Category Archives: Restaurant

The Not-So-Silent Killer of the Restaurant Business

Bad publicity can be good for a celebrity, but not for a restaurant business.

Read these comments:

“Why do people come here?”

“The food wasn’t anything to write home about”

The food sucks, and the employees are treated like crap”

Pray tell me, would you come here on your date night or would you go somewhere else? I think we both know the answer. As of this writing, you can see these comments online for a restaurant that pops up as #2 in Google for Buffalo, NY.

Or how about this restaurant in Manhattan Beach, CA (came up as #3 in Google for me):

Experience, not so good. The wine was excellent. The food, not so much. The sauce on the pasta was bland, & watered down. Canned sauce from the grocery would have had more flavor. Maybe because we came early evening and their sauce was not done yet? Don’t know. The scallops were over-cooked but still good as they were fresh. Service was NOT first class at all, not even 2nd class. This is the first restaurant that was Zaggat rated that I found was not deserving. It was a waste of time & money. Very disappointed as this is a very pretty setting.”

If a friend from out of town was visiting, would you pick this restaurant?

This comment shows up on top of all other reviews and it has been there for over six months! Over all this time, this restaurant’s management could be looking at their sales reports, wondering about their slow sales this summer compared to last year and blaming the economy. The problem, as is usually the case, is right under their noses: It’s their restaurant’s online reputation.

Notice here that I am not scraping the bottom of the barrel. These are some of the most popular restaurants in their cities that have been in business for a long time.

Marketing a restaurant business used to be a relatively simple thing: Create an ad, run it in the paper or give a chunk of cash to the Yellow Pages people, and you’re set. Even your biggest and worst mess ups didn’t usually get known outside of a small circle of people.

And boy what a different world we live in now! Restaurant marketing success today depends not as much on what you say about yourself but rather on what other people say about you.

It doesn’t matter is these comments are based on facts or fiction, if one of your staff happened to have a bad night, or if you had to fire an employee and they are retaliating by smearing your restaurant business online. It’s of no consequence if the customer was irate and unreasonable. All these reviews are there for the entire world to see and judge. As a result, your restaurant business suffers.

With social media and review sites everywhere, the reputation of your restaurant business is under constant scrutiny of literally thousands would-be-guests. Some of them could be strolling down the local street and reading your restaurant reviews on their cell phone while others would be miles and miles away, on their computer, planning their trip to your city.

Restaurant reviews, if not managed properly, can tarnish restaurant reputation online, send would-be-guests away, and hurt restaurant business.

Restaurant Owners – Don’t Forget the Wholesale Plastic Containers

As a restaurant owner, it’s crucial for you to stock your establishment with all the equipment necessary to make both your employees’ jobs and your customers’ dining experiences as easy and enjoyable as possible. Wholesale plastic containers are included in the list of necessary equipment. Because you can display and store your merchandise in these containers, they help keep your restaurant organized and sanitary as well as help your cooks and wait staff perform their jobs efficiently.

Below are a few of the most common places in your restaurant where you can – and should – use plastic containers.

In the Kitchens

Whether it’s a fast food joint or an elegant establishment, your restaurant needs plastic containers in its kitchen. A restaurant’s food grade containers can:

  • Store ingredients when your cook isn’t using them.
  • Organize ingredients when your cook is preparing meals.
  • Hold food that your cook has already prepared and is ready to serve.

You can also use large square plastic containers in your restaurant’s kitchen to hold your cook’s tools when they’re not in use, such as tongs, spatulas, and ladles. If you plan to use these containers to store food, make sure you choose food grade dispensers with lids. Likewise, if you think your staff will need to transport these containers often, select dispensers with handgrips for convenience.

On the Sidelines

During business hours, you will probably have a cart or two set up along the sidelines where your wait staff can easily access any additional items your customers might need during their meals. Such items might include extra silverware sets, napkins, straws, or condiments. Plastic containers work well to organize these items so your waiters and waitresses can easily find and retrieve them for your customers.

In Closets and Storage Rooms

Wherever your restaurant stores its nonfood supplies, you’ll need plastic containers.

These containers are great for organizing cleaning supplies such as counter, floor, and window cleaners, as well as rags, extra mop heads, and extra spray bottles. You might also want to use these containers to store bathroom items such as paper towels, soap, and toilet paper. You can also use these containers to organize and store customer items, such as all the extra utensils, napkins, straws, and condiments your wait staff keeps handy during business hours.

Near the Registers

If your restaurant is designed for customers to pay at a register on their way out, you can use these containers to display extra merchandise.

For example, you might use small plastic containers to offer your customers free breath mints, toothpicks, or hand wipes. At the same time, your restaurant might act as a retailer for certain companies and you might use a few containers to display additional merchandise from those companies, such as lip balms or hand lotions. Some restaurants with themes even have “mascots”; if your restaurant falls into this category, you might use a plastic container sizeable enough to hold merchandise in your mascot’s form, such as plush toys, key chains, or stickers.