Restaurant Startup & Growth

Building Appetizer and Dessert Sales

Every operator knows just how much thought and effort go into getting their dining rooms full of happy customers. Or even, when our wildest dreams aren’t quite coming true, half full of happy customers. Every seat that is filled is a testament to our ability to get people to believe in what we do enough so that they choose to come into our restaurant, instead of one down the street.

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Cutting Your Own Meat – The Pros and Cons

One of the most basic decisions a restaurateur makes when developing their concept is where his or her kitchen will exist on the continuum that starts with buying everything pre-prepared, and ends with doing everything from scratch. Very few restaurants occupy the terrain at either extreme, with most fitting somewhere in between.

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Clean Enough to Eat Off of – 10 Critical Points of Kitchen Sanitation

I don’t think I am going out on a limb to say that most of us don’t get into the restaurant business because of a visceral attraction to the field of sanitation. More likely, we chose this path because of a love of food and wine, a proclivity to hospitality, or the possibility of turning a passion (or, at least a talent) into a livelihood.

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Feel The Love – How to Prepare for and Profit from St. Valentine’s and Mother’s Day Traffic

For many restaurants, St. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the two biggest days of the year. With a little planning and forethought these Holidays have the potential to turn an otherwise ho-hum February and May into real bright spots in your yearly sales picture, while also earning you some new, regular clients. On the other hand, if executed poorly, they’ll just be two more days of the week at best, or actually leave a bad taste in the mouths of both new and old clients.

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When Less is More

One of our major challenges as restaurateurs is to always be aware of the changes taking place in the preferences of our customers. When we become complacent in our efforts to keep our finger on the most current pulse of what’s hot and what’s not, we risk becoming lukewarm ourselves. No good would come from changing course every time we detected the slightest hint of the latest fad. But rejecting out of hand anything unfamiliar or new will not serve us well, either.

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Building Sales Through Check Average and Frequency

To make the most of their operations, restaurateurs need to leverage every asset they have available to them. Whether it is making sure that every bit of their chef’s experience and talent is evident on the plates in their dining room, that the most appropriate and pleasant wines their vendors can supply are being sampled and considered for inclusion in their wine program, or negotiating the best terms for a line of credit with their banker, the more effective they are at not wasting opportunities, the better off everyone is. When it comes to assets, one of the biggest you can have as a restaurateur is your current client base.

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Par and In-House Baking for the Independent

One of the most important things that every restaurateur needs to figure out is how they can differentiate their restaurant from all the others, giving customers a compelling reason to choose theirs over the rest. Couple that idea with the fact that everyone loves freshly baked goods but very few restaurants offer them, and the short, obvious answer to the question posed in the title of this article is: “Yes!” The longer and more useful answer is, “Yes, but…”

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New and Proven Front of the House Training Techniques

There is not a person in the restaurant business that has any doubts that the service their guests receive is at least as important as any other aspect of their operations. No matter how compelling the concept, how perfect the location, how amazing the food and how well thought out the beverage selection, a disinterested, unorganized, incompetent or unwelcoming front of the house staff will spell certain doom for any restaurant.

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Why Kitchen Service Backs Up and How Chefs Can Avoid It

Your dining room is full of happy customers looking forward to a great meal. You are proud of the job you’ve done putting together some crowd-pleasing specials that the waiters are having no problem selling alongside your classic dishes. The orders start coming in and, at first, things in the kitchen are humming right along. But before you can begin to relax a little and start to enjoy the well-oiled culinary machine you thought you had assembled, you notice a few things aren’t quite right.

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Determining the Most Effective Staffing for Your Kitchen

Along with food costs, kitchen payroll is one of the two most important, easily quantifiable things for a chef to control in his or her kitchen. Like controlling food costs, payroll is a balancing act between what is obviously sufficient, but not practical (i.e., affordable), and what will make the bean counter in your organization happy (at least in the short-term), but cause your erstwhile clients to choose to go elsewhere to spend their dining dollars.

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