Article: “How to increase your prices” (Aug.2006)

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excerpt:
“The thought of price increases causes anxiety for many operators. But clever pricing is a great opportunity to practise your marketing skills, build your reputation and increase your profits.

When inflation was high, price rises were almost a sport – now they’ve become an agonising debate. One thing’s for sure – you live by price and you die by price. Operators still holding the price of meals to what they were 12 months ago are bearing the brunt of massive increases in the cost of fuel and ingredients. Profitability is suffering.

So how do you put up prices with confidence and style?”

source: “How to increase your prices” (ProfitableHospitality.com, Aug.2006) [public access til Aug.19th]

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Article: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“I should be relaxing during these dog days of summer, but big questions plague my overheated mind. I get picky, picky, picky and wonder:

Why don’t people who write restaurant menus use spell-checker or have someone proofread them before they print them? I constantly catch spelling and grammatical errors among the starters and entrees. When I see “prosciutto wrapped shrimp,” I wonder why there isn’t a hyphen connecting the modifiers, i.e., “prosciutto-wrapped.”

It makes me think there are other details that have slipped below the management’s radar…”

source: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” by John Lehndorff (Rocky Mountain News, Aug.4,2006)

related link:
Resource: Customers list their restaurant pet peeves and annoyances [WaiterBell Blog]

Article: “Key to great service is avoiding the 12 fatal flaws” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“When plotting service strategy and delivery, too many operators, managers and trainers focus on what they should “do” for their guests. I think it’s just as instructive and illuminating to define first what not to do. In other words, do you know what you don’t know that you don’t know?

So let’s take a closer look at what not to do to the guest and examine the fatal flaws of service-giving as seen through the customer’s lens. Eliminate these service blunders, and you may no longer have the need to “teach” service at all, because your customers will have a consistent experience characterized by the absence of complaints…”

source: “Key to great service is avoiding the 12 fatal flaws” by Jim Sullivan (Nation’s Restaurant News, Jul.31,2006) [free registration req.]

Resource: AllFoodBusiness.com’s List of Free Restaurant Checklists, Forms, and Posters

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AllFoodBusiness.com has an incredible list of links to free restaurant checklists, forms, and posters for owners and managers. This site is a wonderful resource for anyone in the restaurant business and deserves further exploring. They have collected links from all over the internet and made it easy to find information.

sample titles:
Restaurant Market Analysis
Guidelines for Storing Frozen Foods
Manual Dishwashing Procedures Poster
Employee dismissal form

link: AllFoodBusiness.com’s Restaurant Forms and Checklists

You may need a free Adobe Acrobat PDF reader to view some of the documents.

The site is filled with free articles, resources, and advice. It is a site that is using the internet to help all restaurant owners improve their operations and share knowledge.

Article: “Turning the Tables” (Jan.2005)

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excerpt:
“Is there really a war raging between management and staff, with waiters and bartenders trying to rob both their bosses and me? Or is DeGlinkta a huckster painting the restaurant industry in the worst possible light to sell his book? And how much scamming is there, anyway?

“Unfortunately, it’s too prevalent,” says the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Tom Weatherly. “Restaurants have all the disadvantages of every small business and then plus some. We’re a very labor-intensive industry; we handle a lot of cash, a lot of credit card charges. The biggest bulk of the problem is from employees,” he says.

Mel Ziegler is president of the Bourbon Street Merchants Association and owns several French Quarter restaurants. “Waiters and bartenders are an unbelievable breed,” he says. “A waiter or bartender can really f–k over a place.” He practices constant vigilance in his establishments. “You have to think like a thief and then think like a better thief, because once you close that one loophole they’re going to open up another.”

source: “Turning the Tables” by Todd A. Price (Gambit Weekly, Jan.1,2005) [Google cached copy]

related links:
Ask the Scam Oracle
“Bar Scams – you snooze, you lose” (FHGI.com)

Article: “Designs on menus” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“Diners may regard a menu as little more than a restaurant’s bill of fare, but chefs and owners know these deceptively simple-looking lists are layered with significance.

…Experts agree.

“The menu is probably the single most important piece of marketing [a restaurant] will ever produce,” says Isidore Kharasch, president of Hospitality Works Inc., a restaurant consulting firm in Deerfield. “What they do with it can make a big difference in how people spend money, how they perceive the restaurant–it’s really the whole package.”

source: “Designs on menus” by Janet Franz (Chicago Tribune, Jun.29,2006)

Article: “Laptop Critics:Where the Web’s Foodies Dish” (Jun.2006)

 

excerpt:
"When Nell Ingerman recently discovered that her favorite neighborhood restaurant — a Mexican place in Manhattan called Baby Bo's Cantina — had boosted prices and swapped enchiladas for wild salmon, she was outraged. She planned to collect complaints and present them to the manager.

But she didn't have to. The restaurant's owner, Bo Quijano, emailed her and promised to bring the old menu back. He'd read a message she'd posted on a popular foodie Internet Web site called Chowhound.com. He even posted an apology, confessing that in a good-faith effort to improve the menu, "I simply got carried away."

To the chagrin of some restaurants and professional food critics, a lot of the most influential — and opinionated — advice on where to eat these days comes from Web sites and blogs…"

source: "Laptop Critics:Where the Web's Foodies Dish" by Steve Stecklow (Wall Street Journal, Jun.17,2006)