Monthly archives of “November 2016

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How to engage your guests through story telling

In the hospitality industry we know as owners, managers and operators that just as you are the new hot spot, you can quickly become the old washed up establishment closing its doors. The same exact high end restaurant concept can open two miles down the road, causing you to stress and worry about competition and potentially closing your doors.

Both of you can have similar menus with innovative dishes that are classic and eccentric. Concepts that are well planned, have locally sourced food and play to the desires of their well-heeled patrons but, in most cases there is only enough business in the area for one of the establishments.

So how are you able to stand out and service. How can you create buzzwords, evoke emotion and build trust with consumers by leveraging your unique brand story. How are you able to stand out in a sea of similar establishments and bring your consumers an experience to remember without becoming a cliche?

1. Tell the story customers want to hear

If you are opening a new restaurant, listen carefully to the people in the community and the story they are telling. Know how you want to be seen in the publics eye and what type of emotion you want your general audience to see and understand. Also, take time to understand the community in which you serve. Build strong relationships with your guests and allow them to feel as though you are an extension of their family. Consumers become “regulars” when they feel valued, understand what your establishment represents and they know they will receive high quality food/service every time they join you.

2. Train servers to be storytellers

Your servers are the first line of defense to properly tell your story. They are able to do so trough pointing out different items on the menu; what they were, what sauces they came with; all things that guests could read for themselves. Reciting descriptions, no matter how well written, does not engage customers with your brand. Instead, train your servers to tell the stories behind the dishes. Who created them? How did the dish come about? When was the first time the server tried the entrée, and how did it make him or her feel? This tip will not only help the consumers understand what you offer but, will allow them to feel as though you are taking the time to teach and tell the story of your establishment.

3. Leverage stories to develop brand ambassadors

A marketing research expert recently stated that the strength of a brand is no longer how well you can tell your customers what you do. Rather, the power of your brand reflects how well your customers can tell their networks what you do, and how well THEIR networks can tell THEIR networks. Good storytelling can stand up to this complex chain of communication. If you and your team are telling actual stories about your food, your concept, your founders, your mission in action… you are training your customers how to talk about you. For every story you tell and table you turn, you are actually creating a PR army.

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Asian Noodle Trend

One of the most noticeable trends in late 2016 and projected to be one of the top ten trends in 2017 culinary scenes is Indian flavors and Asian noodles. The trend has been recognized as being one of the top 10 cutting-edge culinary trends for the upcoming year and consumers are going crazy for it. Although, it may not seem as mainstream as other trends, full-service establishments who may not think to serve ethnic cuisine are indulging in developing new tasting profiles for their customers.

The key is that consumers aren’t just looking for something to eat; they’re yearning to deepen their understanding of themselves and how they can fit into the world around them in a sustainable way. They are looking to develop a larger understanding of the ethnic foods surrounding them they want to approach trying new foods and flavor profiles in a fun way!

The question then becomes for operators is how to channel this dynamic in a way that boosts revenue and traffic. One approach could be to offer items that play into three loosely interwoven trends that compliment your menu and broaden your offerings that enhance your menu rather than making it confusing.

When deciding if and what to add to your menu this about what your consumers enjoy already and build off of that. The great thing about food is that there are no rules and there is only opportunities to try to flavors together and make something great. Look into items like curry, goat, and pho. All items that consumers have been drawn to in the last year and items that can easily be added to your menu without adding a large margin to your food cost.

A perfect example of adding to your menu is adding a variety of Asian noodles. As Asian noodle traditions become American favorites, consumers are seeking more authentic experiences. Chinese lamian, or hand-pulled noodles, adds another layer of both taste and visual showmanship. Customers slurp their share while watching a master noodle-smith knead, stretch and swing dough into strands for soup. Consumers have been drawn to the cuisine and feel a connection as they are able to make each dish their own.

Most of the dishes are all about flavor, developing your consumers palates with new and adventurous flavors. It is easy to deepen their understanding for worldly cultures and it can become an integral part of your menu!

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Should you host a holiday party for staff?

It is hard to believe but, the holidays are right around the corner. It is the time of year when everyone comes together to mix, mingle and celebrate the season and each other. Everyone is merry, bright and looking to enjoy their friends and families. It is a time of year where your employees begin to feel like family, many times it becomes difficult to distinguish friends and co-workers. So the question becomes should you host a holiday party for your staff?

Hosting a holiday party always seems like an excellent idea, whether it is with friends, family, work or even a special organization however, there is always the chance that the party might get out of control. Someone may consume too much alcohol, cause a fight and ruin the entire evening for the group as a whole. Hosting a party does absolutely bring your employees together and allow you the opportunity to enjoy quality time with your employees but, it can be stressful an cause increased liability.

Just seeing those two words put together side by side will probably make you nervous and they should. If deciding to host a holiday party for your staff it will each and every guest in attendance will become your responsibility until the moment they arrive home. This may pursued you if hosting a party to refrain from serving alcohol. This may seem off base considering we are hospitality professionals but, it protects your business, your employees and your reputation in the the community. If choosing to host alcohol at your party it is preferable to have designated drivers available to all staff members. This will reduce the possibility of any issues from drinking and driving.

Holiday get togethers can also be extremely costly, although costs can be reduced if held at your establishment. A wonderful idea if hosting a gathering is to have every employee bring in a dish that represents them in the best way, perhaps an ethnic dish that helps celebrate their heritage.

There are many ways to look at hosting a holiday party and it truly is a wonderful way to gather all of your staff together to reminisce about the year they spent together. It can be done in a way that is safe, enjoyable and memorable. Be mindful if you choose to serve alcohol and remember that your employees represent you in all regards, if you host the event at an outside venue and the behavior poorly it reflects directly on your establishment.


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Lets party – Best Thanksgiving Eve promotions

For many people, the holiday season beings on Thanksgiving Eve. It is the true sign that the holiday season is soon to be here and it seems only right to start the celebration the night before Turkey Day. This day has become known as “Frindsgiving” and “Drinksgiving,” and may create a welcoming atmosphere that is centered around friends and drinks.

With nearly everyone taking off the next day, Thanksgiving Eve is basically Friday night times three. Friends arriving from distant places will converge on the local watering hole, while local singles throng the same bar in the hopes of meeting someone before the holidays officially lift off. Friends from many years past come gather together in the local town bar and somehow everyone seems to have fun and enjoy themselves.

To get the party started early on Thanksgiving Eve we have identified special promotions that will have your bar full all night long!

1- Drink specials all day. The majority of those working on Thanksgiving Eve leave work early and it may be easier for them to stop by for a cocktail at 2PM than at 7PM. By offering drink specials all day it will help increase revenue.

2- Customers are more socially connected now than ever and love taking photos with their friends. Create a photo both where customers can take photos, post to socially media and remember the night long after the last drink of the evening is served. This also always your customers to tag the restaurant on social media and help cross promote your brand.

3- A new idea we saw this year is offering a a percentage off Uber rides with proof of purchase from restaurant. This allows your consumers to come enjoy their time and know they are able to get home safe at a discounted rate.

4- Late night menu options are always a great option. So your consumers do not over drink offer late night appetizers  for them at a discounted rate. To help with food cost you can even produce a menu specifically for this evening. Keep in mind the more sold on this evening the better.

We realize that Thanksgiving Evening is a fun night for friends but, it is extremely important not to over serve your customers. It is in no ones benefit to over serve and proper alcohol service should be maintained all night long to make for a fun memorable evening.