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Web-Based Restaurant Training: It's a Team Sport

Restaurateurs know proactive training translates to bottom line performance, and things like great service, high standards, and expert menu knowledge don't come easily. Precious time required for training can be obliterated by the chaos that defines the restaurant business. Successful restaurants depend on teamwork: they huddle up for daily pre-shift meetings, hold each other accountable, and look to their veteran players in every position to make great service happen.Yet, when it comes to training, too many owners and managers attempt to go it alone, committed to the notion that one person, should write, produce, deliver, and measure a company training program on their own. In theory, it's a fantastic idea. In practice, it's often doomed to failure.

How do successful restaurants navigate the storm? Is the answer a single product or solution? Of course not.

Great training begins with leadership and employees who understand its importance. It should be customized and exclusive to every position, from Host/Hostess to Dishwasher. Progression through the program should be based on understanding, and honed with hands-on training and follow up. Testing should be constant, and easy to track. Yet, for a small operator (1 to 5 locations) to create this sort of content on their own is an epic achievement.Savvy restaurateurs are using new technology, and tapping into the talents of their staff. When operators tap into the innate sense of teamwork already present in their restaurants, great training happens. More often than not, employees will step up and contribute to training in ways management hadn't ever considered.

How can you make the most of teamwork and training? Here are a few tips:

1. Recognize your trainers!

If you have an employee that excels at training new employees, even during busy times in the restaurant, then praise them for their efforts to assist with training and ask them to assist you with your newest training plan.

2. Have a conversation with your leaders about training.

Gather their feedback, hear their challenges and applaud their successes. Let them know how important they are to the future of the business. If you're an owner or manager, don't spend too much time criticizing inconsistency. Instead, take ownership, and act. Involvement of key staff members will yield the results you seek.

3. Consider your time and know your role.

If you're considering a web-based training system, it's important to assign tasks to the right people. If you're a manager who's buried in day-to-day operations, delegation is your friend. There are dozens of web-based learning management systems (LMS) available to restaurants. Regardless of your choice, you'll need help from your team. If you're busy with other projects, don't let them fuel procrastination on training, but don't try take it on alone. Know your role, and trust your staff.

4. Get everyone involved in the process.

Training materials are evolving, and web-video is leading the way. Chefs and kitchen staff are producing more back-of-house training video than any position I've seen. Bartenders are teaching mixology to new hires and co-workers, and Servers, Hosts, and Hostesses are increasingly comfortable with using video to teach standards, and how to deal with different situations. You can delegate key employees to take pictures, shoot video, and even write test questions. Employees will enjoy seeing themselves in training materials.

5. Implementation as a Team

Web-based training is a better way to deliver technical training (menus, policies, etc) to your staff, and it's really turned a screwdriver into a power drill. Restaurants are adopting LMS technology at an astounding rate.  Having said that, the paradigm shift from traditional ways of training to web-based training is not easy. While the software can be easy to use, training doesn't get easier until a proper setup and implementation have been executed. It requires strategy, careful planning, and teamwork. Some restaurants can get there in 30 days, while others take longer. The most important thing is to set and adhere to a goal for implementation, which will require the work of the entire team to meet. Return on investment and improvement happens after a successful roll out.

6. Utilize Your Team & Content

Software alone is just software, and employees just want it to work. They'd like to access it on their phones and tablets, and learn around their schedules. In their world, employees need to know how to properly run the dishwasher, sell the beer or wine menu, bus a table, or rotate product in the coolers. Great training content takes restaurants from customer satisfaction to guest elation. A great web-based training solution helps your staff to adapt quickly, and utilizing the talents of your team ensures a solid training culture for the future.

If you’d like more information about improving your restaurant’s training, shoot me an email: james@waitrainer.com






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Food Investing Continues...

Just grabbed these from Tabeau Public as a point of reference> Interesting how VC's have decided now is a good time to do what they could have been doing for quite some time. I guess, better late than never? I just hope they enlist some real industry experts that have real perspective to ensure sector investing isn't a bubble and crashes because too much money is flowing to the wrong entrepreneurs and/or the wrong deals. VC's generally don't get (a) consumer or (b) foodservice.

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Customer Birthday Emails

 

 

Remembering and acknowledging a customer's birthday is a very simple and efficient method to build brand loyalty and image. Market and analytics provider Fulcrum confirmed the full aspect of that with the results of their recent online survey.

The evidence comes from a resend online survey that indicates that 74 percent of customers appreciate more highly a company that sends them an e-mail birthday card. More than 80 percent of the customers who react positively also exhibit increased loyalty to the brand.

Most importantly, a birthday greeting to restaurant customers influences positively 92 percent of them. Furthermore, 96 percent of these clients exhibit higher loyalty towards a given restaurant. These numbers should be enough to convince any restaurant that a birthday loyalty program will benefit both the customer and the business.

When birthday greetings are combined with discount coupons, they are 24 percent more effective in inducing better consumer opinion for the restaurant. There is a strong positive relationship between that better brand image, future sales and marketing further products and services.

Birthday greetings are not only read more frequently than other messages, but also pose no risk for negative response and come at a zero cost. Due to the fact that a birthday message is simply an option for a customer, they are unable to respond negatively toward the company. It is simply up to them to redeem the reward or not. Also, because it is a simple email or text that is being sent there is no cost, which is a huge bonus for the company, it is essentially a free loyalty card and marketing campaign.

Many businesses have already started taking advantage of loyalty programs to boost the business-customer relationship. Mobile devices has allowed for a much easier execution and integration of these programs, mobile affords for easy digitally tracking of points and redemptions.

When signing up for loyalty programs most business ask for your date of birth already, so by this point it is just a matter of storing that information and creating an alert that automatically send to your customers on their birthdays; either by phone or email.

MenuDrive stores the data of those customers that register with your business, creating a database that you can use to target first time visitors and loyal patrons alike; and it is fully customizable, of course. Your online ordering software will capture key customer data that you can use for more effective marketing campaigns. Sending automated birthday greetings and coupons is only a small part of what MenuDrive can do to help you further improve brand image and loyalty.

So, even if your business already has a loyal customer base it would not hurt to implement a customer birthday program to solidify those already loyal customers and to attract others to become loyal customers. This will not only get those people more interested in returning to the business but in turn may also get those newly loyal customers to begin talking to others about the business that could bring in more traffic to the company. 

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Fun consumer data from Square - THROWDOWN

Here at Square we took a look at how Americans order (Extra mayo, pickles on the side, whole milk, etc.) and have the national list, as well as data for Chicago, NYC, SF, and other major cities. (Spoiler alert: they love bacon and fries.)
We also did a "throwdown"-- where we pitted the frequency of certain modifiers against others. We came up with some interesting insights. For example,
  • People are 500% more likely to order whole milk v skim milk
  • People are 104% more likely to order hot v iced
  • People are 200% more likely to order cheese v no cheese
  • People are 131% more likely to order fries v potato salad
I've attached an infographic related to this data.
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We all know the feeling. You apply for a job, and wait, and wait...and wait some more. You’re wondering if the company received your application, if you’re in the running for the job or just downright out for the count. No one likes to be in limbo during the hiring process. It’s often a full-time job looking for a job, so not knowing where you stand is just straight up frustrating.

 

Jeff Hayden, owner of Blackbird Media, struck a nerve when he recently posted on LinkedIn an article titled “The Worst Hiring Mistake Any Company Can Make.” Jeff argued that failing to follow up and provide closure to every person who applies for a job – not just interviews but applies – is the worst mistake you can make. The post has only been up about a month, and it’s already collected more than 900 comments! I think it’s safe to say it’s something worth talking about amongst your company, too.

 

Jeff makes a great point: “Why is it okay when a person pays your business the highest compliment of all – by saying they would like to work for you and therefore spend more time with you than they do with their family – for you to ignore them and never respond?” He goes on to say that failing to follow up is not only rude, it also has major business repercussions. And here’s the thing. Many people feel the way you’re treated as an applicant is a direct representation of how you’ll be treated as a team member. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s face it. A bad candidate experience means that person’s going to go on to tell their friends and family about that crappy experience...and that has brand damage written all over it.

 

People came out of the woodwork to give their two cents after Jeff posted this article. Some said you can’t expect an HR department that receives thousands of applications for one position to personally call or email each applicant. Others said the follow-up should be reserved for those who actually make it to the interview. But for those who agree with Jeff, many said a prompt response that provided closure not only impressed them, but also made them feel valued enough to potentially apply again down the road...or at least still recommend someone they knew. A little courtesy sure can go a long way.

 

Sure it may be too much to ask to manually type up letters or emails, but there are tools that can help. Both PeopleMatter and our awesome partner, HireVue, offer automated responses using email templates that you can customize to reflect your company’s brand and culture. That kind of automation takes a huge weight off of your HR department’s shoulders and gives them the opportunity to spend their recruiting efforts elsewhere. This kind of technology also lets applicants check back in and get the status of their applications at their convenience. Efficiency and a personalized follow-up. That’s what I call a win-win for your team and your applicants.

 

A lot of avoiding applicants feeling "in limbo" comes down to outlining the next steps. Put yourself in the shoes of the applicant. Looking for a job is nerve-wracking! People should know exactly what to expect during the process. Here’s an example from the “PeopleMatter Experience” infographic that I shared with you in last week’s blog post (The Hiring Big Bank Theory Part II: Recruit Through Culture).

 

 

In the “Join Our Team” section, you can see we’ve outlined what the hiring process looks like during the interview, all the way through your first day lunch with your buddy. Most job seekers want to be prepared for what’s next, not surprised, so laying the groundwork for what they can expect, means so much.

 

I love Jeff’s closing line of the article: “By applying they've hung themselves out there, professionally and emotionally, so never leave them hanging.” Thanks, Jeff, for starting a conversation we could all stand to have at our own workplaces.





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Predicting upcoming trends is never easy. Especially when you consider predictions for an industry as volatile as the restaurant industry. Kitchenall.com is committed to helping restaurant owners grow their business, so we put together these 10 restaurant industry trends based on feedback and predictions from hundreds of restaurant owners as well as industry specialists. The trends are categorized into Culinary, Beverage, Marketing, Tech, and Design, and some of them may surprise you! 

10 Restaurant Industry Trends to Watch Out for in 2014 - An infographic by the team at Kitchenall.com

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Drink Up and Trust the Bartender

There are so many options in the cocktail world today. With such things like perfume and cocktail pairings or sea urchin ingredients, there is no need to be afraid of cocktails as well as bartenders for that matter.

Here are some tips on how to order, drink and tip like a pro:

Know what you want. Do you want vodka, gin or scotch maybe? If you’re not familiar with the cocktails, most bars have a drink menu to choose from. Knowing what you want will make it easier once you order, especially on a busy night.

Don’t order that special drink you had at the other bar. Chances are they don’t have it.

If you don’t know what you want… start off with basics. On busy nights, bartenders will not have the time to wait for you to make up your mind. Stick with classic cocktails and leave the experimenting for later.

Pick a good time. Ask for the bartender’s choice on days wherein the bar isn’t as full. Early evenings or late afternoons are a good time to try more complex cocktails and letting the bartender order for you.

Know some bar lingo. Bartenders may ask a few questions on what drink you would prefer, don’t get confused on some words like tap, pint or on the rocks.

  • Cash and carry – pay for each drink separately
  • Pint – 20oz glass
  • Tap – draft beer
  • On the rocks – over ice
  • House wine – the establishment’s chosen wine
  • Double – two shots of liquor in one drink

Bartender’s license. An establishment must adhere to state laws in the selling and serving of alcohol. Look for licensed bartender in the establishment as they know how to handle food safety, dealing with intoxicated customers and underage drinking.

Don’t be stiff. Bartenders work for tips so make sure to tip well especially if the service was great. Also, be polite and don’t tip in coins. 

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If you’re like most business folks I talk to, finding and holding on to great people is one of your toughest challenges. Let’s be honest. Work isn’t always fun. It’s called “work” for a reason. Most people spend at least a quarter of their time at work every week. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to embrace what makes your company special and let your culture shine. We all know referrals are one the best recruitment avenues, and nothing says “come join our team” like a team member raving about why he or she loves working there.

 

Last week I talked about getting creative with your job descriptions (The Hiring Big Bang Theory Part I: Spice Up Your Job Descriptionand including culture tidbits in those. But it doesn’t stop there. You have to let you company culture shine in the careers section of your website, on social media and via word-of-mouth, too. It’s all about giving applicants a good look at what makes your company unique and creating an emotional connection to your brand.

 

So let’s start with your careers page. This is a great place to define who you are. Talk about what you do and why you do it. What does your company believe in? What are you passionate about? What’s your mission statement? What are your core values? At the end of the day, your hiring managers want people who share your company’s mission, vision and passions...not those who simply line up with a bulleted list of skills.

Take a look at Panera Bread’s careers section. Right off the bat you can see what a “culture of warmth” really means. Panera also makes a point to say that working there isn’t just about you and your future, it’s about your family and your community.

You know what else is really powerful in touting your company culture? Showing the faces of all the awesome people on your team. Panera does a great job of this. They have several videos on YouTube called “Meet the Bakers.” They are short, engaging and provide a window into why each baker enjoys being a part of the Panera family.

 

One of my favorite examples is the careers section of Location Labs’ website  They start by saying “We promoted every one of our executives from within. Most started by clicking right here.” I don’t know about you, but that sure makes me want to keep reading. Then it says “Come meet some of your future coworkers.”, followed by some real-life pictures and blurbs about what makes each person unique. Those are the kinds of emotional connections to your brand I’m talking about.

 

 

 

Something else to keep in mind? Make sure your applicants can access your careers page with one click from your home page. Mobile is king these days, so you also need to make sure your careers page and application are mobile-optimized. That way, when folks are eating in your restaurant or walking by, they can hop right on the Web, check out your site and even apply, right from their fingertips.

 

But let’s not forget about social media. Create buttons on your careers page that make it easy for them to “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. It’s also a good idea to make it easy to share job postings. Maybe one applicant isn’t a fit for the job you’ve posted, but his or her best friend is. Let your fans do some of the leg work, so you have more time to focus on your customers.

If you’re not quite ready to completely overhaul your careers webpage, consider this. We created a “PeopleMatter Experience” infographic and made it available on our careers page. The first two sections – “Our Team” and “Our Favorites” create that emotional connection with the candidate. We tell you all about the people who work here. We bring our dogs to work, 70% of us consider ourselves “foodies” and 75% have a Mario Kart obsession. The “Our Favorites” section has some great quotes about why our team members enjoy working here.

 

And of course, we cover the benefits, but the “Our Way” section provides another glimpse into our company culture. We ring cowbells when we’re excited, we have a company cheer, we have a no-suit-and-tie dress code, and we hit the streets every year to talk one-on-one with our customers.

 

Referrals also go a long way in our book. So long, we even offer a one-time, cash bonus if we end up hiring the person a team member referred. Your people know your company and your culture better than anyone else. Give them something to write home about, and you’ll see your return over and over again. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

 

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Google My Business

Do you or a friend own a business and use a Google service to promote or control it? Do you wish there was an easier way to control all of the information you need to have available to consumers?  With Google’s introduction of their new, “Google My Business”, service for business owners, your wish has been granted and a variety of doors will open for businesses everywhere. This service will allow owners to update information, add photos, read reviews and use Google+ all in one place. This new service will not only benefit those businesses that are already on Google but especially help those that until now have not figured out how to have a Google presence.

 

Both new and experienced companies using Google will benefit from this new service. Current users of any Google business oriented service, such as Places for Business and the old Google+ dashboard will now be automatically upgraded to Google My Business.  Non-users of and business-focused Google service will sign up for the service and Google will add the businesses information to Google Search, Google Maps and Google+.  This really gets the new business out there and able to be found no matter what device or service a consumer happens to be using.

 

Google My Business assists you in building a loyal following of customers by allowing them to show their appreciation with ratings and reviews, users can also endorse your content and re-share post across the web to spread the word some more. Owners can also respond to reviews and chat with followers or fans to give them the information they need in real time. This helps to build a good relationship with customers to ensure they endorse your business and become return customers to your business.

 

In addition to the features stated previously businesses will be able to post news, events, photos and other updates they want to share on Google+. Another important feature is the integration with Adwords Express, which helps owners to understand where their customers are coming from.  Whether they are searching the business directly or are directed the business through a different avenue. This can be very beneficial to owners so they are able to use their advertising resources in the right locations, where people are the most.

 

While searching for restaurants via web browser is more popular that searching on mobile apps, for now, the trends seem to be leaning toward mobile app searches rising and possibly surpassing web browser searching in the future. The reason percentages for browsers are higher is simply due to the fact that web browsing has been around longer than mobile devices. That being said, Google is also developing a mobile app for the Google My Business service. This app will allow users to do all of these features on the go as well as let consumers search for businesses on any mobile device. With 81% of consumers searching for restaurants on mobile apps (Streetfight) there are unforeseen opportunities by having this app.

 

 

 

 

http://streetfightmag.com/2013/04/18/study-81-of-consumers-search-for-restaurants-on-mobile-apps/ ;

 

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Industry Awakenings - Part I

There are new awakenings in the foodservice industry. The practice of monitoring returns on invested capital is alive and well inside manufacturer organizations, but attention is turning towards where, when and how money is flowing into and across the market.

As most manufacturers confirm, revenue gains continue to be outpaced by accumulating costs. If you’re getting less mileage from your commercial resources, you’re not alone. The many tensions from a closed supply system have erupted and produced what is now an open supply system, with dynamic new channels competing for operators who have proven to be very willing experiment with new sources of value.

In this fragmented environment, broadliners are on alert. The scale of consolidation will continue because not only do their operating models and financial results require it, but the value derived from long distance service and DSR overhead has eroded with the emergence of e-commerce and Cash & Carry, and new gateways such as GPOs and a scaled broker network.

Most manufacturers missed the early signs of this eruption as natural outcomes of a low growth, low innovation and margin-stressed industry. Even now when implications are overtaking them, their go-to-market strategies haven’t changed. For some reason, they continue inserting more marketing dollars of no value-add to operators into the supply system. The transactional practice of trying to engage operators using trade spend and price games was common (though not without pain) in a closed supply system.

But as we said, it's now open. Wide open. Each new route to the operator runs on a different set of rules. If manufacturers don't know what these rules are, and are not clear on their purpose, value, cost and return to their business, they are on dangerous ground....as dangerous as continuing to insert non-value-add elements to a supply system that at its core seeks to eliminate non-value-add elements in service to the operator.

And here is where we arrive at new awakenings:

  • The need for suppliers to understand and manage the money flow and resource application in and across what is now an open supply system,
  • Making strategy happen with business sophistication proportionate to the complexity and definitions of value this system represents.

As our series continues, we will explore these topics and where they lead: clear-eyed, transformative growth and resource allocation strategies that deliver value back to your organization and the customers you live to serve. 

________________________________________________________________________

Blueberry Business Group has been consulting for the food industry since 2000. For more information about our services, click here: http://blueberrybusinessgroup.com or to access our blog archives, click here: http://blueberrybusinessgroup.wordpress.com

Blueberry is a proud member of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. To view this post as written and published by IFMA, or to learn about services provided by IFMA to foodservice industry members, visit Blueberry Business Group Series: Industry Awakenings

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The Hiring Big Bang Theory. Sounds pretty complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Last week we hosted a webinar that focused solely on this theory, but in case you missed it, I think it’s a message worth sharing. The truth is, we’re all looking to recruit, hire and retain the best talent, yet we’re not so sure we have the right resources. 

Over the next three weeks, I’m going to share three bold steps you can take to make sure your applicants walk away as fans, regardless of whether they’re hired. It’s that kind of brand evangelism that can work wonders for you down the road.

Let’s start with the first impression, which in many cases is the job description on a job board. Why are so many job descriptions so bad? They’re not only pretty inaccurate, they’re also boring! Why are we so hesitant to write fun, creative job descriptions? It’s such an important part of the recruitment process, but we rarely take the time to give applicants a great first impression of the company and a chance to get excited about a new job opportunity.

I found two really impressive job descriptions that I just had to share. They aren’t from the restaurant industry, but they offer some great take-aways for all of us. The first one is a job description for a Truck Technician at Waste Management. The first thing the applicant reads is an inspirational statement about just how important the role is to the company: “As a Truck Technician, you’ll keep our business rolling.” We all want to feel like we’re making a difference, so why not spell out the impact of the role in the job description?

Check out the “About the job” section. You get a feel for what the job entails in a friendly manner without all the stuffy language you usually see. The “What people say about you” section really caught my eye. It really gives the applicant a feel for who would be the best fit for the job. Rather than saying responsibilities include “conducting truck inspections and diagnostic tests” it says, “you love to diagnose and solve problems” and “you love vehicle technology.” That alone will help attract someone who is truly passionate about the job, and we could all use more passionate people.

 

The “What we offer section” shows you how the company gives back to the employee. Notice they didn’t just mention benefits like tuition reimbursement and 401k, they also called out things that are incredibly important like teamwork, stability and a professional work environment. If you’re not touting the perks of the job, your culture and the great benefits you offer, you’re missing out. These go a long way not only for recruitment, but also for retention!  

 

Check out another example of a great job description from Great Clips. It’s for a stylist and focuses on not just duties, but also what kind of person would be the best fit for the job as well as what the company offers in return. For the most part, your people spend more time at work than they do with their own family and friends, so make it a point to tell them not only what they’ll be doing, but also why they’ll enjoy being a part of your team.

I know you’re probably thinking “I don’t have time to create awesome infographic job descriptions like these,” and that’s okay. Spicing up even text-only job descriptions is a great first step. We talk a lot about how much people matter, but job descriptions matter, too.





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Priceline buys Open Table for $2.6 billion

Priceline Group Inc. PCLN -2.58% agreed to buy restaurant booking service OpenTableInc. OPEN +47.83% for about $2.6 billion in cash, broadening the online travel giant's offerings into a new field as some of its more established brands mature.

Priceline offered $103 a share in cash for the company, a 46% premium over its closing price Thursday. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. OpenTable charges restaurants fees to book diners on top of monthly fees to use its software.

"The kind of work that we do day-to-day is very similar," Priceline Chief Executive Darren Huston said in an interview. "It's just a different marketplace."

OpenTable's main strength lies in its inventory of more than 31,000 establishments. The service "still has plenty of room to expand," Mr. Huston said, particularly outside the U.S. and on mobile devices.

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Ordering platform provider Tillster Inc. announced today that it has been selected by Pizza Hut and KFC as the preferred partner for its global reference ordering applications. Through these agreements, the company will support regional Pizza Hut and KFC franchisees with Web applications that ensure a consistent user experience across various channels, according to a press release.

Tillster’s tech platform allows customers to visualize and build their own pizzas and remember customers’ favorites and past orders. The application will be built as a responsive design, and available to consumers via the Web, on their mobile devices or on their tablets.

“The ability to provide Pizza Hut and KFC with a global reference application — one that can be customized for their various markets — allowed us to show how scalable our integrated platform can be,” Tillster CEO Perse Faily said in the release. “Our digital ordering platform will provide a new method to help Pizza Hut and KFC and their franchisees around the globe increase their bottom line and meet their aggressive revenue goals.”

With the launch of the localized Pizza Hut reference application in May 2014, Canada will be the first country to implement Tillster’s custom solution in the form of a new ordering website. Pizza Hut will immediately follow this with the launch of a reference application later this month in Thailand. More markets for Pizza Hut, as well as the launch of KFC, will follow.

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Ziosk, makers of the world’s first ordering, entertainment and pay-at-the table tablet, and Chili’s® Grill & Bar have completed the largest rollout of tabletop tablets in the U.S., installing more than 45,000 Ziosk tablets in 823 company-owned Chili’s restaurants.

“This rollout marks the first time a restaurant company has installed communal tablets at this scale, and we were able to complete it two months ahead of schedule, bringing up to 6,600 tablets online per day,” said Austen Mulinder, CEO of Ziosk. “We are focused next on installing Ziosk in the remaining franchise-owned Chili’s. By this fall, guests at nearly every Chili’s in the country can place orders, play games and pay their checks from our tabletop tablets.”

Ziosk’s seven-inch tablets empower Chili’s guests to easily browse the menu, order drinks and desserts and quickly pay their checks. Ziosk tablets also feature entertainment, including news from USA Today and interactive games like zTrivia, a Ziosk-developed program updated bi-weekly with timely news and events designed to bring family and friends together as they share a meal.

With the Chili’s company-owned rollout, Ziosk now commands 95 percent of the installed tabletop menu, ordering, entertainment and payment market, totaling over 55,000 tablets across 46 states and more than 1,000 restaurants. On average, 80 percent of guests in a Ziosk-enabled restaurant use the tablet, and over 60 percent of credit card users opt to pay their check through Ziosk. Altogether, the communal tablets serve over 20 million guests per month.

Ziosk promotes guest loyalty and engagement by making it simple for diners to interact with the restaurant and share feedback right from their table. Guests who use a Ziosk tablet are 10 times more likely to enroll in a restaurant’s loyalty club and 20 to 30 times more likely to participate in a guest satisfaction survey, giving restaurants even more insights into their customers’ experiences.

“Ziosk has proven to be a strong partner during the rollout process,” said Wyman Roberts, CEO and president of Brinker International and president of Chili’s Grill & Bar. “We’ve just begun to tap into the potential of Ziosk, giving Chili’s guests the ability to take control of their dining experience like never before. Additionally, we’re getting immediate, valuable feedback that helps us improve our performance.”

About Ziosk

Based in Dallas, Ziosk® is the first entertainment, ordering and pay-at-the-table tablet for the casual dining restaurant market. The technology, featuring a 7-inch tablet and encrypted credit card reader, resides on each table and enables guests to see menu items, play games, view news and entertainment, order food and beverages and ‘pay on demand;’ all which gives guests control over their dining experience. With its interactive capabilities, Ziosk and its footprint have created the Ziosk Media Network, a digital media platform for partners to create engaging experiences at the point of purchase. Ziosk is revolutionizing the experience and economics of dining. For more information, please visitwww.ziosk.com.

About Chili’s Grill & Bar

Chili’s® Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili’s offers a variety of Southwestern-inspired, classic American favorites at more than 1,500 locations in 31 countries and two territories. In addition to Chili’s, Brinker owns and operates Maggiano’s Little Italy®.

At Chili’s, More Life Happens Here® around every table, every day, at every Chili’s across the country. Guests are encouraged to share their stories of More Life Happening at their Chili’s by connecting with the brand on Facebook (http://facebook.com/chilis), Twitter (http://twitter.com/chilis), YouTube (http://youtube.com/chilis) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/chilis). For more brand-related information, please visithttp://www.chilis.com.

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Truly inspiring after a full hotel scavenger hunt and after a full on talent show that delivered some amazing music, dance and big ass rap, the tribe at #sbrandcamp in Dallas contributed more than $30,000 to No Kid Hungry. This will feed 300.000 kids, amazing and so generous. If you are a restaurant and want to learn how you can become a partner in solving childhood hunger in the U.S, please contact the folks at Share our Strength.
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Summer Brand Camp Experience with TDn2K as the host

So, it's summer, hot in Dallas and it's TDn2K's annual gathering of over 300 restaurant marketing and HR executives. Day one was truly amazing and fun, energizing and facilitating great professional networking. How? With a scavenger hunt team building exercise. Picture 300 competitive campers running around a hotel, up escalators and down elevators, tossing horseshoes, bean bags and eggs,stuffing marshmallows in their mouth and crowding into a single women's bathroom stall. Got it? Insanity and crazy fun. The hotel staffers just grinned and helped with directions while everyone snapped hundreds of pictures using #sbrandcamp. Today, a large troop of Brand Campers boarded busses at 7 AM to work at the local Salvation Army, this years community outreach program. Giving is a big part of TDn2K's core value and they are committed to giving back with partnerships like Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry program that also raised money in last evenings cocktail reception before the scavenger hunt. Today, the opening session begins at 1 PM, so there is a full agenda until after dinner tonight and all day tomorrow. Visit TDn2K.com for more information.
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