ASK THE EXPERTS

Food Fanatics<sup>®</sup> chefs and restaurant operations consultants help fix everyday restaurant industry issues

PROBLEM: We’re a breakfast and lunch restaurant thinking about opening for dinner. Smart or crazy?

SOLUTION: Run labor costs and consider whether your neighborhood mix needs dinner. Delivery may prove to be profitable and a good trial run. People are in less of a rush at night so dim the lights to create a more relaxing environment and encourage BYOB. Customers want more affordable dinner options which is why fast casuals are making a play for the evening daypart.

BENEFIT: Added revenue stream.



PROBLEM: Servers work at other restaurants to make more money.

SOLUTION: Show unlimited earning potential exists at your restaurant through better restaurant staff training via upselling. Break down all of the upsell opportunities (bacon on a burger, side dish options and top-shelf liquors) and extend the value of the 18% tip potential on those items sold over time. Customers typically base their tip on the check total, not necessarily service.

BENEFIT: Servers earn more, training leads to more menu familiarity and better accommodating guests.



PROBLEM: How to put a dent in the ugly cycle of high turnover and bad hires.

SOLUTION: Sharpen job descriptions (hiring a cook is not specific enough) by determining the specific characteristics you want and for the person to be successful. Be sure the job fits the and candidate’s lifestyle and don’t be overly swayed by past experience; the traits are more important.

BENEFIT: The right person learns faster, is more successful and stays longer. They also bring you people like themselves.



PROBLEM: Nutritional yeast seems to pop up everywhere. What’s the big deal?

SOLUTION: Think of the fermented flakes as umami, an ingredient that adds depth and a cheesy flavor. Sprinkle on eggs, roasted vegetables, pasta, popcorn, salad dressing or any dish that and could benefit from an ingredient that barely has any sodium.

BENEFIT: Inexpensive, works as a seasoning and often stands in for cheese in vegan dishes.



PROBLEM: Good managers don’t always make good leaders.

SOLUTION: Management entails everyday tasks, such as creating order guides, updating inventory sheets and scheduling – tasks that can be taught. Leadership is about vision, creating a culture and inspiring staff, abilities that take years to develop.

BENEFIT: Knowing the difference will help accomplish goals, whether it’s improving customer service or expanding a concept.



PROBLEM: We’ve outgrown our current space and there’s no way to expand.

SOLUTION: Optimize your online ordering system by adding a “curbside pickup” option.

BENEFIT: By taking some pressure off of the dining area, you should be able to ease the flow and improve the experience for your clients and up employee efficiency.