Nate DaPore's Blog (17)

Restaurants Offer Silver Lining To Today’s Economy

Last week’s Jobs Report, issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, echoed news we’ve all grown accustomed to hearing — U.S. job growth is weak.

 

But is that the whole story?

 

If you take a moment to study the recent news, there is a silver lining — at least for the restaurant industry. In the month of August, 96,000 jobs were added on a net basis across the nation and more than 28,000 of those jobs were in the restaurant industry. In other words, more than…

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Added by Nate DaPore on September 14, 2012 at 1:12pm — No Comments

When Should Your Staff Question You

I read an interesting article on Freaknomics recently. It was titled, “Obedience on the Job.” The writer relates a story where he questioned a bus driver on a policy change and the driver responds, “I just do what my boss tells me to do. I don’t question.”

 

If you’re like me, you have been in this situation before — and it can be aggravating.

 

Maybe you’ve called a customer…

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Added by Nate DaPore on August 9, 2012 at 12:08pm — No Comments

Service Nightmares: A Wake-up Call

Pop culture often mocks or exaggerates the behind-the-scenes frustrations faced by foodservice employees — and their reactions. From the 2005 film Waiting to MADTvs Bon Qui Qui,…

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Added by Nate DaPore on July 18, 2012 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

Breaking Free of The Process Rut

Are you being weighed down by the proverbial “ball and chain?” No, not that ball and chain. I’m talking about the processes that your restaurant just can’t operate without. Remember your great idea from 10 years ago? The one that changed the way your restaurant operated, or saved a ton of money … or even revamped your brand. Is it still the biggest thing to happen to your restaurant?

Being locked-in to certain business practices can stunt your creativity and growth. Every successful…

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Added by Nate DaPore on July 3, 2012 at 2:52pm — No Comments

Benefits of a Branded Culture

In the world of foodservice, brand is a word we hear and use everyday. Restaurants have to build their brand, protect their brand and strengthen their brand. But do you always know what you are focusing on when you talk about your brand?

By using the word brand, do you mean the image, as in the colors, design or logo that represents your restaurant? Are referring to brand as the atmosphere and experience provided — young and hip or family style — or your concept — fresh…

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Added by Nate DaPore on June 20, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Goals + Gamification = Engagement

Formula For Success

The more I study the concept of employee engagement in the restaurant industry I see the need for innovation. One of the biggest challenges is how to get hourly employees to really engage with the company’s mission. The formula I’m seeing emerge in other markets could change foodservice engagement if readily embraced.



Goals + Gamification = Engagement



We all know that annual reviews in foodservice are impractical. With high…

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Added by Nate DaPore on June 5, 2012 at 8:48am — No Comments

Foodservice Millenials: The Post-Gen X Workforce

There is a recently completed study on the work habits of Millennials that might surprise employers. The study was done by MTV, and before you shrug it off, think — who better to get honest feedback from a younger generation?

Let’s examine the results as they apply to foodservice and the upcoming restaurant workforce.

 

Culture

In a briefing with…

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Added by Nate DaPore on May 22, 2012 at 2:38pm — 2 Comments

The Case of Point Solutions vs. Platform

Did you ever sit down to watch a movie at home and have to sort through a collection of remotes to find the three or four you need to make everything work? There’s one to turn on the TV, one to control the DVD player, one for the sound system and who knows what else. Honestly, how many volume buttons does one entertainment system require?



Similarly, when you manage a restaurant, have you noticed how you use a variety of systems to run the FOH and BOH operations but none of them…

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Added by Nate DaPore on April 3, 2012 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Empower Your Staff to "Walk the Walk"

At some point in your life it’s likely you have offered, received or heard the advice, “If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.” Often this piece of wisdom is shared between friends or familiar business associates as a kind of friendly ribbing. But have you ever taken the time to really think about it?



What if you could get your staff to “walk the walk?” Or to throw another common phrase out there, what if your entire staff “acted like they owned the…

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Added by Nate DaPore on March 21, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Time For Foodservice to “Vocalize”

There’s a mobile epidemic occurring everywhere you turn - locally, nationally and globally. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 27 percent of US households used cell phones exclusively in the first half of 2010. Additionally, a Nielsen survey reported smartphone usage nearly tripled in the last year, especially among 18-29 year-olds where 62 percent use smartphones.

 

How does this connect to the foodservice industry? It means your workforce demographic is moving…

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Added by Nate DaPore on March 6, 2012 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Nobody Puts HR in a Corner

“Nobody puts HR in a corner.” Recognize the line? It’s a classic. Well, it’s a slightly-adjusted classic. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” might sound more familiar. It’s the line from “Dirty Dancing” when Patrick Swayze retrieves Jennifer Gray from a corner seat so they can do the last dance of the season. The point being that her character has grown up and can be more than her peers and parents expected.…

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Added by Nate DaPore on February 21, 2012 at 11:50am — No Comments

Defining Focus in Foodservice Hiring

In the restaurant industry, being fully staffed — with top-quality employees — is Holy Grail of HR. It is constantly sought after, rarely achieved and rumored to be difficult to achieve. More often than not a restaurant has a decent team, with a few outstanding employees and the occasional bad apple. It’s not uncommon to find a manager or head chef stepping in to cover a “no-show” staff member.

 

Foodservice faces such high turnover rates that managers often jump to quickly…

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Added by Nate DaPore on February 7, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What SOPA Would Do To Foodservice

On Jan. 18, several websites participated in a blackout to protest the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R. 3261. Wikipedia reported 162 million people viewing its blackout page, seven million people signed Google's petition and Twitter saw over four million SOPA related tweets.

 

Two days later, SOPA was officially ‘killed’ — for the year. SOPA’s Senate doppelganger, PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), has also been tabled for the time being. Will similar…

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Added by Nate DaPore on January 24, 2012 at 2:57pm — 1 Comment

Which Came First: The User or The Design

Recently I read a blog, Elusive Cuteness and Building Approachable Systems, on a project run by the MIT Media Lab that leveraged people to try and make systems more intelligent, efficient and successful. The team built a robot named ‘Boxie’ designed to appeal to the masses — then let it roll through different parts of the campus…

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Added by Nate DaPore on January 10, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

8 Values to Live By

Everyone has a system of values that they live by — and in business, those values come into play just as they do in everyday life. Constant decisions define each individual, as well as how a company is seen by the world. Principles, ideals and ethics guide and shape priorities and reactions.

For me, the values I choose to run my business by also serve as markers that show the progress we achieve. They are beacons guiding us in the right direction, leading us to provide the type of…

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Added by Nate DaPore on December 28, 2011 at 10:41am — No Comments

The Paper World Ends in 2012

I predict that 2012 will be the year for paper to finally become obsolete in all foodservice business transactions and information storage. Restaurant owners, finance officers and HR teams can deliberate how long it will take, but it is obvious that the days of using paper on the business side of foodservice are numbered. What’s causing the end of the paper world? Technological advancement.

 

Tech-savvy consumers, employees and managers alike are increasingly fed up with paper…

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Added by Nate DaPore on December 15, 2011 at 10:54am — 3 Comments

Social Media Tech-tionary – Redefining Hiring

Ten years ago “Google” was only a noun. Five years ago “friend” became a verb. Social media is rewriting how we interact — and it’s happening in every aspect of our lives. Twitter transformed how we get our news; Groupon revolutionized how we consume; Foursquare revamped how we ‘check-in’; and now, social media is redefining how we hire.

 

Human Resources saw the emergence of Job Boards around a decade ago; they allowed employers to reach a wider talent pool, easier than ever…

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Added by Nate DaPore on November 28, 2011 at 11:17am — 1 Comment

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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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