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The Key to Creating Restaurant Success

Knowing how to run a restaurant is no guarantee of restaurant success. That's because operating a restaurant and building a thriving business requires totally different skills and expertise.

The key to sustainable growth and profit has always been operational competence coupled with great business skills.

Join our community of thousands of independent restaurant operators who are learning new skills, making better business decisions, applying new tools and improving their results.

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Training Manual TemplatesDOWNLOAD: Restaurant Training Manual Templates
Having comprehensive, easy-to-understand training manuals for every position in your restaurant is vital for new employees to learn to perform their jobs the "right way." Use these templates as a guide to create your own detailed restaurant training manuals for server, bartender, busser, prep cook, line cook, dishwasher . . .
. . .
more >>

Survey: Employee Selection & HiringSurvey: Employee Selection & Hiring
This survey will show you what other independent restaurants are doing to successfully find, select and hire hourly employees. Some of the responses are unconventional and reflect a high degree of creativity. Learning what's working for other independent restaurant operations should give you many valuable ideas to improve your own recruiting and hiring systems. . . . more >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant ChecklistsDOWNLOAD: Restaurant Checklists
Successful restaurants use checklists to ensure consistent execution throughout their operation. Includes opening, closing, shift change, purchasing, receiving, storage, preparation, cleaning checklists and our most popular download, the Customer Service Checklist. . . . more >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan TemplateDOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template
Includes 2014 Industry Analysis A professional, well-conceived restaurant business plan is absolutely essential for an independent restaurant venture to obtain funding and have any real chance for success. Our business plan templates will provide you with the tools to develop & communicate your plan in a professional, compelling format that will enhance your chances of securing capital and making your plan a reality. . . . more >>

What's Your Purple Cow? Ways to Differentiate Your Independent Restaurant In a Crowded Field
by Howard Riell
What's Your Purple Cow? Ways to Differentiate Your Independent Restaurant In a Crowded Field The essence of the "purple cow" -- the reason it would shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows -- is that it would be remarkable. Something remarkable is worth talking about, and worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible. So … does your restaurant have any "purple cows"? . . . more >>
WEBCAST: Social Media Basics
WEBCAST: Social Media Basics You know your restaurant should have more of a presence on social media but you've been too busy running your restaurant and now you don't know where to start or you've started but know you could be doing it better. If so, then this webcast is for you! . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant-Specific Chart of Accounts for QuickBooks
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant-Specific Chart of Accounts for QuickBooks ATTENTION QUICKBOOKS USERS - Using a restaurant industry standard chart of accounts is one of the smartest things an independent operator can do. An industry standard chart of accounts will give you financial information in a much more useful format and enable you to compare your P&L numbers with other restaurants. This specially-formatted Excel file is ready for easy import to QuickBooks using the File Import utility for QuickBooks. . . . more >>
Smart Shopping Tips for Purchasing Kitchen Equipment
by Stephani Robson
Smart Shopping Tips for Purchasing Kitchen Equipment Buying foodservice equipment is kind of like buying a car; it doesn't take a lot of experience or skill to make a good purchase as long as you are clear about what you are looking for. This article gives you a starting point for evaluating your needs and making informed decisions when buying kitchen equipment for your restaurant. . . . more >>

How to Overcome Typical Startup Challenges in the First Six Months of Operation
by Joe Erickson
How to Overcome Typical Startup Challenges in the First Six Months of Operation Issues at recently opened restaurants are often unique situations but by listening to numerous voices of experience the author has seen many of the same challenges over and over again. This article will increase your awareness of and prepare you to deal with these common problems. . . . more >>

How to Increase Business on Slow Nights
by Kelly Hartman
How to Increase Business on Slow Nights Butts in Seats. How do you increase lackluster guest traffic? Do you create special menus? Are aggressive advertising and coupon deals the answer? Do you need to ramp up your social networking campaign? Or is it a systemic problem requiring a change of concept or chef? . . . more >>

How to Turn Complaining Customers Into Loyal Guests
by Patricia Luebke
How to Turn Complaining Customers Into Loyal Guests Complaints can wear you out because they so often feel like a personal attack on your integrity and wallet; but if you're able to listen patiently to what your customers are telling you it may alert you to situations that need your attention. See how to realize the positive effect complaints can have on your bottom line . . . more >>
No MBA, No Problem - Creating Your Startup's Marketing Plan
by Patricia Luebke
No MBA, No Problem - Creating Your Startup's Marketing Plan Increase the profitability of your restaurant by identifying your operations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with a targeted marketing plan. . . . more >>
What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants
by Jay Goldstein
What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants Now that you have one successful restaurant you may be contemplating #2. Before you jump in with both feet, there are several key principals required for successful growth. Learn what you need to consider, how to be sure you're ready, and who can help you . . . more >>

WEBCAST: YELP! Love It or Hate It, Here's How to Deal With It
WEBCAST: YELP! Love It or Hate It, Here's How to Deal With It Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, Yelp is a force to be reckoned with. This webcast will provide you with specific tactics and recommendations to resolve issues with Yelp and gain the maximum benefits from your presence on their website... . . . more >>
Ten Menu Mistakes You Can Avoid
by Mark Laux
Ten Menu Mistakes You Can Avoid A well-engineered menu should be your most effective marketing tool. One reason for badly designed menus is that computers have seduced operators to go it alone in the engineering and design process. With a few pointers you can avoid the most common menu mistakes and significantly improve your profitability. . . . more >>

Restaurant Economics: Inside Expansion
by Jim Laube and Chris Tripoli
Restaurant Economics: Inside Expansion There are successful growth strategies that involve expanding an initial restaurant in ways you might not have considered. These include adding day parts, banquet and catering operations, increasing tables, or making the restaurant a commissary for kiosks and concessions. Explore these strategies and more to grow your business without adding units or franchising the concept. . . . more >>

The Characteristics and Traits of Top-Performing Restaurant Managers
by Patricia Luebke
The Characteristics and Traits of Top-Performing Restaurant Managers A manager exists to build profitable sales, and everything a manager does should be targeted to that objective. Still, there's no set personality that characterizes a good manager; one top performer might be totally outgoing and effervescent while another may be quiet and reserved. Both personalities could perform exceptionally well, but there are some core qualities that top managers share. Explore here what defines the best and brightest. . . . more >>
Spot Food Cost Problems by Knowing Your Ideal Food Cost
by Joe Erickson
Spot Food Cost Problems by Knowing Your Ideal Food Cost "What should my food cost be?" - this is one of the most often asked questions by restaurant operators. Considering that food cost, along with labor cost, make up 60-70% of all restaurant expenditures, knowing what your restaurant's food cost "should be" is the first step towards controlling it . . . more >>
Which Version of QuickBooks® Is Right for Your Restaurant?
by John Nessel
Which Version of QuickBooks® Is Right for Your Restaurant? While the dominance of QuickBooks within the independent restaurant community remains steady, its usage is changing. QuickBooks online version is not simply a Web-enabled version of the QuickBooks desktop version but a unique program. This article compares and contrasts features of both flavors to assist you in making an informed decision on the best way to meet your current and future financial reporting needs. . . . more >>

DOWNLOAD: Interview Rating Sheet
DOWNLOAD: Interview Rating Sheet The Interview Rating Sheet helps you determine the candidate's suitability for the position as you conduct the interview. Use this form to help in the evaluation process when hiring new employees. . . . more >>
How to Respond to a Food Safety Emergency
by Alisa Pittman Cleek Esq., and Clay Mingus Esq.
How to Respond to a Food Safety Emergency Prepare your staff and management to prevent and deal with a food safety emergency. This article addresses measures you should take to reduce the chances of a food illness outbreak and how to best respond should this emergency occur. . . . more >>
How to Design the Seating Capacity of a Restaurant Dining Room
by Chris Tripoli
How to Design the Seating Capacity of a Restaurant Dining Room How do you configure a new dining room? One of the industry's top startup consultants shows how to make the most of what you have and avoid making any major mistakes. . . . more >>

WEBCAST: How to Create & Use a Mission Statement: The Foundation for Creating a Highly Successful Restaurant
WEBCAST: How to Create & Use a Mission Statement: The Foundation for Creating a Highly Successful Restaurant In this webcast with David McClaskey you'll learn how to develop and deploy a mission statement that gets everyone and everything you do focused on delighting customers in a way that promotes repeat business and positive referrals while increasing your bottom line. . . . more >>
Why Restaurants Fail
by Howard Riell
Why Restaurants Fail The reasons restaurants fail are many and varied and, in some cases, not the least bit obvious. It was nearly seven years ago that Dr. H.G. Parsa decided he wanted to know why and spearheaded a landmark study to seek the answers. Seven years after that study was released, we talk to Parsa about the study, its "back story," and what he's learned since. . . . more >>

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The Topaz
Santa Rosa, CA

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Ginza Japanese Restaurants, Inc
Winston Salem, NC

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City Bagel Café
Siloam Springs, Arkansas

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Tavern At The Village Green
Cleveland, TN

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Printer's Alley Bar & Grill
Memphis, TN

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Pearle Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Dublin, NH

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Matters of Taste Bakery Market Café
Honolulu, HI

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Brian Fitzgerald
Paddy's Brewpub & Rosie's Restaurant
Kentville, Nova Scotia

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Hizzoner's Uptown Deli
Bellingham, WA

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Lefty's Restaurant
Parksville, B.C.

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Pappa's Bossier
Bossier City, LA

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Route Restaurants
Burlington, CO

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StageCoach Station
Miles City, MT

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Mission Bay Foods
San Francisco, CA

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The Bisbee Grille
Bisbee, AZ