Article: “”Name game: Chefs who give their food silly names may not be so foolish.”

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excerpt:
“The grosser a dish sounds the better. That’s the philosophy some chefs are adopting when coming up with names for dishes on their menu. From Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad to Debris Sandwich, chefs are giving food a bad name. Luckily, they’ve been able to convince customers the dishes taste better than they sound, and for many, the marketing gimmick has paid off.

San Pedro chef/co-owner Michael Goodman created the Fat Boy Man Salad at home a few years ago, when he wanted to eat more nutritiously. His vegetarian creation consisted of baby field greens, carrots, grape tomatoes, beets and green beans. It tasted terrific, but Goodman found it wasn’t enough to satisfy his hunger. Soon, he began super-sizing it.

“It was obnoxiously large,” says Goodman. “People started calling it the Fat Boy Man Salad.”

source: “Name game: Chefs who give their food silly names may not be so foolish.” by Nancy Ngo (Pioneer Press, Aug.3.2006)

Press Release: “MealAgent Launches National Free Online Food Ordering Website” (Jun.,2006)

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excerpt:
“A new website is now offering restaurants around the country free online food ordering for their customers. MealAgent.com provides a customizable, web-based take-out interface that is free to both restaurants and to their customers: people ordering food are never charged, and restaurants are only charged for extra services.

MealAgent believes that every restaurant should be able to have a web presence and that people should be able to easily order from their favorite restaurants without having to pick up a phone…”

source: “MealAgent Launches National Free Online Food Ordering Website” (Meal Agent, Jun.21,2006) [press release]

MealAgent is able to send orders to restaurants via:

  • Fax
  • Email
  • SMS Cellphone Message
  • Alpha Pager
  • Supported POS Systems

link: MealAgent

Other companies providing related services:
Waiter on Wheels
Waiter.com
Delivery.com
Ehungry.com

Resource: Restaurant Resource Group’s Archived List of Featured Articles & QuickBooks Tips

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RRG – Restaurant Resource Group provides financial management tools and support services. The site contains fee-based information, services, and products, but their site also has a free “Tips & Articles” section with many interesting pieces.

Here are samples titles:
“10” Restaurant Financial Red Flags
Counting Your Beans with Confidence…A QuickBooks Primer for the Startup Restaurateur
How To Win The Menu Pricing Game
Restaurant Marketing: An Art and Science

link: RRG’s Archived List of Featured Articles & QuickBooks Tips

Software: MenuManager (FHG International)

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excerpt:
“MENUMANAGER¬© is a user-friendly software program which can assist restaurant managers reduce their food costs, increase product consistency and reduce considerable time of manual bookkeeping.

While the program has several sophisticated aspects which enable the restaurateur to access and manipulate a plethora of information which will be the basis for better decision making, the restaurateur need only use one of the nine reports to immediately experience a time and cost saving.

The program allows you to develop a series of controls and standards over food cost and quality which have not been available before…”

link: MenuManager (FHG International) [free download link is on the bottom of the page]

Article: “Independent Restaurants, Lose the Chains” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“You’re ready for the grand opening of your all-American burger joint when you learn McDonald’s is moving in next door. What do you do? Don’t panic. There are a number of steps you can take to give your independent restaurant the edge it needs to take on a chain.

“The number one way small businesses can compete with chains is by nurturing the relationships they have with the customer,” says Joe Erickson, editor of RestaurantOwner.com, an online resource and networking tool for independent restaurateurs. “Collect their names, birthdays, anniversaries, and their specific likes, and use that [information] to start a direct mail campaign….”

source: “Independent Restaurants, Lose the Chains” by Douglas MacMillan (BusinessWeek,Jun.29,2006)

related segment:

An Edible Game Plan

There are a slew of ways to compete with franchises, according to 10 independent restaurateurs around the country…(click here for more)

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)