October 2009 Blog Posts (146)

Do you “portion control” your bar?

I’m travelling between Columbus Ohio and San Antonio Texas today on my way to my quarterly mastermind meeting (more about that later). Walking through the maze of gates and terminals in Chicago airport, I was reminded how the larger chain restaurants and cafes can teach smaller owner run establishments a lot about portion control and cost control.

As a restaurant chain grows and more outlets are added, the risk of group failure… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 25, 2009 at 10:04pm — No Comments

Paper Costs Can Add Up in the Restrooms!

How often are you replacing the tissues in your restrooms?

How much does a box of tissues cost compared to the paper towels?

Who is responsible for replacing the paper commodities in your restrooms?

Take a look at the picture below which shows the tissue dispenser beside the sink. Most patrons will use the tissues to dry their hands before turning around to see the paper towel dispenser. This might seem like a small point, but tissues are far more expensive than… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 25, 2009 at 9:59pm — No Comments

Do you have a Designated Driver Incentive?

As business owners, we all have a social responsibility to our community. Something that every bar owner should do is provide an incentive for designated drivers. Apart from the community kudos, you might keep a group of drinkers in your bar longer if there is a driver to take them home afterwards.

In Ireland, Coca Cola sponsors a designated driver campaign around holidays to great success.

Below is a picture… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 25, 2009 at 9:57pm — No Comments

The Customer....

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a group of young aspiring culinarians on the subject of customer service. As the conversation usually does it migrated towards the debate over whether the customer is "always right". The conversation got quite "spirited". Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I had to intervene. Allow me to share with you my thoughts.....

The customer may in fact NOT be always right, but the customer IS ALWAYS the customer. I'm sure there are many who… Continue

Added by Jerry A. Heilpern, CFBE, FMP on October 25, 2009 at 9:45pm — 2 Comments

Smart Strategy with Childrens' Menus

The drums are beating: it's the sounds of parents and legislators who can no-longer ignore childhood obesity. This issue is not going away.

You don't have to be a parent for your customers' children. But you do need menu items they approve of: food that is profitable, healthy and cravable. Food that children want to eat. Please make use of the resources and add suggestions to the Children's Menu… Continue

Added by Ken Burgin on October 25, 2009 at 5:47am — No Comments

"I Used To Be a Chef"

If you are an ex-Chef, Baker, or F&B Person who currently works in the Hospitality Industry in sales or a related vocation, here a few words to the wise:

First of all, I know you are proud of your past Culinary experience, but unless you are asked please keep it to yourself. Most serious Chefs are not easily impressed. They are too busy to waste time with small talk and would be more impressed by fair prices, great service, and the quality of the products you're trying to… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on October 24, 2009 at 5:45pm — 7 Comments

Word of mouth

The most powerful way to ensure your restaurant is busy and that you will eventually be successful and popular is to have happy customers that do the advertising for you.

• Give your guests reasons to talk about you or the business.

• People talk about you and your restaurant only when they like your restaurant so much that they are happy and excited to let others know about it.

• Make people interested in your restaurant.

Your product and service in your restaurant… Continue

Added by Massimo Montone on October 24, 2009 at 1:43pm — 1 Comment

Lessons in Boh Safety from Calamity Jane

Watching this video, at first I was slightly amused, then confused, then concerned, and eventually reached the climactic point of astonishment.

You simply have to see this to believe it!

This video could easily be used by any restaurant manager or even corporate to teach employees what NOT to do if a fire erupts in the kitchen.

There are so many mistakes made by this one employee, you could easily write a quiz to see how many mistakes people catch by watching… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on October 24, 2009 at 10:58am — 3 Comments

Stop wrapping cutlery in the napkin. I hate it.

I’ll never forget a question posed to me by a health inspector in a hotel I worked in. He asked me if I would prefer to eat using the plastic wrapped plastic cutlery you get on an airplane/train or the fine silverware in a five star hotel. In my ignorance I opted for the five star cutlery, at which point he proceeded to explain how and why I was so wrong!

This should help clarify:

We’ve all seen it, we sit down at our table and it’s preset with salt, pepper, sauces and the… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 24, 2009 at 1:26am — 1 Comment

If you want to keep my wife happy, do this….

My wife is a bit of a fashionista (she won’t mind me disclosing), so nothing annoys her more when we leave a restaurant and she notices her little black dress is covered in white lint from her linen napkin. The solution?

Have a set of black linen napkins available for your female guests sporting a little black dress or black pants. You’ll impress them no end. Obviously make sure you’re not giving them out to women in white dresses… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 24, 2009 at 1:21am — No Comments

What a Stupid Question! You can do much better…

Ireland used to be known as the land of 1000 welcomes. Something happened to change that though. MONEY! Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Ireland was on it’s financial knees, the government flew top level executives from US companies to Ireland, brought them out to a green field and told them that this was going to be the headquarters of their European Operations.

Many laughed, but the smart companies took notice and moved to Ireland in their droves to take advantage of an… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 24, 2009 at 1:17am — 1 Comment

Could this be the world’s drunkest man?

This is either one amazing acting job or this guy might possibly be the drunkest man ever. He spends a solid two minutes just trying to get up off the floor. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Let’s hope he didn’t come from your… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 24, 2009 at 1:11am — 1 Comment

Upselling desserts & coffee (3 minute boost for staff)

Added by Washington Restaurant Association on October 23, 2009 at 1:45pm — No Comments

Tax provision would help restaurants expand, remodel

A news release issued by the National Restaurant Association today detailed efforts by the Depreciation Fairness Coalition (led by the National Restaurant Association), to urge an extension by Congress of the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements, and retail improvements that is set to expire at the end of 2009.

The Coalition says…

Added by Dani on October 23, 2009 at 1:38pm — No Comments

Using Social Media to Promote Your Gift Card Sales During the Holidays

Whether you are a restaurant operator who has just dipped your toe into the social marketing kiddy pool or one who has held your nose and plunged directly into the deep end, your social marketing efforts can be used to help drive your gift card sales through the holiday season. Here are a couple of suggestions how to use your social marketing vehicles to promote your gift cards:

Everyone is an artist – One way to engage your followers and fans is to create a “Design Our Gift… Continue

Added by Jessica Lundberg on October 23, 2009 at 5:43am — 2 Comments

A Dog's Eye View

Bill: We are all familiar with the expression “a bird’s eye view”, which is quite simply a view from above. I suppose the exact opposite would be “a dog’s eye view” which would be a view from below. If you think about the world from a dog’s perspective, it must be kind of dismal. Most of the day you are looking at shins, or if you are from a taller breed, maybe you see a few knees and thighs. Unless others are willing to get down on… Continue

Added by Bill Campion on October 23, 2009 at 5:14am — No Comments

Halloween Party Ideas for your Bar

I bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween…Fortunately (or unfortunately) few of us do and so we can have all the fun we want! Halloween is a great revenue opportunity for your bar. I have listed below a number of links to party ideas that you can implement to make some money. Now that’s not scary, is it?

Halloween Party Idea Links:

*… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2009 at 2:11am — 1 Comment

Are you poisoning your customers?

Heston Blumenthal, consistently rated as one of the top chefs in the world recently closed his UK restaurant The Fat Duck due to food poisoning allegations. More than 400 customers canceled reservations immediately, 500 past customers were said to be affected and the spin-off negative publicity might have… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2009 at 2:04am — 1 Comment

Why won’t you leave me alone?

Before I put down roots and stopped living out of a suitcase, I spent four years working on four different cruise ships around the world. It was an amazing time and allowed me to see more than 80 different countries while being paid to wake up in a new city every morning.

For the first two years I worked as a waiter in an 800 seater restaurant that provided 5 Star service to every guest. This included tableside fish filleting, flambe desserts and… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2009 at 1:52am — 5 Comments

Do you give out Wine Cards?

If you serve wine in your bar or restaurant and I’m guessing that you do, then you should consider providing Wine Cards (see picture below) for your customers to remember both your establishment and the wine they enjoyed on their visit.

It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t provide it, but it’s just another example of an added touch that will help customers remember you the next time they are flicking through their wine book or… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2009 at 1:46am — No Comments

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


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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: 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.

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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