog Posts – October 2008 Archive (70)

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

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
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

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

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

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

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

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

Denver, My Kind of Restaurant Town



No doubt about it, metropolitan Denver, and the industriously growing five counties surrounding it, is one of the most significant in the nation – population nearing 2.5 million (21st in the country) – but not so intricate that even a newcomer couldn’t get the hang of it fairly quickly.

It’s like Manhattan in reverse; broad and muscular…

Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on October 22, 2008 at 4:59pm — 2 Comments

Employee Schedules are not Payroll.

(Part 3 of a Labor Management and Scheduling Series, read part 2 here)



We previously discussed that employee scheduling is hard, time consuming, and costly to a business. Where possible, businesses should use software tools to automate labor scheduling – saving time and money while improving profits makes a lot of sense! Once the employee schedule or the theoretical labor schedule, is complete, it… Continue

Added by Anthony Presley on October 22, 2008 at 3:02pm — 3 Comments

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CROWD FUNDING

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TED TALKS VIDEO

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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.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

TED: David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs - David Sengeh (2014)

What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

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