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  • What your restaurant design says about your brand
    that a playful or calming environment designed to improve operational efficiency can evoke some of these positive emotions In a recent interview with Jason Kaiman owner of Picnic one of Toronto s newest grab and go sandwich concepts he explained that his decision to hire an interior design firm came from a desire to improve the strength of his brand I hired both the ad agency and Burdifilek early in the process so everything was done collaboratively says Kaiman Together we developed the name the identity the packaging and scouted the primary locations Size matters The brand conversation applies to restaurants of all sizes from the independents to the national chains from quick service to full service It is a fully integrated process that requires time and attention to detail Kaiman stresses the importance of design for the first location of Picnic because it sets the tone for the brand and shapes how other locations will look and feel across the country to different demographics Another excellent example of brand consistency in the design process is Stratus Winery This independent winery in Niagara on the Lake Ont integrated its identity through a variety of spaces within a single building The owner and operators collaborated with an interior design firm to ensure that their tasting rooms retail gallery and wine cellar on view for tours would reinforce a strong and consistent message of quality of life through quality product and experience It is important to understand how every minute detail of a space will influence the customer from the overall interior architecture right down to the bottles and labels and convey your identity in a way that builds confidence in your brand Establishing this kind of trust and relationship with your customers is a valuable by product of consistent branding throughout your business be it an independent restaurant or a national chain Stay ahead of the curve According to research presented by fsSTRATEGY and The NPD Group the retail foodservice category is becoming increasingly competitive as consumers continue to be driven by convenience Many big name retail brands have leapt at opportunities to enter the restaurant and hospitality industries and represent a new challenge for existing restaurant operators Clothing store Club Monaco was among the first retail businesses in Canada to catch on deciding nearly 10 years ago to optimize their prime property on Bloor Street West in Toronto to create an open air café Quick service and full service restaurants are now in a position of increased competition from this new and developing category that has caught the attention of brands worldwide popping up in France Japan the U S and the Middle East One way to stay ahead of the curve in this increasingly global and complex marketplace is to improve your restaurant s overall experience through improved design fsSTRATEGY and The NPD Group state that with 65 per cent of Canadians out of home dining occasions taking place at quick service restaurants there is a focus on promoting

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/restaurantdesignsaysaboutbrand.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Trends in sustainable food trucks
    only which brings the added environmental pitfall of extra waste from food containers napkins and beverage containers Energy use provides another challenge food trucks are essentially running off the grid which means they often rely on generators that run on fossil fuels usually propane in addition to the fuel used to travel to and from their daily destinations Fortunately many dedicated mobile restaurateurs are committed to running a sustainable business accepting the challenges of doing so from a food truck In order to achieve a sustainable food truck focus must be placed on the worst offenders first waste and energy Although there is no space for washing reusable dishware food trucks can be creative in reducing takeout waste Offering locally filtered water to customers that bring their own bottles avoids the sale of bottled water and offering discount incentives to customers who bring their own utensils and containers can have a dramatic impact The waste that is created can be diverted from the landfill with composting and recycling bins along with adequate signage to encourage customers to compost and recycle wherever they take their meal Luckily it s not all about overcoming challenges there are also environmental advantages of running a food truck A small space means a small kitchen and less energy intensive equipment Equipment is unlikely to be left on beyond the time it s needed and minimal storage space means water efficiency and saving is of primary importance The trucks are also typically only in use during peak hours If a truck is able to utilize alternative or renewable fuel sources the carbon footprint can be greatly reduced Biodiesel provides a great alternative to fossil fuels for getting around town Unfortunately not all cities have reliable suppliers If a biodiesel facility is available used oil can be

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/sustainablefoodtrucks.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Sustainability in foodservice: Three common environmental pitfalls and how to avoid them
    negatively impact the environment Anyone working in a restaurant knows cleaning agents need to be two things efficient and economical In past years there has been a lack of environmentally friendly choices Or those that were better for the environment just couldn t get the job done resulting in multiple trips through the dishwasher and ultimately higher energy water and supply costs Unfortunately this forced even the most dedicated environmental stewards to revert to conventional products In addition local health inspection agencies require specific products for certain applications and substitutions for more eco friendly options are not always permitted Finally even the most well meaning restaurateurs may be misled into buying products that aren t as green as they seem The public and restaurateurs alike must also be cautious when shopping for these products as a myriad of different labelling systems presently exist which have different standards A number of products claim to be green or natural which in fact still contain harmful chemicals Unlike organic the terms green and natural are not regulated Today improvements have been made to environmentally friendly cleaning products and many now work as or more effectively than conventional products Ask your supplier about cleaning products that are environmentally certified by a third party such as EcoLogo or Green Seal If no products are available press your supplier to find more green products to suit your needs 2 Thermal paper The use of thermal paper is extremely common in the foodservice industry especially for receipt and order printing Producing thermal paper requires the same inputs as regular paper water trees and oil but its environmental impact doesn t stop there According to one source 640 000 tons of receipt paper per year are used in the U S which equates to 9 6 million trees to produce receipts alone However one of the biggest concerns with these papers is related to the bisphenol A BPA content which serves to make the paper more heat resistant but is also a known endocrine disruptor Studies have found that people who regularly handle this type of paper for hours a day as part of their jobs were found to have higher BPA content in their bodies Unfortunately this paper usually ends up with other papers in recycling bins which then contaminates other recyclables Currently the options for BPA free and phenol free papers are lacking but do exist However due to the limitations of some machines simply swapping out the type of paper used may not be an option and purchasing new machines can be a wasteful and costly hassle In this digital age having a big impact is relatively simple work towards going paperless by providing bills and receipts by request Email copies of bills to customers smart phones or provide a view on a tablet and email them a copy of their receipt if needed 3 Bottled water Bottled water may have started as a trend but many consumers have become accustomed to getting water from

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Sustainabilityinfoodservice.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Six rules to establish your restaurant’s sustainability team
    their in house green team In businesses large and small one of the most effective ways to secure staff participation and support for green initiatives is to assemble a green team The best way to start is by recruiting people within your operation who ve already demonstrated some passion for green actions and the environment Given the relative youth of most foodservice employees this shouldn t be a great challenge Your green team can be organized like any other team group or committee in your operation It can even be a team of two not one to start However here are some important ground rules that will help ensure truly sustainable results Rule 1 From the top At least one member of the team must be from the executive or management staff This will demonstrate not only top level support but also ensure that green team recommendations will be channeled to management so that decisions can be made quickly The exec management rep is there to a listen openly to ideas from the team b guide discussions toward actionable plans and c set reasonable expectations for the direction of the team and any funding or budget it may receive Rule 2 Mix it up Draw the other members of the team from different areas of the operation For example have one of the kitchen crew a server or bartender a rep from accounting or marketing etc If the call for green team volunteers doesn t generate balanced representation across the operation be prepared to seek out and recruit staff members to fill the gaps Rule 3 Size matters Though it may be a non issue for most operations the size of the team should be limited to 10 to 12 people to ensure that things get accomplished To keep things

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/restaurantsustainabilityteam.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three lessons your business can learn from the Gulf Coast oil spill
    know how and standard operating procedures in order to properly store haul process and reuse it All oils have a long life and it is important that proper care be taken at all points in the life cycle management The accident brought an important subject to the forefront and that is liability Liability is something we often forget about until an accident has occurred Liability A lesson can be learned surrounding the partnership between BP and Transocean and how the government could have helped Think about oil streams your business creates in the context of the discussion below We often don t think about our liability until its too late due to an accident or unforeseen event It is during the initial aftermath of an accident when we realize the true value of partnerships and cooperation between ourselves and our partners both internally and externally Some questions to ask yourself are Are the companies with whom we do business going to be there when an accident occurs no matter who what when how or why Are the companies we do business with both internally and externally considered the experts in their field Do they have the knowledge and experience to back up the claims they make to see our used oils through their life cycle Are the companies that handle our oils properly certified with the Ministry of the Environment and municipal government Do they employ the best technology with the best people Are the companies we do business with both internally and externally properly covered with the appropriate insurance policies Can our vendors and partners deliver documentation to prove the insurance is up to date and has a dollar amount that satisfies our potential exposure What happens if the policy dollars of the responsible party run out What is

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Threelessonsyourbusinesscanlearnfromthe.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Operations Manuals
    your restaurant for how is differs from the others A good operations manual defines what makes your establishment stand out from others Consistency and quality You are only as good as the last meal you served If the product is not consistent or not of high quality customers won t recommend or return to your establishment A good operations manual defines the standards and facilitates consistency and quality Flawless execution Communication of operating policies and standards to staff when in training is critical A good operations manual facilitates the delivery of consistent service to your standards Value proposition Customers always equate what they received to what they spent after a dining experience If perceived value is low all the work you put in to attract them was wasted A good operations manual defines your establishment s value proposition in detail and communicates it to your team Time saving The restaurant business is fast paced Time is of the essence A well planned and easy to access operations manual allows for quick reference to get answers to questions on the fly How do you maximize the benefit of an operations manual Many operations manuals sit on a shelf in the office and gather dust Why They aren t made to be part of the operation so they don t get used so they don t get updated and therefore they are of no use as time goes on Key steps to maximizing the benefit of the operations manual include 1 Develop it in a media that works best for your team i e printed binder server based electronic files CD ROM based files 2 Make it part of the daily management process 3 Ensure management and staff members refer to it every time a question arises around standards and policies 4

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/OperationsManuals.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Margin management: Menu engineering
    food cost percentages After all we take dollars to the bank not percentages Menu engineering steps First analyze each item sold during a given period Items may be classified by Category The category on the menu i e entrees and pasta Number sold The number of menu Items sold during the Analysis Period Selling price The price charged for the menu Item Item cost The total cost of food required to produce the menu Item including the standard recipe cost the garnish cost and any supplementary food cost i e bread salad etc served with menu items This is best determined by creating a menu explosion model Total revenue The total revenue generated from the sale of the menu item during the analysis period Gross margin The difference between the selling price and the item cost Some managers also include item complexity the amount of work required to prepare an item ranging from basic assembly and cooking of ingredients to several stages of pre preparation and sophisticated assembly and cooking in the menu item analysis Secondly each item is plotted on a scatter graph by menu item category i e entrees Typically the vertical position of the plot point for each menu item is based on the margin of a single unit of sale The horizontal position of the plot point for each menu item is based on sales mix as a percentage the percentage of units sold within the menu category belonging to the given item These scatter diagrams divide menu items into four quadrants that are used to evaluate the menu success as follows Stars Menu items that are high both in popularity and gross margin Work horses Menu items with high popularity and low margin Problem children Menu items with low popularity and high margins Dogs Menu

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/MarginmanagementMenuengineering.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Margin management : Menu explosion
    them down to their lowest common denominator or sub recipes This is the explosion part of menu explosion and it is a stage that adds significant efficiency to your model Consider a recipe for a large hamburger Assume that the burger patties are made fresh in house the large beef patty uses the same seasoned beef mix as a small hamburger patty and that the seasoning blend is also used on other items on the menu Four recipes have just been identified from a single seemingly simple menu item large hamburger large beef patty beef burger mix seasoning blend Why did we break it down that way Why not just list all of the ingredients for the burger patty in the recipe for the hamburger The answer is efficiency If you were to change the recipe for the secret spice blend the menu explosion model requires you to make a single revision to the spice recipe that will automatically update all other linked recipes Conversely if listed the spices directly in the hamburger recipe and later decided to remove the black pepper we would have to update every recipe that used that blend A sub recipe such as a spice mix is likely to be blended in a larger batch and then portioned as required rather than measured independently to order The explosion method therefore better reflects real life application because it treats spice mix as an independent recipe Master ingredient list Much like how the sub recipes are used within a recipe all ingredients should link to a master ingredient list The master ingredient list in a menu explosion model is a list of every ingredient used in the model The list should include case sizes case costs and yields a percentage that represents what is left once an

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/MarginmanagementMenuexplosion.aspx (2016-02-14)
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