January 2012

Hiring, Training, Evaluating

Staff training, careful hiring, and mystery shoppers have been the most essential investment that Nancy Batista-Caswell has made.These were essential, she says, to the success of her year-old restaurant, Ceia Kitchen + Bar, in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Marketing Musts

Miriam Silverberg believes the three restaurants for which she’s the publicist are successful because she’s lucky.But restaurants don’t market themselves, and marketing is too complicated to be lucky.

One Restaurant's Deadliest Catch

Our seafood is in trouble. Overfishing, pollution and invasive species are making the fish we love to eat more rare every year.Bun Lai, owner of Miya’s restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut, may have found a simple yet effective solution: Serve up the invasive species for dinner.

HR Homeruns

Human resources directors have become increasingly vital to restaurant companies, taking on more responsibility and playing a larger role in their organizations. New technologies, science, a hypercompetitive environment and prickly economic challenges all have contributed to bringing people issues front and center.

10 Top Marketing Tips of 2012

1. Target your immediate demographics. The business is there already.“Businesses near the restaurant need to take people out for lunch or dinner and need to have parties some place,” says Miriam Silverberg, a restaurant publicist.

10 Top HR Tips of 2012

1. Aligning people to business objectives. “If you manage your people really well and give them the chance to do something they are really good at and align them to the business objectives, it becomes a win-win,” says Kathy Kolbe, founder of Kolbe Corp.

No Siesta in Sight For Wines of Spain

The pendulum continues to swing. The consumer preference toward balanced wines is growing as a result of the urging from the sommelier community. As is widely understood, the full-bodied and flabby (or acid-deficient) styles of wine retired with Robert Parker, a wine critic who stopped reviewing California wine for The Wine Advocate and eRobertParker.

Bottomline Boosters

At its height in the 1980s, Sizzler was a $1 billion powerhouse with more than 600 units nationwide.As the millennium neared, however, the family steakhouse chain encountered hard times, including a 1996 bankruptcy.

Recipes for Success

Best Culinary Practices for 2012It’s been a year filled with farm-to-table concepts, gourmet burgers, offal galore, pop-up restaurants, French macarons, meatballs, and every kind of food truck imaginable.

Sexual Harassment in the Spotlight

Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, radio talk-show host, professional speaker and former president of the National Restaurant Association, has ended his run for the White House.Charges of sexual harassment and an alleged extramarital affair derailed the candidate.

Big and Small: 10 Financial and Money-Management Best Practices

1. Install fiscal responsibility from day one. From negotiating the lease to working with a credible contractor who understands the budget, operators can save thousands by being attentive to start-up costs and injecting fiscal discipline into the restaurant’s culture from the start.

Top Menu Tips of 2012

1. Give chefs autonomyHaving a concept for your chain doesn’t mean that the cuisine has to be set in stone. “We just say no to cookie cutter,” says Ty Neal, CEO of Matchbox Food Group.