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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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

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National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

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: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

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.

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