Month: February 2015

Strawberries will be in season soon, and if you take advantage of this sweet seasonal fruit you could see increased traffic to your business.

Studies show consumers are eating more strawberries than ever before, with over half enjoying them at least once a week. Strawberry season begins in April, and May is National Strawberry Month. Consider adding a strawberry promotion to your marketing line-up this spring!

Read the full article here: California Strawberries Refresh Spring Menus

News

It seems like articles and news are always focusing on negative serving experiences and rude customers, but there are plenty of well-mannered, respectful diners who are more than happy to follow polite restaurant etiquette and tip well. Don’t you think they deserve some recognition?

Rewarding good customers can reinforce their positive behavior. This not only leads to greater customer satisfaction, good reviews, and repeat customers, but it also encourages others to be good customers too.

An idea put forth by iamwaitress.com calls for certificates of recognition to be given to tables who show excellent restaurant behavior. They could contain a gift certificate as well, but I don’t think that’s entirely necessary to get the point across that you appreciate their polite business.

Doesn’t that sound like a great idea?

Read the full article here: Let’s Give a Shout Out to the Good Tables for Once!

Commentary

It seems like the price of everything is rising these days, and that’s especially true for restaurants as food and labor costs continue to climb. However, these increases are being offset by a huge surge in sales as the economy recovers and that’s creating balance that’s likely to continue.

This article from Nation’s Restaurant News explores this topic in depth. The future is bright!

Read the full article here: Restaurant costs are up, but so are sales

 

News

Traditionally fast casual and quick service restaurants have relied on a number system and staff to deliver food from the kitchen to the customer’s table, but sometimes it takes a while to locate the customer, especially in large establishments. RFID technology allows the host to pinpoint exactly where the customer is, which speeds up the process significantly.

Read the full article here: QSRs, fast casuals provide table service with RFID technology

News

To successfully market your brand, you have to know your customer. There are many marketing strategies that focus on this idea. This article at QSR Web focuses on using empathy to connect with your customers on a personal level by striving to understand their experience outside of your brand relationship.

Consumers want to build these brand relationships, and by empathizing with their experience you can better understand what drives them to certain brands, how to take negative feedback and turn it into a positive opportunity, and increase customer referrals.

A good way to develop this customer relationship is by creating an empathy map to help you understand how your customers see the world and what their place in it is. You can figure out what drives them to spend their money where they do, and see if your brand can alleviate any particular “pain points” in their lives.

Read the full article here: Understanding Empathy and Your Brand

Commentary

Roughly 8,000 restaurants report fires each year. Fires are incredibly destructive, and with open cooking flames, hot oils and cleaning chemicals common in restaurant kitchens, the danger is real. This article from FSR has some tips on how to prevent a catastrophic fire from starting in your restaurant, and how to deal with one if the unthinkable happens.

Read the full article here: Preventing and Recovering From Fires

News

If you want to charge more for your menu items without scaring off your customers, the answer could be as simple as crafting longer, enticing names and descriptions for your food.

Words like “exotic” and “spices” tend to increase item prices as well. This article from Mercury News explores how language affects menu prices as well as patterns in the way people write restaurant reviews.

Read the full article here: Menu descriptions an exotic language of their own

News

When working in the service industry, you’re bound to encounter some interesting characters on the job. Every once in a while a party comes along that you won’t soon forget, and that’s what happened to this server over at Dinners From Hell. I hope you never have to deal with something like this at your restaurant!

A group of people dressed in shabby clothes for a supposed birthday party made the server’s night one to remember. It’s obvious they had a plan to get a free meal as they loudly proclaimed all the food was bad and made exaggerated motions that made the staff uncomfortable. They even went so far as to insult the restaurant and staff, and caused a scene with the manager before leaving with a comped meal.

It seems this group was probably homeless and on drugs. If you work in the DTLA area be aware that these people are out there!

For the entire entertaining story, read the full article here: Dysfunctional Diners at DTLA Restaurant

Commentary

When you work in food service, you could end up dating there too. Similar hours and common ground bring people together. Your restaurant’s cook or chef could be your ticket to love city! This article at Shiftgig features a few things you should know before you ask one out.

Chefs typically make a competitive salary and as they nurture their skills, there’s a lot of room to grow in the career. It’s likely they receive paid holidays and sick leave too. While the hours can be tough, one big perk is that they really know how to cook!

Read the full article here: 5 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Chef

News

Zagat’s Dining Trends 2015 survey results are out, and they’re fascinating! Americans, on average, spend almost $40 per person when dining out and tip between 18 and 20 percent. People are eating out an average of 4.5 times per week.

Food trends are another interesting area. It looks like many Americans are over the bacon obsession, but beets and Brussels sprouts are taking center stage.

Read the full article here: The State of American Dining in 2015

News