Free: Restaurant Industry, Hospitality, and Foodservice Discussion Forums

If you would like to hear how others in the restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice industry feel about a topic, then visiting and/or participating in a discussion forum can be very helpful. While there are some fee-based membership forums for restaurant owners, here are some message boards where restaurant folks are talking for free:

Foodservice.com’s Industry Discussion Forums

sample forums:
Restaurant Biz Talk
TechTalk – Restaurant POS / Software
Chefs and Cooks Corner

Chef2Chef’s Professional Community Forums

sample forums:
Ask a Chef! Get an Answer!
Restaurant Equipment Forum
Wine Beer Spirit and Beverage Forum

Topix’s Restaurant Management Forum
Restaurant Report’s “The Great Debates” and “Question & Answer
StarChefs’ Message Board

ChefTalk’s Cooking Forums
Atlanta Cuisine’s Restaurant Talk

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

Article: “10 Tactics for Driving F&B Sales”

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excerpt:
“Delivering measurable increases in food and beverage revenues can be achieved with simple restaurant promotional techniques available to big budgets and shoestring marketers alike. There are thousands of possible tactics you can employ to drive revenues without any reliance on mass media advertising.

Here are 10 of the best restaurant promotion ideas to get your own creative marketing wheels turning:

Restaurant Promotions Tactic 1. Publicity stunts – Stunt is a word with negative connotations for restaurant owners, but I wanted to use a word that conjured up images that are different than traditional press relations efforts…”

source: “10 Tactics for Driving F&B Sales” (Quantified Marketing Group)

Quantified Marketing Group has an archive of restaurant marketing articles, here are some sample topics:

Restaurant Marketing Plan
Best Practices in Email Marketing
Restaurant Positioning

link: Quantified Marketing Group’s Restaurant Marketing Articles

QMG also offers a free newsletter which offers advice about restaurant marketing.
Click here for the July 06 newsletter.

Resource: Restaurant Associations Around the World

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As a restaurant owner, you can never tell where you might find useful advice. Here are some resources provided by restaurant associations around the world:

Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

sample article titles:
Top 20 factors for success in the restaurant business
Choosing an effective accounting or cost management software for your restaurant
Estimating the value or worth of your business
Controlling alcohol spillage and shrinkage

link: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Restaurant & Catering Australia

sample article summaries:
March/April 2005 – SALE AWAY – A POS system is a valuable tool to keep orders charged, stock counted and customers satisfied

May/June 2005 – CALL TO ORDER – The must have accessory by the wait staff is electronic order pads but are these handheld units as functional as mounted terminals?

May/June 2005 – UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE – An Auckland restaurant has found that an out-of-date website can be very expensive.

link: Restaurant & Catering Australia’s Technology Update

related link: Restaurant.org’s list of international restaurant associations

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.

Resource: FHG International’s Article Archive

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“FHG International Inc., is a Canadian based boutique consulting firm specializing in the foodservice, franchise and hospitality industries.

…FHG has worked with clients to developed successful restaurant, franchise and hospitality businesses, conduct operational reviews, feasibility studies, market research, corporate restructuring, strategic planning, master planning, valuations and litigation support.”

link: FHG International’s Article Archive

sample titles:
Menu Planning: A Systematic Methodology
Marketing By Design
Service Timetable – A practical guide to efficient service

also available for free:
Book – “Restaurant Staff Service Tips”
Software – “MENUMANAGER¬©”

Web Site: Tip20! – Waiters, Waitresses, Bar Tenders and Service Industry Professionals Resource

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“Tip20!com is the internet’s number one resource for service industry information, tipping practices and industry standards. Please select the category below that suits your needs. Please feel free to browse all categories and give yourself an education in all of the different pieces that make up restaurant and bar industry.”

link: Tip20!com

Article archive includes the folliowing titles:
Scheduling Basics for Restaurant Managers
Scheduling for Slackers
Office Romance

link: Tip20.com Article Archive