Michael L. Atkinson's Blog (211)

The Party is Over

I saw this today and it resonated with me. It was a loud and clear image that the party was over. At least for 2007. So, what's in store for 2008?



I tend to be a little passionate when it comes to planning and goal setting. I tend to use the time over the holidays (while escaping the family for some quiet time) to clean up my office, sort through some long over-due email, cleanse the database and write my goals for the next year.



I… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on January 1, 2008 at 4:58pm — 2 Comments

Hearing Voices

No, not those little voices in your ear as this business drives you a little bit crazier each year. I'm talking about your customers, your employees and your advisers. This business is tough enough; so appreciate all the feedback you receive.



I have always appreciated straight talk from people. If you ask people what they think, they generally tell you. The problem is that too many of us don't want to hear it. We are critiqued enough you say...reviewers from the newspaper, blogs,… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 30, 2007 at 10:35am — No Comments

AIS Media Survey Reveals Restaurant Industry's Approach to Internet











This is an interesting article even if it is 9 months old.

AIS Media, Inc., a leading e-business solutions company announced the results of online polling of America’s restaurant industry and its

approach to the internet and online marketing conducted March 19-23,

2007. For the poll 5937 restaurants nationwide were contacted and were

broken down by…

Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 26, 2007 at 9:38am — 1 Comment

Inside the Industry: The Top 10

There are a number of interesting industry topics to discuss as members of FohBoh. The restaurant and related food and beverage industries are similar all over the world. But, economies are different, trends may be unique from market to market. It may be interesting to open this up for discussion, as we are growing in membership globally, to get a sense of the hot issues regionally, and internationally. The goal is to find some common ground to benchmark and discuss.



Here is a starter… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 25, 2007 at 11:32pm — 2 Comments

Chains vs. Independents

Do you agree with this?



53% of respondents who have dined out in the past year agree or strongly agree with the statement, “I don’t care if a restaurant is

independent or part of a chain."



Source: R&I, 2007 New American Diner Study



I found an article with an interesting perspective on why about a year ago by Tricia Childress.



The Price…

Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 23, 2007 at 11:16pm — 1 Comment

How Do Restaurants Find New Employees?

How do restaurants recruit? How do they keep the employee pool interested, active, happy, motivated and productive? What's the secret? What's your secret? Is it 70% networking or 10% networking? Is BOH turnover ratios higher or lower than FOH? Is fast food turnover ratios higher or lower than casual or fine dining? What about casinos? Hotels? Resorts?



I have often wondered why…

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Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 23, 2007 at 1:57pm — 6 Comments

New Michael Mina Restaurant Opens in Miami

Congrats Michael...

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 20, 2007 at 4:29pm — No Comments

The Casual Dining Sector is in the Dumps



I was speaking with a learned friend this afternoon. He is COO at a publicly traded casual dining restaurant and has been in the industry since the beginning of casual dining. In fact, he's one of the original guys that started in the mid-1970's.



His first-hand in-the-trenches comments echoed the media's latest concerns about the casual dining segment as being crowded, tired and in need of adrenaline. He cited negative 4-7% Y/Y comps… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 18, 2007 at 4:52pm — 3 Comments

An engaged Customers is Loyal Customer

There is huge value to interactivity and engaging customers. There is also tremendous value to social networking for restaurants. Simply put fully engaged customers deliver a premium over average customers in

share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.

That's exactly why so many smart, informed restaurateurs are benefiting from

this interactive engagement by realizing a return on loyalty (ROL). We all know that it's more valuable to keep a customer than to… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 17, 2007 at 4:39pm — 1 Comment

Happy Chefs Are the Horse

Happy chefs...what a concept. Actually, it's a concept that the industry, management and ownership should embrace. Happy chefs and happy cooks make a happy FOH. While the takes FOH and BOH to bring it all together, the BOH is the horse. If the horse is not interested in water, you cannot make it drink.



I've been in enough kitchens to witness chaos, organized chaos or not...it's chaos nonetheless. But, a happy line is a good, efficient line… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 17, 2007 at 2:13pm — No Comments

First to Market-Yes we are!

There is something very compelling and sexy about being "first to market". This phrase is hard to say in almost any other industry but technology. Imagine saying "we have a new restaurant concept that has never, ever, been done before. How often does that happen?



I love technology because with software, anything is possible. If that's true, then there will always be a "first-to-market".



FohBoh is a first-to-market in a relatively new industry called Online Social Networks. We… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 16, 2007 at 9:42pm — No Comments

Holiday Parties Start This Week

Whenever I think about going to a company holiday party, I picture that scene in Santa Claus II. The movie with Tim Allen playing Santa at his future-Ms. Claus' Christmas party. Totally lame. No one is having fun. People checking their watches and there is nothing to do. A bowl of blue punch and a few chips to munch on. Boring and a seemingly forced get-to-gether. But, that's not reality...it's a m o v i e.



I'm going to my wife's Christmas (holiday) party tonight. I get to meet… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 14, 2007 at 4:11pm — 5 Comments

U.S. Restaurant Industry Forecast for 2008

Restaurant Industry to Continue to Be Major Driver in Nation's Economy Through Sales, Employment Growth in 2008







National Restaurant Association's 2008 Restaurant Industry Forecast

reveals economic, workforce, consumer and menu trends for the coming

year






(Washington, D.C.) Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $558

billion in 2008—a 4.4 percent increase over 2007— and… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 12, 2007 at 10:43am — 1 Comment

How much is a "s***-load"?

I enjoyed a very entertaining breakfast discussion this morning with a fellow FohBoh.com super user. She's a foodie with a lot of restaurant experience. She also loves to cook and like many of us, rarely follows a recipe. She takes a peek at the list of ingredients and then goes to work, creating her version of whatever. A pinch of this, a dollop of that and, a s*** load of garlic. We laughed when she said "I love garlic" right after saying how much she used in a particular recipe.… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 11, 2007 at 1:39pm — 9 Comments

Restaurant Ten Success Commandments

I have no idea where this came from, but I think it's pretty relevant...and logical.



Ten Commandments for Success in the Restaurant

Business



1. Overhead

2. Capitalization

3. Location/Visibility

4. Accessibility

4. Parking

5. Service

5. Quality

6. Value

7. Consistency

8. Ambiance

9. Publicity & Community Relations

10. Ownership supervision



What do you think?



I could add a few more. Perhaps sub-commandments… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 11, 2007 at 12:29pm — 3 Comments

Wagamama - Noodle this



Wagamama is a celebration of consistency and quality in everything they do and have been for the past 15 years. The first Wagamama opened in London’s in 1992.

In the fifteen years that have passed, they have opened more than 80 restaurants - in UK, Europe, the pacific rim, the middle east and most recently, in Boston.

Wagamama is the most popular chain of award-winning Asian…

Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 8, 2007 at 11:40am — No Comments

Beer and Chips...yum

There is something about having a freshly made beer and freshly cooked potato chips or even Belgium fries. While I would have this as a regular part of my diet, my wife says otherwise. Ok, I sneak out from time to time...





Beer and Chips

November 18, 2007







When I was a college student living in…

Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 5, 2007 at 9:07pm — 4 Comments

Cool Restaurant Concept Spotted

Minnies has been around since 1975 and if you live in Chicago, this isn't exactly news. But, it's news to me and will likely be new to you. They are not franchising...yet. This is dangerous for them because this is going to be copied.



When Segal was a boy, his mother realized that he hated sharing his food. So for his fourth birthday party, his mother served… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 4, 2007 at 11:20am — No Comments

Chef & Restaurant Management Specific Job Boards

The following sites were selected based upon a number of factors including the quality and/or quantity of their Restaurant Management job listings as well as the number of potential Hospitality & Restaurant Managers and Chefs that will visit the sites. These are listed only as a convenience to our visitors and not as an endorsement.

Starting January 19, 2008, FohBoh now has a job board!

Go to FohBoh…

Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 3, 2007 at 6:57pm — 5 Comments

Top Grossing Independent Restaurants

I always find it interesting to learn what the top independent restaurants generate in sales volume. Maybe it's me, but I've always thought it would be easier to operate one $50 million restaurant than 50 $1 million restaurants. What do you think?

Download Top 100 Independent restaurants.xls

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on December 2, 2007 at 8:58pm — 3 Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

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

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -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: 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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