December 2009 Blog Posts (101)

Once They're In Make Sure They Stay!

Attention Restaurant Owners & Managers!

Do you know how many potential customers you are losing due to mismanagement at the front door? If your answer is “I have no clue” you may be interested in what I have to say…

Of course we all want the answer to be zero however on a busy night chances are there are more than several people who walk in your front door, realize the wait is too long and quickly do an about face and exit your building. What’s… Continue

Added by Bill Campion on December 20, 2009 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

Why It’s a Mistake To Ration The Orange Juice

There’s a worrying trend in hotels lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed it. It has now got to a point where I can no longer skulk in the shadows and not address the elephant in the room. I have been too quiet for too long on this subject.

I am talking of course about the size of orange juice glasses on the breakfast buffet. The ever decreasing size of juice glasses is more than a simple cause for concern. It is just bad for business. Have alook at the orange juice “glass” that was… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on December 17, 2009 at 10:40pm — 6 Comments

Remember When "It's A Wonderful Life" was on all the time ?

Last weekend, NBC showed the Christmastime favorite "It's A Wonderful Life." I saw a chat program online talking about when it was on all the time.

I made notice of this on my Facebook page, and got comments like "I wish it was on all the time." These comments were from the younger generation.

The Frank Capra classic was filmedin 1946 and didn't do well at the box office. As many of you know (unless you've been in a cave someplace), this is the movie where George Bailey 's… Continue

Added by Keith Bernhardt on December 17, 2009 at 12:48pm — 3 Comments

DAWG Talk: A New Year...

A new year is upon us. It’s an exciting time. It’s a time of closure and new beginnings. It’s a time for introspection and reflection. It’s a time to look ahead.

A lot of things happen over the course of a year. While we’re in the throes of all that activity, it’s hard to pull back and fairly assess what’s going on. Over time, we gain valuable perspective.

We are in a fortuitous position when we have the ability to look… Continue

Added by David Rose on December 17, 2009 at 7:15am — 3 Comments

Stop Chasing New Customers And Look After The Ones You Have

If you are struggling to keep your restaurant full then you may be tempted to increase your advertising spending in the hopes of drawing in new clientele to your business. On the surface, this seems like a wise idea. After all, how else do you get the word out about your restaurant?

Many sales and marketing professionals have a saying - ‘It is far easier, more enjoyable and less expensive to do business with a customer that you already have then it… Continue

Added by Russ Reynolds on December 17, 2009 at 4:02am — 4 Comments

Debate About Customer Contact/Feedback Systems: Social Web, Email, Paper Comment Cards, Tableside and Blogs

Technology is completely changing the game for service industries. You would not be reading this post two years ago if it weren’t for the atomic explosion of the social web.

I believe paper comment cards are dead. They have zero value today. For reasons enumerated by several sources here in FohBoh and my own observations, I declare the paper comment card an archealogical relic of an earlier age. If you are still using paper comment cards, you’re a dinosaur.

I also… Continue

Added by Jeffrey J Kingman on December 17, 2009 at 2:26am — 20 Comments

You Need to Fail & Fail Fast

Not every business venture you embark on will be a success. It’s to be expected. A lot can and does go wrong. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the course of the last five years that I’ve run my own businesses, but I’ve had a lot of successes too and fortunately they outweigh the “almosts..”

If there was one thing I wish I had done early on was to fail fast. Why would anyone want to fail? Well, bearing in mind that every venture won’t be a home run, you need to put in place a system to… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on December 16, 2009 at 7:20pm — 2 Comments

Non-Operator Podcast – Interview with Bobby Fitzgerald, Author of “Smile or You’re Fired

TheBarBlogger001.mp3Click Play Button Below or Right-Click Here To Download MP3

“Nobody Dreamt of Growing Up To Be A Waiter & Why That Changes How You Need To Manage Your Business”

Author Robert “Bobby” Fitzgerald is a 25 year customer service veteran and… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on December 16, 2009 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Casual Dining and QSR Earnings, What's Going On Now

This week’s chain restaurant news will be more driven by casual dining sector matters, as Darden (DRI) reports Thursday. RBC Restaurant Analyst Larry Miller’s December Operator/Investor Survey pointed to improving operator sentiment and much more investor interest in the casual dining sector.

Many casual dining operators are located in mall locations or zones and the retail sales trends reports seem lackluster. In our Seeking Alpha post of October 26, 2009, we noted some smaller… Continue

Added by John A. Gordon on December 16, 2009 at 9:07am — No Comments

Dear Panera Bread....What are You Thinking!?!

Dear Panera Bread Just West Of Cleveland Ohio Off Interstate 90,

What are you thinking?

Early this morning I was traveling along I-90 and decided to stop for an hour or so and get some work done on my laptop. Normally, I'd try to find a local coffee house with wi-fi, but alas, there were none to be found at my exit. So i chose you...Panera.

Big mistake.

Turns out, my kids must have been facebooking on my computer last night and my battery is… Continue

Added by Rod Brant on December 16, 2009 at 7:25am — 17 Comments

Great Seasonal Foods

I love cooking the heartier flavor packed comfort foods people crave during the cooler months. Maybe it’s a throw back to my time spent cooking in Vermont or Boston or just primeval instinct? When done correctly utilizing leaner cuts of beef such as eye round, pork tenderloin and game, they are actually lower in fat and cholesterol then you might think. Some dishes are just what they are and should not be altered. I would prefer to get some exercise or cut back at another meal then to rob… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on December 16, 2009 at 6:56am — 8 Comments

What restaurants can learn from Tiger Woods?

It is total chaos right now in Tiger’s world. I think it is crazy the level of attention this gets in the media. This is not a back page story or gossip column, this has been the leading story on major networks. Tiger has been on the front page of the NY Post 3 less days than 9/11 coverage. Whether you are following this or not we should always see what we can learn. Watch this and let me know what you think we can learn from Tiger?

Added by Michael Minichello on December 16, 2009 at 4:31am — 2 Comments

wishFOH thinking

To all front of the house staff,

2009 was a difficult year for the restaurant. Sales were down an average of 20% over the first 3 quarters. We had to let a number of your coworkers go, and cut our management team in half. My partners and I pumped a lot of our own money into this place just to keep it operating through the summer.

I've owned several restaurants, hired and trained hundreds of food servers, and have been in this industry for over 30 years. This is the worst… Continue

Added by Michael Biesemeyer on December 16, 2009 at 12:30am — 7 Comments

Do you really have money to burn?

According to the National Lung Association 31 States and the District of Columbia now have laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants. However, countless dollars continue are burned on a marketing tool of the past. Sure, to the recipient, matches are a great keepsake and are useful when lighting candles. We have a better idea! Use the matches you have lying around to light a fire under your 2010 marketing campaigns. Match your restaurants style with a marketing strategy which will leave an… Continue

Added by David Callahan on December 15, 2009 at 7:16am — 1 Comment

Forgotten Flip Cam Videos, Unforgettable Event.

Last night when I went to shoot a video on my Flip Cam, I discovered a few videos from a recent event that I'd forgotten recording.

While I had forgotten about the videos, I haven't been able to get the experience out of my mind.

I wanted to share three things about the recent event held by The People Report and Black Box… Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on December 15, 2009 at 5:53am — 1 Comment

Buying a POS System: Making the Most of Your Investment

Restaurant operators make significant investments in a restaurant, from kitchen technology to décor and aesthetics to furniture and equipment. Each investment helps build the brand, streamline operations and keep the doors open. More than any other investment, a POS system can help restaurant operators control costs, improve guest experience and order accuracy, and enable high productivity in the operations.

Oftentimes in our industry and especially in today’s economy, many… Continue

Added by Jessica Lundberg on December 14, 2009 at 9:20am — No Comments

Is this the way your bar staff behave?

As I’m writing today’s post I’m sitting in a bar where the bar staff and the management have clearly decided that there is no hope for the survival of the human race, let alone the possibility that the business could actually be a success.

What greeted me in this bar were restrooms that were so dirty a number of cockroaches were protesting outside the door with banners that said: “You can’t expect us to live in these… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on December 11, 2009 at 3:46pm — 1 Comment

Let's Play Repeater

It's a game everyone is playing today. Most marketing is a repeat of someone else. What ever happened to originality? Today we all have Twitter and Facebook. Is yours really that much better? The fact is we are all becoming white noise to our target audience. Although it makes sense to keep up with the Jones', it's only a matter of time before they are ahead again. Remember to ask yourself one question. "How do I stand out from the competition?"

2010 could be the year you become the new… Continue

Added by David Callahan on December 11, 2009 at 6:55am — No Comments

List Of Things To Do Now

Like most of you, I have a perpetual list of things to do. Also, like many others, I suspect, my list seems longer at the end of each day than the beginning. Therefore, I’m NOT here to suggest ways to improve your life by managing your personal list. This column has a different focus.

Most owner operators, at some point, will want or need to raise capital, whether via a complete sale or solicitation of debt or equity. There’s a long list of things which should or must occur to be… Continue

Added by Rod Guinn on December 11, 2009 at 3:00am — 6 Comments

The No Apology Use of the Phrase Christmas

Christmas Season, Christmas Tree, Christmas Gifts,

Christmas is American!

Restaurant Proz has a no apology use of the phrase Christmas. Christmas is as American as Baseball, Apple Pie, Chevy, Ford (They weren't bailed out) Our Great Nation was founded on Christian Principles, see below, notice it does not say Nature's Budda, or Allah or… Continue

Added by Monty Cassel on December 10, 2009 at 12:28pm — 1 Comment

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


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Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

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The evolving nature of snacks

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National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


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: 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.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

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.

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