• Using technology to reach Millennials

    Using technology to reach Millennials

    key findings from our research is that Millennials embrace the mantra "useful is the new cool" and Millennial parents take that one step further embracing the "useful is the new essential" mantra. The days of just using incorporating technology into a brand are over. Brands must now innovate in ways that make their customer's experience seamless while incorporating technology. To learn more Millennial marketing trends be sure to attend Share.Like.Buy, the world's largest conference about marketing to Millennials, on June 17 in New York City.……
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  • Stop that tweet! Millennials just like everyone else

    Stop that tweet! Millennials just like everyone else

    percent of millennials value ads on Twitter), but we still have to provide a quality product. Our connection may be made on Facebook, but we still need to genuinely connect with our customers. And the millennials may be taking over, but they are really just like everybody else. Not a millennial? Kevin Bacon feels your pain.……
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  • JJ's CEO on the 'great American hot dog joint'

    JJ's CEO on the 'great American hot dog joint'

    34 of the Social Restaurant Podcast has been made possible through the support of our sponsors On Scene Productions, a digital storytelling and video production consultancy and NetBase Solutions, social media intelligence for multi-unit restaurant brands If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Social Restaurant Podcast, you can learn more here.……
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  • Menu labeling final regulations on hold: What's the beef?

    Menu labeling final regulations on hold: What's the beef?

    locations to conform to a one-size-fits-all approach, asserts the coalition, and "would inflict onerous burdens on these stores, threatening to limit job creation and the other positive economic impacts of the pizza industry without improving consumers' access to convenient and accurate nutritional information." However, National Restaurant Association executives said supermarkets are exaggerating the cost of rule implementation and has lobbied for prepared foods in supermarkets and convenience stores to be added, saying they are essentially selling the same things. The NRA has been working with federal lawmakers to write fair and balanced legislation surrounding menu labeling. Additionally, they sent Pizzeria Industry Council members to Washington, D.C., last year to offer alternative solutions to the law's required nutritional labeling requirement. PIC members on the trip, led by PIC chairwoman Marla Topliff, president of Rosati's Pizza, pointed out several potential issues, such as variability, serving sizes, take-out vs. dining-in, and changeability. The group also invited me to speak during a council board meeting, advising as to the issues surrounding the legislation and what it means for pizzeria operators. Since then, the legislation has been at a standstill while the FDA reviews comments and determines the best way forward. "I'd like to say that the good news is that the law has been delayed, but I'm not completely sure that the delay matters," Topliff said. "The Pizzeria Industry Council has had many discussions about what the delay means in the long term and pretty much concluded that it really means is that we just have more time to procrastinate. Although we don't know when, how or who will enforce the law, the one thing we do know for sure is that eventually it will be enforced." Visit our blog to keep up-to-date on menu labeling legislation.……
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  • Modular construction and ROI

    Modular construction and ROI

    ,176 additional income, the total value to the company is about three quarters of a million dollars. Good economy or bad economy, that's real money.…
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  • Podcast: Facebook's organic reach limits

    Podcast: Facebook's organic reach limits

    Facebook Admits Organic Reach is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads Generating business results on Facebook You'll hear what Brandon and I think about Facebook wanting to make more money of off our brand's content and our ideas on how come up with an effective social strategy. Watch the video to hear our commentary to learn more. Get the Hangout Notes Resources If you'd like to find out more some of the ideas mentioned during the video, visit my blog where you can find additional resources, links and other exciting nuggets that will help you build a content factory in your organization.……
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  • A new vision for restaurant catering

    A new vision for restaurant catering

    Off-premise catering deliveries with a value added set-up service Off-premise catering deliveries without set-up Off premise catering products for pick-up by the consumer Once you understand the types of catering experiences you want your brand to deliver, the framework for your catering services can be established. This is because you will provide your customers with clarity around the types of services that they may want to purchase. Once you understand the options and market segments, you will be in a great position to sell these services, and your customers will have a better understanding of your offerings. As such, they will be in a position to spend more money with you. I believe that catering should be part of the overall business strategy initiative for ALL multi-unit restaurant operations, but executive and catering leadership must get "out of the box" in order to see the catering vision for their brands. There needs to be a fundamental shift in perspective if we are to succeed. As an example, many brands in the hamburger segment have told me that they like the idea of catering, but they can't figure out how to get hot hamburgers to the boardroom and still guarantee the quality and experience of the burger, never mind the fries! However, a hamburger is still a sandwich and sandwiches are great for catering. In fact, it might not be about serving hamburgers at all, but leveraging the hamburger brand across all other products that are more 'catering friendly.' Start thinking about creating a new brand experience. It might not be about your current menu. If you create the "right experience," your customers will visit more often because of the community trust your business has already earned. The caveat here is that you have to appeal to their needs and you just have to show them how they can spend more money with you every single day. I am certain that if the world's largest hamburger chains made the strategic decision to grow their catering sales in their existing markets, it would create powerful results for their top-line sales. This statement holds true for any multi-unit restaurant operator. All it takes is vision, ambition and a willingness to think outside the box.……
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  • Top (missing) food industry trends for 2014

    Top (missing) food industry trends for 2014

    (OK – 11) Foods & Flavors – Low country and Appalachian comes in on coat tails of Deep South. Brazilian food steals spotlight from Peruvian cuisine. Foods & Flavors – Beverage – Scandinavian & honey beers, drinkable grains, tea cocktails, farm to glass. Foods & Flavors (Bonus) – Creepy crawlers, invasivors, and killers shine. Think oysters, crickets, agave worms, honeypot ants, cicadas, puffer fish (fugu), raw baby octopus (sannakji), lion fish, foraging (is that really an edible mushroom?), etc. Ties to fearlessness and global cuisine interests. Consumer – The budget conscience consumer will demand luxury and "value" will be defined as the best quality for the money. In other words - if they value an item, they will justify the cost. Consumer – My favorite – fearlessness continues to gain ground! This has birthed in the travel and wine scene. Adventure in food and flavor is back, comfort food is out. Think regionally/culturally authentic or tie the foods and flavors to a time in history. Knowing a food's origins is key to consumers. Health – Cognitive function research – specifically development and decline. Sorry Gen Y and Xer's this one focuses on the Boomers, WWII, and Swing Gen, and Gen Z. Think focus, memory, depression, sleep and stress behaviors. Health – Elimination diets – any diet which vilify a single food or food group(s) attract more immediate attention from medical and dietetic professionals to correct false or misleading health information. Whole food diets supported. Technology – GMO technology used to enhance vegetable, fruit, legumes, grains and others to boost nutritional content or eliminate allergens. Technology – Vending is hot, hot, hot. Whether the machine is talking to you, offering suggestions on your next beverage purchase, making you a pizza in real time, or sending out Wi-Fi signals, it has no equal. Government – FDA voices opinion on frivolous lawsuits directed at industry – "natural," GMO, etc. Government – FDA addresses energy beverages and sweeteners – labeling and marketing issues primarily focused on kids. I have already sabered champagne, played board games with Gen Z and watched the holiday pounds melt away as spring approaches! So a late "cheers" to the baby New Year.……
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  • Podcast: Studying consumer psychology to create enticing restaurants

    Podcast: Studying consumer psychology to create enticing restaurants

    of the Social Restaurant Podcast has been made possible through the support of our sponsors On Scene Productions, a digital storytelling and video production consultancy and NetBase Solutions, social media intelligence for multi-unit restaurant brands If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Social Restaurant Podcast, you can learn more here.……
    3 comments
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  • Why the restaurant and retail industries should consider modular construction

    Why the restaurant and retail industries should consider modular construction

    x4s on the scrap pile, resulting in a project that is friendlier to the earth. Last but not least — and maybe even first — is that experience and a controlled environment helps dramatically reduce construction-related injuries. Once placed inside the eventual building, the modular units help make the structure more rigid than if it had been without modular components. This is so because units must adhere to structural standards that are generally more rigorous than for stand-alone buildings, because the modular pieces will have to withstand transportation and assembly forces. In a later blog, we'll talk about other benefits, such as cost-savings, the minimization of site disruption and the ability to hasten positive ROI. Until then, I really encourage foodservice, retail and hospitality planners to think about how modular construction can make them a hero with their company's clients, account execs and accountants.……
    2 comments
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  • Earn and Burn vs Surprise and Delight

    Earn and Burn vs Surprise and Delight

    -for-1 offers when customer purchases tell operators exactly what they like. Think Mobile CRM (Customer Relationship Management). As that purchasing database grows, operators can discern immediately who their regular users are, what they like, and who among them may need some unique rewards in order to come back. Through mobile, operators can send customized offers directly to each loyalty customer's smartphone and address them personally. When customers respond to those offers, operators know exactly how well their promotional efforts worked so there is measurable return on investment. Mobile provides transparency that shows operators who their customers are and what they like. The guesswork is gone. That's the real value of a mobile loyalty program and mobile CRM.……
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  • Can retail experience predict the foodservice future?

    Can retail experience predict the foodservice future?

    "Buying locally produced food appeals to consumers on multiple levels. It's more eco-friendly than shipping organic yogurt from New Zealand. It turns national retailers into community players that support local businesses and artisans in our increasingly entrepreneur-driven economy. And it seems healthier, as the food typically is fresher and more in tune with the seasons." So simple, especially with produce. Tell the local story, know your farmer and let consumers fall in love with them, too. The food world has changed. Hanging on to old models that "always worked" is a death sentence; just ask the Safeway Execs who bailed out to the highest bidder.……
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  • Top food industry trends for 2014

    Top food industry trends for 2014

    Government – GMO, snack taxes, caffeine, frivolous lawsuits, kids, obesity, food safety Health – Obesity, natural energy, kids, flexitarian, cognitive function, healthy fuels, celebrity influence, protein Technology – Omni-channel, narrowcasting, vending, digital wallets, GMO, tablets, connected objects Consumers – Newism, clockless eating, invisibly healthy, clean slate brands, snacking, escape, sustainability Travel – Arctic, extreme Asia, Brazil, secret travel, island travel, digital detox, ancient civilizations, bleisure Beverage – Low alcohol cocktails, bubbles, mocktails, infused ice, snackified, grains, tea, hard cider, cold pressed Food & Flavor – Regional ethnic, seasonal, pickled, sour, wildcrafting, Nordic, Low Country, kids, fin to tail, noodles, smoked, wild game, beans, open flame, hybrids, stuffed, secret menus ……
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  • Part time vs. full time:  Which is best for most job seekers?

    Part time vs. full time: Which is best for most job seekers?

    13. What does this mean for your business? For one, advertising positions with the term 'part-time' in the job title or description won't make you look bad to a job seeker. By including this term you will actually increase the chances of your job posting being shown to job seekers searching for that type of job. This will also help you in attracting job seekers who have the right expectations. By not including needed availability or number of hours in the job description, you'll be attracting job seekers with all types of schedules, adding more applications for you to sort through and more time spent filling the position. By including "part-time" in the posting or specific shifts you are looking to fill, job seekers who are looking for full-time may deter from applying or apply with the understanding that they will need to obtain a second job to get to full-time hours. Incorporating popular search terms in your job postings will draw the attention of enthusiastic, and qualified, applicants. Simply adding this information to a description can help you find employees who meet your scheduling needs.……
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  • The goings on after you leave for the day

    The goings on after you leave for the day

    p.m. Most of the full-time, tenured employees are working during this time. The manager has strong business skills and the business runs fairly smoothly. However, can the same be said after the manager leaves for the day? Does the customer have similar experience in the evening or late night hours as they would have during the day? The entire working environment may change. The workforce may reflect younger, less tenured, part-time employees. The shift supervisor may be less experienced and management skills less effective. As a result, the customer experience may be totally different. So, how can you tell if the customer experience is less than your company mission? Customer feedback – Provide avenues for your customers to provide feedback. Request for feedback on sales receipts, feedback cards on customer tables, or perhaps a picture of the manager with contact information posted in a prominent area will provide pertinent information on the customer's experience. Monitor social media sites for customer comments on your business. Analysis of POS reports – Evening and late night sales may be inconsistent. Are key performance indicators such as the number and dollar amount of cash and inventory shortages, voids, deletions, price reductions, no sales, and refunds in line with acceptable standards? Indicators beyond acceptable standards may be symptomatic of quality issues, customer service problems, or employee theft. Add instant notifications of exceptions to your smartphone. Labor hours vs. sales projections, key performance indicators and unauthorized opening of the back door notifications can provide information to operate the business more effectively and efficiently when you or the manager are not on site. Turnover ratios – High turnover rates may indicate poor hiring procedures, disparate job expectations, or poor working conditions. None of these are generally congruent with smooth operations and excellent customer service. Operating the business with a shortage of employees or new hires may tax operations and severely affect the customer experience. Training programs – All employees must understand the mission and goals of the organization. Training programs emphasizing policy, procedures, and expectations must be clear, especially to the employees working evening and late night hours that may have infrequent contact with you or the Manager. Mystery shoppers - Enlisting a third party shopping service to evaluate your business during various day parts will offer an impartial customer viewpoint. Ensure quality, service, and cleanliness standards are high throughout the day. Pop in – Unexpected visits by the manager and/or owner may set the tone on performance expectations. If the evening and late night employees never see them, performance levels may be lax. Camera review – If the location is equipped with security cameras, review not only activity from a customer complaint or accident claim, but spot times as well. Assess the efficiency of operations, customer and employee activity and compliance to policy, procedures, and expectations. Remote access to security cameras will enable you to monitor activity from your home computer, smart phone, tablet, or other remote site. Old school surveillance – Nothing quite gives you the sense of what's going on during evening and late night hours like sitting across the street with a pair of binoculars and perhaps a drive-thru headset. You can watch and listen live to how customers are treated, the efficiency of operations, and compliance to policy, procedures, and expectations. Of course don't use a vehicle that's known to the employees. So you discover that there is a discrepancy in the customer experience between the day shift and the evening/late night shifts. It's time to reevaluate your business. If effective supervisory skills are needed, perhaps reassigning more effective, tenured managers to those shifts will alleviate problems. Less experienced supervisors may need additional or remedial training. More effective hiring and training procedures may be needed. Most importantly, effective, consistent progressive discipline practices must be in place with the goal to change behavior and performance to desired results. If segments of your business are not delighting customers, take a serious look as to possible reasons why. Take the actions necessary to fix those issues. Customers don't care what your problems are. They want consistent quality, service, and value, no matter what time of day it is. It is up to you to provide it.……
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  • Podcast: Bean Sprouts co-founder on what it takes to be a kids-focused cafe

    Podcast: Bean Sprouts co-founder on what it takes to be a kids-focused cafe

    of the Social Restaurant Podcast has been made possible through the support of our sponsors On Scene Productions, a digital storytelling and video production consultancy and NetBase Solutions, social media intelligence for multi-unit restaurant brands If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Social Restaurant Podcast, you can learn more here.……
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  • Allergy training on continued education fast track

    Allergy training on continued education fast track

    started to research and work on a company-wide food allergy program. What prompted his interest was the increase he saw in diners with special dietary needs. Additionally, Bill's wife is allergic to certain foods and therefore, finding restaurants and foodservice establishments that are safe to dine has been part of his routine. Bill modeled his company's allergy program after what he found while visiting Disney and through a partnership with San Jamar, established the use of separate color coded cutting boards, tongs and spatulas to ensure there is no cross contamination in the meals for guests who have a food sensitivity. Bill says their allergy program is the number one complemented item that gets called into the company switchboard. Moore and two team members took the Master Trainer course in January and plan to train employees — managers, cooks and servers — system wide on allergy awareness. Another one of our new master trainers is Anne Thompson, the co-founder of Mothers of Children Having Allergies (MOCHA). Anne's youngest son has severe allergies and she decided to take the course because of gaps she saw within the college and university system. Anne wants to take her new training credentials on the road in an effort to teach foodservice providers at schools how to properly prepare and serve children with special-dietary needs. "All of the kids now going to college are the tip of the iceberg of children coming up through the school system," Thompson said. "I don't want a kid to die before we recognize the need for greater policies at schools." MenuTrinfo's next Master Trainer course is April 8 and 9 in Fort Collins, Colo. Click here for more information.……
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  • Eating dinner with Scarlett Johansson

    Eating dinner with Scarlett Johansson

    the food we eat.…
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  • Gluten-free’s house of cards is beginning to fall

    Gluten-free’s house of cards is beginning to fall

    consumers; Have a fast acting exit strategy. Focus on sales numbers and behavioral research, not product launch data. The decline in purchasing will precede launch declines. Focus on the trends trajectory, not what your competitors are doing. Don't shoot the messenger. ……
    10 comments
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Showing (1 - 20) of 558
BLOGGERS
The Digital Diner: Tactics, Tools & Trends that Restaurant Marketers Can Use
JJ's CEO on the 'great American hot dog joint'
Menu Labeling, Food Allergies and Gluten Free
Menu labeling final regulations on hold: What's the beef?
Customer Experience on the Move
Modular construction and ROI
Talent, Technology and Trends
Success is a team effort
Loyalty Marketing For the Masses
8 ways to keep your VIPs happy
Brand Strategy: Delivering On A Promise
The future of the restaurant industry is bright
PCI Compliance & Network Security
Don't let hackers scare off your customers
Shift vs. Hourly & Meal Credits. The more you know, the more you can add to your bottom line.
Lawyers see another way to get a restaurant reservation
Industry Trends & Insights
Listen, learn and leverage
Next Generation Supply Chain Management
The path toward world domination (Part 1)
Selling Digital VS Traditional Menu Boards
Where are the traditional menu board companies?
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