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  • Gift cards: The gift that keeps on giving back to your business
    meets your marketing sales and restaurant business goals Creating a successful program is all about the people When planning a gift card program for your business it is important to consider the people the program will impact To truly drive business results and meet your goals you need to go in with a full understanding of how the program works for your guests and employees For customers and guests A well executed gift card program serves many purposes for customers but the primary goal should be to make payment quick and easy Guests should be able to use gift card payments efficiently whether in restaurant on delivery or even online Ability to purchase gift cards in person and online is key as trends indicate with the rise of social media convenience in purchasing is critical to standing out in a crowded market For restaurant owners and operators gift cards offer some unique applications that support customer service including Reloadable options where gift card holders can top up their balance online Drive sales of gift cards around specific holidays throughout the year Use as incentive cards for your loyal customers Leverage for promotions including contests grand openings in store or online offers For employees Organizations need to find ways particularly in the high turnover restaurant and foodservices industry to better engage employees in order to drive business results While there are countless ways to help drive employee engagement corporate incentive programs offer a tangible way to recognize performance Gift card programs have quickly become a way to reward employees while managing compensation and reward budgets To do this managers can create goals for employees to work towards and subsequently reward achievements with a gift card at a particular value These goals could include customer service excellence number of customers served sales

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/GiftCardsconsumerpaymenttrend.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • A Passion for Community: Kevin Murphy, Owner, Murphy Group of Restaurants
    s Pizza brand in Ontario his first steps into franchising Several acquisitions and restructuring of both branded and independent locations followed most in the Charlottetown area From 1985 to 2013 I look at all that s happened in the company and it s been an evolution of similar businesses and expansion in the hospitality and food section hotels and brewing industry says Murphy Expands holdings Today Murphy Group of Restaurants all reside in the Charlottetown area Locations consist of Castello s Ristorante Pizzeria Daniel Brenan Brickhouse Marc s Studio Dooly s East Side Mario s Fishbones Oyster Bar Seafood Grill The Ganan House Pub Brewery Mercantile ISE S Bar Pizza Delight 1911 Jail Pizza Delight Express Sims Corner Steakhouse Oyster Bar and The Merchantman Pub There also two boutique hotels The Great George and The Hotel on Pownal There s a historical component to our company now explains Murphy A lot of our businesses are located in historical buildings in downtown Charlottetown We have the Great George Hotel which is located in the historic district of Province House Then our remaining restaurants are all in a two to three block radius of what I call the restaurant district of Charlottetown A reflection of Murphy s business acumen this year the Great George was nominated as one of the world s top hotels by the World Luxury Hotel Awards It was the first hotel in Atlantic Canada to receive this honour Former guests travel agents and tour operators are among those who nominated the hotel Beer is also business for the Murphy Group The company owns a brewpub and microbrewery The Gahan Brewery The company s newest venture is The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company a 25 000 square foot facility which exports to Nova Scotia New Brunswick Newfoundland Alberta and British Columbia It also has tours a retail shop and an event centre Similar ambience Though there are many differing brands restaurants in Murphy s fold share a similar ambience My wife Kathy has a phenomenal talent for design creating a comfort and warmth in our restaurants says Murphy People will say we do it right we make it comfortable cozy and warm We do a lot of reinvesting We believe that the restaurant industry is moving very fast and if you re not on top of what s going on and reinvesting in the physical properties that time will take over you We re always renovating and keeping the concepts fresh More now than ever the days that you leave your restaurant for 10 years without doing anything are gone Staffing is also a key component There are many perks to working in a Murphy s restaurant from health benefits to gym memberships free golf at a local course and discounted cab fares for getting home The educational component is also very real and dear to us Murphy says A lot of people in our company they drift into the hospitality industry and they re not very sure what

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/KevinMurphyGroupofRestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The gift of learning: How Vikram Vij is bringing Indian cuisine to the next generation
    with his wife and business partner Meeru Dhalwala Vij contributed 250 000 towards the project which along with contributions from other supporters alumni and friends has resulted in the complete revitalization of an existing facility originally created in 1982 Vij s Kitchen consists of six cooking work stations as well as a demonstration kitchen and is designed to provide a leading edge learning space for UBC students studying food nutrition community health and multiculturalism A passion for teaching I am absolutely passionate about the education of young people particularly when it comes to cooking and culinary training says Vij This education kitchen facility will be something the chefs of the future can learn in I am extremely proud to be a part of it Vij says his interest in the UBC kitchen project was a natural offshoot from his preference for using local produce in his establishments I ve been buying produce from UBC farms for a few years now Vij explains I felt we needed to bring the awareness of Indian food to UBC and the students need to know a little more about the spices and ingredients as well I believe Indian food has some great medicinal properties and I wanted to teach the kids that and substantiate all of my skills In addition to the considerable financial contribution Vij has also been generous with his time and expertise in getting the UBC project off the ground Vij says his role at the new facility will focus on teaching and holding cooking classes for UBC students and the general public alike Man with a mission When I opened up my restaurant it was a mission of mine to open up Indian cuisine and culture to the rest of the world and show that our cuisine is as complex as any other This venture is just another step towards that goal Born in India and raised in Amritsar and Mumbai Bombay Vij says his most vivid childhood memories revolve around food and family a passion he pursued further after he moved to Europe and eventually to Canada In 1994 he opened the original Vij s Restaurant in Vancouver and later that same year married Meeru who would eventually take over managing the kitchens of both Vij s and Rangoli restaurants In addition to his successful foodservice operations he also runs an extremely popular food truck business called Vij s Railway Express along with a line of frozen foods Vij plans to make 2013 a huge year for encouraging families to spend more time eating together Meeru had already gotten the ball rolling several years earlier by co founding the popular Joy of Feeding an annual celebration of ethnic home cooking which took place in June at UBC Farm Focus on family I grew up with a family that insisted on eating together says Vij Even if you were just talking instead of eating the form of communication with your parents and the strength that you learn from simply having

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/giftoflearningVikramVijKitchen.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Caring and sharing: Community support through event sponsorship
    money through ticket sales donations and the generous support of sponsors such as the Sabherwals owners of the Magic Oven a group of restaurants specializing in pizza made from organic and locally sourced ingredients My wife Abby and I were fairly new immigrants from India and we had just opened up our own small business Tony Sabherwal recalls After about three years we became successful enough that we were able to share with others The first people who ever asked us for anything was Riverdale Share We became entrenched in the Riverdale community we got to meet the people and we ve been helping out in any way we can for more than 10 years Star studded support Although the Sabherwals early participation consisted mainly of handing out flyers and putting up posters Tony and Abby s event sponsorship quickly mushroomed helping to grow the event into a veritable showcase of homegrown talent that has included the likes of Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo ex Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page and children s entertainers Sharon and Lois Restaurant owners who want to give back have to think about things that are close to them close to their heart Sabherwal advises I came from what was then a developing country and I noticed that Canadians send millions and millions of dollars around the world And while I agree that it is important to do that I think that many times we don t actually do enough for our own communities I don t think it is sexy enough You don t get big swag bags if you raise funds for your local school or community garden Those are the kinds of things we need to start with In his typically modest fashion Sabherwal likes to downplay his role in community service

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Communitysupporteventsponsorship.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • International Chef spotlight: Graham Tinsley, MBE
    of my electives was called catering which appealed to me because it got me away from school once or twice a week I fell into this industry quite by accident says Tinsley Trained in the classics It was at the Midland Hotel that Tinsley began a five year intensive apprenticeship under the tutelage of French Chef Gilbert Lefevre Working with Lefevre Tinsley won a collection of medals at various culinary competitions and eventually secured a position in the kitchens of the five star Atlantis Sheraton Hotel in Zurich Switzerland Returning to England after a year Tinsley says he was fortunate to have been chosen to join the brigade of chefs training under Anton Mosimann at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel in London While Lefevre was the strong silent type who emphasized the classics Mosimann was the more soft spoken gentlemanly type recalls Tinsley Mosimann s innovative and fresh approach to modern British cooking greatly influenced my own menus and appreciation of fresh local and international produce combining colours textures and taste Evolution of a chef Tinsley s career continued to evolve first as a sous chef and eventually as head chef at De Vere Hotels He later developed the first four star hotel in North Wales The St David s Park Hotel in Ewloe as well as the Carden Park Hotel Spa and Golf Resort in 1997 The new millennium brought additional opportunities to Tinsley who partnered with friend and colleague Peter Lavin in a 28 bed hotel in Conwy The Castle Hotel is a 15th century hotel explains Tinsley Although it had previously been run down and poorly managed we had a vision to restore it to a warm and friendly family hotel with an excellent reputation for serving the finest Welsh produce expertly cooked and professionally served Tinsley returned to the Carden Park in Cheshire in 2010 and has also been a driving force of the Welsh Culinary Association During his tenure there he has directed the Welsh International Salon Culinaire to ongoing success and was selected to captain the Welsh Culinary Team in 1999 Under Tinsley s captaincy the team successfully competed all over Europe in two Culinary Olympics three World cups two European Cups two World Culinary Grand Prix one World Culinary Championship and has won more medals than any other Welsh culinary team in history He has been Team Manager since 2003 Mentorship matters This position entails attracting new and keeping existing sponsors recruiting new team members and making sure the chefs have all the necessary skills training equipment and funds to compete with the best in the world says Tinsley I get a lot of pleasure when my team does well Seeing one of my young chefs go on to win a competition or honours means more to me than winning a competition myself While understandably proud of his work guiding young chefs Tinsley says nothing compares with the honour of cooking for Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip six times and meeting them

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/ChefGrahamTinsley.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Chef Lorna Murdoch, Fusion Grill, Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I wanted a job that allowed me the luxury to travel with it In the beginning it was just a job but it became a career as I got better at it How would you describe your restaurant It is a small 40ish seat restaurant that devotes itself to fine food and fine wine We are committed to local foods great service and strive for perfection every day If you knew you were eating your last meal what would you have I doubt that I would be very hungry if I knew it was my last meal but I guess it would be steak and frites with an aioli dip and a chipotle butter on the steak Plus wine lots of wine Where do you go to dine out I rarely go out I spend lots of time in a restaurant already so I like to dine at home What are your favourite ingredients Alcohol salt and love you have to bring the love Who were your biggest influences or inspirations for becoming a chef I don t really have any There was no Food Network when I started out and to be honest when I looked for jobs I was even told we don t hire women I suppose being told I couldn t do it is what inspired me to be a chef I m a little stubborn If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island what three ingredients or food items would take with you Apple juice yeast and flour Maybe I could make flatbread and apple cider maybe not but it would certainly give me something to do What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now Cronuts What are they anyway What do you think is the most underrated food trend Sustainability we need to start making sure we can eat in the future And pie Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment with I ve always been interested in learning more about aboriginal cuisine I think I d like to learn more about traditional aboriginal cooking drying and preserving What are the essential ingredients for success in the restaurant business today I asked the restaurant owner Scot McTaggart this question He said tenacity You have to never ever give up Which cooking technique or tool is a favourite of yours right now and why Actually I m finding the iPad and iPhone quite helpful in the kitchen I come up with an idea and shoot it out there and inevitably find some way to make things happen Cross checking recipes with other recipes and blending them together Researching ingredients Looking to see if it s been done already looking to see if it s been done since we started it here It s kind of exciting What is your favourite food combination right now Today it s pumpkin and sea buckthorn What is the single most important thing you do that

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/LornaMurdochFusionGrill.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Renaissance Restaurateur: Massimo Capra, Co-owner, Mistura, Boccone Trattoria Veloce and Boccone Pronto
    Network s Restaurant Makeover He is also co owner of the renowned Mistura Restaurant in Toronto s Annex neighbourhood and the recently launched Boccone Trattoria Veloce and Boccone Pronto which are part of a food renaissance at Toronto s Pearson Airport Capra has also licensed his naming rights to The Rainbow Room at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel Following stints in several upscale hotels throughout Italy and also military service a distant relative invited Capra to work at the now defunct Archer s restaurant in Toronto Beginning in 1982 Capra spent about seven years there getting acclimatized to Canada while learning English With Archer s owner pondering retirement Capra had to move on In 1989 he met Michael Carlevale who had just purchased Prego Della Piazza When I went to see it it was a fledgling restaurant It was really 20 dinners 20 lunches a bunch of drunks at the bar really nothing to speak of Capra says with a laugh But Michael had big ideas and he followed through with everything he said To me it was like going to university That restaurant within six months of stability in the kitchen with me at the head and a great management team in the front became a place that I like to say is legendary in Toronto Catering to the stars Prego Della Piazza became a hit among the city s well to do from politicians to Hollywood actors attending the Toronto International Film Festival Hobnobbing with such notorious clientele provokes a flood of memories from a respite with Paris Hilton in the staff room to the elation of Kris Kristofferson after repairing his damaged sunglasses Though the exposure was great the six day week working double shifts was hard on Capra and his young family In 1997 the opportunity landed to team up with Paolo Paolini who had just opened up a restaurant nearby and was looking for a chef and partner Both with young families the duo decided to include family time in their busy schedules and a deal was made Mistura Restaurant was born An upper lounge Sopra was also part of the equation but now is used exclusively for large bookings and events A rustic themed restaurant with an elegant Italian cuisine Mistura opened to rave reviews and is going strong after 16 years You have to find what your comfort zone is Capra says If you feel that something will work you have to believe it and you have to make sure that you do your homework always You can t just dive into a business especially a restaurant business just because you have a good idea or you make good meatballs at home At the end of the day it is a business and you have to consider it a business Simply Italian Of his food philosophy Capra says he likes to keep things simple I like food for what it is I don t need the complication of extra garnishes or

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/MassimoCapra.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • To lease or not to lease to a restaurant franchisee?
    in franchise relationships is where the franchisor negotiates a lease for the premises enters into the head lease with the landlord and subsequently sub leases the space to the franchisee Landlords like the sublease model because they have the franchisors i e the party with the deeper pockets on the hook for the lease which is the party they would prefer to have recourse against if problems arise Franchisees like the sublease model because they obtain the benefit of the franchisor s bargaining power due to its size and experience to negotiate more favourable lease terms than the franchisee likely could on its own The sublease model is also an attractive option for the franchisor because assuming it s a desirable location it can retain possession of the premises as franchisees come and go over time There is also the added advantage that a franchisee is less likely to compete with a franchisor post termination of the franchise agreement if it doesn t have the location anymore One of the disadvantages of subleasing is that as is self evident the franchisor is now on the lease adding to its list of potential obligations and liabilities Since there is no relationship between the landlord and the subtenant franchisee each of those parties has to rely on the franchisor to enforce their respective rights And ultimately a franchisee s non performance under the sublease such as failure to pay rent will fall on the franchisor Where the franchisor would prefer to not enter into the lease the franchisee becomes the tenant but the franchise agreement must specify that the franchisor have a conditional assignment clause whereby the franchisor can automatically assume the lease if the franchisee is in default of its obligations As a result any such clause should require the landlord

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