Fort Worth, Texas – Ben E. Keith Company has acquired MenuMax, a recipe and menu management software company that provides innovative solutions for the foodservice industry. The sale was complete on November 1, 2016 and terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
MenuMax offers a fully automated cloud based recipe and menu management system that assists in organizing and planning menus, calculating food costs and nutrition, maximizing efficiency and increasing operator profit margins.
“The MenuMax solutions will strengthen Ben E. Keith’s customer-centric digital platform as we continue to improve our suite of applications for our customers,” said Jim Ashley, Chief Information Officer at Ben E. Keith.
Ben E. Keith will continue to service its current MenuMax customers, as well as offer and expand the brand and services for all foodservice users throughout the industry.
“In today’s environment, the foodservice operator is looking for innovations to help manage their operations, and with this addition of MenuMax to our portfolio of services, we feel it is a great opportunity for us to help in this area. We continue to be known as the home of the independent operator and it is our responsibility to make sure we provide every tool available to help them grow their business,” said Ron Boyd, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
About Ben E. Keith Foods:
Established in Fort Worth, Texas in 1906, Ben E. Keith is the nation’s eighth largest broad line foodservice distributor and operates today with eight divisions shipping to fourteen states throughout the country.
For more information about Ben E. Keith contact:
David Werner, Vice President, Marketing. 817-759-6826. firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is part of the On the Margin blog. Originally posted by Nation’s Restaurant News
Casual dining is still struggling, and that’s especially true for the bar-and-grill segment that dominated the sector for so long, as the 4.1-percent decline in same-store sales at Chili’s last quarter demonstrated.
Could higher minimum wages change that?
Several states are in the process of raising their minimum wages, promising to increase labor costs for restaurants across the country.
But a lot of the labor at restaurants is in the form of waitstaff, who in most states are paid lower wages because they receive tips, although a few states do not have any such tip credit.
Casual-dining concepts could therefore avoid some of the labor cost increases that their counterparts in the quick-service sector will have to deal with.
That could, at least in theory, help casual dining close the cost gap with higher-end quick-service concepts.
Casual dining has been in decline for a decade. One of the reasons is the need to provide that tip of 20 percent to a waiter or waitress, which increases the cost of dining.
Because they don’t have tip-credit workers, fast-casual and quick-service concepts might have to raise their prices at a higher rate. If customers ultimately see the price differential between the two has diminished, there could be a theoretical point where they return to casual-dining concepts.
“Raising the minimum wage could actually benefit casual dining,” said Larry Miller, co-founder of the monthly MillerPulse survey. “They’re not going to feel the brunt of the increase in the minimum wage.”
Of course, there are many other reasons why casual dining has been in decline. For one thing, the brands are simply older, and customers like trying new things. In addition, time constraints have hurt the chains, especially during the crucial lunch daypart.
To be sure, casual dining certainly has labor-cost concerns, like overtime regulations, healthcare and recruitment. And casual-dining concepts on average spend more on labor than limited-service chains.
Higher minimum wages could push limited-service restaurants to use technology more aggressively to offset labor and make their businesses more efficient. As it is, McDonald’s and Panera Bread are toying with kiosks that, while not specifically a labor issue at the moment, could quickly evolve into one if labor costs increase too much.
There might be less potential for the casual-dining segment to offset labor costs with technology. Tabletop tablets that have become popular at so many chains could evolve into ordering technology, but ultimately those concepts are about service.
Nevertheless, there could be some very minor and very early evidence that casual dining is erasing the gap with quick service: According to Miller’s survey, casual-dining restaurants outperformed quick-service concepts in two of the year’s first three months.
Contact Jonathan Maze at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze
Taking inventory is one of the most dreaded tasks in a restaurant, but also one of the most crucial. It is critical to measure the amount of food, supplies, and other products your restaurant uses in order to control food costs and maximize profitability, yet no one wants to do it. Many managers admit that they have overlooked inventory by not doing it thoroughly or frequently. By initiating some simple structure, taking inventory becomes a much more bearable task, and can improve efficiency.
Here are 10 steps to improve your inventory process:
- Day of the week and time
Establish the day of the week and time you wish to take inventory in order to create consistency. It is best to stick to the same day each week, and choose a time before the restaurant opens or after it closes, in order to get the most accurate count.
- Assign the same two people to always take inventory
Typically, the kitchen manager and general manager collaborate on inventory together. Each completes their own inventory, then compare results.
- Take inventory frequently and before a new shipment arrives
Inventory should be done at least once a week. Some items need to be monitored more frequently than others and should consistently be accounted for. Complete inventory before a new shipment arrives, then add the new stock to your count.
- Clean out and organize stock areas before beginning inventory
Dispose expired items and keep stock area organized.
- Ensure all food and supplies are accounted for
Make sure that all food gets rung in and accounted. Train servers and cooks to correctly track food that gets sent back and re-ordered, ruined, or comped, in order to have an accurate inventory count.
- Use count sheets
Count sheets allow you to track your inventory in a consistent and easy to read manner. They can also be used to track your inventory over time, and see patterns.
- First In, First Out (FIFO)
Utilize the FIFO system by rotating older items to the front of the shelves in order to get used first. This is also useful to see how many items are close to expiring, and shows you what item you have an excess of, and need to cut down the order.
- Calibrate scales
If you use scales to weigh inventory or measure portions, be sure to calibrate them weekly to ensure they work correctly.
- Standardize unit cost
Prices change almost weekly, and need to be accounted for. Always use the latest price paid as your standard.
- Invest in accounting software
Accounting software tracks your counts and can turn them into weekly reports. This allows you to view any changes or patterns from a weekly basis.
When a manager establishes structure and consistency for taking inventory, the process becomes much easier. Using the same managers, on the same day of the week, at the same time, and comparing numbers will give you the most accurate result.
See the original article here: http://rmagazine.com/10-steps-to-improve-your-restaurant-inventory-process/
Restaurants are always trying to find new ways to increase customers, as well as gain their loyalty. Many restaurants have used the idea of giveaways as a promotional method to gain new customers. Giving stuff away for free you will attract the opportunists, but how long can you run a business like this for? Restaurant owners need to find ways to gain long-term loyalty, and one such method is to promote free Wi-Fi at your restaurant. Wireless Internet is one of the joys of modern technology, particularly for young people who find it difficult to pry themselves away from their smartphones and tablets. Restaurants, coffee shops and retail outlets have started offering free Wi-Fi access to customers as a way of gaining their loyalty, and you should definitely consider doing the same.
The Benefits of Offering Free Wi-Fi
Have you ever sat down in a coffee shop or restaurant and seen a sign that features a Wi-Fi code? You can use this code to log on to their servers and use the Internet for free. There is a good chance that whoever punches in this code will automatically have a newfound love for the establishment they’re sitting in, which in turn will inspire loyalty. If a customer knows they’re getting free Internet access with you, they’ll be coming back in the vast majority of cases.
Free Wi-Fi can benefit your restaurant in a number of ways besides allowing people to gain free access to the web.
For a start, customers who are using the web in your establishment are more likely to Tweet about where they are; upload a photo of their food to Instagram or check-in to your restaurant on Facebook or apps like Foursquare. This is free advertisement for your restaurant, and you got it just by offering free Internet access. Another useful tip for restaurateurs who are offering free Wi-Fi access to customers is to have an email sign-up attached to your access. This means that they will be asked to enter their email address when they log in to the Wi-Fi. Make sure that you give them an incentive to do so, including loyalty card sign-up, competitions, special offers and access to members only materials. You can guarantee that the majority of your customers will opt in, even if it’s just to say thanks for the free Internet access.
Things to consider
It’s important to remember that many hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and shopping malls don’t offer free Wi-Fi, and sometimes the ones that do aren’t supplying high speed internet. The only thing worse than no Internet access is slow Internet access, so make sure that your supplier is giving you a great connection. Many hotels will charge their guests for Wi-Fi access, so if tourists are heading out into towns and cities without having checked Facebook or their emails for a while, finding a restaurant that supplies their customers free wireless internet access is going to gain you some huge bonus points. Here is a really good point to consider: Think about how much time flies when you’re on the web. If your customers are spending more time in your restaurant because you have free internet access, chances are they are going to buy a few more drinks from the bar or maybe they’ll take a little longer with their main course and have a dessert after a little Twitter break.
Either way, there are no downsides to offering free Wi-Fi, because it costs no more to offer it to your customers than it does for you to use it simply for your own use – including powering the point of sale systems of your operation and allowing your offices access to the web. In an age where everybody is on the web at some point during the day, it pays to offer this great service to your customers, and inspire them to become loyal patrons for years to come.
One of the most effective ways to manage risks in the restaurant industry is through food costing. If you’re a new food business owner, below is a guide on pricing menu items for your restaurant.
1.Breakdown each dish on the menu
First, you should list all the ingredients of the dishes on your menu. This includes the main components and minor additions such as garnish, cooking oil, water and etc. Don’t forget to include the amount per ingredient that goes into each dish. You will want to be as thorough as possible during this stage, or you’ll throw off the numbers later on when the heavy computing starts
2.Calculate yield and cost
Next, calculate for the yield of each ingredient against the amount specified in the dish. For example, if you have an apple that costs 50 cents, and each slice is 10 cents (assuming you cut the apple in five equal parts); then a dish that uses two apple slices will cost 20 cents. In this step, be sure to add the purchasing fees (delivery charges, return fees and etc.) with each yield computation.
3.Include your overhead costs
Now you have to factor in the nonfood costs. These include labor, rent, taxes, electricity and etc. What you are after is the overhead costs per person. Once you determine the overhead expenses, divide it by the number of customers you expect to have daily. For example, if it costs $1,200 to keep your restaurant in business for an entire day and you cater to 200 diners daily, the overhead cost per customer is $6.
4.Determine your final price
Using your overhead costs as a guide, determine your final price. To get this figure, divide the total cost of the dish by the sales or mark up percentage. During this step, you’ll have to establish a mark up percentage that you’re comfortable with.
After pumping out some prices, you might come across some awkward figures. For example, salad that cost $5.17 or a slice of pecan pie that is priced at $5.83. Most restaurants round up to the nearest 10 or 25 cents, depending on the pricing standard for the menu. Rounding down is not common practice.
5.Double check the numbers and get a second opinion
Be sure to run the numbers a couple of times to make sure they are correct. Once you are confident with the prices, it is time to get realistic. Are your customers willing to pay for the new items in your menu? Is there room for you to make a higher profit?
You may need to get a second opinion from people in the area through feedback or surveys. A general average of what your demographic is willing to pay for (when it comes to meals) should help you compete with other food establishments.
This step is critical because you may have your food costing down properly, but if customers are not willing to pay for the dishes, your business will not survive.
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, employers have slowly seen the impacts of this new healthcare mandate. Initially, many were concerned with the impacts on healthcare and insurance industries, but those working in the restaurant industry may only now be feeling its full force. For instance, the complex requirements of the law’s employer mandate, regarding applicable large employers, phased into the industry at the beginning of this year. Due to the nature of the restaurant industry, the Affordable Care Act poses a unique set of concerns for your business, and with the risk of large penalties and fees, the ACA is just as large of a concern for your employees as it is for your business.
To first grasp the potential impacts of the Affordable Care Act on your restaurant, you’ll first need to consider whether or not you fit the bill. For instance, smaller restaurants with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the ACA’s employer responsibility requirements. If you’re teetering on the edge of inclusion, then it may be time to sit down and reflect on your business plan, as passing the threshold for the number of full-time employees (or equivalents) can bump you into the inclusion for the ACA mandates and may drastically impact your restaurant’s healthcare.
If you’ve been coasting along in this category without having offered health insurance at an affordable price to your employees, then you’ve likely already felt the pressure of penalties. Rather than skirting the issue any longer, your restaurant should meet with human resources, payroll, and management to devise the best way of incorporating these new policies into your business plan. Then, discuss your company’s approach to communicating on the best plan and informing employees.
Plan to file ACA-required reports with the Internal Revenue Service and employees in early 2016, and prepare by tracking data for the current year accurately. Keep in mind that as the years progress, the requirements become more strictly enforced and more stringent, and harsher penalties are phased in each year.
There are many aspects to take into consideration when running a successful restaurant, and one of the biggest concerns is controlling cost. Being able to control your bar’s P & L – or profit and loss – could be a major factor to your bottom line. The National Restaurant Association reports that 75% of all inventory shrinkage happens as a result of theft. This leaves 25% shrinkage, which could potentially come from poor management in your bar. Over pouring, spills, giving away drinks, and wrong pricing could lead to loss of profit from the bar area. Here we take a look at ways to control your bar’s P & L in order to decrease the amount loss from these mistakes.
The quickest way to begin controlling loss profit from the bar is by putting set rules on portion control when making drinks. Make sure each drink has a laid out guideline as to how much goes into it, and enforcing this with your staff will ensure every drink is made the same.
Having a good inventory system in place is another good way to control the bar area. Always knowing what you have on hand, and what you should have by the end of the day could point out potential theft. You should also keep track of spills and broken bottles, this way you can point out problem areas and find solutions for them before they cost you a lot more money.
Training your staff and bartenders is a good way to solve any issues before they begin. Communicating with them your concerns and the systems you want to have in place will reduce the amount being loss by a great deal. Showing them the importance of following these rules will also help your employees enforce them. Having a good manager oh hand to make sure the correct systems and practices are being executed will ensure more profit for your bottom line, and a smoother running bar.
A proper POS, or point of sale, could be the most important part of controlling the bar. A point of sale is a good way to keep track of drink sales and cash flow, and will ensure all the proper measures are being taken when serving. If used properly, you will be able to determine how much profit is being made and how much money is being lost at your bar. Following these guidelines can have a great deal of affect on your bottom line, which could make running your restaurant a lot smoother and more successful.
There are many ways to mange and control your bottom line, and some may come from overlooked areas. Food waste in kitchens has become a growing concern for restaurant owners so much that it ranks ninth among the top 20 food trends on the National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot in 2015” list, based on a survey of almost 1,300 chefs. There are many things you can do to reduce the amount of waste your kitchen produces. Here we will examine some of the best practices to incorporate into your restaurant. These would include proper training of staff, better inventory practices, and a better supply chain.
Conduct A Waste Audit
First, conduct a waste audit to be able to see how much food is being wasted and where it’s coming from. Training your staff to keep track of this can show them what areas they might need to work on in order to cut down on unnecessary food waste. Implementing strict portion controls can ensure that every meal being made is done the same, which will cut down on over serving. This concept can also be applied to your menu. By seeing which items sell and which don’t, restaurant owners can change around their menu in order to give their customers the freshest product and ensure that nothing gets left behind.
A good inventory system goes hand in hand with which food items are being thrown away and which sell more than others. Keeping a good inventory can also be beneficial to your supply chain. Knowing where your food waste items are at, you can better adapt your ordering to make sure you don’t order too much of items that get thrown away too often. Having a good real time inventory system in place is key to keeping track of what is being used and how often you are ordering it. The most important aspect is staying on top of your food waste in order to fix any problems before your bottom line gets smaller and smaller.
Proper training is the most important aspect of reducing food waste in your kitchen. Keeping your staff in the knowledge of food waste concern can make controlling it a lot easier. Implementing these practices, as well as other food waste principles, can dramatically cut down on the amount of money being spent on food, which any restaurateur knows, is 1/3 of their cost.
Written by Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News
Tens of thousands of additional restaurant workers and managers could become eligible for overtime pay under a new rule President Barack Obama proposed Monday that would double the threshold for overtime eligibility.
The rules could significantly impact the restaurant industry and operators’ labor costs. Restaurant operators rely heavily on full-time assistant managers and managers who are salaried and often work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. The proposal could make many managers eligible for overtime and force some restaurant owners to alter how they operate.
According to the proposal, which Obama announced in a blog on the Huffington Post, the threshold for overtime pay would increase from $455 a week, or $23,600 a year, to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year.
Nearly 5 million additional workers would be eligible for pay 1.5 times their hourly rate for all hours worked above 40 hours per week. The rule could be in place by next year, Obama said.
“That’s good for workers who want fair pay, and it’s good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren’t,” Obama wrote.
The restaurant industry has been concerned about potential overtime changes for more than a year, since Obama asked the U.S. Department of Labor to propose revised overtime regulations in March 2014. It would be the first change in overtime regulations in more than a decade.
Restaurants said they are still reviewing the rule and could not comment in detail. For instance, a spokesman for Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based Culver’s said the quick-service operator is still studying the regulation, but that “it will likely increase our labor dollars to get the same coverage.”
Industry trade groups sharply criticized the rules, saying they threatened to block worker advancement up the restaurant career ladder.
“While we are still reviewing the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime regulations, at first sign, it seems as if these proposed rules have the potential to radically change industry standards and negatively impact our workforce,” Angelo Amador, senior vice president of labor and workforce policy and regulatory counsel for the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement.
“Supporters of these regulations say they want to increase Americans’ take-home pay, but these sweeping changes to the rules could mean anything but,” Amador said. “More than 80 percent of restaurant owners and 97 percent of restaurant managers start their careers in non-managerial positions and move up with new performance-based incentives. If these regulations stand, that mobility and adaptability of employee schedules, which makes our industry appealing, will be severely diminished.”
The National Council of Chain Restaurants, which is part of the National Retail Federation, said the rule will “seriously impact” chains.
“The regulations being changed today were modernized in 2004 to specifically recognize the unique rule that supervisors in restaurants must perform and the exceptional career advancement opportunities that restaurants provide to hourly workers,” Rob Green, NCCR executive director, said in a statement.
“If allowed to stand, the one-size-fits-all proposal issued today will harm chain restaurant managers’ career advancement, eliminate key management positions, and have a negative impact on customer service and workplace morale,” Green said. “We need policy that encourages workplace advancement and this is a step in the wrong direction.”
Labor advocates have been increasingly concerned that the current rule exempts too many salaried white-collar workers who should be covered because their duties are routine and they have little control over their time.
In its notice of proposed rule changes, the Department of Labor noted that some convenience-store managers and quick-service workers may be expected to work 60 hours a week or more, “making less than the poverty level for a family of four, and not receive a dime of overtime pay.”
The proposed rule change would also automatically update the requirements to distinguish between executives, administrative and professional workers who are exempt from overtime and those workers who are eligible.
For the restaurant industry, the overtime regulations come in addition to other major changes impacting the labor line. That includes requirements that companies provide health care to employees who work more than 30 hours a week — a regulation expected to have an outsized impact on restaurants.
In addition, a National Labor Relations Board classification of McDonald’s Corp. as a “joint employer” of its franchisees’ workers, as well as proposals to increase the minimum wage, also stand as issues expected to cause problems for the industry.
“This is a very unfortunate and consistent pattern that will prevent many employers from hiring more workers and expanding their businesses,” Robert Cresanti, executive vice president of government relations and public policy at the International Franchise Association, said in a statement. “IFA will continue to aggressively oppose this proposed regulation throughout the public comment process.”
4th of July is a National Holiday when residents across the USA celebrate freedom and independence of their country, but for you as a caterer it is another good opportunity for additional income and promotion of your restaurant.
Timely organization and restaurant promotions will be simplified if you did a budget plan for restaurant marketing for whole year. If you have some funds destined for this purpose that is great news, but even if you don’t have it you can still do a lot. Keep reading and you will find out how.
Timely Organization is Path to Success
Be prepared for crowd and high traffic. What you need to do in June to be ready for this holiday:
- Review your financial situation and determine the available money for celebration of this holiday.
- Plan your restaurant offer for 4th of July and stick to your financial plan. Create menu, special offer,promotions and entertainment.
- Do not let that your best waiter got sick this day or maybe that he or she took day off. Arrange working shifts earlier and let your reserve staff for assistance in the restaurant be ready. Do not leave anything to chance!
- Write down list of Items that needs to be purchased.
- Go to shopping. Get plenty of meat, chicken, hamburgers, beers and soda. Do not forget the holiday props.
- Decorate your restaurant for Independence Day.
- Promote your restaurant offer through all available promotional channels.
Restaurant Menu for Independence Day
The data show that 41 million of Americans spend Independence Day outside their homes. Then you can certainly make sure that your restaurant should be filled to capacity on this day.
What do your guests want? People are generally very simple creatures and all will agree that their desires are not too big. If you offer good atmosphere, give a little effort into decorations, give a decent salary to your waitera and they will serve their guests with a smile, do not serve old or burnt food to your guests, and they will surely be satisfied and will come back to your restaurant again.
You do not believe that it is so simple? Be free to try!
But what about Independence Day, that famous July 4th when in cities around the USA are organized various social events, parades and gatherings that attract crowds of people. What Americans like to eat this day? What to drink? Maybe the following statistics will help you to create restaurant offer:
- Every year for Independence Day in the USA has been eaten 150 million of hot dogs.
- 700 million pounds of chicken has been purchases in the week leading up to July 4th.
- 190 million pounds of red meat/ pork has been purchased in the week leading up to July 4th.
- 25 million pounds is the amount of fireworks that have been sold to cities for public celebrations.
Regarding these data, it is clear that the grilled meat is a favorite food consumed on Independence Day. Highlight the promotional prices of these dishes in the National Holiday offer! To increase sales of targeted products combine grilled meat with most common side dishes, desserts and drinks or create prix fixe menu for this holiday.
Ideas for Independence Day Brunch
Respect the wishes of your guests but keep your menu simple. These food should be gladly found on your 4th of July brunch menu: Juicy burgers, chicken wings and drumsticks, juicy steaks, cleaned crabs, various omelettes, oysters, shrimp, various pastes and biscuits, potato salad and fresh seasonal salad.
For refreshment offer to your guests a refreshing drink like fresh fruit juice, lemonade, iced tea and orange juice. Beer and soda are unavoidable so provide more beer than you can imagine that would be necessary.
Tip: Make your grill really hot, spice it with extra spice, make fireworks in your guests mouths! Of course, for those who love it! It is necessary to quench the thirst after all those burgers?
Lure guests with tempting summer desserts such as fruit cakes, waffles with cherry topping, pancakes, ice cream and fruit salad with extra whipped cream. With a little creativity your cakes will become a real cute little patriots as shown in pictures below.
Place Grill In Front of Your Restaurant
If your restaurant is located in a busy street where will be holiday parade organized it would be a good idea to set up a small mobile grill to attract passers. Install your grill even a week before the celebration. You can set up it on restaurant parking or in front of your restaurant. Make sure that you are not breaking the law, so check with your local authorities if you need a license to operate in this manner.
Be creative with your grill decorations, use colors of America’s flag, blue, red and white colors should dominate in all elements, paper saucer, drinking glasses, paper bags, flags on toothpicks, straws and napkins. Contact on time your local supplier of holiday props.
Do not forget the kids. Buy several balloons filled with helium that look like cartoon heroes. They are really tested lure for children, and irresistible smell of barbecue will take care of their parents.
Give to kids sweets and lollipops in the colors of the American flag for free. They can be bought at very low prices,or home made and will attract the attention of children. With a little luck their parents will become your guests. Share to passers flyers with information about your restaurant’s offer for Independence Day at stand.
Restaurant Decoration Ideas for Independence Day
Patriotic Flower Arrangement. Any occasion would be more festive with fresh flowers on your restaurant table. Use flowers in America’s colors – red and white, that could be hyacinths, tulips, or Canterbury bell and finish floral arrangement with a blue bow. Present the flowers in a pail filled with sand, that would help to hold the blooms in place and lends the table a casual, beachy feel.
Balloons are always a good choice, if not my favorite. There is something special in place decorated with balloons. Always remind me on my childhood. You can play with them on a million possible ways and put them where ever you want.
Flags should be everywhere, on the walls, flags on hot dogs, cookies or use the flag as curtain or tablecloths. Show your patriotic spirit!
Uniform for your staff should be in combination of colors: red, white and blue. T-shirts and shirts with American characteristics or decorated with flags that can be used as a scarf around the neck, tie or scarf for your hair.
Candles can be a very nice decoration for the table. You will need color for textiles or you may even use color for food and salt that you can paint in blue and red and put it in a transparent glass as the colors of the American flag. Place it in the glass with small scented candles and enjoy in the romantic National holiday atmosphere!
4th of July Restaurant Promotions Ideas
Choose some of these ideas for celebration of Independence Day in your restaurant:
Host popular musicians. With a good selection of music, good atmosphere will be guaranteed and higher turnover will provide additional money to cover the cost of the contractor.
Popular musicians will attract visitors and bring in new guests – their fans that may become your new regular customers.
Organize a charity dinner or lunch party. Fourth of July is the day when we celebrate freedom and equality for all of us and it makes it a perfect day to organize a charity dinner or lunch to help to vulnerable groups in our society like people and children with disabilities.
These parties always attract the local media, and every occurrence in them increases the popularity of your restaurant and attract new guests. This will strengthen the reputation of your restaurant in your community. It will also make you feel good because helping someone is the best thing that you can do after helping yourself.
Tip: Invite to charity party some of influential or popular personalities from political or cultural life to create a buzz about this event and maximize traffic in your restaurant.
Reward your loyal guests. Provide special discounts to your regular customers. Reward them on this day with free drink or dessert of their choice. Be grateful for their loyalty.
Make a partnership with owners of bookstores, beauty salons, cinemas, spas and similar services. Your partners could also be owners of clothes, shoes or jewelry stores. Surprise your guests with discounts for services in these facilities. In this way you create cross-promotion activities, they promote your restaurant and your restaurant promote their goods and services.
Hire professional photographer, or engage one of your personnel to take a photo camera and capture happy moments and send photos to your guests by email. Take advantage of this opportunity to build or refresh your customer database that can be later used for direct marketing campaigns.
Make a Fireworks for Your Guests
If you want to do something spectacular for this holiday then the idea to make a fireworks for your guests may sound interesting. In any case, do not play with rackets and follow the instructions that will ensure safety conditions during storage, warehousing and activation of fireworks.
If you want to do it by yourself follow these instruction to install and launch fireworks.
- Check what type of fireworks is legally (allowed) to launch in your city. Call the police or fire station, they will give you adequate and correct information.
- Find fireworks as desired. Order it at least two weeks in advance. Shipments are often delayed and in this way you’ll ensure getting the shipment on time.
- Make your show. Draw the schedule for activation of rockets on a bigger piece of paper. Remember that low-intensity firework rockets go closer to the audience and those with high intesity need to be further away from the observer. Make a few plans and choose the best.
- Wait for complete darkness for the best effects of your firework show. The audience should be at least 50 feet away from the place where you will launch the fireworks.
- Provide a personnel with a water on both sides of the audience.
- Make sure you have a lighter. Nothing can spoil a good fireworks as defective missiles that will not start.
- Enjoy the spectacle with your guests!
Remember: It is extremely important that you any time when working with a flammable substance to make sure you don’t put yourself, other people, your property and the nature at risk of getting burned or set on fire.
Promotion of Your Restaurant Offer for 4th of July
Do not forget to promote your restaurant offer through all available channels.
If you still don’t have profiles on social networks create them and go to action. Start with Facebook, Twitter, G+. Share interesting information, photos and videos that will attract your potential customers. Share content from your website if you have one.
Set billboard advertisement in front of your restaurant door or put jumbo poster on your restaurant windows about your Independence Day party and special offer. These posters need to be attractive and visible for passers, some of them may become your customer.
Let your restaurant shine as one of the stars on the American flag. Be proud on your restaurant, your offer and your team. Do your best and enjoy in the celebration.
See original article posted by the National Restaurant Association
When restaurant consultant Linda Lipsky came across a client with a whopping 50 percent food cost, the industry veteran set to work slashing expenses. The Broomall, Pennsylvania-based consultant helped the operation reduce its food costs to 34 percent, in line with industry standards. Here’s how:
- Shopping around. By bidding out its items, the restaurant secured better deals, says Lipsky. Be sure to negotiate with current vendors also, she advises. “There’s not just one set price from vendors,” says Lipsky, noting that some suppliers reward loyal customers who pay on time. With wholesale prices jumping 25 percent over the past five years, according to the NRA 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, many operators are searching for better prices. Nearly nine out of 10 fine-dining operators shopped around for other suppliers in 2014, as did a majority of casual and family-dining operators.
- Brand management. Lipsky’s restaurant client selectively switched to less expensive brands without sacrificing quality. “Having a branded ketchup on your tables is a quality statement,” says Lipsky. “But does anybody really care if you use a no-name white vinegar in the back of the house?” Likewise, consider less expensive liquor brands for recipes. “In most cases, the alcohol cooks off anyway. Do you really need a name brand?”
- Proper portion sizes. The operation adjusted its portion sizes, cutting costs while better accommodating guest preferences. “The restaurant had been serving up way too much food—about a pound on a plate,” says Lipsky. “Many people are watching their weight today and are looking for smaller servings.” Simple steps like cutting a fillet from 8 to 7 ounces help control costs, while still leaving guests satisfied, says Lipsky.
- Product specifications. By specifying a slightly smaller shrimp, the restaurant reduced the cost of making its shrimp salad while maintaining an attractive salad with the same number of shrimp per serving.
- Meal composition. Lipsky reduced costs by adjusting the balance between main dishes and more affordable side dishes. “Beef up your meals with vegetables and grains,” she advises.
- Fitted dishware. Large plates led to excessively large servings of pasta, and large bowls prompted staff to serve twice as much of a heavy cream soup as needed. Select dishware that’s appropriate for serving sizes.
- Appropriate serving utensils. Make sure you’re using the proper serving pieces to ensure that you’re not dishing out more than what your recipes specify. For example, Lipsky’s client slashed its cost for vinaigrette dressing in half by switching from a two-ounce ladle to a more appropriate one-ounce ladle.
- Freebies. Giveaways like bread and butter can cut into profits. Lipsky advised her client to switch to smaller butter chips that reduced waste.