Monthly Archives: March 2017
- DIY Cold Brew Cold brew is a hot new trend in the coffee world. Everywhere from your favorite local coffee shop to national chains like Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts offers it. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold sip of java, especially with spring around the corner. So isn’t cold brew just like an iced coffee? They look exactly the same. The answer is…NO! Iced coffee is hot coffee poured over a cup of ice, it takes less than a minute to make. Cold brew coffee is brewed in room temperature water overnight (at least up to eight hours), then poured over ice. Cold brew offers a smoother and richer flavor, it doesn’t get watery like iced coffee. It’s also lower in acidity too! Save time & money and start brewing at home! RECIPE: Ingredients: 1 1/3 cup ground coffee 4 cups room temperature water Pitcher or jar Mesh Strainer (cheese cloth, or clean dish towel) Directions: Place coffee in pitcher and pour water over top. Stir until well combined. Seal and let it sit in fridge for at least 8 hours (overnight works best!) Pour mixture over a strainer into bowl. Rinse pitcher of leftover grounds. Strain coffee a second time back into pitcher. Enjoy! (Store in fridge, & it will last up to a week)Read more
- Posted: March 27, 2017|Categories: Restaurant OperationsCongratulations. You've managed to open several (successful) restaurant concepts, and business is booming. The only issue is - these restaurants have very different themes. One is a seafood place, and one serves Santa Fe style food. Still another is a taco station which is more like the Santa Fe style restaurant - but not quite the same as it. With all these different brand identities, you want to be able to capture customer information to market to the entire group, and you also want to make sure your loyal customers at each location know about your different brands. But how do you cross market without confusion? Here are some tips. First, create a strong corporate group identity. If you're big enough, it makes sense for your core brand to have its own logo, website, social media, etc. This core brand can then share information on all the groups and tie everything together, so to speak, for the different restaurant concepts. In terms of a brand name, choose something that speaks to your own personal identity in order to have a strong cohesive group name and concept. Use the core group's social media to share images from all your restaurants, and develop a hashtag with the group's name to be used in all Instagram posts to tie everything together. Next, consider offering a loyalty program which can be used at any restaurant location. By tying a loyalty program together for all your locations, you can also create a database of email addresses for email marketing. In terms of emails, it probably makes sense to have some sent to the entire group and some to individual per restaurant. For example - selling gift cards at the holidays? A good pull for the whole group. Beer dinner or farm dinner or wine dinner? Send to the whole group. Happy hour deals for a specific location? Send to one segment only. So save your list in 'segments' and have the ability to market across as broad or as narrow of an audience as you'd like. Keep your social media separate for each concept. It may be confusing for visitors to understand why you're sharing photos from a (competing - for all they know) restaurant on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat pages. So unless it's a very specific reason, use each separate social media channel to market that restaurant and concept only. Last - make sure to shop restaurantsupply.com for the best possible equipment at the best possible prices for each and every one of your restaurant locations!Read more
- Search engine optimization, also referred to as SEO, is the process of increasing online visibility through search engines such as Google. In order to accomplish this, strategic tactics and techniques need to be applied both on and off the website. For restaurants in particular, there is a heavy need for proper local SEO, especially ones that aren’t linked to large chains. With today’s tech-savvy consumers, it’s not enough to have a few social media accounts with the restaurant's menu posted. A well-designed website is a representation of the brand and will allow for a larger online presence, which is where the locals are looking to find the best resturants in their area. To ensure there’s a chance of the restaurant appearing in local search, the website and its content must be optimized. Start with keyword research. Choose an online keyword tool, such as Adwords, and find the most relevant ones for the location. The easiest way to go about this is by using the term “restaurants” or the restaurant’s category and your city in one keyword -- Restaurants in New York or New York Chinese Restaurants, for example. The keyword tool will provide the search volume and the competition. Higher competition keywords are more difficult to rank for, so it’s important to take that into consideration. Once the keywords are decided, they should be used in the website’s title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and content. While optimizing, just make sure not to overdo it. Place the keywords where they make sense. Google wants to provide content that reads well for its users, therefore keyword stuffing will not achieve high rankings. You will achieve high rankings by staying consistent and following honest SEO practices. Offsite optimization grows when outside websites of high authority build links to the restaurant’s website. Whether it’s offering quality content for guest blogs, becoming a sponsor for a local team or creating partnerships with other businesses in the area, networking and community involvement are sure ways to get recognized. Local business directories and reviews are other major factors of offsite optimization. Start with the popular business directories, such as Google My Business, Citysearch, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare. There are also directories geared towards restaurants. These are OpenTable, Zomato and Allmenus. Because they’re targeted at this niche, they offer different functions, such as the option for users to make reservations, see the menu and even earn dining rewards. Reviews, such as Yelp reviews, are also of high importance. Many consumers rely on reviews before heading to a restaurant they’ve never been to. Encourage customers to review the restaurant on review websites and social media. When submitting to various directories, ensure the name, address and phone are consistent on every website. This is called NAP consistency. Duplicate, incomplete, mismatched, incorrect, and misspelled listings will suffer in search engines, and cause potential customers to have trouble when trying to contact or find the location. Schema Schema markup is a code that includes information for various properties that further inform the search engine. This includes menus, reservations, ratings, type of cuisine, types of payment accepted, hours, price range, physical location, and more. For a specific example of schema markup, visit schema.org. The schema code provides a rich snippet, which is a short summary of the page in a search engine’s results. This allows the user to have an informative preview of what the restaurant has to offer, and helps the restaurant stand out from competition. With a focused and consistent SEO strategy, any restaurant can build a strong local presence. In order to thrive, restaurants need to connect with those living in the area, and that’s exactly what optimizing will do. Author: Lyndi Catania of Found, an SEO company balancing the demands of the algorithm and the needs of users.Read more
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Social media marketing is a game-changing method of promoting restaurants. The popularity of social media, however, brings with it challenges about its tedious and time-consuming management. What restaurants can do instead of draining their valuable time is use the right social media management. That's where Dine Best for Less comes in, since Dine Best works within the hospitality business ONLY. Dine Best for Less promotes restaurants through a weekly E-newsletter and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Our audiences include employees of Employee Benefit Groups, colleges and universities, and the general public. We promote your specials, features, and entertainment to a vast audience on a daily basis to encourage business Sunday through Thursday, and of course, the weekends. It is important for restaurants to create cost effective specials, prix fixes, entertainment, etc. to attract patrons.
The E-newsletter features only restaurants and entertainment. The daily posts may include various restaurants’ specials, various services, photos events and entertainment. Everything relative to the restaurants for increasing business is at a touch of a button. Our company is here to bring the restaurants to the attention of our vast audience. Social media success requires an understanding of the restaurant business and insights into human nature as well as knowing how to post. Restaurants have to be creative in using resources economically, instead being penny wise and pound foolish. So take the opportunity, complete this form to enhance your restaurant visibility and popularity.
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As the days grow a bit longer and the weather a bit warmer, it is a great time to lure your customers out of hibernation with some fresh changes that reflect the transition into spring. At the bar, start with your cocktail menu by changing up your flavor enhancers that will set you apart with drinks that are as fresh as the new season. Try new mixes with Mezcal, cucumbers, orgeat, fresh fruit, honey, and peat for cocktails that are like a bouquet of spring flowers. And while you are at, try getting some new and interesting versions of classic glassware. Think of this as dressing up for in the new fashions of the season. And don’t forget how simple it is to let spring in by just putting vases of blooming flowers on the tables. Your customers will definitely notice and feel inspired. With spring and inspiration, also comes the desire for most people to start gravitating towards a healthier lifestyle. Customers will embrace having less rich, heavy, comfort food and be delighted to find light, healthy dishes filled with vegetables. This may be a great time to connect with local farmers about collaborating to provide local, farm fresh seasonal dishes. You don’t have to overhaul your whole menu, featuring dishes that are vegetable heavy or adding one new feature will go a long way. Bringing the garden into your restaurant doesn’t have to stop at vegetables, a great way to make it an early spring is to elegantly garnish cocktails, main dishes, and desserts with beautiful edible flowers such as marigolds, orchids, violets. As you are sneaking these spring touches into your restaurant, go ahead and let everyone know about! Now is a great time to create special events such as “Spring Fever Happy Hours” or “Garden Fresh Lunches” to get your customers excited. And while the spring holidays don’t have the large group and marketing buzz of the holiday season, Easter and Mother’s Day are wonderful holidays to plan special prix fix dinners and brunches around. Spring evokes newness, light, happiness, and freshness so play with those in your marketing and concepts and take advantage of that imagery to create unique and fun marketing to get customers new and old to warm up to you and the warmer sunshine.
- Posted: March 16, 2017Vegan is a super trendy way of eating right now is can create a finalist, talented and creative way of eating. Here is the thing- vegan foods create a new and exciting way of eating but, it can become difficult and expensive - IF you are inexperienced with many of the items. The general belief that eating and cooking vegan is simple and easy is in fact the truth. More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the health benefits: increased energy, younger looking skin and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters. There are certainly many scientific proven benefits to vegan living. Along with the general belief that preparing vegan foods creates tremendous benefits for your health, it also can steadily grow your bottom line and create a positive reputation for your customers! Choosing to go vegan may also give lend to your market place believing that you love the environment in which you run and operate. This idea is formulated from the simple basis that one of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal product. By choosing to serve vegan products your help eliminate a large carbon footprint, caused by animal products. Every time our chefs are able to choose to switch from an animal product to a vegan one our establishments are standing up to the high level of waste associated with animal products. Deciding to serve vegan based items has become increasingly easier throughout the years and food sources have become assessable and mainstream for consumers and provers alike. When beginning to consider if you are going to serve vegan food in your establishment it is important to consider three major aspects: the time, money and energy. We must be honest, cooking vegan is all about what you can gain from it, you must be ready to speak extra time effort and money to successfully serve Vegan dishes in your establishment. Remember this, you are going to spend more time in the kitchen. It takes time to truly become immersed in the vegan lifestyle, it takes time to understand how to store the foods properly, how to hold the food and even how to appreciate the food. The time spent to understand your consumers will not go unnoticed and it will surely help grow your consumer base. Gaining new consumers in todays market is not always about having the most extravagant ingredients, it is about relating to their preferences and caring about their wants/needs. Spending the time and money to know your consumers will grow your business model and will help solidify to new customers.Read more
- Want your restaurant’s Instagram to stand out from all the others? Follow these easy tips & tricks to make your feed shine! Get That Angle - The key to a great shot is getting the right angle. Try a variety of angles, & different vantage points to see which one suits your dish best. Always keep it interesting. Light Is Key - The right lighting will either make or break your shot. Natural lighting is always best, but have fun playing with lighting until you get a shot you like. Avoid random shadows which can be distracting & unprofessional. Tell A Story - A photo is worth a thousand words & photography is all about telling a story. Play with the set up of the shot (i.e. how do you fill the frame, what’s around the plate or table setting, what are the ingredients in the dish?) Background Check - The subject should be the main focus not the background. Select something that complements the tones & colors of your food, and matches the style of your product/brand. Get Creative - Think outside of the box & keep your followers interested. Play with locations, close-ups, & even video! Add Ons - Take your feed to the next level with other photo applications to collage, create memes, double exposures etc. The ap store is your oyster! Engage Followers - The best way to build your brand is to engage your customer. Encourage followers to snap food pics & tag your account. Create photo competitions, hashtags, & share behind the scenes content. It will make your customers feel extra special, increase followers & most importantly it’s FREE advertising for you.Read more
- DIY Cold Brew Cold brew is a hot new trend in the coffee world. Everywhere from your favorite local coffee shop to national chains like Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts offers it. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold sip of java, especially with spring around the corner. So isn’t cold brew just like an iced coffee? They look exactly the same. The answer is…NO! Iced coffee is hot coffee poured over a cup of ice, it takes less than a minute to make. Cold brew coffee is brewed in room temperature water overnight (at least up to eight hours), then poured over ice. Cold brew offers a smoother and richer flavor, it doesn’t get watery like iced coffee. It’s also lower in acidity too! Save time & money and start brewing at home! RECIPE: Ingredients: 1 1/3 cup ground coffee 4 cups room temperature water Pitcher or jar Mesh strainer (cheese cloth, or clean dish towel) Directions: Place coffee in pitcher and pour water over top. Stir until well combined. Seal and let it sit in fridge for at least 8 hours (overnight works best!) Pour mixture over a strainer into bowl. Rinse pitcher of leftover grounds. Strain coffee a second time back into pitcher. Enjoy! (Store in fridge, & it will last up to a week)Read more
- Reposted from our friends at Toast. If you need bar equipment - shop here first! So you want to open a bar? You love talking to new people, you’re a pro at mixing drinks, and you just don’t feel cut out for the 9-to-5 life. Well, a bar isn’t a hobby. It’s a business. That said, it’s important to keep this in mind, because many bars lose money at a rapid pace before going out of business entirely, leaving the bar owner in a tough financial situation. To give you the best chance of success when opening a bar, here are some things to prepare for. 1. Write Your Bar's Business Plan A failure to plan is a plan to fail. Bar ownership is a type of business where a lack of initial planning can be expensive - if not impossible - to fix. This is why it’s important to have a business plan in place. The minor details aren’t extremely important, since they’re likely to change over time. For example, don't plan on your break even point to be exactly two years from yesterday, rather 20-25 months pending on three or four key facrtors. Instead, remember that writing out a business plan can help you identify holes in your business model that can be fixed before opening and reduce your risk of failure. They also help you get your big goals in writing, like your mission statement and competitive advantage. To get started on your restaurant or bar business plan, check out this guide on how to write one. 2. Set Up Your Business Structure When starting any business or new company, one of the first choices pertains to business structure. Specifically, do you plan to be a sole-proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or a corporation? It's arguably easier to become a sole proprtietorship or a partnership, but one problem with this structure is that you’re personally liable for lawsuits and debt incurred by your bar. In other words, if something goes wrong, there are no limits to your liability, so you may need to forfeit personal assets to cover a loss should one occur. To avoid personal liability, the best option is for you to set up as an LLC or a corporation. These business structures act as an entity of their own, and take on the businesses liabilities, which limit your liability. So if someone slips and falls in your bar and wants to sue, they sue the business instead of you as an individual. The benefits of each of these are beyond the scope of this article, but you can learn more about them here. 3. Trademark Your Name and Logo While simply using a trademark grants you protection of your bar’s name or logo within a certain geographic area, it’s difficult to enforce protection without registering your trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To trademark your name and logo, I’d recommend hiring an intellectual property attorney instead of trying to go at it alone, as the trademark process is quite complicated. Before you trademark a logo, be sure to have the logo designer grant you the copyright as well, or at least the rights to use the logo for your business. 4. Get the Proper Licenses It’s important that your bar is properly licensed before you open for business to avoid legal trouble. Licenses are required in order to serve alcohol, food, and even to play music in your bar. Some of these are easy to get, others more complicated. Not acquiring the proper license is a silly mistake that can cause your bar to close down, so don’t skip this step. 5. Choose a Location Location is everything, and there are a few things to consider before choosing the right location for your bar. Your Style – Are you formal? Elegant? Casual? This can determine the type of customers you’re likely to appeal to. Demographics – Different areas of your city appeal to different demographics. If you’re looking to appeal to college students, opening near a university makes sense. If you’re looking to attract higher-class customers, set up shop in the more affluent part of town. Accessibility and Parking – If you’re attracting tourists, parking is less of an issue since they’re likely to call a cab or use Lyft or Uber. However, tourists are less likely to be repeat customers. Keep this in mind when choosing your location. Zoning Restrictions – Can you open a bar here? Rent and Utilities Costs – Will you be able to make this up in sales with the type of customers you’re going to draw in? Read More - Restaurant Real Estate: Finding Sites for Restaurant Concepts 6. Designing Your Bar Your style is everything. People go out for atmosphere and to socialize, so selecting the right music, décor, and furniture is important. When choosing these things with your bar, make sure they’re all complimentary to each other. Don’t open an Irish pub and play top-40 music - everything should be in sync. You can check out Pinterest for some unique ideas, or if you have the budget, hire an interior designer. Whatever you decide, make sure you get this right so that you can create a memorable experience for your customers to keep them coming back. 7. Accounting and Inventory Bar inventory is an important aspect of keeping track of your cost of sales, so before you open, make sure you set up a process for this, or make proper use of bar inventory software. Proper inventory tracking can help you set prices and figure out which items are most profitable in your bar. You can use this information to help bartenders make more effective drink recommendations. In addition to properly tracking inventory, you want to make sure you have a good accounting system in place. Whether you use Quickbooks or hire a bookkeeper, it’s important to keep track of how your business is doing, and where you need to make improvements. 8. Bar Marketing Bar marketing consists of two main activities – customer attraction and customer retention. Customer attraction is theoretically simple – put out an ad and watch the customers flow in. However, paid advertising can become expensive quickly unless you’re able to keep these customers coming back repeatedly. Additionally, you may want to find ways to bring people into your bar through word of mouth. Marketing is essential in the world of bars and restaurants. Don't expect to open shop and see an influx of customers! Utilize social media, encourage word of mouth marketing, and consider putting some money behind your brand.Read more
- Posted: March 03, 2017|Categories: What's New|Read more
Getting to opening day is, for a new restaurant, a momentous and stressful undertaking. From construction to buying equipment to health inspection to staffing, there are hundreds of details, big and small, to take into account. And every detail is a potential problem if not prepared for correctly and addressed promptly. Here are some tips to keep you on track and ensure a successful opening which happens on time (or at least - very close!).
Construction is a huge undertaking, and managing multiple contractors is a full time job in and of itself. Hiring a project overseer will absolutely help you keep everyone on time and on budget. The initial cost will pay itself back in terms of your own time as well as ensuring that everyone shows up and does what they are supposed to do, for the rate they agreed to. Find someone with experience, and keep working on everything else that you need to while that person keeps the contractors on time and on budget.
Speaking of budget - finances are a huge part of opening a new restaurant. Costs are typically anywhere from a quarter to a million dollars in construction and initial rent alone - and cost can creep very suddenly when you discover you need a new air duct system, or you end up three months behind with three extra months of rent to pay and no money coming in. Make sure you have your initial budget plus a contingency plan in place, and negotiate with the landlord to ensure you're getting the best possible deal during the opening months. Be realistic about all your upfront costs - you will need all your restaurant equipment, all the small pieces, and also, a couple weeks of payroll to pay staff, plus food costs for the grand opening. A marketing budget is certainly not a bad idea either. So be cautious and make sure you're confidently funded before proceeding.
Equipment is an area that we of course, specialize in and we encourage you to shop our full range of restaurant equipment - from the big purchases to the small, you'll find what you need here. Do your research and pick pieces that fit both your space and the needs of your kitchen. The equipment you buy now should last you a long time, so consider it an important investment and act accordingly. We are happy to help you if you call our customer service line, with decisions from price to size to everything you need to have on your list before opening day.