Month: November 2014

When a business can meet the needs of its customers, it’s successful. It seems obvious, but that’s the point driven home by the transportation start-up company Uber, which has disrupted the taxi industry by giving consumers exactly what they’re looking for in a convenient package (in this case, a revolutionary app).

Restaurant owners and managers can benefit from following Uber’s strategies. Everyone is familiar with basics like matching supply and demand, but more questions need to be asked. Are there any problems consumers are facing, and how can those issues be resolved? Are there particular things customers keep coming back for?

Personal human interactions are also important because they establish connections and loyalty. The experience the consumer has could be the most important piece of the puzzle, and the product or service is more likely to be successful if it fits the consumer’s lifestyle.

Don’t leave out the employees, though. If your employees feel secure, they’ll pass the good vibes onto the customer.

Read the full article here: How to Be the Uber of Fast Food

News

The increase in minimum wage is an inevitability that’s going to impact food service in a big way. Four states have already approved a gradual increase over the next few years, and public opinion says that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, it also means restaurants will need to make some changes to offset labor costs and that has people talking.

Minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage. It’s meant for entry level positions, and if the employee is capable they get a raise and climb the ladder. That’s how the system is supposed to work. While an increase in the minimum is necessary (and long overdue), increasing it too fast could spell serious trouble for businesses.

Restaurants are looking for ways to save pennies, including raising menu and delivery prices, though many are looking at cutting costs in other ways such as upgrading to efficient technologies.

It’s important to examine all options and prepare for what’s on the horizon. It’s likely the wage increase will help stimulate the economy, but there are still a few more dishes to be washed first.

Read the full article here: Minimum wage: how restaurants are responding to the ‘inevitable’

Commentary

Serving is tough work with a lot of factors beyond your control, but there are some things you can do that will get you through the day faster with more money in your pocket (and maybe even a smile on your face).

Some are common sense, like being clean and not dressing like a hobo. Others you might not think of, such as getting a good pair of comfortable non-slip shoes, and never allowing a customer to see you standing idly or looking at your phone.

Good service means happy customers, and happy customers put more money in your pocket!

Read the full article here: 9 Tips for Servers by Servers Who Have Been There

News

Marketing just got a lot more intimate.

“Dating” your customers is the savvy way to approach marketing to Millennials, the young adults who make up a quarter of the current U.S. population. The analogy is a good one – customers sometimes get bored and “break up” with a brand, just as they might with a partner.

You don’t have to hand out chocolates and teddy bears to get your customers to like you (though it’s an option), but there are strategies you can put in play to catch the eye of these savvy consumers and keep them coming back for more.

Jeff Fromm and Greg Vodicka know all about wooing customers and getting them to fall in love with your business. They put together a list of tips that will pull people in and hold them close. The list including basics like honesty and transparency but also the idea of offering experiences and adventures.

To appeal to the next generation, keeping things fast and interesting is the way to go!

Read the full article here: 7 tips for getting Millennials to stay in love with your brand

News

In the restaurant field, food is everything. You’re literally surrounded by it. It’s easy to take the bounty for granted, and combined with the distractions of technology and the progression of society, it’s easy to forget there are still some serious problems with the system.

One of those is child hunger, which is still a very real problem in the modern world.

A small taco chain located in California has been doing their part to raise money and awareness for this issue. Through a donation drive, Chronic Tacos raised $10,000 for No Kid Hungry, a charity with a mission to feed hungry families. Chronic Tacos held an event that featured celebrities and entertainment to bring in the cash, as well as other fundraising events throughout September.

MTV star Wee Man played a major part in the campaign as he owns one of the restaurants.

The pay-it-forward mentality can really stick with consumers because they feel like they’re contributing to a larger cause (and they are). Hungry kids get to eat, and those fuzzy feelings mean happy, repeat customers. Win win!

Read the full article here: Chronic Tacos donates $10,000 to No Kid Hungry

Commentary

Square, the company that provided us with a handy on-the-go mobile card reader, has an exciting new application. Square Register is a free point of sale app that can be loaded on both Android and iOS smart phones and tablets.

The app is cloud-based and can track sales and manage inventory, provide digital receipts, and create real time data charts. It features over 100 recognized currencies, and the app works alongside other Square apps, allowing you more control over your business.

Read the full article here: Square launches free POS app

News

Applying to a job at Chipotle just got super easy.

The restaurant chain has partnered with Jibe to put forth a mobile app to make applying for a position a purely digital experience. Location services and easy resume input options take care of most of the work.

Chipotle saw roughly 5,000 mobile applications during the first week of service, in both restaurant and corporate positions.

Read the full article here: Chipotle launches mobile job application platform

News

I grew up in Minnesota where I was surrounded by woods, lakes, and Native American culture. It’s no surprise to me that Minneapolis was the destination chosen for a restaurant bent on celebrating North America’s early heritage.

Sen Sherman, a native son of Pine Ridge Reservation, is opening his restaurant Sioux Chef in December. It will serve only traditional Native American dishes. His focus is on creating meals as they would have been served before colonization began.

Fish and wild rice were delicious staples of my Minnesota diet, and both make up a large part of northern Native American cuisine. I hope others will follow Sherman’s lead and open the country to good food and culture they may have otherwise passed by.

Read the full article here: Chef Goes Old School with ‘Pre-Colonization’ Menu at New Native American Restaurant

Commentary

Macaroni Grill, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Brio Tuscan Grille, Olive Garden and others are seeing a decline in sales likely due to the gluten-free diet craze.

The NPD Group has stated that a third of consumers are cutting back on gluten and 11 percent are gluten-free. Most have not been diagnosed with a gluten-intolerant disease.

Most pasta contains a lot of gluten, and with 41 percent of adults believing gluten-free foods are desirable, Italian chains could continue to see a decline in customers.

Read the full article here: Gluten-free diets might be hurting Italian chains

News

Every good restaurant needs a good first aid kit that can be used for staff and patrons alike.

Medshop Australia has created an infographic that gives a great overview of the kind of stuff that should go into one, including bandages, adhesive tape, compresses, antiseptic, gloves, burn treatment, and OTC medications.

Make sure to keep it somewhere easily accessible but out of reach of children!

Read the full article here: The Modern First Aid Box for Every Restaurant

News