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this month in RS&G...

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How to Use the Power of Checklists to Improve Your Restaurant's Consistency and Efficiency - In the hubbub of a busy restaurant, with many, many moving parts, it is easy to overlook little items. Consider everything that goes through a new server's head as he or she approaches a table of six diners. Water, bread service, remembering the daily specials…. We're only human. And that's why we need checklists.

BONUS CONTENT - Why Do Restaurants Fail?
By Howard Riell
BONUS CONTENT - Why Do Restaurants Fail? In the inaugural issue of Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine in February 2004, our magazine challenged the 90% first-year restaurant failure rate that was being passed off as "common knowledge" inside and outside the industry. RS&G conducted its own research, which suggested that the first-year failure rate was closer to 25%. Not great, but not much different than the failure rate in any sector. . . . keep reading
Fast Five: Chris Tripoli on Competing with the Chains
By Barry K. Shuster
Independent operators don't win by trying to go head to head with a chain on menu prices, but leveraging little things that create value. . . . keep reading
The New Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants is HERE!
The New Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants is HERE! The National Restaurant Association's Uniform System of Accounts is back in print. This latest edition contains many updates, changes and enhancements from previous editions. Follow this link to order your copy today. . . . keep reading
BONUS CONTENT - Fifty Ways to Cut Costs in Your Restaurant without Reducing Quality or Guests' Experience
Jim Laube
BONUS CONTENT - Fifty Ways to Cut Costs in Your Restaurant without Reducing Quality or Guests' Experience Here are 50 proven practices that restaurants large and small have found to be effective in reducing losses and as a result put more of their hard earned sales dollars on their bottom line. . . . keep reading
How to Influence the Value of Your Restaurant
By Barry K. Shuster
If I ask you to estimate the value of your house, you might research listings and selling prices of comparable properties in your neighborhood or town. Given the current state of the housing market, you might be seriously dismayed over the value of your home compared, let's say, with what you had projected its value would be today three years ago; however, I doubt you would say, "I poured my heart and soul into that property, and, the market be damned, I expect to be compensated for it," or "I'm getting divorced, and I need to get enough money to pay my alimony." . . . keep reading
An Opening 'Like There's No Tomorrow': Enoteca of Ketchum, Idaho
To heck with Mayan myth, as a soft opening becomes an auspicious success for a Sun Valley restaurant. . . . keep reading
Built to Last: The Pub of Nashville, Tennessee
Nick Sanders prefers to open in mixed-use, master developments in groupings with three or four other independent and interesting restaurants. And he prefers to begin with an empty shell. . . . keep reading
Restaurant Startup & Growth Editorial Index 2004 to Present
2004 February The Elements of a Successful Lineup Considerations for . . . keep reading
Should You Pre-Screen Employees?
A RestaurantOwner.com member shared how one of his cashiers took advantage of a guest who left his credit card behind. . . . keep reading
Teach Fastidious Hand Washing
Training your staff to frequently and correctly wash their hands is one of the simplest things you can do to insure good sanitation in your kitchen. First, do your job as a manager by always having hand soap and paper towels available at each hand sink, and insuring that each hand sink is supplied with ample hot water. . . . keep reading
Don't Get Defensive
This should be Rule #1 when faced with a complaining, disgruntled customer. . . . keep reading
Profit Tips: Ideas on Handling All Those Requests for Donations & Other Freebies
If your restaurant is like most, you get a steady stream of requests from non-profits, churches, schools, local sports teams and other community groups for donations, sponsorships and other freebies. . . . keep reading
A True Value Meal: Genova's To Go
There is price and then there is value. If you treat your menu like a price list, you are inviting guests to think of price first. The fact is, only the major chains can compete on price, and even they depend on building ticket averages with add-ons and upselling. If you are serving good stuff in your restaurant, you need to leverage your menu to build the perception of value for your items. . . . keep reading

No Dumb Questions
We operate three Italian restaurants. The first two have done well, but the third has been open 18 months and is slow. Where should we look to make improvements? We cannot afford to lose money. . . . keep reading
Drink Pricing Tips
Among operators, the most frequent question is how to measure their alcoholic beverage cost percentages against industry averages. In general, the rules of thumb are ... . . . keep reading
Reduce Portions Strategically
Reducing portions of proteins and expensive items can help cut down on costs, but you have to do so strategically so as not to look like your "being stingy" to your customers. Cutting even just an ounce off a portion can save dollars and your guests will hardly notice. At 11 or 12 ounces is it really that big of a difference? It's "nickel and diming", but it adds up. . . . keep reading
H.J. Heinz Company Funds Scholarship for Women's Foodservice Forum's 2014 Annual Leadership Development Conference
WFF to launch celebration of its 25th Anniversary at this legendary event . . . keep reading
Give Your Employees a Clue About Basic Restaurant Economics
We believe that restaurant employees should know that they work in a low margin business. They won't instinctively figure this out unless they're told. To validate, just ask a few restaurant employees how much money they think the owner makes and they're likely to say "LOTS." That's because employees see, what many believe to be, large amounts of cash coming into the restaurant every day but most of them have no concept of what it costs to operate a restaurant and how much profit remains after all the expenses are paid. . . . keep reading
Great Service: It's All about Fundamentals
If you've ever watched a professional baseball team practice you probably recognized that they do many of the same things little leaguers do. Even the superstars take routine grounders, catch fly balls, and practice bunting drills because they know that if they don't execute the fundamentals properly, they won't win ballgames. . . . keep reading
Three Interview Questions to Help Your Hire Customer-Friendly Staff
During job interviews, typically restaurant owners focus on the applicant's experience, rather than his attitude toward customer service. Having worked in a restaurant is not enough to make a decision about whether to hire someone. You can learn a lot about how a potential employee approaches his employment, prepares for work and interacts with customers by asking some questions like these during the interview. . . . keep reading
Skimming: Just Don't Do It!
First, skimming is against the law and the penalties are extremely severe if you're ever caught. The government gets extremely testy about tax evasion so they've made it a felony offense with significant fines and even jail time it you're convicted. And there are more reasons. . . . keep reading
BONUS CONTENT - How to Influence the Value of Your Restaurant
Barry K. Shuster
BONUS CONTENT - How to Influence the Value of Your Restaurant If I ask you to estimate the value of your house, you might research listings and selling prices of comparable properties in your neighborhood or town. Depending on the current state of the housing market, you might be elated or dismayed over the value of your home compared, let's say, with what you had projected its value would be today three years ago; however, in the latter case I doubt you would say, "I poured my heart and soul into that property, and, the market be damned, I expect to be compensated for it," or "I'm getting divorced, and I need to get enough money to pay my alimony." . . . keep reading
Offer Regular, Profitable Specials (Then Help Your Waiters Sell Them)
Making specials a regular part of your offerings is a good idea for a lot of reasons. They keep things interesting for your kitchen staff, waiters and customers; are a great way to use product that might otherwise go to waste; improve relations between the front and back of the house; and, perhaps most importantly, give your waiters a foot in the door to start conversations and establish rapport with customers. . . . keep reading
Ten Ways to Increase Your Menu Profitability
by Joe Abuso
Let's look at 10 things you can do, all focused on your menu, to increase your profitability that won't lower the quality of your customers' experiences but will, in one way or another, actually increase it. . . . keep reading
Menu Makeover: Do-It-Yourself Menus (and the Case Against Them): Benny's Bar & Grill, Potomac, Maryland
Mark Laux
The more work you do on your own menu -- unless you are a designer-turned-restaurant guy -- the more likely your menu will not look as good as a professionally designed menu. It's just that simple. And while there are tricks you can use to help you get a custom design and still make your changes, the more you want to develop your own menu, the simpler the end product must be.

. . . keep reading

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