There has been a revolution in the past decade. Diners and drinkers are now more in control of what they consume than twenty years ago. Whichever the buzzword may be – gluten-free diet, craft drinker, scratch cooking – the culture has collectively raised its expectations on what it wants from bars and restaurants. In 2016, there is no reason your bar should feel dated. There are few practical tweaks to your beverage program that will make it fresh and vibrant again. No, you don’t have to call your bartenders mixologists. Honestly, you shouldn’t. And you don’t have to reinvent the martini. You just need to take a few simple steps that show commitment to a good program. Read more
Private clubs are changing throughout the country. Whether it’s augmenting club policies in regards to technology, or relaxing rules and guidelines to accommodate families, clubs are changing in response to shifting member demographics and interests. As a club manager, how do you address these changes? What methods can you use to assess and identify the areas of your club that you need to change and improve, and which areas should continue on undisturbed? Read more
After the recession hit in 2007, private clubs had to push through a turbulent economic period worsened by membership decline. The past few years have marked a rebounding period for clubs across the country. Club economics have started to stabilize. But membership interests have drifted from the golf course into new leisure areas. New technologies have helped bridge the gap between changing demographics and more effective club management. As club managers assess what the future looks like for their businesses, tech companies whose focus is hospitality aim to make that future user-friendly. Read more
The free drink is an apocryphal tenet of bartending. The comped shot, or buy back, should never be given away willy nilly by a bartender. It also shouldn’t be expected by a customer. But, if used properly, that privileged dram can be a powerful tool for rewarding loyal patronage. The danger of the free drink is if this privilege gets abused. Restaurant operators can’t have their employees giving away the bar, and bartenders shouldn’t rely on comped drinks in lieu of good service. But, if exhibited with finesse, a drink on-the-house can be a tradition both time honored and beneficial to all parties. And a party it is. But, as a restaurant operator, how should you go about enforcing a policy that keeps bartenders honest while also giving them the ability to show love for a well-liked patron?
Customer experience can make or break a restaurant. That’s always been the case. But in todays world of social media, word travels at hyper-speed. You don’t want your restaurant’s reputation to be shredded by an angst-fueled Yelper with a bone to pick over bad service. There are a few easy steps to follow when it comes to customer service. These are guidelines to great service. You should implore your service staff to remember these tips. Trust me, your guests will care more about these things than they do the Saturday night fish special. Read more
What makes a good wine-by-the-glass list?
Thankfully, quality wine-by-the-glass lists are becoming easier to find while dining out. It’s the age of adventurous diners and drinkers, so customers are willing to try something new. And a glass pour of wine is a great way for customers to try something they’ve never had before.
But what actually makes a good glass pour list? Read more
Eco-friendly has been the mindset (or marketing) of a growing number of hip and trendy restaurants for years now. The “green” mantra is often repeated on menus across the U.S. in the form of buzz-word phrases like “locally-sourced,” “organic,” and “post-consumer.” Your server might have told you that your table was made from “reclaimed wood” from something else that used to be wooden, or that the light fixtures were made from repurposed subway parts. Though the green movement has its haute annoyances, eco-conscious business is certainly a good thing. And new technology is making it easier for restaurants to adapt to a more green way of doing things, both in the back-of-house and in front of guests.
Yelp is a polarizing third-party platform for many small business owners. The Internet has become the go-to medium for most consumer research. If you’re a business owner, it’s increasingly likely that a potential customer’s first introduction to your business will be in a list of Google search results, and your businesses’ Yelp page is bound to be at the top.
The restaurant industry is an insane environment to work in. In a full service restaurant, you have multiple “departments” that are crucially interdependent on one another. Restaurants function as a service assembly line; on that partially occurs in full view of guests. Communication is paramount in this situation. But often, workers are rushed, or don’t share the same first language. This complicated relay is a task restaurants perform hundreds of times on a busy Friday night. There are spaghetti-thin margins-of-error for a restaurant operating during service.
It takes a great staff to perform at a high level night in and night out. Great staff will keep the stress and chaos tucked behind smiles, out of guests’ view. But in an industry that has one of the highest rates of staff turnover, how do you keep a stellar restaurant staff motivated and clocked in? Read more
Food and restaurant tech has surged over the past few years, with consumers becoming the no. 1 adapters to apps like delivery databases Grubhub or Seamless. Now, big chain store behemoths, Starbucks and McDonald’s are creating their own services, launching apps that customers can use to pre-order and pay for items before entering the store.
But for restaurants looking to utilize technology to help bolster business and increase customer loyalty, the focus is on analytics and understanding customer behavior over just simplifying procedure. Read more