December 2007 Blog Posts (52)

Training, how much is too much?

After working in the restaurant industry for over eight years I have worked at several different restaurants and therefore been through several different training programs. My first experience at Macaroni Grill was a short tour, and hour of studying the menu, a short 15 question test, and then

I was on the floor. My second restaurant job at BJ's brewery was a little more

in depth. About 3 days of classroom study then some food sampling, beer

sampling, and of…

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Added by Sarah on December 31, 2007 at 10:05am — 8 Comments

Employee Dating

This is probably taboo in most other industries but seems to happen all the time in the restaurant industry. We are social creatures. After the shift, we go out and party with our shift mates. Then, before you know it, bam, the cute bartender asks you out and then, before you know it, bam, you are dating...and working together.



It's never a problem until there is a problem. Like when the bartender sees a new cute server or you meet another new employee and…
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Added by Surfer Girl on December 30, 2007 at 11:09am — 7 Comments

Hearing Voices

No, not those little voices in your ear as this business drives you a little bit crazier each year. I'm talking about your customers, your employees and your advisers. This business is tough enough; so appreciate all the feedback you receive.



I have always appreciated straight talk from people. If you ask people what they think, they generally tell you. The problem is that too many of us don't want to hear it. We are critiqued enough you say...reviewers from the newspaper, blogs,… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 30, 2007 at 10:35am — No Comments

Christmas party at Mr. D's

Just got back from Vegas visiting my sister and brother-in-law. Had a blast at a local watering h*** Mr. D's. Anyone visiting Vegas should make it a point to stop in. Everyone is friendly, they're local and they know how to have a good time. You won't feel like you you're in the fast lane here. Be ready to make new friends and have a good…

Added by Angela DiMauro on December 29, 2007 at 4:25am — No Comments

Does Your Food Travel More than You Do?

(jumps onto soapbox)

Pop into your local supermarket or wholesaler tomorrow and you'll find strawberries or tomatoes. But have you thought how they got there? Did you know that most produce grown in the US travels an average of 1,500 miles before it arrives at your shop or supplier?



Shipping our food from around the world has a huge impact on the environment and the health of the planet. Think of all the CO2 produced to fly those strawberries in from Holland. Not…

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Added by Mark McKellier on December 27, 2007 at 2:20pm — 6 Comments

AIS Media Survey Reveals Restaurant Industry's Approach to Internet











This is an interesting article even if it is 9 months old.

AIS Media, Inc., a leading e-business solutions company announced the results of online polling of America’s restaurant industry and its

approach to the internet and online marketing conducted March 19-23,

2007. For the poll 5937 restaurants nationwide were contacted and were

broken down by…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 26, 2007 at 9:38am — 1 Comment

Food Handling 101

I figured I would start our first post with picking everyone's brain regarding some food storage issues we have had at our coffee shop. We just turned a year old in November ( YESSS :D ) and are doing really good from our perspective, but there have been some small nagging things that I'd like to get some more opinions on. They may seem pretty mundane, but to the un-initiated, they can be quite frustrating.



We are floating in that limbo right now between having enough produce for our… Continue

Added by The Bean Cup on December 26, 2007 at 9:07am — 3 Comments

Inside the Industry: The Top 10

There are a number of interesting industry topics to discuss as members of FohBoh. The restaurant and related food and beverage industries are similar all over the world. But, economies are different, trends may be unique from market to market. It may be interesting to open this up for discussion, as we are growing in membership globally, to get a sense of the hot issues regionally, and internationally. The goal is to find some common ground to benchmark and discuss.



Here is a starter… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 25, 2007 at 11:32pm — 2 Comments

Chains vs. Independents

Do you agree with this?



53% of respondents who have dined out in the past year agree or strongly agree with the statement, “I don’t care if a restaurant is

independent or part of a chain."



Source: R&I, 2007 New American Diner Study



I found an article with an interesting perspective on why about a year ago by Tricia Childress.



The Price…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 23, 2007 at 11:16pm — 1 Comment

How Do Restaurants Find New Employees?

How do restaurants recruit? How do they keep the employee pool interested, active, happy, motivated and productive? What's the secret? What's your secret? Is it 70% networking or 10% networking? Is BOH turnover ratios higher or lower than FOH? Is fast food turnover ratios higher or lower than casual or fine dining? What about casinos? Hotels? Resorts?



I have often wondered why…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 23, 2007 at 1:57pm — 6 Comments

Restaurant Internet Marketing - The Next Generation (aka Web 2.5?)

Over at Restaurant Revolution we're putting together a series of videos on doing successful Internet Marketing as a restaurant owner.



There are many new things when it comes to the game of restaurant marketing, and there seems to be a general lack of information available... and we hope to fill that void (to a degree, at least).



The first post in this series… Continue

Added by Nathan on December 23, 2007 at 12:49am — 3 Comments

Butts in Seats

That's is a pretty old saying. I grew up in the bakery business and remember hearing my parents talking about "butts in seats, gotta have butts in those seats", whatever that meant. I know what it means now that I am always looking for new ways to bring in more people. Customer counts are pretty important and so is frequency.



Getting new and old customers in the door with growing competion is a challenge. Any ideas?







I found this group out of Mesa, Arizona. They are… Continue

Added by Kim on December 21, 2007 at 9:18pm — 4 Comments

I am on vacation!

Damn, do I need a break. I LOVE this time of year 'cause I love summer! Ha, ha, ha to all you northern folks, I'm in the water all week.



The good news is that I have been making pretty good tips lately. Business is good, and people are actually happy about spending money, including tips. So, off to the beach, bar hopping, dining out, (over tipping 'cause that's what we do, eh) so the FOH/BOH guys that have to work can make some money,



Wow, I see a lot of new members on FohBoh,… Continue

Added by Surfer Girl on December 21, 2007 at 6:53pm — No Comments

FohBoh membership doubles in a day - lets get it to 1,000 members by Christmas Day!

Clearly FohBoh is just what the restaurant industry needed.

We're still in beta, yet membership is doubling every day!

Lets give the founders, Ted and Michael, a great Christmas present of having 1,000 members by Christmas Day.

We all know at least 5 people in this industry, either the people we work with, our suppliers or our favourite places to eat. Invite them to join FohBoh, you get reward points when they join and they get to be part of this great global social network.

Do… Continue

Added by Mark McKellier on December 21, 2007 at 1:54am — 5 Comments

Culinary Initiative in Houston, Texas!

Yes, in Houston! Houston is a food city that has never really been branded as such. I am involved in a big program right now to re-merchandise and re-brand Houston's Downtown Historic District as a "Culinary District". There is an incredible stock of buildings with interesting architecture, many of which are second generation spaces with grease traps, vent hoods, hvac, etc... We in Houston learned the hard way that you cannot build a sustainable urban retail district around just bars and clubs,… Continue

Added by Restaurant Broker on December 21, 2007 at 12:47am — 2 Comments

New Michael Mina Restaurant Opens in Miami

Congrats Michael...

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 20, 2007 at 4:29pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Curious as to Where FohBoh Members Live?





We launched FohBoh casually November 10th. By December 1st we were still fiddling with layout, colors, features and core functionalities. Our actual launch date is January 1, 2008 and we have nearly 10,000 members now. All of you guys are early-birds - the 50k Club.



Our goal is to… Continue

Added by FohBoh on December 20, 2007 at 1:54pm — 7 Comments

Interesting Week

What an interesting week! This post has little to do with the restaurant industry but it is relativly funny so I thought to share it.

Yesterday morning I was off to court for an unemployment hearing that we are fighting tooth and nail as all should indeed be. Traveling down the freeway in moderatly heavy traffic a car pulled into my lane doing a tenth of the speed I was...my car probably totaled. Their car, little to no dammage. In case you are wondering, no one was hurt in any way at…

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Added by Erick F. Crawford on December 20, 2007 at 11:33am — 1 Comment


Non-Operator
FohBoh Press Release - Jan 2, 2008

FOHBOH LAUNCHES FIRST RESTAURANT SOCIAL NETWORK BECOMING THE INTERACTIVE VOICE FOR THE GLOBAL RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 2, 2008—FohBoh Inc. announced today the launch of its first-to-market, social network (www.fohboh.com) for the global restaurant, food and beverage industry. FohBoh (short for “front of the house, back of the house”) focuses on creating the ideal social-business environment for the $500 billion U.S. market that employs…

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Added by FohBoh on December 20, 2007 at 10:36am — 4 Comments

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Smartbrief

The Sip

The Sip: Stay up-to-date on the beer, wine and spirits category with original content from SmartBrief -More

New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

Baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and the first price increases in nearly four years helped lead Starbucks to a 7% same-store -More

JOBS & CAREERS

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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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