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  • Five questions to ask before starting your green game plan
    tested evidence that the more comprehensive your approach the more valuable benefits you can realize for both the environment and your operation including real bottom line cost savings So given that where do you start Chances are it can be just about anywhere in your operation However before taking greener steps in any direction take the first and most important one with honest answers to the following five questions 1 What are your goals in adding more green to your operations Though the most effective way to add sustainability is to integrate it across your operations and business decisions you have to start somewhere and it ought to be with what matters to you most Do you want to lighten your environmental impact by reducing waste or conserving energy Help build a more sustainable local food system by buying more local products for your menu Attract more conscious consumers to your tables Find out how to go green and save money at the same time These are all valid motivations and focusing your first steps on the one that syncs best with your overall business goals offers the best chance to get your green program off to a successful and satisfying start 2 From your perspective what are the best opportunities around your operation to add sustainability Once you ve determined what matters most it likely won t take long to spot the key aspects or areas of your operations that are ripe for your green makeover Maybe it s a new recycling composting system or long lasting energy saving LED upgrades to your kitchen or dining room lighting or finding some locally grown ingredients for that new signature dish So if you re considering making changes or upgrades to your equipment design décor menu or brand marketing you ll want to include them among your first green steps 3 Are your team members onside with the green thing At this stage it s less about how much you and your staff know about greening your operations and more important that you gauge team support for the idea on principle You may be surprised at who will be enthusiastic about this and at their desire to get it right However even a lukewarm response can be overcome especially if you start with a few effective steps that generate honest results While you re at it find out whether you have someone on your team at any level with direct experience in a green workplace whether it was good or bad their participation in your initial plans will become a valuable asset 4 How ready and able are you to make changes to your daily operations Though this seems like another version of Question 3 it s quite different It s no secret that when asked most people say they ll change their habits to do the right thing when in the heat of action few actually do Some sustainable steps do involve reorganizing operational practices or workflow therefore both you

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/greengameplan.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Organic waste management alternatives for restaurants and foodservice
    organic waste disposal are few Most foodservice facilities send their organic waste fruit and vegetable scraps paper towels coffee grinds etc to the landfill with the rest of their garbage because it s easy fast and cheap The issue with this practice is that contrary to popular belief organic waste does not biodegrade in the landfill but is broken down anaerobically This process produces methane a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide Options for organic waste Composting Composting is a great way to manage organic waste because it reduces gas emissions and turns the waste back into nutrient rich compost which can then be used to grow more food The City of Toronto runs a green bin program which collects organic waste from restaurants and turns it into compost Unfortunately this service outside of Toronto is largely unavailable unless you re willing to pay out of pocket for a private company to pick up your organics Don t let this deter you Look for other cost saving opportunities in your restaurant that will offset the cost of a composting service Vermiculture Vermiculture is different from traditional composting in that worms are used in an enclosed container to degrade the waste Eco Verm a Canadian company provides an innovative system that turns organic waste into profit for restaurants in Canada Eco Verm claims to be the first commercial vermiculture system in the country It purchases the castings from a restaurant at a guaranteed price helping the restauranteur eliminate the castings and gain an additional revenue stream This can be a more cost effective strategy for those restauranteurs looking to reduce their waste hauling costs and environmental impact at the same time More information www composting ca www csrplus com About the author Janine Bolton is President

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Organicwastemanagement.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Why green is good for the restaurant business
    and investing in energy efficient equipment in a commercial kitchen reduces energy consumption that can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in savings There are also many low or no cost things you can do that will also save energy water and money such as inspecting for plumbing leaks regularly conducting food waste audits and installing low flow faucet aerators By establishing savvy start up and shut down schedules you can keep a lid on lost profits by only running kitchen equipment when you need it You ll keep them coming back for more In a 2010 National Restaurant Association survey 61 per cent of adults surveyed said they d be more likely to visit a restaurant that offers organic food or food that was grown in an environmentally friendly manner Environmentally motivated purchases are at an all time high and customers are spending their dollars with businesses that are doing their part Wear your commitment on your sleeve and make it easy for customers to identify that your restaurant is truly green by undergoing an environmental audit and becoming certified Seventy nine per cent of consumers said they are more likely to dine at a certified green restaurant than non Attract quality staff and boost morale Both loyalty and productivity increase when employees are proud of the company they work for while encouraging employee feedback and contributions to environmental initiatives can prove to be excellent team building opportunities By making a commitment to green business practices you are indicating to your staff that you are concerned with the health and well being of the planet and the people that live on it including them Marketing advantage Are you doing something great and innovative to reduce your environmental impact and increase the quality of the experience

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Greenisgoodforrestaurantbusiness.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Dealing with acrylamide - tools for the Canadian restaurant and foodservice industry
    a comment About acrylamide Acrylamide has been present in the human diet ever since we began using fire to cook food First identified in food in 2002 it is a chemical compound that forms naturally as a bi product of certain cooking methods such as frying grilling toasting and baking Regardless of where food products are prepared in a restaurant food manufacturing facility or in a consumer s home kitchen acrylamide will form when certain foods are cooked using these methods Foods with acrylamide include prunes olives baked potatoes chips fries crackers coffee asparagus cereals and toast along with many other foods that are part of a normal balanced diet Acrylamide is not unique to Canada Dietary exposure to acrylamide by Canadians is equivalent to international exposure estimates As foods with acrylamide are prevalent eliminating any one food or food type with acrylamide would not significantly reduce acrylamide in the total diet Leading government food safety authorities around the world including Health Canada the U S Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have yet to determine a dietary limit for acrylamide These organizations continue to advise consumers wishing to reduce or limit their acrylamide intake to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits vegetables and whole grains As food safety is the restaurant industry s top priority CRFA supports the ongoing rigorous scientific investigation of acrylamide in the diet Acrylamide causes concern because it has been linked to cancer in laboratory rodents at high doses and has been identified by Canada and international scientific bodies as a possible human carcinogen What the food industry is doing While scientific investigation continues the food industry is making significant progress in understanding acrylamide and implementing measures to reduce levels in various products For example Some companies are selecting potatoes

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Dealingwithacrylamide.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Tips for managing food allergens in the Canadian restaurant and foodservice industry
    the server that he was allergic to nuts and asked if there were any nuts in the cheesecake he planned to order The server told him there weren t any nuts in that dessert and served it to him After the first bite Martin knew there were walnuts in the cake He rushed to the local hospital where he went into anaphylactic shock Fortunately Martin recovered from the incident after receiving medical treatment Duty of care The judge found that the server and the restaurant were responsible to provide a duty of care when serving a customer who identified himself with food allergies but failed to do so The ruling stated The standard of care for the server was to ascertain that the cheesecake did not contain nuts something that Mr Martin would have done himself if he had been acquiring the cheesecake directly It further indicated that Determining whether the cheesecake contained nuts would have been an easy task The server could have asked the head cook at the restaurant or she could have read the ingredients listed on the packaging As such the judge ruled that the server breached the standard of care and that the anaphylactic reaction was caused because of it In this case the judge found that the restaurant also breeched its duty and stated Duty of care exists in the context of a customer advising that he has a nut allergy and then asking whether there are nuts in a particular food being offered by the restaurant In that circumstance the restaurant s duty extends to ensuring that its employee who is serving the customer knows that she should ascertain the ingredients so as to give an accurate answer to the customer and so as to avoid serving to the customer a food that may cause the customer sickness or may endanger his life Safeguards for prevention This ruling highlights a number of key safeguards that need to be in place to prevent this type of situation First the need for clear and accurate communication between diners and restaurant staff second access to complete ingredient information for all food served and prepared in a restaurant or foodservice establishment and finally the need for greater staff training on managing food allergy requests While allergic consumers are responsible for informing staff of their allergies when dining out and taking the necessary precautions they need to stay safe e g carrying an epinephrine auto injector they also count on the support of those in the foodservice industry Safely managing food allergies is an ongoing process that can be achieved through ongoing vigilance and the commitment to provide a duty of care to consumers In doing this you will demonstrate your willingness to provide consumers with access to the information they need to make informed and safe choices By working toward practical solutions that are both reasonable and effective you also create a safer environment These positive business practices will benefit allergic individuals and allow you to develop

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/managingfoodallergens.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Today's tip for Canada's restaurant industry: Plan for food allergies and sensitivities
    partnership with other local businesses Link Click here Diane Chiasson Chris Elliott Roger Mittag Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Plan for food sensitivities January 28 2013 Tweet Leave a comment Consumer awareness of food sensitivities intolerances and allergies is increasing Many are following stricter diets and are taking greater responsibility for learning about the food that they eat and the sources of the food For these individuals dining out can pose a significant risk and they will do their research to avoid patronizing establishments that they deem unsafe Managers must prepare their operations to accommodate and attract this growing segment Developing menus that offer a selection of items that would satisfy many of the most prevalent food concerns will provide individuals with more flexibility to dine out with family and friends Ensuring staff are educated and can convey their knowledge about menu ingredients and preparation methods will assure guests that they will be safe Finally promoting these meal options will attract a whole new segment that is still largely underserviced in today s market Courtesy of David Swanston a Hospitality and Foodservice Consultant Principal of Focused Industry Training Seminars and is an

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Planforfoodsensitivities.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Today's tip for Canada's restaurant and foodservice industry: Post menu prices
    other local businesses Link Click here Diane Chiasson Chris Elliott Roger Mittag Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Post prices February 11 2013 Tweet Leave a comment Most people want to know how much a meal at your restaurant is going to cost so it is important to always post a menu with prices in front or outside of your restaurant so customers

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/postmenuprices.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Busy and slow times require equal effort for restaurant management
    a promotional partnership with other local businesses Link Click here Diane Chiasson Chris Elliott Roger Mittag Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Slow times and peak periods require equal effort December 10 2012 Tweet Leave a comment Management s promotional efforts often focus on building business during off peak periods Discounts or special offers during slower nights of the week such as free appetizers or two for one entrees of the week have become popular These programs help build sales cover overhead and often attract different customer demographics In many cases these efforts are significant but produce minimal results Equally as important are efforts to stretch business during peak periods where even small efficiencies can yield substantial results Reducing average service times by 10 minutes can significantly reduce wait times and increase table turns Using more small deuce tables instead of square four tops will provide seating flexibility that will maximize seating utilization With relatively fixed operating and labour costs during a shift increase volume and sales will deliver a larger return on investment See more great tips Customize prepared food items Read reviews Personalize gift giving with digital gift cards Courtesy of

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