fresh arugula, cheese, fresh ingredients
fresh arugula, cheese, fresh ingredients
Goliath Consulting Group
Goliath Consulting Group

Coronavirus Updates for Restaurant Owners and staff

Goliath Consulting Business Plan Guide 2[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.9 MB]
Georgia Executive Order 5 13 2020
GA Regulations Update 5 13 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]
GRA _ NRA COVID19 Reopening Guidance.v5.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [3.5 MB]
SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [298.6 KB]
PPP FAQ Update 5 3 20
Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-A[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [118.2 KB]
NRA Re-opening Guide for Restaurants
National-Restaurant-Association-COVID19-[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [3.3 MB]
State of Georgia Executive Order
GA Restaurant Rules for dine-in effectiv[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.0 MB]
Approved Products to Sanitize Surfaces for Covid-19
List N Products with Emerging Viral Path[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [193.8 KB]
Restaurant Best Practice for Delivery and Takeout Meals
Best safety practices for delivery and t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [238.3 KB]

Contact us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com with questions about content on this page and other resources that are available. Updates are coming in daily and we'll share the latest information we have. 

 

May 17, 2020  Free ServSafe Training Classes for restaurant staff through 5/31/2020

 

Resources

 

National Restaurant Association |  Coronavirus Information and Resources

 

Georgia Restaurant AssociationCOVID-19 Restaurant Employer Guidance

 

US Department of Labor | Coronavirus and FMLA/Sick Pay

 

Tobin Ellis Hospitality Relief Dashboard for North American Restaurant Workers

 

Eater List of Relief Funds for Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service Workers

How To Grow Your Catering Business

by Bora Kang

 

Catering has grown significantly over the last few years thanks to the widespread demand for this one word: convenience. Whether they be for office parties, conferences, birthdays or weddings, catering profits from the promise of efficiency, safety and most importantly—safe of mind. 

 

But as consumer spending on catering grows, so does the competition. And while a little competition never hurts, continuing investments in your catering program will be paramount to your business’s success. Here are four strategies you can use in your existing catering business to gain a competitive edge in the crowded catering landscape. 

 

EXPLORE NEW CATERING VERTICALS 

Exploring new catering verticals is key to expanding your catering business. You may be used to catering for corporate meetings, office parties, weddings or cocktail parties, but what about outdoor festivals, picnics and movie sets? You may even get client requests you’re not used to, like having to add a food truck or using non-traditional type venues you would have never thought of using (1). But that’s what makes it a perfect opportunity. Take some time to explore what you can achieve as a business. Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy, but challenging yourself to take on new catering opportunities will set you apart from the competition and increase your business exposure. It will also provide a marketing platform where you can meet new people and gain new leads. 

 

INVEST IN TECH 

It can be stressful to manage a growing catering business without relying on technology. From venue information, menus, pack lists, hiring, timelines, etc., there will be logistical challenges in trying to keep track of every detail without a business management software. According to Daniel Smith, writer for QSR Magazine, “technology is playing a prominent and escalating role in catering. Those who can harness technological tools like online ordering and loyalty programs are better positioned to succeed ,,, minimizing friction for the end user” (2).   

 

If organization is important to you, you may want to invest in a management/ catering software that can automate a large portion of your business. A good management software should be able to track your sales, managing your staff scheduling and most importantly, boost the overall efficiency of your business so that you can dedicate more time and energy into helping more clients, as explained in detail in this CaterEase article (3). 

 

We also recommend that you start utilizing some of these catering/lunch service apps (if they are available in your area) to increase exposure and volume: 

 

Fooda (4, 5)
• A workplace food program that brings in a different pop-up restaurant to serve as the office lunch vendor each day
• Works in dense urban areas and suburban surroundings
• Primarily geared toward employers that have more than 400 or 500 people in a location. 
• Roughly 75 to 80 percent of the restaurants Fooda works with are local, independent restaurants and about 20 percent are chains. 

 

Foodsby (6) 
• Serves in 15 cities, see reference: 
• Connects employees in office buildings with local restaurants. 
• Requires restaurants handle deliveries
• These employees can pre-order a meal from a restaurant in the Foodsby network, which Foodsby then aggregates and sends the collected orders to the restaurants. Your restaurant would deliver these pre-ordered meals in one single delivery. It’s basically delivering mass meals to one location.
• Advantage: restaurants can plan their labor and production days in advance. 
• Because Foodsby acts as a marketplace, with the restaurants handling their own deliveries, the fee is much less than traditional third-party delivery services. 

 

Foodee (7, 8)
• Works exclusively with corporate clients. Orders are typically a minimum of $200, restaurants are given 24-hour advance notice, and orders are prepared during non-peak hours. 
• Orders are placed by clients either online or through staff. Foodee confirms and passes the order to the restaurant, and the restaurant prepares the food by the indicated pickup time, where Foodee drivers will take, package and present to the clients, including catering set up and quality assurance. They also offer all serving utensils with compostable options.

 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRENDS

We expect the Coronavirus pandemic to have changed catering trends significantly. In an interview with Mike O’Hanlon, head of catering partner business at ezCater, with FSR Magazine, orders on ezCater containing individually packaged menu items have more than doubled as the result of the Coronavirus pandemic (9). Likewise, home delivery of family meals and to-go orders have been added to the catering software company CaterZen so that operators could diversify their services and meet this new demand (10). This trend of individual servings and lunchbox type meals is expected to continue for the remainder of 2020, and catering businesses will surely benefit from taking advantage of this trend as catering orders are expected to recover slowly, at least as social distancing and small gatherings remain in effect. 

 

INVEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA 

It’s never been more important to market yourself online. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, strategic social media marketing ideas for restaurants can drive sales and increase foot traffic (11). Especially now because of the pandemic, "Consumers are afraid to go out, so they are likely canvassing their social media much more than usual," said New York City-based Four Corners Communications President Drew Kerr in QSR Web (12). Izea, a social media content provider, even found that about 63% of consumers expected their usage of YouTube and Facebook to increase during the quarantine (12). 

Managing your online presence will be key, so make sure you have the basics: a Google listing of your business, an updated website with an online menu and a Facebook page are musts. Get your business on Instagram and even Twitter and share with your audience regular updates on the catering business, testimonials, expert tips on event planning and more. (More ideas can be found in our earlier blog, “5 Steps To Do Social Media Right.”) Be sure to take advantage of trending hashtags, especially ones involving food-specific holidays such as these upcoming ones #nationalhamburgerday (May 28), #nationaldoughnutday (June 5), #nationalsushiday (June 18), etc. 

 

Lastly, consider utilizing these media outlets to send out a compelling brand message. Now that the pandemic has upturned our daily routines, many are creating new habits and behaviors, even the kind of food they eat. A compelling message and awareness of your audiences’ needs and trends will help establish yourself and to draw in new customers for your business. Kate Finley, CEO of Belle Communication, a restaurant digital marketing company in Columbus, Ohio, recommends that you “humanize your brand” (12). Businesses should form local, community ties and build bonds; offer foods that give people a sense of comfort, safety and nostalgia (12). Your business can also address current concerns by posting updated sanitation policies online and communicating these messages to your audience to show that your business prioritizes guest safety above all else. As Finley stated, "Now, is the time for social listening and proactive engagement. Devote time to proactively connecting with consumers. Pay attention to what's important to your audience right now.”

 

 

Reference:

(1) https://www.caterease.com/manage-fast-growth-within-catering-business/ 
(2) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/restaurant-operations/why-its-critical-perfect-your-restaurants-catering  
(3) https://www.caterease.com/manage-fast-growth-within-catering-business/   
(4) https://www.fooda.com/restaurant-partners 
(5) https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-fooda-orazio-buzza-exec-qa-0702-biz-20170628-story.html  
(6) https://foodondemandnews.com/06142018/foodsby-brings-lunch-to-suburbia-on-the-cheap/  
(7) https://www.food.ee/blog/why-foodee-parnerships-work/  
(8) https://www.food.ee/how-it-works/  
(9) https://www.fsrmagazine.com/leader-insights/restaurant-catering-coronavirus-age 
(10) https://www.fsrmagazine.com/content/catering-software-company-helps-brands-combat-coronavirus-crisis 
(11) https://www.nrn.com/technology/how-social-media-can-impact-foot-traffic  
(12) https://www.qsrweb.com/articles/is-your-restaurant-speaking-the-covid-19-era-customers-language/

Catering for Restaurants

Important points to consider before starting a catering program

 

Off-premise catering is undoubtedly a compelling business opportunity for restaurant owners. Aside from boosting revenue, catering can boost business during slow performing times, reduce excess food waste, allow for menu changes, and helps to increase employee retention as they gain new skills and varied tasks that challenges and keeps them busy (1). Catering also gives businesses brand exposure and valuable marketing opportunities.

 

Instead of waiting for customers to walk through their doors, businesses can bring its brand to the customers in a catering environment (2). As for profit, the percentage is largely variable dependent upon the business model, size, and marketing strategies, but high-end caterers have boasted impressive sales—a pretax profit of over 25% (3). But on average these numbers are much more modest.

For example, Catersource magazine reported 7 to 8 % as the average pretax profit in the full-service restaurant industry (3). Nevertheless, we think it is a good time for caterers as recent studies have made clear the growing demand and popularity for catering. Chicago-based foodservice research firm Datassential, for example, reported that consumer spending on catering was capturing growth that is on par, if not beyond, that of other restaurant categories (2). A more recent research from Technomic reported that business catering brought in $22 billion in 2018, with catering expecting to grow 5.6% annually through 2019 (4). As Gene Lee, the CEO of Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants said in an interview with RestaurantBusinessOnline.com, “(Catering) makes a lot more sense for us to market and pursue than running around delivering $10 entrees at this point in time” considering that the average order for a large-party delivery catering in Olive Garden is $300 (5).

 

With that said, there are several factors restaurants must consider before starting a catering program for their restaurant. While it may seem like a big opportunity, off-premise catering is also a lot of work—requiring your time and energy for adding necessary staff, purchasing delivery vehicles, acquiring needed equipment, and paying for miscellaneous expenses that come with the service (2). It is therefore imperative that when starting out, restauranteurs tread slowly and carefully. A successful catering service may take years of adapting and fine-tuning before it is perfected. The personnel, storage capacity and vehicles are dimensions that can be added to the business as volume increases (2).

 

Possibly the most overlooked element in operating g a successful catering program is good organization. An absence of organization, according to catering experts Maulik Suthar and Nishin Sura, creates a huge time strain and causes simple tasks to take up an unnecessary amount of your day (6). Imagine being too late or too early to the venue because you did not factor in delivery timing, underestimating the amount of food or bringing incorrect food due to miscommunication.  Making your guests impatient and uncomfortable is the last thing you want to establish a good impression of your brand. We recommend that you set up a system in place that will allow you to keep track of venue information, menus, pack lists, hiring, timelines and more. Alternatively, you can invest in a catering software to do this for you.

 

First, find a catering software that can help you organize more catering orders. Basically, a catering software manages business functions for the catering, event planning and banquet management industries, and you start by compare product reviews and features here (7). We recommend that you find one where the invoicing is automated, such as Gather (8) or Total Party Planner (9). BEO (Banquet Event Order) binders, used by event professionals and venue managers to outline all the details on a particular event, such as food and beverage orders, A/V requirements, room info, decor, signed receipts, staffing and more, are also all managed digitally thanks to software like these (10). Other good features to have are integrated/shared team calendar, task management, communication tracking (for proposal or invoice re-reads or reviews), 3rd Party Integrations from excel spreadsheets, credit card payment processing and business insights.

 

Next, you should assemble your catering team. Having a point person who is dedicated to directing catering, to oversee operation of the catering business and handle with employee training, customer concerns and safety compliance, is a must because it helps catering operations to run more smoothly (5, 12). You’ll also need to cross-train some of your employees so that they can serve as backup staff for your catering service, as catering programs often require irregular staff scheduling and flexibility to handle catering orders that vary in size and complexity (13, 14). Having employees who can multi-task or who can work on a flexible schedule can help. You can also hire a catering salesperson, someone that who will manage business and customer relationships by sales calls, networking, advertising, and social media.

 

Other questions business owners should ask and answer before you start catering is whether your business has the right equipment, storage capacity and the delivery logistics in place. According to Aaron Hoffman, CEO and co-founder of DeliverThat, a third-party delivery service provider in restaurant catering delivery and setup, how restaurants implement their catering delivery strategies have changed much in these recent years due to growing popularity of third-party delivery (15). According to his article, restaurant owners who implement a hybrid approach to delivery—using both self-managed fleets and third-party delivery providers—have shown the highest customer and employee satisfaction rates. For example, a small fleet of delivery drivers and branded vehicles will cover a few daily runs while third-party providers will handle the most of restaurants’ catering deliveries or overflow on days with higher volume. “The hybrid approach also works well for brands that handle large catering volumes, see seasonal fluctuations, or have VIP clients that prefer one delivery channel over another” (15). 

 

Whether it is simply dropping off the goods or offering more extensive services like buffets or a full dining service, catering is an excellent opportunity for your restaurant to draw in more vertical revenue streams. We hope that these considerations should give you a foundation you need to start your business, but the most important advice for a successful catering program is presenting a professional service that is organized, timely and executes on its promises. 


References:
(1) https://www.caterease.com/boost-revenue-adding-catering-restaurant/ 
(2) https://www.fsrmagazine.com/fsr/events/right-way-cash-restaurant-catering  
(3) https://www.catersource.com/business-operations/what%E2%80%99s-fair-profit-margin-caterer 
(4) https://www.technomic.com/ 
(5) https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/catering-strategy-key-driving-premise-dollars 
(6) https://www.fsrmagazine.com/expert-takes/3-strategies-running-successful-catering-business  
(7) https://www.capterra.com/catering-software/ 
(8) https://www.gatherhere.com/ 
(9) https://totalpartyplanner.com/catering-software/ 
(10) https://www.gatherhere.com/blog/gather-makes-beo-binders-obsolete-heres/ 
(11) https://www.catersource.com/business-operations/how-hire-great-salesperson 
(12) https://www.catersource.com/restaurants/four-steps-building-successful-premises-catering-operation 
(13) https://www.ezcater.com/lunchrush/restaurant/catering-feed-hospitality-training-chaz-patrick-podcast/ 
(14) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/food-trends/6-smart-tips-deliver-successful-catering-program 
(15) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/how-hybrid-approach-eases-catering-delivery-challenges    

Future of Food Delivery

How will restaurants deliver after COVID-19?

 

The coronavirus crisis has challenged restaurants to rethink the way they deal with food delivery for good. Larger franchises have offered free delivery (McDonalds, Applebee’s, IHOP, Panera Bread, Wingstop and Chipotle Mexican Grill, among many others) to accommodate decreasing on-premise sales (1). Meanwhile, smaller restaurants had to turn to third-party delivery services like Doordash, UberEats, Grubhub to deliver food to their customers. The topic of switching to self, or in-house delivery has been a widely-debated issue among independents these past couple of years, and it will most definitely be a hot topic as restaurants begin to open their doors again. So where is food delivery headed post-COVID-19?

 

In our previous blog article, we briefly touched on the various advantages of third party delivery services, like how outsourcing delivery to a third-party service has an advantage of allowing smaller, local restaurants to get started quickly (2). By partnering up with these big companies, restaurants have been allowed to take advantage of the software and support they offer and use these popular apps as a marketing tool—a way to attract new customers and gain brand recognition (3). Even larger brands, like that of the sub/sandwich franchise Jersey Mikes, relied on third-party delivery as a way of managing within its capacity (4).

 

However, the main issue with these third-party services have been their exorbitant fees, often ranging from 25 to 30 percent of sales (4). Other complaints have been unreliable delivery time and unsatisfactory food temperatures upon arrival (5). A report by the US Foods even found that 1 in 4 food delivery drivers admit to eating the food they were supposed to deliver (5). These issues collectively have made the shift to self-delivery so appealing.

 

The food delivery marketplace has exploded in the recent weeks due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Portillo, a Chicago-style comfort food restaurant in Illinois, for example, reported a 90% delivery sales increase through its third-party delivery since shutdown and 60% delivery increase through its website and mobile app (1). But for restaurant owners who had to rely solely on third-party delivery, this jump in food delivery has not entirely been welcome, driving them to look for alternative delivery measures despite some third-delivery services suspending some fees to accommodate for the crisis (6).

 

Having your own in-house delivery service allows you to have more control over your staff and drivers, reduce transit time and give you options to give better customer service (7). Having the same drivers deliver to your customers also come with perks of building long term driver-customer relationships.

 

Just as the third-party delivery model has its pros and cons, so does in-house delivery. While in-house delivery models are great in that you get more control and own the transaction from beginning to end, an in-house delivery route would require you to pay upfront costs to hire drivers to deliver your food (7). It also means you’d have to hire, train and pay new staff for this job including paying for insurance and vehicle expenses. For restaurants that have enough volume to keep their drivers busy the expenses will be worthwhile, but for up and coming restaurants that are in the process of building a customer base, self-marketing will be key whether it be by word of mouth, online listings or by keeping an active social media presence.

 

The good news is that in the long run, restaurants who have self-delivery services can expect higher returns (16, 17). As more restaurants fight back third-party delivery fees and lack of control, we could be seeing a lot more restaurants adopt self-delivery in the near future.

 

So, in summary: 

 

Third Party Delivery

  • Pros:
    • Doubles as advertisement that increases exposure of your restaurant.
    • Provided drivers/ No training required
  • Cons:
    • High Fees
    • No control over the delivery time
    • No control over the condition of the food once it leaves your restaurant

 

Self/ In-House Delivery

  • Pros:
    • More control over your profit margin/transaction fees
    • More control over your driver
    • You can offer faster delivery
    • Offer better customer service
    • Allows you to build driver-customer relationships
  • Cons:
    • You’ll need to hire, train and pay your driver
    • Not recommended for low volume restaurants
    • You have to actively promote on social media to make up for the marketing

 

Interested in setting up self-delivery?

 

Goliath Consulting Group with headquarters in Norcross, Georgia offers a dynamic array of business development solutions, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client – in addition to a full suite of knowledge and tools that help make restaurants more profitable, including strategic planning, menu development, project management, new restaurant development, branding, marketing, franchising, equipment, technology, evaluations, outsourcing, and more. The company also has a management division that manages full-service restaurants. Goliath Consulting enjoys a ten-year track record of creating client success among local, regional and multi-unit national restaurant chains.


Goliath Consulting Group is actively involved in the Foodservice Consultants Society International and is an allied partner of the Georgia Restaurant Association. 

 

Contact: getresults@goliathconsulting.com

 

 

Reference:

 

  1. https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/why-coronavirus-shutdown-will-upend-delivery-services-good
  2. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sponsored/how-third-party-delivery-helps-brands-drive-sales-growth 
  3. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/restaurant-operations/house-versus-third-party-delivery-debate-rages 
  4. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/delivery-dilemma-rages-restaurants 
  5. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/ordering/delivery-question-whats-happening-my-food
  6. https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/delivery-takeout-solutions/what-third-party-delivery-marketplaces-are-doing-and-not-doing
  7. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-casual/house-or-third-party-delivery-whats-better

 

A New Time for Old Fashioned Leadership

Guest post by Robert Marshall - Organizational Health Consultant @ CSR

 

A guide for establishing a critical connection to your teams and employees

 

I hope this finds you well considering the unprecedented disruption of our personal lives and the negative effect it has had on the economy of this country. That we have collectively endured these last few months is a credit to our resilience. The one thing we know, is that companies are going to come out of this better and stronger or worse and weaker. But certainly not the same. How we lead during this time will determine our fate and long-term impact of this short-term disruption to our business and our lives.


Working capital is tight. Companies will return to regular operations soon with a philosophy of cautious austerity. While some have already adjusted to working with fewer people, others have fought to stay intact and keep their people in place. Whether future measures include a thinning of the workforce or are simply new policies designed to run leaner in the aftermath, chances are good that employee morale will be the big loser. 

 

But what if there was a way to energize your workplace? What if there is a way to show your employees that you truly value them in a time where most have been shaken to the core? What if you had the opportunity to not only weather this storm but also reset the company culture.  You can dramatically differentiate your workplace from your competitors by developing a "Branded" people program now.

 

Your employees need to know that they are valued. When you as management, operate from a place of caring and COMPASSION, this will be recognized. Your company will reap the rewards with increased productivity, improved morale, and individual loyalty. Brand your program, “People First”. This is your competitive differentiator! The way your people see you and the company, interested in their welfare, will re-engage them, and cement the foundation of your plan. Investing in the future of your company this way, will bring added credibility and allow you to maintain and/or ramp up your expectations with a positive response. The only way 2020 can be salvaged into something positive is if your employees are properly taken care of now. 

 

Invest in the individual and watch their value as an employee grow. Make it about them. The way they function better as individuals, with a heightened sense of self-awareness, will make them better team members as they strive to achieve the team goals. More than ever, we “need them” on the team. A targeted, personal people program will address individual needs for the greater good of your entire organization and long-term health of the organization. We can do this now or miss the opportunity and pick up what is sure to be the more expensive pieces later.

Communication Plan for Leaders.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [804.3 KB]

This Is How Your Small Business Ultimately Survives COVID-19

Guest post by Elena Stewart

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people and businesses alike all over the world. As a result, those that have been classified as “non-essential” are forced to pause their operations. For many small businesses, this can spell devastation. However, there are ways you can keep your business afloat during this difficult time. After all, modern technology has made available countless tools and resources to keep people working remotely, which, in turn, can give your business a fighting chance to survive. We’ve put together some links to help you with the task.

 

Improve Your Workspace

Creating a clutter-free and work-friendly space will do wonders for your productivity.

 

 

Work Effectively

Leveraging the many resources and tools made available by technology will keep your business going without a hitch.

 

 

Get Adequate Help

Just because you’re operating remotely doesn’t mean you need to do it all on your own.

 

 

Suffice it to say, there’s no need for your lifeblood — that is, your small business — to languish and move closer to failure as the whole world tries to recover from this pandemic. Instead, embrace the paradigm shift into remote work and operations, and maybe also learn a new thing or two along the way. Ultimately, that’s how your business succeeds through COVID-19.

 

Photo via Pexels.com

Pay It Forward with Give Care Initiative 

Using CARES Act Stimulus Money to Support Medical Personnel, Front Line Workers and the Unemployed


#Givecare is being used to promote the donation of CARES Act stimulus money to charities that impact those people out of work and the people on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus.


Charities to support include food banks, organizations buying PPE/supplies/food for medical workers, funds supporting restaurants and restaurant workers and a host of other organizations that are focused on helping those in need.


Join us in getting the word out to #givecare and our message of paying it forward.

 

From the www.facebook.com/givecarenow

 

With stimulus checks coming to most Americans, we are proud to promote the #givecare initiative.  For many, these stimulus checks will serve as a lifeline to make ends meet and put food on families’ tables during a time of need. For those with continued employment, who do not need the stimulus checks to keep their lights on and mortgages paid, we ask that you join us in donating to food banks and other charities that will support those out of work and also our first responders and medical personnel  dedicated to taking care of our communities.


Americans have a tenured history of supporting one another.  Multiple studies demonstrated during the recession of 2008, the ratio of Americans’ charitable donations to income remained consistent.  In September 2001, tip jars across the service industry were willfully replaced with collections for the first responders and victims. Recent data shows that around 20% of people with means plan to donate their stimulus checks. This is our tradition, and these are the values that make us a great nation.  
This is an opportunity to redirect several billion dollars in stimulus checks to those most in need. Please join us in promoting #givecare and help make a difference.

 

Reference: 

NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-stimulus-package-questions-answers.html

 

CARES Act Stimulus Payments

 

How large will the payments be?  Most adults will get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500.

 

How many payments will there be?  Just one. Future bills could order up additional payments, though.

 

How do I know if I will get the full amount? It depends on your income. Single adults with Social Security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. And taxpayers filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less.

 

Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people who have no children and earn $198,000. According to the Senate Finance Committee, a family with two children will no longer be eligible for any payments if its income surpassed $218,000.

 

 

Here's good information on who will be donating from FSR Magazine:
https://www.fsrmagazine.com/consumer-trends/restaurants-biggest-threat-market-share-today-its-not-other-restaurants?utm_source=fs_insider&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200409

 

 

Restaurant staff resources for deferring bills
List of companies offering bill paying f[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [142.2 KB]

Georgia Unemployment Claims - Employer Best practices and FAQ

Filing for Georgia Unemployment Insurance (UI) can be a complicated process leading to multiple questions from both the employer and the employee.  This frustration of filing claims is magnified during the coronavirus pandemic due to the mass influx of claims overloading the GA DOL’s capabilities.  From long wait times via phone and the website servers continuously slowing down or crashing, I received multiple requests for filing assistance and answers to questions.  Most of the issues with the process are individual business specific. 

 

If you have any questions, need assistance deciphering the process, or inquiries after filing claims, reach out to Colin.Kopel@GoliathConsulting.com

 


Do I need to file a claim for my employees, or do they file a claim for themselves?
This is contingent upon your plans during the current crisis.  If you are temporarily laying your staff off and have the full intention of rehiring the staff, you will file on their behalf.  This is called a Partial Claim.  The employer is responsible to file each week the employee is out of work. It is not important which day of the week you choose to file for your employees, but it is important you file on the same day every week.  Filing a day early can result in the system rejecting your claims and filing a day late can lead to a delay in your staff receiving their benefits.


If you are permanently laying your staff off, they will file on their own behalf.  This is only recommended if you do not plan on reopening or you plan on reopening at a reduced capacity.


How do I file Partial Claims for my employees?
You will need access to the DOL UI Employer Portal.  If you do not remember your established login credentials, follow the “Reset” links below the login screen.  If you need to establish access for the first time, select “Establish Administrator Access.”  If you do not have a pin number, check the corresponding box and answer the security questions.  In the event your security answers are not working, call the DOL and speak with an operator.  They will verify the correct information over the phone so you can login.


Once your administrator access is setup, click “File Employer Filed Claims (Partial Claims)” link and download the template.  The DOL created a user-friendly YouTube tutorial you can find here.  It is critical your inputted data on the template mirrors the acceptable formatting rules or the site will reject it.  Once complete, upload your template.  The automated system will determine if there are any errors in the template and guide you through any changes needed.


What happens after I file a Partial Claim?  
After the DOL accepts the uploaded template, your claim is complete.  Remember, you must refile every week on the same day for your staff to continue receiving benefits.  The DOL will mail a letter to your listed business address listing each employee you filed for and their weekly benefit.  Your employees will receive further instructions from the DOL on collecting their benefits.  Remember: The DOL is currently using reported income from 2019 to calculate the weekly benefit amount.

What if my employee was turned down for UI or received below the maximum $365/week?
Once the DOL has a benefit determination for an employee, it is the employee’s responsibility to correspond with the DOL if a correction is needed.  Most of the issues reported to me involve lack of income during the 2019-time frame.  The DOL allows employees to dispute the reported wages via submitting earnings reports to the email listed on their determination letter for additional periods of time.  As an employer, you should send the earnings reports to the employee, but the burden of submitting it and contesting the amount currently falls on the employee.


Do recently hired employees qualify for Partial UI?
Yes.  Any employee on your payroll with hours effected by the coronavirus qualify for Partial Unemployment.
 
Most of the questions regarding Partial Unemployment are business specific.  If you have any questions on filing for your employees or need assistance with the filing process, reach out to me at Colin.Kopel@GoliathConsulting.com

 

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Restaurant Action Plan in Response to Covid 19

Posted 3/22/20

 

This is a guide for restauranteurs to help mitigate the impact of closing your restaurant and/or closing your dining room and converting to take out and delivery. Below this post is a printable document to help guide you with next steps.

 

Staff
Operators that can are keeping their staff paid or receiving partial pay is the best scenario. This is not possible in most cases. The next phase is keeping essential management on staff to run operations along with key hourly staff to cover what sales are projected over the next six to eight weeks. The last choice, when the restaurant is closed, is laying off all staff. 
Depending on your staffing situation, laying people off and setting up unemployment through your state agency is the next step. If you employ your staff through a professional employer organization (PEO), check with your PEO on next steps.


There are a number of programs in addition to unemployment that your staff can engage to help with their expenses.
Georgia Employees visit this site: https://www.garestaurants.org/covid-19-resources-for-restaurant-workers  and this site: https://thegivingkitchen.org/help


Federal Assistance is going to be updated next week. 


Georgia Unemployment site, start here: https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/new-information-filing-unemployment-partial-claims-and-reemployment-services

 

Finances
Operators are advised to contact all vendors including your landlord, food and beverage suppliers, utilities, etc. to discuss plans for payment deferment, extensions and other considerations. 

 

Operations
Operators are advised to create daily/weekly plans to manage each shift. Staffing, hours of operations, limited menus, and safety and security are key areas to address.


Facility
Spring cleaning is early this year. Now is a great time to deep clean your business and focus on improving the efficiency of your restaurant by reorganization stock and storage. Rearranging equipment and furniture may help optimize the work space. 


Marketing
Short-term (6-8 weeks):
Communicate with your customer base using social media. Explain your companies approach to ensuring safe food and clean environments. Explain any changes in pick-up or delivery procedures. Post adjusted hours of operations, limited menus and easy ways to order (online, apps, phone).


Longer term:
Begin creating “back to normal” plans to drive traffic back to your business. Use your marketing and business consultants to draft effective plans to promote special offers, use segmentation data to reach customers that have not returned and create a cadence of messaging to ensure your business breaks through the advertising clutter to reach your customers. 

Restaurant Action Plan Long Version
Use this guide to help with navigating the changes needed to support your staff and restaurant during the Covid 19 pandemic
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More Restaurant Forms

Restaurant Operations Tips from CapitalSpring
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What’s Packing Your Food? Delivery Packaging Trends

A restaurant’s packaging is not just a vehicle for carrying food—it’s a statement that informs customers about your business’s brand and values. According to Technomic, a food industry research firm, 64% of consumers consider high quality packaging an important factor in deciding where to order food (1). And as Alicia McCabe, senior director of Food Packaging Category at Georgia-Pacific Professional, stated, “It’s important for consumers to have a good dining experience, even outside of the restaurant. The packaging is important to meet this need” (2).

 

 

A research conducted by US Foods reported that the top complaints from ordering customers included, “food was not warm or fresh” and “food got shaken or messed up during delivery” (3). With more consumers using food delivery services, the demand for better food packaging is stronger than ever. Wrong packaging could mean unhappy customers, bad reviews, and fewer repeat orders. On the other hand, restaurants with innovative, sustainable packaging can increase traffic among consumers. 

Here are the top 3 considerations we think you should make when choosing your food packaging: 

 

Quality
By quality, we mean that the food packaging should keep foods fresh foods fresh and hot foods hot. It also means that the packaging should allow for easy transport while keeping foods sealed and protected from spills or physical damage. Remember, the goal of food packaging is not just to contain the food that is delivered to your customers, it is to deliver them in a way customers would have gotten had they dined in

 

Some basic rules of food packaging are: keeping hot and cold foods separate, placing sauces on the side, and using containers with tight seals (4). Temperature is also a crucial part of ensuring high food quality. With styrofoam losing favor over more environmentally friendly materials, restaurants are turning to new and innovative products like reusable or compostable containers, then relying on insulated bags to keep meal deliveries hot or cold (5).

 

Even if the risk of contamination or tampering is minimal, packaging experts at Packaging Strategies, suggests that restaurants go the extra mile with packaging so that they can show consumers that your restaurant takes their safety seriously (6). “Attention to detail is vital to protecting your company and your image,” said Chris Bekermeier, the Vice President of Marketing at PacMoore (6). “Food packaging is one of the first things a consumer will notice.”

 

Presentation
It goes without saying that the food inside the packaging should be clean and organized, as well as compartmentalized with dividers so that they do not mix during transport.  Unfortunately, off-the-shelf packaging doesn’t always fill the bill. According to Sheri Miksa, president and CEO of Tulsa, Okla.-based Mazzio’s Italian Eatery, “Custom packaging may be needed to be sure the product stays as fabulous once delivered, as when served in the restaurant” (7).

 

Major brands have addressed this concern by undergoing a packaging redesign. IHOP, for example, unveiled their proprietary IHOP ‘N GO packaging which was designed in a way that appeals to aesthetics while allowing the company’s famous pancakes to fit perfectly into the container right above the bottom compartment of other hot items, strategically designed so that they would keep the pancakes warm (8). Wagamama, the US-based Asian fast-food chain, has also redesigned its takeaway boxes so that the packaging is segmented—perfect for their signature multi-component meals containing rice, proteins, sauces and multiple garnishes (9).

 

Sustainability
A Nielsen study reported that consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for sustainable brands (10). This probably explains the trend of previously-recycled and reusable packaging. Such packaging helps relay to your customers your restaurant’s values on being more environmentally responsible (11). It also resonates with younger customers, millennials and generation Z, who are more likely to help market your restaurant via social media (12).

 

In support of this movement, major Brands have already committed to sustainable packaging over these last few years. For instance, KFC pledged all plastic customer packaging recoverable or reusable by 2025 (13). Taco Bell, too, pledged compostable, recyclable packaging by 2025 (14).

 

Conclusion
Food packaging as the new differentiator, and it’s more than a simple shipping tool—but an important extension of your restaurant.

“Taste and test; taste and test,” stated Sheri Miksa, president and CEO of Tulsa, an Oklahoma based Italian restaurant. “Use your own product to be sure the delivered product is indeed excellent once received” (7). 

 

Reference:
1. https://www.technomic.com/available-studies/consumer-trend-reports/retail-meal-solutions 

2. http://www.worldcentric.org/images/aboutus/in-the-press/QSR%20Magazine%20-%20September.pdf 
3. https://www.usfoods.com/our-services/business-trends/2019-food-delivery-statistics.html 
4. https://get.grubhub.com/blog/the-secrets-of-properly-packed-food-deliveries.html 
5. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sponsored/one-easy-change-solves-delivery-headaches 
6. https://www.packagingstrategies.com/articles/88986-the-role-of-packaging-in-food-safety
7. https://www.nrn.com/fast-casual/delivery-world-packaging-matters 
8. https://www.fsrmagazine.com/employee-management/packaging-enters-new-frontier-foodservice 
9. https://blog.euromonitor.com/delivery-demand-is-creating-a-need-for-better-packaging-in-foodservice/ 
10. https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-releases/2015/consumer-goods-brands-that-demonstrate-commitment-to-sustainability-outperform/ 
11. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/five-packaging-trends-2016 
12. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sponsored/why-packaging-major-influence-guest-loyalty 
13. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sustainability/kfc-pledges-more-sustainable-packaging-worldwide  
14. https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/taco-bell-wants-compostable-recyclable-packaging-by-2025/570298/ 

What’s Next? The Rise of Gen Z Trends

 
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts you’ve probably read what we had to say about millennial food trends in “Our Most Anticipated 2020 Food Trends List.” But what about Gen Z, the so-called digital generation? Born after 1997, research shows that this group will be responsible for up to 40 percent of consumer spending in 2020 (1). In fact, they will be making up more than one-third of the population at some time this year, surpassing both millennials and baby boomers as the largest generation (1).
 
 
While Gen Z’s tastes and preferences are often lumped together with those of the millennials, there is no doubt that this generation wants food to reflect their values and innovations of recent times. Gen Z, according to Chicago-based research and consulting firm Technomic Inc, is a generation “on the move that strongly prioritizes speed of service, technology, and having what they want, when they want it” (2). While this is a gross generalization, it is important to note that Gen Z’s priorities as a whole will be setting the trends of the restaurant industry. As Marcie Merriman, a cultural strategist at professional services and accounting firm Ernst & Young says, “The youth within our society have always been the drivers of change and trends. Five years ago, that just happened to be a millennial because that was the generation that was at that point. Now we have Gen Z. … If you can meet their needs, then you’re going to please everybody else” (3).
 
If you’re not convinced yet, just consider their estimated spending power. It’s been found, that on average, Gen Z spends $1 out of 5 on food, and $29 billion overall (4). That’s why it’s not too early to start marketing to this young audience. Here are some ideas to get started:
 
Make it convenient
 
Gen Z diners are going to use phones as part of their dining experience. Because their reliance on technology is stronger than those of the previous generations, we expect there’s going to be more customers digitally splitting checks, previewing the menu on Google, and posting online reviews in real-time (5).
 
Make it convenientIntegration with technology is going to be the key to attracting this generation. Having a solid digital presence and active social media accounts should be your priorities. At the very least, we recommend that you upload your business information and menu on Google and Facebook so that your customers to find you online. It is not uncommon for Gen Z diners to decide to eat at a restaurant solely based on their social media accounts (6).
 
Other ways to increase convenience in your business are increasing delivery options, allowing online reservations via app, and allowing customers to pay by mobile app. The more convenient it is for Gen Z customers to order food from your restaurant the more likely you will bring in Gen Z customers as well as keep them. “The more knowledge you can give these guests ahead of time, the more it will help with your throughput” (7).
 
Be open to change and innovation
 
Generation Z is a generation that has grown up in a multicultural world, and thus around global cuisines. According to research by Mintel, a London-based market research firm, Gen Z consumers are driving the consumption of more emerging international food and drink (8). Research even shows that 36% of US parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods (8). With exposure to international foods starting at an early age, Gen Z diners are more likely to break from tradition and more willing to explore foods however bizarre; they desire gastronomic experiences on top of food that looks and tastes good (3). This is even reflected in the way they shop: according to management consultancy Accenture, less than 38 percent of Gen Z customers frequent a single grocery store, compared with 55 percent of older millennials (9). According to Merriman, Gen Z is “a generation where things have constantly changed around them” (3). She also added that “They’re constantly looking for something different and new and fresh. For these restaurant brands and chains to continue to win them, they’ve got to constantly be giving them something different.”
 
Be Social. Engage. Offer connections
 
According to Michelle Tempesta, the head of marketing at Paytronix Systems, Inc, guest engagement programs could be key to winning over Gen Z (1). A well-executed loyalty program has many benefits, as it helps to understand their guests and engage with them on a one-to-one level. It also enables discounts and other promotions that will motivate customers from Gen Z to return to your business.
 
Tempesta also added that Gen Z wants to feel special (1). One article in the Society for Human Resource Management addressed a slightly different need—to feel connected—as a Gen Z trait (10). That said, engagement is going to be important to Gen Z consumers who rely heavily on social media. Restaurants would benefit from posting daily, offering giveaways and contests. If done well, social media would prove to be an effective marketing strategy, one that will boost the number of customers that post reviews online. Research by Harvard Business School showed that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating can result in as much as a 9 percent increase in revenue (11).
 
 Be authentic, and build a good brand image
 
Generation Z customers are looking for food that fits in with their values. According to Technomic Inc.’s Generation Consumer Trend Report, menu words such as locally sourced, sustainable, farm-raised, organic, and free-range have greatly appealed to Gen Z diners (12). Other values that seemed to resonate with this generation are transparency as well as social responsibility. Unlike previous generation diners, Gen Z diners are more invested in not only what they eat but how they are produced. According to a report by the NPD Group, Gen Z places a different perspective on the “value” of food (13). As written in the report, “this generational cohort has set expectations that food and food brands will follow their needs and not the other way around” (13).
 
As Susie Fogelson, Founder and CEO of Fogelson & Co. said, “The findings suggest ways for food, beverage, hospitality and dining brands to rethink their storytelling strategy” (14). One way to connect with these young consumers may be to first recognize their values, go to the digital platforms they frequent, and then engage them at a personal level.
 
However, we recommend that you balance engagement with authenticity. According to Desiree Le, cofounder of California-based Cauldron Ice Cream, “If you’re trying to lie to them or thinking about tricking them … they’ll call you out on it right away because they have so much information available to them. They’re loyal if you are honest with them, but in a second they can go to anyone else” (3).
 
Likewise, “Gen Z just wants you to be honest,” wrote Donald Burns for Foodable Network (15). “That means have strong values that they will identify with. So, know who you are and be authentic about it.”
 
Conclusion
 
There is no question that the Generation Z as a whole will leave an indelible mark in the food and dining industry. Marketing to this generation will require change, innovation and technological investments, sure, but these changes will ultimately provide opportunities for your business to grow and adapt to the group of consumers that will soon reign as the majority. It’s as Fogelson says, “Gen Z is really having a lot of fun with food” (14).
 
So maybe we should, too.
 
Reference
 

Are you Missing Out? 


4 Things to Consider Before Adding Delivery to Your Restaurant

 

Food delivery is projected to grow 12% per year over the next 3 years1. Aside from the sales opportunity, there are other clear benefits to incorporating food delivery at your restaurant, such as giving the restaurant increased visibility, exposure to new customers and gaining of valuable insights on purchasing trends2,3. That said, incorporating delivery to an existing restaurant isn’t something that happens overnight. Factoring in the new technology, menu development, staff training and additional costs that goes into the whole ordeal, it may be a good idea to first consider these four important aspects of food delivery first:

 

 

Menu

Do you have a delivery menu? There are foods that just don’t travel well, like cheesy nachos that are meant to be eaten right away or a raw seafood plate that is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. And while everything is technically deliverable, sometimes it’s not worth the trouble to have to invest in a packaging solution that would let you deliver them. So yes, you can deliver anything, but you shouldn’t try to deliver everything

.

A few tips here4 offer solutions to keeping delivery foods fresh, like separating the sauces and separating hot and cold in separate bags. Insider also gives a few examples of foods that don’t travel well, like avocado toast and salads that aren’t packaged properly5. 

It also goes without saying that your food won’t be deliverable without proper packaging. A well packaged food is not only durable, but also leak-proof. A badly packaged food can leave you with negative reviews and hurt your restaurant’s reputation for food quality.


Technology

Investing in a POS system that includes delivery function is a must. There are a number of systems you can choose but you need to make sure that your POS system offer apps that will let your customers place orders on their tablets or smartphones6. It should also be able to handle things like delivery, online ordering, customer information and operation control7

 

According to an Online Ordering Platform company, Orders2me, one advantage of updating your POS so that it covers online services is that it handles the problem of chain restaurants having issues with poorly integrated and non-uniform POS systems across restaurants. Meanwhile, “online ordering systems are situated above the POS, [so] they can easily integrate themselves into multiple POS providers at once”8

 

Don’t want to enter the information from all those delivery tablets? There are solutions including Chowly that integrate those orders into your POS. This helps with labor, speed of service and accuracy and are typically worth the extra cost.

 

Space and Staff

Is there a dedicated staff member who will be in charge of the delivery? You should have an employee who can take care of receiving orders, prep, expediting and checking orders before they leave for delivery9. This is important because delivery orders can negatively influence a restaurant efficiency, especially if this task is added to your front-of-house staffs’ duties. According a Olo’s “Want to Scale Delivery?” report, “once your restaurant is processing 30 or more delivery orders per day you can justify dedicating an employee to this role”10.

 

Likewise, operators should have extra workspace for preparing and packaging delivery food and storing big bags and boxes11.  

 

Delivery options

You can decide to deliver yourself or leave it to a third-party service like Doordash, UberEats, Grubhub, among many others. The advantage of outsourcing delivery is that smaller, local restaurants can get started quickly12. Restaurants can also take advantage of the software and support they offer and use these popular apps as a way to attract new customers and gain brand recognition13. Sometimes, it’s just the matter of capacity. As Jersey Mike’s president Hoyt Jones said, “It’s hard to manage an in-house business, a carry-out business, and then a delivery business”14.

 

Still, the problem with third-party delivery companies is the fees ranging from 25 to 30 percent of sales14. More restaurants are developing their own delivery service models instead of struggling with the tight margins15. An in-house delivery route would require you to pay upfront costs to hire drivers to deliver your food, but it may be worth the investment if it will bring higher returns in

the long run16, 17.

 

About Goliath Consulting Group
Goliath Consulting Group with headquarters in Norcross, Georgia offers a dynamic array of business development solutions, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client – in addition to a full suite of knowledge and tools that help make restaurants more profitable, including strategic planning, menu development, project management, new restaurant development, branding, marketing, franchising, equipment, technology, evaluations, outsourcing, and more. The company also has a management division that manages full-service restaurants. Goliath Consulting enjoys a ten-year track record of creating client success among local, regional and multi-unit national restaurant chains.


Goliath Consulting Group is actively involved in the Foodservice Consultants Society International and is an allied partner of the Georgia Restaurant Association. 

 

Contact: getresults@goliathconsulting.com

 

Reference:
1) https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/consumer-trends/stats-are-consumers-are-upping-restaurant-delivery   
2) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sponsored/3-ways-delivery-can-increase-your-restaurant-s-profitability   
3) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/ordering/how-restaurants-can-thrive-delivery-economy  
4) https://pos.toasttab.com/blog/online-ordering-menu-food-that-travels-well  
5) https://www.insider.com/foods-not-to-order-for-delivery-2018-9 
6) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/ins-and-outs-online-ordering-and-takeout-pos-systems   
7) https://www.touchdynamic.com/4-must-have-features-for-delivery-point-of-sale/  
8) https://orders2.me/the-five-advantages-of-online-ordering/  
9) https://www.fsrmagazine.com/expert-takes/step-step-guide-adding-delivery-your-restaurant  
10) https://www2.olo.com/hubfs/Olo_Delivery_Ops_Guide.pdf  
11) https://restaurant.org/Articles/Operations/Increase-your-revenue-through-catering    
12) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sponsored/how-third-party-delivery-helps-brands-drive-sales-growth  
13) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/restaurant-operations/house-versus-third-party-delivery-debate-rages  
14) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/delivery-dilemma-rages-restaurants  
15) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/how-restaurants-can-offer-delivery-and-make-money   
16) https://www.nrn.com/technology/restaurants-are-pushing-back-delivery-players-are-listening  
17) https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/most-diners-order-delivery-through-restaurants-not-third-party-apps/539861/  

Incorporating the “New” Snack Trend

Great news! Snacking has become something we do 24/7. According to Skift Restaurant Megatrends of 2019, “customers are eating whatever they want, and whenever they want it” (1). Whether it is midday snacking or late night eating, “the definition of meals, where and when we have them, is becoming more fluid,” said David Portalatin, VP, food industry advisor at NPD Group (2). “People are going to restaurants saying a hamburger, something we would consider lunch or dinner, is just a snack.”

 

These snacking occasions create perfect opportunities for restaurants expand their menu and to increase traffic and sales. So how should you incorporate this new snack trend into your business? Here are three ideas:

 

Re-size your menu
QSRs have had great success transforming traditional meals like large appetizers or entrées to a sharable, snack sized portions (3). Dallas-based Chili, for example, repositioned their nachos and baby back ribs into smaller grab-and-go menu items (3). Meanwhile, Firehouse Subs began to offer half sized sandwiches, and Red Robin has offered drink and appetizer specials during their off-peak hours. Re-sizing your menu items to provide snack sized options for your customers allow them to sample multiple dishes and to share. It also appeals to those who want bite sized meals sold at value, as well to customers looking for a lighter fare. To start, try adding mini meals such as sliders and wraps, half sized sandwiches, snack appetizers, and non-alcoholic drinks into your new snack menu.

 

Offer a Variety
As Bradley Day, Chef of STK, a 13-unit steakhouse based in NYC said, “(snacks) are a little bit about variety and speed” (4).  His restaurant lets their customers mix and match and add extra sliders for $5 each with a two-slider minimum. The appeal of a tasting menu, a mix-and-match is only growing (4). It also gives customers a chance to try something new—odd bits of meat like turkey necks, beef tongues or pig feet—while challenging chefs to dish out more inventive nibbles. According to Brian Landry, chef at Borgne at New Orleans, it can also be “a fun way for us to utilize the entire fish” (4).

 

Up the Health Factor
Datassential’s MenuTrends Keynote Report: Seafood showed that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers have snacked on seafood, such as popcorn shrimp, sushi or calamari in 2017, with popcorn shrimp being the most popular item (5). The rise of seafood snacks seems to linked to the overlapping popularity of snacking and health foods. Healthier and lighter fare such as tuna tartare, edamame and seafood taco trios particularly appeal to a younger customer base seeking health friendly, low calorie options. And according to Amanda Topper, food analyst at Mintel, millennials—that is, customers ages of 21 and 38—are significantly more likely than older consumers to snack frequently (6). Moreover, “they are also more likely than older generations to indicate snacks with added nutrition and flavor variety are important to them.” Adding calorie counts into your snack menu is also a good idea.

 

While the main appeal of snack foods comes from consumers wanting value, it seems to be a combination of variety, flexibility and portability that make snack foods so popular. But as Noveshen, co-founder of Pacific Catch restaurants in California said, “Trying to serve everyone is probably not the best idea.” Restaurants should aim to find the sweet spot on what and to whom to serve their snacks. 


References: 
(1) https://table.skift.com/2019/01/22/the-lines-between-meal-times-have-been-erased/ 
(2) https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/home/ 
(3) https://www.nrn.com/casual-dining/snacking-craze-really-happy-hour-disguise 
(4) https://www.nrn.com/food-trends/menus-adapt-appeal-nation-snackers
(5) https://www.nrn.com/seafood-trends/popular-trends-converge-rise-seafood-snacks 
(6) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/consumer-trends/trendinista-snacking-still-upswing

 

About Goliath Consulting Group
Goliath Consulting Group with headquarters in Norcross, Georgia offers a dynamic array of business development solutions, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client – in addition to a full suite of knowledge and tools that help make restaurants more profitable, including strategic planning, menu development, project management, new restaurant development, branding, marketing, franchising, equipment, technology, evaluations, outsourcing, and more. The company also has a management division that manages full-service restaurants. Goliath Consulting enjoys a ten-year track record of creating client success among local, regional and multi-unit national restaurant chains.


Goliath Consulting Group is actively involved in the Foodservice Consultants Society International and is an allied partner of the Georgia Restaurant Association. 

 

Contact: getresults@goliathconsulting.com

5 Steps to do Social Media Right

Using Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to grow your restaurant business 

 

By Bora Kang

 

With more than 79% of the US population now using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter 1 and users projected to increase to 257 million by 2023, restaurants can no longer afford not to invest in their social media presence. Millions of users utilize social media to find and share their favorite restaurants; some browse it just to figure out where and what they want to eat. In fact, more than 63% of restaurants reported to have used social media to market their business in 2018 2. So how should you use social media to promote your restaurant?

 

Here are our top 5 steps:

 

Take Great Photos
You know the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. According to Wansink (2006), the digital presentation of food is thought to influence more than 70% of the food eaten by American households 3. A study published in Brain and Cognition by Spence and his colleagues (2016) reported that our brain is wired to link food with visual cues, that is to say, “we eat with our eyes” 4. A well taken, beautifully staged photo of your restaurant or menu item will visually and emotional appeal to your potential customers, and make them want to come in taste your food. Having professional looking food photography doesn’t necessary mean that you have to break the bank, however. Nation’s Restaurant News offers some great tips on taking food photos on a budget here 5.

 

Share What’s New and Upcoming
According to CJ Jacobson, chef and partner at Ema, Chicago, social media allows us to “show our possible patrons what we're working on, new menu items and what we're excited about" 6. Using social media to tell your customers about limited time items or specials will help generate buzz around your restaurant and help increase foot traffic. Keep in mind, however, to make sure your social media pages include promotional timeframes and are up-to-date on new menu items.

 

Open Up
You want social media to be a space where you can communicate and connect with your customers at a more personal level. This can mean posting what’s behind the scenes, spotlighting employees and sharing anecdotes and stories that might come from your vendors. Sharing your vision and goals can have great effect, as Joseph "JJ" Johnson, chef and cookbook author, New York City, said he uses “Instagram as a tool to share my story. Whether it’s food, my new cookbook or my family, Instagram serves as a platform to push forward all the things I’m passionate about and to have a social impact, as an African American chef, on the food industry” 6.

 

Be Responsive, Engage and Communicate
It helps to be responsive in social media. This can mean answering questions, responding to a review (especially bad ones) or just replying thank you to a comment. Not only do these actions give the impression that you care about your customers, being responsive also allows you to take notice of popular trends. For example, Todd Erickson, chef, Schwan’s Chef Collective, stated that “(social media) gives chefs the ability to see in real time what other chefs are doing anywhere in the world, which ingredients bloggers are going crazy over” 7. And we don’t have to look far for great examples.  Take Burger King’s recent pilot of Impossible Burgers, for instance (or KFC’s Beyond Chicken) and their massive marketing success. They simply took notice of the increasing demand for plant-based meats and answered it 8.

 

Promote
Give out coupons, do giveaways, host social media contests and post often. The top restaurant brands that dominate the social media universe use all the above methods and more by creating creative and fresh content paired with incentives, products and of course, it never hurts to have a bit of humor.


Reference:
(1) https://www.statista.com/topics/3196/social-media-usage-in-the-united-states/
(2) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/what-s-your-restaurants-social-media-playbook 
(3) Wansink, B. (2006). Nutritional gatekeepers and the 72% solution. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(2006), 1324-1327.
(4) Spence, C., Okajima, K., Cheok, A. D., Petit, O., & Michel, C. (2016). Eating with our eyes: From visual hunger to digital satiation. Brain and cognition, 110, 53-63.
(5) https://www.nrn.com/sponsored-content/food-photography-tips-budget 
(6) https://www.nrn.com/chef-insights/8-chefs-share-why-they-use-instagram
(7) https://marketingdailyadvisor.blr.com/trends/marketing-strategy/why-marketers-should-pay-attention-to-burger-kings-impossible-burger/
(8) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/marketing-promotions/which-restaurant-brands-rule-social-media-universe 


About Goliath Consulting Group
Goliath Consulting Group with headquarters in Norcross, Georgia offers a dynamic array of business development solutions, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client – in addition to a full suite of knowledge and tools that help make restaurants more profitable, including strategic planning, menu development, project management, new restaurant development, branding, marketing, franchising, equipment, technology, evaluations, outsourcing, and more. The company also has a management division that manages full-service restaurants. Goliath Consulting enjoys a ten-year track record of creating client success among local, regional and multi-unit national restaurant chains.


Goliath Consulting Group is actively involved in the Foodservice Consultants Society International and is an allied partner of the Georgia Restaurant Association. 

 

Contact: getresults@goliathconsulting.com

3 ways to make your holiday cocktails extra special this year

 

 

There are quite a number of beverages that come to mind when we think of the holidays. There’s mulled wine and spiced sangria, hot buttered rum, eggnog, and hot chocolate. But if you’re looking to offer something extra special to your customers, here are three ways to craft a cocktail that is sure to spread the Christmas cheer.

 

 

Tweak the Classics

Holiday or not, people still order the classics. It’s familiar, it’s tried and true. Best of all they’re year round, and a seasonal twist on the favorites is sometimes all you need to showcase the flavors of the holidays. Take this Holiday Sidecar (1) recipe for example, where a cinnamon sugar rim and a star anise garnish accompany our well-loved classic. Aromatic bitters are also a great addition to any classic cocktail, like in this Winter White Lady (2), and in this Peppermint Bark Mimosa (3), a splash of peppermint schnapps puts a Christmas spin on the classic drink.

Taking advantage of flavored liquor is a must for this season. You can use schnapps or flavor infused simple syrups (4), like this Corduroy Daiquiri (5). Or use flavored spirits, like in this
Ginger Bloody Mary (6) and Butterscotch Martini (7). There are plenty of holiday flavors to get you started: try with cinnamon, clove, ginger, cranberry, orange, pumpkin, butterscotch, salted caramel, peppermint, chocolate and whip cream.

Make it Trendy

The beverage trends of 2019 can certainly be incorporated into your holiday cocktail recipes.


Go plant-based and substitute oat milk for dairy, like this Oat milk Honey Cocktail (8) or in this Last Minute Gift (9). Coconut milk is a terrific substitute in this Coconut White Russian (10) not only because it’s a vegan take on the classic, but because coconut milk imparts that creamy mouthfeel you’ll miss by substituting heavy cream. According to BeverageDaily (11), texture has been a big part of this year’s beverage trends. Carbonation and whipped drinks are still popular, which means that bubbly and creamy are textures that your customers will be eager to try. Use sparkling wine and champagne to top your cocktails like in this Northern Lights Cocktail (12) and Champagne Julep (13). Adding soda water is also a simple way to add bubbles to your drinks, like in this St-Germain Spritz (14). Likewise, the popularity of Coffee drinks has been on the rise these past few years and we expect it to continue. Drinks like espresso martini (15), Hummer (16) and Irish coffee (17) embody both the holiday theme and current trend. Add ice cream to great effect.

Garnish It

Our rule is that if it tastes like Christmas, then it must look like Christmas. It’s important for your customers to feel like they’ve ordered a seasonal—as in, limited time—item. For example, a sprig of thyme and skewered cranberries make this Under the Mistletoe Cocktail (18) extra special. A thick clove-studded strip of orange zest makes Autumn Sweater cocktail (19) a delight to look at. This Peppermintini (20) uses crushed peppermints, and this Sugar Cookie Cocktail (21) uses sugar cookie and vanilla frosting. The possibilities are endless.

From craft cocktail recipes to setting up and running a more profitable bar, Goliath Consulting Group can help you get the results you want. Email us at: getresults@goliathconsulting.com for a full listing of services provided.

Reference:
(1) https://bevvy.co/cocktail/holiday-sidecar/wary
(2) https://bevvy.co/cocktail/winter-white-lady/mzry
(3) https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25128817/peppermint-bark-mimosas-recipe/
(4) https://punchdrink.com/articles/guide-to-syrups-recipes-for-winter-cocktails/
(5) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/corduroy-daiquiri/
(6) https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/ginger-bloody-mary-10804
(7) https://www.livinglocurto.com/butterscotch-martini-recipe/
(8) https://imbibemagazine.com/oat-milk-honey-cocktail/
(9) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/last-minute-gift/
(10) https://drizly.com/Kahlua-Coconut-Milk-White-Russian/r-c2f7c7e40777487b
(11) https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2018/12/05/Top-five-predictions-for-2019-beverage-trends
(12) https://imbibemagazine.com/northern-lights-cocktail-recipe/
(13) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/champagne-julep/
(14) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/the-st-germain-cocktail/
(15) https://www.kahlua.com/us/drinks/classic/espresso-martini/
(16) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/hummer/
(17) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/st-john-frizells-irish-coffee/
(18) https://www.liquor.com/recipes/under-the-mistletoe/
(19) https://punchdrink.com/recipes/autumn-sweater/
(20) https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/christmas/a25415480/peppermintinis-recipe/
(21) https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/christmas/a25362483/sugar-cookie-martinis-recipe/

Our Most Anticipated 2020 Food Trends List

By Bora Kang

 

2019 has been fun. We saw the rise of veggie entrees, oat milk, boba tea and new allergy-free foods (1). We saw the growth of veganism, and the amount of sensation the Impossible Burger has generated around plant-based eating. But what comes afterwards? What new food trend would the new year bring?  We’re pitching our predictions into the web-verse. Here they are.

 

 

Wellness
It’s a health-conscious world and people now place just as much importance in healthy foods as they do in exercise and other healthy lifestyles2. Veggies are being incorporated into the menu in creative ways (think jackfruit pulled “pork”, veggie rice and pasta), vegan entrees and sandwiches will keep rolling and “gut-friendly” fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha are making its way into more restaurant menus3. The faux meat craze is just beginning, with chains such as KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos and McDonalds incorporating Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meats into their menus4. Additionally, we expect smaller servings and snack-size portions to become more widespread, as more people turn to read the nutrition labels to see not just the calories they are consuming, but also its carb, protein, saturated fat and sodium content5.

 

Instagram
Colorful? Big? Over the top? Unique? Photogenic foods have done well and we expect it will continue to do so in 2020 - all thanks to Instagram6. The big and crazy are back, and you’ll be seeing more fried chickens in a Bloody Mary, gigantic shakes and volcano drinks return to restaurants. It’s no coincidence that some of the most trending hashtags on Instagram are #foodporn and #instafood. The popularity of digitally shareable foods is also helping to introduce diverse cuisines into the industry, and fueling the widespread interest of international concepts like Japanese, Lebanese and Mexican cuisines7.

 

Sustainable
More people are valuing how the food is produced, obtained and packaged. Transparency has also become an important factor, and behind customer awareness of what constitutes a sustainably produced food8. We expect that the demand for local, organic, ugly (imperfect) produce and sustainable seafood will continue to grow in 2020. A recent Nielsen study reported how sustainable products had an 20% increase in sales since 20149. Zero waste has become a buzzworthy term, with restaurants being encouraged to be the vanguard of recycling and to take part of an initiative that is sure to resonate with today’s customers10. Some QSRs are already experimenting, with Starbucks using strawless cups, Pizza hut with round boxes and Dig testing reusable takeout bowls. 

 

Experience
There’s no doubt that people will pay for a one-of-a-kind experience11. When restaurants embrace the task of creating unique, fun and personal memories, their customers return—and often with more friends. One way QSRs have done this in 2019 is offering limited time offers. LTOs can be a new flavor or a simple addition—for example, think Starbuck’s seasonal frappe or KFC’s faux chicken nuggets that was sold out in just 5 hours4. Customization is also good, and we’ve seen a fair number of quick serves introducing customized dishes to give their guests more control over what they eat11. What will most definitely continue to drive sales and build customer base is marketing via social media. Creating visibly exciting content through Instagram, for example, helps to increase awareness about your restaurant and generate engagement. It’s a chance for the business to interact with your customers outside of your restaurant and perhaps one of the easiest ways to determine what’s currently trending.

 

Online
Convenience is key. The Nielson study reported more people looking for new ways to get things done faster, easier and through a combination of on and offline channels9. Sam Fox, Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts mentioned how, “Technology helps with speed of service, whether it’s using an app or mobile pay, or looking up calories posted. The more knowledge we can give to guests ahead of time, the more it can help with throughput.”8. Delivery will continue to grow as off-premise eating is becoming more favorable to onsite eating12.

 

Flavor
Do we need to say more? People are now craving the hottest and spiciest. Nashville’s “spiciest hot chicken” was a viral sensation on social media13; Popeye’s will be returning their spicy chicken sandwich back on their menu. Also, look for unique and non-traditional flavors in 2020. We’re talking sumac, za’atar, Aleppo pepper, nduja, black sesame, chimichurri, guajillo, achiote, furikake and XO sauce 14.

 

Fundamentals
It’s an exciting time to be in the industry. Technology is changing the way we eat and the momentum for new and innovative foods will challenge how restaurants make of these new opportunities to revamp their business. Nevertheless, consistency, value and quality still play a crucial role in building a successful business15. The fundamentals still are what they've always been and it’s the balancing of the new with the familiar that keep your customers coming back.

 

Now on with 2020. 

 

We hope that helps carry you into 2020 with a wealth of knowledge. If you caught the hidden message, you win the “Thinker’s Award” for 2019 and are poised for success in 2020. 

 

Menu development and understanding market trends are two areas that Goliath Consulting Group assists independent and chain operators. Contact us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com to learn more about our services and how we can get you the results you are looking to achieve.  

 

Reference
(1) https://www.yelp15.com/ 
(2) https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/blog/2019/can-food-be-thy-medicine-many-consumers-say-yes/
(3) https://upserve.com/restaurant-insider/restaurant-menu-trends/ 
(4) https://www.nrn.com/quick-service/look-most-successful-ltos-year-so-far 
(5) https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/98164-who-reads-nutrition-fact-labels 
(6) https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/marketing/does-instagram-influence-where-customers-dine-out
(7) https://www.pcma.org/food-beverage-trends-2020-benchmark/ 
(8) https://www.nrn.com/news/restaurant-trends-watch-2020 
(9) https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/fresh-trends-tracking-the-four-trends-driving-growth-across-fresh/ 
(10) https://www.nrn.com/marketing/opinion-let-s-change-conversation-around-plastic 
(11) https://www.qsrmagazine.com/customer-experience/10-ways-leverage-experience-economy
(12) https://statistacloudfront.s3.amazonaws.com/download/pdf/OnlineFoodDelivery_Preview.pdf
(13) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/04/the-family-business-that-put-nashville-hot-chicken-on-the-map 
(14) https://www.nrn.com/people/key-lto-success-balance-new-familiar 
(15) https://goliathconsulting.blog/

Fall Menu Trends: it’s all about the comfort

 

Fall Menu Trends - what's coming on to menus this fall, what's on trend, pumpkin and pecan crop information - it was ugly last year on both. Pecans will be a problem for a few years with the tree destruction from last year's hurricane coming into South Georgia.

 

 

Fall themed menus seem to crop up earlier each year1, what with Dunkin’s launching their pumpkin and apple cider flavors on August 21, and Starbucks heralding the start of Fall with its pumpkin spice latte and other array of seasonal desserts on August 27th, weeks before the official start of the season.

There is no denying the consumer demand for these items—just look at how pumpkin spice has become a $600 million flavor.2 Switching to a seasonal menu generates interest and excitement around the new menu items, and taking advantage of a wider sales window for fall-themed foods can therefore mean increased sales and happy customers.

 

So, what inspires a fall menu? Experts say that it’s all about the comfort.3 Fall means going back to the roots, and being nostalgic for childhood traditions. This, in food language, means warm and aromatic spices; it means celebrating natural cooking techniques and creating comfort dishes that are rich, hearty and flavorful.

 

Here are a few fall menu ideas to include in your menu:

 

Savory Pumpkin dishes

Many have hinted at the coming of a pumpkin spice fatigue4, but we think that pumpkin is an ingredient that is here to stay. For a new take on America’s favorite gourd, try using it in savory recipes such as adding it to chili, soups, salads, pasta and dips. It can also be incorporated into popular breakfast items such as breakfast sausages, grits and oatmeal. 

 

Nuts and toasted flavors

Nothing says fall like pecans, particularly here in the south. It makes great additions to pies and desserts, and the ingredient is versatile enough that it can be worked into a variety of meat, stew, salad and even cocktail recipes. *A note on the Georgia pecan supply, as farms took at massive hit when Hurricane Michael dealt a loss of about 17% in total acreage5. The crop is expected to be short this year and it will take years before growers reach the level of pre-storm production. While New Mexico is expected to be producing the majority of the crop this year, Georgia pecan growers are optimistic of a rebound; we may see Georgia back at the No. 1 spot sooner than you think.

 

Roasted vegetables

As with toasted flavors, roasted vegetables are as comforting as Fall-menus can get. No longer are vegetables reserved for “sides.” More customers are likely to order dishes that feature vegetable as the main. In fact, National Restaurant Association’s research on this year’s top food trends found that 3 of the 15 trending items were plant based6. Why not try roasted cauliflower, root vegetables, squash varieties and mushrooms?

 

Turmeric

Turmeric might not seem like a traditional fall-themed ingredient, but its earthy color and orange-gingery aroma says otherwise. While pungent and bitter, turmeric has become more prevalent in recent years thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and health benefits. It’s perfect because it fits recent trends of health and well-being. Turmeric is easily incorporated to sauces, marinades and beverages like lattes and juices, but it can also be a great addition to pumpkin desserts as it boosts color and intensifies flavor.

 

Maple

The list would not be complete without maple, which has been advertised back in 2019 as the ingredient that would dethrone pumpkin spice in the flavor kingdom. It’s sweet, it’s rich, and it pairs splendidly with either dessert or savory recipes such as roasted vegetable, salad dressing, candied nuts and of course—bacon. 

 

Menu development and maintaining a profitable cost of goods are two areas that Goliath Consulting Group assists independent and chain operators. Contact us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com to learn more about our services and how we can get you the results you are looking to achieve.

 

Reference:
1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/yes-pumpkin-spice-season-is-creeping-earlier-every-year-and-this-chart-proves-it-2019-08-21
2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2018/10/31/inside-the-600-million-pumpkin-spice-industrial-complex/#1507f02d1b95
3. https://www.fsrmagazine.com/menu-innovations/designing-menu-around-flavors-fall
4. https://upserve.com/restaurant-insider/restaurant-marketing-ideas-pumpkin-spice-fall-flavors/
5. https://www.albanyherald.com/multimedia/a-grim-future-awaits-area-pecan-farmers-this-year-and/article_b9251c5c-946a-11e9-8e08-978bf74ca19c.html
6. https://restaurant.org/research/reports/foodtrends

Who's Eating Out for Thanksgiving 

By Bora Kang
 

Thanksgiving Day is synonymous to family and lots of good food, but that doesn’t mean that the food has to be made at home. Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting task for those seeking a relaxing time off from work and quality time with their families. And with people (particularly millennials) cooking less at home, more are turning to restaurants seeking a stress-free solution to their holiday conundrums.

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at the numbers: in 2011, National Restaurant Association’s survey of 1,022 adults showed that about 6% of consumers planned to dine out for a Thanksgiving meal. The same survey conducted in 2017 showed that about 9% planned to enjoy Thanksgiving at a restaurant. NRA also found that 25% of consumers planned to order a full takeout meal from a restaurant, with consumers with children more likely to order full restaurant takeout meals than those without kids. The 2018 census showed that approximately 34 million families have one or more children under 18 living in the household.

 

And Black Friday? NRA found that 43% planned to shop on those days, with 72% of them expressing that they would eat out while they were out shopping.

 

With demand ever increasing, more restaurants are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day to serve special holiday meals for their customers. Those that will open this year include not only the fast food chains such as Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts but also restaurant chains such as Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, Golden Corral, Capital Grille, Legal Sea Foods and Maggiano’s. Even a few Michelin-star establishments such as Eleven Madison Park in NYC and Acadia in Chicago will be open (full list in the reference). 

 

There are, however, important figures to consider when deciding to open your restaurant during the holidays. For example, 31% of NRA’s survey participants said that on Thanksgiving Day they planned to dine at restaurant where they are regulars; 30% opted for restaurants that they considered for “special occasions” and 21% said they would dine at their favorite restaurant. Only 18% said that they would try a new restaurant on Thanksgiving. This means that restaurants have a better chance of higher sales reaching out to their established customer base. 

 

Offering a variety of dining options seems to be another great strategy. Boston Market, for example, announced To-Go Thanksgiving meals back in 2016 and reported increased Thanksgiving sales. The restaurant has also come up with multiple meal package solutions, from Heat & Serve Thanksgiving Meals, Thanksgiving Catering Buffets and a La Carte, which all have been successful. 

 

Deciding whether your restaurant should stay open for the holiday is not easy. And it isn’t for everyone. If you don’t have ample staff members working for you, the restaurant may not have enough employees who are willing to work on a holiday. A Thanksgiving menu might not fit in with the restaurant’s brand, and more planning might be needed in order to make changes and offer specials. 

 

Despite the obstacles, staying open on Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for restaurants to generate more sales, showcase their iteration of favorite holiday dishes and give your customers who already know and love your restaurant something to remember you by. 

 

Reference:
https://www.eater.com/2011/11/16/6636269/14-million-people-to-eat-thanksgiving-at-restaurants
https://www.restaurant.org/Articles/News/Batch2/Are-consumers-dining-out-for-Thanksgiving
https://www.restaurant.org/Articles/News/Restaurant-sales-Thanksgiving
https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-restaurants-open-on-thanksgiving
https://www.rd.com/food/fun/restaurants-that-are-open-for-thanksgiving/

Why a Bar Consultant is Your Restaurant’s Missing Link?

After weeks of time-consuming meetings with local liquor distribution reps, local market research, and decision wavering, you finally feel confident that your bar is set up and ready to go.  You put in your best effort to provide your customers with a great selection at a great value.  You stop by your local corporate chain restaurant to celebrate a job well done and can’t help but to look at their liquor list to compare prices.  Your mouth drops open.  How can they possibly have the same brands you so carefully negotiated for a fraction of the price?  How can they afford a $2 Tequila Tuesday and $3 Whiskey Wednesday?  It seems simple to justify the pricing structure the corporate giants maintain as volume-based deals.  The truth is far more complicated.


What do you do if you’re the local restaurant?  You already exhausted your resources negotiating the best deals you could.  Do you match the menu pricing with the national brand to avoid being undercut at the expense of your own margins?  Fortunately, there is another option.  Retain an experienced, knowledgeable bar consultant.


Before we dive into how bar consultants, let’s briefly break down the structure of the liquor industry in America.  Suppliers (Anheuser-Busch, Diageo, Beam Sundatory, E & J Gallo, etc.) own multiple liquor brands across varying types of spirits and beverages.  Diageo, for example, controls beers (Guinness, Smithwick), spirits (Ketel One, Smirnoff, Cîroc), Gin (Tanqueray, Gordon’s), Rum (Captain Morgan, Zacapa), Bulleit bourbon, and much more.  Gallo’s products range from fine wines down to jug wines and well spirit selections.  Each supplier contracts out to local distributors on a brand-by-brand basis causing more confusion.  In order to carry an entire supplier’s product line, a restaurant may have to deal with up to 7 different distributors.  These distributors ultimately control the pricing on the products.  The local distributors deploy sales reps to meet with individual restaurant management to sway them into picking up their offerings.  As these reps are, at their most basic role, salespeople, they are incentivized by their management team to push certain brands and lock in long-term commitments with their accounts.  While distributor reps are a great resource for bar managers, they often have conflicting interests and responsibilities.


Seasoned bar consultants spend years cultivating relationships with distribution management as well as individual suppliers.  These networks enable a consultant to negotiate directly with an agent of the supplier who can, in turn, communicate your proposed deal structure to the local distributor for approval.  Suppliers are aware of a successful consultant’s cumulative portfolio and can unlock custom pricing tiers and promotions typically reserved for the national brands.  They are incentivized by brand exposure across multiple concepts along with a higher representation of their portfolio on each restaurant.  With Diageo, a consultant may promise a higher purchase volume of Bulleit in a bourbon bar concept while simultaneously agreeing to placing Smirnoff Vodka in the well at a sports bar.  E&J Gallo may receive upper tier wine by the glass placements in a fine dining restaurant for Orin Swift while securing house wine pours with Barefoot in a neighborhood grill.


Bar programs, like food menus, thrive most when they are continually updated and maintained.  A consultant will continually connect with suppliers and distributors to discuss upcoming sales opportunities as well as brands primed for national marketing pushes.  Figure 2 illustrates the pricing fluctuations of three major brands in the Atlanta area.  Each brand partnered with a major sports franchise (Whiskey with basketball, Tequila with soccer, and Vodka with football).  It is easy to tell the pricing correlations, but there is more to the story.  Each of these brands coordinated their price reductions with on-site product activations.  These activations allow suppliers to bring promotions into the restaurant and sample their product to your guests.  The best part: the suppliers pay you for the product they are sampling at your menu price!  Suppliers are also investing local, regional, and national marketing dollars into these products, encouraging your guests to ask for them by name.  Using deals negotiated by your bar consultant, you can offer these high-demand brands at lower prices than your competitors.


Goliath Consulting Group offers a bar consulting program with a history of success.  Our portfolio includes sports bars, taverns, chef-driven upscale restaurants, neighborhood grills, and cafes.  Whether you are looking to open your first restaurant or tweak your existing inventory, Goliath can assist your restaurant and optimize your bar program.  Email Getresults@GoliathConsulting.com to schedule a consultation today.   

 

Good Branding Is Good Business

Your brand is your bond!

 

It is easy to focus on and get caught up with your product or service because it is the deliverable; the tangible asset you deliver to your customer. But what about your intangible asset… your brand? The value of your brand is equally as important as the quality and care put into your product or service. And, forgetting to cultivate your brand or ignoring it all together can have a negative impact on your company’s reputation and bottom-line. 

 

A brand is a promise to the customer about what type of experience they can expect from your product or service. An innovative, attention-grabbing, and genuine brand will be one of the distinguishing factors that set your restaurant apart from the competition. Defining your brand and establishing your business’ overall values and attributes will speak volumes to your customers and the surrounding community. After all, your brand is a true representation of your restaurant, the perception you give customers about your business and the all-encompassing experience you create.

 

What is your restaurant’s brand? 

There are several components of your brand identity. A brand is more than pretty colors and a cool logo. Although, those are part of a brand. Your restaurant’s brand includes everything from the logo and menu design, the interior atmosphere and aesthetic, organizational values, the quality, to the language used in advertising and promotions. The primary components of a brand identity, which essentially make up your customer's overall experience, include: brand image, voice/personality, messaging, and your restaurant ambiance (including food and staff). Each brand element should align with one another and your organizational values.

 

● Your restaurant’s personality/voice embodies the emotion, value, and human characteristics of your brand. This helps establish your brand in a way that is relatable to your customer and provides them with an overwhelming sense of value. Your brand’s voice will dictate the demeanor you use to communicate with your customers. Simply put, this defines the relationship between your customers and your brand.


● Your restaurant’s brand image includes items such as a logo, graphics, food photography, menu design, etc. These visual assets give the customer a visual perspective of what they can expect from your restaurant. It is crucial that these “visual assets” mesh with your business’ personality/voice and ambiance. 


● Your restaurant’s messaging refers to the outlets and platforms you utilize while promoting your restaurant (social media, email marketing, snail mail, billboards, etc.). The outlets and platforms you use to promote your restaurant may impact your restaurant’s brand image. Messaging must be consistent with your brand’s personality and voice.  


● Your restaurant’s ambiance incorporates the overall atmosphere that customers encounter while dining with you. This can include the music being played, the employee attitudes, lighting, interior design fixtures, and of course the quality of food.

 

Understand that your brand is indefinite and amorphous. Structure your brand with the expectation of future growth, expansion, and shifts in consumer preferences. Your brand will continually develop over time and brand refreshes will be required. Establishing a shared internal understanding of what your brand stands for and what it means to your business allows for concrete organizational alignment as well as the future development of your restaurant. 

 

Defining Your Brand First

As you begin the process of defining your brand, you should establish a few key aspects of your business. First, answer what it is you stand for. Knowing your values as a business will allow you to set standards and pave the direction for your brand. The eventual goal should be that customers can conclude exactly who you are and what your restaurant stands for from your brand. Second, know who your customers are. This should be an intimate knowledge of your customer’s wants, needs, and interests; not just a basic understanding of your general market. Finally, to reiterate, it is highly important to determine what it is that makes your restaurant stand out. Uncover your distinguishing competitive advantage and use your branding as the platform for displaying it. 

Overall Brand Importance

 

Defining your brand gives you a much-needed edge in a highly saturated and competitive market. You are giving customers an immediate look into the value your restaurant offers and how it is different from every other restaurant. Defining your brand supplies more than just an image, it evokes emotion and perception. It builds a relationship. According to a two-year study done by Motista, a predictive intelligence company, customers who are emotionally connected to brands have a 306% higher customer lifetime value (CLV) on average. By defining your brand early and strategically you increase your chances of cultivating strong brand loyalty. A well-constructed brand definition will also provide guidance and motivation for your employees. Given that staff attitude and behavior play powerful roles in brand identity, it is important to your restaurant's success that employees know and reinforce the values and desired results of your brand.

 

Constructing a structurally sound brand definition lays the foundational success for any organization. By defining your brand, you can strengthen your ROI, align your leadership, increase workplace engagement, and establish your value in the eyes of your customer. Your brand should saturate your entire organization so much so that customers know what your restaurant stands for just by looking at your logo. Loyal and referring customers are the outcomes of a successfully defined brand. Good branding is good business.

Struggling to define your brand? Contact us today at Getresults@GoliathConsulting.com for expert advice. 

 

References:

https://www.gourmetmarketing.net/develop-restaurants-brand/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/define-your-brand-identity-2294834

https://www.emotivebrand.com/defining-brand/

https://medium.com/s/how-to-build-a-brand/lets-talk-about-brand-personality-voice-and-tone-28276a48d5c1

Leveraging Relationships to Build a Better Bar Program

 

With an estimated $100 billion in annual sales, alcohol is a staple of the hospitality industry.  Almost every restaurant with liquor on the menu has their share of creatively named house cocktails and luring drink specials, but is your restaurant making the most of its beverage program?  Are you utilizing every perk your distributors and suppliers can bring to the table?  More importantly, would you know if you were leaving bonus incentives on the table?

 


Every bar/beverage manager can tell you about their distributors purchase incentives.  “Buy two bottles, get one free.”  “Order a case of this liquor and get six bottles of their newest flavor added on.”  These are the specials that your sales rep will inform you of as the incentives arise and work mutually to the restaurant and distributor’s advantages.  Your bar gets free product to try out different flavors or drop the price on name brand spirits, the distributor keeps their inventory fluid and product shipping.  Did you know many brands/distributors will offer special pricing if their spirit is featured in a specialty cocktail?  Some brands will even reduce their price for allowing their logos to be printed on cocktail and food menus!
Already have set spirits and menus printed?  Try an onsite promotion.  Most brands have on-premise advertising budgets to alert the public of their brand or new products set for release.  To capitalize on these options, restaurants typically need to meet directly with the brand supplier.  You have no doubt met some of these reps as they tail a distributor from account to account sampling their newest product or attempting to convince you of their IPA’s superiority to one currently gathering dust in your beer cooler.  These brand ambassadors are a bar manager’s gateway to endless promotions that rouse excitement from guests and reduce the ordering cost and inventory of brands.


Suppliers generally have a large amount of discretion when it comes to their marketing budget and tend to favor cultivating long-term relationships.  Once you have their ear, most will help you develop innovative marketing events.  These range from the traditional promotional models handing out merchandise and samples to more personalized events.  Goliath Consulting Group has leveraged suppliers to sponsor weekly trivia events, donate beer barrels and tents for outdoor events; even month-long basketball tournament promotions including DJ’s and raffle promotions.  Only looking to try out a new spirit instead of building a large promotional event around it?  Some suppliers can even run their credit card for a case of product at your cost to allow you to promote it in the way you see fit.  


What would a frozen drink machine add to your bottom line during the summer?  How can a wine preservation system expand your ‘by the glass’ offerings?  Distributors can work with you to procure beverage equipment at little or no cost to the restaurant.  When negotiating these items, be aware that they are not free and require a commitment from the restaurant to the distribution company.  This could range from allowing one company to monopolize your well-liquor program or a high percentage of your wine offerings.  Often the distributor will mandate that certain brands are consistently used alongside the equipment.  Make sure you calculate the cost of the equipment, projected additional revenue from the equipment, and the cost of the product you are agreeing to incorporate into your inventory before finalizing the deal.  In our experience, these arrangements are both mutually beneficial and prosperous. 

 
Are you ready to view your bar as more than a combination of liquor, beer, and wine?  Is it time you elevate your beverage program into a marketing cornerstone of your restaurant?  Emailing GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com is your first step to learning liquor industry perks and promotions to take your restaurant to the next level.  Not only will our consultants work with your distributors and suppliers to arrange their perks, we will train your management team to continuously cultivate these relationships and capitalize on events in the future. 


Want to stay on top of what’s new in the bar business? We go to: www.sevenfifty.com and www.punchdrink.com 

 

5 Ways to Prep Your Kitchen for Summer Weather

Repairs can be a huge (and unnecessary) weight on restaurant operators’ shoulders, distracting them from what matters most - providing their guests with a great experience. Whether you're an owner, director of operations, or general manager, spending time on repairs and maintenance means you aren't focused on your restaurant’s highest priorities, like increasing covers, training staff, and providing a memorable front-of-house experience.

 

The reality is that repairs need to be closely managed to avoid wasted money and unnecessary downtime in the kitchen. Most restaurant groups can't justify the cost of having full-time technicians on staff to be the resident expert in each of the major repair categories:


• Hot-side equipment, like fryers, ovens, and grills
• Cold-side refrigeration equipment, like under-counter coolers and walk-ins
• Plumbing
• Electrical
• HVAC, including hood systems
• Fire suppression systems


That’s where a company like 86 Repairs comes in. Through their monthly subscription service, restaurant groups can delegate the end-to-end management of repairs and maintenance to a team of experts.

 

"Restaurant operators count on us to handle repairs so they can focus their time, money, and energy on elevating the guest experience," says Daniel Estrada, CEO of 86 Repairs. "Our service includes 24/7 support, actionable data to improve back-of-house operations, and management of the entire service process from start to finish.“

 

To prepare your back-of-house for summer weather, including rising temperatures, power outages, and pest control issues, Goliath Consulting Group and the team at 86 Repairs recommended five preventative maintenance steps to avoid kitchen downtime and keep your equipment in tip-top shape.  

 

Top 5 ways to prepare a commercial kitchen for summer:


1. Adjust thermostat programs up for warmer weather to avoid overloading A/C systems.
2. Verify all A/C units are running properly, and make sure filters are replaced and belts are tight (not loose or frayed).
3. Clean filters and defrost coolers, freezers, and walk-ins, which will work overtime in warmer weather.
4. Have your ice machines thoroughly cleaned.
5. Schedule exterminators to treat for pests that tend to show up when the weather warms up, like ants and flies.

 

Goliath Consulting Group provides on-site assessments to keep your equipment working for you.  Email Getresults@GoliathConsulting.com to schedule your walk-through today. 

 

Restaurants that Go Cashless: the Pros and Cons 

For many of us, it’s hard to remember the last time we paid for a meal using cash. We are slowly but surely moving towards a cashless society. This is evident in the way we make routine dining purchases. Research by TSYS reveals that 40% of Americans pay with credit cards, 35% with debit cards, and 11% with cash. Interestingly, of the Americans between the ages of 25-34, only 5% pay with cash. TSYS also found that 99% of consumers with a disposable income of $100,000 or more will use a credit or debit card for purchases. The support of cashless payment options such as Venmo, ApplePay, GooglePay, Bitcoin, and Square will only continue to increase the number of Americans who opt out of paying in cash. Those in favor of cashless restaurants believe that it will increase efficiency, safety, accuracy, and aid in data collection. Even so, there are always both pros and cons...Let’s take a look at both.

 

PROS

 

Efficiency 

Restaurants continually seek operational methods that will increase efficiency. Going cashless can afford restaurants the opportunity to process transactions quickly, which keeps lines moving during busy hours and shortens ticket times. According to an article from eater.com, cashless payments can save an average of seven seconds in deposit transaction time. Seven seconds may seem trivial, but that time adds up and can prove quite beneficial during rushes. If employees are spending less time counting coins, digging for loose change dropped under the counter, or running to the office to grab change - it means they are spending more time with the customer, ensuring an overall better customer experience. Additionally, cash-based transactions can lead to tedious and mistake-prone bookkeeping. Going cashless allows for automated transactions and real-time financial updates.

 

Safety & Fewer Errors

Cashless transactions reduce errors such as miscounting change or misplacing bills. In addition, it eliminates the possibility of register skimming, theft from within.  And, let’s face it, most outside thieves are not interested in holding up a restaurant for a soda or burger. The most coveted product of theft is cash. Removing cash from the register and safe immediately curtails this type of theft. 

 

Customer Orientation

The digital era has afforded businesses the opportunity to collect a wide range of customer data which in turn provides worthwhile insight into consumer habits. Going cashless aids restaurateurs in compiling helpful consumer information. They are then able to better serve customers by incorporating appropriate apps, online purchase opportunities, and loyalty reward programs.  

 

CONS

 

Inconvenience & Discrimination

Although most transactions are cashless, there are customers who opt to pay in cash. In fact, many consumers can only pay in cash. This can be an inconvenience. Surprisingly, a small percentage of restaurant customers are “unbanked”. This refers to those who for personal reasons choose not to use banks or to those who are unable to establish bank accounts. For this population, cashless operations can seem discriminatory or exclusive. Restaurant owners who choose the cashless route essentially isolate themselves from this customer segment. Subsequently, a Shake Shack in New York recently reversed their decision to go cashless due to a large number of customer complaints and foregone cash sales. 

 

Increased Prices, Employee Morale, & POS Failure

Unfortunately, going cashless usually means raising prices to cover the credit and debit card fees incurred. Customers who are willing to pay in cash if it means paying less, often become frustrated. Cashless restaurants may also dampen employee morale, specifically waiters who no longer receive cash tips. Low employee morale often leads to high employee turnover and poor customer service. Finally, technology is not fail-proof. If the power goes out, systems crash and reset randomly, and things simply break. Restaurants that are completely cashless don’t always have backup. In this case, if there is any POS failure, all business ceases. 

 

Whether you choose cash or plastic, everyone has got to eat! Cash versus cashless will most likely be an ongoing conversation. In an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to consider the community you are serving. 

 

References:
https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/cash-losing-clout-bitcoin-brain-whats-state-payment
https://www.eater.com/2018/2/15/16974980/cashless-restaurants-credit-card-only-legal-problem-discriminatory
https://www.tendergreens.com/blog/cashless
https://pos.toasttab.com/blog/cashless-restaurants
https://www.tsys.com/Assets/TSYS/downloads/rs_2016-us-consumer-payment-study.pdf

planning for the "Big Game"

What comes to mind when you hear there is an expected surge of over a million possible guests entering your city for a weekend event?  Disbelief?  Excitement? Anxiety?  How about all three?  Having weathered major city-wide events in the past (BCS bowl games, March Madness, even one weekend that merged two huge NCAA football teams, a NASCAR race, and a comic/anime convention) we learned to remain cautiously optimistic towards promises of large influxes of people into our city – you can’t always guess where they want to go when they are in town.


But this was Super Bowl LIII – one of the biggest events in the country each year.  Not every city can have an event of this magnitude, but there are lessons to learn for other major events that your city is hosting from conventions to NCAA events…even parades and outdoor festivals. 

 

Nothing is more important than organizing, planning and knowing when to be flexible. The decision to plan early and think outside norms paid off huge dividends for us, leading to impressive profit margins and well-maintained inventories amid many other restaurants running out of product and staffing.


Knowing that major sponsors initiated their partnership search at the beginning of the previous year, “haste” was the team buzzword.  Acting quickly enabled us to pair up with two major brands synonymous with the Super Bowl.  These partnerships brought a critical cash influx to the restaurant to support purchasing and planning expenses while capitalizing on joint marketing to promote our brand and increase customer awareness.  With these agreements signed and secured, we compartmentalized the restaurant into: menus, beverage program, FF&E and staffing.


A quick assessment of the kitchen demonstrated the line would prove to small to handle the anticipated guests and the menu too broad to efficiently maintain the demand.  Working with the chef and suppliers enabled us to streamline the menu and showcase more profitable options.  This included a plan for outdoor sale of wings, hotdogs, and other stadium fare. This led to the kitchen running smoothly and maintaining the targeted quality and inventory of product.


We believed that a full bar with 75-plus types of spirits would force delayed drink times and lost revenue as customers abandon ordering more rounds.  A simplified bar strategy called for a well and one top shelf option of each liquor reducing selection to less than 20 brands.  Liquor distributors submitted case discounts on popular brands and assisted in securing additional bottle openers, shakers, strainers, and other essential bar tools. Using the POS, we eliminated the ability to start tabs, requiring our bar staff to use a pay as you go system.  These combined strategies eliminated walk-out tabs, reduced service bar drink times, and minimized bar comps.  Bartenders quickly adopted the new protocols and retained efficiency during the restaurant’s busiest moments.


With the plan and layout in place, attention turned to tackling labor.  A list of all staffed stations and estimated schedules created an ideal quantity of each position.  The team also established a minimum quantity of each position needed.  To hire additional staffing, we marketed a job fair across multiple hospitality social media groups and targeted job boards.  Candidates submitted detailed hourly availability surveys and we quickly posted a schedule with additional staffing to provide a buffer for unexpected circumstances.  A mandatory staff meeting with both temporary and established team members covered expectations, walk-throughs, and allowed employees a forum for a “Q & A” session.  Restaurant management took employee support roles to help all the new staff feel part of the team.  


All the planning meetings, coordination, and, most importantly, team work helped us realize a seamless and successful Big Game weekend.  Any hiccups during the weekend were easily tackled thanks to alert and ready team members and management created an environment of clear communication.  We conquered the weekend and are ready for our next big challenge.

 

2019 Restaurant Trend Report

Each new year brings new trends. In the Food Service industry, 2019 is bringing in its own wave of fresh trends!

 

The desire for convenience and the popularity of fast-casual dining remains important to diners in this new year. Time is an asset that everyone values, making it a major factor in consumer dining. To protect this asset, diners choose restaurants that serve quality food in an efficient manner. In addition, several fast-casual restaurants are now using “luxury ingredients” in their simply fashioned foods in order to provide quality as well as convenience. According to researchers from Restaurant Business, natural food enhancements will continue to grow in popularity among restaurateurs in 2019. These ingredients typically include natural remedies that enhance nutrients and their absorption by the body helping with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These “natural remedies” are expected to improve the bottom line for those in the Food Service industry as well. 

 

Use of local foods and flavors is also a Food Service trend that you can expect in 2019. Restaurants are continuing to embrace what many refer to as the “local food movement.” Consumers enjoy sitting down to menus that read “locally grown ingredients.” Local grown ingredients give diners confidence and peace of mind about their food. It also gives a sense of advocacy towards the local community. Some restaurants are going a step further with hyper-local foods. Restaurants that use hyper-local grown foods are growing specific ingredients such as produce in-house. 

 

As social media platforms continue to flood the internet, restaurateurs are beginning to create innovative menus that adapt well to the funky images and elaborate styling seen on social media. Technologies inside and outside of the Food Service industry impact how restaurants operate and advertise. The same goes for the ever-changing preferences and behaviors of the customers. All of which affect how restaurants will operate not only in 2019, but every year following. 

 

In addition to the typical Food Service trends this year, we will see some less obvious trends affect restaurant operations and the overall bottom line. For example, tariffs that the US and Canada face. These tariffs serve as an opportunity for some restaurant owners. Specifically, local restaurateurs could experience these tariffs as an advantage. As mentioned previously, the use of locally grown food and produce is on the rise. As larger chain restaurants suffer high import tariffs on produce and other products, they often begin raising prices to combat this incurred cost. Hometown restaurant owners who buy locally or produce in-house ingredients may well be able to maintain competitive prices. 

 

A negative trend in the Food Service industry witnessed in 2018 is hitting harder in 2019--the record low unemployment rate. Unfortunately, for an industry with high employee turnover, the low unemployment rate can prove to be detrimental. Now that there are more jobs available in the restaurant industry, employees are often less inclined to remain loyally employed at a restaurant. As restaurants become desperate to keep employees, they may experience a rise in negotiations for higher wages from employees. Another continuing trend...competition for quality real estate and high insurance/real estate prices. These trends will continue to present concerns for growing chains in 2019.  

 

Although trends in the food industry may vary from year to year, there is one thing that remains the same--the importance of customer preferences. No matter the year, consumer trends will continue to affect the Food Service industry, keeping it fresh and exciting!

 

References: 
https://www.thebalancesmb.com/local-food-trends-for-restaurants-2888604

https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/consumer-trends/trends-will-shape-restaurants-2019-technomics-take#page=3
https://restaurantsuccess.touchbistro.com/touchbistro-blog/how-import-tariffs-affect-food-costs-for-restaurants
https://www.singleplatform.com/blog/current-state-employment-effect-on-restaurant
https://www.buxtonco.com/pages/2019-retail-and-restaurant-real-estate-outlook-qsr

Christmas Food and Beverage Traditions

Christmas provides a time of celebration through several different wonderful traditions. Traditions that surface from differing families, walks of life, and cultures. During the Christmas holiday season, food and drink are at the center of some of the most diverse forms of tradition and celebration. For some, the tradition may call for an eggnog recipe passed down from generation to generation. Or, perhaps a glass of mulled wine (a German Christmas tradition) is more your holiday style. Many families within the US sit down to a Christmas turkey or ham every year. Christmas food and drink traditions even vary state by state in the US.

 

Here are some of the most unique Christmas traditions involving food and drink from around the world. 

 

 

 

A popular Italian tradition that many Americans have adopted is the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”. This tradition emerged back in the 1900s and remains prevalent to this day. Many perform the tradition by serving seven different styles of seafood while others serve two or three different types of fish in seven different ways. 
 
La Bûche de Noël is a French dessert that symbolizes the Yule Log – a wooden log which was traditionally carried into French homes, sprinkled with red wine and burned on Christmas Eve. The Yule Log tradition slowly disappeared during the mid-1900s at which time it was replaced by the Bûche de Noël dessert. 
 
Christmas pudding is a dessert that originated in England and is served in several different homes across the world. Many refer to this dessert as figgy pudding or plum pudding which is most often credited to the famous Christmas carol, “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. This Christmas tradition dates back to the 15th century when it was referred to as plum pottage. Plum pottage was made of meats and dried vegetables and served at the start of most meals. Over the years the tradition has developed into a delicious dessert pudding that consists of suet, egg, molasses, spices, and dried fruits and is now commonly served with a brandy sauce. 
  
Eggnog is one of the most common Christmas beverages consumed throughout the world and is prepared in an assortment of ways. Most argue that eggnog originated during the 13th century from the medieval Britain “posset” – a milky ale served warm. Milk, eggs, and sherry were considered foods generally consumed by the wealthy. Therefore, eggnog was often served in toasts to prosperity and good fortune. In Chile, they prepare a drink that resembles eggnog called Cola de Moro which is translated to “monkey’s tail”. Cola de Moro is made of milk, coffee, vanilla bean, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and usually mixed with brandy or rum. Lithuania also has a Christmas beverage similar to eggnog called poppy seed milk (aguonu pienas) which is a mixture of poppy seeds, water and honey. In Puerto Rico, they serve Coquito – spiced rum, condensed milk, coconut milk or cream of coconut, vanilla, and spices such as cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 
 
Whether it is eggnog, a feast of fish, or some other special dessert, there is one thing that holds true across all these holiday traditions and celebrations. While the food and drinks may be part of the tradition, the one thing we all celebrate and enjoy most is the warmth and joy of being with those we love. 


From all of us here at Goliath Consulting Group, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 

 

References:
http://time.com/3957265/history-of-eggnog/
https://www.thedailymeal.com/travel/10-christmas-drinks-around-world-slideshow/slide-8

Why Out Source Management of Your Restaurant?

Management companies provide restaurants with a franchise like operating system without having a franchise agreement.  Management firms, like Goliath Restaurant Management, help restaurant owners reassess their food costs and supply chains, rein in bar costs and consolidate their liquor inventory to better suit their demographic, create marketing calendars and promotional materials to keep sales growing, and serve as a human resource department for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining staff.  The right firm helps restaurants improve their financials, staff the restaurant with skilled workers, cultivate better vendor relationships, and maintain consistency in day to day operations.


After a detailed business assessment, the team creates a work plan for each department.  Britt Cloud, Goliath’s Consulting Chef, directs back of house operations and works with the current chef/kitchen manager to restructure inventory, food costing, menu, labor, and health policies.  With over twenty-five years of industry experience, Britt is skilled in problem-solving and uniquely tailoring back of house solutions to each kitchen.  His vendor connections and negotiating clout will help reduce ordering costs while maintaining the highest quality product.


Front of House operations is a steady balance of guest needs, employee personalities, efficient strategies, and health and safety enforcement.  With fifteen years of front of house management experience, our operation consultant, Colin Kopel, lives for training front of house management, empowering staff with pride of their restaurant, and developing beverage programs that work for each concept.  Colin works hand-in-hand with management, teaching scheduling techniques to keep the restaurant staffed and employees satisfied.  He works with liquor distributors to cut waste and capitalize on deals/specials that work for your concept without inflating your liquor cost with excess inventory.


Once the restaurant’s training, inventory, financials, and human resources are aligned, Clay Darden, Goliath’s Marketing Manager works within the community to drive sales and volume.  Clay utilizes twenty-two years of experience to customize each restaurant’s marketing calendar, identify underreached markets and demographics, and cement the restaurants reputation as a destination spot in the community.  He will manage social media accounts to create a noticeable online presence and create tackable promotions to increase the marketing budget efficiency.


With our customized team approach and decades of industry experience, Goliath Consulting is ready to handle every concept from fast casual counter service to full service fine dining.  To schedule your site assessment or receive more information email GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.   

 

Safety and Security Tips for Your Restaurant

As the days grow shorter and the holidays approach, safety risks increase.


Maintaining restaurant security and safety is a constant concern for owners and managers. Restauranteurs must continually strive for the security and safety of not only the products, but most importantly the employees and customers. Issues concerning restaurant safety and security typically arise due to lack of management guidelines or proper training and adherence to guidleines that are in place. Owners and managers must collaborate to increase employee awareness of these guidelines ensuring the overall protection of a restaurant and those within its walls. It is equally important to create awareness of the main security risks facing restaurant operations.

 

Among those risks are the following: theft and burglaries, criminal damage, and employee theft. There are specific anti-theft/burglary guidelines that a restaurant can implement to lessen the chance of becoming a target for a thief. Of the most common restaurant thefts, cash theft occurs most often. Below is list of guidelines restaurants can take to reduce cash thefts:

• Always shut and lock the door behind you
• Never open office doors if there is a safe open
• Keep all exterior doors locked from the inside at all times
• Never count cash in front of guests
• Make cash deposits after busy high traffic shifts
• Refrain from leaving large sums of cash in restaurant overnight
• Contract with a cash management and security company like Brinks


Restaurants should also take the proper precautions to keep products secure. There are a variety of measures to take that will help ensure product security from both employees and outside individuals.  Below are steps to consider:

• Limit the number of keys given out for storage rooms and offices
• Refrain from distributing keys to staff members (unless management or authorized personnel)
• Keep storage and office areas locked at all times
• Make sure back entrances are locked and alarmed when they are not in use

 

Above all, restaurant owners and management teams must consider the security of customers and staff. This entails protecting customers and staff from erratic, harmful behavior of individuals such as thieves, disgruntled guests, or unwelcome intruders.  The best way to sustain a safe environment is by educating staff members on the proper guidelines and precautions.

• Be aware of surroundings before exiting your car or the building
• Maintain a well-lit parking lot and adjust timers for the time of year
• Use a buddy system for opening and closing the restaurant
• Have a two-person policy to maintain security and safety for back door use
• Make safety and security training a part of new staff orientation
• Require ID and verification of all people going behind the counter or into staff only areas of the restaurant

 

Operational safety is equally as important. Simple habits like regular inspections of equipment, reviewing the proper procedures for chemical use compliance with staff members, and ensuring the proper placards are in place to remind staff of basic safety protocols such as properly cleaning prep areas and safely lifting larger objects. Here are few operational suggestions that help maintain general restaurant safety: 

• Keep equipment updated and replace faulty machinery immediately
• Do not use glass to scoop ice
• Place non-skid mats in high-traffic water prone areas
• Require employees to wear proper safety equipment (gloves, non-slick shoes, etc.)
• Use proper lifting techniques when handling inventory and equipment
• Never block exits or aisles/never leave exit doors propped open
• Install a CO2 monitor


If you wish to learn more about the steps your restaurant can take to ensure better safety and security for both your customers and employees, reach out to us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com


References: 
RMAGAZINE: https://rmagazine.com/articles/a-guide-to-keeping-your-restaurant-safe-and-secure.html

The Present and Future of recycling at restaurants

CONSUMERS SEEK OUT “GREEN RESTAURANTS”


By: Guy Pittman

 

There is no questioning the positive impact recycling and waste reduction has on our environment. However, many are curious about the effect is has on their restaurant. Much debate has been circulating around whether the benefits of recycling and composting in restaurants outweighs the effort and expenses involved in the process. Nevertheless, in a growing environmentally conscience world, it is valuable to understand the benefits of both. 

 

Believe it or not, the plastic straw debate is currently one of the trending topics in restaurant recycling. Although there is no concrete data on the exact number, multiple industry leaders suggest, Americans use up to 500 million plastic straws per day. The plastic straw debate has gained so much attention that places like Seattle and San Francisco are banning single-use plastic straws and other single use plastic products. Even Starbucks has started an initiative to completely eliminate the use of plastic straws by 2020. While Starbucks and a limited number of other restaurants are taking strides to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic straws, most restaurants have done nothing. For many, the concern with switching to an eco-friendlier straw is the price, durability, and overall impact on the quality of each drink. However, brands such as Melio Straws are proving that those fears may be just that, fears not fact. But do the costs outweigh the benefits? 


What about reducing waste? It is nearly impossible for restaurants to avoid waste. However, there are steps that some are taking which reduce waste and improve restaurant operations. Tracking what areas of your restaurant produces the most waste is the first step managers should take. Lack of training in food preparation, dropping prepared dishes, inadequate cutting utensils, and poor inventory management are all contributors to restaurant waste. Taking initiatives like waste audits, allows restaurants to gain insights on waste generation and the most impactful steps that will begin reduction. Waste technologies have been developed which provide restaurants with the ability to track what recycling and waste management tactics are being followed and which ones need improvement. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. As landfills continue to grow and American waste management companies feel the heat from China’s Scrap Ban, restaurants will be expected to focus more attention on the first R, reduce. Reducing the amount of waste in restaurant dumpsters will increase operation efficiency and help avoid annoying fines from waste management companies. Composting is becoming more prevalent in restaurants. New research has shown that Americans are throwing away nearly as much food as they are eating and the EPA claims that 60-80% of trash that restaurants create is food waste. Checkout the Georgia Restaurant Association website for tips on composting. 


Researchers have found that most Americans are serious about the importance of recycling. Data from the National Restaurant Association revealed that 60 percent of Americans prefer restaurants that recycle over those that do not. Research also revealed that 51 percent of consumers dining out would be willing to pay the extra costs to dine at restaurants that are eco-friendly. The proof is in the pudding and the customers have spoken. Recycling and waste management programs for restaurants can have expensive initial costs. Yet, the benefits of putting these programs in place can outweigh any initial expenses. Green initiatives provide multifaceted success results for your restaurant. At the very least you are improving the image and brand of your restaurant which will increase customer traffic. Consumers seek out “green restaurants” and will support them in their recycling efforts. Also, restaurants can cut costs in the long-run. Recycling programs will lead to cheaper trash expenses, reduced purchasing costs, and less fees from waste management companies. 


To learn more about steps you can take to improve or implement a restaurant recycling program, contact us today at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com


Sources: 
National Restaurant Assoication  https://www.restaurant.org/Home
Starbucks  https://news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-to-eliminate-plastic-straws-globally-by-2020
Wall Street Journal  https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-recycling-companies-face-upheaval-from-china-scrap-ban-1533231057
Georgia Restaurant Assoication  https://www.garestaurants.org/composting.html

 

Service and Restaurant Success

Don’t Forget the Secret Ingredient: Hospitality

 

By Colin Kopel, Operations Consultant


When I was a teenager securing my first table waiting job, my future boss told me, “No experience, no problem.  Waiting table is so easy I could train my cat to do it.”  Mr. Feldstein was partially right.  We can train almost anyone to follow a simple outline on service.  “Just greet them within two minutes of the hostess seating them, get them some drinks, and take the order.”  That was the extent of service training we received at that deli and it highlighted what the owner prioritized.  Service was more important than hospitality.


Have you ever looked at your OpenTable, Google, or Yelp reviews and noticed a diner left a comment like this:

 

“Service started out promising, but soon dropped off.  Our server was attentive but seemed distracted.  It’s like he didn’t want to be working tonight.”


Your first impulse as a manager/restaurateur may be pull the employee aside and discuss what caused the table to go sour.  And sometimes it is one employee having a rough day.  It may also be time to update how your restaurant integrates hospitality into every aspect of a guest’s experience.  


First, let’s define Service and Hospitality:
Service is what your employees provide to guests in a quantifiable form.  The physical steps they take from a moment a guest enters the building to when they leave to go home.  It includes the greet, the order, the food delivery, financial transaction, and farewell.  Every restaurant uses a training method for these steps in some form, be it a training manual, printout on the steps of service, or in-person employee training.


Hospitality is the atmosphere and environment that your employees provide for your guests.  It’s the smile and positive attitude that exudes from your staff.  It shows itself when employees walk guests to the restrooms instead of pointing, deliver fresh napkins when a guest drops theirs on the floor without being asked.  Hospitality is the general feeling that it is your staff’s pleasure to take care of all their guests’ needs…not their job.


Training hospitality is not about printouts and manuals, it’s about culture and leadership.  Restauranteurs and managers must prioritize it in their every action at the restaurant and it will trickle down through servers and bartenders, bussers and food runners, and even back of house staff.  Employees notice when management lays down their inventory clipboards to happily lead a guest to the restroom and they certainly pay attention when restaurant leadership interrupts a side conversation with them to open a door for a guest.  These are simple, yet effective, methods in showing your staff that hospitality is the primary focus of any restaurant.


For the month of August, Goliath Consulting Group’s blog will focus on three main ways you can train your staff to make hospitality the centerpiece of all they do.  We will hone in on the following topics:

 

  1. Hospitality from the top.  Ways Management can consistently cultivate and promote an atmosphere of hospitality first.
  2. Hiring for Hospitality.  What key attributes should you be looking for during the recruiting process to promote a guest-focused culture in your restaurant?
  3. Cultivating lasting guest relationships.  How can your restaurant use hospitality as a tool to create enduring, positive relationships with your guests for years to come?


If you would like to learn more about our innovative Hospitality and Service training programs, reach out to GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.  We offer customized solutions to help build teamwork, efficiency, check averages, and more.  

Restaurant Staff Recruiting in 2018

Finding restaurant workers today is one of the biggest challenges for restaurateurs

 

By Colin Kopel, Operations Consultant, Goliath Consulting Group

 

How long have you been staring at the door to your restaurant for the perfect server, line-cook, manager or, even dishwasher, to strut in, place a golden resume in your hand and inform you of all the restaurants in the city, he/she would like to be your employee?  How many times have you settled on a less than perfect candidate after sifting through resume and resume that was less than impressive?

 

Staffing is a different animal than it was a decade ago when there were fewer restaurants and a large pool of hospitality employees to draw from.  The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics pins the median age of Food and Beverage employees at between 29-34…also known as the Millennial Generation.  When the employment pool is composed of a younger demographic, recruiting techniques must align with that demographic’s media intake.  As Goliath Consulting’s recruiting manager, allow me to share a few tricks we’ve learned to target the right audience.

 

Facebook.  You may have read in some business weekly or internet article that the social media giant is losing its relevance, and that’s true, among younger audiences.  As it stands today, 88% of Americans aged 29-33 are active on the social network, checking for updates multiple times a day.  In the past year, Facebook increased its presence on the job hunt scene by pushing their “Jobs” page and sending users daily openings and recommendations.  Cities are organically developing their own Facebook communities for hospitality employees to connect with local openings.  Here in Atlanta, the “GK Restaurant Workers/Metro Atlanta” Facebook group is nearing 10,000 members and sees multiple employment posts each day.  These posts provide employers with free opportunities to reach out to the established hospitality community and receive a quick turnaround on resume submissions.

 

Online recruiting websites like Monster.com and Indeed popped up on employers’ radars over a decade ago.  Hardly a Super Bowl went by where the public wasn’t introduced to the hottest new headhunting site.  Eventually, employers and jobhunters were left scratching their heads wondering which site will net them the best applicants or the best positions.  There are recruiting solutions that focus on the restaurant industry. Founded in 2012, Harri is one of those solutions for restaurant staffing.  Harri integrates a social network feel with sleek restaurant profiles and phone apps to connect prospective employees to employers.  Employers utilize “swim lanes” to organize and schedule applicants and can even email them onboarding paperwork to streamline and condense the orientation process.

 

This year at Goliath Consulting, we have seen an uptick of clients seeking our recruiting services to outsource this time-consuming process.  The average job opening requires a minimum of 20 hours of dedicated labor to fill and hospitality managers are finding there is not enough time in their weeks to perform an effective talent search.  Through our website, restaurantjobsatl.com and goliathconsulting.com/jobs, we’ve created an online portal to connect our clients with top talent.  We utilize a series of metrics to rank potential candidates on standards ranging from qualifications to personality to potential career longevity.

 

Reach out to us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com to find out how Goliath can optimize your recruiting and help you find your next all-star employee.

Does Your Restaurant Need an App?

Apps are everywhere and it seems there is an announcement of a new restaurant app weekly for both national and regional brands.

 

See how the statistics on apps add up:


• There are over 2.2 million apps available on the IOS marketplace and over 3 million Android Apps on Google Play
• “Games” are the most popular app download category ranging from 21-25% of the market share
• The average user will only use 9 phone apps per day
• $60 – average hourly rate charged by professional app developers
• 131 – average amount of hours to develop a successful app
• Too Many – amount of individual restaurant apps


After years of customers attempting to recite coffee drinks with more modifications than ingredients, Starbucks decided a mobile app would help make ordering simpler.  The customers who downloaded the app received perks such as quick ordering, gift card/loyalty card storage, and mobile payment options.  While customer after customer downloaded their app, Starbucks received endless data on customer trends and engagement.  Seems like a win-win scenario.  This led many smaller restauranteurs to wonder: Does my concept need a stand-alone app?


The simple answer is "No".  Consider the stats presented above.  The average cost for a presentable v1.0 app (first version app) is $7,860.  After the money is spent on app development and testing, restaurants then must compete for screen-time with the millions of other apps available to consumers.  Often, customers will download a restaurant’s app while inside the restaurant and never reopen it again.  The next time the customer’s memory is running low, restaurant apps are among the first to be purged from users’ phones, leaving the restaurant with a hole in its budget and very little return on the investment.


What is a viable solution to remain relevant on customers’ smart phones and increase traffic to a restaurant’s website?  Mobile Optimized Websites.  


Mobile Optimized Websites enable customers to view your website on their smartphone or tablet without the clutter of a desktop version.  Yes, the beautiful flash graphics you scrutinized and edited look beautiful on a laptop or desktop, but mobile users want streamlined content that is easy to navigate.  When a customer Googles “restaurants near me” and your site pops up, a long load time or difficulty located a menu will almost immediately end in the user tapping the “back” button and finding a different restaurant. 
Mobile Optimized Websites should feature larger, clearly labeled buttons guiding potential customers to the most sought-after information: “About Us,” Reservations, Menus, Address and Hours, and Contact Information.  By slimming a website down, a restaurant reduces the percentage of users who give up on the site and look for other dining options.  This is also a much more cost-efficient method of bringing a concept to mobile devices than investing thousands in a mobile app that most users view only once and remove from their devices as soon as they need extra space for the newest version of Angry Birds.


To find more information on transforming your digital presence into a sales building tool, email us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.

 

Unique Diets

ACCOMMODATING GUESTS AND THE BIG 8 FOOD ALLERGENS IN RESTAURANTS

 

“Excuse me, do you have any gluten free options?”  “Is this salad dressing vegan friendly?”  There once was a time where servers and chefs would snicker in private kitchen corners when they heard questions like these.  That was then.  Now there are an estimated 7.3 million adults following some form of vegetarian diet and 3.1 million Americans adhering to a gluten-free diet.  This is the time for restaurants to embrace specific and alternative diets to shine above the competition.


As more and more Americans are turning to gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, ketogenic, and low carb diets, restaurants are often asking themselves how to respond.  Should a chef stick to his or her time tested classic menu and let guests worry about their own dietary restrictions, or should they use a little knowledge and creativity to stand above the competition and welcome these specific eaters with open arms.  Successful restaurants around the country are realizing that these dieters are not one offs but are often part of larger communities and pass recommendations on to their like-minded eaters.


A chef’s ambassadors to his guests are the service team.  Servers handle the influx of questions from guests, make recommendations, and communicate the orders to the kitchen with any dietary modifications needed.  What servers may not know is: How many menu items already classify as vegan or gluten-free?  What do low carb and keto diets look like?  Most restaurants already have menu items that fit certain dietary restrictions and it is up to the service team to guide guests to those items.  Sometimes the willingness to replace a side dish or a sauce will not only conform a dish to certain diet but make a lasting impression on a guest who has accepted dining out on their diet is a struggle.  An educated, confident server will set a guest with a restrictive menu at ease and deliver an experience worth sharing.


Over the last decade lower calorie options found their way on menus across the country.  They are usually indicated by an icon off to the side or located in an entirely separate section of the menu titled “lighter fare” or “on the healthier side.”  It is time to take this same approach with gluten-free and vegetarian items.  Make it easier for your guests to locate the items they can eat, and they will thank you for it with repeat business and positive feedback in their communities.  Consider making your daily special gluten-free and you are sure to get an Instagram tag here and there.  Diners with dietary restrictions are accustomed to struggling when making menu selections…take the work away from them and they will not forget the experience.


It is important to remember in hospitality we are here for our guests.  Guests’ dietary restrictions, whether based on allergies or nutritional preferences, need to be embraced.  This is a sector of guests who are used to choosing alternative restaurants or resigning themselves to cook at home to avoid mis-stepping their diet.  View their needs as you would any other guest and the lasting impression will keep your tables full and the reservations coming.  


Goliath Consulting Group is here to help you reformat your menu to highlight dishes that cater to alternative diets.  Contact GetResults@Goliathconsulting.com today for expert advice on menu updates and service training. 

 

food allergy restaurant-poster.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.1 MB]

Food Safety and the Summer Picnic

Growing up, nothing made summer feel quite like summer until the annual family BBQ.  Family was used loosely as friends, family, and neighbors would gather at the local park pavilion for a game of softball, playground shenanigans, and, of course, to feast on hot dogs, hamburgers, slaw, and potato salad.  But how many picnic-goers know how to keep their outdoor meals safe from pathogens and foodborne illnesses?  Goliath Consulting Group’s Serve Safe trainer and head chef (also an avid picnic aficionado) Britt Cloud wants to help you and yours keep their summer free of unwanted outdoor dining mishaps.


Let’s talk about TCS foods.  Dangerous pathogens exist in foods that require Time and Temperature Controls for Safety (TCS).  Picnic staples like potato salad, sliced melons, leafy greens, meats, fish, and shellfish are all susceptible to invasive bacteria that can ruin any outdoor meal.  It is important to remember when foods stay in the temperature danger zone (41ᵒF-135ᵒF) for a prolonged amount of time, these pathogens are provided with the perfect environment to thrive.  To prevent the growth of these dangerous pathogens, keep cold foods chilled to less than 41ᵒ until you are ready to serve and dispose of them within six hours. Hot foods must be maintained at above 135ᵒ and thrown out after just four hours.


Temperature storage is not the only time your food is at risk, the food prep process at your home kitchen is equally important.  When cooling cooked foods, remember that foods must go from 135ᵒF to 70ᵒF in two hours and finish cooling from 70ᵒF to 41ᵒF within four hours.  All fruits and vegetables need to be properly washed prior to cutting or slicing and all raw meats must remain in the cooler until you are ready to toss them on the old charcoal grill.  When loading your coolers, try to keep raw meats separated from cooked food (and those fruits and vegetables meant to be consumed raw).  Chef Britt also reminds us it is never safe to store raw meats on top of ready to eat food items. 


A few more safety guidelines to remember:


• Always thoroughly wash your hands before handling ready to eat food items, especially after handling raw meats
• Separate cutting surfaces must be used when slicing raw and ready to eat items
• Do not allow food to sit in the sun for more than one hour (90ᵒF temperatures can bring your cuisine into the danger zone faster than most realize!)


Following Chef Britt’s safety advice will help you and your crew enjoy a smooth, successful summer picnic.


To learn more about food safety or inquire about our Serve Safe training visit our website at goliathconsulting.com/training or reach out to us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com

 

It’s Time for a Tune-up

Summer is just around the corner.  It’s time to break out the patio furniture and put the heaters away in storage.  With the warmer temperatures approaching, every savvy restauranteur knows to retrieve their end of spring checklist to guarantee this season is as smooth as it can be. 

 

Preventative maintenance is key to protecting your bottom line.  From refrigeration to HVAC, there are multiple things you can do to ensure your restaurant operates free of preventable mechanical woes that stand in your way of a successful summer season.


When was the last time you had your coolers serviced?  It is recommended that all refrigeration is professionally serviced twice a year and the cost of losing refrigeration, even for a few days, can be devastating to any restaurant.  May is the perfect time to schedule a refrigeration inspection.  As restauranteurs, we like to think we can handle every issue that arises in our buildings, but trained professionals know exactly which problem areas to inspect.  Is the motor and compressor functioning properly?  Are there any parts with wear that need to be replaced to prevent mechanical failure?  Are the thermometers calibrated and the refrigeration levels adequate?  These are a small list of services that should be completed on your unit prior to sustained warmer weather.  It is also important to keep in mind that DIY repairs can risk your units’ warranties.  


With your back of the house refrigeration maintenance scheduled, it is time to take a look at the front of the house preparation.  Scheduling an HVAC service and inspection can save you more than you think in money and stress.  An HVAC unit that is operating at subpar levels can cost up to 50% more than a serviced unit!  Schedule a tune-up service with your specialist and they will help you reach the optimal operating levels.  Also, make sure your filters, coils, and cooling towers are clean and ducts are free of dust and debris.  Now is the time to make any repairs to create a hospitable and comfortable environment for your guests and employees.


Is your outdoor dining the most pristine it can be?  It’s that time of the year to get down and dirty and deep clean all your outdoor furniture to prepare for the season.  Outdoor dining is more than a fad; it’s become an important part of restaurant culture.  Are your chairs free of unsightly wear and tear?  Do your tables need to be adjusted to prevent uneven sides?  Do you have umbrellas, awnings, or shade to keep the experience comfortable for your guests?  A modern and polished patio is more than a mere seating area; it’s free sidewalk advertising for your business.  Research by the Simons Advisory Group demonstrated that investing in well-designed al fresco dining can increase sales 30% or even more!  


Schedule a consultation with us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com to make this summer your smoothest and most profitable yet. 

 

Food Halls Are Back on the Scene and Rising  

In other parts of the world, food halls are quite common, particularly in Europe. London likes to take credit for being the first to introduce the food hall experience. Soon, they could be found all over Asia. Now, we see more food halls pop up in the U.S., and the trend appears to be growing as more Americans demand healthier food choices and extensive selections available in unique environments. 


Put simply; food halls are a venue where artisan restaurants and food vendors serve food fresh and often cooked in front of you as you order. It comes as no surprise that the trend is finding massive success in big cities such as Los Angeles and New York. However, according to an article in the New York Times, the boom in food halls is anticipated to boom in the coming years, with a prediction of 200 food halls across the nation by 2019. 


In fact, even Anthony Bourdain had big plans for the food hall market with his 155,000-sq.ft. facility in New York. Unfortunately, acquiring visas for all his employees and vendors led to many delays that he ultimately had to cancel the project. However, there’s much buzz on social media that The Bourdain Market may still happen sometime in 2019. 


People have always loved food. But with the height of social media and the change in consumer behavior, dining experiences mean just as much. From food festivals to food trucks – people are always looking for next big thing. They are looking for variety and innovative eating experiences that are Instagrammable or worth tweeting and blogging. 


At some point, the Oxford word of the year was “locavore.” Locavore means someone who prefers to eat food that is locally grown, raised, or produced. And that’s precisely what food halls have delivered to its patrons. 


Food halls typically feature vendors who are from the community who source their ingredients from local farmers and suppliers. The fact that a word of the year is based on a preference for food only highlights how people in the past decade alone have become increasingly mindful of their food choices and experiences. They’re no longer settling for fast food chains when they know they can get food just as quickly and much healthier. 
Food halls were once found exclusively in the trendiest cities. But with the demand for food halls on the rise, we can hope to see them everywhere. And with the boom, we can expect to see food halls evolve. We expect to see more than just trends in the menu but also food service and overall dining experience. 


It will be interesting to see what food hall developers will do with space regarding design and ambiance. Will future food halls offer better facilities, seating, and charging stations? Are you looking forward to seeing how food halls will evolve or perhaps interested in knowing more about how to become a food hall vendor? We’d love to hear about it. Connect with us at Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com

 

Bartending 101: 7 Tips and Tricks for Better Drinks and Service

To be a successful bartender, you need more than just an in-depth knowledge of mixing drinks. While your level of skill and ability to memorize hundreds of drink recipes is important, you also need personality and attitude.

 

As a bartender, you will find yourself in the center of a crowd of people all simultaneously placing their drink orders. And on slow days, you could be looking after a few individuals around the bar who need your attention as much. A good bartender will care about the art of mixing drinks as well as the connections they make with the people they serve. Sometimes, a carefully crafted cocktail delivered with charisma can have the power to bring customers back who ultimately become loyal patrons.

 

Here are some seven tips and tricks for bartenders who want to make better drinks and a bigger impact:

 

Know Your Stuff

Study bar terms and techniques. Some bartenders at smaller establishments learn as they go; however, it doesn’t prepare you for moments when a customer asks for something specific or relies on your expertise to make a suggestion. Also, recognizing the difference between liquor vs. liqueur and shaken vs. stirred are things all bartenders should know if they want to become successful.

 

Attitude

It doesn’t matter how your day is going, greet your customers with a smile and a positive attitude. People come to the bar for different reasons and how you welcome your customers could make the difference between them having a great time or wallowing in their sorrows over a drink.

 

Clean as You Go

Keeping a neat bar shows people how professional you are. Also, no one wants to sit and order at a dirty bar. It’s understandable that things can get hectic when there are a lot of orders coming in; however, it can be managed by cleaning residue, spills, and crumbs as you go.

 

Make Recommendations

A good bartender knows how to make suggestions. Patrons will come to you seeking your professional recommendations on the best drinks for certain occasions. When you notice that someone is taking a long time looking at the bar menu, offer a suggestion; they will appreciate that you anticipate their needs.

 

Measure

Don’t be afraid to look like an amateur just because you’re using spoons and jiggers to measure down to the last drop. Not only will drinks taste as they should when they are perfectly measured, but you ensure inventory is monitored. It’s good business sense, and you’re not wasteful.

 

Don’t Play Favorites

Every bar has its regulars. And while you’ve already established a good relationship with loyal clients, it doesn’t mean you should ignore new customers or give them any less attention. You also shouldn’t play favorites on a busy night when multiple people are clamoring for drinks. Be attentive and treat everyone with the same amount of care.

 

Don’t Stop Learning

Be ready to level up. To make better drinks, practice and add advanced mixing techniques to your bartending set of skills. Whether you’re just starting out or consider yourself the master of mixology, chances are there’s still something new to learn. Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new things; you never know when a customer will come in with a request that will demand your expertise or make you open your drink recipe cheat sheet.

 

For more information on bartending tips and tricks, contact Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com.

How to Hire First-Rate Staff for Your Restaurant

 

You could have a winning menu and an innovative restaurant concept, but without the right people to help you execute either, your business is bound to fail. Your employees are your biggest asset. Unfortunately, finding first-rate staff isn’t always easy. However, because your team is the lifeblood of your business, it’s worth investing in a hiring strategy to attract and hire the best talent from the start rather than suffer losses due to high turnover and negative customer experiences. 


Here are some ways to hire the best employees: 

 

Specific and Descriptive Job Ads 

Taking the time to craft a detailed job description saves you from interviewing people who aren’t exactly who you are looking for. By describing your company culture and your restaurant’s concept, you’ll attract people who feel they are the right match for your restaurant’s distinct character and service style. 


Productive Interviews 
Structure and standardize all your interviews to get the most out of each encounter. This means having a set list of questions to ask that will help you create a better picture of the candidate’s prior experience and potential. Lead with these questions and end the interview by allowing them to speak freely. While not all the staff you hire will ever have to face guests, it’s key that all the members of your crew communicate effectively. 


Contact Previous Employers and Character References 
Many restaurant managers make the mistake of not executing this step especially when they feel an interview has gone well. However, many people can charm their way through interviews, but it doesn’t really prove their work ethic. People are rarely honest about why they left their last job. Calling their former employer may reveal that the candidate had attendance issues, took too many breaks, or was fired for misconduct.  


Different Interview Methods for Different Positions 
Your back-of-house staff have very different responsibilities compared to front-of-house; interviewing them in the same manner makes no sense. Once formalities are out of the way, the best way to test positions that require training and skill like line cooks, sous chefs, and bartenders is by having them show you what they can do on the line.  When it comes to back-of-house, you’re looking for experience and ability to execute as soon as they join the team. Some training will always be involved, but it should be more of learning your menu or unique plating style. 


Because wait staff and hosts are people you can train to get up to speed on how you do things, a sit-down interview to gauge their personality and willingness to face the fast pace of service is necessary. Prior experience and training are nice to have but because restaurants come in all shapes, sizes, and service styles, hiring wait staff based on potential and the right attitude is better than hiring someone who has years of experience who will a have hard time letting go of how they did things at their last job. In fact, many restaurant managers find that a clean slate is better than hiring an experienced employee who has difficulty deprogramming prior training that doesn't apply to how you run your business. 


When it comes to hiring first-rate staff, your gut feeling and instincts play a big part. The most successful restaurants are those that have teams that gel together well and work in tune. That’s why it’s crucial to establish company culture during the interview process to avoid miscommunications later on. 


For more information on hiring the right staff for your restaurant, contact Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com.

 

Integrating Technology in the Kitchen

 

“Work smarter, not harder.” A phrase that is becoming quite popular in kitchen management within restaurants. Technology in the kitchen is changing rapidly, improving kitchen safety, efficiency, and overall restaurant profitability. Restaurateurs are modernizing their kitchens creating more fluid and effective operations. From Bluetooth temperature sensors to robots flipping burgers (yes, it’s really possible), restaurants are embracing the technological revolution with incredible results.

 

 

 

What in the world is IoT?

The internet already transformed your day-to-day life and now it’s changing how kitchens operate. Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology recently introduced that allows restaurateurs to monitor equipment remotely. IoT syncs kitchen appliances to the cloud allowing machines to send mobile alerts when temperatures exceed or fall below the desired level (refrigerators, ovens, fryers, etc.). IoT also alerts staff when oil levels are low, filters need changing, parts need replacing, or when an excess of cooking oil is being used. Restaurant Technologies Inc.(1) has partnered with various clients to test IoT, resulting in a as much as a 40% reduction in oil usage, safer, improved labor efficiencies, and lower food costs.

 

Smart Machines
Remember the days of “86’ing” items from your cooler that went overlooked while placing an order? New smart refrigerators are drastically improving food purchasing for restaurants reducing those days of human error to a thing of the past. These refrigerators are yet another appliance that IoT syncs with to provide staff vital information for optimal kitchen management. Refrigerators can now record how long certain products have been stored and determine when they will spoil. Alerts are sent from the refrigerators to kitchen staff immediately when ingredients are low or need to be replaced. IoT also allows for refrigerators to alert staff when fridge temperatures are dropping, which helps restaurants avoid premature spoiling of food. Smart refrigerators can even order products automatically when inventory is low! Even more impressive is this technology’s ability to alert chefs when food allergies have been entered by the front of house staff or through online orders. These alerts can also suggest ingredients for chefs to use or to avoid, improving restaurant safety.


Think smart refrigerators are futuristic? Smart pots and pans have been developed that allow chefs to know exactly when food is done. Forget the days of losing an entire prep batch due to overcooking, smart pots and pans allow chefs to consistently deliver on their recipes. Guests are happier. Employees are more efficient. Food cost can be greatly controlled through the reduction of waste.
In addition to these smart technologies, burger flipping technologies have also been developed that can replace what is known as one of the economies most un-specialized, yet frequently needed jobs in the restaurant market. Miso Robotics created the machine called “Flippy” and claims that it can flip 150-300 burgers per hour, depending on the kitchen staff.


Kitchen production is not the only area enhanced with technology. Restaurants are also upgrading their safety procedures. Employees can now rely on advanced LED Alert Systems to help navigate loud and frantic kitchens. LED lights are activated in the event of an emergency, catching the attention of employees to provide a visual warning for staff rather than an auditory one that often goes unheard.


Frequently new technology is overlooked because of tradition. Restaurants are long stereotyped by the mantra “the way we always have,” however, in competitive markets it is important to stay up to date (1) Empire Casino Case Study by Restaurant Technologies Inc. with new advancements to maintain success and create growth. Kitchen technology is creating safer, more efficient, cost saving operations. Restaurants all over the world are embracing these new kitchen technologies simply because they want to compete…to stay on the cutting edge.


Curious about which technologies can fit your concept and budget? The team at Goliath Consulting Group will help you navigate your options and upgrade your restaurant with efficient, profit-maximizing Next-Gen equipment and systems.

 

Contact us today at: GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com

 

Sources:
A Smarter Kitchen: Restaurant Hospitality
http://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/back-house/smarter-kitchen


Restaurant Technologies Inc.
https://www.rti-inc.com/internet-things-restaurants
https://www.rti-inc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Empire-Casino-Case-Study-by-Restaurant-Technologies.pdf
https://blog.g2crowd.com/blog/internet-of-things-management/iot-for-the-kitchen-smart-devices/

What’s Trending in Restaurant Design?

As we wrap up the first quarter of the year, we wonder what restaurant trends that were gaining momentum last year continued to pick up speed into the new year and which ones fizzled out. Which design concepts are now considered outdated and which ones are we going to see more of?

Here are some restaurant trends that industry experts say will redefine the dining experience and will stick around awhile:

 

Bespoke Lighting

Tailor-made lighting to create ambiance is growing in popularity. Imagine LED strips, lighter color palettes, accent mirrors, and pinpoint lights that make a room brighter and more attractive.

 

“Technology will be the biggest influence in lighting in 2018, giving the user ultimate control. Through remote controls and apps, restaurants will be able to control singular bulbs in any part of the space from switching on or off, dimming, and changing color.” - Anita Summers, The Johnson Studio’s associate principal

 

Old School Feels New Again

"Perhaps as backlash for how unstable we feel things are politically and socially, we seek comfort in what has stood the test of time. Not only do we seek comfort, we praise it. It becomes cool. The steakhouse reemerges, classic French cooking comes back into fashion, and the 'dad' and 'grandpa' aesthetic are seen on runways worldwide. . . . Go to any Houston's in L.A. It's equally populated by older people as it is tattooed hipsters. Dan Tana's. Lawry's. To me, it's all the same story. It's about a new demographic's appreciation, acceptance and delight of things classic." - Jonah Freedman, owner, and designer of Freedman's Los Angeles

 

Do It for the ‘Gram

It’s all about a restaurant’s “Instagrammability” these days. Think along the lines of colorful walls, patterned floors, murals and interesting artwork, lighting and quirky furniture that it worth sharing on social media and captioned with a thoughtful hashtag.

“The trend keeps driving a fresh, light, bright design, focused around plant life and natural materials, mixed with unexpected, ‘personal,’ or vintage elements, perfect for creating an Instagram moment.”  - Sawyer and Krause

 

Goodbye to Boring White Walls

"At least in New York, I'm seeing a massive break from the sharp and clean aesthetic that took over the restaurant scene for the past few years. A return to the bold color schemes of the 60s—millennial pink and bright red, turquoise and jet black, forest green and muted gold, to name a few—has arrived on the East Coast." - Sasha Bikoff, interior designer, tells the Tasting Table

 

Go Green or Go Home

“There is growing interest in research on the positive health effects of seeing and being around greenery. We will likely see more ornamental plants integrated into interior design as an antidote to the machine-made world. At the same time, as farm-to-table philosophies evolve to be even more local, we will probably see more restaurants growing herbs and even some produce on-site.” - Ray Chung of The Johnson Studio’s Director of Design tells Architectural Digest

 

Are you looking forward to see how restaurants will take these trends and make them their own? We’d love to hear about it. Connect with us at Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com.

The Art and Science of Menu Design

Most people don’t realize how much work goes into designing a menu. But have you ever noticed how a poorly executed menu could make you think twice about ordering while choosing from a visually stimulating or well-written menu can entice and excite you to try everything it has to offer?

 

There’s a certain psychology involved in menu design and one that is thoughtfully created can be an effective marketing tool for your restaurant. By blending the artistic elements of graphic design and the science of how the human mind perceives colors, text, and images, you can develop a beautiful menu that has the power to tap into all the right senses.

 

Here are the main components of a winning menu design:

 

Strategically Placed Signature Items

Menus may come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have a spot that would be considered as “prime location” if we were talking in terms of real estate. This is the section where eyes naturally go to first. And because most people read menus like a book, they would typically start at the left corner for a multi-page menu.

 

For a single page menu, however, many menu engineers believe this “sweet spot” to be the top right corner. These sections should be reserved for your signature items.

 

Personality

Menus should stay true to the restaurant’s brand personality.  Your brand is so much more than just your logo and name; it’s much deeper than that. Your menu should exude that through your choice of colors, typography, copy, and overall design.

 

Menus that aren’t accurate representations of the restaurant can throw up the diner’s dining experience. If you’re eating at an elegant fine-dining restaurant, you’re certainly not expecting a menu with cheesy images, bright pops of color, or cheap-looking graphics.

 

Logical Section Divisions

Place a box or frame around sections to make scanning the menu more comfortable. Your guests should be able to navigate their way around your menu easily. Book style menus typically start in order of how a meal would be served beginning with appetizers, salads, and soups before proceeding to entrees and so on; desserts would be on the last page. Beverages may be separate if you have an extensive drink selection.

Omit Currency Signs

Guests know that the dishes they’re about to order will cost something. However, placing currency signs on items emphasizes the price, and you end up reminding guests of what they’re ultimately paying. By removing the $ sign, you’re downplaying the item’s actual cost while increasing the perceived value of the dish.

 

High-Quality Images

If you’re going to use photos of your dishes in your menu, choose the most photogenic ones and have a professional photographer take high-quality images. You may be tempted to involve a food stylist. However, don’t mislead your guests with expertly plated dishes if that’s not what you’re going to actually serve.

 

Well-Written

Your menu shouldn’t just be grammatically correct, but it should show off your brand personality. A professional copywriter who specializes in menu design may advise you on everything from typography to font size and color and write compelling menu descriptions for you. A professional writer will know how to describe dishes in a concise manner that will still make them sound irresistible.

 

For more information on what steps can be made to better design your menu, contact Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com.

Restaurant Service: 6 Most Common Mistakes

Service mistakes can cause any restaurant to lose customers and miss opportunities. Some of the most common mistakes that restaurant employees commit may seem basic and trivial. However, these errors could result in negative reviews or unsatisfied customers who decide to never dine at your establishment again. 


Here are 6 of the most common mistakes in restaurant service that you should ensure that you and your staff are not making: 


1. Not Welcoming Guests with a Proper Greeting 
Too often, we see employees immediately ask guests how many there are in their party or make them choose between the dining room or the bar, or worse, emphasize if a person is eating alone. Guests should be welcomed with a proper greeting before anything else. And while the hostess will be the first to encounter guests, all employees should be prepared to greet guests with a warm welcome. 

 

2. Avoiding Eye Contact 
Greet guests with a smile and direct eye contact. Not making eye contact with people can be considered rude, inattentive, or insincere. When you look guests in the eyes when you speak to them, they feel appreciated and valued. Take orders attentively and nod to assure them you’re accurately taking down their orders. 


3. Not Being Able to Make Recommendations 
Making recommendations means that you want to enhance the guest’s experience by suggesting your best dishes or proposed pairings. If a guest asks you for a recommendation and you cannot provide one, they will either think that you don’t know anything about your offerings or have never dined there and enjoyed the dishes yourself. Well-trained staff should not only know the menu in and out but have personal favorites. 


4. Not Accommodating Simple Requests 
Not all guests are going to want the salad that goes with the meal and prefer mashed potatoes instead. Or they may want to have the sauce on the side rather than drizzled on top. Unless a guest is asking for a dish that’s not on your menu at all, most requests can be accommodated. And by saying “my pleasure” instead of “we’ll see what we can do,” you’re enhancing their overall dining experience. 


5. Interrupting the Dining Experience Too Many Times 
It’s fine to ask the guests if they need anything else after the final plate has been delivered. However, returning to the table again and again to ask if everything is ok or refilling their glass when it is still fairly full too often can ruin the experience of diners who are deep in conversation or enjoying their meals. 


6. Taking Too Long Bring Them Their Bill and Close Out the Check 
Once guests are done, they’re ready to pay their bill and leave. Keeping them waiting too long to either bring their check or return with their change, card, and receipt can ruin what would have been an otherwise wonderful experience. 


Even the most established restaurants can sometimes make these mistakes. This is why it’s essential to train and remind staff regularly on what to avoid when ensuring that guests have a wonderful dining experience. For more information on common restaurant mistakes and training for your staff, contact Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com.

 

Restaurant Training: Costs, ChaLlenges and Rewards

By Guy Pittman, Intern

 

Extensive employee training is a critical component to the success of any business. This is  especially true in restaurant industry due to the fast-paced environment, being labor intensive and direct customer engagement. Unfortunately, managers are spending less time training employees properly and instead, leaving the new hire to figure it out themselves. The employee training is often limited by managers so they can meet labor budgets. In the long term, this has the opposite effect, driving up inefficiencies and leading to lower quality products and service impacting sales growth.

 

Statistics from the National Restaurant Association state annual employee turnover is 72.9 percent—making this the second consecutive year it has topped 70 percent. Lack of proper employee training is a major contributing factor to the restaurant industry’s staggeringly high turnover rates. I can attest to this personally. It was not long before I left my first college job at the local sandwich shop due to a lack of training. This sandwich shop decided that adequately training its employees was not worth the time or money. As a result, myself and the other employees were left uninformed regarding multiple restaurant policies, procedures, and standards. Within my first month of employment, four fellow employees resigned. This organization’s first and most significant mistake was their belief that proper employee training was not important enough to use company time and resources. Lack of training led to frustration, which in turn led to the preventable loss of four hardworking employees—not to mention the incredibly high replacement costs associated with losing four employees at once. 

 

According to the Center for American Progress, hourly workers earning less than $50,000 annually—which covers three-quarters of all workers in the United States—show a typical cost of turnover of 20 percent of their salary. With proper training, these costs are partially absorbed by a proper training program and the rest fall to the bottom line. Proper training leads to higher employee satisfaction, fewer costly mistakes, lower turnover rates, and ultimately thousands of dollars saved. The results are more efficient and fluid restaurant operations and higher revenue. When employees are trained properly they become confident, competent, and content in their work environment. 

 

Sources:

 https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/CostofTurnover.pdf

http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Hospitality-employee-turnover-rate-edged-higher-in

Food Service Trends 2017 Wrap-up

2017 has been quite a ride so far for the restaurant industry.

 

New trends are constantly developing. As a restaurant owner, it’s a challenge stay up-to-date and well informed on issues affecting your business. Fierce grocery store competition and their deflating prices is an example of one of the negative trends impacting restaurant guest traffic. These trends, will in turn have effects on restaurant traffic. So... what is simply “the new trend”, and what can restaurant owners expect to see moving into 2018.

 

Time is a major factor in the decision to eat away from home. At home meal kits are growing in popularity. The at home meal kits movement is now a $2.2 billion industry and just beginning to take off.  Amazon is hoping to accomplish something similar with their purchase of Whole Foods. The grocery industry is also moving towards better quality prepared foods, with Whole Foods as one of the leaders. These options allow the consumer to get restaurant quality meals on the go to take back to the office or home.  

 

With competition between grocers increasing due to deflating produce prices, consumers are reaping the benefits. In response to the appealing low prices on groceries, the food-at-home index is up 0.4%. Considering the low prices and rising food-at-home index, the food-away-from-home index has still found a way to thrive, rising 2.4% in the last year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Food halls are becoming a bigger player in cities across the country. The number of food halls has grown upwards of 37% since 2016 with over 100 across the country. This number is expected to double by 2019 according to the Wall Street Journal. Food halls are beginning to make their way into the south as their popularity continues to grow. The impact of food halls to neighboring restaurants can have a negative impact of 12 to 24 months. It’s not just one restaurant – but eight or more – that open. The results can be significant.

 

Are there too many restaurants?

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 620,000 eating and drinking locations in the United States—that is a 13% increase since 2010. New eating and drinking locations are growing at a rate almost twice as fast as the US population. Due to this, the biggest obstacle that many restaurants are facing is over-saturation. Customers are still spending money dining out; however, the money is spread across more restaurants, this is resulting in flat to negative sales and guest traffic counts in restaurants across the country. As 2018 approaches, the issue of restaurant over-saturation doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.

 

The constant shift in restaurant trends is an ever-changing game. 2017 has brought expansion of food halls, home meal kits, and other alternative food-away from home dining experiences that challenge restaurant owners. Alongside these trends, the deflating grocery prices and over-saturation of restaurants will be factors as restaurant owners plan for 2018.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.eater.com/2017/8/30/16181016/food-hall-boom-2017

https://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery--food-prices-fall-again-at-the-supermarket/507866/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/07/03/home-meal-kit-phenomenon/102544292/

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/11/16/amazons-online-grocery-sales-are-double-wal-marts.aspx

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/business/too-many-restaurants-wall-street.html

How to improve your restaurant’s customer service

 
The recipe for a successful restaurant requires a few ingredients; delicious food, a captivating ambiance, and, of course, reliable customer service. Unfortunately, customer service is an element that is often overlooked. Restaurant owners think that if they provide a menu of delectable dishes, they can make up for average customer service efforts. This is simply not
true!
 
If your restaurant’s customer service strategy needs some attention, follow the four simple tips featured in this post.
 
 
Restaurant Customer Service Tips:
 
1. Provide thorough training – To improve your restaurant’s customer service, you should go back to the basics. Consider, how are you preparing your employees to interact with patrons? If you’re not instilling values into your employees from the start, you’re setting your restaurant up for failure.
 
When waiters, hosts and other personnel that interact with customers are hired, you should ensure that they receive extensive training. Have them shadow a knowledgeable employee who they can learn from, complete a restaurant training course and maybe even complete a comprehensive exam to prove that they are ready to start working. These experiences will prepare your employees to serve customers in a respectful and attentive manner, so that you can keep complaints to a minimum.
 
2. Use social media – Many restaurant owners don’t realize that social media can be a major asset when conducting customer service. You should consistently monitor social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. By doing this, you can answer questions and interact with customers. If you aren’t active on social media, you could miss customer complaints and other issues that need to be addressed.
 
3. Ask for feedback  If you want to receive direct feedback from patrons, provide a URL that they can visit to complete a quick customer satisfaction survey. If customers take the survey, they are entered to win a gift card or other incentive. By doing this, it is essentially a win-win. You can get feedback from your customers about any issues your restaurant might be having, and they are rewarded for participating. Make sure that once surveys have been submitted, you address recurring complaints. If customers provide feedback, you’ll earn their respect, and hopefully they’ll frequent your restaurant in the future. 
 
4. Provide convenience  Restaurant patrons appreciate convenience. People are always on- the-go, and typically will do anything to save time and effort. So, consider this when you’re refining your customer service strategy. If your customers complain about wait-times, want to place takeout orders easily or request delivery services, consider these comments. If you can implement new technologies or procedures that will offer your patrons a more convenient experience, they are certainly worth considering.
 
Without loyal customers, your restaurant cannot be successful. Show your patrons that you appreciate their business by executing the four customer service tactics featured in this post.
 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Blog post contributed by Katie Alteri, Fora Financial for Goliath Consulting Group.

 

Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the U.S. Fora Financial can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Best Practices for Energy Efficient Kitchens

Kitchens use more energy per square foot than just about any type of commercial space. And energy costs have increased over 40 percent in the lasts five years. Atlanta has the highest water cost in the country! Now is the time to invest in energy efficient equipment and systems. Remember, every dollar you save, goes directly to your bottom line.

 

First, audit your current operations for opportunities to save energy. This includes equipment, the building shell, and operational uses of your equipment. Next, target changes that have the fastest return on investment. Typically, 6 months or less. For example, if you change out a dishroom pre-rinse spay nozzle, it should pay for itself within six months. Based on our review of many kitchens; there is a huge opportunity to reap immediate savings.

 

You will be amazed at how much money you save when you select energy efficient equipment. And higher-end energy efficient equipment typically lasts longer and has opportunities to add labor saving features; such as automatic basket lifts on a fryer. Another hidden fact is that energy efficient equipment typically has a greater throughput of foods, read: faster cook times!

New technological trends here to stay include heat recovery systems. Heat that is generated by cooking is captured and used to heat building hot water systems. Heat from hot water discharged from dishwashers is used the same way. And cooking exhaust systems that adjust based on the amount of cooking at any given times, allow for great reduction in building HVAC costs. These examples are all systems that have fast ROI’s and are here to stay.

 

Now is the time to create a comprehensive energy savings plan. Goliath Consulting Group partners with Kip Serfozo’s team at Camacho Consulting to audit and create best equipment practices. Kip Serfozo is a LEED Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design). He has worked on many LEED Gold and Platinum hospitality buildings around the country. He is an expert in kitchen design and operational analysis. 

 

Why Technology Consultants are on the Rise 

 

res· tau· rant tech· nol· o· gy - (noun)

Any piece of software or  computerized tool used in foodservice establishments or to aid in overall operations.
Examples included, but are not limited to, point of sale, inventory, reservations, etc.


If you look back 20 years, that term would be used to describe now archaic point of sale systems.   The clunky old machines that, at the time, were cutting edge and would save your servers time and reduce the manual errors your staff would make using hand written receipts and knuckle busters.  In those days, you had approximately 7 options to choose from.  Flash forward to 2017 and at last count we are at 487.   On top of the industry nearing 500 POS options, it’s advanced into inventory systems, reservation management
platforms, analytic tools, onboarding, HR, training, branded apps, online ordering,   delivery,  food   safety,  geofencing,   marketing  and  social  media platforms, diner demographics.... the list goes on.  While these tools were all developed to make your lives easier, you now face a new set of problems.

  • Which ones are right for you and your brand?  
  • Do you really need to implement this tool to stay relevant?
  • What is product integration and why isit important?  
  • How can you determine the ROI on something like this?

Unfortunately, most account reps you meet with these various brands will tell you that their product is perfect for you.  To be fair, their job is to sell you on all of the benefits of their offering and help you see why their system is the best.  Enter Break Bread Consulting.  Born from the ever-growing need​ for clarity in an otherwise jumbled field, our technology consultants work with your brand to understand your specific needs, research appropriate tools and products, ensure fully integrated solutions, and negotiate fair rates. Consider us interim IT Directors.  We act as a member of your team to ensure you are set up for success and can implement technology and use it for the reason it was built...to make your life easier.


At Break Bread Consulting, we believe that there is no one size fits all and that each restaurant has very specific needs and goals that need to be considered when looking at new technology.  Because of that, we work with our clients one on one with a fully customized and individually catered program to help them reach their unique goals.  While the end goal of each individual or group may vary, we strive to create fully integrated systems and work off of a holistic view of your business.


As our industry changes, you must adapt.  And we’re here to help.

 

For more information go to: www.breakbreadconsulting.com/contact

 

About Break Bread Consulting

 

Break Bread Consulting was founded in 2014 by industry lifer Brianne Lane.  With the restaurant industry finally catching up with modern technology trends a new problem arose.  So many new options flooding the restaurant market on a daily basis make it incredibly difficult for restaurant owners to sort through the various point of sale systems, analytic tools, etc and find the best option for their concept.  


Break Bread acts as your dedicated IT Specialist.  We research products, attend demos, obtain price quotes and even negotiate with software companies to ensure you're getting the best possible price.

Chef Britt cloud Joins Goliath Consulting Group

We're excited to announce that Chef Britt Cloud has joined the Goliath Consulting Group as Consulting Chef. Chef Britt will head up menu development and food safety services including teaching ServSafe classes.  

 

Britt is an accomplished, formally trained chef with twenty-five years of experience in the restaurant industry covering all facets of cooking and management. Special skills include opening new restaurants—five to date—from quick serve to fine dining.

 

Before attending the Culinary Institute of America for his AOS in Culinary Arts, Britt honed his restaurant management skills in a popular bakery café chain in Washington, DC. He transferred that knowledge into the kitchen, where he has managed teams of 25+ staff and ensured consistency and efficiency to meet customer expectations.

 

Britt brings to Goliath a solid background and interest in menu development, including wine pairing and integration of beer, wine, and spirits to enhance the dining experience. His culinary creativity is matched by his strengths in operational proficiencies, including managing P&L statements, production statistics, staff schedules, food waste logs, purchasing and inventory, and accounts receivable. 

 

Most recently, Britt served as executive chef for two sister restaurants, creating seasonal menus in scratch kitchens based on a farm-to-table concept. At Goliath, he provides his back-of-the-house expertise to help clients achieve their restaurant visions.

 

ServSafe Classes and Food Safety.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [79.5 KB]

CyberSecurity and the Restaurant industry

Cyberattacks are on the rise as the world economy has shifted to the digital age. For the restaurant industry, hackers aren’t just focused on payment card data, but now collect information on entire businesses and their operations. The customers, employees, reputation, and brand of a business are all at risk with today’s data breaches. Cyber criminals recognize the technological advancements made in the restaurant industry and are beginning to use these advancements as pathways to more profitable cyber-attacks. As these cyber-attacks evolve, so must the strategies for restaurant owners. Cybersecurity is no longer about playing defense; it is about planning offensively. It is crucial that restaurant owners take proper precautions to ensure cybersecurity.


The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Cybersecurity 101 Toolkit lays out the most common ways data

breaches cost restauranteurs and what they can do to better prepare.


Often following a major restaurant cyber-attack, the greatest concern is the loss of customer information. As harmful as this loss may be to a restaurant, it is not the only looming issue that the business faces. Along with customer, employee information is also vulnerable.  Valuable personal data including Social Security numbers and sensitive financial information can be obtained by cyber criminals through data breaches. 


A data breach is also damaging to a restaurant’s bottom line. For example, the smallest suspicion of a breach can lead to a forensic investigation which can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $100,000. After investigations, if a breach has been detected it is estimated that the average small business may pay $36,000 to $50,000. Lawsuits related to security breaches can be as damaging to brand reputations as they are to the bottom line of a business. Once a breach has been detected, a business has a legal obligation to inform the media. This can lead to costly litigation fees.

 

Litigation and investigation fees are often only the beginning of the costs to a restaurant’s bottom line. Once a breach has occurred, there are unavoidable damages to a restaurant’s reputation and brand. Research has shown that 15 percent of consumers would cease doing business with a restaurant if there was evidence of a data breach. Harm to a restaurants brand name and reputation can prove to be the most expensive cost incurred by businesses that have suffered a data breach. 


Fortunately, there are safety measures that can help reduce the risks of cyber-attacks. However, restaurant owners must take a proactive approach towards cybersecurity if they wish to reduce the risk of a breach. Heartland Payment Systems provides six bullet points to help with cybersecurity: 


• Follow the PCI DSS Standards. https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pci_security/maintaining_payment_security
• Use a PCI compliance vendor program to complete PCI compliance attestation such as Heartland’s Merchant Protection Program. 
• Leverage secure products such as Heartland Secure P2PE devices to minimize data. 
• Educate and empower employees to identify issues first. 
• Understand your risk and perform risk assessments to find vulnerabilities and gaps.
• Prepare for a breach by implementing an incident response process.


Predictions reveal that losses from cyber-attacks will grow from $460 billion in 2016 to greater than $6 trillion in 2021. As technology continues to advance, cyber-attacks will become an even more pressing issue. Being proactive with cybersecurity is vitally important with the skills of today’s hackers.

 

For more information on what steps can be made to better secure your restaurant and training for your staff, contact Goliath Consulting Group at getresults@goliathconsulting.com

 

Sources
Heartland Payment Systems: https://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com/blog/2017/04/14/data-breach-2017

 

National Restaurant Association: http://www.restaurant.org/Cybersecurity

 

 

Building Sales beyond Dine-in

The goal behind the creation of any restaurant is to earn the maximum returns by providing a superior experience to the customers. However, in this world of increased competition, the restaurant brands need to come up with exciting new ways to enhance their sales and be in the top runner spot. 


With the increase in the number of restaurants and prepared food points including grocery stores and convenience stores, the customers now have plenty of options at their disposal; hence, the restaurant brands need to incorporate new strategies to be the top preference of the consumer. Restaurant brands need to reach consumers and give them different opportunities to get their food apart from the traditional dine-in option.


In today’s restaurant business environment, 20% or more of sales for restaurants without a drive-thru are due to delivery, catering and take-out options. Most of the people who are running out of time to visit the restaurant of their choice, and instead opt for delivery and take-out options. If you are not offering any such option; you may lose out on sales as your customers will move to better options.
Most of the restaurants have now started to use technological tools for growth of their business and to reach out to maximum customers. Brands have now partnered with various companies, like UberEATS, Food.ee, Amazon and other companies that offer delivery services. These companies are helping both the restaurants and the customers by acting as intermediaries.  While many restaurants are offering delivery services, partnering with a delivery company enables them to reach out to those areas where they may not be able to provide delivery services otherwise.


Technology has brought various opportunities for restaurant brands to reach more consumers. One such option is to go with online ordering. Online ordering through a website portal developed for your restaurant will allow users to order directly from it. Furthermore, you can also get a dedicated mobile app for your restaurant to reach your customer on their mobile device.
The basic formula for success, without any doubt, depends on the quality of food and service. However, the consumer is looking for more options on how to purchase your food. To grow your sales, you must find ways to make your food more convenient to purchase in a way the consumer wants to interact with your brand. 


In summary, the success of a restaurant depends on a blend of various factors. The restaurant industry is feeling pressure from grocery stores and other points of distribution. Combined with the saturation of restaurants in many markets, restaurant brands are feeling the pressure on their top and bottom lines. If you are a restaurant brand and want to enhance your sales beyond the regular dine-in options; you need to think out of the box for coming up with effective strategies to provide your customers an easy and hassle-free way to reach you.

 

When to Hire a Restaurant Consultant

When restaurants face nagging problems or about to enter a new stage of growth, it is time to consider a consultant. Operating costs, menu execution, customer service, marketing, supply chain or profitability have been troublesome or concerning without any sight of improvement it may be time to consider that assistance. In the long run, the ROI of a hiring a consultant can quite high by helping you resolve profitability issues and operational problem or avoid a costly mistake in the startup or expansion.

 

The consultant, being an objective outsider, can recognize issues more clearly. Then suggest and assist with implementing solutions more effectively than you, managers and your staff. When you’re close to a situation there is a tendency to being mired in the details and not be able to come up with a solid strategy and corresponding tactics to overcome the problems with the business. Consultants provide an objective point of view that is based on facts of the situation and the business.

 

A consultant brings to your business ideas and solutions that have been successful in other operations. Consultants have specialized knowledge, skills and experience to assist the operator with a combination of problem-solving, planning or implementation services depending on what the situation dictates.

 

Here are areas where a restaurant consultant will help you:

 

  • Turnaround Situations
  • Site selection and concept development
  • Initial startup and project management
  • Menu development
  • Supply chain setup and management
  • Operations and profit assessment
  • Marketing
  • Growth strategies including franchising
  • Operating systems & procedures
  • Staff training programs
  • Technology solution including POS
  • Outsourced assistance

 

At Goliath Consulting Group, in most cases, we start with an operational assessment to provide you with insights on the underlying problems affecting performance as well as recommendations for solutions and the effect it is having on your business. Other engagements tackle a specific need: build a marketing plan, update the menu, develop a business plan for growth etc. We have the skills and experience to help you improve the situation you are facing.

 

The Arrival of Technology in the Restaurant Business

Technology has radically altered the way we do business and live our lives. A lot of tasks have been automated and others, which still require human input, have been greatly simplified making life easier for the entire human race. The process has just begun but it has already affected all areas of our lives so the restaurant business is no exception. From the onset, it appears that the restaurant business has a model which is heavily dependent on people, starting from the chef to the waiter who delivers the food so the question which naturally comes to mind is how is the restaurant industry getting benefits from the incorporation of technology in its business? Let us show you how.

 

 

Ordering on the go. Smartphones have radically altered the process of takeaway for many popular fast food chains. Customers can simply open up the app of their favorite fast food chain on their smartphones and order anything from the entire menu to their liking. The app will tell them the approximate time it’ll take their order to be prepared. Once it is prepared, they can simply collect it from the counter or drive-thru. This saves the time customers had to spend in long queues when they ordered after getting to the restaurant. Also, it reduces the pressure on the kitchen staff as by giving them some space as the orders are not constantly pouring in.

 

Tabletop check-outs. Nobody likes it when the waiter takes away our credit card for what seems like an eternity, it makes us deeply uncomfortable as we’ve all heard stories of credit card fraud and identity theft after paying in a restaurant through our credit card. Some entrepreneurs have developed solutions for self-checkouts right on your dinner table. The device is essentially a tablet running a proprietary software which displays your bill and gives options to order other things before you leave. It saves a lot of time for the restaurant, allowing them to service more diners in the same night and the customers don’t get uneasy as the credit card doesn’t get out of their sight while the online payment process is protected by encryption.

 

Create your own food. Technology has really changed the food industry to the point where it has started to define how food is prepared and how customers too can participate in the process. The choices have also been significantly increased. One ice cream machine by the vendor MooBella can deliver a mind-boggling total of 96 variants pf ice cream using a standard set of ingredients and any of these flavors can be had in less than a minute. It reduces the need for staff and saves time in the delivery of ice cream, many cafeterias, and fast food restaurants have shown an interest in this.

 

Restaurant Management Systems. An important aspect of running of any restaurant is the proper utilization of its resources and for this many software solutions have been developed which can be easily installed on your tab and can give detailed views of all information related to tables, inventory, orders etc. in real time.

 

The question for most restaurant owners is “Where do we begin?” That’s where the Goliath Consulting  Group team can help by sifting through all the technology available, choose the solutions that best fit your organization and develop an implementation plan to get you up and running.

 

Sources

http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2012/12/07/how-restaurants-are-using-technology-to-deliver-better-customer-service/#6a1ed648626d

https://www.qsrmagazine.com/ordering/digital-revolution

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224332

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/worlds-high-tech-restaurants/

http://www.call-systems.com/products/connectsmart-kitchen/

Current State of Food Safety in the Restaurant Industry

As restaurant managers, operators or owners, we like to think that we can never fall victim to an outbreak of food-borne illness. As consumers, we like to assume that we cannot contract a food-borne disease while dining at a restaurant. While everyone likes to think that they are taking all the precautions to prevent food-borne diseases, the fact remains that these diseases occur way too often. A report published by CDC in 2015 cited that food-borne diseases are on the rise. As such, it’s now more important than ever before for food establishments to re-evaluate their food safety practices to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

 

Ever wonder how these pathogens end up in restaurants? Unfortunately, there are several ways pathogens can find their way into restaurants including guests coming with them, the food supply etc. If a restaurant doesn’t adhere to safe food preparation protocols, these pathogens are likely to survive and with time, gain the ability to cause harm to guests. So how are restaurants doing when it comes to food safety? Believe it or not, CDC studies have found that restaurants are the most common sources of food-borne diseases. There’s a lot of room for improvement and a number of precautions that restaurants can take to reduce the risk of food borne diseases.

 

 

The problem
The food service industry and medical professionals are increasingly becoming concerned about the increased number of microbes that are now resistant to food preparation methods, antibiotics and storage methods. It’s even more unfortunate that few consumers hardly view their own food safety practices as potential hazards.


Other factors that contribute to increased incidents of food safety issues include change in consumer lifestyles and demographics, change in the food system where the lines between food service operators, retail grocers and food process are fading as well as advancements in science and technology have allowed for better methods of detecting disease causing pathogens.

Many restaurant owners and consumers begin to worry about effective food safety measures when an outbreak occurs. They somehow forget that prevention is better than the outcome of dealing with a food-borne illness outbreak that can have quite a negative impact on the public and the brand.

 

Types of food-borne diseases that impact the industry
There are more than 250 food-borne diseases caused by prions, metals, toxins, parasites, bacteria and viruses. The most common ones that affect the food service industry that also pose a dire threat to humans include norovirus, listeria, E. coli, hepatitis A and salmonella.

 

E. coli: Even when ingested in small amounts, these bacteria can cause damage to the intestines. Effects of the bacteria include violent vomiting, mild discomfort and in extreme cases, death. It spreads by a fecal-to-oral route where contamination can occur at the farm and if not cleaned properly, the guests at a restaurant can easily ingest it.
Listeria: Unlike other bacteria that need high temperatures to thrive, listeria can survive on lower temperatures. It spreads through cross contamination in food and can be quite dangerous especially for individuals who aren’t immunized. For pregnant women, listeria can cause infant mortality.

Norovirus: Frequent outbreaks of norovirus have compounded a concern for food safety especially in the restaurant industry. The virus is highly contagious and often spreads through human-to-food-to-human contact especially as a result of poor hygiene practices in food service environments. And whether or not they show symptoms, humans can still transfer the virus.

Building the foundation of an effective food safety program


Having an effective food safety program in place is important for protecting the public and the employees in a restaurant. Considering that the CDC has attributed more than 1300 deaths, almost 56,000 hospitalizations and 9.4 million illnesses to food-related pathogens, the issue of food safety in restaurants is a matter of urgency. The success of a food safety program is highly dependent on several factors including ensuring that employees are trained and understand the importance of food safety.

 

A good food safety program should have a few essential characteristics some of which include:
• Identify the hazards and determine the risks involved
• Implement systems that can help combat the risks
• Prohibit your workers from coming to work while ill
• Follow the proper cooking instructions such as internal temperatures
• Provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for guests to use when they come into the restaurant
• Wash hands frequently, when preparing food or after visiting the washrooms
• Implement processes to prevent cross-contamination

 

Monitoring food preparation and service during every shift keenly is important if restaurant owners, managers and operators wish to minimize the risk of food-borne disease. Working with and not against local food safety departments is also a big step. All shift managers should also consider enrolling for ServSafe classes offered by Goliath Consulting Group or through your local restaurant association and the National Restaurant Association.

 

For more information on Food Safety in Restaurants, contact us at getresults@goliathconsulting.com

The Value of Monitoring a Restaurant Brand’s Online Presence

It is vital for restaurants to manage and monitor their reputation online for very obvious reasons. If you have a great restaurant, people will rave about you offline because of your amazing food you serve to them and the wonderful experience that they enjoy at your place. If you have a poor online reputation management strategy, or you have no strategy at all, you miss out on the chance to enhance your brand’s image. Measuring your brand’s online presence is of great importance.

 

The Importance of Social Listening Applications
You need to know what is being said about your restaurant’s brand on the internet. A strong online presence is a vital element of your marketing and should be part of your action plan. This is regardless of how small or large your business is and regardless of which industry your business belongs to. Outbound marketing will reinforce your brand and a web presence will help you represent the reasons why your restaurant is so great. Thus identifying and evaluating conversations about your brand, your services and your competition become vital.

 

Social Media Platforms to Monitor
Numerous social media platforms have come up in the recent past and it is necessary to monitor conversation on such platforms. There is Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest for example. There is no doubt that it can be quite hectic to monitor all these social media platforms. There are tools available that can help you keep track of conversation that centers on your restaurant. Google Alerts is a great tool because you will get notifications through email anytime appear somewhere on the web. You also get links to reference sites and you are able to recognize what is being said.

 

Importance of Determining Your Traffic Sources
Google analytics will help you determine your traffic source and you can develop advanced segments for your website as well as for your social media platforms. Google Analytics helps you track website visitors and also helps you determine which social media platforms to use to drive traffic to your website. Generally, numerous online platforms promote interaction among users regarding a specific product or service. Evaluating the influence of your restaurant online will assist you in understanding the influence of your brand online. Finding out how your brand exhibits itself to its audience and how its online reputation is perceived will enable you to create a favorable brand impression.

 

How Restaurants Can Handle Social Media Effectively
While many restaurants might be using social media, not many are using it productively. Some restaurant businesses have not made plans to use social media effectively and as a result, they are not getting good reaction online. The benefits of social media might not be seen instantly but raising online brand awareness will have a long term benefit and will increase the bottom line. A good presence online can have dramatic effects and bring about great success for restaurants. One approach to having a great online presence would be to have online competitions and to have insightful topical issues on food and nutrition. This can have a dramatic increase in your restaurant’s online presence. With more people talking about your restaurant online, this active engagement can bring about more customers walking into your doors. If you position your restaurant business online as a brand with healthy food for example, people will want to be associated with your business.

 

The Importance of Online Reputation Intelligence
To manage your online presence, you must control what appears when people Google the name of your restaurant. But this is not enough. You should essentially analyze the negative sentiments that appear online about your restaurant and you ought to address them. A majority of customers will probably read online reviews before making a decision to walk into your restaurant. What they read might determine if they want to do business with you or not. The simplicity of reputation management is that businesses learn what customers are talking about with regards to their experience with the specific business. Reputation monitoring will locate comments and observations from new sites, blogs and social networks and help you get the full picture of what people talk about your restaurant. Positive word of mouth will propel foot traffic into your restaurant. Negative word of mouth will on the other hand destroy your restaurant business. Knowing what is negative about your business can help you make key changes.

 

Dealing with Social Media Correctly
When you monitor social media, you will get information that you must respond to. Such information can be negative at times. You must respond to negative social media in an appropriate manner. Never try to justify yourself because that might hurt your brand. Everyone else reads comments both negative and positive. Never blame the person who commented and try to be balanced and professional in your responses. Always be brief and do not go on for too long or you will reveal too much. When you keep it simple, the customer might be encouraged to approach you directly and this might resolve a matter amicably. Comments should be treated as consumer research and this will help your restaurant. It is always important to think like the customer and put yourself in their shoes before making any replies. Social media can help your restaurant business but can also destroy you.

 

 

 

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