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

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

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

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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