Food to go is bigger and bigger


Sales of togo are steadily increasing, the forecast among professionals is a 15 to 18% of restaurant sales within 2018.

Unfortunately restaurants do not keep a close look at how orders are processed and annoying mistakes are rampant. In order to make this niche of your restaurant a profitable source of income you have to tie up the process of FOOD TO GO to your CULTURE.

We started to talk about Culture in a previous posting. There will be more on Culture coming soon.

Your policies and procedures will start from the girl taking the order, this is the first opportunity to make a mistake. You need to set up your POS system to reflect exactly the modifications and descriptives the same as when taking a dining room order (this will avoid confusion for the cooks to prepare the order as per customer’s specification.)

XTRA Mushroom, ADD Xtra blue dress, No onions etc…

The hostess has to repeat the order to the guests to confirm all changes and make sure all extras have been added correctly.

It is of the utmost importance to take the packaging as a major task––Not a Quick Jack I see Ya, Oops, gone. You need to have a check list which will be in front of the packer. Do not forget the forks, knifes, spoons, paper towels, S & P sauces, Chili or what have you by the guests requests.

Do not serve old fries, or a pastry from yesterday or old pieces of stale bread.

The packaging of your food reflect who you are and your Culture. Do not mess it up it could cost you big time.

Go for it and shine.

The Options

How much money do you need to start your dream restaurant?

There are two options:

  1. Start from scratch
  2. Buy an existing restaurant

Why should you buy someone else’s joint when you can create your own concept and be the top dude with your own kingdom?

Option 1

If you start from scratch you will need cash to do the following: Continue reading

There are different ways to look at numbers.

On your financial report whether it’s daily, weekly or his monthly P&L, add a column with each number on the report expressed as an amount per guest.

For example, if you serve 1,200 guests last week and beverage sales were $2,800, the average beverage sales per guest would be $2.34. Hourly labor cost of $3,400 would be $2.84 per guest.

What would be the advantage of looking at your financial reports this way?

If beverage sales per guest had been running at $1.98 per guest?

Beverage sales per guest of just $1.70 might indicate a training issue, service problem or even unrecorded sales (theft of cash.)

Potential problems could be missed if you are only looking at the total beverage sales.

Hourly labor cost per guest as a percentage of sales might not be the best way to look at where the problem or if any problem might be. Labor cost per guest will give a more revealing and a better way to compare labor and scheduling practices.

Cost of paper, tableware, restaurant supplies, linen and other services could fluctuate up or down depending on the number of customers served. This way to look at your financial statements will give you a different perspective of where the

The “per guest” look at your sales can provide more insights on how your restaurant is actually performing and where you need to concentrate.

Tuesday the 14th is Valentine, turn a slow night in one of the busiest of the year.

What to do?

  • Promotion. Hopefully you have build up your database use it. Send your newsletter advertising this great event
  • Get rid of most of your 4 tops.Replace with 2 tops [that’s when it was wise to set up your table tops to be polyvalent]
  • Get  your staff on the ready. Rehearse your process in the mantle of your CULTURE. Simplify your menu to ease the kitchen Promote your special deal [Prix fixe] for two [include, a glass of Provençal Rose; soup, salad choice of the entree with vegetables and a potato add a nice slice of your famous chocolate cake for (two) for desert.  Give them a deal they can’t resist. The simplification of the menu will improv the service and allow quicker turn-over.
  • Amaze your guests.Place a Happy Valentine card on each table. Offer  glass of champagne when they sit. Chocolate mints presented with the check. Your  choice heart shape balloons or a rose on each table. Make sure the staff is ready for the busy night. Everything is ready at the opening of the restaurant. This is a great opportunity to gain new guests and reward existing customers for a continuous loyalty.

Business Culture

The restaurant business has changed dramatically in the last 5 years.Labor shortages, minimum wage pressures, customers’ expectations on the rise, intense competition from the chains, and new technologies are some of the changes, which make the hospitality Industry more challenging.

The reason for remarkable success of  independents is Not Food, Not Service, Not Concept, Not Cuisine, Not Quality, Not Location.  The answer is with their strong and unique CULTURE!

What is a Business Culture?

Does it has to do with growing your own vegetables? It might be a good analogy after all. You as the captain of the ship (your restaurant,) is responsible to set the pace for a CULTURE Continue reading

A basic outlay of your Employees’ Manual should have at least the following chapters:

1. A statement to acknowledge an Equal Opportunity Employer

2. Background check notification (including a police check.)

3. Employee Classifications (be specific as how they will be employed, prep-cook, line-cook, sous-chef, dishwasher, hostess, bartender, back bar, etc..)

4. Workdays, Payday, and Pay Advances if allowed by the restaurant.

5. General wages and salary information

6. Hours of work and attendance

7. Meal periods and Rest Periods.

8. Payroll Deductions [do you retain any amount for meals / check your State Laws.]

9. Vacations, when, how, who is entitled?

10. Holidays? (Do employees get paid over-time? (check State Laws)

11. Sick-Personal leaves

12. Performance evaluation

13. Termination Policy

14. Internet Policy

15. E-mail Policy

16. Reward Programs

17. Employees’ profit participation if available

You can combine some of the topics into a same policy: 4, 5 and 6 could be addressed under one policy.

The Employee Handbook would include a brief statement about: Continue reading

Most Independent Restaurateurs Make those 8 deadly Mistakes 


The chef is an artist at heart.

1. Sharing your thoughts with friends, family members, customers and staff will prove to be much more fruitful  than trying to think alone. Ideas comes from rubbing brains against each other. Having someone to bounce ideas off and get an objective opinion is critical.

2. Why a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan will help you to navigate through the constant decisions you will have to make on the route to success. There may many ways to market your business at very low cost. A good marketing plan implemented effectively, efficiently, and consistently, will always bring positive results. Soon to come on our site our Gorilla marketing Plan. Shots in the dark, such as adds in throw-away papers, are exactly what is sounds like throw-away $.

Take example from success, McDonald has ten of thousand of stores all over the world. This is a brand recognized my billions, why do they still advertise? The answer is: Whenever they tried to slow down on their advertising programs, their income dropped considerably. If McDonald needs to advertise to keep their sales up, what do you think you need to do, for your restaurant? Continue reading