Published By: Leon Tuberman
Friday, March 17, 2017
restaurants allow customers to place orders over the phone for pickup, but far fewer
offer delivery service. In many cases, restaurateurs would rather focus on
patrons actually sitting in their cafe tables rather than the additional
headache of delivery. Because of this, third-party delivery services, such as
Seamless, UberEATS and GrubHub, have begun picking up food from restaurants
that don't deliver and taking it right to a customer's door. It's been some
time since this service became popular, and we've certainly learned a few
things in that time.
Costs Can Quickly Go Up
who choose to use these services typically understand what they entail. They'll
be paying a fee to offer delivery service to their customers. That fee is often
around 10 percent, and unfortunately, some don't realize how quickly this can
add up. If a third-party delivery service isn't creating an influx of orders,
it may be best just to stick with those in the restaurant chairs and tables.
Unknowing Relations Exist
be fair, most people who don't want to occupy a restaurant booth would likely
just order from somewhere else if their favorite restaurant didn't deliver.
Even so, restaurateurs should know if there's an implied relationship between
them and a third-party delivery service. After all, these services make money
by having eateries sign up for them.
entrepreneurs might want to have a seat at their cafe tables for this: they may
already be working with one of these services. In some instances, a third-party
service will take orders for restaurants they don't have relationships with.
They'll then deliver the food without mentioning to the restaurateur who they
the end, they hope to increase the demand for their service at the restaurant
and show the owner real numbers related to their service. It's a sales tactic,
but it can be an unwelcome surprise if a patron at a bar table is overhead
speaking about how bad an eatery's delivery service is.
Services Are More Accountable than Others
is the case with anything in life, there are some third-party food delivery
services that are better than others. This is especially the case when it comes
to accountability. If a driver shows up in street clothes, for instance, the
buyer is likely to assume they're a restaurant employee. If something goes
wrong during this encounter, the restaurant is going to be blamed.
one misperception that makes its way to social media or a review site can have
a serious effect on how many cafe tables get filled on any given night. If
partnering with a service, ask them beforehand how they separate themselves
from the restaurant they're delivering for. Amazon Prime, for instance,
actually has its drivers wear Amazon uniforms.
innovation in the food and beverage industry keeps restaurateurs on their toes.
Whether or not utilizing a third-party delivery service will be beneficial for
a certain eatery is something the owner must decide for themselves. The
benefits are numerous, but by knowing the aforementioned facts, restaurateurs
can decide whether to simply focus on filling their cafe tables or expanding
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
since the Great Recession came to an end, many restaurateurs have been seeing
sales so great they probably went out and purchased new booths and commercial
restaurant equipment. It's good that those purchases are now out of the way,
because Wall Street analysts have predicted drops in restaurant stocks and
sales in 2017. They blamed an oversaturated market and several other factors,
but restaurateurs who take appropriate steps can fight this potential rough
Be Afraid to Offer Something Free
of the factors Wall Street analysts listed to explain a potential drop in
restaurant stocks was another economic recession. If this comes to fruition and
people do have to tighten their purse strings, the temporary occupation of
restaurant booths will likely be one of the first expenses to go.
forget, though, that people still have to eat. The only reason they'll stay in
is to save a few dollars, but if a restaurant can offer that very possibility,
individuals will likely still make the trip. It doesn't have to be anything
huge. Maybe provide a free appetizer with the purchase of a meal. Simply using
the word “free” during harsh economic times can be enough to bring in patrons.
a Kids' Night
of a potential economic downturn, parents will still occasionally want to take
their children out to eat. When they're trading in the bar tables for
restaurant furniture booths, though, they don't expect to spend too much money.
This means hosting a Kids Eat Free night once a week will meet their
expectations and improve the chance of them coming out.
Eat Free nights are some of the busiest times at a restaurant. Don't go too far
out, though, by offering all children a free meal. Set it up so one child's
meal is free for every adult entree purchased. Sales will pick up, and since a
few chicken fingers or grilled cheese sandwiches won't put too much strain on
that new commercial restaurant equipment, it's essentially a win-win.
a Loyalty Program
a loyalty program in place is the perfect way to keep people coming in even as
sales are decreasing. Put some thought into the program, but if nothing comes
to mind, the old “Get 1 Free Meal After 10 Visits” always pays off.
Additionally, most of these programs are now run digitally, so restaurateurs
will have the added benefit of gaining patron email addresses for marketing
it certainly may take some time to set up, giving a restaurant website the
ability to take online orders will pay off huge when traditional sales are
faltering. Younger generations already enjoy eating at home, but they hardly
ever want to cook. Take advantage of this fact and the potential recession,
when people won't feel like tipping 20 percent, and offer a viable alternative.
or not this forecasted decrease in restaurant stocks will occur is unknown, but
if it happens, culinary entrepreneurs can be prepared.
Far too many eateries go under when things like this happen, but for those who
follow the aforementioned tips, the chance of seeing their commercial
restaurant equipment on sales sites is minimal.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Monday, March 13, 2017
seafood industry accounts for a $1.4 billion impact on the American economy. In
short, Americans love seafood. For restaurateurs who fill their cafe chairs
with individuals who love fish and shellfish, it's important to recognize
trends that could affect their overall sales. In fact, culinary entrepreneurs
who are even considering integrating seafood into their menu should keep track
of these trends. Here are some of the most important that are currently
Tide of Seafood Consumption Is Rising
there's one thing that restaurateurs who are considering offering several
seafood dishes should know, it's that seafood consumption in America is
currently rising. More and more people sitting at restaurant dining tables are
looking for these offerings, and there's a very good reason behind it: seafood
people continue to become more health conscious, they'll keep looking for
dining options that are both low in calories and healthier overall. In many
cases, they decide that this food is fish. It has a variety of health benefits,
so restaurateurs who opt to not offer seafood to those occupying the restaurant
cafe chairs are missing out on an entire subset of diners.
Rise of the Anti-GMO Movement
you ask the overwhelming majority of scientists, genetically modified foods,
usually referred to as GMOs, are just as healthy as any other food out there;
however, this hasn't stopped the rise of the anti-GMO movement. Fortunately for
restaurants that serve dishes containing background characters from Finding
Nemo, fish is naturally GMO-free.
was recently news of a GMO salmon hitting the market, but most eateries are
more concerned with keeping their restaurant furnishings in great condition
than ordering a new type of fish for the menu. Whether or not GMOs are safe
doesn't really matter if some patrons believe that they're not. In fact, it
wouldn't hurt to insert some “GMO-Free” labels in the menu copy.
Belly Is Catching On
it may seem like just another part of trout or bass, fish belly is actually a
meal that's really picking up steam in America. In fact, there was an 8.1
percent increase in menu mentions of the dish in the last three years alone.
most other seafood dishes, fish belly will appeal to health conscious diners.
Additionally, the meat is very sustainable, and mentioning that on the menu
will impress the new generation of diners, which is socially conscious. And in
the end, having healthy customers will put less stress on the cafe chairs
that Not All Fats Are Bad
years past, the simple mention of fatty foods was enough to turn away those trying
to eat healthy. With information now easily available at our fingertips,
though, this has changed. People realize that some fats, such as omega-3 fatty
acids, are actually healthy. What contains this healthy fat? Many types of
seafood, and this is especially the case for tuna, lake trout and salmon.
Trends come and go in the restaurant industry, but
seafood will likely only continue to grow in popularity. When it comes time to
pack every cafe chair in the restaurant, offering tasty and healthy seafood
isn't a bad way to go.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Friday, March 10, 2017
the tables for restaurant customers are full, culinary entrepreneurs can feel
on top of the world. But when it comes down to it, these times rarely last.
Every eatery has a slow season, and when this season rolls around can be
dependent on everything from negative food industry news to the month of the year. No restaurant is able to avoid these slower
months, but many survive the lull in patrons and carry on. In most cases, it's
because they utilize one or more of the following strategies.
a Loyalty Rewards Program
there's one thing that never goes out of season, it's consumers' love of
getting a great deal. Many restaurateurs offer loyalty rewards programs without
even realizing such a program can help fill the cafe chairs during slower
months. An individual who isn't motivated to eat out might just change their
mind if they know there's a free meal in store if they make just one more
visit. Take advantage of this normal behavior and keep revenue even in the
Up During Peak Months
restaurants in tourist destinations, which often see huge drops in revenue
during certain months, have times when they're doing great. It's in these
moments, when the tables for restaurants are in high demand, that managers need
to improve their savings behavior. Put as much revenue away as possible during
peak times, and when the slower months roll around, there won't be nearly as
much pressure to keeping the place running.
many consumers will slow down spending at restaurants during certain times of
the year, people still need to be entertained. With this in mind, restaurateurs
should focus on filling up their bar tables by hosting events. This could be
something as simple as setting up a trivia night once a week. Many eateries
also work with local charities to hold events and fundraisers at the
restaurant. Even if someone didn't plan on eating out on a certain day, they'll
undoubtedly make a purchase if they're already in a restaurant booth for a
Manage Labor Costs
costs are a huge expenditure for many restaurants, and some food and beverage
experts fail to reduce these costs during the slower months. There's no need to
have as many servers scheduled during the slow months as in the peak season.
This doesn't necessarily mean that a restaurateur should let people go, but
when it comes down to it, a reduction in shifts is common and expected for
those working in the industry.
few changes here or there to survive slow seasons can certainly be beneficial,
but in some instances, large modifications may be necessary. One increasingly
popular way of keeping revenue flowing, even during slower months, is offering
delivery service. The simple fact is that people, including those who want to
eat at home, are cooking less. Make sure they still have the option to enjoy a
great meal by bringing it to their doorstep or utilizing a third-party courier
business in every industry experiences seasonal lulls in revenue. Fortunately,
this doesn't have to be a company killer. For those focused on having tables
for restaurant customers full during the off-season, taking a few proactive
steps can go a long way.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Thursday, March 9, 2017
The essential tasks to running a successful restaurant are seemingly
never-ending. From securing the right local licenses to picking out the best
restaurant furniture booths, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. One of these
necessary tasks is creating an employee handbook. While this may not be
mandatory, it can definitely make an eatery run more efficiently and even
decrease liability. When creating such a handbook, though, it's essential to
focus on a few things.
Know What to Include
The number of things that a restaurateur could include in their
employee handbook is immense. There are a few things, however, that every
restaurant employee handbook should definitely have. These should include
time-off policies, workers' compensation information and non-discrimination
Some other vital policies that restaurateurs often forget are
attendance information, harassment policies, cell phone use and injury
reporting. Of course, culinary entrepreneurs are more well-versed in bar tables
and bistro chairs than handbook policies, so it never hurts to do a little
Know What Not to Include
Knowing what not to put in a restaurant employee handbook is almost as
important as knowing what to put in it. The words “permanent position,” for
instance, should never be used. While most business owners know what they mean
when saying this, employees may interpret the phrase as thinking they're as
permanent as the restaurant furniture booths.
The term “due process” should also be avoided. While it's good for
employees to be given ample opportunity to explain grievances or mistakes, it's
best not to promise that this will be a given. Additionally, one of the most
common mistakes in these manuals is the use of “probationary period.” This
gives trainees and new employees the belief that they're set to go after the
period. In many cases, though, additional training may be required or the
individual might not be right for the job.
Update Handbook When Necessary
Developing a restaurant employee handbook shouldn't be a one-time
process. Local laws will change, restaurateurs will improve upon policies,
unexpected issues may arise and employees might have questions that aren't
addressed in the original manual. If any of these things occur, an updated
handbook and a pre-shift employee meeting around the cafe tables is ideal.
Put It All to Good Use
Creating a great restaurant employee handbook is pointless if the staff
doesn't utilize it. This means each new employee should be given their own copy
of the handbook. Of course, this is no guarantee that they'll read it, so
having periodic quizzes both before and after training is a smart move.
Additionally, restaurateurs should get employees' signatures
acknowledging that they received a copy of the handbook. Finally, restaurant
owners need to ensure that they understand the manual as well and abide by the
rules when handling any issue that arises.
An in-depth employee handbook is one of the greatest tools a
restaurateur can have at their disposal. It ensures that everyone understands
the rules that must be followed, and it can even simplify the training process.
While filling the restaurant furniture booths might be priority one, having a
great handbook available never hurt an eatery.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
of how involved a restaurant manager is, it's likely that they don’t know much
about their employees. Sure they might know a server's favorite bistro chair
after a shift, or even if an employee is attending school, but it's difficult
to find time to really get to know restaurant staff. Of course, this isn't
really a necessity for running a successful restaurant, but if a culinary
entrepreneur better understands their employees, it becomes easier to help them
succeed in their positions.
Cooks Likely Have Huge Egos
no doubt that line cooks and chefs are an integral part to making an eatery
successful. After all, having every restaurant booth in the place packed isn't
as exciting if the kitchen is backed up and entrees are taking a long time to
hit the tables. Cooks are part of a well-oiled machine, which includes
hostesses, waiters and busboys, where every part is essential to a successful
business. As it turns out, though, the cooks might just think they're a little
is a company that helps businesses set salary levels, and they recently did a
study on egos in different professions. While private cooks have the biggest
egos – maybe because they can afford their own bistro chairs – chefs and head
cooks came in at No. 7 among all professions. In fact, they had the highest
egos when compared to other employees in restaurants.
if a cook asks for a raise, they probably actually think they have earned it.
Waitstaff Might Just Be Struggling
many people view waiting on bar tables and booths as a final career goal. This
is why many servers are actually young people just getting out of school or
entering college. More and more, however, older adults are entering the
industry. What restaurateurs need to keep in mind, though, is that it's
unlikely the high pay in restaurants is what attracted them.
because waitstaff doesn't actually earn that much. In fact, the actual average
income for servers is just under $21,000. While this may not seem that bad in
some lower-income areas, it's actually just above the federal poverty line for
a parent with two children. Restaurateurs can probably take a seat at their
bistro chairs, look around and point out at least three servers that meet this
restaurant owners try to combat this by paying servers more and eliminating
of Your Employees Aren't Happy
the aforementioned pay scale for servers, it's really no surprise that there
would be unhappy employees in an eatery. Few restaurateurs understand, though,
just how bad the issue is. A recent study out of Minnesota found that over half
of restaurant employees ranked low for job satisfaction. This is very telling
since minimum wage for servers in the state is over $7. Keep this in mind when
considering time off, employee events, and other benefits that the staff
every bistro chair and restaurant dining set full means nothing if a
restaurant's employees aren't motivated. Fortunately, by understanding just a
little more about his or her employees, a restaurateur will be better prepared
to create productive employees.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
at home, most individuals throw together a meal without thinking of food
safety. Sure, they'll cook foods to a safe temperature and wash their hands
after handling raw meat, but that's essentially where it ends. When serving
individuals in restaurant booths, though, far more safety precautions must be
taken. A single incident of patrons getting food poisoning can destroy a
restaurant's reputation, so it's essential to implement these safety tips to
keep the eatery running smoothly.
Emphasis on Cross-Contamination
of the biggest food dangers in any restaurant is cross-contamination. Simply
having an uncooked steak near a piece of unrelated commercial restaurant
equipment can result in bacteria spreading to a patron's meal. While cooking
food to the appropriate temperature eliminates most bacteria, this means little
if cross-contamination occurred at some point.
combat this, many restaurateurs have color-coded knives, cutting boards and
other equipment in their eatery. Eggs and raw meat should never come into
contact with utensils or dishes that are used with vegetables and other foods.
It's even imperative to keep veggies away from the sink that meat is rinsed in,
and washing hands and food prep items can prevent the spread of disease.
Safety Training Programs Should Be Engaging
large portion of employees in the food and beverage industry are under the age
of 25. Because of this, their main goal is likely to get off work and have a
beer in another eatery's restaurant booths. This means that employee training
on food safety needs to be engaging. If it's not, the most important priorities
could go in one ear and out the other.
restaurateurs make their training more engaging by utilizing learning aids such
as comics, games, videos and colorful posters to accomplish this. Some
restaurant owners have even taken the seemingly drastic step of showing their
cooks images of children who have died thanks to contracting foodborne germs.
Whatever it takes to keep their attention is well worth it.
Tabs on Food Holding Temperatures
foodborne illnesses isn't always about cooking foods to the right temperature
and preventing cross-contamination. In fact, a patron sitting at a bistro chair
can get sick just as quickly from a food that wasn't held at the right
temperature as from an undercooked piece of chicken.
Sadly, improper food holding results in bigger risks for restaurants than any
other potential foodborne mishap.
most cases, ingredients and food are either supposed to be kept above 135
degrees or below 41 degrees. There's plenty of restaurant equipment that does
just that, but it's not enough to simply trust that the job is being done.
Employees should be mandated to periodically check the food temperature of
materials held in this equipment. A simple problem with the equipment can lead
to big restaurant headaches.
filling up the restaurant booths may seem like priority one for any budding
culinary entrepreneur, this can quickly backfire if enough attention isn't paid
to food safety. Any type of cross-contamination or other mishap on a busy night
can lead to dozens of patrons falling ill. This must be avoided at all costs,
so following proper food safety protocol is a must.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Monday, March 6, 2017
of whether a company has restaurant furniture or diesel fuel pumps, they have
to worry about the credit card security of their customers. When data leaks
occur, they can quickly make the evening news. And if a restaurant's patrons
feel their data is no longer secure, it's highly likely that they'll start
frequenting another establishment. Fortunately, there are a variety of security
measures that restaurateurs can take to protect themselves and their patrons.
a No Cell Phone Policy for Servers
culinary entrepreneur wants to believe they've hired honest employees.
Unfortunately, statistics actually show that “insiders,” or those who are
supposed to have access to the data, are the biggest current security threat.
This means that if someone's credit card information is stolen in a restaurant,
there's a good chance it was by someone who will be wiping down the bar tables
is why it's a good idea for restaurateurs to have “no cell phone” policies.
Some eateries have even gone the distance of requiring servers to lock their
cell phones up in the office desk or lockers before hitting the floor. It only
takes a few seconds to snap a couple shots of the information on a card. Having
this policy in place will reduce the likelihood of it occurring.
Using Chip Readers
years, restaurants have been using credit card machines that require only a
simple swipe. The new credit and debit cards with chips, however, add an
additional layer of security. These chips follow a standard known as “EMV,” and
every business in America should be using them. Aside from protecting patrons'
data, it also removes some liability from restaurants if someone does misuse a
Ask for Identification
would be much easier if there was some piece of commercial restaurant equipment
that could immediately verify a person's identity. Since that technology
doesn't exist, though, it's important to ask for a customer's ID if they're
paying with a card.
rules often dictate that businesses must accept a card, even without an ID, if
that card has been signed on the back. This means that, if someone refuses to
show their driver’s license, it may be necessary to accept the payment anyway.
Luckily, many criminals don't actually know this, and most people will
appreciate the added security.
Employees Familiar with the Payment System
employees may be the biggest threat against credit card security, there are
certainly individuals from outside the restaurant who would love to gain this
information. Sadly, there are pieces of hardware they could easily attach to
terminals which would steal credit card numbers.
only takes moments to attach these readers, so it could happen without anyone
even noticing. This is why all employees should be familiar with the credit
card machines. If they know exactly what they're supposed to look like, there's
a better chance they'll take note of something that's not supposed to be there.
up the restaurant furniture isn't the only important aspect of running an
eatery, and if you're unable to protect your patrons' credit card numbers, that
furniture will empty out quickly. Utilize the aforementioned steps and avoid
the headaches of dealing with credit card companies, law enforcement agencies
and angry customers.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Friday, February 24, 2017
a restaurant with great food, beautiful restaurant furnishings and a perfect
location. Now imagine it failing. If this were to occur, it would most likely be
due to an imperfect marketing strategy. What once only required a nice sign and
a newspaper ad now must include digital marketing, and social media is the
platform that more and more restaurateurs are focusing on. Even with a great
restaurant social media strategy, though, it's possible to improve upon it by
utilizing the help of employees.
a Brand Persona
great content will undoubtedly result in improved social media reach. In fact,
employees may very well share this content even if it's shared with no
additional narrative. To really get workers engaged, though, restaurateurs need
to create a brand persona and stick with it.
this will promote the image that patrons are engaged with real people rather
than a marketer, and numerous studies show that this increases social media
reach. Even better is the fact that restaurant employees will be more inclined
to share content with a friendly brand persona rather than bland content that
seems focused only on filling the restaurant booths.
of the best ways to get anything done is to provide an incentive. Even
employees who want to keep their work and personal lives entirely separate will
get engaged at this point. One idea is to host a contest where the staff member
who gets the most people to come in on a certain day gets a paid holiday or
informing employees of the contest, suggest that they share a certain social
media post from the main Facebook page. If this doesn't get staff members
geared up to help fill the restaurant furnishings, nothing will.
Employees to Create Content
matter how hard a budding culinary entrepreneur tries, it's going to be
difficult to get employees to act as social media advocates if they're only
bystanders. This is why more business owners are allowing their workers to
create content and then following up by sharing it on social media.
could include photos taken behind the scenes, videos of patrons at bar tables
having a blast or even important causes that the staff cares about. As it turns
out, getting restaurant employees engaged on social media is often as simple as
actively engaging with them.
Workers the Fruits of their Labor
a restaurant shares a piece of content created by, or related to, a certain
employee, that staff member can see how many “likes,” shares or comments it
received. What they can't see, however, is the true engagement.
many additional people followed the page because of it? How many people
actually clicked on the link? These are analytics that only the administrator
of the social media page can see. By sharing these stats with employees,
they'll know that they actually had an impact on the page. This in itself is
often enough to encourage further engagement and advocacy.
media marketing is much more than a trend. With over a billion users on
Facebook alone, it's obvious that these social platforms are going somewhere.
Considering this truth, there's no reason to not use employees to help fill up
restaurant furnishings with the help of social media.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Thursday, February 23, 2017
have quickly become the largest age cohort in America, so marketing to them is
a necessity. Getting these young adults seated at a restaurant's cafe chairs is
obviously ideal, but research has shown that Millennials often enjoy getting
takeout or delivery far more than dining in. Because of this personal choice,
restaurateurs need to focus on reaching out to the group on this level.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to accomplish this.
Offer Subpar Delivery
are countless restaurants who do delivery right. Of course, there are many
others who don't. Just because someone isn't seated at the bar tables doesn't
make them less important. Restaurateurs who offer delivery service need to make
sure they do it right. Most Millennials have listed “speed” as the main
consideration when choosing who to order from, so an eatery needs to make sure
they can get the food out quickly. Treat delivery customers as if they were
dining in, and they'll keep coming back.
the Option to Order Online
Generation Z may have been born into a digital world, Millennials were the
first to experience it. This makes them digital natives, and restaurateurs need
to remember this when appealing to the cohort. This means that offering online
ordering is an absolute necessity.
adults like to do things on the go, and whether they're studying at home or
heading that way on the train, they often take to the internet to satiate their
appetite. More often than not, Millennials will bypass a restaurant that
doesn't offer online ordering of some kind, and if they aren't enjoying their
digital experience with an eatery, it's likely they'll never occupy the
establishment's cafe chairs.
Pickup a Convenience
Millennials stop by a restaurant to pick up their food, they're not hoping to
spend all day there. After a patron calls in, make sure to quote them a
realistic pickup time. Additionally, make their visit a convenient experience.
If possible, have a curbside pickup area for people to park—and having staff
take food directly to the car is a popular perk. It's also essential to invest
in sturdy takeout supplies and those that are more convenient—such as takeout
bags with handles rather than simply folded-over flaps.
restaurateurs who provide takeout simply ask patrons to grab a restaurant booth
or sit at the bar and wait for someone to help them. While this strategy is
widely used, it also results in people having to sit and
wait as if they were dining in. Instead, it's best to have devoted staff
members who only handle takeout orders on any given day. This ensures prompt
service, and in the end, that's exactly what Millennials expect from the
restaurants they love.
if someone orders delivery or takeout from a restaurant, impressing them in
this area invariably results in their occupying a booth or cafe chair one day
in the future. Millennials expect a lot from the companies they do business
with, but they're not actually a hard bunch to impress. By following the
aforementioned steps, a restaurateur will attract Millennials at an impressive