Add It to Your Menu: Craft Distilleries

If I told you that the hottest gin in international markets was made in America, you’d likely laugh at me… but I’d be telling the truth. Because you sell various spirits, you’ve probably already run across a lot of the new craft distilleries that are starting to spring up all across America. Like me, perhaps you’ve noticed these places but have largely dismissed them out of hand. “American distillery? Sounds like moonshine,” I’ve told myself when I’ve noticed small distilleries in the mountains or on the outskirts of small towns, “I’m sure this stuff has got to be terrible.” Apparently though, I’m completely wrong, and a New York Times article from this week, Raising a Glass to Upstart Distilleries explains exactly why. Here’s what you need to know about the newest, hottest international booze trend.

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7 Tips for Hiring a Great Host or Hostess

If someone had warned you that running a restaurant would be a job in which you have to be a chef, a manager, an inventory specialist, an accountant, a janitor, a customer service rep, a marketer, and an HR director, would you still have done it? Of course you would, because every day you get to do exactly what you want to do. Well, almost exactly. Today, we’re going over something that you don’t like doing so much: hiring. In the past, we’ve talked about hiring the right bartender, but since I know you want to get back to your food as soon as possible, I have compiled a fast list of seven things you should do to make sure you hire the right hostess. Read more

4 Steps to Make More Money with Your On-Premise Catering

Once upon a time, a long time ago, you thought your restaurant could make some extra money by starting up an on-premises catering side-business. The idea started up when you went to a country club or a hotel. You thought, “I could do this. I wouldn’t even have to pay for the extra overhead.” But then, when you tried it, you started losing money. And you kept losing money. Now you’re about ready to give up because you’re convinced that country clubs and hotels know some secret that you don’t. You know what? If those places had a secret in the first place, they certainly won’t anymore. This post talks about simple steps you can take to make your on-premises catering services challenge the country clubs and rake in the cash.

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10 Signs of Restaurant Customer Service Disaster

Running a restaurant is hard work. You have to plan meals, stock inventory, maintain supplies and licensure, manage staffing issues, and, oh yeah, cook amazing food. With all this craziness going on every single day, it’s not surprising that your restaurant might be forgetting to do something, even something incredibly important. If you look around your restaurant and notice any of the following things happening, you’ll need to switch your focus. Fast. Here are ten signs that your customer service is a total disaster.

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Why You Need to Keep Your Restaurant Website Up to Date--and How to Do It Uncorkd

Why You Need to Keep Your Restaurant Website Up to Date—and How to Do It

You did your job. You heard everyone talking about why you need a restaurant website, so you went out and got one. You even got yourself an awesome gimmick so that you’d stand out on Google. Either you struggled over learning how to create the site yourself, or you hired someone else to create it for you. The good news is that now you can breathe easy. After all, you have an online presence already. You’ve checked that task off your list. Now you can return to what you really love: food.

Sorry to break it to you, but in today’s world, restaurants can’t just create a site and then rest on their laurels. They need to keep that restaurant website up to date. Here’s why. Read more

To TV or Not to TV? The Restaurateur’s Question

For the past ten years, I’ve noticed something in nearly every restaurant I’ve gone to, no matter where the restaurant is, the cost of the entrees, or the type of cuisine. Sadly, this thing I’ve noticed isn’t related to consistently great service (though I wish it was), and it doesn’t provide me with the fun and memorable experience that I can get from an iPad wine menu (hint, hint). The thing I’ve noticed is televisions.

In the past decade I have witnessed televisions that have ruined romantic, candle-lit dinners, but I have also seen televisions that have created stunning moments of togetherness in bars and breweries. Restaurateurs and bar owners, it’s time to consider the impact your televisions are having… and it’s time to think about whether you really need them. Read more

The 5 Best Sidewalk Ads for Your Restaurant

Earlier this week, I went out to eat twice in one day. A funny thing: the two places I ate at were located right next to each other. Sure, I had gone to each restaurant many times before, but before Tuesday, I had never noticed that the two were, literally, right next door. Another funny thing: Both times when I walked to where they were, I walked right past the restaurant front door and then had to backtrack down the sidewalk. If you’re wondering if one of these places was your restaurant, you should really consider better sidewalk advertising. Here are 5 ideas for sidewalk advertising to increase your sales. Read more

What to Do When You Get a Bad Review

On no, the unthinkable happened! You were checking your Yelp, Google+, and Urbanspoon reviews… and you came across one review that was so mean, so untrue, so vindictive that your jaw dropped open and you started sobbing, right there in front of your computer screen. Now that you’ve washed your face and blown your nose, you’re starting to feel angry and righteous. You’re wondering how that person had the nerve to talk about your restaurant, your heart and soul, in such a horrible and dismissive way. You want to fight back. Now.

Woah, woah, woah, buddy. It’s time to simmer down. Here’s what you should do when your restaurant gets a bad review. Read more