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  • Rules of engagement: three ways communication has evolved and how it can improve your restaurant or foodservice operation's business
    cliché it is a truth that still has an impact on the day to day operations of restaurants across North America every day This has been the way restaurants have operated for years and over the last 20 years anyone who has watched a training video on food service has seen some form of this idea There seems to be a continual curve however that suggests the customer may not be right every time but that they have the right to voice their ideas and the right to feel understood In my generation I feel that our task was to know the product that we were working with and tell a story about it to make each meal service special The thought was that you could have the best chef cooking with the best ingredients but if your service staff did not have the product knowledge there was little impact on your guests first perception Conversely you could have a slightly inferior product and so long as your staff were knowledgeable about the product and able to tell a story their chances of imprinting on a customer s perception of quality were much greater Somewhere along the way I feel the message got a little skewed when staff were gently brainwashed to use certain words or jargon to maintain employment I do believe however that the underlying value of educating staff and in turn customers on the products they are eating is invaluable Use technology and social media to evolve the guest experience The majority of service staff today are from the generations after mine and have a definite grasp of technology and social media and how to make it work to evolve the guest experience For better or worse it is forcing older generations to adapt to new ways

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/communicationcustomersstaff.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • How foodies are changing restaurant culture
    there is a difference between food that is organic free range first press etc The reason that customers need to know the terminology and ultimately the difference is because these products typically cost more and without proper marketing there would be no future for these products With the changes in customer perception of what is considered high end food the industry is shifting from an emphasis of quantity to an emphasis of quality Documentaries like Supersize Me and The Future of Food are excellent examples of how the public had been brainwashed and also how standards of what is considered food have deteriorated over time Finally we are seeing a push back from restaurants and customers alike The new focus on food has meant an increased importance of local products and farms that are ethical and responsible The focus on grassroots products and communication between distributor and supplier has filtered down to the restaurant customer level Now high end restaurants are more bistro style environments where chefs are not afraid to run out of products if it means that the product that they do put out is fresh and of the highest quality While the foodie culture continues to experiment with new ways of delivering food to customers it is the attention to the quality of products that we need to continue cultivating to ensure that we do not slip back into the old culture that has dominated the industry for the past 50 years The evolution of media has helped in some ways to advance and educate the general public We now have entire channels on television that are dedicated to the food industry which has helped to market certain products and various styles of cooking Unfortunately it is very rare that anyone broaches the truly tough topics and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/foodieschangingrestaurantculture.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Ingredients for a successful pop-up restaurant
    down the block And what is the appeal of the pop up concept To answer these questions we have to first establish what ingredients are needed to create these unique dining experiences Ingredients for a pop up restaurant The first and most important ingredient is a top quality chef preferably someone that has a certain amount of name recognition Almost as important as the chef is the location For a pop up restaurant to work you need a space that is funky unique and or obscure preferably all three An edgy yet knowledgeable staff is a major asset in ensuring the success of the pop up restaurant since most of the marketing for this concept if executed properly is word of mouth There must be an established foodie culture within the area that the restaurant is going to operate This should provide a strong customer base to build from provided that the next ingredient is put together properly Fresh local ingredients that are executed to perfection with a flair for dramatic presentation and unique service methods will give customers something they can talk about around the water cooler the next morning An excellent part of the mix is a local artist aspect It may be pieces of art that help to accentuate the décor or it may be as bold as having the artist create a space or interactive art piece within the restaurant A small but thoughtful menu is what should be expected from this style of restaurant as there can not be a lot of room to waver on quality or availability of product Essential in the opening of any pop up restaurant is a strong social media campaign that uses direct to customer marketing making it easy to approach the specific niche markets that are required to

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/popuprestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Ten ways to spread your restaurant's message via good copywriting
    be placed at the top of your letter or email so readers can see it right away without the need to unfold the letter or scroll down the email For greater impact use a second colour inside your box to attract the eyes to your offer immediately However make sure the content of your box is worthwhile You should include your main offer your phone number your website and the expiration date of the offer 2 Don t be too clever Many people think that great marketing means writing witty and clever content However being clever does not necessarily sell If the copy is too clever your message may get lost within it Be sure that your message is clear and concise and that it makes immediate sense to your customers first The point of your marketing campaign is to sell your restaurant and get customers in the door 3 Tell your reader what to do People have very short attention spans and may not have time to read your entire page of copy Make it clear quickly what you want the reader to do and how long they have to do it Tell your readers that they must act quickly and visit your restaurant immediately to receive your offer 4 Be honest Be honest with your offer Don t embellish or lie about what you plan to give your customers when they walk through the door Don t hide disclaimers in small print Keep your offer simple and tell people exactly what they are going to get and then deliver on your offer You never want a customer to leave your operation feeling disappointed 5 Use symbols and numbers Most people scan copy first to see if it is worth their while to take the time to read and absorb the information The eyes will look for symbols and numbers first to quickly get an idea of your deal or offer especially Numbers usually mean discounts and incentives 6 Let your reader know what s in it for them Marketing copy should always focus on the What s in it for me Readers are not interested in you or what you have to offer They are interested in what they will get For example it s much more effective to write You will get a free dinner rather than We are offering a free dinner 7 Use short words and short sentences Marketing copy is not the place to write long and poetic prose Make sure your copy uses short words in short sentences with a captivating tone It should be easily consumed and digested Bold or highlight key words that will initiate your reader to act immediately Keep paragraphs short preferably three lines or less 8 Write like how people talk Writing marketing copy is not like writing news copy It is far more effective to write like how people talk than writing with proper grammatically correct structured sentences Your message should be written as what it would

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/goodcopywriting.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Designing your patio to capture summer business.
    They scream Patio here sit down have a drink Use colours in your umbrellas that reinforce your interior concept Umbrellas are the flag that waves people down on the street and invites them to your establishment Giving customers shade will allow them to sit out longer in the summer sun and increases your best seat options 2 Develop a summer patio menu Consider quick serve and patio friendly finger foods burgers and grilled sandwiches Spiked lemonades coolers and mohitos are popular drinks so promote them Lean on your liquor and beer companies for assistance in promotionals to give your marketing a boost Many patrons that may not typically visit your restaurant may sit on your patio so wow them with a great patio menu 3 Invest in good patio furniture Too often the patio is thrown together in a last minute rush Some good planning goes a long way Your patio is an extension of your restaurant so you want to consider how you want to entertain your guests Maybe add a combination of seating options Club style seating may take up more space but will cater to a certain crowd There are many new seating and table options that come in a variety of finishes and styles It is now possible to distinguish yourself from the competition with a different look one that matches your interior concept 4 Add planters Planters are the least expensive way to add colourful impact to your patio Use window boxes hanging planters and planter boxes Urns come in all shapes sizes and colours Mix up a few options together to create a landscape of colours Flowers such as impatiens begonias and geraniums are popular options that flower all summer long and come in many colours and species Add some feather grasses The motion

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Designingyourpatiotocapturesummerbusiness.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Sustainable seafood for restaurants
    compromising the health or marine ecosystems Sustainable fishing is considered that which is caught with regard to maintaining healthy populations of the species and the stocks are monitored and managed properly caught using techniques that don t harm the surrounding ecosystem and caught with minimal bycatch bycatch is when untended species are caught such as birds or turtles Can farmed fish be considered sustainable Farmed seafood can be considered sustainable when important considerations are made The most important aspect of farming seafood is responsibility In order to protect wild stocks and habitats a few key things need to be taken into consideration Output is greater than input Some species tuna and salmon consume more seafood during their growth than they produce sometimes by a factor of 20 Farming species that produce more food than they utilize such as shellfish is a more sustainable way to farm Eliminate chance of escape Farmed fish pose a risk to the ocean and wild populations when they escape net pens that are directly in oceans or lakes Ensuring farmed fish are properly contained will help protect the ocean habitat and reduce the risk of disease transferring to wild stocks Proper treatment and management of waste from farming is also extremely important as disease can be transferred to wild stocks through waste Ensuring farmed fish are kept at a safe distance from vulnerable habitats is also important What can you do Know where your fish is coming from According to the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform there are no commercially viable Atlantic salmon fisheries left in the world That means if you purchase Atlantic salmon it is from an open net farm It s important to know where your seafood is coming from in order to make responsible choices Organizations such as SeaChoice and Ocean

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/SustainableSeafood.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Five things to do right now to reduce environmental impact
    next step Here are a few easy places to start 1 Inspect all faucets pipes and toilets for leaks Leaky faucets pipes and toilets are easily overlooked but can quickly add up to thousands of gallons of wasted water and energy Did you know a leaky faucet dripping once per second can waste more than 3 000 gallons of water a year and a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day Put a reminder in your calendar to check for leaks and running water regularly and repair as needed 2 Source and purchase sustainable seafood Our oceans and sea life have taken tremendous abuse over the past 50 years Overfishing climate change and toxic substances are just a few of the issues threatening our oceans National and international programs such as Ocean Wise SeaChoice and Seafood Watch work to protect endangered species and make it easy for food purchasers to make seafood choices that are less harmful to the environment and our ecosystem 3 Stop the Styrofoam Polystyrene or Styrofoam is an extremely harmful substance Petrolium and many toxic substances are used in the production of Styrofoam which are released into the atmosphere over time Styrofoam also doesn t break down and will remain in landfills for thousands of years Many cities and counties have begun to ban Styrofoam and there are plenty of less harmful packaging alternatives available today Look for products made from 100 recycled material instead 4 Turn off the lights One of the easiest ways to save on you energy bills is to turn off the lights when they are not in use or not needed If your establishment is graced with lots of windows and natural light take advantage of this by dimming lights during bright days or turning the lights off

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Fivethingstodorightnowtoreduce.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three green initiatives that drive top-line benefits for restaurant operators
    operations While many of these benefits are measured in terms of triple bottom line accounting their effects are more valuable to a company s top line financial performance because they typically require less capital investment While it s nowhere near as sexy as the TBL mantra People Planet Profit it s a valid point of view It s also one that applies particularly well to the restaurant industry where bottom line sustainability is focused on maximizing efficiency conservation and cost reduction the majority of actions implemented in the back of house and unnoticed by customers On the other hand the high visibility green initiatives that currently drive top line benefits for restaurant operators are also those that invite customer and media scrutiny when they go wrong they can quickly get tagged as greenwashing and rapidly reduce all those potential revenues However when coupled with solid TBL measures some green strategies can deliver a wide range of benefits from brand recognition to higher average checks These three areas offering great potential for top line rewards will come as no surprise Commitment to growing a local and sustainable food system From a single pizza topping or sandwich filling made by a local producer to a certified sustainable seafood menu great products with good stories and measurable verifiable benefits are still gaining value with diners Add some bold innovative steps such as exclusive supply arrangements with a local farm or a local artisan distiller and back them up with a very public statement of your business commitment You ve also just empowered every member of your team to maximize these revenue opportunities Materials redirected from landfill to recycling or compost It s nothing new but this is an area where community concern and potential for government regulation remains high A comprehensive zero waste

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