All Blog Posts Tagged 'consultant' (23)

When is a Chef’s Knife Not a Screwdriver?

Of all the issues that one can single out for criticism in a ‘professional’ kitchen, the topic that irks me the most is the misuse of equipment.  I’m not talking about the occasional sheet pan drafted into use as a deep fryer cover; it’s the wholesale misapplication and underutilization of the tools of the trade that gets to me. 

 

Rolling-pin-tenderizer-users aside, who’s responsible for (not) training people this way?

 

I won’t mention the patently dangerous,…

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Added by Joe Ferri on May 31, 2011 at 3:36am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Restaurant Scheduling for Success - Excerpt from "How to Improve Dining Room Service"

Restaurant staff scheduling ties directly into the dining room service and crucial for keeping your staff tight, happy and well connected. In every way, a balance must be achieved by matching the dining room service labor needs to forecasted business. There should be a system whereby the staff shift availability days can be communicated in writing to the person who makes up the schedule. A simple staff shift availability sign-up sheet posted…

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Added by Richard Saporito on April 2, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Who owns your kitchen's recipes? Has your chef signed an employment contract?

A popular topic lately in a couple different restaurant discussion forums I participate in is the question of who owns the recipes your restaurant uses?



Let's look at a couple possible scenarios that could affect your restaurant.

  1. Your executive chef or kitchen manager quits. Maybe one or two members of the kitchen staff leave with her/him. Your chef keeps extensive recipes written down in a book they've had since long before they…
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Added by Brandon O'Dell on June 7, 2010 at 2:10pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
20 steps to lowering your food or liquor costs

This article will be one of the most important I've ever written for restaurant owners and managers in other food services. In this article, I'm going to do something you won't see from another consultant. I'm going to share with you the exact steps of an action plan I created to help a restaurant create a food cost fitness program, along with some helpful commentary from me. These steps would be the same for liquor costs, but would focus on different employees in a different area of the… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on June 3, 2010 at 7:27pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Mind your business... less whining please!

Challenging times require... less whining! Recently a national organization of C.P.A.’s advised clients to save money by spending less on dining out. As if the suggestion from the accountants wasn’t enough, Suze Orman and other personal finance gurus are giving their clients the same advice. I don’t particularly like this advice, but I do know from personal experience that it’s sound. Much of the restaurant industry response, so far anyway, is to point out how vital we are to the economy, how… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 23, 2009 at 9:04am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Changing the perception of restaurant consultants: from generic "expert" to "repairman"

Sometimes I wonder: even if my services were free, how many restaurants would hire me? I don’t think the money is the issue. Sure, the perception is probably out there that to hire a consultant is going to cost many thousands of dollars, but I don’t think that’s the problem. I think it’s something else, and I think it’s going to require changing the way we think about the relationship between management the consultant.



I have some experience with paradigm shifts. For example, back in… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 13, 2009 at 10:06am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Most restaurants fail, but we know why. And we can help.

The restaurant industry suffers from an extraordinarily high mortality rate. We’ve all heard all sorts of crazy numbers about just how high, but let’s just settle on “very high”. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we know why most restaurants fail, and it turns out that there are two major reasons. The first reason is lack of sufficient working capital. Now there’s an obvious and a not so obvious side to the working capital challenge. The first thing we think of is “sure, you need… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 9, 2009 at 3:01pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Today's Rant: Deciding which new technology is right for you

It seems like everyday there becomes available some new technology for restaurants. Today I read about two new iPhone applications that enable customers to place restaurant orders from their iPhones.( http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/04/mobile-restaurant-ordering-finally-hits-the-app-store/ ) I'm wondering how you keep up with it, and how you decide which to adopt. I'm amazed at how slow most restaurants have been to exploit social media and effectively manage their online presence, and that's… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 6, 2009 at 7:32am — 20 Comments


Non-Operator
Are they kidding!!!???

Susan Holaday's excellent Blog post here on FohBoh yesterday referenced a now much talked about Frank Bruni article in the NY Times. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/dining/04note.html?emc=eta1 ). The gist of the article was now that the stuff is really hitting the fan some NYC restaurants, including some marquis names in the fine dining segment, are bending over backwards for customers in an effort to build revenue. Some of them (gulp!) are even trying to be especially friendly, or… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 5, 2009 at 4:16pm — 7 Comments


Non-Operator
Keeping it simple: How to create a restaurant concept that can succeed

High failure rates for restaurants. Yes they're exagerated, but they're still high. According to recent studies from Cornell and Ohio State universities, 59-60% of restaurants fail within the first three years. As many as 75% may fail within the first five. Why are they so high? For a list of the six biggest reasons, see The biggest mistakes restaurants make, and why they have a high failure rate.



For… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on December 19, 2008 at 7:00am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Who is the target market for your restaurant?

This may be the most important question you can answer when designing a restaurant concept. It is definately the most important question to answer when creating a marketing plan.



One of the biggest mistakes restaurants make is trying to appeal to everyone. If you think that your target market includes everyone, you are setting yourself up to fail. If you want to be successful in any business, especially… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on December 15, 2008 at 7:45am — 11 Comments


Non-Operator
Pricing food - Why you're doing it wrong and how to fix it

One thing I'll never forgive formal culinary schools for, is teaching new impressionable would-be chefs to use a budgeted cost percentage to price food menus. Chain restaurants share an equal responsibility for perpetuating this bad practice by focusing their managers on food cost percentages without letting them in on the secret that the cost percentage is a management tool, not a pricing tool.



Though most culinary programs teach many different methods for pricing… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on June 29, 2008 at 9:42pm — 9 Comments


Non-Operator
How to teach in 10 easy steps

One of the primary reasons that some businesses training programs work, and some don't, is in the method their managers and trainers use to teach new skills. This seems to be especially true in restaurants and food services, due to the prevelance of leaders without formal educations. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's true.



While proper teaching technique is not something that comes naturally to everyone, it is easy to learn following a simple multi-step… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on June 4, 2008 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Are you overloading your kitchen stations?

Long ticket times are a common problem in restaurants, and nothing will scare a potential regular customer away like having to wait 45+ minutes to get their food.



There are many factors that can increase ticket times. In this post, I would like to cover one of those issues, overloading a kitchen station.



Part of designing a menu that works is making sure you are not overloading one station in the kitchen, or one piece of equipment. Your menu needs to be designed with… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on May 30, 2008 at 12:09pm — 7 Comments


Non-Operator
Does your restaurant have an identity?

Who are we?

What do we want our restaurant to be known for?

What style of service do we offer?

What kind of food do we cook?

What can our customers get from us that they can’t get anywhere else?

How can we make our customers FEEL?

What is our color scheme?




These are all questions you should ask yourself about your restaurant long before you open your doors. The answers to these questions will determine whether potential customers will ever make… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on May 16, 2008 at 3:44pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
"Anything worth doing, is worth paying someone else to do."

This is one of my favorite quotes. Maybe because I'm the one who made it up.



It could also be that I love this quote because it deals with another major reason for failure in the restaurant world, and really, in every industry. Most managers don't know how to delegate. That is a simple, but true, observation from years of seeing managers and owners struggle to scratch out a profit (or more commonly not making a profit), while losing their personal lives to their… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on April 10, 2008 at 8:07pm — 3 Comments


Non-Operator
The biggest mistakes restaurants make, and why they have a high failure rate

The restaurant business is tough. Everyone in it knows it. Everyone looking to get in it ignores it.



The cold fact of the matter is that opening up a restaurant may be one of the worst investments you could make with your money. That's a horrible, sobering statement coming from someone like me who's in the business of helping restaurants succeed, but it's the truth. Most restaurant fail. Oh, the failure rate isn't the "90%" you may have heard from friends and family, but according to… Continue

Added by Brandon O'Dell on March 31, 2008 at 7:22pm — 13 Comments


Non-Operator
Instilling ownership in employees?

Case study: You're not comfortable with the level of effort your staff is putting forth lately. You get the urge to give the "it's your restaurant too" speech. Is it a good idea?

I don't know if I'd want my staff thinking they owned my restaurant. While it's nice to think we can motivate people to behave like they owned the place, without actually owning some place, they simply can't know how to behave that way. Most employees see owners as lazy, and as someone whose…

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Added by Brandon O'Dell on February 1, 2008 at 9:52am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Unique selling points - vol. 2

See "Unique selling points - vol. 1"

I hear all the time from owners and operators that companies like Applebee’s are successful because of their big advertising budgets. I say “bull”. Applebee’s, for example, is successful because of it’s branding. It’s the effectiveness of their marketing that gives them their competitive advantage, not the number of…

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Added by Brandon O'Dell on January 31, 2008 at 7:59am — 6 Comments


Non-Operator
Stick to the news, Mr. Markel.

Alex Markels a writer for US News & World Report made the following observations regarding the success of Chipotle Mexican Grill, a high volume fast casual concept.



A Tested Recipe: Five Ingredients

Five lessons for start-ups from Chipotle Mexican Grill

By Alex Markels

Posted January 9, 2008



It's the food, stupid. Its hip surroundings and green ethic notwithstanding, Chipotle succeeds because its food tastes better than the competition's.…

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Added by Brandon O'Dell on January 15, 2008 at 11:39am — 2 Comments

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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.

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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.

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TED TALKS VIDEO

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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 …

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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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