October 2011 Blog Posts (37)

The Answer is Yes. What's the question?

By Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

So you want to run a restaurant. You love food and want to open a restaurant like no one has ever seen before, with food and an atmosphere that people talk about—in a good…

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Added by Waitrainer on October 28, 2011 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Post-modern Pork & Beans – Pleasing & Profitable

When I was a kid “pork and beans” was of a can of saucy cooked legumes with a big lump of fat in it.   

How times have changed!

 

Two of the top R&D chefs in the Midwest demonstrated how deliciously different “pork and beans” can be at a recent Research Chefs Association meeting in Chicago.  John Draz, Executive Research Chef of Ed Miniat, Inc. and Eric White, Research Chef of Archer Daniels Midland created an…

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Added by Joseph D'Alessandro on October 28, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Great restaurant and bar Facebook pages

There are definitely common traits shared by the best Facebook fan pages. They look good, are filled with useful information and provide an opportunity for the business to interact with its customers. In no particular order, here are a few fan pages we think those of you in the industry…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 28, 2011 at 6:12am — No Comments


Non-Operator
The battle over paid sick days

An interesting vote is taking place Nov. 1 in Denver that some believe could have…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 28, 2011 at 5:37am — No Comments


Non-Operator
5 Facebook contests you can learn from

With so much going on these days on Facebook (Yes, we know you want Mark Zuckerberg to quit tinkering) it can be difficult to draw the attention of users to your business and its fan page. One way to cut through the noise is with a contest.



Giving potential customers/fans…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 28, 2011 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

It's the Innovation, Stupid!

The Great Recession shook up lodging and food service companies of all sizes, and every one flattened their executive and management ranks while slashing G&A.  So how did some companies persevere, even grow, during the last three years?  Why are some striding, even strutting, while others are barely crawling?

Innovation.

One month ago today at…

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Added by Joseph D'Alessandro on October 27, 2011 at 7:06am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Creative Destruction Is Difficult!

In little old Albuquerque, where I reside when not on the road, we’re fortunate to have a very good business and economics writer named Winthrop Quigley; he recently wrote a column which began “Steve Jobs killed my employer”, about the cycle of destruction and rebirth in the tech industry.  Here’s a link if you’d like to read his piece:…

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Added by Rod Guinn on October 27, 2011 at 3:00am — 1 Comment


Operator
GET OVER IT!

As a restaurateur, cook, chef, business owner, or even a server or bartender, we have a life outside the walls of work. One of the hardest things to do is to balance our lives in this regard. We have all seen employees, managers, chefs, or even business owners burn out in a few months if not shorter because they cannot balance their work life and their home life. Whether you are new to the business or you have been doing it your whole life, you may have a tough time letting others take on…

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Added by Lane A. McFarland on October 26, 2011 at 2:43pm — No Comments

Four Years = 1,460 days = 5.2% of a lifetime



While Yogi Berra didn't originate the quote "numbers are clearly important to those who count on them", he could have.

1,460 days is exactly 4 years, assuming the 365-day calendar is the one we all share. Four years is equal to 32 dog years. One can almost earn a college degree in four years. The world cup happens every four years as does the Olympics,…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on October 25, 2011 at 6:00pm — 6 Comments

Food Day, October 24, 2011

Monday was the first annual Food Day. Food Day is a day devoted to awareness and celebration of consuming local and healthy food. Proclaimed by over 30 governors and mayors, this day was observed in one form or another in all 50 states with over 20,000 organized events. The buzz in the social sphere was also booming. Use of the #FoodDay hashtag generated 2,328,052 impressions reaching an audience of 1,368,352 people and while conversations continue to unfold on twitter, that…

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Added by Sarah on October 25, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Restaurant Management and Leadership

Triple Seating a Big No, No!!!

My family and I eat out twice to 3 times a week because of our schedule. With two boys in elementary school, baseball, weekend parties, and just life in general we don't have much time to prepare dinner 7 days a week. On Friday, we went out to eat at a popular chain where we were sat immediately, and a few minutes… Continue

Added by Robert Vasquez on October 23, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments


Non-Operator
The dumbest food-related Halloween costumes

A funny post from the Broward-Palm Beach New Times’s food blog, Foodie Fun. Entrants include a a human-sized mushroom, a plate of…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2011 at 1:03am — No Comments


Non-Operator
The importance of smart phones to your social media efforts

There’s just no way around it: Despite the best efforts of those nerds at Research in Motion, surfing the internet with a smart phone isn’t as quick or efficient as using a laptop or desktop computer. Between fat fingers and Flash compatibility it can sometimes feels like performing a…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2011 at 1:00am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Bar Promotion Ideas for Fall

With summer in the rear view mirror, it’s time to turn your promotional attention to the fall season. There are no times of the year without season-specific opportunities and autumn is no different.

Here are a few ideas to consider as you schedule your bar’s calendar of events for the…

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Added by Barry Chandler on October 23, 2011 at 12:56am — No Comments

Can you text me my schedule?

By Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

Can you text me my schedule?

There it waits faithfully in the hallway, between your employees' lockers and your desk piled high with to-dos from the last three months, soberly displaying employee policies and regulations, schedules, new positions, and best wishes to those who are moving on. Its cork background is shredded from years of thumb tacks hastily pulled and re-tacked while ripped and aging corners of paper remain from past…

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Added by Waitrainer on October 21, 2011 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment


Operator
Helping your Sous to Excel

Use these tips to teach your Sous become better at running that line. These tips are also great for your new Exec Chef, or even managers.

When the chef is out, you are it. You are the main guy that everyone, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, and servers look to for all the answers. The minute you panic, they all panic. Keep a cool head and split your problems up. Delegate: Delegate with authority and confidence. Never place blame: On equipment or persons. If you are the IT guy, you…

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Added by Lane A. McFarland on October 21, 2011 at 1:14pm — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
re-Butting the Seats

It's Always about Butts in Seats

Owning or managing a restaurant is tough stuff.  For all the things that you are responsible for: the menu, prep, inventory, safety aspects, health aspects, constant cleanliness, temperature monitoring, dining room ambiance, staff…there’s so much stuff.  The bottom line is -it’s really all about butts in the seats: if customers come, you are successful…

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Added by Paul Letendre on October 21, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Evaluating America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants

I recently stumbled upon this article from Health magazine: America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants.  As a secret lover of fast food (a treat that I only enjoy on road trips) I was intrigued. Surprisingly, there were more restaurants listed that I haven’t I have never even heard of, much less visited.

 

Time to investigate.

 

Jason’s…

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Added by Alyson Mar, RD on October 19, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Are You an Impact Player?

Culinary and hospitality schools afford me the privilege of lecturing to future leaders on the finer points of interviewing skills, résumé writing, business correspondence and job hunting.  I spend a good portion of the résumé-writing time discussing the importance of using “impact” language to describe career experience.

But you really can’t use impact terms if you’re not an impact player!

The Encarta Dictionary cites one definition of impact as “the powerful or dramatic…

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Added by Joseph D'Alessandro on October 19, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments


Operator
Dipping Toes In The Social Media Stream

Strolling along a country path with a meditative mind, I observed how many different colors canvassed the landscape I tread upon.  As I listened to the sounds of the earth and watched the falcon soaring trough the winds strategically above me, I stumbled upon a young pensive man sitting on the pier ahead.

With his feet dangling from the worn fishing pier, his toes simply…

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Added by Ty Sullivan on October 17, 2011 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

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New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

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National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

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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