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Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Simple Explanation for Restaurant Success- Why Paul Barron is Wrong

Paul Barron is founder and CEO of DigitalCoCo as well as founder of FastCasual.com and QSRweb.com. I am sure he is a very smart guy who knows a lot more about restaurants than I do.

That said, I think he may be over complicating things in trying to explain what makes Chipotle so successful.

He wrote a book, “The Chipotle Effect,” slated for publication in 2012, that claims to explain the success of the chain.

He says, “In this book, I will make the case that a large part of that astonishing growth has been due to fast casual’s ability to adapt to the changing lifestyles of Americans, including our embrace of social networking and mobile technology.”

Bu then he … Keep reading

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Restaurant and Bar Décor

The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz who is a writer and graphic artist living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor for Cooks & Travel Books,  she specializes in travel, culture and education.

When you’re launching new restaurant or bar, there are a lot of details to take care of, from finding and securing a location to hiring employees and getting a perfect menu set up. It’s a lot of work, but there’s always room to squeeze in some fun. Choosing décor is the perfect opportunity to get creative and have a good time in the midst of getting your restaurant off the ground. Follow these steps to help guide your decisions as you create the visual … Keep reading

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Ten Tips to Build a Remarkable Restaurant Business

This is a fantastic article (below) on what it takes to succeed. It is for both current restaurant owners and those still working on the restaurant business plan stage of things.

What is basically demonstrates is that there is not really a “secret” to success- it just requires you do the right things really well.

If you ever watch any of the restaurant “rescue” shows that are popular on TV right now you will quickly see a very common formula emerge: the interior isn’t clean or updated, the menu is over complicated, not unique or very good, and the service is lackluster.

And guess what- by improving the interior, cutting down the menu size and improving the quality and flavor … Keep reading

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5 Restaurant Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

This seems like common sense but then as the old saying (approximately) goes, common sense isn’t nearly as common as the name would imply.

I think the problem is social media is way too easy to use and there is no visible cost to doing it so people don’t think it through like they would other marketing.

For example, no restaurant owner would pay to run an advertisement in the newspaper or on the radio that made a dumb joke, insulted customers, discussed religious views or took a political position. But doing it on Facebook or Twitter is so fast, easy and free that the normal thinking that goes into marketing doesn’t seem to apply.

Ah, but that’s where you … Keep reading

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Top Restaurants By Sales- A Changing of the Guard

The times are changing in the restaurant world. For a long time, it went McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s in order of sales volume. Not any more.

McDonald’s is still on top, but now Subway is second and Starbucks is third and Burger King has lost it’s spot as the next biggest burger place to Wendy’s.

This is not really the story, though. Few people are aiming to start a restaurant that competes with these guys at this level. Aside from the fact that they have had a decades long head start, a multi-thousand location concept is simply not what most people are after. It wasn’t even what these guys were after when they started.

The more important thing to … Keep reading

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Howard Cannon- Restaurant Expert: A Restaurant Needs a Restaurant Business Plan

I couldn’t agree more- and I have the perfect tool for not only creating the plan, but also building the even more critical restaurant financials.

As I often tell people who call or email- a plan written by the world’s best writer will still fail if the numbers don’t work but a plan with great numbers but written on the back of a napkin can still succeed.

Ideally, of course, both your business plan and your restaurant financials are in proper form and work together to demonstate your concept and team can succeed. Do that and you will be able to raise the money you need to open your restaurant.

Restaurant Consultant, restaurant ExpertWitness, and CEO, Howard Cannon, … Keep reading

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How to Make The Restaurant Customer Experience Perfect

According to the article below (written by a waiter) there are six separate points where you have the opportunity to create the perfect guest experience.

Whether you count the same as he does or not, there is no arguing that each of the points below is critical and shouldn’t be left to chance. Each staff member should be properly trained to do this right, every time and the manager should be monitoring it to smooth over any issues that do come up.

If you do this correctly, there is little chance you won’t be successful unless the food that comes out is virtually inedible.

Entering the Building, Before and During

The server is the most important point of contact for … Keep reading

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Adding a Restaurant Snack Menu to Your Concept

Does your restaurant business plan include a snack menu? Maybe it should.

According to recent research, snacking at restaurants is up and there are already places cashing in on the trend.

If people want to buy a small something to eat between typical meal times it only benefits you to offer something to fit the bill if it fits your concept. People might not want a burrito at 4pm but a small taco with a side of chips might be just right.

If you make it easy for them to order something the right size for this meal and you price it right you are only adding to your bottom line and taking advantage of an otherwise dead zone in … Keep reading

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Don’t Make Me Download Your Menu!

How many times does this have to happen? You go to a restaurant’s website because it looks good, got good reviews, was recommended, whatever, and you want to check out the menu to see if it appeals to you.

After finding the menu link, which can in itself sometimes be way more of a challenge than it should, you click it only to see- nothing happens.

And then you realize, it isn’t a web page, it’s a PDF, and it is now being downloaded onto the desktop. And, by the way- it’s 4 megabytes!

Wow. All I wanted to do was check out your food. Now, I have to wait, then open the file (assuming I know where it went … Keep reading

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Maximizing Restaurant Profitability by Understanding Food Cost

The cost of food in your restaurant is very likely to be your single biggest expense. It therefore stands to reason that you need to keep a close eye on it if you expect to manage the number and maintain a consistently profitable operation.

We provide restaurant business plan software that will help you calculate it correctly and add it in to your overall restaurant financial package.

For a better general understanding of what it is and why it matters (and a shocking number of current restaurant owners DON’T seem to know or appreciate this) and how you can make tracking it an integral part of your restaurant business, check out the following article.

It was written by a company … Keep reading

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