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Extra Touches You Can Do to Make Your Catering Service More Special

Extra Touches You Can Do to Make Your Catering Service More Special

Catering is a serious party saver. This niche is in need of constant upgrading and quick responses to social and gastronomic trends. Catering, if executed right, can be the star of any event. Whether you’re a small, freelance setup or a company looking to expand, catering requires immense attention to market needs and development of new strategies every day to keep the customers coming and satisfied.

Nowadays, food that delivers on deliciousness alone just won’t cut it. Catering services have to present innovative and authentic creations in order to please their demanding audience. Luckily, there is a wide array of ideas that you can implement in your strategy to make your service extra special.

Use premium sources

Let the quality of the food speak of how well your service is. This might seem like an unnoticed detail, but high-end attendees and foodies understand how the quality of the produce used can affect the final dishes. Not only that, picking top sources shows how much you care about your clients and aspire to offer them nothing less than perfection.

Unleash your creativity with dietary requests

Dietary requests are often given the least attention. By exerting extra effort to make these dishes shine, you’ll win your client’s approval very quickly. Whenever your clients have concerns about this section, try to share with them your creative solutions and innovations.
For instance, using vegetables as gluten-free shells instead of bread, fried tofu instead of fried cheese for lactose intolerant people, etc.

Try custom labels

Custom labeled merchandise is a great way to promote a business, a cause, or an event in an indirect and creative manner. It’s a great idea to fully customize your bottled water to match the theme or purpose of your event. These services offer a choice between purified, natural spring, alkaline or electrolyte enhanced water. Everyone needs and drinks tons of water so it’s smart in terms of reachability. Because the advertisement part is so subtle, it can be used in all sorts of events: hotels, open-air ceremonies, fitness clubs, and more.

Make a versatile spread

When you’re catering for a diverse crowd, it’s important to think smart and efficient. Guests will surely appreciate complex dishes and sophisticated cooking techniques. However, what they’ll love even more is variation.
Food spreads offer snacks that adhere to multiple dietary options, moods, and preferences. If you opt for a brunch or a Mediterranean cuisine inspired spread, you’ll be giving your audience easy to mix, fun, and healthy options to choose from.

Make a versatile spread

There are always new trends to take inspiration from the food industry. From cooking shows like MasterChef to following the footsteps of famous chefs such as Heston Blumenthal. All you have to do is to have an eye on the market and a knack for creativity that will never cease to wow guests. A pro tip is to study other restaurants’ menus and draw inspiration of how you can adopt these dishes creatively.

Special events require special preparations. If you want people to talk about your food, you must feed their eyes first. Your creations must be picturesque, modern, and absolutely delicious

Reasons Why You Should Go Organic

Reasons Why You Should Go Organic

It’s safe to say that going organic could be life-altering, as along with it comes an abundance of benefits that helps ease your health. If you were wondering about the perks of this transition, then allow me to inform you. Though you should know that in taking such a leap you would not only be benefiting your own health, but the health of this planet as well.

Reasons Why You Should Go Organic

Avoid Chemicals:

It’s no secret that organic agriculture is untouched by synthetic fertilizers and harmful pesticides. Instead, farmers that endorse this type of farming get to choose from a list put by The National Organic Standards Board of approved natural substances that substitute the chemicals involved in non-organic farming.

It was reported that the FDA only tests 1% of foods for pesticide residue. It doesn’t stop there, as the chemicals applied to your food have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed as safe.

Benefit from more nutrients:

Food without toxins is surely a better match for your health. According to studies, an organic diet is much healthier seeing that you’ll be minimizing your exposure to chemicals. You will also be minimizing the risk of undergoing serious health issues, as opposed to a non-organic lifestyle.

This is specifically beneficial to you as you get older. Leading a healthy life means less aches and pains. If you are, know people who are elderly in your family, be sure to inform them about the advantages of organic food. There are even services that deliver health and organic meals right to their homes. If you want to know more about these kinds of options, click here to get a comprehensive insight into the services. Just because you get older, doesn’t mean the quality of life and food should be compromised.

These foods contain more enzymes, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.

No GMO’s:

It is prohibited to add any genetically modified ingredients in organic food as decreed by the USDA. This is virtually the only way to guarantee that your food is spared from GMO’s. Some studies link genetically modified foods to altered metabolism, inflammation, kidney and liver malfunction and even reduced fertility.

Tastes better:

Organic food does truly taste at least ten times better. It is said that the more intense flavoring could be the result of higher antioxidants, supported by the good nourishment and balance of the soil. Which is known to produce healthy, strong plants.

Your meal, should you convert, would instantaneously go from an adequate one to one that is superior, which is a truth aided by the reviews of organic eaters.

Persevere the ecosystem:

Our ecosystem is ruined enough as it is. Organic farming obstructs the rushed spreading of toxins, which does protect our farmlands, thus preserving our ecosystem. This action enhances the quality of soil, making it safer for the environment. Unlike conventional farming, organic agriculture does not strip wildlife from their natural habitat. Instead, they remain, assisting the farmers with pest control. Making organic farming significantly less damaging to the ecosystem.

Now it really is a no brainer. If the chemicals didn’t put you off, if preserving your ecosystem wasn’t alluring enough, and if the fact that it, both, tastes better and is more nutritious didn’t tempt you sufficiently, then at least say no to GMO’s. If not for the sake of your kidney, then at least for that of your fertility. Going organic fixes all that. So I ask that you consider bettering your health by making this one simple transition, and you can be sure to feel better in no time.

essential-kitchen-equipment-needed-opening-restaurant

Essential Kitchen Equipment Needed in Opening a Restaurant

Opening a new restaurant is every budding entrepreneur’s dream. Despite the low success rate for restaurants, it remains one of the biggest business ventures undertaken by aspiring chefs.

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Besides all the headaches that come with opening a new restaurant – licensing, raising money, marketing, seating, décor, etc. – Designing and equipping the kitchen is an absolute must. It’s a huge investment, and a commercial kitchen is very, very different from the one you’d have at home.

kitchen equipment

Industrial-grade equipment is necessary to withstand consistent use, and key decisions are made depending on the layout of the kitchen and how much space you have. Here are some of the most essential items required in opening a new restaurant.

Cold storage

Proper refrigeration is incredibly important to keep all the ingredients and pre-prepared foods fresh. Freezers especially are crucial in helping you manage your inventory of frozen steaks, veggies, and so on. An industrial-strength fridge is necessary when equipping your kitchen, primarily because it can also help you do things like cool a large pot of sauce quickly and have it ready for your customers to eat in no time.

Whether you decide to get a walk-in unit or reach-in one ultimately depends on how much space you have, but in any case, consulting a specialist would help make the decision-making process at this vital point much smoother.

Chopping and grinding

Food processors and grinders of different kinds are necessary tools in running an efficient kitchen. You will need processors that can hold batches of chopped food, or continuous feed processors that allow you to constantly add food to the processing unit while it operates, which minimizes prep time for large quantities. Invest in different attachments will also help make your life easier.

Chopping and grinding

In addition, tools to help you produce, freshly ground spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and star anise, are essential, as is an excellent coffee grinder to help keep your customers happy. And few things can placate them more than a cup of joe produced from freshly ground, fine-roasted coffee beans.

Food prep and cutting boards

Another crucial element in an impeccably maintained restaurant kitchen is the prep counters. The preparation surfaces should be made of stainless steel since that doesn’t absorb bacteria from meat and chicken and can withstand harsh cleaning products. Likewise, for the cutting surfaces, either plastic or wooden cutting boards would do.

However, bear in mind that plastic is perhaps easier to sanitize but can develop deep grooves that can hide the bacteria. The opposite can be said of wooden boards, which are generally tougher to clean, but don’t develop these grooves in which poisonous bacteria can so easily hide – ultimately, it’s your choice.

Finally, in order to run a successful restaurant, you must absolutely arm yourself with the best tools available on the market. That being said, there are many pieces of equipment in which you can invest that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Looking into different guides online and speaking with consultants can help you find what you need efficiently and without any hassles.

Source: Martini House

What You Ought To Know About Filing A Compensation Suit

What You Ought To Know About Filing A Compensation Suit

Fortunately, we live in a society that believes in taking disputes to court and have a fair and just judicial system. Others throughout the world aren’t as lucky and often times justice boils down to who has more money or influence in the community.

However, litigation can be a tricky business. Knowing when and when not to file a compensation suit is critical. Sometimes, taking an issue to court can backfire on the plaintiff, causing them not only to lose financially but tarnish their reputation as well.

Other than those considerations, there are a number of other things to ponder before and during a compensation lawsuit.

For example, the responsible person or entity in a personal injury case might be more than willing to settle the issue out of court while using attorneys as mediators.

Another method of settling a dispute is arbitration, which is quite similar to mediation with the primary difference being that a third-party known as an arbiter makes a legally binding decision in the case.

Things to Consider Before Moving Forward With Litigation

Before we cover some of the things to consider prior to filing a compensation suit, please take note that this article shouldn’t be substituted as legal advice. If you have a valid legal concern, it’s best to contact an attorney right away.

Jeffrey Preszler of Preszler Law Firm (https://www.preszlerlaw.com/) assures that when a person is injured by another’s wrongdoing, Ontario law permits the injured person to sue for compensation. With that said, the below considerations are merely for educational purposes and intended to help the reader know their rights.

Things to Consider Before Moving Forward With Litigation

What are your chances of winning?

When it comes to considering your chances of winning a litigation case, you must take an objective look at the amount of and quality of evidence you can provide the court. This is called “the burden of proof.”

According to the Legal Information Institute, “describes the standard that a party seeking to prove a fact in court must satisfy to have that fact legally established. There are different standards in different circumstances.” The article continues to explain that in criminal cases the burden of proof must be “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

On the other hand, when it comes to the burden of proof for a civil case, a preponderance of the evidence. Again, the Legal Information Institute states this evidentiary standard requires the burden should “convince the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.”

Nevertheless, it’s highly advisable to consult an attorney about any preponderance of evidence you feel you have because what you may think of as good evidence might not be viewed as such in a court of law.

What are the costs versus benefits of pursuing your compensation suit?

Though you would know better than anyone else what some of the costs of pursuing a compensation suit, such as personal reputation, the strain placed on personal and professional relationships, among other non-monetary costs, there could be unforeseen financial casts as well.

Whether you’re an employee who was injured on the job, a motorist who was injured by another driver, or a business owner who was wronged by a business partner there a certain amount of risk that comes along with filing a suit against someone.

For example, the defending party has the right to file a counterclaim against you and, depending on the circumstances, may win a judgment against you if you fail to present the court that your evidence is greater than 50 percent true.

Counterclaims can be of any amount depending on the claims brought against you in the defendant’s countersuit. For a good example of a counterclaim, feel free to visit legaldictionary.net.

What is your willingness to involve certain people as witnesses?

This is a critical thing to keep in mind while you’re working with an attorney to figure out whether or not filing a compensation suit is worth it versus attempting to resolve matters outside of the courtroom.

The primary reason being, when witnesses are brought before the judge for examination, they, too, are subject to cross-examination. Depending on how things turn out, your witness could either work for you or against you.

Then there is the issue of “dragging” others into a mess they would rather not be in the middle of. If the court summons them to testify on your behalf after they have expressed to you that they don’t want to, your relationship may suffer as a result.

For this reason, it’s crucial to distinguish beyond a shadow of a doubt who is a valuable witness and who isn’t necessarily needed. One example could be using someone as a character witness.

According to criminal.findlaw.com, “Character is a general quality usually attributed to a person. When we say someone has “good character,” we generally mean they’re a trustworthy and decent person; but this is also somewhat vague and subjective.”

The article further points out that “the problem with using character evidence at trial is that it can distort the facts and prejudice the jury despite the material evidence.” This can be exemplified by the fact that, no matter how close you may think you are with the witness, you can’t control what they say once they’re on the witness stand.

As one can see, there are a number of things to consider before moving forward with a compensation suit. Though this article presents a few good points to think about, it is far from complete.

Many different facets of litigation exist, so contact a litigation attorney to assist you today.

What to Do if You Are Going to Expand Your Restaurant

The only thing that keeps any business owner awake at night is how to make their business thrive. The constant need for improvement is what drives us all to be successful and respectful in our different fields. You have built your reputation, you have a good list of customers that are always coming back, you made sure that your staff is happy working for you, and everything is going well. The only step left now is to take your restaurant to the next level and it’s time to expand.

If you are thinking about opening your next branch, there are a few steps you need to consider.

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1. Set Your Budget

As you know, starting your business and keeping it going require big bucks. You need to calculate your profit, the amount of money you are willing to spend, and the amount of money required to open the new branch. If you find the amount of money you saved will not be enough to expand, you can always get some help with online loans at Bonsai Finance that require no credit checks whatsoever. If you are considering opening your next branch at a different location, you need to consider the fluctuating rates when it comes to renting.

2.  Equipment

If the equipment you got the first time is working for you, you might want to consider copying everything about your current restaurant. Considering the state of the economy, you might be able to get everything but it will be at different prices. It’s always recommended to copy your exact design to not confuse people, but when it comes to the equipment, you have room to grow and get better equipment. Learn from your past experience and apply.

3. Trusted Staff

It’s impossible to move your trusted staff and managers to your new location. So the process of getting new people that you trust with the food, management, and customer service might be hectic. However, when you find the right people it will be rewarding. Doing everything yourself would be ideal if it was only possible, but considering that you will need some time off and you will need to be present at your first location, you need to find people that you can depend on and trust.

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4. Timing Matters

Opening in the busy season can seem impossible, but a good business plan can’t stand having slow periods at both locations. You will need to find the right time to open the new location to make sure that your profits will be safe. Consider your commitments and obligations while opening the new branch to not stretch yourself too thin financially.

A good business plan is always the savior when it comes to business affairs. Before moving ahead and expanding, you need to consider all the factors that might come your way and plan them out. The pressure of finding the perfect location, staff, and equipment might feel too much. However, planning one thing at a time will save you from feeling overwhelmed. Your business plan must have a good marketing plan in it to make sure you are advertising your business well. You need to plan your steps carefully and try not to stress yourself out and you will be good to go.

Source: Martini House

How to Open a Restaurant – The Ultimate Guide

A chef with a deep passion for cooking quits the job in order to follow his dreams, reclaim creative promise and open his very own dream restaurant. He knows how to open a restaurant, he only needs to act on the idea.

He stumbles. He falls. He needs to sort tons of personal and professional issues along the way. But in the end, his dreams come true and he lives happily ever after.

The image that probably crossed your mind right now is Jon Favreau’s cult movie Chef from 2014, but, as cinematic as it may sound, the short fable we just told is no longer reserved only for the silver screen.

You see, people are becoming increasingly mindful of what they eat. They have learned to appreciate all the nuances culinary masters use to make their meals special. They have outgrown the faceless food chains and now look for establishments that offer a more customized and intimate experience.

In short, people are becoming educated gourmands on a wide scale. Recent research says that as much as 58% of Americans eat at a restaurant at least once a week.

The time for all the young culinary entrepreneurs to step on the stage and do what they always dreamt of doing couldn’t be better. But, how to avoid all the tribulations Favreau’s chef Casper had to endure to find his happy ending?

Here’s the guide that should help you to cover the business side of the story and focus on what you enjoy the most – cooking.

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Discovering the restaurant’s brand and concept

In this day and age, restaurants’ identity serves nearly as much as a draw as the food they put on the table. Their identity, in turn, can be observed in two major ways:

  • Concept – Essentially, the restaurant’s concept describes its set of services. You can look at it as a sort of niche. Some of the most frequent restaurant concepts include the likes of 1950s-style diners, seafood restaurants, Italian restaurants, etc.

Unlike niche, though, the term concept also covers the more abstract ideas as ambiance, casualness and serving style.

Feel free to take a glance at how we like to describe our restaurant concept.

  • Brand – Brand is the idea behind the concept. The force that gives birth to the concept and puts it into motion. A promise to your customers of sorts.

Since modern restaurant culture is so experience and concept-driven, the way you handle these two can easily make or break your future business, so tread very carefully.

Discovering the restaurant’s concept

Out of the two, discovering the restaurant’s concept is way harder. It’s something that just plays along with your passion, or simply makes the most financial sense in the environment you are starting the business.

However, there are some golden rules you should apply during your pursuit:

  • Study the competition – Are there already too many Mexican restaurants around, what worked in the past, and what you should definitely avoid?
  • Be original – It’s much better to find your own niche than try to fit the existing one. Especially if it’s already cramped.
  • Avoid the fads – Do you remember truffle oil, avocado toasts, and acai bowls? No, we don’t remember them either.

Discovering the restaurant’s brand

Fortunately, the restaurant’s branding is a much more exact science and there are a lot of tried and true practices we can borrow from other industries:

  • Find your target audience – And try to go beyond the broad strokes like Millennials or families. The more specific you are the better.
  • Establish a mission statement – In the world of business, the mission statement is the very reason for existence. So try to describe your restaurant’s worldly mission in one simple sentence.
  • Outline the key qualities of your brand – Or in other words, describe the benefits your restaurant will offer over its competition.
  • Create the brand message – Try using what people like to call “the elevator pitch.”  A quick set of information that should give the answer to questions like: “Who you are”, “What do you offer”, and “Why would anyone care.”
  • Create logo – A successful logo should be simple, memorable and express the restaurant’s concept in a stylized manner.
  • Find your brand’s unique voice – Will your restaurant be classy, casual, hip or something yet to be seen?

Create the killer menu

Now that you’ve sorted through the restaurant’s identity crisis and have a general idea of why, how and what you are going to serve, it’s time to delve deeper into minutiae and create a concrete menu you are eventually put in front of the customers.

It is also a perfect moment to draw attention to the fact that you should not look at the menu as the list of wishful thinking, but more as an opportunity to develop the restaurant’s concept and test the viability of your small enterprise.

You see, if the concept and brand are the restaurant’s heart and soul, the menu has to be its backbone. Everything revolves around it. If the menu is not carefully thought-out, researched and grounded in the real-life economy, not even the best budgeting in the world will help your business get off the ground.

So, what can you do to find a way out of this maze?

  • Study the competition – Seriously, it’s much better to learn on others’ mistakes than to make your own. Therefore, pay a friendly visit to the restaurants that share the similar concept as your future enterprise, inspect the menus, and try to get a general idea of the price and the variety of the offered meals.

As for now, you can take a look at how we managed our lunch menu.

  • Research the local market – You need to know how much your future customers are earning, how much they are willing to spend, and how frequently they visit the local restaurants.
  • Research your audience – If you are going to lean too heavily on some particular population, you need to know by heart the eating habits of that population. For instance, you want to open a restaurant for vegans, you need to know are you allowed to color the food.
  • Make first contacts with suppliers – Although it’s still too early to try to make concrete deals, you can learn tons of interesting things by dialing the local suppliers. Pay special attention to eventual discounts for buying in bulk.

When you finally gather enough info, it is time to write the first draft and engineer the menu to produce a profit. First, take a look at the ingredient costs and see if the portion sizing you have originally intended passes the basic reality check. Note the entries that should be further developed.

Second, try to divide all the items into the three groups:

  • High margin
  • Low margin
  • Low sales

Your mission will be to guide the guests’ attention to high margin products. Whether you are going to use clever formatting in the final draft of the menu, rely on the specialty appeal of certain meals (vegan, low-fat, low-calorie, etc.) or carefully place a couple of intentional  “decoy” menu items near the high margin meals is up to you.

Now, cross-reference the meals that need further development with low margin and low sales items. You will get clear enough of a picture, which items should be lost altogether, which can be repurposed into decoys, and which one could benefit from more rational sizing.

Also, it is a good idea to use the restaurant’s brand and concept to humanize certain meals that show potential, but still have a problem standing on their own. Emotional marketing is a scientifically proven way to sway the customers. You should not shy away from using this powerful tool to your advantage.

Choose the restaurant location

Finding the right restaurant location is very tricky because, if you don’t possess the required funds to lease the intended property, your dream restaurant will stay a couple of exhausting rounds with investors away from coming to fruition.

Still, even as a way to narrow down the list of options or improve your pitch to investors, doing your homework regarding the local economy and the available objects, is well worth the effort.

Once again, thorough research will be your best allay, so let’s take a look at some of the ground you should cover:

  • Population base – The object you want to lease as a restaurant needs to be located in the area populated by enough targeted customers to support your business. Now, doing a full-blown site-study can cost you up to $25.000. If you need a more frugal solution, you can use pie charts and ask the local chamber of commerce for help.
  • Visibility and foot traffic – Essentially, you want your restaurant to be seen by as many people as possible.  Good exposure will allow you to capitalize on the walk-in business and cut the necessary marketing costs.
  • Accessibility – Unfortunately, good exposure doesn’t always translate to good accessibility. Something that is easy to find is not always easy to go to. Think of this concept in terms of pedestrian zones, public transport, parts of the town that are virtually cut off during rush hours, etc.
  • Parking space – Although it doesn’t look like the top priority, nearby parking space is something you should definitely take into account. Accessible parking space expands your restaurant’s guest list from locals to virtually anyone who feels intrigued by your menu.
  • Labor and supply costs – Not paying enough attention to the price of the minimum wage and monopoly some local suppliers hold over their products can make a deep cut into your business’s budget and cause a lot of problems the long term.
  • Competition – Surprisingly enough, in the catering business, a little bit of competition is something you shouldn’t run away from. On the contrary. A couple of popular restaurants in the vicinity of your object indicate that the local population has a developed gourmand culture and that you can count on a curiosity-driven walk-in revenue.

What you should pay attention to is that the local restaurants don’t tap too deeply into your concept, or you will wash out your business’s uniqueness you worked so hard to discover.

Write a rock-solid business plan

A business plan is the intended practice of your business as described in a couple of smart bullet points. Everything you want to and have to do to make the profit needs to be found here.

But, what makes business plans so important? Well, the reasons are multiple.

A business plan is a good roadmap to help you self-correct in the times of doubt. A great way to grasp the magnitude of your project and break it into manageable chunks. The only way to appear credible and successfully sell your idea to potential investors.

Now, let’s take a look at how to write that fabled rock-solid plan able to serve all these different purposes.

  • Branded cover – A nice way to show the investors that you pay attention to details and are willing to go above and beyond to make your business more appealing.
  • Concept – Concept should quickly summarize the ideas you’ve developed in the step one of this guide. Now is the time to play up the word game and put your ideas to the paper in a simple, appealing and concise manner. No one will hold against you if you play up the emotional side a bit. You will only show that you are a capable marketer.
  • Sample menu – All the hard work that you’ve put in step two is now coming to fruition. Be sure to corroborate the entries with prices and detailed analysis you’ve used to develop the entries.  These details make a business pitch fail-proof.
  • Service and design – This is the way your restaurant will look and operate. Aside from being a solid foundation for your future employees to build upon, this section of the business plan is also an excellent opportunity to underline what makes your restaurant so special and show how the ideas you’ve developed as abstract concepts work in practice.
  • Location – Use the information you’ve gathered during the location hunt to present the compelling case for the proposed object.
  • Business structure – This section should describe your diner’s proposed business structure managerial structure, and future employee positions. You should also describe the requirements you will use to fill the mentioned positions.
  • Market analysis – Market analyses can be roughly divided into three sub-sections:
  1. Industry analysis – Who is the audience your restaurants appeals to, backed up by the business stats.
  2. Competition analysis – A section where you will underline the edge your concept has over the competition. Once again, backed up by cold facts and numbers.
  3. Marketing analysis – The investors will want to know how will you use all the favorable circumstances you’ve presented in the previous two sections to market your restaurant to future guests. This, on itself, is a very complicated matter so we will delve deeper into it further below.
  • Consultants, associates, and suppliers – A list of credible individuals and companies that will show your restaurant is in good hands. Feel free to expand the list with attorneys, architects, and other less obvious associate positions.
  • Financial analysis – An educated projection of your restaurant’s expected revenue. This is the area where you should strongly consider hiring professional help.

If all this looks complicated it’s because it is. A business plan is a project that requires a lot of time and effort. Be sure to write it with as much care as possible.

Also, if you want to you can divide some of the larger sections into new, smaller sections. Just try not to omit any important information along the way.

Find the investors and partners

And now that you finally have the master plan in front of you, it is time to venture out, put the wheels into motion and start looking for the investors that will finance your dream project.

If you are able to muster enough funds, you can skip this step altogether but it’s still worth reading about some business nuances that will certainly come in handy sooner than later.

So, by having a business plan in place you have covered half of the pitch. Let’s see what we can do about the second half.

The art of the pitch

  • Tell a compelling story – A good pitch should be backed up by, but not completely focused on the cold facts and figures. Instead, you should do your best to engage the audience and explain them what makes your journey so compelling.
  • Be prepared – Of course, stats, graphs and pie charts are still a very important part of every solid presentation. Know them as your back pocket. Also, come prepared for a variety of market-related questions.
  • Identify the problem and offer a solution – Essentially, your restaurant needs to justify its existence by offering a solution to an existing market problem. Be creative with this one.
  • Demonstrate you are a great chef – This is the opportunity to impress the audience with lesser known culinary secrets like which side dishes can be served with Stroganoff, how the soup can be freezed in small plastic bag, etc. Anything that demonstrates you know your trade.
  • Tap into trends – While pursuing the short-lived contemporary trends is something you should definitely avoid while developing an enduring diner, showing off in front of the investors with a couple of carefully chosen buzzwords can do you no harm.

The perks of having a partner

Looking for a partner has its share of pros and cons. On the one hand, sharing the executive position with another individual certainly undercuts the autonomy all small entrepreneurs desperately crave for.

On the other hand, having someone to share the burden with definitely offers some perks.  Business-wise, finding a partner with established connections and, preferably, some experience in the restaurant business is something you should take into consideration.

As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t even rule out investing money into struggling restaurants with a solid business model and a desperate need of rebranding and input of fresh ideas.

It may prove to be much easier to pull off than building the entire infrastructure from the ground up.

Set up the premise

Ok, you’ve finally got the “golden ticket.” The next logical step is to start realizing all the fascinating ideas you’ve got in the planning stage by setting up the restaurant location. And by setting up location, we mean two things: designing the space and buying the necessary equipment.

So let’s tackle these two important issues in the same order.

Designing the restaurant

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how your restaurant should look, feel and flow. However, it is only when you finally lease the premise you see that you will need to make some adjustments.

The main problem you are probably going to face is the lack of space. Occupied chairs, waiters, traversing guests and excessive decoration can prove to be poisonous for overall ambiance. Cramped kitchen has a similar effect on productivity.

Here are a couple of tips that should help you solve this issue in an efficient and visually pleasing manner:

  • Keep the tables at least 24-30 inches apart – It is more important to keep your restaurant efficient than to try to maximize the profit with too many seats.
  • Create an efficient layout – Typically, a restaurant allots 45-65% of its space to dining space, 35% to the kitchen area, and the remaining area to storage space. Also, the restaurant should allow systematic flow from the main doors all the way back to the kitchen.
  • Keep in mind the guests’ habits – For instance, 45-50% of sit-down customers visit restaurants in pairs, 30% of them dine alone or in a group of three, and only 20% prefer to dine in groups of four people and more.
  • Maximize the space with booths – They do wonders for smaller dining areas.
  • Prioritize lighting over furniture – Customers don’t visit restaurants to admire the furniture. On the other hand, they do need good lighting in order to have a pleasant meal.
  • Organize the kitchen into stations – Every employee needs to have a space to do its job without obtrusion. Centerpiece kitchen isle is a great way to glue all these different areas together and create an efficient workflow.

Buying the equipment

As for the equipment, appliances, tools, and furniture your dream restaurant needs to operate, there is really not that much to be said. You should try to find the best quality for the most affordable price. Equipment with Energy Star logo may cost a bit more, but it allows huge savings further down the road.

However, it is a good idea to note these two things:

  • Try finding used equipment – As long as the owner can provide a proof that some piece of equipment abides by prescribed safety standards (more on that in the next section) and give you a satisfactory warranty, you shouldn’t shy away from buying used units.
  • Think out of the box – Your small restaurant can, at some point, be used for business conferences, birthdays, weddings and other purposes that are not considered a part of the regular modus operandi. Make sure you are equipped for all these unexpected occasions. Who knows, maybe your restaurant earns some unexpected branding points along the way.

Apply for permits and licenses

This has to be the most boring and tiresome chore you need to move off the table, but you do need to move it off the table sooner or later.

The main problem is that the legislation regarding the restaurant services can drastically vary from country to country, or even from state to state. That is why we will try to be as region agnostic as possible and give you some general guidelines you can use to further inquire with local authorities.

  • Business license – The most important piece of paper you can’t run your business without. Business licenses are usually issued by the city or local municipalities so these are the doors you need to knock on first.
  • Health permits – They will be issued only after your restaurant passes a health inspection. Before you apply for one, be sure to familiarize yourself with local health regulations. The health permits shouldn’t be acquired by your restaurant alone, but all of your future employees as well.
  • Safety permits – Pretty much the same thing as the health permits. Your restaurant needs to be laid out to allow easy evacuation and all the equipment you are going to use must abide by prescribed regulations to create the environment where your employees can work and your guests can dine without being exposed to danger.
  • Music copyright license – In some countries, copyright regulations tend to be pretty strict. It just may happen that if you want to play the recorded music, or even let the band cover some of the current hits, you may need to obtain the license from appropriate music licensing agency.

Make sure you get the top quality supplies

Finding reliable food distributors is the key to restaurants’ success. You will, after all, be judged primarily on the merits of the food you put on the table. So, here’s how to make sure you get only the best product available.

  • Contact reliable food service vendors – What works for other restaurants should work for you as well. Vendors who operate on a large scale and have a developed transport network are usually able to offer lower prices than small suppliers.
  • Establish cooperation with local suppliers – Although they are often more expensive than big vendors, local suppliers do offer the best quality products. And since customers are growing increasingly environmentally aware, they will be willing to pay a couple of dollars more to ensure they’ll get locally grown, organic food.

Also, there is always an option to buy the products in cheaper bulks, so you shouldn’t worry about this slight price gap.

The thing you should always keep in mind when working with local suppliers is that you and they are operating within the same local economy. By supporting them, you are, in fact, supporting your potential customers.

Also, the agreements with small local businesses don’t necessarily need to be conducted in financial terms. You can also offer compensation through services and an option of cross-promotional marketing.

  • Shop in supermarket chains – Of course, it’s hard to deny that sometimes huge, nationwide supermarket chains simply put the best offer on the market, so doing a bit of footwork to see which products are discounted should not be out of the question.

Pay special attention to long-lasting and non-perishable products like spices, canned food, pasta, and so on.

Hire the right staff

Well-Trained, professional labor is essential to the success of any business, and your restaurant is no exception.

Your future employees will represent the face of the company, they will gather valuable feedback from the guests and it will be their performance that will drive your business to success. One day, when you expand the business, these workers will also take care of the training of the new employees.

Suffice to say, you need to nail this one down. Hard. So, let‘s first take a look at the positions you will need to fill:

  • Manager – Your very own right-hand man, a good manager should have an abundance of experience (preferably in the same business niche), excellent leadership skills, and share the same level of enthusiasm and brand commitment as you.
  • Chefs and cooks – Since their sole duty is to deliver the promise your brand made to the customers, chefs and cooks are probably the most important positions in the restaurant. And regardless of the size of your establishment, you will need at least three top-notch talents to fill these positions.
  • Servers – The servers are conducting the most interaction with the customers, so they need to possess excellent communication skills, be polite and work well under pressure. Hiring experienced staff to fill these positions is highly advised.
  • Additional positions – Depending on the concept of your restaurant, you may also need to hire bartenders, hosts, food runners, and dishwashers.

And now, let’s breeze through the tips that should help you select the best talents to fill these important positions:

  • Create a detailed job description – You need to make sure that all of the applicants have a great understanding of their future responsibilities.
  • Develop a clear profile of the ideal candidate – It will keep you on course during long screening sessions.
  • Prepare the screening plan – The job interviews should have a free flow and go to unexpected places, but it is highly advised to have a written plan to keep the screening on point. The interview questions should highlight key skills, brand values and achievements you, as a person with experience within the branch, can relate to.
  • Scout internet and local schools for hot talents – Although the backbone of your restaurant should be consistent of people with a lot of experience, you can allow yourself pursuing a couple of hot young talents you will later groom within the company.
  • Look for the oddities in the employment history – Workers who frequently change the employers, endure unusually long unemployment gaps, or show affinities to other industries should not be at the top of your list.

Know how to market the restaurant

The question of marketing in the context of catering business is incredibly complicated and it could be easily dealt with in a separate post this size.

However, we will do our best to give you an abridged version of the answer. As a newcomer to the business, you should approach the problem with the “all-guns-blazing” mentality and check out as many of the entries off the list as possible.

Also, take note that some of the methods we will address here are more efficient prior and some after you finally open the restaurant.

  • Create a restaurant website – A good-looking, easy to navigate and mobile-optimized website is an absolute prerequisite for all future online marketing efforts and a place where customers can get a fist “bite” of your restaurant’s brand and concept.
  • Engage in content marketing – Content marketing is a marketing approach focused at offering valuable and consistent content in the effort to attract the audience and convert them to customers.

Fortunately for you, the opportunities for content marketing in this particular niche are virtually endless and range from blogs, recipes, and eBooks to podcasts, and YouTube videos. Feel free to use this opportunity to unleash your creative spirit and remind yourself why you are in the restaurant business in the first place.

  • Create a strong social media presence – Various social networks are a place where you can share your content, interact with your audience in a very personal manner, gather valuable feedback and finally organize various giveaways and calls to action that can create a lot of chatter.
  • Ignite the fire with guerrilla marketing – Essentially, guerilla marketing is an umbrella term for any kind of frugal marketing stunts performed on the street whose goal is to surprise, shock and awe the audience. Think Rock Radio’s “Free Air Guitar” racks we’ve seen a couple of years ago.

What makes guerilla actions so efficient is that they are inherently sympathetic and if they are pulled off right, they generate an infectious word of mouth virtually out of nothing. Who can resist a chef preparing food and serving free meals in a city park?

  • Distribute promotional material and products – No one can deny the sheer power of promotional material. If designed well, it can quickly translate the idea behind your restaurant’s concept in a visual manner, offer all the relevant info future guests need to know and highlight some of the best meals you have on the menu.

Another way to quickly grab the audience’s attention is to give away free branded products like USB sticks and discount coupons. Although they are not the cheapest marketing option you can find, traditionally, they feature a pretty good ROI

  • Create a referral program – An absolute must for all developing businesses that really so heavily on recommendations and word of mouth as restaurants do. The secret of successful referral programs lies in clear message, simple rules, precise goal, good analytics and a healthy dose of gamification.
  • Don’t ignore the paid ads – The reason why paid ads, whether they are presented in your favorite browser or published in local newspapers, have such an enduring presence in the marketing landscape is because they are simple and incredibly efficient.
  • Make your restaurant visible online – People need to be able to quickly locate your diner on Google Places, TripAdvisor, Yelp and other popular online resources.

Prepare for the opening party

Ah, we’re so close to the end. All that remains is to make the preparation for the day you will finally let the customers get the taste of your beautiful new joint. Just to keep you intrigued till the very end we will present you with two ways you can pull this finals stretch of the race off.

Grande Ouverture

Or in other words – a traditional “big fat” opening party.

In order to make it work, you need to make sure the event is well advertised and even better publicized once the curtains fall. That is why you should spend the last couple of weeks before the opening making a strong presence in the local media and ensuring the presence of influential reviewers and local celebrities.

As for the very event, the entertainment must be in tune with your restaurant’s intended brand image and subdued enough to let the guests engage in pleasant conversations and exchange impressions with each other.

The party should be well-documented and you shouldn’t wait for too long to make a press release and publish the recorded material on the social media. You need to keep the hype train going.

Finally, don’t let the guests leave the party without some engaging promo material that will reinforce the impression you’ve made with the party and make them think of you in weeks to come.

A soft opening

When Hollywood executives are not sure will their movie make a huge box office splash, they usually release the flick in a limited number of theaters and wait to see how the audience will respond. If the feedback is positive and the audience engages in online chatter the movie is released nationwide.

The same thing can be pulled off with your new diner and it’s called “a soft opening”. So, instead of putting all eggs in one basket, you will create a series of smaller and more intimate events for the targeted audience (local celebrities, bloggers, influencers, etc.), and let them create the hype instead.

This opening method has its share of pros and cons. On the more positive side, you will get the chance to collect the essential feedback before going all public, your staff will get an excellent opportunity to iron out all the routines and logistics of the premise, and the anticipation you will build will be incredible.

On the other hand, once the ball starts rolling you will need to organize some big event, or the hype will quickly die off. The period in between can be easily used by the completion to counter marketing and undermine your efforts before you even get the fighting chance.

Instead of the conclusion

We are finally at the end, and what a journey it was. Exhausting? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely!

But you already know that. The passion for cooking and the untamed urge to explore different cuisines lead you here in the first place. So, instead of preaching you how your dreams have finally become real we will give you a few tips that should help them remain real in decades to come.

Happy employees are productive employees. Be honest with them, treat them as equals and throw them a party or two to from time to time.

The opportunities for establishing additional sources of income are endless. If you ever dreamt of hosting a monetized YouTube show or pushing the line of branded aprons, just do it.

Locals will go out of the way to protect one of their own. Show them some good will with charity work or by sponsoring the local sports team.

Keep up with the changing times. The strategy that built your small empire may drive you out of business just a couple of months down the road.

Remain tireless and always invest the same level of effort as if you are just starting the restaurant.

And never forget the sheer joy of being a chief.

Source: martinihouse

How To Choose The Safe For Your Restaurant

How To Choose The Good Safe For Your Restaurant

Restaurants are one kind of establishment that tend to see an incredible amount of cash flow on a day to day basis. With the amount of money coming into a restaurant, there is a lot of liquid cash lying around that needs to be well taken care of. Because of this, investing in good security measures to ensure the protection of your establishment and the money you make is absolutely essential. A lot of restaurant owners tend to make the mistake of not investing in a good safe, and only start to think about one after an incident has taken place.

A good safe offers a lot more than just a good safety HUB to keep the money that your restaurant makes. It gives you a layer of protection that is rather hard to penetrate and can help you safeguard the money that you have on you at your restaurant. Nowadays, restaurants have got a lot more than just a lock and metal casing to protect your home. Restaurants owners are beginning to switch to smarter safe technology that can give you an additional layer that can always be beneficial in some way or another.

If you are on the market for safe for your restaurant, there are a few factors that you should be on the lookout for. These can determin the kind of safe that you go in for, and the protection that you can receive as a result of this. The following are the four main factors that one should consider if you are having a harder time narrowing down on one particular product.

1. Ease Of Use

One of the first things that one should consider when going in for a safe is how easy it really is to use. A lot of people are confused about this factor, citing that a safe should not necessarily be easy to use because of the potential risk that it holds. However, this misconception leads people to buy safes that are incredibly complicated to use, and sometimes, which don’t serve their purpose well.

If you want a good functioning safe, go in for one that is safe and easy to use, but which also has a good layer of protection to keep your money in the right place. Smart safes, in spite of all the newer technologies, tend to have more features which don’t necessarily make the safes more complicated, which is something that you can go in for.

Most smart safes that are currently available on the market have a certain sound that is made when any notes are inputted into the safe. Some safes also tend to have certain commands that can easily print out receipts and other materials that one would need to offer to their customers.

While more features in a safe mean better facilities that you can use, going in for something that is overcomplicated for the person who is going to be using them is never good. This can sometimes cause more problems for the restaurant owners which can all easily be avoided.

2. User Authentications

User Authentications

To ensure that only authorized personelle get access to the money that is inside the safe, these devices are always equipped with a certain amount of user authentications that make sure that only people who need to use the money are able to get into it. The level of user authentications that one gets access to depends on the kind of safe that you choose.

Some user authentication options tend to offer a passcode that the user needs to input in order to open the safe and put the money inside it. Smart safes tend to have a lot more authentications options that can help people have an additional layer of security. The pin that one uses in a safe should be only given to those who you have the utmost trust in, considering that the entire funds of the restaurant would be kept in this.

The restaurant safe’s pin should also be kept in an incredibly safe place to prevent anyone from getting access to it. Additionally, you also need to change the pin on a regular basis to prevent it from getting misused by anyone who accidentally finds it.

3. Serviceability

Serviceability

When it comes to running a restaurant, things that can streamline the entire process are incredibly beneficial, especially for those who want to keep their business running as smooth as possible. Even though safes are designed to be incredibly proficient, there are always going to be times when you run into a few problems.

In these instances, being able to take care of the situation at the earliest is always the way to go, and having a safe that can be easily serviced is always a big help in this. Before you go in for a safe, make sure that the brand that you are planning to go in for has service centers somewhere near you so that you can easily take it over or call someone over to fix the issue that is presenting in the safe.

4. Connectivity

The connectivity is something that applies to safe’s that use digital technology to run and work well. A lot of safes nowadays tend to have certain settings and options that let the user access it from their phones and other digital devices. If you are looking to get a safe that will function well in this manner, you are going to want one with good connectivity. In addition, make sure that your restaurant too is equipped with good connectivity, or install one that is stable and secure to make sure that your device runs as intended.

Conclusion

No matter what kind of safe you choose to go in for, or which one you consider to be the best safe for a restaurant, the features that it offers are incredibly important, and should always be accounted for when trying to select one that is right for you. By paying attention to these features, you can surely get the best safe for a restaurant.

Check out the article:”Where Should You Put Your Safe? Find Out Your Best Spot” writen by Safetyhub

Source: martinihouse.com

Catering

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