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

Fast-casual growth comes from new openings as market matures

Sales at fast-casual eateries are growing at a pace similar to that of quickservice and sit-down restaurants as young, high-i -More

Taylor® Grills. Cooking made Easier, Faster, and Smarter.
With efficiency and food safety top of mind, the Taylor® L810 two-sided grill is a foodservice industry favorite. Optimize profits and cooking efficiency with three separately controlled cooking zones, programmable cook times, pre-set temperature and automatic gap settings. To learn more click here.

In the swim: Gulf state seafood catch safe for now

Businesses fighting to preserve commercial access to seafood fished in the Gulf states scored a big win this month when the G -More

Ruby Tuesday revitalization prompts sales growth

Maryville, Tenn.-based Ruby Tuesday posted gains in same-store sales in the fourth quarter, with a 5% rise at franchised rest -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Main Event Entertainment to Open First Center in the Rio Grande Valley

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing family entertainment center in America, is celebrating its new center opening in Pharr, Texas, a suburb near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on August 6.

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.

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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