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  • Running a greener restaurant: Three ways to miss the mark on sustainability
    easily rectified 1 Setting the focus on one area or limiting your actions to what your customers see and ignoring what s behind the scenes It can be tempting to add the word local or organic to your menu and purchase brown takeout containers and napkins to appear green Although well intentioned some of these cosmetic changes can put your facility at risk of greenwashing Even worse by focusing on only one or two areas you ignore significant areas for improvements that can keep significant amounts of dollars in your pocket Avoid this pitfall by focusing on a new area every few months For example rotating water waste and energy focused projects 2 Choosing the right supplies for the wrong city When considering the environment it can be difficult to decide what type of supplies to purchase Words like biodegradable eco recycled and compostable can be confusing leading many restaurateurs to choose what sounds best However some containers are not be appropriate for certain municipalities It often depends on the waste disposal facilities available in your area For example a common mistake is to purchase compostable containers that require industrial compost facilities in an area where none exist These items end up in the landfill with regular trash and are often more energy intensive to produce than other types of containers Do your research to find out what waste facilities exist in your area and use that to guide your selection 3 Remaining static in a changing industry Time is not something most restaurant operators have in surplus Therefore it is common for things to remain unchanged for long periods of time An operator may research the best type of lighting at one time and continue to purchase that same type for the next five or 10 years despite the

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/markonsustainability.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • (Re)evaluating sustainable restaurant operations
    Canadian foodservice operators most would agree that a good way to mitigate the potential effects of these high level global risks is to build some resilience into your business model It goes well beyond being a nice thing to do to being a smart and strategic way to weather both the economic and climactic changes ahead Where to start It helps to know which sustainable business strategies and policies support resilient operations especially when measured by numbers that are too often overlooked or ignored Take for example a press release for a new US based software platform for corporate chefs and menu developers promising access to menu data that restaurateurs can use to plan business decisions This subscription service aims to help chefs create unique flavour combinations and see how dishes change when they are used Variables to consider An interesting idea but is it genius from an environmental perspective This company is assuming a level playing field built on the current abundance of food But this version of a smart menu planner will only be feasible if ingredients and products from every category will continue to be just as plentiful and cost relatively the same anywhere It s not wrong exactly just short sighted and the opposite of resilience A more accurate menu planning program would also factor in the true cost of ingredient choices There are those at risk from supply challenges or environmental degradation to those with higher transport and storage costs It would be best to suggest local or yes sustainable alternatives On another graph a good planning tool would also compare the energy intensity of select menu items including the related costs to equip power and staff the kitchen facilities and systems needed for various preparation options Better options available For example if you are

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/evaluatingsustainablerestaurantoperations.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three recommendations for sustainable restaurant operations
    recommendations to help you to fully realize the sizeable top and bottom line benefit of more sustainable operations from customer loyalty to energy savings A question of timing First as with comedy timing is everything Mostly Experimenting with a few green tweaks here and there can bring some quick and clean rewards but to add substantial long term value it s best to wait for or instigate a substantial opportunity for change such as a full refresh or rebranding of your concept Ideally that plan will be coupled with a needed or wanted renovation of kitchen and front of house facilities or perhaps best of all a new build This type of comprehensive rethink is prime time to review and evaluate the opportunities to integrate sustainability into the core business policies that will shape or reshape daily operations For example a novel menu or service strategy could reduce the volume of plates returning to the dishwasher AND boost the opportunity for composting food waste However to stimulate out of the box thinking that offers the best chance for more efficient and greener operations it s also important to address the number one issue mentioned earlier For that you may need a larger meeting table Collaborative process Though not without its own challenges the most effective way to ensure that sustainability goals get a fair shake in your new plan is to regularly include representatives from all aspects of your business in the planning sessions The idea is to minimize departmental thinking and encourage a collaborative process where unconventional ideas can emerge and be tested across the breadth of operational expertise from design and engineering through to purchasing culinary and marketing This approach though often demanding an above average level of facilitation can lead to the kind of innovation that pays off handsomely across the board Last year a restaurant renovation project in Vancouver took this process a large step further Dubbed The Next Course and facilitated by BC Hydro s Technical Innovation Group it brought stakeholder partners including the provincial government s LiveSmartBC program and the Green Table Network to the redesign table for O Doul s Restaurant Bar a Robson Street fixture which recently reopened as Forage foragevancouver com Joint project success The consortium also brought funding to the table to energize this soon to be model project which aims to be holistically sustainable while producing total energy savings of 30 per cent beyond building and operation code along with sponsorship support from vendors such as Garland Canada Master Bilt and Halton Indoor Climate Systems The many meters installed around the restaurant will reveal later this spring whether that goal has been attained However with that many cooks involved the members of the project documented the entire process to show how good and better decisions were made and they hope to produce a template that other operators can follow to achieve similar results For example to prioritize selection of the ENERGY STAR rated and other high efficiency equipment lighting

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/sustainablerestaurantoperations.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Taking the long(er) view on restaurant kitchen sustainability
    a few other items the typical return on investment falls in the three to five year range hardly an eternity Nevertheless it is often too long for operations looking to recoup start up or reno costs in a highly competitive market Making a strong case However the business case for that type of investment is gaining remarkable strength as are the rebate and incentive programs available from gas and electric utilities from coast to coast The best evidence of that trend was featured at an event this past August celebrating the 25th anniversary of a unique institution credited with defining the value of energy efficiency for the entire industry In 1987 ex pat Manitobans Don Fisher from Dauphin and Judy Nickel from Plum Coulee took their pioneering work in measuring the energy efficiency of foodservice technologies to California s Pacific Gas Electric company PG E Their work inspired the creation of the Food Service Technology Center FSTC which has developed now standard methods to lab test the efficiency and performance of everything from combi ovens to deep fryers to kitchen ventilation systems Their results also provided the basis of the ENERGY STAR standards for commercial foodservice equipment Equipment evolution In these past 25 years Fisher Nickel and their team have certainly noted some evolution in the design and installation of kitchen equipment as well as the fact that adoption of ENERGY STAR units in most equipment categories remains less than 10 per cent Although proud of their leading role to date Fisher Nickel and crew are clearly not satisfied with the status quo To that end FSTC engineer and lead tester Dave Zabrowski sparked considerable buzz at the event with his throw down design for a high performance energy efficient cook line For a typical 100 seat full service lunch and dinner restaurant he first described an equally typical 21 foot line up of standard efficiency equipment a six burner range with standard oven salamander three foot charbroiler four foot manual control griddle two fryers two convection ovens a two compartment steamer and a stock pot range Using their lab tested performance data and field research Zabrowski estimated an annual total operating cost of CAD 20 800 based on California s electric and gas rates and comparable to average rates in most regions in Canada The ENERGY STAR version of his standard cook line fryers ovens steamer and griddle didn t take up less space but did manage to bring annual costs down to 14 500 a 30 per cent saving Maximizing technology Moving forward Zabrowski says we should all look to maximize efficiency by applying the most effective and versatile cooking processes and technologies currently or soon available to most operations Through limited live testing his future friendly cook line for that same 100 seat restaurant is now only eight feet long and built on a 6 hob induction cooktop an on demand food finisher a two foot double sided ENERGY STAR griddle a large vat ENERGY STAR fryer

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/longviewonkitchensustainability.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Archives: Sustainability
    on the respondent s cultural economic or educational Simple and cost effective strategies to reduce energy consumption in foodservice From reducing energy consumption to minimizing their carbon footprint restaurant operators have more opportunity than ever to play a major role in the greening of the Canadian foodservice industry Tips for sustainable food sourcing food handling and menu engineering Sustainability is a bit of a big word that means a lot of things to a lot of people When you get down to basics one definition of the word sustainable means being able to keep going Restaurants going local with house made food products Though they re not always as vibrant as those in fashion or technology culinary trends often look to exotic or radical concepts to grab attention For example you may remember Managing waste cost effectively in Halifax HRM Solid Waste Resources is visiting businesses in downtown Halifax specifically in the foodservice sector Their goal is to help enhance your recycling and composting programs Special seasonal events offer tasty opportunities to go green There is a unique way to get greener that s not only increasingly popular but also earns extra attention Rolling out a special seasonal menu or a sustainable catering event package not only generates Three steps to lowering food costs and reducing produce waste As professionals in the kitchen we have been trained that many produce items can be delegated to the stock bucket This helps control food wastage and food costs But what if we pushed our creativity Green cleaning in foodservice Where are we now Cleaning and sanitizing are an essential part of the prevention of cross contamination in the foodservice industry Making quality safe food for their guests is important for any restaurateur Busy kitchens and Three green initiatives that drive top line

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Sustainabilityarchives.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • How a crisis communications strategy protects your restaurant's customers, employees and your reputation
    of character Their financial condition and the Hepatitis A outbreak coupled with Chi Chi s corporate responses all contributed to the chain s failure Now let s contrast Chi Chi s response with that of Maple Leaf Foods Immediate response According to Linda Smith president of Smithcom Communications and a crisis communications expert who has called Maple Leaf Foods a client for nearly 15 years the company s compassionate and ethical response during the listeriosis outbreak of August 2008 helped protect the public from further exposure to the bacteria that causes listeriosis This was accomplished by a wide product recall of meat produced at the identified plant as well as closure of several Maple Leaf production facilities Maple Leaf responded immediately Three hours after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency CFIA confirmed the existence of the bacteria Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain took full responsibility for the outbreak He communicated directly to the public through the media showing people that public welfare was first and foremost Communication tips At this year s CRFA Show Smith participated in a well received seminar where she discussed crisis communications for foodservice operators who mistakenly serve contaminated food Smith offers the following dos and don ts for crisis communications Do Be real be humble Be visible Control the agenda Start immediately Make big decisions Accept responsibility in person without exception Use simple quotes Have many channels Don t Don t presume it will go away if you don t participate Don t presume it won t get worse Don t hide Don t underestimate impact Don t become arrogant Don t blame others Don t rely on government The CFIA website states that there are about 11 million cases of food borne illness in Canada every year The vast majority of these cases may

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/crisiscommunicationsstrategy.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The cost of catering
    Charge client 90 If you want to bag your own ice really you will need approximately 300 pounds or more if hot weather charge the same as a local ice company Table bar and cloth rentals from local rental company 291 including delivery and pick up If you provide them charge at least 200 Total 1626 and you have not paid tax or provided any food much less your Chicken a la Fabulous Here s the right translation profitable way to price the same event Costing facts for 100 guests Food Service for Chicken a la Fabulous at 18 pp 1800 Soft drinks tea water at 2 25pp 225 Ice 90 Provide station tables cloths bar bar back table 200 2 kitchen staff waiter at 30 per hr 5 00 11 30 pm 390 2 hours for staff to pick up and delivery back to kitchen 180 1 bartender at 30 per hr 5 30 11 30 p m 180 Event Production and Administrative Fee 10 18 per cent of balance 432 Tax 274 Total 3 771 I know your menu states 15 for the chicken but there is no way that the Chicken a la Fabulous on your menu can cost the same when catered at the pool party because it has to travel a lot further than your guest s table Let s look at the trail of the Chicken a la Fabulous when made and served in your restaurant Chicken is prepped Chicken is crusted with fabulousness Chicken is baked seared Chicken sits under the salamander Chicken is served to the guests Now look at the trail of the off site catered Chicken a la Fabulous Chicken is prepped the day before the event Chicken rests overnight in the refrigerator Chicken is crusted with fabulousness Chicken is par baked seared Chicken is cooled Chicken is packaged for travel Chicken package is put into travel van crate Chicken is loaded into van Chicken travels to event venue Chicken is unloaded Chicken is baked seared Chicken rests in warming cabinet Chicken is set on heating element on station or plated if a seated dinner Look at the difference 13 steps compared to five steps You want to charge the same for the Chicken a la Fabulous at an off site event as the chicken served in your restaurant Think again Another item you may have noticed in the profitable way to cost a menu is the charge for the plastic plates cups and forks It s a service you are providing to your client and you should be reimbursed for those expenses If not you are taking it out of your profits from the amount you are charging for the food I recently spoke at a food show and one of the attendees came up to me after the show and told me that I had just hit him over the head with a baseball bat Curious I asked How did I do that He stated that for the

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Thecostofcatering.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Four steps to an effective pricing strategy that can add thousands to your restaurant’s bottom line
    line in coming months Evaluate the competition not the neighbours It is important when reviewing your pricing to compare your strategy to your actual competitive set Often people compare their pricing to their neighbours the bars and restaurants that are geographically closest to them I recommend comparing your pricing to the top five locations most similar to you If someone were looking to go to your restaurant where else are they considering Although some of these locations might be across town they offer a similar setting menu or experience If you can t come up with a list of competitors off the top of your head check out the social media review site Yelp ca they offer a feature which allows you to see what people who viewed this also viewed Do a little bit of digging and you will get a better sense for who else your guests are thinking about when looking to visit your location Compare apples to apples When checking out the competition s pricing one critical factor is that you understand their serving size In the front of house alone you may have 20 oz 18 oz or 16 oz pints along with 5 oz 8 oz and 9 oz wine glasses I can t tell you how many of my clients have made critical pricing mistakes because they considered the competition s pricing but not their serving size Don t make this mistake it can cost you thousands Position your price point After you ve evaluated the competition s pricing you must consciously decide where you want to be positioned on price versus your direct competitors Do you want to be the most expensive middle of the pack or the lowest price option Decide where you want be positioned and share your position with

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