Tag Archives: trends

Introducing Destination Restaurant Consulting

27 Feb

Rather than relying on local traffic wouldn’t you prefer to have a “Destination”
restaurant that people will drive for 20, 30 minutes or more to visit?

Destination Restaurant Consulting offers a variety of services for restaurants with the overall goal of enhancing the bottom line.
In addition to helping create signature dishes, facility design, staff training,
marketing, and branding we also are experts in backroom operations such as
cost control, vendor negotiations, 
policies, secret shoppers, and assisting the owner(s) with re-dedicatingthemselves to their vision or  even creating an exit strategy.  Rather than hourly rates, we provide value-based consulting services based on the goals you want us to achieve.  We offer our services nationwide.

The restaurant business is incredibly tough and constantly evolving.  Many independent restaurants that are able to survive for awhile offering unremarkable food and service make themselves vulnerable to eventually being killed by new competition opening nearby.

Contact Destination Restaurant Consulting for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION evaluation [info@destinationrestaurantconsulting.com].  Our value-based consulting services offer an excellent return on your investment. Perhaps our consultants can offer a few tweaks that are easily implemented but yield big profits over a year.  Or perhaps your restaurant requires a turnaround similar to those shown on “Kitchen Nightmares”.  Either way, we would like an opportunity to help you meet your goals and dreams!


Checklist for Planning a Menu

26 Feb

Here’s a list of considerations to review for each dish as they come up for evaluation at that critical point when it’s time to evolve the menu. So often managers forget to do one or more of these diligences when they are redesigning their menu. The menu is the key tool in driving sales and profits.

1) Menu Costing.
Any item that is being evaluated for either continuing, removing, replacing, or – in the case of new items – adding, a costing needs to be performed. This will help clarify the recipe and whether the item is economically viable.
2) Price Points.
Considering what the customer is willing to pay is integral to any successful food service business. Ask how each item will serve the public and how feasible it is to meet THEIR price point.
3) Ingredient Consolidation.
One of the most common errors in menu planning is the one-ingredient one-dish dilemma. Your sales are great but you’re constantly in danger of serving up some slimy ingredients because several of your slow movers have the one-dish problem. Your sales goals might be getting met but you have to deal with an irate customer three times a month because they bit into something rancid. Make sure your ingredients are used enough and in enough dishes.
4) POS Report on item sales.
Discontinuing or keeping a dish should never be determined emotionally. It is a question of numbers. Items that are lagging way behind in sales are best discontinued in favor of items that have a reasonable chance to sell. The objective is to drive sales higher by eliminating frogs and replacing them with potential princes.
5) Logistics.
Dishes that involve multiple steps to prepare better be driving sales higher. Difficult-to-produce items have to sell better than easier items to prepare. If it’s a pain in the butt and doesn’t pay a salary, kill it. The inverse is that if a plate is easy to produce and guaranteed popular, throw it onto the menu already.
6) Is this item a good idea?
What is our purpose with this item? What customer profile type is going to order this item? In short, this is the consideration of the public awareness of your brand. Included in this consideration is how one is going to sell the dish on the menu. Does it have a marketing hook?

Last, I’ve always found limiting the printed menu as a good idea while saving dishes with uncertain sales futures as frequent guests on the Specials Board. Specials are a good way of letting the clientele base know what kind of creative energy you have behind your brand.

How Waiters Read Your Table

26 Feb


Here’s an immensely useful article from the Wall Street Journal. Be sure to read the entire piece. Below is a snippet:

Blue Smoke does seven days of training with new waiters, five days of trailing an experienced waiter and two days of being trailed by the experienced waiter. Each day includes a quiz and a focus such as greeting guests.

With parties of four or more, “the most important thing is to read the dynamic between the group,” Mr. Maynard-Parisi says. Alcohol (who is ordering more or less) is a potential point of contention. He reads eye contact and body language to see if a group is friendly (looking at each other) or less secure, like an uncomfortable work meeting (glancing around the room, fidgeting). “Am I approaching the table to rescue them or am I interrupting them?”

Because people often resist speaking up when they’re unhappy with their meal, waiters are taught to detect if a guest is unhappy. When asked about dinner, if a guest says, ” ‘It’s OK.’ That to me is a red flag,” says Allison Yoder, general manager of Press.

At Cheesecake Factory, employees are taught to look every guest in the eye when moving through the dining room, watching for people looking up from their meal, pushing food around their plate, or removing ingredients from their dish—all signs they might not like their meal. Even if it’s not their assigned table, they are trained to ask if anything is wrong and try to fix problems.

Reading a table is still more art than science. On a recent night at Blue Smoke a couple came in with a baby in a stroller, usually a demographic looking for a quick dinner. Instead, the baby fell asleep during the meal. “They spent so much money,” says Mr. Maynard-Parisis. They “got another cocktail and dessert and an after-dinner drink.”

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