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October 2011 Ideas Index

Marketing: It’s counter-intuitive and not for everybody, but announcing certain guests aren’t welcome in your restaurant can breed loyalty among others

Promotions: Technomic finds that 48 percent of daily deal buyers visit restaurants they’ve never been to before. Think about it

Presentation: People eat with their eyes. Sure, a dish has to taste great to be a standout, but an impressive presentation can wow even the most jaded patrons. How about a cookie baked and brought to the table in an individual iron skillet? Or charcuterie plated on a pig-shaped board? Or

Menuing: The Clean Plate panel loves eggs. Mentioned: A fried-poached egg on spaghetti with guanciale; Scotch Eggs done the classic way.

Technique: Braising, smoking, deep-frying, roasting, freezing with liquid nitrogen…chefs are tapping into many culinary techniques to coax flavor from food and tempt diners.

Marketing: Restaurant websites are getting a bad reputation. If you can keep one thing in mind when you’re having yours designed: keep it simple

Recruitment: You know the traditional paths to hiring employees: place an ad, hire a headhunter, steal from somebody else. But a resource you might not have turned to before is hospitality instructors at your local college. They know the new recruits

BOH: Somebody cut themselves in the kitchen? Open the spice rack

Purchasing: As local sourcing has gotten more popular, new types of purchasing companies have cropped up, like L.A.

Specialty in California that aggregates produce from farmers markets to meet restaurateurs needs

Purchasing: To help ensure a consistent supply of quality produce to the chain, Tender Greens gave its preferred farm equity in the company

Purchasing: Chipotle builds redundancy into its purchasing so if a local supplier can’t meet its full needs, it can turn to others. Plus, local farms to the California stores also supply stores in other states. Local can turn national real fast

Service: Lots of new equipment is available to make a buffet line look less institutional and more stylish. Take a look at mini tasting plates for instance

Marketing: Want to set your coffee program apart? Try roasting your own beans    

Operations: Put your wine list on an iPad so any guest at the table can find a wine they like, easily and without intimidation.

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