Drinks After Dinner: The Wonders of a Digestif

A meal doesn’t have to end once the plates are cleared. After-dinner drinks are a great opportunity for satisfied customers to extend their night-out with a digestif. It’s also a great opportunity for a server to increase their check-average and for a restaurant to increase sales. Digestifs and bitters can end the meal on a comforting note. Literally. And like many old-world staples, digestifs are pouring back into mainstream culture.

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For The Weekend: Summer Recipes to Savor Before Fall

The end of August and start of September is a time of change. Summer is slowly winding down and the sometime phantom season of fall is (hopefully) approaching. Kids go back to school. Our favorite television shows are starting up. Your local farmers market selection is dwindling and will be ending soon. It’s a time when our tastes change and restaurants begin to tinker with  menus, experimenting with dishes that offer the bold flavors of fall. But wait! If you haven’t had your fill of summer yet, there’s still time. Here is a list of end-of-summer ingredients that are at their peak, and some recipes for dishes to devour before summer fades into fall.

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Servers on Salary: Is Tipping Coming to an End?

As the debate over a fair minimum wage grows statewide, many restaurants have began participating in the anti-tipping movement by paying their servers a salary. Dirt Candy, a vegetarian restaurant in New York, has experimented with the idea by removing the line to tip and instead implementing a 20 percent “administrative fee” on every bill, which goes towards the employees of the restaurant. There are many benefits of the new payment system, but some traditional restaurants continue to object.

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Looking Inside the Consumer’s Mind

Choosing which restaurant to dine at can be a tough decision for most consumers. Food quality and atmosphere are key components, but with so many competing establishments, restaurants need to start looking inside the mind of the consumer for other factors that help their selection process. The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Industry Forecast revealed several important things consumers look for, and even expect, when considering restaurants.   Here’s what you should consider…

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The 7 Most Bizarre (and Must Try) Picks for Chicago Restaurant Week 2015

It’s that time of the year again! Chicago Restaurant Week is almost here, and it’s time to make your reservations for the best food Chicago has to offer. Restaurant week spans from January 30-Feb 12 this year, and with over 250 participating restaurants with lunch for $22 and dinner for $33-$44, I hope that you’ll be starting the week hungry. 


Because there were so many restaurants and because all the menus were making me drool, I decided to focus this year’s picks on items that were truly bizarre. From the last dinners of people executed in Chicago (!!!) to raw squash and alligator, I present the Uncorkd list of Chicago Restaurant Week 2015 picks. Read more

New Spins on Old Traditions: Your Restaurant Thanksgiving Menu

Let me clear the air right now: I am not advocating that you break from standard Thanksgiving fare on your holiday menu. No, by all means, keep turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole right there, front and center on your menu. After all, you want your guests to still feel like they’re at home—just without all the hassle of cooking, cleaning, or traveling long distances in bad weather. Another thing you want them to avoid? The same holiday food they’ve been eating for years. These three new takes on old recipes will help your restaurant Thanksgiving menu bridge that gap between traditional and tantalizing. 

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5 Thanksgiving Cocktails to Sweeten Your Prix Fixe

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! This is the time of year when the weather starts trapping us inside for the winter months, so we clean the house obsessively, cook complex dishes for days on end, and get together with our families to yell at each other!

Hmmm. Wait. Scratch that. This is really the time of year that we decide to ditch time-consuming food efforts and go out to eat at your restaurant. (Thank goodness for you!)

In order to make us feel better about abandoning our families for the official start to the holiday season, how about you include some simple and affordable cocktails on your holiday menu. Here are five great Thanksgiving cocktails to sweeten up your prix fixe menu (and increase your margins) this year.  Read more

Make More Money by Giving Recipes Away

Here’s a novel idea to make more money: Give things away. I know I’ve talked before about getting more customers with free samples of food, but now I’m going to suggest that you actually let go of your restaurant or bar’s life blood. I want you to give away your recipes. Read more to learn why holding tightly on to your recipes may be hurting your business.

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How to Make Restaurant Ambiance “One Size Fits All”

Ambiance is the defining feature of your restaurant, but it can also box your restaurant into a certain category in your customers’ minds. Are you a casual “beer with friends” restaurant? Are you an “anniversary celebration” restaurant? Not only do these restaurant ambiance classifications limit your customer base, they also cut down on your sales. There’s no reason you should purposefully hurt your restaurant revenues, so today’s post discusses how you can create a “one size fits all” ambiance to bring in every type of customer for every kind of occasion.

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Be Who You Want to Be: A Celebration of Restaurant Diversity

It is rare that a restaurant or bar experiences the confidence to just be itself. On this blog, we talk about how you can improve your sales methods, introduce more alcohol to your menu, or  find and hire a good band. However, we have never coached you in how to be who you are—proudly, happily, unabashedly. Today’s post is in celebration of your restaurant, exactly as it is. 

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