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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Creating The Perfect Café Menu!

Image courtesy of Chris Kantos

The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage 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.

Life is short, the saying goes, so eat dessert first! The words make us laugh, of course, but they also point to a fundamental truth: as much as people relish a beautifully prepared entree at a restaurant, it’s the dessert menu that keeps them coming back.

What goes into a perfectly crafted dessert menu? Variety. The best menus offer a mix of today’s best haute cuisine as well as a tempting selection of classic, just-like-mom-used-to-make favorites. And, of course, … Keep reading

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Restaurant Tunes: Atmosphere is Everything!

The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage 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.

Before you open your restaurant for business, the last thing you’ll do is give everything a once-over to make sure everything looks just right. But there’s another factor—one that has nothing to do with sight, that can determine whether your new customers become regulars.

The Power of Music

We all know that music can influence the moods of people, whether they be restaurant customers or passengers in a car. Listen to the music at your local supermarket – it’s usually slow and upbeat, keeping … Keep reading

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The Right Ways to Motivate Staff in the Restaurant Industry

When I read articles like the one quoted from below, I usually think that the person writing them has never actually done the job they are giving advice on.

I could be wrong, of course, but this just doesn’t seem to me to be real world experience talking here. And reading the bio of the writer- it mentions he sells POS systems and doesn’t run a restaurant so I may be right.

I’ve written before about what I think are the keys to providing a well motivated staff but I’ll cover them here again as a refresher:

  • provide real, adequate and thorough training
  • set clear expectations and apply them consistently
  • treat employees as professional and in a business-like fashion- don’t
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Restaurant Marketing: A Rifle, NOT A Shotgun

The problem with marketing that is easy is that it usually is not very effective. It’s easy to sign up for a monthly ad in the local coupon mailer- but how many of those come back and of the ones that do how many turn into regular customers?

It’s easy to sign up for Groupon- but how well did that work out for you? Probably not well.

It is harder to create a marketing plan that acknowledges exactly who your best customers are likely to be and the best way to reach them with the best offer. But that is how you are going to get your best return on investment and make a significant dent in your growth … Keep reading

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No Dish Left Behind: Moving Your Restaurant

The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage 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.

There are plenty of plausible reasons why a restaurant owner might choose to move his or her business from one location to another. Whether it’s to improve the restaurant’s appeal and accessibility to customers or to make more room for a larger customer base, sometimes a fresh location is the key to generating more success from the business. Although moving is often worth the hassle that it requires, it doesn’t change the fact that there are still many risks and inconveniences involved in the … Keep reading

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Increase Efficiency and Boost Profits with Smart Restaurant Inventory Management

Your food cost is easily the biggest category of expense in your restaurant. Managing that expense can often mean the difference between profit and loss and even between staying in business and not.

The article below contains some practical advice on managing and maximizing your inventory. I have some of my own and it is really simple: track it.

As amazing as it is, many independent restaurant owners don’t bother to carefully track their inventory and they have no set system for how much to order. This is guaranteed to cost you money- the only question is how much. You simply can’t manage something you don’t track.

So, start by having a solid system for tracking what comes in, what … Keep reading

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The United States of Bacon

Guest post on the many facets and benefits of the bacon craze. If there is any one food that I would try as a one item restaurant concept, it would have to be bacon! Read on and learn something about America’s favorite meaty indulgence.

Bacon is a much loved part of the American culture. In fact, it probably isn’t all that good for you, but it’s certainly well-loved and much eaten. As well as being often consumed, bacon is also becoming a culture in the United States. There is an entire list of bacon products, including bacon poetry, bacon jokes, bacon stuffed animals and even bacon t shirt sales are up an incredible amount. Entire restaurants are being opened based … Keep reading

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