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Category: Restaurants

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Consistency: The Breakfast of Champions

If your guests remember having a hot breakfast at one of your hotels, they will expect the same if they stay at another in a different location. Guests want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when they stay at a specific hotel brand they will receive the same level of service and quality.

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Source1 Purchasing Helps Operators get the Best Value for their Money

Centralized purchasing offers more opportunities for businesses than decentralized. “There were a lot of independent operators who were buying different levels of quality” from a wide range of suppliers, he recalled. His goal was to establish standards and work with brands already familiar to consumers rather than those geared exclusively for business use.

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5 Questions with Scott Hoffmire

The commodity market for staples can always impact product costs and hotel operations. At Source1 we suggest alternatives and our volume leverage can maximize availability for our customers.

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Why to have a Chef on your Back Dock- Even Occasionally!

By rejecting products that don’t meet these (among many) standards, a chef sends a message to the supplier that can result in higher quality ingredients being delivered to their location.

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Bring the Benefits of Shelf Stability to your Kitchen

In the fast-paced, grab-and-go kitchen environment, time is everything. Although some ingredients and recipes are best made from scratch, bringing quality pre-made products into your kitchen can save time and ultimately make for a more efficient atmosphere.

While pre-made ingredients almost always create efficiency in any situation, using shelf-stable products can drive down food preparation time even more. Some foods require refrigeration, or have a certain shelf life time that needs to be carefully monitored—however, shelf stable foods allow you the flexibility to store them in either dry or refrigerated locations without affecting shelf life.

Integrating these types of products, such as shelf stable tortillas, can bring immediate benefits to your kitchen:

Storage flexibility. Shelf-stable means exactly what it sounds like: you can store these types of goods wherever it’s most convenient for you and your kitchen staff.

Less prep. In addition to the flexibility of storage, shelf-stable products are also ready to go right out of the bag, which means there is virtually no prep time—which allows orders to fly out the door even faster. Utilizing the benefits of shelf stability can satisfy customers’ increasing demand for fresher, more authentic food. While guests enjoy these benefits, you and your kitchen staff will benefit from the time and flexibility created by shelf-stable products.

CateringRestaurants

Recipe of the Month! – Sweet Potato Nachos

Ingredients
• 12 ounces McCain® Sweet Potato Fries
• 2 cups grated cheddar cheese or as needed
• ½ cup chopped red onions
• ¾ cup sour cream
• ½ cup chopped tomatoes
• ¼ cup bacon bits
• ¼ cup sliced, pickled jalapeños

Directions

1. Prepare sweet potato fries according to package directions.
2. Arrange potatoes in a serving skillet and top with grated cheddar and cooked onions.
3. Return to oven or place under broiler until cheese is melted.
4. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, Bacon Bits and jalapeños.
5. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe of the Month: Taco Party Wings

This spicy oven baked chicken wings recipe is perfect for parties – very easy to make, and not messy like their glazed counterparts. The Hot Taco Seasoning provides just enough heat to give them some zip without being too fiery. Find our easy hot wings recipe below! Photo credit: Georgia Johnson from Comfort of Cooking.

Ingredients: 

Servings: Makes 16 wings

  • 1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix Hot
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons McCormick Parsley Flakes
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix Seasoning Mix, cornmeal and parsley in large resealable plastic bag. Add wings, several at a time, to bag; shake until evenly coated.
  2. Arrange wings in single layer on 2 foil-lined shallow baking pans. Place pans on separate racks in oven.
  3. Bake 15 minutes. Switch pans between racks (no need to turn wings). Bake 15 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.
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Blog PostsRestaurants

Tips to Create a Stellar Online Presence for New Restaurant Operators

Besides just the hiring and training of new waitstaff and dealing with the stress of bills and permits, opening a new restaurant comes with a large amount of decisions that need to be made. One of which is the creation and maintenance of your business’s website and online presence. Here we have provided you with a list of proactive tips to help you through the process of planning your new restaurant’s new website.

Get control of your domain name. Your domain name is an integral part of your business identity. You need to be sure that it is purchased in your name, and that you are the administrative contact for the domain name. You must also make sure that the username and password are selected by you and are filed away safely. If  in the future you decide to redesign your website or change web hosts you will need access to your domain name, so it would be more convenient to have the domain name registered to you rather than what could become a former employee.

Hire a professional. In an effort to save a few bucks, many new restaurant operators may turn to a friend or acquaintance to help get their website up and running. However, once your website has launched this could leave you in a difficult position.  More often than not once your website launches, you’ll likely be on your own to keep the page running and updated. If this is the case, make sure you have been properly trained, and have plenty of time to manage your website. Consider hiring a professional webpage designer from the start who can respond to support issues in a timely manner, and possibly save you time and money in the long run. If you  do decide to allow an employee to manage the website updates for you, be sure to remain involved as well. Restaurants tend to have high turnover, and you’ll want to be sure that someone is able to manage the restaurant website at all times. A dedicated restaurant website is essential for providing important information to potential customers such as conveying that a restaurant is in fact established, and the proper branding  for your business. Cut432 of Delray Beach, Florida, for example, not only provides their story, hours, and a dinner and cocktail menu on their website, but also a page to make online reservations and take a virtual tour of their modern steakhouse on their sleek, minimalistic webpage.

Utilize Facebook. Facebook is usually the first step for growing an Internet presence for new restaurants. It’s free and it’s where the people are, so naturally, it’s a great tool for getting your name out to potential customers. After opening day however, much like the website, restaurant operators usually find themselves too busy managing the daily operations to manage both a virtual and a real world reputation and what was intended to be one facet of their online presence, turns into their sole online presence. As a marketing tool, Facebook is too important to be looked over, but it certainly should not be your only marketing tool.

Don’t overdo it. While it can be tempting to create an account for every social media outlet when launching a new restaurant, over-committing yourself to so many sites can be a bad thing. Prior to getting started, make sure you have an associate who is capable of managing these accounts. Otherwise, you could inadvertently ignore questions from customers, overlook valuable feedback, or end up with an inactive blog. Neglected social channels can turn off new patrons, alienate fans, and convey an inability to manage your business. You should consider creating one social page at a time, building a routine and then adding new channels as you become accustomed to handling them. Moreover, you want to be sure that the social media platforms you use are appropriate for your business.

Remember mobile. According to Venturebeat.com, mobile visitors now account for about 50% of all restaurant website traffic. If you are working with a professional webpage designer, be sure to ask how they plan to approach your mobile website and ask to see samples. Once you hear the words “responsive design” in the explanation, you know you are good to go.

A properly created and managed online presence can lead to a significant boost in profit. For more tips on how to build an online presence for your restaurant, please read the following Source1 posts:

https://source1purchasing.com/restaurant-operators-can-gain-sales-by-boosting-their-online-presence/

https://source1purchasing.com/skills-required-maintain-online-reputation/

Blog PostsRestaurants

5 Tips To Lower Your Restaurant Food and Beverage Costs

Every restaurant owner battles with rising food and beverage costs. According to a recent article by Drew Sandholm on CNBC.com, “From beef, chicken and pork to coffee, it seems food prices across the board are rising,” so it is time to prepare for these changes and create a plan of action for menu or even supplier changes. Here are five tips to aid you in the fight to lower costs and increase your overall profits.

1. Craft a consistent and profitable menu.

Create a menu that compliments your kitchen equipment, layout and your staff’s experience level. Your food must appeal to your target audience, taste delectable, as well as contribute to the necessary amount of gross profit. Be sure to create a manageable menu that won’t overwhelm your kitchen staff. In response to the discussion of future rising food and beverage costs, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stated in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, “The truth of the matter is that dairy is probably a bigger issue for us going forward than coffee, but we will be able to maintain our guidance, our EPS and absolutely manage through and negotiate through any rise in coffee costs.” 2. Create recipe spreadsheets for all menu items.

Creating recipes in spreadsheets allows you to link individual ingredients to your inventory spreadsheet so that your recipe costs automatically update when you update your inventory prices. This recipe spreadsheet can also be used for batch recipes on items such as sauces or mashed potatoes that are made in large quantities. Updated recipe costs can then be used to calculate your ideal food cost per menu item.

3. Evaluate your food and beverage suppliers.

Go over your supplier invoices and your current inventory to determine if you are getting good pricing compared to your competitors. Consider meeting with local business owners and comparing prices. You can compare your own pricing history and bid suppliers against each other,  or you can work with the assistance of a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) and you will be able to lower your food & beverage costs while accessing the highest quality products and staying ahead of consumer trends without the hassle of the bidding wars.

4. Monitor your inventory.

Review your inventory values to confirm they are up to date and conduct an inventory check weekly so you can ensure a proper level and make some cash flow available. Avoid waiting until the end of the month to find out if there were any issues.

5. Conduct a menu analysis.

Create a menu analysis spreadsheet that assists you in evaluating your best selling items and categorize all your menu items by their popularity and gross profit contribution.

As a restaurant operator, it is essential to run your restaurant efficiently through proper control of food and beverage costs. Source1 Purchasing is a supply chain management group focused on cost management, savings and operational efficiencies for the restaurant and food service industries and gives you the opportunity to create your own buying group.

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Keep your restaurant customers loyal by avoiding these mistakes

As a restaurant operator, when you have loyal customers, it’s essential to do all that you can to ensure that those guests continue to return. In order to accomplish this, you must understand what leads guests to stop returning, and what preventative measures can be taken to keep it from happening again. The following are common reasons that lead loyal guests to turn their backs on your business:

1. The competition has a lower price.

If you and your competition offer similar amenities and products ,yet  they are able to offer it a lower price, you can offer products and services that are customized, making it difficult for competitors to imitate

2. Customer service was less than satisfactory.

A huge factor that goes into once loyal guests going to your competition is poor customer service. Be sure to train your restaurant staff to treat guests appropriately and to exceed expectations. If guests are consistently happy with the customer service at your establishment, they will continue to be loyal to your brand.

3. Your product quality diminished.

If the products you offer are always successful and result in profits, then there is no need to cut corners and compromise that exceptional quality. If you’re using a specific brand of bread for your burgers and sandwiches, don’t opt for a lower quality brand just to save pennies. Customer loyalty lies in consistency.

4. The customer’s needs changed.

It’s important to adapt to the trends of the food and beverage industry, always expanding your offerings before the customer even realizes that their tastes have changed. To accomplish this, communicate with your customers, learn your market, so that you can anticipate their needs, giving you the ability to adjust your menu far in advance. If you find that you are caught off guard by changing needs of guests, then you may need to pay more attention to your guests and interact with them more regularly.

 

While these may seem to be obvious mistakes  that you don’t want to make, the often chaotic nature of restaurant operations can bring unexpected outcomes. Though it may not help with your customer service issues, working with a food & beverage purchasing service can help you lower operational costs while accessing the highest quality products and staying ahead of consumer trends. As an expert in the food and beverage industry, Source1 Purchasing is able to provide you with the most up-to-date tips and trends to keep restaurant operators running as efficiently and successfully as possible.