5 Ways to Retain Customer Loyalty During Difficult Economic Times

2024 may be one of the hardest years of all time for the restaurant industry. We are faced with labor costs jumping by percentages we have never seen, fewer...

10 New Revenue Streams for Full-Service Restaurants

Before COVID-19, restaurants catered to their customers' needs by designing spaces and crafting menus that showcased their unique abilities. However, the pandemic forced restaurants to rethink their offerings and...

Employer of Choice in the Restaurant Industry: 7 Pillars to Attracting Top Talent

In an increasingly competitive market, creating a memorable dining experience requires more than good food and a pleasant atmosphere—it also demands an exceptional staff. In an environment where skilled...

Mother’s Day: It’s About a Lot More Than Mothers

For full-service restaurants, Mother’s Day can be the busiest day of the year. If you execute it flawlessly, it can also set you up to increase your sales for...

10 Spring Menu Ideas for Restaurant Patio Season

Spring is definitely patio season. That means restaurants get to significantly increase their seating capacityand therefore their ability to generate revenue. Imagine if a hotel in were able to...

Don’t Give COVID Credit for These 6 Dining Trends

By the time COVID struck in 2019, consumers were already drawing a black line between dining for experience and just eating. Full-service, chef-driven concepts were already losing favor as...

I Dreamed of a Restaurant with No Labor

Welcome to 2024. The year began with more minimum wage increases across the country and the elimination of tip credits in more states. With these wage increases we also...

5 Reasons to Change Your Restaurant Concept

Once upon a time, you created and launched your new restaurant. Maybe it was 2005 or just 2015 or maybe you inherited your parent’s restaurant that they created in...

2024: Time to Embrace the Solo Diner

Over the last 3 years restaurants have seen a rapid increase in solo diners. Open Table reports over a 110% increase in single person reservations making it one of...

Boosting Restaurant Sales in the Slow Q1: Five Effective Strategies

The first quarter of the year can be a challenging period for restaurants, often characterized by a lull in customer traffic and reduced sales. Factors like post-holiday spending fatigue...

The Fall Classic

The Fall Classic is a perfect cocktail to serve when hosting for the holidays, bursting with the warm flavors of the season. Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider was a staple of...

Don’t make a Miss-Steak, Choose a Prime Restaurant Location

The restaurant world is high steaks and boils down to one thing - location, location, location! The success of a restaurant is like the punchline to a good joke;...

Don’t Be Afraid of Holiday Business

“I’m too busy to make more money.” No restauranteur has ever said that, right? WRONG. Every year restauranteurs approach the period from Black Friday to New Year’s Day thinking...
Labor Costs

Controlling Restaurant Labor Costs: A Guide to Profitable Decision Making  

As a restaurant owner or general manager, you know that labor costs can be one of the most significant expenses in the food service industry. Maintaining high standards while...

From Feast to Fiasco, How not to be a Large Party Pooper

In the dynamic world of the restaurant industry, one cannot underestimate the importance of planning, especially when it comes to hosting large parties. Restaurants have always been synonymous with...
Line Cooks

In Three Easy Steps You Can Make Your Best Line Cook Into Your Worst Chef

Having a chef walk out the door can be a stressful time for independent restaurateurs. The question is, “What do you do now?” In addition to knowing all the...

Intuition is Great but Data is Better

In the fast-paced world of the restaurant industry, where success hinges on serving excellent food, providing top-notch service, and maintaining a unique ambiance, making informed decisions is essential. While...
Gen Z

Poor Restaurant Service is Not Their Fault – (in defense of Gen Z)

Recently I went to a really sexy fast-casual restaurant in Gainesville, Georgia. A lot of oxymorons there but this one is the flagship launch for a new brand by...
Ex-cons working in kitchen

A Great Solution to Your Restaurant’s Staffing Problems: Hire an Ex-Con!  

Hiring previously incarcerated individuals can bring several benefits to your restaurant:  Access to a larger talent pool: Many previously incarcerated individuals face challenges finding employment due to the stigma...
Investor Pitch

How To Get Funding To Open Your Restaurant

Getting funding for opening a restaurant can be a challenging task, but with a well-prepared plan and strategic approach, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some...

Why Are Restaurant Managers Not Visible Anymore?

On Father’s Day, my family took me to a pancake restaurant in downtown Atlanta. It’s one of those portfolio add-ons to a restaurant group that has already earned their...

How to Build a Strong Online Presence for Your Restaurant

Building a strong online presence for your restaurant is crucial in today's digital age. It can help you attract new customers, engage with your existing ones, and enhance your...

How to Value a Restaurant

Folks who own restaurants may not own them forever. Sometimes owners have made their money and enjoyed the experience, and now want to retire or move on to another...

6 Ways Independent Restaurants Can Better Compete with Chains

Independent restaurants face a tough challenge in the highly competitive world of the restaurant industry, especially when it comes to competing with large chain restaurants. Chains have the advantage...

How Restaurant Owners Can Stop Making the Same Mistakes

Sales are down, profits are almost nonexistent, you are getting bad reviews online, and you cannot keep good staff. What do you do? Sadly, most restauranteurs turn to the...

5 Ways to Capture Summer Sales

Summer is a great time for restaurants to increase their profits. With warmer weather, longer days, and more people going out to dine, there are plenty of opportunities for...
Restaurant Manager

Why Hire a Restaurant Management Company?

Restaurant owners face a variety of challenges in running a successful restaurant, from managing day-to-day operations to developing marketing strategies and ensuring financial stability. Outsourcing oversight to a restaurant...
Restaurant Manager

Save Your Restaurant by Saving Your Managers

Save Your Restaurant by Saving Your Managers So much has been written about the effect COVID had on restaurant staffing. There was a mass exodus from the industry because...
Women in Resta

We Need More Women in Restaurants!

Over 14,000 restaurants open every year, yet women are underrepresented as managers, chefs, and investors.  Should we fix that because “it’s the right thing to do” or because we’re...

Seasonal Cocktail Menus – A Six Week Guide

A seasonal refresh of the drinks menu is a great way to increase beverage sales, improve margins, and drive engagement to your restaurant. However, without a solid plan, it...

How to Run a Kitchen – 11 Critical Systems

Kitchens are the engines that drive restaurants. They are wonderlands of food production capacity and capability. But, above all else, they are the factories in which raw materials are...

5 Things Real Estate Developers Should Know About Leasing to Restaurants

Over the years we’ve helped many restaurants and landlords work with each other and have seen ugliness on both sides. We’re often baffled at the lack of empathy each...

Restaurant Fiscal Calendars – The Silver Bullet

One of the biggest problems we find when we’re trying to help struggling restaurants is that they can’t really “see” their business. Their managers work hard, often 70 to...

Restaurant Gig Labor – A Solution to the Great Resignation

Every day, local and national news agencies report on the state of the labor market. Governments anchor their discussion on unemployment rate, citing moving average trends or comparing today...

5 Reasons You Should Ask for Help

If you own a restaurant, now is not the time to “just survive” and hope things get better. Rising costs of ingredients, product shortages, added transportation charges, smaller labor...

The Great Restaurant Labor Shortage…Will Be Over Shortly

The service to customer-expectation cycle has been spiraling down for decades. When service goes down, customer expectations go down with itthen service-offered achieves a new low and is met...

Elevating Your Cocktail Program Above a Sea of Competition

In dark basements, bright garden restaurants, hotel lobbies, food courts, and all spaces in between; great cocktail programs are popping up everywhere. Everyone is getting into the cocktail business...
Michael Maxwell and Ray Camillo

It’s Our Company Culture That Makes Us the Right Choice

There are a lot of restaurant consulting companies out there and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are good, some are not so good. Some solve your...

Mother’s Day: The One Day Restaurateurs Cannot Afford to Mess Up

“The restaurant kept running out of food.” “The manager gave us free mimosas for seating us 45 minutes after our reservation, but they never made it to our table.”...

Restaurant Lighting – 13 Philosophies

When creating a restaurant concept, the stage I look most forward to is design. We’re not designers but instead we get to work with different designers across the country...

Avoiding Patio Nightmares

A few weeks ago, the temperature spiked from the regular 40 degrees at noon to a beautiful sunny 72, and it was SUNDAY. Without hesitation my brain screamed find...
Restaurant Ambience

6 Pillars of Restaurant Ambience Management

When you think of ambience in a restaurant, or anywhere for that matter, you often consider things like music, lighting, temperature, smells, materials, and acoustics. Those are certainly components...

Getting Guest Comfort Right

“Check Your LAMA!” was something a colleague drilled into my head many years ago. He had worked for Maggiano’s, and it was/is a reference to the four pillars of...
Investing your money The Right Way

Where to Invest Your Money in Restaurants – Post-COVID

The tea leaves have settled and it’s time to read them: The Pandemic has provided a Petri dish in which to test third party delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash...

Optimism is Worth the Effort

So far, 2022 feels like quicksand. Stocks are frowning, my crypto wallets are shrinking into a pile of worthless electronic blips, mask mandates are back, restaurants are asking for...

Why Restaurants Should Outsource Management

The two sides of our consulting business: launching new concepts and fixing/improving existing concepts. These have given us a unique perspective on what makes restaurants successful or not. It’s...

Happy New Year: 2022 Restaurant Trends

Everyone knew that the pandemic would change people; the way they shop, eat, and live their lives, but we didn’t know how. Finally, all the opinion surveys and all...

Opening a Restaurant – Getting Started

Another new year is almost upon us. You’ve made it through the tough parts of the pandemic and you’re looking for a new business ventureone that’s challenging but funsomething...

Opening a Restaurant – How Much Should You Pay for Your Rock-n-Roll Lifestyle?

So, you think you want to quit your job and open a restaurant...or become a rock star. Those are pretty natural instincts when you’re trying to figure out where...

5 Recommendations for Restaurant Music Management

I was dining at a popular Italian restaurant in a popular outdoor lifestyle shopping plaza at a popular time – Saturday night, 7:30pm. We had a reservation, but expectations...

Half Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year! Julyhalfway through the year the beginning of Q3. Somewhere in December most restaurateurs compile a list of things they want to accomplish for the...

The REAL Reason for The Great Restaurant Labor Shortage

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the first few dozen states cutting short the pandemic unemployment benefit in an effort to get folks to return to...

Mergers and Acquisitions are for Independent Restaurants Too

M&A activity in large public chain concepts is well documented and thriving. In fact, Atlanta-based Roark Capital / Inspire Brands acquired their way to the 2nd largest restaurant company...

What Restaurant Should You Build in 2021?

Everyone has said for a year now that restaurants will not be the same when we come out of The Pandemic; that evolution is inevitable. Well, spring is here...

Evolving Technology’s Impact on Menu Development & the Surprising Benefits

Technology has made many changes in the restaurant industry. One of these changes involves how we create and edit menus. Using technology such as tablets and software for menus...

Restaurant Business Plan: A Comprehensive Guide to Attract the Investors You Need

In plain and simple terms, a restaurant business plan is a written document that outlines your restaurant's goals and the means of achieving those goals while defeating potential challenges...

Open A Restaurant With Killer Concept Development

Did you know that 33% of restaurants don’t make it past the first year in business? Opening a restaurant takes good planning, heavy investment, and skillful management. Being a...

So, You Think You Know How to Run a Restaurant?

Although the din of Auld Lang Syne has faded, we can still hear ZuZu saying, “Teacher says, every time a bell rings another restaurant closes” something like that...

Why You Should Invest In A Restaurant

Opening a restaurant should be a passion, not just a business venture you hope will make you money. The best kind of business to invest in is one you...

An Emerging Hybrid Restaurant Solution For Challenging Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many industries, especially restaurants. As lockdown rules keep changing, many restaurants are unable to stay open. Others are forced to switch their model to...
Holiday Pop-Up Bar

Upgrade Your Bar into A Handcrafted Holiday Pop-Up Bar

Pop-up themed events are a popular concept around holidays that tap into people's love of celebrating and enjoying drinks in a festive atmosphere. Pop-up bars and restaurants have sprung...

A Restaurant Consulting Firm Can Help Both Landlords and Their Tenants

Despite the troubles the global food industry is facing, restaurant tenants still have to pay rent. An NYC Hospitality Alliance Survey revealed that seventy-one percent of landlords would not...

Ghost Kitchens: How Are They Driving Growth in the Restaurant Industry

It would be an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things challenging for restaurants. Many restaurants were forced to close their doors permanently. Others shut down...

How Hotel Restaurants Struggle to Compete with Free-Standing Restaurants

Restaurants are more than a little ubiquitous in our world, and if you’re a hotel owner, you likely already know the struggle of free-standing restaurants surrounding your property. With...

How Landlords Can Protect Restaurant Rent Revenue

Commercial landlords renting a restaurant space should know that every restaurant lease is unique. There is a balance to be struck between the square feet, the amenities, and the...
food hall with greenery

The Key To Developing A Thriving Food Hall Concept

Imagine this: It's a vibrant Friday night, and some friends have decided to go out and unwind. Half the squad wants to get pizza from Danny's while the rest...

How to Successfully Hire and Retain Staff

As more hospitality businesses continue to reopen and grow during the COVID life environment, we are all trying to figure out how to hire and retain staff. This is...
man in mask hands to go bag to guest

Connecting with Guests in a Mask Wearing Society

It is possible that we have all underestimated the importance of a smile in connecting with others. We spent months craving the experience of dining in restaurants and once...

Opening A New Restaurant…NOW?!?

It’s the end of the 2020 Summer and COVID-19 is still running wild. Elections are on the horizon and, regardless of your political bent, moving left or right carries...
Ray Camillo leading business meeting

Can You Afford Consulting?

By January 2020 the restaurant business was getting crowded and hyper-competitive. Since about 2009, on the heels of the worst recession in most people’s memory, restaurants around the country...
woman handing to go food through car window

How to Configure Your Restaurant for Curbside Pickup

Unless you’ve been boycotting the steady stream of dreary news coming at us from all sides, you’ve probably heard how meal delivery services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Door Dash...

Memorial Day Recipes

We've put together an all-American Memorial Day dinner for the whole family. Follow these directions and you'll be surrounded by happy faces and full bellies!...
washing hands

How to Reopen Your Restaurant – Safely and Profitably

As states begin to allow businesses to reopen, most in 3 phases of lessening restrictions, all restaurant owners are scrambling to decide what to do. Questions like “can I...
man delivering food

What You Should Not Be Delivering: 5 Common Delivery Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you have been doing delivery since you opened, or you have recently launched a delivery program due to a global pandemic, there are five incredibly common mistakes we...
the shining Jack

Staying Sane While You Wait

In my last blog, I outlined a step by step process for preparing to reopen your restaurants. Getting a handle on your finances, applying for aid and re-engineering your...
come in we're open sign

What Do We Do Now? Creating a PLAN to Reopen

In the last few weeks, I have had some very difficult conversations with a lot of restaurant owners that I consider not only clients but friends. I’ve listened to...

Coronavirus / COVID-19 – Advice for Restaurant Owners

"Official" direction regarding how restaurants should – or are allowed – to handle COVID-19, changes by the hour. Takeout only, limited hours, limited dining-in configurations, disposables only, close for...

Restaurant Resolutions in 2020

The holiday hubbub is settling down as Part-Time workers head back to school and holiday parties are in the rearview. Hopefully, your restaurant has fared well and all of...
hot tea over bed of fall leaves

7 Restaurateur “Must Do’s” for September

You may feel all alone in an empty dining room but take comfort in the fact that almost every restaurant suffers the September Slump. For the most part no...
calculator with money and notepad

Restaurant Surcharges – Health Insurance vs. Tips

A few weeks ago, my wife and I ate San Francisco. A recurring line item on our checks was “EE Benefits Surcharge” or “SF Mandates” charge. My first reaction...
bartender serving camera a cocktail

6 Out of the Box Qualities that Make Great Restaurant Employees

If you go to the internet looking for what makes a good employee, every site will tell you basically the same thing. You should hire people who are committed, confident, reliable...
cut sandwich

Sandwich Trends of the Future

I’m sure that you will agree that sandwiches are the greatest human invention of all time. Simply by putting some food in between two pieces of bread you combine...

8 Reasons Why Small “Cockpit” Kitchens Make You Money

Anyone who has opened a restaurant or is looking at doing so is faced with the high cost of occupancy. Whether you lease a space or purchase it outright...

Restaurant Marketing – Tout Your Value Not Your Brand

For restaurants, online brand presence is everything...and so is the food and the service and the cleanliness and the decor and the vibe and let’s not forget about the...

5 Things To Consider When Offering Outside Dining

Who doesn’t love to be outside in beautiful weather with an ice-cold drink in one hand, and a fork full of incredible food in the other? Throw in some...

Delivery: Is It Right For Your Restaurant?

The obvious motivation for a restaurant to take on delivery service is to build sales. Third party delivery platforms like GrubHub, UberEats and EAT24 are making it possible for...

Healthy Menus Are Here To Stay

A couple of decades ago, to open a healthy-option restaurant was suicide. Menus were often free of fat and full of lettuces, grains and juices. They came off as...

Choose Ingredients Wisely to Reduce Food Waste

The USDA estimates that more than 30% of all food is wasted in the US. Much of that happens in the production and distribution phases but still, the last...

The Seven Golden Rules of Restaurant Management

Rules for being a successful restaurant manager, now there’s a big topic.  Most people would probably list things like, control your costs, complete your daily checklists immediately, and balance...

What Hiring Companies and Job Candidates Told Us in 2018

What Companies Told Us in 2018 With a unique involvement in the hiring process, we are in a perfect position to hear companies tell us their hierarchy of “must...

Built To Last: What You Can Learn From America’s Oldest Restaurants

Many restaurants stay on a strict schedule of remodeling every 7 years to stay current and fresh. Some restaurant companies even plan to completely shut down and re-concept periodically...

9 Food Trends For 2019

There are times where it seems everyone in the industry is talking about the same things. We’ve been keeping our ears to the ground and looking into the future...

Restaurants Who Want to Start Delivery

It’s obvious that the reason any restaurant might want to offer delivery is to build sales. Third party delivery platforms like GrubHub, UberEats and EAT24 are making it possible...

How Successful Restaurants Can Grow to Multiple Locations

There are two philosophies about growing a restaurant beyond the first unit: To create something special, get good at it, then try to do it again To create a...

What Restaurants Can Learn From Fan-Friendly Stadium Concessions

Living in Atlanta, we all heard the buzz coming a year out from the 2017 opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “Falcons and Atlanta United FC owner Arthur Blank...

5 Tools Everyone in the Restaurant Industry Should Be Using

Operating a restaurant is not for the faint of heart. There are always 1000 things to do at the same time, and you can never take your eye off...

How Yelp and Other Review Sites Can Make or Break Your Restaurant Business

First let’s face the facts. We all search the internet to check out the restaurant scene anytime we visit a new city, or we are looking for a place for...

How to Properly Staff Your Restaurant for the Holidays

Let me begin by saying that staffing for the holidays is a year-round process.  Granting requested days off throughout the year and keeping your staff balanced between full and...

How to Incorporate Food and Beverage into Co-Working Spaces

Co-working space is huge in the modern economy, with an estimated 3.8 million users worldwide by 2020. These spaces provide shared office space to small businesses, freelancers, and large...

5 Key Ways to Grow Your Restaurant Business

We live in a world addicted to quick fixes with little emphasis on long range planning. Restaurateurs easily fall victim to people walking through the door with the next great...

Why a Restaurant is Your Next Successful Business

My son is a senior in high school and is trying to decide what to major in. He has chosen Business, but he wants to narrow it down a...

How to Run a Family Owned Restaurant and Stay Sane

Let’s face it - the restaurant business is an emotional business.  Everyday you put your creation out there for everyone to evaluate, and you pray that people like it. ...

The Pros and Cons of Using an Online Reservation System

Traditionally the rule has been, upscale and fine dining restaurants take reservations and chains and casual dining do not.  Due to evolution, all humans are now born with a...
14 Common Misconceptions About Opening a Restaurant

14 Common Misconceptions About Opening a Restaurant

Restaurants are fun, sexy, thrilling and everybody wants one. So much so that opinions about how hard it is to open and run one are everywhere with nary a...

What’s Trending in Food & Beverage: Appetizers, Tapas & Small Plates

Small plates are the chef's creative playground. Most restaurants diners expect to see steaks, roast chicken, and grilled salmon entrées. These basics will quickly fill up the entrées list...

Becoming a Food Entrepreneur & Restaurateur: What You Should Know Before Taking the Leap

I’m 52 and have spent my entire career (save for a stint in the US Army for training to be a Reservist) in hospitality. My first job was as...

What is a Food Hall, And Why Do People Love Them So Much?

The first time I heard the term “food hall” I replied “umexplain” What I got was something similar to how a parent might describe a mall food court to...
12 Quick Tips for Opening a Restaurant

12 Quick Tips for Opening a Restaurant

We’ve asked our top restaurant consultants what they recommend when opening a new restaurant. They provided such great feedback that we compiled it all into this all-in-one resource for...
5 Ways to Promote Your Restaurant for Labor Day Weekend

5 Ways to Promote Your Restaurant for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day. Not exactly the revenue-slayer holiday of the year, but that’s the point of this blog: what the heck do you do with Labor Day besides staff low...
Food Trucks: The Current State of Mobile Food and Beverage

Food Trucks: The Current State of Mobile Food and Beverage

Originally, food trucks seemed to emerge on the scene as a way for chefs without heavy financial backing to open a small, inexpensive, mobile restaurant. Ostensibly, food trucks undermined...
A Panel of Experts: Actionable Tips for Hiring Restaurant Employees

A Panel of Experts: Actionable Tips for Hiring Restaurant Employees

We’ve asked our top restaurant consultants what they recommend when recruiting and hiring for various restaurant staff positions. They provided such great feedback that we compiled it all into...
Tip Credit Applied to Minimum Wage - Not as Evil as it Sounds

Tip Credit Applied to Minimum Wage – Not as Evil as it Sounds

Many people view tip credit as "just another way for the greedy restaurant owner to line their pockets with cash." Servers often have the same opinion and feel like...
How Fast Casual Dining Spaces Can Use Cutting-Edge Technology

How Fast Casual Dining Spaces Can Use Cutting-Edge Technology

Every industry is taking advantage of cutting-edge technology in some form or fashion, and the fast casual dining space is no exception. Fast casual restaurants are uniquely positioned to...
Top 20 Blogs For Restaurant Owners to Follow

Top 20 Blogs For Restaurant Owners to Follow

In any industry, one of the most important things a business owner can do is to stay in the know and up to date on industry trends. It’s no...
Our Restaurant Consultants on July 4th: Food & Beverage Family Memories

Our Restaurant Consultants on July 4th: Food & Beverage Family Memories

At Blue Orbit Restaurant Consulting, we like to share personal memories that revolve around food, drinks and family. So,  restaurant and hospitality experts, Ray Camillo and Mike Maxwell, have...
An Inspired Fried Chicken Recipe to Add to Your Menu this Independence Day

An Inspired Fried Chicken Recipe to Add to Your Menu this Independence Day

As a kid growing up in rural Maryland (Ijamsville to be exact), our Fourth of July celebrations meant packing up our green 1972 Ford LTD wagon with blankets, coolers...
2 Seasonal Cocktail Recipes to Celebrate Independence Day in Your Restaurant

2 Seasonal Cocktail Recipes to Celebrate Independence Day in Your Restaurant

Next to Christmas, the annual 4th of July celebration in my family is one of the happiest memories from my childhood.  Every year we packed up the family and spent...
4 Quick Ways Restaurant Owners in Beach Towns Can Capitalize on Summer Vacationers

4 Quick Ways Restaurant Owners in Beach Towns Can Capitalize on Summer Vacationers

We’ve all heard the term “tourist trap.” When applied to restaurants, it’s generally a negative term that refers to places with high prices serving low quality versions of foods...
Restaurants are Saving Retail: How to Ensure Success of Food-Driven Real Estate Developments in 3 Simple Ways

Restaurants are Saving Retail: How to Ensure Success of Food-Driven Real Estate Developments in 3 Simple Ways

Restaurants are saving retail developments. We hear this all the time, but what does it really mean?  Let’s look at it like this. Consider some common retail tenants –...
20 Myths about Restaurant Consultants Debunked

20 Myths About Restaurant Consultants Debunked

The term “consultant” – restaurant or otherwise – conjures images of slickster snake oil salesman preying on businesses in distress, bent on draining precious cash reserves before an inevitable...
Freshen Up Your Menu with this Healthy, Summer Salad Recipe | Blue Orbit Restaurant Consulting

Freshen Up Your Menu with this Healthy, Summer Salad Recipe

With summer quickly approaching and the heat rising outside, we often recommend adding cool and colorful salads to restaurant menus to brighten things up for the season. Here’s a...
75 Food Halls in America: The Growing Mixed-Use Real Estate Development Trend

75 Food Halls in America: The Growing Mixed-Use Real Estate Development Trend

While the US food hall trend may have started in New York, it's now sweeping across America. With major food-focused real estate developments such as Eataly and chef Todd...
Worst Advice for Restaurant Owners

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard for Restaurant Owners

As restaurant consultants, we are often in a position to offer adviceand to hear some zingers of both good and bad advice that restaurant owners have been given. As...
woman on computer

How Restaurant Owners and General Managers Can Write a Great Employee Developmental Plan in 5 Easy Steps

For restaurant owners and general managers, the process of creating a restaurant employee developmental plan is very similar to writing quarterly goals - only there are no predetermined categories.  The...
two women in a meeting

6 Secrets to Hiring the Best Restaurant General Manager

The general manager of a restaurant is the most crucial position in the entire business. The chef usually gets the glory, but the general manager is responsible for keeping...
outdoor food stall

Why You Should Create a Pop-Up Restaurant or Bar Concept

A pop-up is simply a temporary bar or restaurant, usually focused on a particular chef or style of cuisine. Sometimes pop-ups will share space or even take over an...
woman holding moon ball

10 Exciting Food Trend Predictions for 2018

We are in and out of restaurants all of the time, talking with our clients about what works and what doesn’t, what their guests are asking for, and which...
outdoor restaurant seating

How to Maximize Restaurant Seating

Did you know that an empty seat can cost you between $.45 - $1.50 for every minute it remains open? Incorporating a restaurant optimization program allows a restaurant to...

4 Things I Learned During My Year with John C. Portman Jr.

I met John Portman in 2014 on the day of his 90th birthday. He had begun the process of repurposing the 230 Peachtree Tower into office space and a...
beautiful bar

The 5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making in Running Your Bar

A successful bar does not happen by putting big personalities who like to talk about spirits in a dark room full of people. It requires careful crafting in it’s...

Recipe Edition: Michael’s Famous Mulled Wine Tart

Crust Ingredients 1 1/2 Cup Flour 1 Tablespoon Sugar 1/8 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter 3-4 Tablespoons Cold Water Crust Preparation Put flour, sugar, and salt in food processor...

5 Brilliant Best Practices to Maximize Your Restaurant’s Sales During the Holidays

The holidays are coming and holidays generally spur people to spend money in ways that they wouldn’t do otherwise. Folks are urged to buy, book, treat, reward, and otherwise...
confetti celebratory glass clink

6 Steps to Create a Fun and Profitable New Year’s Eve Menu

Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve these are the days that really test a restaurant’s staff. Is your mise actually, really, and truly en place? Being ready for...
gift card close up

5 Ways to Sell More Gift Cards This Holiday Season

Often, I run across restaurant managers who find that selling gift cards is more trouble than it’s worth. People want to buy gift cards during busy shifts, someone has...
woman wrapping a gift

5 Great Holiday Gifts for Your Managers that Aren’t Cash

In almost every scenario that requires motivation, we see more and more that cash gifts simply don’t work. Cash gifts don’t incentivize people to work harder because cash is...
hostess helping a guest

6 Things Your Host is doing to Turn Away Customers

We all know the importance of the first impression and how we’re impacted by someone’s appearance, demeanor and general interaction with us. Crowd review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor...
thumbs up

How to Ace Your Health Inspection Every Time

“Mango” was the code word at one of my first kitchen jobs. It signaled that the health inspector had arrived and we had to stop what we were doing...
love balloon script

Why Love is the Magic Ingredient for Restaurants

What’s love got to do with it? Asking the question “is there any place for love in business?” is like asking “is there any place for people who care?”...
calculator closeup

4 Undeniable Reasons Why You Should Switch Your Kitchen to the Metric System

Put down that 2/3 cup and walk away. When I was in fifth grade (sometime in the 80s), my class learned that the United States would soon be converting...

Restaurant Opening: The Essential Kitchen Training Documents

When opening a restaurant, it seems only right to document and put in place a structured training agenda that will aid your kitchen managers and chefs in the training...
seasonal vegetables

Seasonal Menus

Seasonal menu changes are fairly common and, for some, an easy task taken on by the Executive Chef in house. For some establishments, however, the concept is manager and...
chef working in kitchen

How to Cook At Home Like A Chef

The first question out of a person’s mouth every single time when they find out that I am a chef is, “Do you cook at home?” The answer is...
coffee cocktail

Sipping Your Dessert: How to Create the Ultimate Sweet Winter Drink

We seem to be going back and forth lately on what to serve for dessert. Some restaurants are completely ignoring the “clean eating” healthy food movement and continue to...
fancy cockatil

To Happy Hour or Not to Happy Hour

I embrace the Urban Dictionary’s definition of happy hour: “Where the worst selling and nastiest tasting alcoholic beverages are sold for half price to a bunch of alcoholics too...
sign that says local

2017 Food Trends

2017 is already promising to be a very exciting and interesting year. We’ve noticed some trends in the industry that we hope choose to flourish and maybe we will...
chef in an open kitchen

4 Lessons Every Chef Will Learn by Working in an Open Kitchen

Kitchens are opening up everywhere. Restaurants are trading in the swinging doors for clean, crisp counters that aren’t just displaying the final dishes guests are ordering, but also showcasing...
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How to Make Positive Changes Towards Food Sustainability (And What Not to Do)

In 2015, there was a string of news articles detailing the ethical changes that some of the largest chain restaurants are making to their menus. Taco Bell recently vowed...
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Oldies, but Goodies

How many times did we hear “eat your vegetables” or more specifically, “eat your Brussels sprouts” and immediately respond with a sighed, “EWW”. The idea of eating chicken liver...
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You Should be Able to Answer These 3 Questions About Your Restaurant’s Online Presence

So what is really expected of you on the web? Being a hospitality consultant would suggest that I have high expectations for most dining establishments and might even be...
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Food Trends that Won’t Make it in 2016

We’ve talked about cronuts  and the farm-to-table movement before. We loved and embraced them, but along with a few others, it’s time to say goodbye and move on to...
popcorn

Food Documentaries: Which Ones to Watch and Why

I suppose binge watching is a bit healthier than binge eating. Food documentaries have had somewhat of an uprising the past few years, much due to the “farm-to-table” movement...
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Questions You Should Always Ask Your Kitchen Hires

Back of the house hiring can be an exhausting process that doesn’t always yield the results you were hoping for. As a restaurant manager, you might often find yourself...
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Bowl Control: Balancing Portions in a New Way

From sit-down dining to “create your own” fast food concepts, bowls are popping up everywhere. Chipotle has been featuring bowls for quite some time now as a lighter alternative...
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Carbs are Making a Comeback

Menus in general are moving towards accommodating diet demands without having the “healthy” section stick out like a sore thumb. The wave of gluten free menus and low carb...
stairs against a plain wall

From Line Cook to Restaurant Consultant

A good restaurant consultant has been in your shoes and the shoes of every person in your restaurant. We didn’t wake up one morning with all of the answers...
meal prep tools

“Housemade” – Five Items You Should be Making In-House

Is it possible to make everything in your kitchen from scratch? Yes, of course it’s possible, but does it make sense for your kitchen? The term housemade on your...
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Who should you write a Restaurant Business Plan for?

When it comes time to sit down and draft all of the budding ideas you have for your upcoming restaurant, you have to stop and think – who am...
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Top 10 Restaurant Killers

For some reason many in our midst seem to have uncanny insight into the legendary failure rates for restaurants, regardless of whether they have actually worked in or owned...
beer taps

The Best Approach to Fast Casual Booze

“I’ll have another round” is not something you typically hear at Moe’s or Mi Piada. That’s because there is typically no one to say it to. When deciding to...
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The Employee Handbook (it’s more than a coaster)

Up until now, I’ve shied away from an important topic that each restaurant owner (I don’t care how big or small) needs to take seriously - the Employee Handbook...
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Top Ten Mistakes Made By Restaurants

There are plenty of things that cause restaurants to struggle including poor location, the wrong food for the wrong area, bad lighting, uncomfortable seats, smelly beer-soaked floors, difficult parking...
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Shoestring Restaurants – Is Planning Overrated?

Almost everyone we talk to that wants to open a restaurant comes to us with a shoestring budget.  We do an awful lot of concept planning for folks who...
open sign on a chain

How to Open a Restaurant

If you Google "how to open a restaurant", you’ll find a ton of information much/most of it relevant and correct while STILL falling short of telling you what you...
fully stocked back bar

New Life from Old Spirits

Hand crafted mixed drinks have been the driving force behind the evolution of most metropolitan area bars for the last six or seven years with no sign of letting...
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Restaurant Accounting

This is the kind of stuff that puts most people to sleep but can save a restaurant from certain doom. Go get some coffee cuz this is important (if...
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How to Best Manage Restaurant Tip Share

As far as a restaurant’s profitability goes, the lowest of the low hanging fruit is often found in a poorly planned tip tracking program.  Owners and operators leave money...
waiter handing out wine to table

What’s the Best Table Service Model? [Hint: Give Power to the Servers]

Truly the best service involves giving your servers what they want: power. I believe folks are motivated by a combination of three things: Affiliation: approval from others “please like...
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Restaurant Training

Folks often ask us to help them with "training"..but  what does that mean?. Teaching someone how to do something they didn’t know how to before? Correcting a bad behavior? ...
aerial view of people eating burgers

Why Hand Food (for Dinner) is Here to Stay

Whether working in a garage, on Wall St. or in an operating room, we all need fuel when we’re away from the nest. Around, oh say 11:30, we want...
chef knife on cutting board with fresh herbs

What is the Best Chef’s Knife?

People often ask me, “What’s your favorite knife for a professional kitchen?” It always makes me pause because there are a bunch of things to consider before I can...
matrix

Why Kitchen Software Has Its Place

It’s nothing new to say that the restaurant business is hard work. The Chef’s job is particularly difficult as they are accountable for commodity procurement and receiving, end product...
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Dine and Whine

I pulled this morsel from chef Graham Duncan’s blog "From the Kitchen: Graham Duncan" and couldn’t resist throwing in my two cents. The “dine and whine” has become the new “dine...
all hands in

A Strong Team Is One That Trusts Its Leader

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a planning meeting at a major corporation.  They were rolling out a new training program and were already encountering big...

Pastrami “Overhead” Sandwich

There isn’t much better than a big fat pastrami sandwich. I’m talking about the 16 ouncersyou knowthe 7th Avenue crowd in New YorkCarnegie or Stage or Katz?  Far too...

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