Andy Swingley's Blog – March 2008 Archive (10)

Are you advancing someone’s future?

If I ventured to guess, I bet a large percentage of us got into the restaurant biz because it was a place to earn some extra cash while we worked our way through school to find a “real job” As time wore on, we soon discovered this was a dynamic business that engaged us with all kinds of people from all walks of life and that was exciting! Make good money; meet some great people, and next thing you know it is in your blood. Heck, you may have even ventured out to another industry to see if the… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 29, 2008 at 9:52am — 10 Comments

Ever feel like a frog in boiling water?

Whether you own your own business or manage one, long tenure within an establishment can cause complacency and at times a leader can grow a set of blinders to the opportunities within the restaurant

A friend not too long ago shared a story with me about how over time one can lose sight of the simple and most important things in your business. If you walk in the same doors over and over again for years at a time the business can unintentionally deteriorate in standards of execution… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 22, 2008 at 7:28pm — 8 Comments

What is Marketing for my business?

I sometimes struggle to explain to managers in the casual dining segment/National Chain how they can directly impact the marketing of the restaurant. They just see themselves as the "operators" of the business. I recently read from Jim Sullivan's book, Multi Unit Leadership, marketing defined simply and I am able to get more of my team engaged with his definition. Jim says there are three levels of marketing.

Preventative Marketing - what you do to keep the guests you already… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 18, 2008 at 10:50am — 2 Comments

Great Service, the overwhelming answer....the follow-up

Thanks for the overwhelming response to the recent blog debating Great Food or Great Service, where to go first. Hands down the choice was Great Service. Two quotes I pulled came from within this community that made me think, so how DO you take the next step in your newly acquired mediocre restaurant.

Read this quote from Jeffrey Summers, Coach and Consultant from Restaurant Coaching Solutions:

"What I find amazing is that so many think that service is… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 16, 2008 at 6:32pm — 24 Comments

Which comes first....Great Service or Great Food?

This topic came up recently in another blog and was a table thumper among some business colleagues recently. What is your opinion? Here is the scenario.

You recently acquire, purchase, or are transferred to a poor running restaurant and have to get it back up on it's feet as quickly as possible and moving in the right direction. All things being equal (assume both service and food are mediocre in your new restaurant) and your resources limit you to only work on one area at a time,… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 15, 2008 at 3:40pm — 50 Comments

Convince me this is a good thing.....what's next?

In this week's Restaurant news, the headline reads, "Operators navigate challenges, rewards of self-order Kiosk initiatives".

It appears that some of our quick service partners have figured out a way to get even farther away from the people they choose to service. They are testing the use of self-service kiosks and some of the reasons they state are:

-Achieving greater guest through-put and satisfaction during relatively small peak business periods

-Help with… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 12, 2008 at 8:30pm — 7 Comments

Make it about the business, not the employee!

As the owner or operator of a business, many times we get caught up in the paradigm that our managers and hourly employees miss the mark because of their work ethic, understanding, or knowledge of the business. We then find ourselves evaluating how the employee is performing and giving them direct feedback on what “they” could do better.

In reality, the restaurant business is a business of processes or basics that when added to some genuine concern and hospitality for the guest… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 4, 2008 at 4:46pm — 13 Comments

Hiring made simple

I am often asked, “What is the most important foundation of running a great business?”

In my experience, there is no single answer rather two equally important principles to follow. First, a strong basis of practical execution, and second, hiring only the best candidates to represent the business. These candidates must deliver service that best displays the company’s product and image. Your future will depend on how the staff represents your business to the public and their ability… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 1, 2008 at 9:29pm — 1 Comment

Gamechanger or Cultural foundation...

In these fast paced times of generational companies and the struggle between the baby boomers, Xers, Yers, and Millenials to understand each other, which is the best vantage point from which to sit. Stay in the same job for a long time and become a cultural foundation to the organization or move on every few years to be a "gamechanger" within the new Company you have joined?

No matter your outcomes, there are a few things I have found to be true for all of us. How can you make… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 1, 2008 at 8:29pm — 1 Comment

It's all about the boss......right?

There are many phrases that come out when it comes to establishing a paradigm of great guest service. “The guest is always right”, “Never say no to a guest”, and most recently my favorite “The Guest is the Boss!” First, before continuing, I must agree with all of the statements above. I am a guest first operator and believe that you have got to take care of your most important client, your Guest!!

Working for a National chain often gives me the opportunity to speak on this topic,… Continue

Added by Andy Swingley on March 1, 2008 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Report: Consumers want more protein, need more education

A majority of U.S.  -More

California Walnut Beet Carpaccio Flatbread
Jump start their appetites with this fabulous flatbread appetizer topped with beets, goat cheese, arugula and California Walnuts. For this and more great recipes, visit

Vegetables take over dessert menus

Top pastry chefs in the U.S.  -More

Rising takeout demand drives new Mama Fu's footprint

Austin, Texas-based Mama Fu's Asian House debuted a smaller footprint unit focused on feeding a growing demand for takeout an -More


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

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.

Arby's Announces Development Deals With New And Existing Franchisees

ARG recently sold 14 company-operated restaurants in Tampa, FL to Mosaic Investments, Inc. (Mosaic), a fully integrated investment firm based in Atlanta. In addition to remodeling existing locations slated to commence at the end of 2014, Mosaic has committed to build 13 new Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area over the next nine years.

Smoothie King Appoints Vice President Of Business Development To Drive Brand's Expansion Across The U.S.

Prior to joining Smoothie King, Bruno served as vice president of retail sales, operations and franchise development for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, a division of, where he oversaw a $69.5 million retail division that included 100 corporate stores and 45 franchised stores.


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: 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.

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" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

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