From February, 2016

Avoiding Menu Bloat: The Bottom-Line Value of a Lean, Mean Menu

Avoid menu bloatFalling into the trap of adding more items to your menu for variety alone can be damaging to your bottom line. The trouble with big menus is that unprofitable items can lurk unnoticed.

Menu items that aren’t moving cost you money every day in stocking, storage, and potentially spoiled ingredients. Not only that, but a bloated menu can slow down customer decision making and decrease kitchen efficiency.

Let’s break that down. Read more

Pizza Expo 2016 – 10 Days and Counting!

2020It’s that time of year: planning and preparation are underway for the largest pizza show in the world. Pizza Expo is coming up March 8 – 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This year’s schedule is packed with expert speakers on the latest and greatest trends in the pizza industry. Schedule time for educational seminars and workshops led by industry consultants, professional trainers, and restaurant operators. Sample new ingredients and ready-made menu items. Check out the competition in the International Pizza Challenge and World Pizza Games, and learn new methods in the cooking and baking demonstrations. Try your hand at making your own dough, and attend the Pizza Expo Block Party and Acrobatic Dough Tossing Finals. The choices are plenty! Read more

Customer of the Month: Spencer Groeneweg, Pizza Ranch, Sioux Center

Pizza Ranch LogoFounded in 1981 by Adrie Groeneweg in Hull, Iowa, Pizza Ranch is saddling up for the future, giving every guest a legendary experience at over 180 locations in 13 states across the mid-Western US.  Pizza Ranch is known by their customers for their “It’s Our Famous, Buffet Your Way” which boasts a wide variety of tasty options including: pizza, chicken, potatoes, salads, and delectable desserts.

Back at the Sioux Center Ranch, we had a chance to meet with the manager, Spencer Groeneweg, to learn what makes Pizza Ranch stand out. “A big thing that sets us apart is our culture, and how our vision and mission statements points to a bigger cause than Pizza Ranch.” says Groeneweg.  Integral to the communities they serve, Pizza Ranch’s Community Impact Fundraising Events make it easy for local schools and charities to raise money by having their members come in and help serve the guests, earning a percentage of the sales and/or donations from the evening. On a global scale, Pizza Ranch also makes an impact with their Coffee Partnership Program, assisting schools in Southern Ethiopia. Read more

How to Convert Online Visitors Into In-Store Customers

Business team eating pizza in office, selected from the local store's menu.

A restaurant is nothing without paying customers. No matter how delicious your dishes, or how attractive the menu that lists them, you won’t stay open unless you give strangers a reason to walk inside and place an order. Marketing is the best way to do that, and in the fast-paced, tech-savvy restaurant industry, digital marketing is mandatory. However, it’s important to make sure your online efforts actually translate into offline business.

The following tips and tricks are effective ways to harness the true potential of your restaurant’s online presence. Discuss them with your staff, integrate them into your marketing strategies, and see how many tables you can fill with a little extra online effort. Read more

POS Best Practices: Managing Labor to Code

peopleMany restaurant operators have experienced the cost and aggravation of a Labor Department suit for noncompliance with local labor regulations. If you lack good systems for enforcing and tracking work hours and breaks, you could be at risk.

And if you have teens working in your restaurants, the requirements can be much more restrictive.

Beyond the risks around noncompliance, controlling labor cost—including overtime—is critical to restaurant profitability. One way to control costs and ensure compliance with local labor laws is to set up work restrictions in the point of sale system. Read more

From the Archives – Customer Loyalty: 7 Ways Expand Your Brand

iStock_000014853789XXsmallTo build loyalty in an age when consumers are looking online for the next place to dine out, you have to be smart about both the quality and the experience of buying your product—both in-store and online. Read more

Menu Labeling: Will you be ready for the new Dec. 1 deadline?

Menu Blog photo Feb 4The Food and Drug Administration menu-labeling regulations for chain restaurants, originally slated to take effect late last year, are now slated to take effect December 1.

In the FDA’s own words, the regulations address an epidemic:

More than two thirds of adults and about a third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. Overconsumption of calories is one of the primary risk factors for overweight and obesity. About half of consumers’ annual food dollars are spent on, and a third of total calories come from, foods prepared outside the home, including foods from restaurants and similar retail food establishments. Many people do not know, or underestimate, the calorie and nutrient content of these foods. Read more

3 Ways to Safeguard Your Delivery Service

Delivery serviceDo you deliver? In the winter, darkness and adverse weather conditions can pose additional hazards for your delivery drivers. Here are a some tips for how you can make deliveries safer and minimize the impact of accidents on your business. Read more