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Restaurant sues Yelp to identify internet troll! Print
Friday, 12 September 2014 10:17

nypost.com -The famed Sparks Steakhouse in Midtown steakhouse has a beef with an Internet troll who posed as former worker at the eatery — claiming on Yelp.com that he “personally spit saliva into dishes,” a new lawsuit claims.

The storied eatery — where Gambino mobster Paul Castellano was famously gunned down in 1985 — is demanding the online review site reveal the name of the user who posted the “malicious and defamatory” comment, according to court documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Sept. 8. Continue

Florida restaurant connected to data breach! Print
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:49

Mysuncoast.com - North Port Police say there have been several complaints of unauthorized credit card transactions appearing on financial statements. Various vendors in Texas, New York and Massachusetts have been linked to these purchases.

At least four Florida Beef O'Brady's restaurant locations have been potentially compromised, with credit and debit card information being stolen.

With the help of the United States Secret Service, the North Port Police Department's Economic Crimes Unit, they were able to determine the source was a data breach within the Beef O'Brady's electronic payment network.

Police say one of the four locations is the restaurant located at 1037 Sumter Boulevard in North Port. Police did not immediately have the other three restaurant addresses available. Continue

Restaurant Show a Big Success! Print
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:44

Bizjournals.com - Everything from potstickers to stoneware was featured in the restaurateur's wish list known as the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. The companies that support Florida's $71.8 billion hospitality industry gathered at theOrange County Convention CenterSept. 7-9. And Orlando companies were well in the mix.

"We've made at least 80 contacts since the first day," saidEyal GoldshmidofOrlando-based Fat Cat Foods. Goldshmid founded the award-winning hot sauce company in 2010 with his wife, Orlando attorneyDeborah Moskowitz. Fat Cat was enjoying its first time at the show.

Another local business and first-time attendee,drink mix company Bungalow 23, was also having a busy time on the convention floor. "Everyone wants a drink, but there have been inquiries and interest," said co-ownerRick Ferrone, who mixed cocktails with the company's product: The ultimate portfolio piece. Continue

Businesses relying on international lenders, private equity! Print
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:40

Dailybusinessreview.com -VooDoo BBQ & Grill is the house that foreign capital built.

The owners of the chain's Florida franchises say they've raised $40 million from investors in 12 countries through the EB-5 visa program, sprouting new locations in Miami, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Pensacola.

Faced with a credit desert and stringent lending criteria as nearly 70 banks failed in Florida in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the New Orleans-style barbecue franchise had to look elsewhere.

The company found international lenders and cash-rich private equity firms to be the big-money lenders and backers of South Florida's most lucrative commercial deals.

"We're not where we were in '04 or '05 when anybody could get a loan, but the appetite from financial institutions is increasing," said Israel Alfonso, a Miami partner in Akerman, whose annual real estate survey measures economic conditions and investor confidence.

For VooDoo, the new wave of investment followed a tedious and futile fundraising drive in the U.S.

Jafrejo Holdings LLC, the chain's Florida franchisee, said its startup businesses faced multiple roadblocks from traditional lenders.

Read more:http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202669378296/Businesses-Relying-On-International-Lenders-Private-Equity#ixzz3CzyDCQyQ

Restaurants rank as top industry, Gallup Poll says! Print
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:35

Restaurant.org -A majority of Americans have a favorable view of the restaurant business, according to a new Gallup poll. In fact, restaurants topped the list of business sectors and industries in this annual survey.

Gallup’s latestWork and Education poll, conducted Aug. 7-10, observed Americans’ perceptions of the restaurant industry and 23 other business sectors, plus the federal government. With a net positive response of 60, the restaurant industry outperformed the computer industry by four percentage points. The computer industry has topped the list since the restaurant industry last held that spot in 2007. Overall, this was restaurants’ most favorable year since the poll was first conducted in 2001.

“Restaurants are the cornerstones of communities across the country,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “From the local sandwich shop to the city steakhouse, the restaurant industry provides job opportunity to 13.5 million Americans and has become an essential part of our everyday lives.” Continue

Menu Engineering - Tips to higher profits! Print
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 12:11

Many Restaurateurs possess an undying passion for their business and rely upon skills such as creativity, communications and a great service approach.  Sadly there remains the “red-headed” step-child known as operations often overlooked since it’s not sexy or flashy such as a new culinary creation or hyped-up marketing campaign.

          Chief among these operational “devil-in-the-details” is optimizing sales through analytics.  The menu is the single most important sales and marketing communications tool for any restaurant and needs to be much more than just a “list” of offerings.  The format of your menu often can drive sales of low contribution margin items and drag sales of high contribution margin items depending entirely upon the location of the menu items and equally important their category.

          A recent analysis of a clients’ tri-fold menu determined that although they are a casual dining operation with a full menu, guests were primarily ordering sandwiches and soups (at over 70% of sales) while higher profits items such as appetizers, desserts and some beverages were a combined less than 20% of sales.  This imbalance in the sales mix can contribute to a diminishing contribution margin over time.  Their sales data suggests that guests’ perception of the operation was of a casual, sandwich and soup shop that is primarily an option for lunch.

          We discovered it was the location within the menu that was driving the sales imbalance of the top two menu sales categories.  Furthermore the sandwich category had a combined food cost of 37% while the entrée category had a combined food cost of 26% suggesting an increase of entrée sales could drop more to their bottom line over time.  Combined with the operators desire to have a better balance to their sales mix across the menu we suggested to re-direct the sales mix through menu engineering.

          Simply put menu engineering is the practice of creating a menu format, layout and design appropriate to the operation that will deliver a sales mix of menu items that will maximize the sale of high contribution margin items.   From our list of suggestions it appears the best option for this operator may be to use two menu formats, one for lunch and another for dinner.

          The lunch menu option is a single page format with items listed on the front and back.  Categories and items within them will be arranged to drive sales of high contribution margin items and slow the drag of high food cost items on sales.  The dinner menu option is a single-fold ‘book style’ menu format that offers information about the concept and boilerplate information on the front cover while the interior pages will be dedicated to the major menu categories.  The back cover will host beverages, sides and details on catering.  Focusing the major menu categories on the two interior pages, in the appropriate manner, will assist in driving sales of lower food cost items with a higher contribution margin.

          In conclusion while Menu Engineering is a science, it’s not “rocket science” and so may be applied by restaurateurs within any food service segment and volume level.  For single-unit operators this practice is even more important as smaller operations may not have the volume of multiple-unit or chains and therefore need to render as much revenue as possible from every sale.

          The Menu Spring is a food and beverage focused consulting group located near Tampa, Florida.  Their core capabilities include culinary and operations consulting from concept development through consumer food trends research.  Each client is treated with individual care on a case-by-case basis with a focus on their needs and goals.  Should you desire to learn more please review the information at their website: www.themenuspring.com .

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 12:13
Latest quick-serve strikes call for civil disobedience! Print
Friday, 05 September 2014 11:08

NRN.com - Dozens of workers were arrested Thursday for blocking traffic and other acts of civil disobedience during the latest in a series of staged strikes at quick-service restaurants around the country, according to various reports.

It was the seventh such event organized by grassroots groups funded by the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, since November 2012. The movement is pushing for an increase in the hourly minimum wage to at least $15, as well as the right for restaurant workers to unionize without retaliation. Organizers called for acts of civil disobedience to raise awareness for their cause.

According to USA Today, protesters were arrested in New York, Detroit, Chicago and Las Vegas. Thousands of workers carried picket signs in more than 100 cities. Continue

HIV Positive applicant wins Federal suit against restaurant Print
Friday, 05 September 2014 10:54

News-journal.com - An agreement reached Tuesday in federal court requires the parent company of a Longview Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits to pay $25,000 to a man who said he was denied employment because he has the virus that causes AIDS.

The consent decree between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Famous Chicken of Shreveport also orders the company to train its management in federal anti-discrimination laws with additional hours of school for its human resources director.

The federal commission brought its complaint Sept. 23, 2013, on behalf of Noah Crawford on Sept. 12, 2013. The complaint says Crawford, who was not a plaintiff in the federal case, had learned three months before applying for work at a Longview Popeye’s in 2011 that he had tested positive for HIV.

Crawford had revealed his condition during an interview, when asked why he had checked a box marked “medical” on his application. Continue

Last Updated on Friday, 05 September 2014 10:58
Register for FREE tickets to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging show! Print
Thursday, 04 September 2014 15:57

invites you to attend the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show.
Use the link below to register at no charge as our guest.

Visit Us at Booth: 1951
Visit Our Website
Restaurants save time
by using our Vendors

Flhip.com helps restaurants all over the country find the best possible products and services for their restaurants at the best possible pricing.Visit http://flhip.com/request-quote.html and select the products and service you are looking for and FLHIP will go to work and do the searching for you through our preferred vendors,
Vendors see new restaurants opening soon!
Flhip offers Vendors the opportunity to get in the door first of new restaurants opening soon across the Country before your competitors. Whether you are selling advertising to bring 'em in the front door or Waste or Oil removal out the back, Flhip has just one goal and that is to get you in the door to the decision maker and beat your competition to the sale. Each week we research, document and enter hundreds of new restaurants who will be opening in the near future and need your services before they can open. The information comes from a variety of sources such as public records, Press Releases, internet articles, Social Medias including Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon, Yelp, referrals and more. Each new listing is researched prior to being added to our databases.We invite everyone to contact us and let us show you the Leads for free to see if they would help you get in the door first of these soon to open restaurants. Contact us to see what you may be missing at 772-231-5826 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it To see leads for free in your Sales area, Click Here!

Just click the link below to pre-register for the show and
receive your badges in advance by mail!


Yelp escapes extortion lawsuit unscathed, except for its reputation Print
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 23:02

Engadget.com - For years, businesses have accused Yelp of running an extortion racket. If companies refused to pay for ads, Yelp would allegedly pull down some of their positive reviews (and wreck sales) until they gave in. Well, those accusations don't appear to hold much legal water; an appeals court has upheld a California judge's dismissal of a 2010 class action lawsuit that claimed Yelp was committing civil extortion. Needless to say, the recommendation service is ecstatic. It cites the ruling as proof that the shops simply had an "axe to grind" and were either trying to "draw attention away" from bad reviews or else prop up review manipulation schemes. Continue

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