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  • Eight questions to ask before franchising your business
    the product or service What s the competition like Is your product or service unique enough to stand out in a crowded field Are there any hurdles to entering the market that you should be aware of Are there regulatory obstacles to franchising a business in your particular industry Will it be manageable for someone else to copy that model under your supervision or does it only work under your direct implementation How many corporate owned units do you have and how are they doing financially What are your financial resources Do you own any intellectual property that needs to be protected such as trade marks or maybe even patents Are they sufficiently registered and protected already Where will you find franchisees Apart from your support team what s your internal team like Do you have the right people to see your vision through Are they capable of tracking down the right talent and helping to realize your visions and goals As you develop your franchise system or more specifically the model you intend to build out as a system there are numerous factors you need to consider One relevant consideration will be what your franchise will actually look like For instance you may have experienced success in your single location or handful of locations but once it becomes time to grant someone the right to copy that model you will need to ensure you have a prototype in place that can be reasonably emulated If you are a retail store what type of products will be sold each season If you are a restaurant what will the menu be comprised of Franchisees will be looking to you for this guidance Another consideration will be where to find franchisees There are a few possibilities including conventional advertising but franchise brokers

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Franchsingyourbusiness.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Catering from your restaurant
    offer a prize of winning dinner for two Once the catering division is up and running continue collecting cards but change the prize to a catered function There are countless occasions for catered food A few of the simplest to sell and execute from a restaurant are Large volume orders of your regular menu foods for pickup or delivery usually requiring lead time and pre booking Corporate drop off foods delivered to an office for internal or client meetings Box lunches develop the product and identify the buyers bus tours inbound tour groups or meetings Deliver a full sample to key buyers with a sales presentation and collateral materials Taking the time to prepare a basic business plan pays off Apply the same parameters to the catering venture as you would for your restaurant in the areas of sales and what marketing materials you need to elicit orders Don t forget to check with legal financial and insurance advisors to ensure that you are covered for every scenario Also consider having a separate phone number for catering calls either a cell phone or a line with call forwarding Voice mail is a must unless you want to answer catering questions 24 hours a day For simple orders you can email confirmation of exactly what you are supplying and the cost Require a signed contract before any large orders or full service events Remember once eaten catered food is not like a car you can repossess Demand deposits or full payment in advance or offer an invoicing option on corporate accounts Prepare policies for minimum orders lead time and cancellations especially the latter especially for weddings Ready set cater Or so you think Before taking on paid catering orders do a few for free for people who will give you honest

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Cateringfromyourrestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Adapting to the “new normal” – Eight ways to recession proof your restaurant
    consider in recession proofing your restaurant Take the time to focus your efforts on moving the big rocks not the minutia Address the things that truly make a difference to your guests and have the most impact Making a laundry list of small changes may seem efficient but the key is to make the right changes to be effective Efficiency is concerned with doing things right effectiveness is doing the right things 1 Your success has probably been the result of the things you do extremely well They may be specific menu products service specialties or perhaps outstanding value or an inviting ambiance They shouldn t be a surprise Your guests tell you on a regular basis what they really enjoy about your restaurant so leverage these strengths and do what you do well even better Invest the time to get out beyond the four walls of the restaurant Have competitors opened or closed Have they made changes or otherwise adapted Have local traffic generators changed In many cases you will find it s a different landscape from just a year or two ago Undertake a complete review of your menu Look at individual item profitability and product mix New seasonal items could be added unpopular or unprofitable items should be dropped Value is critical no matter what sector you are in and can be achieved with prix fixe menus menu item bundling and sampler menus Increasing menu prices should be approached cautiously but most menus do have opportunity The key is to look at each menu item and avoid across the board increases Some items are very price sensitive and others may have hidden equity Changing the game can provide cheque opportunity by simply enhancing an existing menu item with a new ingredient or condiment An effective pricing strategy

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Recessionproofyourrestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Canada’s culinary champion: Anita Stewart, cookbook author, culinary activist, founder of Food Day Canada
    Stewart who was fascinated by the culinary art That self sufficiency came in handy as she grew to become a mother of four at one point with all children under the age of five The stay at home mom armed with cookbook favourites such as Edna Staebler s Food that Really Schmecks and Marie Nightingale s Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens kept her passion burning in her role in the kitchen Embraces challenge It was pretty wild explains Stewart We had no money So again I was called upon to use those skill sets and I took it as a challenge I really liked it It was one of the happiest times of my life It was really interesting I learned to do things like render lard Stewart s first cookbook involvement was born from charity rather than necessity as she and some other mothers got together to raise money for a local pre school The Juice and Cookies Cookbook was a cooperative project where home recipes were hand written on 8 5 x 11 paper folded cut and sold for 5 The first print run earned enough funding to purchase the appropriate printing equipment and then the professional version of the book was created Today the Elora Cooperative Preschool still stands and thrives as do many of the friendships created while crafting the book In the early 1980s Stewart saw an advertisement in a community newspaper for a food culture course at the University of Guelph There her teacher made a game changing connection with her star student planting the seeds of a tremendous publishing career Puts experience to work I saw the ad and I thought holy crow someone is actually teaching this stuff So I took the course The professor Jo Marie Powers said she had an idea for a cookbook and asked if I would like to work on it with her says Stewart I had no idea how to write a book proposal but five publishers wanted it That was the Farmers Market Cookbook And then from that it became obvious to me that people were doing local food at different levels so I wondered about country inns I went on to do The Country Inns Cookbook and The Guide to Canadian Country Inns I then did The Lighthouse Cookbook all the time embroidering my knowledge with the real farmers of Canada There were so many great moments and it was so exciting Researching The Lighthouse Cookbook was one of Stewart s fondest memories of her travels crossing Vancouver Island in two icebreaker ships and visiting all of the non automated life stations on the west coast of North America The unique lifestyles stories and above all gourmet creations of these inhabitants who used gardened and wild vegetables berries and of course seafood were an inspiration Iconic career Stewart s involvement at the University of Guelph continues as she is now their first and only Food Laureate She is responsible for refining the food

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/AnitaStewart.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Martin Kouprie, Executive Chef and Co-owner, Pangaea Restaurant, Toronto
    sugar Why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career I was hungry No seriously I like making all kinds of things I also do woodworking and I ve recently taken a blacksmithing course How would you describe your restaurant s or foodservice operation At Pangaea every ingredient has a story If you knew you were eating your last meal what would you have Whatever was in season washed down with vintage champagne What is your philosophy about food Let the flavours speak for themselves Where do you go to dine out We love ethnic food So honest so much flavour In the last month we ve been out for Jamaican Korean and Syrian food There is so much access to authentic cuisine in Toronto It s wonderful What is your favourite ingredient Butter But in a pinch I ll settle for cream Who were your biggest influences inspirations for becoming a chef George Blanc Michel Giraud Alain Ducasse Joel Robuchon Robert Bourassa If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island what three ingredients or food items would take with you Pork blood smoked salt candy floss What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now Just throwing all the food down on the table at once Where have service and a progressive meal gone I say bring back tablecloths multiple forks and stemmed crystal glasses What do you think is the most underrated food trend It s so underrated that it s almost extinct but I say tableside service deserves a comeback When s the last time a waiter boned and served your fish or flambéed your dessert Now that s eater tainment Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment with I d love

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/MartinKouprieExecutiveChefPangaeaRestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Chefs give back to those who give at the Daily Bread Food Bank
    barbecue sauce and Maple Leaf the all important Oktoberfest sausages Attitude of gratitude For me it was important for us to do this as a group of chefs because we have these skills that we can donate said Kira Smith Corporate Chef Kraft Canada Foodservice It s also personally taking stock about how lucky the majority of us are to have homes and family and health I think it s a reminder that not everyone is that blessed and so it s really beholden to those people who have that in life to help others Teeming with chefs and suppliers the event had no shortage of helping hands excited about the opportunity to support a worthy cause It was a great day said chef Ryan Marquis event organizer and CCFCC Central Region Vice President We had more people show up than we anticipated Many of us prepared the meals but on top of that we had a lot of time on our hands So what we ended up doing was help with Daily Bread s production as well We created soups for the upcoming week and we helped make chili We peeled a lot of potatoes onions and carrots for them Helping those in need Daily Bread Food Bank distributed nearly nine million pounds 4 08 million kg of food last year to member agencies and provided food hampers for 700 000 visits The organization also offers a community garden using a portion of its front lawn to offer those with a low or fixed income a chance to grow and use fresh produce On top of that over 1 200 pounds 544 kg of fresh vegetables herbs berries and edible flowers were donated from the garden to a local food bank last year On top of feeding the hungry

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/ChefsgivebackDailyBreadFoodBank.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Canadian Trailblazer: Warren Erhart, President, White Spot Restaurants
    ranks at The Keg both in Ontario and British Columbia before joining White Spot Hospitality in 1990 as division general manager Within four years he was president of the company Headquartered in Vancouver 83 year old White Spot is an iconic West Coast brand Founded in 1928 as Canada s first drive in restaurant at Granville and 67th the chain now sees more than 17 million guests annually at 119 White Spot and Triple O s a smaller QSR cousin of White Spot locations throughout B C Alberta and most recently Asia The company s market research indicates that 87 per cent of British Columbians who dined out in 2010 enjoyed at least one of those meals at a White Spot or a Triple O drive through With a demonstrated passion for food quality innovation and professional development White Spot recently built a 1 548 square foot state of the art culinary training centre at its headquarters in Vancouver that offers company chefs Red Seal apprenticeship and certification We re an 83 year old company and past success doesn t guarantee future success says Erhart I think keeping your brand relevant is really really important For us it means doing a lot of consumer research and we do a lot of internal research to get a pulse of what s going on in the marketplace And it s our job to create strategies to react to that as well Over the next three years Erhart and his team plan to bring the White Spot experience to other parts of Canada and the world A comprehensive strategy is in the works for growth in other provinces but shorter term plans include opening another four Triple O s in Asia as well as another four in each of British Columbia and Alberta The company is well positioned for success having recently been named one of Canada s 50 best managed companies an award sponsored by Deloitte CIBC National Post and Queen s University School of Business Erhart credits his talented team for this honour noting that hourly employees work with the company for an average of 5 7 years an impressive statistic in an industry known for staff turnover due to the number of student and other part time employees That s just one example of the uniqueness of our brand explains Erhart We have a tenure that s really unheard of in our industry It s not that people couldn t find jobs in other places There are some great talented people that like to stick with us It s all about hiring the best training the best and then expecting the best and then giving the people the environment where they can make a difference in their jobs Today we have franchisees of White Spot who came over maybe 10 15 years ago immigrants to our country and English was maybe not their primary language Now they can become franchisees or successful restaurant operators I think this is wonderful and

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/WarrenErhartWhiteSpotRestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Jesse Vergen, Executive Chef, Saint John Ale House, St. John, N.B.
    a wicked substitute for anchovies As we try to focus our menu more regionally we have found that the chicks were not just a substitute but something that enhanced beyond what standard anchovies could Who were your biggest influences inspirations for becoming a chef My biggest influence for becoming a chef would have probably been a high school culinary class when the local college had a speaker come in to talk about pursuing a career in the hospitality field and how there was a big need for people in this industry I loved to cook so it seemed logical If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island what three ingredients or food items would take with you My Smoking Pig Butt Rub will fix the seasoning for any creature I happen to roast over a beach fire Some sort of acid like good vinegar or citrus I always use an acid for seasoning plus it could be used for cooking some tasty sea creatures Oh and beer not only a great ingredient but a must for being exiled on an island What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now I think a lot of people are missing the point of the Nordic food movement a reinterpretation of traditional Scandinavian cuisine made popular by chefs such as René Redzepi in Copenhagen Denmark I believe the point of it should be more of an ultra regional look at producing processing harvesting and cooking products I think people are rushing to different regions for the next hot cuisine when the movement is more about celebrating and adapting to the world s different regions and foods What do you think is the most underrated food trend I think we haven t really seen the scope of Chinese cuisine come into the limelight on a world stage It s a country filled with regional cuisine has an ancient Imperial cuisine dating back 1 000 years and it s a large country with many different regions cultures and a vast variety of foods Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment with I ve been working with re examining Acadian cuisine and modernizing it New Brunswick has a rich heritage of Acadian culture Growing up my grandmother was very proud of her Acadian roots and it s something familiar to me It s rich and hearty worker fare meant to supply vast amounts of energy to loggers fishermen and farmers We play around with the concepts trying to modernize them refining or just plain kicking up the flavour There is not too much in the way of standard recipes in this cuisine as they were all passed down through families and many recipes within a small town could have multiple variations Something as simple as a Fricot de poule a chicken stew could have many different styles within one small region in New Brunswick What are the essential ingredients for success in the

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