Friday, December 18, 2015

 

"Throwback Thursday" - Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 9

 

"Throwback Thursday"
Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 9

The Black Horse Tavern - Mendham, New Jersey

 

Dine at one of New Jersey's oldest restaurant's in business for more than 270 years! The Black Horse Tavern & Pub located in Mendham, New Jersey was originally a stage coach in the 1700s before turning into two popular eateries. The tavern features modern American cuisine while guests can enjoy music and other delicious eats at the Black Horse Pub.

 


To view their menu, visit their website at http://www.blackhorsenj.com/home or call 973.543.7300 for other inquiries. 

  



Thursday, December 10, 2015


Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #9: Managing Working Capital

 


But, obviously, this is far easier said than done, and way too many operators impatiently open the doors to start the revenue stream before building enough capital. This double-edged sword finds operators stuck between the need to open and the need to build capital, and too often find the restaurant swimming to stay afloat when unforeseen expenses pop up. 

Expect the Unexpected 
Managing working capital means being prepared when the unexpected pops up. For example, many operators fall into the trap of assuming maintenance won't be an issue after buying a store full of new equipment. But some essential piece of equipment always breaks, or a natural disaster occurs, or an architectural oversight requires a redesign. These things always happen late at night or right before a busy weekend. A typical business plan requires that operators know what their break-even point is. This is a product of a mathematical formula based on total operating expenses, the number of seats in the building, and the anticipated number of turns in a typical day. Far less quantifiable is the point at which a restaurant will take off, and the operator will be able to look around and see each seat filled every day. 

Working capital helps ensure that an operator will be able to pay the bills until the restaurant reaches the break-even point. It's a good idea to work toward having enough working capital to pay the bills for the first three years after opening the doors. This is an essential part of any long-term growth plan in the industry. 

Working Capital  
There are a few ways to raise working capital, but private investments are often the best way to start. This is a ground-up business, which makes it hard for the outsider to break into unless they have outside success. But the operator with a track record of success, or who is well-networked and easy to back, has the inside track when it comes to enticing investors to the world of hospitality. 

Many operators disdain private investment out of fears of ceding partial control to an outsider. But most operators have assets that are valuable to potential investors, such as: 
  • The romance of being a part owner of a restaurant
  • A private expense account that can be defrayed by ownership equity. 
  • VIP service for investors to impress guests and clients
  • Networking possibilities with other investors. 
 Operators too often underestimate the leverage they have when attracting investors and this is often because they lack the business experience of potential investors. For this reason, spreading the word about investment opportunities is a critical - and overlooked - step for the success of many independent restaurants. 

Generating More Capital   
In an ideal world, all the working capital a business needs is created prior to opening the doors. But restaurants don't usually operate in an ideal world. Some combination of business loans and investment offerings may be necessary in a restaurant's infancy. This is a major reason that new businesses need to create buzz and fill seats, even if it means increasing operating expenses during the first two years. 

Private investors and lending institutions are more likely to sense opportunity in a full building. This is one reason that many restaurants choose to err on the side of ramping up expenses like advertising, promotion, and facility operation in order to build revenues, even at the cost of establishing a positive margin. 

Developing a sound business plan (Tip #2 of this series) and seeking the right financing (Tip #3 of this series) helps ensure a correct working capital account from day one. In addition, a business model that sacrifices short-term growth for sustained success if often the best way to keep working capital at comfortable levels. 

Partial Source: allfoodbusiness.com 

Make sure to look for Tip #10 next month, the last in the series... "How to Value Your Business and Prepare it for Sale."   

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

 

"Throwback Thursday" - Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 8

 

 "Throwback Thursday"

Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 8

  Kelly Green Brewing Co - Pitman, New Jersey

 


This month's "Throwback Thursday" is dedicated to an iconic South Jersey town getting a MAJOR upgrade to its restaurant scene. Pitman, New Jersey has been historically known as a dry town, but that will all change this upcoming year with the opening of its first brewery! Kelly Green Brewing Co. is set to open next March making it the first brewery to open in the area. 

The brewery will include 10 taps full of homegrown craft beer. The Bus Stop Music Cafe, located a few doors down was the first establishment to legally sell alcohol in the area. 

Haddonfield, New Jersey has also reconsidered their no-alcohol policy when they approved their Alcohol Management Plan for Retail Outlets last year, allowing area restaurants to offer wine to guests.   

Visit the Kelly Green Brewing Company's Facebook page for updates on the grand opening! https://www.facebook.com/kellygreenbrewingco/
  

 

Monday, November 9, 2015


Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #8: Reviewing and Maintaining Your Business Plan

 


Reviewing Your Plan
So how do you maintain your business plan? We have to first establish that without regular review, monthly or at least quarterly review of your planned vs. actual results, with practical analysis of the reasons for variance, planning is likely to be a waste of time.

Real planning requires regular reviews just as much as navigation requires knowing where you are as well as where you were and where you wanted to go. Every real plan needs to be full of specific dates, budgets, forecasts, and management responsibilities. People involved have to know there will be tracking and following up on specifics. Then that plan must be reviewed against results, and those reviews should produce course corrections and fine tuning.

Generally a business hopes for a consistent long-term strategy built on short-step incremental changes, not major revisions. Consistency is important to strategy, and the business should avoid the temptation to jump around from one strategy to another so quickly that no strategy is ever really implemented. Remember that even a mediocre strategy well and consistently implemented is much better than a brilliant strategy that wasn't implemented.

However, businesses do come to crossroads, demanding major revisions in their business plan. These are some signs that indicate it's time to review your plan.

  • Major changes in market situation. Look especially for changing market factors and changing market behavior. 
              - Have your underlying business assumptions changed? As an example, the Internet has        changed the business landscape so enormously that in some industries almost any plan that was   developed without a view of the Internet may need revisions. That may not be true for a landscape architect or restaurant, but for a travel agent, graphic artist, or market researcher it's obvious.

             - Do you have new competition? Have new competitors emerged, or existing competitors changed the business landscape so much that you need to review and revise?

             - Has the product or service picture changed? For example, a new technology may have emerged, changing the market perception of what you sell. There may be new products or services offering related solutions to the same user needs you to satisfy.

  • Major changes in internal situation. 
             - The most obvious major changes are changes in ownership, which are frequently the result of changing partnerships, divorce, deaths, and investment. The company takes on new partners, or sells out to a larger company.

             -  On a more ominous note, the company suffers significant declines in sales, profits, and financial health.

Always keep the revision in perspective. While you do want to review and correct constantly, you don't want to change a strategy unless you are sure it isn't working or you see real changes in the underlying assumptions that formed the foundations of the strategy.

Maintaining Your Plan
The purpose of maintaining your plan is to use business results to guide your future decisions. The plan itself has no value if it doesn't help you improve business. That's regardless of how good or bad, how brilliant the ideas, writing, or how elaborate the tables and charts. Its value is the decisions it leads to.

That means, of course, that to make a plan worth the effort of developing it, you'll want to follow it up. Whether that's every month, or every quarter, you need to track results, analyze the difference between plan and actual results, and manage. Change things that need to be changed. Compare what you planned to what happened in reality. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What went wrong, and how can we fix it?
  • What went right, and how can we take advantage of it? 
  • What changes took place in the competitive landscape that could be updated in the plan? 
  • What changes took place affecting our market that could be updated in the plan?
  • What changes took place internally in our organization that could be updated in the plan? 

After you've answered these questions, update your plan accordingly, set new budgets and milestones, adjust your financials, and repeat the process with another review of your plan again next month or next quarter. Update your plan accordingly again, and keep repeating. You'll find that maintaining your business plan gives you a better grasp on your business, your market, and everything else that happens with your company.

(Source: foodservicewarehouse.com)   

Make sure to look for Tip #9 next month..."How to Manage Capital."


Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Throwback Thursday" - Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 7

 

 "Throwback Thursday"

Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol 7

  Papa's Tomato Pies - Robbinsville, New Jersey




The oldest family-owned pizzeria in the country is operating right here in the Garden State. In 1912, the Papa family opened Papa's Tomato Pies in Trenton, New Jersey after emigrating from Naples, Italy. Owner, Nick Azzaro started helping out at his grandparent's restaurant at two years old rolling pizza dough, when his parents took over the restaurant in 1963. The chef's hat was later passed down to Nick who has been running the restaurant since 1987. The pizzeria moved to its current location in Robbinsville, New Jersey in 2013 where it is still serving customers the same family recipes today. 

The restaurant has endured major recognition for its long stint in business including being voted #1 in New Jersey and #18 in the US by CBS and NBC. Azzaro also appeared in the Cooking Channel's, "Pizza Cuz" highlighting popular pizzerias in the country. 

Papa's Tomato Pies is located at 19 Robbinsville Allentown Road, in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The pizzeria's hours are Monday through Saturday 11:30 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For more information, visit their website http://www.papastomatopies.com/ or call (609) 208-0006. 





 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #7: Restaurant Equipment 

 


Commercial kitchen equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what you are buying and how many pieces. When you're investing that much money, you'll want to make the best decision possible for your establishment. Even though there are more specific tips within each equipment category, there are a few things to keep in mind whenever shopping for restaurant equipment. 
  1. Buying only commercial-grade equipment. Local health departments are adamant that only commercial-grade equipment is used in commercial kitchens. This is because commercial-grade food service equipment is easier to clean and is infinitely more durable than its residential counterparts and better able to withstand the rigors of a commercial kitchen.
  2.  Purchase new equipment. Price is the big temptation for buying used restaurant equipment, but used restaurant equipment is less reliable because components are starting to wear out and can be costly to repair. New restaurant equipment, on the other hand, is in tip-top shape and comes with a factory warranty.   
  3. Balance cost with quality. Cost should not be the only determining factor when shopping for new restaurant equipment. Different manufacturers use different materials and technology that affect reliability, performance and longevity. Each restaurant owner needs to determine for him-or herself the best quality of restaurant equipment that will fit within their budget and suit their particular needs. 
  4. Stay within a budget. For any purchases you make, it is important to set and stay within a budget, otherwise you'll end up over-spending which will hurt your bottom line. 
  5. Do your research. Researching restaurant equipment involves making sure you have large enough capacities (cooking, storage, ice-making, etc.) to suit your needs. Also, look into units that can perform multiple functions to maximize your kitchen's versatility while minimizing cost. For example, combination ovens can cook several different menu items at the same time in a single oven cavity. 
  6. Check utility specs. While you are learning about the different types of restaurant equipment, pay special attention to the utility specs. This includes water, gas and electrical hookups. Match those to what is available in your kitchen. It would be a tragedy to purchase a gas-powered fryer only to find out that your building only runs on electricity. 
  7. Measure the available space. Any time you shop for new restaurant equipment, it is important to make accurate measurements before buying. This includes measuring the doorway. If it will not fit through the doorway or into the intended space, select a smaller unit. For refrigeration equipment and ice machines, be sure to add a two to four inches on the back and sides for air flow. Also, for new or renovated commercial kitchens, it helps to do a mock layout of the kitchen before you go shopping so you know how everything will fit in the space. 
  8. Consider going green. Even though ENERGY STAR® qualified restaurant equipment is a little more expensive than conventional models, the additional cost can quickly be recouped through energy savings and rebates available for eco-minded purchases. For example, a full-service restaurant that has a complete line of green restaurant equipment can save around $13,000 a year when compared to establishments with conventional equipment.
  9. Check the warranty. It is always wise to check the warranty information for any new pieces of commercial kitchen equipment that you intend to purchase, so you know what is and is not covered. If you're stuck on two different brands, the warranties might be different enough to tip the scales one way or another. Also, after you do make a purchase, be sure to fill out and return the warranty card so you can take full advantage of the warranty benefits. 
  10. Inspect the equipment before signing it. If you do make a purchase and have the equipment shipped to you, uncrate and fully inspect it before you sign for the delivery. Any dents or structural damage are usually the fault of the shipping company. Signing for the delivery means that you accept any damages that are present. This makes it more difficult to return a piece of damaged equipment. 
 (Source: foodservicewarehouse.com)     
You may wish to consider leasing as an alternative to the outright purchaser of commercial kitchen equipment. There are some definite advantages to leasing your equipment instead of purchasing. 
  • Cash flow; you may only need a security deposit and the first month's payment. 
  • Financing is easier to obtain; only six to twelve months of credit history is needed. 
  • Upgrading is easier; equipment starts breaking down, needing expensive repairs and leasing allows you to keep all equipment up to date. 
  • You can afford more expensive equipment.
  • You may have the option to buy at the end of the lease for fair market value. 
  • Off balance sheet; an operating lease is not capitalized on the balance sheet as a liability, and therefore, does not affect the company's debt ratios. Lease payments are expensed through the income statement. This means capital budget funds are left available for other important uses.
Restaurant equipment is expensive and if it breaks down it can hamper your business. Making sure it is well maintained will save you lots of money in utility costs and replacement costs. 
Create a calendar with the recommended maintenance dates for all parts and equipment, including monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual checks. The schedule should note when air-conditioning-equipment air filters could be changed (at least quarterly), exhaust- and supply-fan bearings should be lubricated, and when thermostats on cooking and air-conditioning equipment should be calibrated. 

Make sure to look for Tip #8 next month..."Marketing and Sustaining Your Business Plan"               

 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Throwback Thursday" - Historic Restuarant Chronicles - Vol. 5

"Throwback Thursday"

Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol. 5

The Historic Smithville Inn - Galloway, New Jersey


The Historic Smithville Inn, located at 1 N. New York Road (Route 9), Galloway, NJ, was built over 200 years ago. The original structure was a one-room stagecoach stop for people traveling from New York down to Cape May. The original owner, James Baremore, was not initially an innkeeper - the building was his house. He was a particularly friendly man who allowed people to stop and stay at his home while traveling. Word of his kindness soon spread and many people were making stops into his home. Eventually, he became an innkeeper and turned his house into an inn which now bears the name, The Historic Smithville Inn. The building was reconstituted in the 1940s and 1950s into the restaurant that you can visit today.

The Historic Smithville Inn boasts scenic views overlooking Lake Meone, private dining rooms with fireplace, banquet rooms, a tavern and entertainment. The Inn is open Mondays through Sundays, 11:30am-3:30pm for lunch and 4:30pm-9pm for dinner; it is open on Sundays from 10am-1:30pm for brunch and 2pm-8pm for dinner.

For more information on The Historic Smithville Inn, visit www.historicsmithvillenj.com.








Thursday, September 10, 2015



Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #6: Employee Manual

 


There are several reasons why creating an employee manual is critical to your restaurant's success. This document is home to your specific restaurant policies, local and federal laws, employment standards and working procedures for all areas of the restaurant. 


Enhance Professionalism

The employee handbook shows your staff that you are serious about your restaurant, and more importantly, their performance. You have taken time to create it and your staff needs to take serious time to read and understand it. 


Answer Employee Questions Before They Ask 

Many employees want to know what they need to do and how to do it. A good employee handbook will cover this, so you will spend less time answering the same questions over and over. 


Improve Employee Confidence  

Restaurant employees do better work when they are confident of their job requirements and the specific procedures. This translates to better customer service as well. 


Elevate Level of Consistency 

When you have the policies written out, you can consistently train every employee. Conversely, if you need to take disciplinary action with someone, the employee handbook gives you written documentation of procedures in case of any messy legal action. 


Writing the Employee Handbook

Here are a few tips for writing the employee handbook that will make it as useful as possible for your restaurant staff: 


1) Write Multilingual Handbooks

     - If necessary, make up employee handbooks in different languages to accommodate any native English speakers on your restaurant staff. 



2) Write So Employees Can Understand

     - No need to write the employee handbook in unfamiliar jargon or legal terms. Write simply and clearly so any of your employees can understand it. After all, they are your main audience. 



3) Produce Specialized Handbooks

     - Depending on your restaurant, you may find that handbooks for every type of employee make the most sense. In full service establishments, job descriptions can be very different and may require separate policies and procedures. Limited or quick service restaurants often function just fine with one universal employee handbook. 



4) Add Information As Needed

     - New situations come up, and you may need to make additions to your handbook in order to cover procedures that you feel are important enough to be in the handbook. To avoid publishing new handbooks every time this happens, print off the new procedures and hand out copies with the next round of employee handbooks. \



Essential Components of an Employee Handbook 

All employee handbooks will look slightly different due to variances in concept, layout, service type, location, hours, and specific policies enforced by the owner or manager. Despite differences in content, the following components are important in any restaurant employee handbook. 


1) Disclaimer and Acknowledgement

      - The disclaimer and acknowledgment section of your restaurant's employee handbook establishes that employees have read and understand the policies, procedures, expectations, and benefits outlined in the handbook. It also asserts that the handbook does not act as an employment contract. This is especially important for states with "at-will" employment laws, which are laws delineating that an employment relationship can be terminated at any time, by the employer or employee, without cause or liability. 



2) Employment Policies

     - A section on hiring policies helps outline any state laws that apply to interviewing, hiring and otherwise bringing people to work in the restaurant. An employee handbook needs to cover any applicable state or federal employment law, including the commitment to Equal Opportunity Employment. Handbooks may also include information on the following: 

  • Recruiting

  • Interviewing

  • Applications

  • Background checking

  • Find and hire the right people

  • Termination

 

3) Work Hours and Payroll 

      - In  this section, discuss any labor laws that were not covered in the previous section, and to outline the expectations and procedures for employees while on the job. Include the following concepts, tailored to your restaurant: 

  • Labor Laws

  • Payroll

  • Scheduling

  • Breaks

  • Tip Reporting

  • Workers' Compensation 

 

4) Benefits

     - Employees want to know what benefits they are entitled to while employed at your restaurant. Make sure they are aware of any of the following benefits your restaurant offers: 

  • Employee meals

  • Time off

  • Holidays

  • Sick days

  • Vacation time

  • Overtime

  • Bereavement

  • Maternity leave

  • Jury duty

  • Insurance and 401K

 

5) Appearance Standards

     - Be sure to identify the proper uniform and appearance standards for every job position in your restaurant. This includes the following: 

  • Shoes

  • Uniforms

  • Hair

  • Facial hair

  • Nails

  • Jewelry

  • Tattoos

  • Piercings

 

6) Behavior Expectations and Policies

     - It is essential that a restaurant handbook define acceptable and inappropriate behaviors in the restaurant. When employees know their expectations and their limits, there will be fewer problems in the workplace. >> More on Employee Discipline and Rewards Systems

  • Teamwork

  • Customer service

  • Evaluations

  • Rewards and discipline

  • Conflict resolution

 

7) Cash Handling Policies and Procedures 

     - Many restaurant employees will be handling cash while at work, either as a server, bartender, or cashier. Having cash handling policies in place will help instruct employees on the proper way to handle money to minimize loss and maximize security and accuracy. >> More on Cash Handling Practices for Restaurants


8) Operating Procedures

     - This section of the employee handbook includes any operational procedures that you feel are necessary to communicate to your employees. This can include opening and closing procedures, proper ways of operating equipment or supplies, special safety procedures and service guidelines. Generally, the more details you provide in this section, the better.


9) Harassment Policy   

     - Have a stringent policy on workplace harrassment. Provide information about sexual harassment and other forms of workplace harassment, as well as instruction on how to avoid it, how to identify it, and how to report it. You may want to include a statement of acknowledgment for every employee to sign, stating that they have read and understand the no-harassment policy. These can be kept in employee files. 


10) Drug and Alcohol Policy

       - Drug and alcohol abuse can occur in any restaurant. Not only is it harmful to the employee, but it can be dangerous to those around him or her. Be sure your policies are clearly defined. This especially applies to restaurants that serve alcohol and allow employees to drink after their shifts have ended. 


11) Health and Safety

      - Keeping your restaurant staff safe on the job should be your highest priority. Be sure to provide consistent, thorough training to all employees through regular staff safety meetings and on-the-job coaching. Have proper labels and posters in place to remind employees of hazardous chemicals or potentially dangerous procedures. 


12) Emergency Procedures

       - In the event of an extreme weather emergency, power outage or burglary, your restaurant staff needs to be prepared with the proper precautions and procedures. Educate your staff about the importance of awareness and security when it comes to crisis situations. >> More on Restaurant Emergency Procedures


13) Company Property and Equipment

       - Some restaurant employees have access to computers, vehicles, or other equipment belonging to the restaurant. Make sure that employees are aware that they need to respect restaurant property of all types. 


(Source: allfoodbusiness.com) 

 

Make sure to look for Tip #7 next month..."Choosing, Leasing, Maintaining Equipment"  

Thursday, August 20, 2015


"Throwback Thursday" - Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol. 5

 

"Throwback Thursday" 

Historic Restaurant Chronicles - Vol. 5

Barnsboro Inn - Sewell, New Jersey

 


Established in 1720 and licensed in 1776, the Barnsboro Inn takes the prize as one of the oldest bars in the United States, and the oldest in the Garden State. At nearly 300 years of age, the restaurant/bar is still operating at 699 Main Street in Sewell, New Jersey. The historic restaurant features two inside bars, three inside dining areas, a new Patio Bar, outdoor table seating, AND live entertainment several nights a week. 

According to NJ.com, on March 19, 1776, John Barnes petitioned the Gloucester County Court to license his residence as a tavern. Today, that tavern is known as the Barnsboro Inn, located at the intersection of five main roads in Mantua Township, a section commonly referred to as Barnsboro. 

Barnes’ petition was approved, but required him to keep at least two spare beds, stabling and feed for traveler’s horses. Later, the area formerly known as Lodgetown was changed to Barnesborough in honor of the tavern owner, and eventually shortened to Barnsboro, as it is known today.

The inn has been known as the Spread Eagle, the Crooked Billet Inn and Barnsboro Hotel, and eventually stopped boarding travelers and horses, concentrating instead on food and drink. The original section of the structure, built by John Budd, was made with 12-by-16-inch, square, cedar logs around 1720. 

Several websites have recognized the Barnsboro Inn as one of the oldest bars in America including beerinfo and thrillist. Today, over 20 bars and taverns have survived since the 1700's and even one tavern that dates back to 1673 located in Rhode Island.

The Barnsboro Inn was listed to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester County in 1973.

For more information on the Barnsboro Inn, visit their website http://www.barnsboroinn.com/

 

 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Restaurant Tip of the Month

Tip #5: Menu & Pricing 

 


The food cost a restaurant maintains depends on the type of restaurant.  One major, well-known sandwich/bread-style national chain maintains a food cost of around 26%.  Another, well-known national steakhouse chain keeps its food cost at around 35%.  Of course, for national corporations healthy cost goes hand-in-hand with the power of bulk purchasing to reduce costs.  However, you get the point.  Industry standard food costs range between 30-40% depending on the type of operation, the competitive buying practices of the kitchen manager and/or chef and the continual oversight by the presence of an on-site owner.


Remember, your menu prices have to make your food cost goals reasonable.


Include Everything


When creating your menu’s prices, be sure to cost out the entire entrée.  Every sauce, ingredient and garnish should be included when determining the total cost of a menu. Many operators like to use a plate-and-table wraparound cost that covers the average sum of ingredients that aren’t essential to the recipe but which are used nonetheless.  A wraparound cost would include items like bread, butter, salt and pepper.  This should be part of the cost of your entrée, and is a factor in determining their total cost.  However, it’s more accurate to take the time to price out each specific ingredient on a spreadsheet and add it all up.


Vary Your Price Points


You have a concept, and your price points are a central part of that concept.  That’s good.  But are your price points the same as those of the restaurant across the street?  You don’t have to have price points that are different from everyone else’s.  But price points that are different from those of other restaurants make it easier to create your niche within the marketplace.  Don’t be afraid to actively compare your menu prices to those of the competition.


The best price points either represent a unique level of quality that is worthy of the expense or demonstrate significant value to your customers.  For most customers, your menu prices are essential to your business’s identity, and are the first thing they notice about your menu.  Reaching something few or no other restaurants are reaching for gives you an instant identity.  However, you don’t want that identity to be “overpriced”.


Be Willing to Adjust on the Fly


Obviously, your menu prices will reflect changes in cost from the vendors that supply you.  We’ve all seen how this will trend upward over time.  However, a willingness to adjust your price points is sometimes necessary to meet your clientele base in the middle.  Many great restaurants have lowered prices in response to dwindling revenue, the flagging economy, or the opportunity to grow.  Restaurants that can maintain high quality while publicly adjusting prices downward or offering discounted items can make a strong push to demonstrate value.


Your Concept Creates Your Price Points


So, you have a concept and you have established your price points. In most cases, these are essential steps in executing your vision as a restaurant operator.  They’re part of the dream of owning and running a business, and so they are part of your identity.  It can be difficult to adjust your identity, especially if you are stubborn, as many restaurant operators tend to be. But most of us are more loyal to success than we are a restaurant concept.  Don’t let an unwillingness to adjust prices to meet guests be all that stands between you and success.


Software


Here is some software that you may wish to check out:


Chef Tec Software: Designed by an executive chef and a staff of programmers for food-service professionals. Chef Tec lets you customize management reports and print out recipes, organize monthly inventory procedures, generate ordering lists and maintain your par levels. You can instantly analyze recipe and menu costs by portion or yield, update prices and change ingredients in every recipe.


PC-FOOD II: A food costing, inventory and margin management system for use in restaurant, catering and all food service operations. Calculate and maintain food cost and required selling prices based on desired margin. Edit portion sizes and ingredient costs to see the effect on costs and margins. User selectable sorted displays and reports. Unlimited departments, export ingredients to file, up to 30 ingredients per recipe, up to 30 ingredients and/or recipes per menu item. Three levels of recipes (recipes may use other recipes). Also calculates total revenue, food cost and gross profit for a banquet, etc. Available option to change currency symbol. PC-FOOD II also maintains inventory quantity and value. Input your ending balances in the purchase unit and/or pack unit (i.e. 2 cases + 3 #10 cans). PC-FOOD II then calculates the ending value at the latest cost. Inexpensive - $49.00.


CostGuard: A tremendous inventory, recipe, menu, food costing and pricing tool. Software for food service operations: restaurants, hotels, institutions, corporate, B&I, clubs, caterers, retail, and educators.


For more Software Programs click http://www.allfoodbusiness.com/culinary_software.php


(Source: all foodbusiness.com)


Make sure to look for Tip #6 next month…”Employee Manual”