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The Best Teriyaki Chicken Burger In The County Has Been Found

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 21:03

" But fear not, the tiny North Hollywood storefront does offer it, along with the other Southern California fast-food must-haves like burritos, teriyaki and burgers. Plus fried rice - but the teriyaki is served with French fries, not with rice.

Categories: Today's Food News

Is delivery worth the headache?

Nation's Restaurant News - Sat, 2017-05-20 19:20

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

This is part of NRN’s special coverage of the 2017 NRA Show, being held in Chicago, May 20-23. Visit NRN.com for the latest coverage from the show, plus follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

No single trend in the restaurant industry is as big as delivery. The wave of third-party services and clear demand from consumers has just about every major restaurant chain headed in that direction.

Delivery can generate a flood of sales when companies start implementing the service, according to a panel of operators at the NRA Show on Saturday.

“The sales volume is extraordinary on the third-party delivery side,” said Monique Yeager, chief marketing officer of Tijuana Flats, which began working with UberEats five months ago. "The first three months was absolutely amazing.”

But … 

“The cost is what we all need to work together as a community of restaurants,” she said. “The cost of this is extraordinary. And sales volume doesn’t cover it.”

Others, however, say the pickup in sales is worth the cost.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has one location that generates 50 percent of sales through delivery. COO Scott Goodrich was blunt about the impact delivery had on that one location. 

“It saved the store, in my mind,” he said. 

Goodrich said that third-party delivery is at 20 percent at most of the locations with the service, but not all of his chain’s restaurants has delivery because the company doesn’t trust the service.

“For us it’s been great,” he said.

Delivery is an important consideration for the vast majority of restaurant chains for a simple reason: More consumers are staying home. And for many of them, the only way to get them to eat your product is to bring it directly to them.

According to the NPD Group, 61 percent of all restaurant visits are for takeout, a number that is increasing, even at casual dining chains built on dine-in business.

Consumers are increasingly shopping online, rather than at retail stores, which has devastated that business. It’s also playing a role in the decline in restaurant visits in recent years, and especially over the past 12 months.

That makes delivery a defense mechanism for operators as much as anything else.

“I do think customers are dictating this,” Goodrich added. “We don’t have a choice. They’re going to want to use it that way.”

Yeager called it a “cultural shift to more convenience.”

“It’s an actual shift,” she said.

But that doesn’t mean delivery is a panacea. Because services charge delivery fees, it costs money. And, for many concepts, the amount of potential business remains uncertain.

Yet operators on the panel all agreed that the services generate a surge in sales at first. The big question many have is whether the sales for delivery are not replacing ordinary takeout. 

“If customers are just trading from something that doesn’t cost us to something that does, we have to look at it,” Yeager said.

The other challenge for operators is to make the business profitable. Some operators said they have to hire additional workers to prepare the food and handle the orders, especially at first when a lot more customers order delivery. 

Ultimately, operators said they adjust their operations to make the business more profitable.

Delivery orders were as high as 60 percent of the business at some locations after Blazing Onion Burger Co. started third-party delivery, said CEO David Jones.

“We don’t have the staff for that,” he said. 

That also frustrated workers who were suddenly much busier than they used to be, driving turnover higher. But the orders eased and the company has adjusted its labor accordingly and added training, and now “the bottom line is where it wants to be,” Jones said.

Another question is whether the orders affect overall business. Some chains worry that it will. 

The fast-casual pizza chain Fired Pie will turn off delivery at some of its busy locations during lunch, to not drive away customers who come to the store to order its pizzas.

“We turn it off quite often,” said Fred Morgan, the chain’s co-founder. “We don’t have the luxury of a second kitchen when there’s a line out the door to make orders with five, 10, 15 pizzas. It makes it very difficult.”

Jonathan Maze, Nation’s Restaurant News senior financial editor, does not directly own stock or interest in a restaurant company.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

As labor costs hit hard, operators look for answers

Nation's Restaurant News - Sat, 2017-05-20 18:55

This is part of NRN’s special coverage of the 2017 NRA Show, being held in Chicago, May 20-23. Visit NRN.com for the latest coverage from the show, plus follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Low unemployment and a restaurant industry adding jobs at a strong clip, along with rising minimum wages, have conspired to drive up labor costs for most operators.

The rising costs, coming at a time of weak sales, have left many operators searching for answers throughout their operations — from the amount of technology they add, and even the size of their restaurants.

“This labor line, this trajectory, is not sustainable,” Carin Stutz, chief operating officer of Denver-based Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., said at the NRA Show on Saturday.

Solutions to labor issues vary greatly. Stutz, for her part, has implemented a number of strategies at Red Robin to keep good employees from jumping ship. For instance, the company has a “come as you are” policy, so workers no longer have to cover up tattoos or piercings, she said.

That policy “opens up your workforce in a pretty big way,” she said.

It probably helps that Red Robin’s CEO — Denny Marie Post recently received a very public tattoo at the company’s annual conference after workers met what executives considered a “high bar” for customer satisfaction scores. 

“It was amazing what that did for our culture,” Stutz said.

The company also has a two-week scheduling policy, so workers know further in advance when they are scheduled to work.

“It shows respect for team members,” Stutz said. “They don’t have to wait until Friday to know when they’re working the next week.”

Stutz also said the company has “stay interviews” with good workers to catch issues that might drive them away, rather than catching those issues during an exit interview.

To be sure, higher pay remains the most important element of recruitment and retention.

Ryan Rose, president of Medina, Ohio-based Romeo’s Pizza Franchise, said the company is “starting to pay people more,” and that begins with general managers. The company has increased general managers’ average annual salary from a range of $33,000 to $36,000, to $37,000 to $42,000.

General managers are important, Rose said, because they influence everything else, including labor control and sales growth.

“We look at investing in the highest quality GM we can afford, and making life very good for them,” he said. “They influence everything in the formula that can make for a successful bottom line.”

His company also uses personality testing, and also tests workers on leadership skills to find people who could make the best general managers.

Rose, for his part, sees labor as an important part in driving topline sales, which can offset higher labor costs.

“Hire the right people to increase store sales, and labor will stay in check,” he said.

Some companies are finding workers from different groups. Sue LaTour, president of Passport Pizza, said the company takes advantage of incentive programs to hire people who just left prison.

She said the workers’ connection with a parole officer keeps them in check, and they are motivated to do well.

“This is a great workforce, because they’ve been through hell,” LaTour said. “They show up on time. They’re polite and helpful.”

Technology is playing a major role in companies’ efforts to control labor. Passport Pizza uses a scheduling program that texts employees 30 minutes before they start a shift as a reminder, so they can’t say they overslept.

“They’re always checking their phones,” LaTour said.

Many companies are also using kiosks and online ordering to make business more efficient.

Romeo’s Pizza Franchise generated just 6 percent of sales online when he started 28 months ago. After numerous improvements, that percentage is up to 40 percent.

That doesn’t directly influence labor, he said, but it does drive up revenue 

“Our average guest check is $3 higher online than when they call into the store,” Rose said. “We’re doing more with less.”

“It’s not taking employees’ positions,” he added. “We still need employees. It’s all about increasing the top line.”

Rising labor costs are even influencing the size of restaurants. Stutz noted that Red Robin is shifting to a more mid-sized building.

“We’re trying to slim down, see if that helps a little bit,” she said.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

Deliv joins online grocery competition

Store Front Talk Back - Sat, 2017-05-20 17:50
Delivery startup Deliv announced it has joined the e-commerce grocery game with the launch of Deliv Fresh. The service provides same-day delivery from numerous grocers and meal services across the U.S.

Woman charged for macing fast food employees over stale french fries

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 16:36

Employees at a fast food restaurant in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, say a woman sprayed them with Mace during a dispute over fresh french fries. According to the criminal complaint, police went to Wendy's Thursday afternoon after receiving a call about a disturbance, CBS Minneapolis reports .

Categories: Today's Food News

Jersey Shore businessman charged with stealing Ronald McDonald statue

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 14:27

Thomas Roman, 56, of Point Pleasant, was charged this week with third-degree receiving stolen property in connection with theft of the life-size statue on April 27 from a McDonald's on Center Street. The statue, a fixture outside the fast-food eatery ever since the franchise owners bought the 250-pound clown for $7,000 in the early 1990s, was swiped while the restaurant was undergoing renovations.

Categories: Today's Food News

Online Sales World Event Teaches How to Increase Revenue

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-05-20 13:30


You don’t have to spend a ton of time and money learning how to improve your business’s sales.

Increasing revenue is the name of the game at Sales World, an online event taking place in November. The on-demand conference will be attended by over 10,000 sales professionals looking to learn more about tools and methods for improving their sales numbers over the coming year.

And the best part is that you can access any part of the event live and on-demand online. So you don’t have to travel and leave your small business for a week in order to attend.

You can learn more about Sales World and other upcoming conferences in the Featured Events section. Then check out even more small business events in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Twitter Chat: “Get Inspired in Your Business”
June 28, 2017, Online, Twitter

Are you ready for the Microsoft Inspire event? The company’s annual partner conference is only a couple weeks away! Join Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, and Small Business expert Gene Marks on June 28, 2017 at 3pm ET (12pm PT) under the hashtag #MSBizTips for a preview of what’s coming down the pipeline for small businesses from Microsoft, and discover what you can expect to learn from the conference.

Sales World 2017
November 08, 2017, Online

Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference
November 14, 2017, Online

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.

More Events More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Rising sales photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Online Sales World Event Teaches How to Increase Revenue" was first published on Small Business Trends

Liam Payne Says Marriage to Cheryl Cole 'Not on the Cards,' Drops...

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 12:14

The former One Direction singer discussed his relationship with 33-year-old girlfriend Cheryl Cole, on The Sun reporter Dan Wootton's Bizarre Life podcast on Thursday, explaining that, at this point, marriage is "not really on the cards for me." "I see marriage as more of a religious thing and I'm not really a religious person," the 23-year-old artist explained.

Categories: Today's Food News

10 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business from Online Entrepreneurs

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-05-20 12:00


How do you promote your small business? You can use content marketing. You can focus on social media. You can host some sales or other events. And that’s just the start.

For more ideas on how to give your small business a boost this spring, check out these tips from members of our small business community.

Use These Spring Promotion Ideas for Family Friendly Businesses

Spring is a great time to try to appeal to families with your marketing. And there are some really great promotional ideas out there, including the ones listed in this post for family friendly recreation businesses by Jenny Hayward of Signpost.

Use a Blog to Boost Your Business

Blogging isn’t exactly a new promotional strategy for businesses. But it’s important that you have an actual plan for how you can use a blog to really boost your business. Marc Prosser elaborates in this post on the CorpNet blog.

Create High Converting Content

Whether you’re creating blog posts, social media or other types of content, you need to always keep in mind how that content is going to convert customers. In this Content Marketing Institute post, Shane Barker shares how you can create high converting content for your business.

Drive Traffic With LinkedIn Marketing

When you think of social media marketing, your mind probably goes right to Facebook or maybe Twitter. But there are some powerful tools on LinkedIn that you can use to promote your business, as Ravi Chahar outlines in this Inspire to Thrive post. You can also see commentary on the post over on BizSugar.

Use Customer Empowerment to Improve Retention Rates

Your small business’s promotions shouldn’t be all about gaining new customers. It can also be about improving retention rates. This Kissmetrics post by Nadav Dakner goes into more detail about how customer empowerment can improve retention rates for small businesses.

Discover the Anatomy of a Perfect Guest Post

Guest posting on other blogs and websites can also be a great way to promote your blog or business. To learn about what makes a perfect guest post, check out this case study by Ryan Biddulph on Basic Blog Tips.

Bring in Higher Returns Through eCommerce

eCommerce isn’t just a tool for businesses to offer products for sale. It can actually offer other benefits as well, including the potential for improved marketing. Read more about this concept in this post by Ethan Theo on Getentrepreneurial.com.

Create a Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing isn’t just for B2C businesses. You can also create a successful strategy to promote your company with potential business customers, as this Prepare 1 post by Blair Evan Ball explains.

Keep Up With SEO Trends

SEO can be a very helpful tool for online businesses. But since it’s a constantly evolving concept, it’s important to keep up with trends. Ivan Widjaya discusses the concept in this SMB CEO post.

Learn How to Market to Millennials

Targeting millennials with your marketing promotions isn’t the same as targeting baby boomers or any other generation. So you actually have to learn how to speak to each group specifically. Rick Verbanas shares some tips in this Your Guerrilla Marketer post.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Online entrepreneur photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business from Online Entrepreneurs" was first published on Small Business Trends

Watch Out: This Yelp Program Punishes Online Review Manipulation

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-05-20 09:30

Yelp (NYSE: YELP), a website and mobile app that publishes crowd-sourced reviews to connect people with great local businesses, claims to have over 120 million reviews of businesses worldwide. With such a large number of reviews, and the influence those reviews have on consumers’ buying decisions, Yelp has its share of run-ins with individuals and small businesses writing fake online reviews.

But, the California-based online reviews company has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to shady business behavior on its platform. As part of its larger Consumer Protection Initiative, Yelp has a less publicized Consumer Alert program that punishes businesses caught manipulating reviews and ratings.

Yelp Consumer Alerts Program

Yelp’s Consumer Alert program places a clear alert message on a business’s profile page on the site when it determines that business has made significant efforts to mislead consumers with fake reviews. Yelp consumer alerts inform people that the online review company has detected extreme attempts to purchase fake reviews or manipulate ratings for certain businesses. And the program’s team of “detectives” adds a link to relevant evidence.

Consumer Alert on a business page on Yelp.

“Yelp has become so influential in the consumer decision making process that some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews,” said Eric Singley, vice president of consumer products and mobile, Yelp, in a press release announcing the program launch back in October of 2012. “While our filter already does a great job of highlighting the most useful content, we think consumers have a right to know when someone is going to great lengths to mislead them.”

In the past, the Yelp Consumer Alerts program team says it has alerted consumers to dishonest behavior by medical spas, urgent care facilities, dentists, physicians and more — exactly the types of businesses that consumers shouldn’t have to second guess. In some of these cases, Yelp has gone ahead and sued firms accused of manipulating reviews, including suing a law firm (no less) for faking its own reviews.

Plight of Business Flagged for Review Manipulation

A business flagged for bogus reviews in this manner can suffer irreparable damage to its reputation and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost revenue. A SEO company busted for posting over 800 fake reviews online between 2014 and 2015 in the U.K. had its reputation seriously damaged. And in the U.S., 19 companies identified by the New York state attorney general’s office as manipulating different review sites including Yelp were forced to pay more than $350,000 in fines.

Small businesses threatening to sue customers who post negative reviews about them can also find themselves in trouble. Yelp also places the so-called Consumer Alerts on Yelp review pages of businesses that make legal threats against customers that post reviews on the site.

Last year, Prestigious Pets, a Dallas pet-sitting service, filed a law suit against a couple who wrote a negative review criticizing the business demanding damages of  between $200,000 and $1 million. Yelp consequently placed the increasingly infamous Consumer Alert on Prestigious Pets’ Yelp page.

Consumer Alert on Prestigious Pets’ Yelp page.

“Consumers have the right to share their opinions about their experiences with businesses, but there will always be a small handful of businesses who mistakenly think it’s a good idea to threaten consumers who exercise their free speech rights,” Yelp explains on its official company blog.

Meanwhile, two bills aimed at protecting consumer speech have been introduced in Congress: the SPEAK FREE Act, and the Consumer Review Fairness Act that’s also known as the “Right to Yelp Bill.”

Yelp Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Watch Out: This Yelp Program Punishes Online Review Manipulation" was first published on Small Business Trends

Fast food team swap burgers for bicycles to raise cash for charity

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 07:32

STAFF from McDonalds' restaurants across Oxfordshire will swap burgers for bicycles as they cycle to the Netherlands to raise funds for charity. Franchisee Ismail Anilmis and a crew from his restaurants in Benson, Witney and Didcot will take on the Oxford to Leiden Bike Ride for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Categories: Today's Food News

Building Digital Culture is the Key to Business Longevity

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-05-20 07:00

Building Digital Culture: A Practical Guide to Successful Digital Transformation wants business owners to stop playing with the concept of “going digital” or “innovative”. “Going digital” isn’t creating a website, creating a social media account or using an iPad. These are aspects — albeit tiny — of a digital culture, but the concept of “digital culture” is much deeper than the way the term is used. Digital culture in this book is more revolutionary and powerful than anything that you have ever seen in business.

What is Building Digital Culture About?

“The company that you toil and work so hard to make succeed is statistically unlikely to exist in a decade.”
Building Digital Culture: A Practical Guide to Successful Digital Transformation

Building Digital Culture presents a very strong statement to business owners: Build a truly innovative business culture now or watch your business die. Why you might ask? Most modern businesses don’t cultivate an environment that fosters agility, experimentation and creativity. Instead, they maintain business processes built on the assumption that their future will remain pretty much the same.

Enter any number of businesses: Netflix, Google, Amazon, PayPal, Uber and others that have leveraged technology to not only steal the business from under their competitors’ noses but also radically define what a business can do.

That is the key point that Building Digital Culture doesn’t want readers to miss. You can’t predict the future like you did in the past because technology is evolving faster than anyone could ever predict. It’s not growing in a predictable linear fashion. It’s growing exponentially. This makes it hard for businesses that take a “wait and see” approach to technology and makes it more likely than ever they will get left behind.

Leveraging the technology requires a culture most businesses have not adopted wholeheartedly, the authors  say. While they may praise “innovation”, most actually reinforce a culture that is just the opposite with silos, fragmentation, ineffective employee training, low tolerance for experimentation and painfully slow recruiting practices. These practices reinforce “business as usual” and essentially lure them into a temporary but fatal cycle of success. What these businesses don’t see is the unstable footing caused by this success. The more invested they become in maintaining their own success, the less able they are to innovate when something disruptive (like removing late fees for video returns) happens.

Author Daniel Rowles is an industry expert in the field of digital marketing. He is CEO and Lead Trainer of Target Internet, a digital marketing and training business, and Course Director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Rowles is the host of the Digital Marketing Podcast in addition to writing several books on digital marketing and helping businesses such as Mercedes, L’ Oreal, and Warner Brothers.

Co-author Thomas Brown is the former director of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and current senior consultant at Isherwood and Company and executive advisor at ThinkStuff.

What Was Best About Building Digital Culture?

Building Digital Culture contains probably, hands down, the most focused discussion of “going digital” you will probably ever find in a book on the future of business. The book continually reinforces several points that demystify the vagueness of “going digital”. First, the book debunks the myth that “going digital” is all about “the next big thing”. It’s about the culture and thinking process, no matter your budget. Second, it emphasizes why digital innovation is so important now rather than later for every business, not just a select few.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

Building Digital Culture deserves credit for taking a lot of the vagueness out of digital marketing and innovation and bringing them back down into the realm of everyday mortals. One area that could use a little more attention is the chapter on measurement. While the book praises the idea of a single dashboard for all significant metrics, it doesn’t go into a lot of detail (or provide any examples) of how this might look. More detail here could help businesses (of which there are many) who are swimming in data while only utilizing a tiny portion of it.

Why Read Building Digital Culture?

Building Digital Culture is best for business owners who are a little concerned about the uncertain future of their industry and the rather confusing advice on how to respond. The book provides clear-headed advice, complete with strategies for cultural transformation and refinement of business processes. Building Digital Culture helps readers understand how this bold and uncharted new world of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and everything else ties into a business’s bottom line over the long-term rather than the short-term. This kind of information is extremely helpful for business owners who understand that “digital” is more than a trend or buzzword but don’t know how to turn that knowledge into reality. Building Digital Culture is a massive leap forward in business thinking, in that regard.

This article, "Building Digital Culture is the Key to Business Longevity" was first published on Small Business Trends

10 Tricks Food Photographers Use to Make Stuff Look Edible-Even When It Isn't

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 05:20

Food always looks great in TV and magazine ads, right? That's usually the case whether we're talking about a cheap burger at a fast food joint or an expensive steak at a nice restaurant. Well, we hate to break it to you but some of that appetizing food you drool over in ads isn't really edible at all.

Categories: Today's Food News

$2.8 Million+ Home Sale Raises The Bar For Fort Lauderdale Oceanfront...

PR Web - Sat, 2017-05-20 03:30

N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. estate sells in just 134 days with Engel & Völkers Advisor

(PRWeb May 15, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/05/prweb14325146.htm

LAcarGuy's racing videos strike a chord

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-05-20 01:01
California dealer Mike Sullivan, the self-branded LAcarGuy, has headed to the track to promote his Porsche of South Bay store.
Categories: Latest News

The metamorphosis of C.J. Wilson

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-05-20 01:01
There's retiring, and then there's retiring at age 35 with millions of dollars in the bank and a passion for racing, owning and selling some of the world's most pedigreed car brands.
Categories: Latest News

Theft suspects busted in hamburger drive-thru line in Pueblo, drugs found

Topix - Sat, 2017-05-20 00:50

A couple in a stolen SUV, cued up at a fast-food hamburger drive-up window in Pueblo, were arrested Friday by sheriff's deputies. A loaded handgun was found on the driver and an assortment of suspected drugs in plastic bags were also seized, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

Categories: Today's Food News

Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Barfresh Food Group Inc (BRFH) to Buy

Topix - Fri, 2017-05-19 22:31

The brokerage presently has a $0.75 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research 's price objective suggests a potential upside of 7.16% from the stock's current price.

Categories: Today's Food News

Retail Roundup—CVS overhauls beauty, Ralph Lauren names new president

Store Front Talk Back - Fri, 2017-05-19 18:03
CVS gave its beauty department a makeover, Ralph Lauren named a new president, Target announced an urban location in Denver, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.

The One Thing You Should Never Say When Ordering Food At Chick-fil-A, According to An Employee

Topix - Fri, 2017-05-19 17:54

Chick-fil-A is cult. People come from far and wide to eat at the chicken chain .

Categories: Today's Food News