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  • 23 Jul 2014 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Once you begin working with a charitable organization, you can leverage your good deeds to boost employee morale and retention.

    The key to leveraging community involvement as an employee recruiting-and-retention tool is to get staff "buy-in" on projects. Employees feel good knowing they are not just making a living, but are also making a difference in the lives of those in need. This can be particularly true for certain demographics. In Cone Inc.’s Cause Evolution & Environmental Survey, 87% of Millenials surveyed take cause marketing and a company’s commitment to the community into consideration when deciding where to work.

    “What started with a few team members painting over graffiti in a playground has evolved into a company wide program that recognizes our team members as they volunteer for community projects and charities across America.” – Rob DeLiema, President, BJ’s Restaurants Foundation

    How can you make this a win-win for your business?
    • Listen to your staff. Your employees are your greatest asset when it comes to charitable giving, so support causes that they care about. In fact, not only do restaurants benefit from the community goodwill for helping their neighbors, but there is a real correlation to community involvement and employee morale. In Cone Inc.’s Cause Evolution & Environmental Survey, 89% of employees surveyed felt a strong sense of loyalty to their employers when they are familiar with their companies’ cause programs.
    • Empower staff to select the charitable programs and volunteer efforts. Several companies have created task forces or committees made up of staff members at all levels to help decide what charities to support and to organize volunteer days.
    • Observe your staff for in-house opportunities. For example, you might discover that some employees could benefit from additional English language training or financial literacy skills. You could contact an organization to educate your staff and improve their lives.
    • Organize community-service projects for staff. By working together outside the restaurant with your staff, you can build more camaraderie. Some companies also offer paid time-off for staff to volunteer. BJ’s Restaurants, headquartered in Huntington Beach, Calif., gives its employees ample opportunity to volunteer through BJ’s TASC Force (Team Action to Support Communities). Employees have participated in a variety of events, including painting houses for needy seniors, donating their tips to purchase holiday gifts for foster and adopted children, assisting in community clean-up campaigns and supported local food banks, among many other activities. TASC Force volunteers are rewarded with service pins and celebration t-shirts.
    • Encourage your chefs to teach cooking and nutrition courses to individuals at risk of hunger and malnutrition. There are several organizations – such as Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, the American Culinary Foundation Education Foundation Chef & Child Foundation, Feeding America’s Kids Cafe – that offer such classes, and it is a great way for chefs to share their love of cooking with those in need.
    • Hire local high school students. These students could work at your establishment and on your charitable project. Learn about the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program and how you can get involved.
  • 17 Jul 2014 9:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Land more tourism business by making international visitors feel welcome.

    Nearly 70 million international travelers visited the United States last year, a record high, according to the Commerce Department’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Expect international arrivals to grow, as OTTI projects 83 million international visitors by 2018.

    Here are a few ideas to win international tourists:
    • Be a good sport. Nothing makes sports fans feel at home like being able to watch their local teams. New York City’s Crab City and Seafood Company reels in tourists from around the globe by showing international soccer matches. Likewise, Courtyard Hooligans, a sports bar in Charlotte, North Carolina, attracts business travelers who want to catch an international soccer or rugby match. The pub’s décor features international flags, setting the welcoming tone.
    • Don’t get lost in translation. Find out what languages your team members speak, and put their skills to use when needed. At San Francisco’s Café Majestic, managers plug into the language skills of restaurant staff, as well as bellboys and other employees at the Hotel Majestic, which houses the restaurant. The staff also relies on Google Translate to help communications, manager A.J. Patel says.
    • Create a welcoming committee. Keep track of your staff’s travels, recommends Julie Zucker, director of marketing and promotions for Branded Restaurants USA, which operates City Crab, Big Daddy’s and Duke’s restaurant in New York City. Have staffers greet customers whose home countries they’ve visited. For example, if a team member recently traveled to Australia, the manager might send them over to say g’day to a table of Aussies and strike up a short conversation.
    • Be respectful of cultural differences. Train your staff to be sensitive to cultural differences. For example, free refills are uncommon in England, so your British guests might bristle when a server automatically brings a fresh soda. Mark Krehbiel, co-owner of Courtyard Hooligans, has found that Brits typically won’t sit in the bar area. “We’ll wave them forward to let them know it’s OK. We might say, ‘You can get a better view of the TV here.’ ” When customers choose to hang back anyway, team members are careful not to make them feel uncomfortable. Another big difference is tipping, which isn’t customary in many countries. “Often guests will realize it’s the custom here. But we never mention it,” says Krehbiel. “For every person who doesn’t know to tip, there’s someone who gives generously and makes up for it.”
    • Be guests “home” for the holidays. Far from home, international travelers often have nowhere to go for a July 4 barbecue or Christmas dinner. Make your restaurant their “home” for the day. “We’re open on all the holidays,” says Zucker of Branded Restaurants USA. “We know tourists still need places to dine out.”
    • Keep calm and carry on. Language barriers, thick accents and cultural differences can test a server’s patience. “We’re always training our staff to have some extra patience in these situations,” Zucker says.
    • Offer a taste of home. Café Majestic welcomes international travelers by offering their hometown specialties, including Austrian wiener schnitzel and Spanish paella. The restaurant launched the international menu two summers ago to attract foreign travelers, but it’s proven so popular that Café Majestic now offers it year-round in addition to the regular menu. More adventurous travelers will want to try your regional dishes, so keep those on your menu also. Prepare your servers to explain dishes foreigners might not be familiar with.
    • A smile means friendship to everyone. A universal smile and a warm greeting is the simplest way to welcome international travelers - or any guest for that matter. “A lot of people skip it because they get too busy,” Krehbiel says. “But it’s the easiest thing to do.”
  • 03 Jul 2014 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Being a small business often means you have limited resources, but it doesn’t have to mean that you have less of a voice in the news media. National Restaurant Association research shows that seven in 10 restaurants are single-unit operations, so entrepreneurs are the backbone of local communities across the country.

    Whether you’re participating in a national campaign or just want to keep your name top of mind with consumers, there are ways you can get your name out there without spending a lot of time or money. In previous articles, we covered the basics of interacting with news media proactively and reactively – here are some additional tricks of the trade to get the most out of your news media outreach:
    1. Seize every opportunity. Sending a news release or responding to an inquiry is not the only way to engage with news media. Sign up for a free service like HelpAReporter.com or PitchRate.com to get daily emails of reporters looking for sources on a variety of topics.
    2. Post your news online. While sending news releases directly to reporters is important, also posting it online can help get the word out further. There are several free tools available for posting news releases online, which helps get better pick-up in search engines (reporters Google things just like the rest of us). Also post news releases on your website and use the links on social media.
    3. Put your announcements in context. Journalists are more likely to use a news release if it connects to a wider story idea, so think of how your news fits into the bigger picture. For example, if you announce that you have added new healthful menu items, include the reasons why you did that, such as consumer trends, guest requests, and commitment to kids’ nutrition.
    4. Don’t ignore bloggers. Blogs can be as well-read as traditional news outlets these days, so spend some time identifying who blogs in your community. You can often find links through other social media outlets, or use one of the many available online blog directories.
    5. Connect with journalists on social media. Many journalists are active on social media, specifically Twitter. Their Twitter handles are oftentimes listed along with their bylines or elsewhere on the media outlet’s website, or you can use an online directory to find them. Also use hashtags to join conversations on Twitter, as writers often use these to find sources for stories.
    6. Know who you’re pitching. Tailor pitches to individuals rather than sending mass emails. While it might take a few more minutes, it makes reporters more likely to pay attention to what you’re saying. Review their recent articles to get a sense of what and how they like to cover local news and angle your pitch accordingly – nothing turns journalists off more than getting pitches that are not relevant them.
    7. Tell your community story. When participating locally in larger campaigns (like Small Business Saturday), think of specific ways your business fits into it and tell your unique story to news media. For example, are you a multiple-generation family business? Do you and your employees participate in community service activities?
  • 25 Jun 2014 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Donating surplus food to charities is a way to divert waste from landfills while doing good.

    It helps feed the hungry, offers tax credits to restaurateurs who donate to nonprofit organizations and protects the environment, says Laura Abshire, director of sustainability and government policy, National Restaurant Association.

    “By reducing food waste, restaurateurs can save on their operating costs,” she says. “Companies participating in food donation programs are eligible to receive tax credits. That makes food donation a financially sound business decision. Reducing food waste is not only good business, but also helps the environment and the communities we serve.”

    Jim Larson, founder and director of the Food Donation Connection, an NRA partner that acts as a liaison between restaurants and social agencies to arrange food deliveries to people in need, offers five tips for food donation:
    • Follow safe food handling practices. Develop a process for your restaurant. FDC has some time and temperature standards, but it customizes them for each donor and works with them to see what makes the most sense. “We only accept food that’s never been served,” he says. If it’s left the kitchen, don’t donate it. Usually, that food was a mistake or was hot-held beyond the hold time. That doesn’t mean the food is bad, but it probably doesn’t meet the standards for your customers.
    • Familiarize yourself with your food surplus. Most operators think they don’t have enough volume, but it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference, Larson says. That’s what leaders at Chipotle thought when the company began working with FDC in 2007. When FDC representatives toured four Chipotle stores, they explained the company could donate small quantities of meat, beans and rice from multiple locations, rather than large quantities from one site.
    • Develop a pilot test. Chains looking to donate food should test their donation program in a handful of stores before rolling it out system-wide. After developing your process, test it for about 60 days, Larson advises.
    • Connect with a local nonprofit to take your donation. If you’re going to take the tax credit, you must partner with non-profit organizations registered as 501(c) 3. If you’re working with FDC, it can find a nearby organization that can pick up your food. Consider donating to local schools or fire departments, as well, Larson suggests. “That’s great community relations work, but typically you would not be able to take an enhanced tax deduction for those donations.”
    • Track your donations. FDC sends monthly reports to donors so they can see what was donated by item, location and region. They can look at it in terms of pounds of food, fair market value or cost. Tracking is also important in case of a product recall, especially for retailers. “By tracking the products, we’re able to see if they’ve been donated and from what store to what charity,” Larson says. “This gives us better control to make sure [potentially tainted product] is not consumed by anyone."
    Make donation part of your company culture. Donating surplus food is good for employee morale, says Larson, whose organization has helped facilitate the collection of more than 210 million pounds of food to nonprofit hunger-relief charities. “Someone, like a chef, who has a passion for creating food for people, hates throwing food away,” he says. “You don’t want to create something to just throw it out. So much was invested in it. It was planted, harvested and transported – only to be thrown away. It’s kind of a crime.”
  • 13 Jun 2014 8:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Turning organic materials into compost helps divert waste from landfills and returns nutrients to the soil.

    One way to reduce waste at your restaurant is to implement an on-site composting program. Turning organic materials into compost helps divert waste from landfills and returns nutrients to the soil.

    Need help getting started? Patrick Cuccaro, general manager of Affairs to Remember Catering, Atlanta, and Christy Cook, senior manager, sustainability field support, Sodexo, offer these tips.

    Find your champion. Look for an employee who is a major Influencer with the rest of your staff and who is passionate about the environment, says Cuccaro, founding member of the National Restaurant Association’s Zero Waste Zones initiative. Choosing the right person to champion your cause will ensure that someone besides you takes ownership of the task. It helps if these employees aren’t managers, he says. The cultural shift that will put you on your way to successful composting can happen very quickly if the desire and will to do it grow organically with your staff.

    Create your team. Make sure each department has at least one member who can speak passionately about the environment, Cuccaro says. As an owner, you can connect the dots and show them how doing good is good business. It translates to healthier finances and greater employee engagement.

    Claim your real estate. At Affairs to Remember, chefs and cooks have a small buckets or containers to temporarily place compostable materials. They empty them into a large, centrally located bin in the kitchen. Other departments don’t generate as much compostable material, Cuccaro says, but each person has a convenient receptacle to regularly empty into the central bin.

    Measure and share your results. Affairs to Remember recently celebrated diverting 300 tons of materials from Georgia’s landfills. Staff measured progress from Day One and shared details with clients, suppliers and competitors. “People need to hear your story, and if this is an important part of your brand, it’s perfect for social media,” Cuccaro says.

    Find the mentors. Find out who’s in the know, and use them as a resource. Most people involved are happy to share ideas and other resources freely that will put you on your path to success, Cuccaro advises.

    Educate your employees. Your employees need to learn and understand how to carry out the tasks involved to complete them correctly. If you’ve hired a company, or hauler, to help you with your composting service, have them perform the training, says Cook, a member of the NRA Conserve Sustainability Advisory Council.

    Post clear signage.
    Make sure your signs are easy to understand and concise. And remember: A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

    Make it easy for employees to compost. Set up a composting program that “fits” your facility, Cook says. Ensure containers are the best possible size, and follow the flow of the kitchen to increase odds employees will use them properly.

    Explain why composting is important. Give your team at least one reason why composting is worth the extra effort, Cook says. Examples that might resonate with them: The compost helps build healthy soil future fruit and vegetables, or it reduces methane gas landfills release, therefore lessening greenhouse gas emissions.

    Share the message: Don’t waste, no matter what. In some locations, the volume of compost materials increases because employees and customers feel it’s OK to have more waste if it’s being composted, Cook says. It’s not.
  • 06 Jun 2014 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Ten tips to attract tourists

    Boost your sales this summer by attracting more tourists to your restaurant. Travelers spend more than $200 billion annually on food service in the United States, according to the U.S. Travel Association. On average, tourism accounted for nearly a third of fine-dining sales and almost a fourth of casual-dining sales in 2012, according to National Restaurant Association research.

    Try these 10 tips to attract tourists:


    1. Connect with concierges. “The concierge is the first person that hotel guests ask for a dining recommendation,” says Julie Zucker, director of marketing and promotions for Branded Restaurants USA in New York City. “We invite concierges for a meal so they can recommend us with confidence.” The company owns and operates three restaurant concepts, Big Daddy’s, Duke’s and City Crab.

    Supervisors from San Antonio’s Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery visit area concierges weekly, greeting them with baked goods and a stack of “Amigo cards” to give hotel guests. The cards, which feature the concierge’s name and hotel, entitle customers to free desserts. Mi Tierra tracks the referrals, rewarding a concierge for every 20 customers.

    2. Plug into social media. As soon as tourists head into Las Vegas and “check in” to a location with Facebook, the ads for local attractions start. Among them is Blondies Sports Bar & Grill on the Strip. “That’s been a great tool,” says manager Catherine Pavesich. “We find it works better than the old-fashioned visitors’ guides.”

    Branded Restaurants USA uses Twitter to get the word out. “We look for the Twitter handles that tourists follow and post there,” says Zucker. For example, she might tweet at #nycgo that Big Daddy’s is offering free milkshakes with a purchase.

    3. Act as area ambassadors.
    Build your reputation as a restaurant that welcomes visitors. “We train our servers to talk knowledgeably about the area and the local culture,” says David Cortez, co-owner of Mi Tierra. Some team members are certified city ambassadors through a program a San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau program that develops customer service and area expertise. Similar Certified Tourism Ambassador programs are available throughout the country.

    4. Team up for cross-promotions. Work with local theaters, museums and other area attractions to piggyback promotions. For example, Havana Central in New York City’s Times Square, which specializes in Cuban cuisine, found a natural partner in Broadway’s “In the Heights,” which is set in a Latino neighborhood. The restaurant promoted a 20 percent discount code for “In the Heights” and offered a dining discount to guests presenting their ticket stubs. “We also catered their cast party,” says managing member Jeremy Merrin. “That was tremendous exposure for us.”

    5. Become a “bus stop.” Havana Central brings in the tourists by the busload, usually at off-peak times. “We offer a prix-fixé meal at a discount,” says Merrin. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

    Building up the tour clientele took time, says Merrin. “Originally we would spot bus drivers on the street and ask them what tour groups they were with.” After some cold calls to tour agencies, the restaurant began to land tour groups. “One you get on their schedule they come back again and again,” he says.

    6. Make time for timeshares. Mai Kai, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., restaurant that runs a Polynesian revue show, offers a bulk discount to a local timeshare. The timeshare company purchases vouchers for a fixed-price dinner and show, using them as tour incentives.

    7. Manage your online reputation.
    Monitor what tourists say about your restaurant on review sites such as TripAdvisor. Respond to reviews, especially negative ones, so you control your reputation. For example, if a tourist tries oysters and dislikes them, restaurant staff thank him or her for dining at the restaurant. “Then we might say: ‘While we think oysters are great, they’re not for everyone. Next time you’re in town, let us know if you want something you don’t see on our menu,’” Zucker says.

    8. Become a site to see. Tourists flock to Mi Tierra for its festive décor and strolling musicians, to Mai Kai for a tropical waterfall view and to Polynesian revue and to Big Daddy’s for pop culture memorabilia, such as an autographed photo of the “Bay Watch” cast.

    9. Work with your local convention and visitors bureau. These organizations can help promote your restaurant through their websites, visitor centers and more.

    10. Find out how the tourists found you. On their comment cards, Mai Kai asks guests how they heard about the restaurant. The responses help guide future marketing decisions.
  • 23 May 2014 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Educating operators on how to incorporate sustainable business practices topped the agenda at NRA Show sessions from the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability program.

    The educations sessions offered tips, tools and expert advice from operators on sourcing local foods , developing an effective composting plan, designing a sustainable restaurant and practicing energy efficiency.

    “If we are going to be successful in recruiting people to become more [invested in] practicing sustainability, we’ve got to be in line with their priorities,” Jim Hanna, Starbucks’ director of environmental affairs, said in a session on zero waste. He said some drivers for implementing sustainability programs in restaurants include:
    • The desire to reduce carbon footprint.
    • To increase employee pride.
    • Appeal to customer expectations.
    • Lower operating cost.
    Local sourcing of foods and ingredients
    Another sustainable practice continuing to gather momentum is the local sourcing of foods and ingredients. At a seminar on integrating local farming strategies, Ryan Stone, executive chef for Centerplate’s Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, said consumers today have an even greater understanding of and expectation for local sourcing of food products.

    “We’re seeing an even greater awareness of the importance of local sourcing,” he said. “We’ve literally got hundreds of farmers’ markets the public looks at, and stores, like Whole Foods, that promote the sourcing of the products they sell. I think more and more people are going to ask for that and it will continue to grow. It also, in trying to educate people on why they’re paying $2 or $3 more for something because it is local, will make my job easier.”

    Stone and co-panelist Zak Dolezal, chef of Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake, Ill., offered ideas on how to start sourcing locally. They suggested:
    • Visiting farmers markets.
    • Looking at labels of everything at the grocery store.
    • Communicating with local chefs’ associations and check who they may be partnering with.
    • Seeking out restaurants that may list the suppliers they use on their menus.
    • Contacting local growers’ associations.
    • Locating cheese-makers’ guilds and farmers’ organizations.
    Purchasing efficient equipment
    Richard Young, senior engineer and director of education at the Food Service Technology Center in Santa Rosa, Calif., said purchasing efficient equipment was the best thing operators can do to create sustainable kitchens.

    “A lot of today’s commercial kitchens are the same post-war, late 1940s type of kitchens,” he said. But “a lot of [the technology] hasn’t evolved that much. So, what will the kitchens of the future look like? Well, the first thing we’d like to do is move from the standard, overbuilt one-of-everything kitchen to an energy-wise [model].”

    To create an efficient kitchen, Young said:
    • Adopt best-in-class technology.
    • Install technology such as induction cooking equipment, combination ovens and high efficiency fryers.
    “Design decisions really make sense,” he said. “The decisions you make regarding equipment can affect your bottom line. They really can put money in your pocket.”

    McCormick's rooftop garden
    In addition to this year’s eight sustainability sessions and numerous products on display at the Conserve Solutions Center, the Show also highlighted the half-acre rooftop garden at McCormick Place West (where the conference was held), which provides fresh produce for Savor, the contract foodservice company that handles foodservice operations for the venue.

    The garden, which is cared for by Windy City Harvest, is part of a partnership program between the Chicago Botanic Garden and Richard J. Daley College.

  • 22 May 2014 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Reach more guests by offering gluten-free meals. Diners request 200 million gluten-free meals annually, and 30 percent of adults want to eliminate or reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, according to NPD Group research.

    If you offer gluten-free items, make sure you follow FDA standards, which take effect in August. Beginning then, items labeled gluten-free, no gluten, free of gluten or without gluten must:

    Not contain wheat, rye, barley, or crossbred hybrids of these grains.
    Contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.
    Local health departments are to enforce the regulation.

    Alice Bast, president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and Betsy Craig, president of MenuTrinfo, are working with the National Restaurant Association to help restaurants better serve guests who don’t eat gluten. They offered tips at a recent NRA Nutrition Study Group meeting:
    • Work closely with suppliers to source and verify ingredients.
    • Develop strict protocols for back and front of the house employees.
    • Take advantage of training programs for back- and front-of-the-house employees. For example, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness offers online multimedia course for chefs, foodservice managers and wait staff. It offers tools to educate front- and back-of-house staff on safe gluten-free food handling.
    • Assess risks of cross contact. For example, having separate fryers and pots for gluten free items.
    • Seek ‘gluten-free certified’ products.
    • Have menu items certified as gluten-free by a company like MenuTrinfo.
    • Get familiar with substitutions.
    • Select quality alternative products.
    • Look into pre-packaged “gluten-free” products.
    • Consider adding some popular gluten-free menu items.
    Did you know?
    One percent of the U.S. population has celiac disease, and up to 6 percent are gluten sensitive. Celiac disease isn’t considered an allergy; it’s a genetic, multi-system, autoimmune disorder caused by the protein gluten. A reaction to gluten can’t be fixed with an epi-pen. It causes inflammation in the digestive tract that can damage the small intestine and cause other serious health problems. Even a tiny amount of gluten can make someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity sick. For those with Celiac disease, a lifelong gluten-free diet is the only treatment
  • 16 May 2014 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    When hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms or other natural disasters occur, restaurants can help bring a sense of normalcy to their communities. Establishing a disaster communication plan establishes you as a good corporate citizen and secures brand equity.

    Such a plan helped Waffle House earn a 2012 National Restaurant Association Operator Innovations Award. The plan, “Keeping Food Safe during Natural Disasters & Proactive Outreach to States,” is part of the company’s “Always Open” culture across its 1,700 locations in 25 states. Waffle House created relationships with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). After a storm, FEMA surveys the community using a “Waffle House index” as a way to measure devastated areas. Stores closed because of the storm are designated ground zero or red alert; those with a limited menu because of power and food shortages are considered yellow alert; and those with minimal damage and the ability to operate fully are designated green alert.

    Here are five tips to help you plan ahead:
    1. Connect with public officials when developing your disaster-preparedness plan. Waffle House executives reached out to regulatory and safety agencies in hurricane-prone states, including municipal and county officials.
    2. Create a planning matrix. Waffle House created logistical tactics for various scenarios, such as three to five days before a hurricane, 48 hours out, 24 hours out and after landfall. For each stage, the plan identified store managers, operations executives, food safety/security teams and other stakeholders.
    3. Create and distribute practical toolkits. Each Waffle House store manager receives a “storm playbook” that includes lessons learned and best practices, a unit-opening checklist, FDA food safety guidelines for re-opening after a storm, a service interruption and emergency checklist, and more.
    4. Establish procedures for before and after the disaster. When a hurricane is imminent, Waffle House executives contact public health and safety officials in areas likely to be affected to resolve access issues. After a storm makes landfall, store managers must be available at all times to ensure food safety compliance and work with health inspectors before reopening.
    5. Create a sound risk-based protocol. Your protocol should include preparation and mobilization tactics. Remember: Controlling risk should be your priority.
  • 08 May 2014 8:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    There is a direct correlation between the amount of time it takes an operator to get his or her financials and a restaurant’s profitability. Operators who place a high priority on getting their numbers quickly nearly always make more money than those who allow the process to take longer.If you’re waiting longer than a week to know your financial results, here are some ideas to speed up the process. That way, you can identify and react to problems and opportunities in a more timely (and profitable) manner.
    1. Make fast turnaround of your financial reports a priority. You’re the boss, so you have to set the standard if you want your financials faster. Not all managers, bookkeepers and accountants naturally perform at peak efficiency in this area, so you might need to push them.
    2. Get organized. Meet with everyone involved in your accounting process to discuss how you could reorganize it to be more streamlined and efficient. Identify all activities and steps involved in preparing your financials and who’s responsible for each function.
    3. Get online access to your bank transactions. Your accountant won’t have to wait to get the bank statement in the mail to begin preparing the bank reconciliation. This nixes a popular excuse for being slow.
    4. Process your invoices, manual checks, and sales reports daily. Don’t wait until the end of the week or month.
    5. Tie a portion of management compensation to financial results. This usually causes managers to become much more interested in your restaurant’s financial performance and motivates them to be a positive force in seeing that the financial statements are completed in a timely manner.
    6. Prepare a weekly Prime Cost Report. Getting weekly feedback on cost of sales and labor, your two biggest and most volatile costs, will result in lower prime cost, guaranteed. Do this, and you won’t have to wait 30 or more days to find out how your food, beverage, and labor costs run. Your P&L normally will just confirm what you already know.
    This article is presented courtesy of RestaurantOwner.com, a source of operational and business resources for independent restaurant operators.
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