Michael L. Atkinson's Blog (211)

It's a bit too Quiet...

It's all a bit too quiet, said the man. When he opened his doors and there were no customers, what then? He prepped food, staffed appropriately, trimmed the pruned the landscape and cleaned the bathrooms. Yet, no one came. What now?



This could be a journal entry made by a restaurateur from a small village in Tuscany, or an operator in Dallas. When customers just stop coming to dine, then what? What if it just suddenly or even gradually became quiet and not necessarily as a result of… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on April 7, 2014 at 12:00am — No Comments

UCLA Annual Restaurant Industry Conference

I absolutely love this event. Not only is it been delivering for 18 years, it's one conference that gets better and better with age.The team at UCLA Extension is so professional and because of this, they are able to attract outstanding speakers and provide a superior networking environment.

From my…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on February 13, 2014 at 9:47am — No Comments

Making Decisions is Getting Tougher and Tougher in a Faster and Faster Business Envionment

Feeling ok about reversing a "good" decision.

It's all a roll of the dice isn't it. There are no absolutes in life or in business, so why do we languish about decisions made or become indecisive when the time comes…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 9, 2014 at 1:47pm — No Comments

The World of Foodservice Supply Chain Must Change

It may look like the world of foodservice is controlled by 10 giants, but is it? Beyond the giant category killers are the brands restaurant operators and consumers know well and use every day. But, beyond these products are the collective voices of the consumer and the restaurant operator who vote with their wallets every day.

While B2C social media and social web analytics is helping businesses connect and engage more with their customers, what are businesses like Kraft, P&G and…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on March 8, 2013 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Pimp My Pizza at Custom Built Pizza Las Vegas

I am reporting this log from the Collective Zoo website in Las Vegas, Nevada



The downside of ordering a pizza? Where do we begin?

No place ever puts enough cheese, no matter how much you ask for. It’s often a hassle when you ask for a half cheese, half supreme pizza. Most places, especially delivery, only let you choose up to three toppings. Almost nowhere offers any sauces other than simple marinara. Asking for a specialty crust is out of the question. Oh, and that will be a…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on October 9, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Amtrak Cross Country Train Trip...The California Zephyr - Part 3

The California Zephyr: Chicago to Emeryville, California

Did I mention that train travel requires having “sea-legs” and being unafraid to meet people at a shared dining room table, or, after falling into their lap?  Well, we know Leslie, Rudy, Sam and Tina, Nan, Jordan...all “lap” buddies and good sports.

We arrived in Chicago about two…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on September 11, 2012 at 10:10am — No Comments

Amtrak Cross Country Train Trip...so, what's for lunch? Part 2

Day 2

Coach travel sucks. Be it on a plane, a boat or a train, coach only offers two benefits: (1) it's cheap; (2) it gets you where you are going at the same time as first class. We opted for coach class from Boston to Chicago because it’s only a 24 hour ride. We…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on September 9, 2012 at 11:30am — No Comments

Amtrak Cross Country Train Trip...so, what's for lunch? Part 1

I am sitting in the South Station in Boston waiting for my son Dylan to arrive so we can box up his bicycle. Dylan just completed an incredible cross country solo bike trip that took nearly 3 months. This is one of those once in a lifetime father+son trips that I had to make. Maybe I'm kind of barging in on his adventure. Too bad. Now,it's our adventure and one I have been looking forward to for, well, three months.



I had some Business in NYC yesterday, so I have already logged 4…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on September 7, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

IFDA Presentation - July 23, 2012

IFDA Keynote.7.23.12.zip

To download the presentation, please click on the link above.…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on July 25, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Restaurants and CRM - More than just rewards and Loyalty

We are so lucky as an industry, really. Why? Because we have so many really, really smart people working on solutions that address decades-old problems. These smart entrepreneurs are developing new technologies that address the trifecta of business issues: (1) Sales, (2) Costs; and (3) Customers. 

Sales

Sales and increasing them is always on our mind as operators. Whether you are a franchisee, a multi-unit operator or corporate chieftain, "butts-in-seats" is…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on July 2, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

The Good, Bad & Ugly Of Social Media: Guidelines For Employers And Compensation

HI, I found this post from World at Work and thought it was worth sharing.

BY LAUREN VALK

Jonna Contacos-Sawyer and Albert Lee began their session at WorldatWork’s recent Total…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on June 13, 2012 at 7:18am — 1 Comment

The 2012 CMO's Guide To Social

CMO's Guide To The Social Landscape. Developed once again by 97th Floor, an SEO, social media, and viral infographics firm, the latest social media infographic welcomes five new members to the roster. Time will tell whether they give heavyweights such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn a run for brands' advertising dollars, but incumbents including Pinterest and…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on May 29, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Brinker Restaurant Corp vs. Superior Court

APRIL 13,…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on April 13, 2012 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Managing Inventory using Web-Based Re-Distribution Services

Managing inventory requires attention to detail and careful planning to avoid the challenges excess inventory bring. Nothing kills cash flow faster than buying too much and selling less than projected. So I wonder, if there was a web-based service that would facilitate the buy/sell/trade of excess inventory in your local market including picking up and delivering the "goods", would operators subscribe to this service?

I remember borrowing ingredients or a bottle of Tequila from time…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on April 9, 2012 at 11:02am — No Comments

101 best restaurants in America

Ok, this is cool. While I think this is generally a good list, I am not so sure I agree 100% with the ranking. What do you think?

See this story on Fox News…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on March 6, 2012 at 3:32pm — No Comments

My Food + Tech + Co-working Discovery Tour

I'm on a bit of a food+technology discovery tour to better understand the buzz on what is new for the foodservice industry; the why and the why now. As a start-up entrepreneur, I am fascinated by what drives someone to want to be an entrepreneur, or even a food and/or tech entrepreneur. One would think that will all the buzz around start-ups these days that the number of new companies being formed would also be up. But, not so fast.

According to a quarterly survey from…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on February 15, 2012 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Food Trends for 2012...well, Maybe



Phil Lempert, CEO of The Lempert Report and “Supermarket Guru,” created his list of predictions for 2012. These top 10 predictions range from…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 16, 2012 at 12:13pm — 1 Comment

STOP PIPA

This is re-posted from foodtechconnect.



The future of the Internet as a driver of open innovation and entrepreneurship is threatened. If the Senate passes the Protect IP Act (PIPA)- which will be brought to the floor for a series of votes…
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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 16, 2012 at 12:03pm — No Comments

Food + Technology is Finally Getting Traction

I was so excited to see this post on Mashable that I just decided to re-post in its entirety. Finally, food+tech is coming of age using the clid and new devices that bring utility to restaurant operators.

How Professional Foodies Are Using Tech to Transform the Restaurant Business…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 12, 2012 at 11:30am — No Comments

10 Food Tech Start-Up Lessons

I remember the first POS terminal that I ever saw and used was way back in 1977. It was a monster and weighed a ton! I have no idea what this thing cost or who made it. It was all metal and brown. It didn't have a screen but it did have a keypad for entering data It was not exactly an elegant design, so I know Steve Jobs wasn't consulted.  I learned about PLU (Price Look Up) codes, and remember the thing churning like it was thinking, or trying to.…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 4, 2012 at 9:30am — 8 Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Eateries turn to rationing as lime prices soar

Unrest caused by Mexico's drug cartels, along with floods in Mexico and a drought in California, are taking a toll on this ye -More

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Burger King to upgrade wireless with Whopper Wi-Fi

Burger King has teamed with AT&T to replace existing in-store wireless Internet with an upgraded system dubbed Whopper Wi-Fi  -More

Late-night indulgence pays off for Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box saw its profits rise sharply in the first quarter, a few months after introducing its $6 Munchie Meal menu of -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

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.

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: 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.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

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