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Traditions That Work: Why Your Restaurant Should Have a Secret Santa Box for Employees and Staff

box2 - Traditions That Work: Why Your Restaurant Should Have a Secret Santa Box for Employees and Staff

With the holiday season just a few months away, any business owner worth their salt will start looking for ways to celebrate with their employees. This is what we’ll be elaborating on today. A restaurant is still a business with bosses and employees. The holiday season is a great time to build better synergy with all the departments.

A good way to achieve this is through the Secret Santa Box!

What is the Secret Santa Box?

A Secret Santa is a person who is assigned to give you gifts because they draw your name from a fishbowl or a lottery. Usually there is a theme that is assigned each week or each day leading up to the Holiday party. For themes, they can be something simple like “something blue” or “something scary”.

 A Secret Santa Box is where the presents are placed so that anonymity is kept until the Christmas party where the Secret Santas actually exchange gifts face to face.

Why Have a Secret Santa Box?

Celebrates the Holidays

A restaurant is a pretty busy job and this can mean that schedules are packed and consistently busy. There would be very little opportunity for employees to be able to celebrate the holidays with their friends at work or with the bosses.

A Secret Santa program would be an excellent opportunity to celebrate the holidays while keeping up the busy schedules.

Promotes Merriment

Everyone likes receiving gifts. The holidays would usually be the time of year where people like receiving gifts the most. Having the Secret Santa Box program for your employees is a great way to promote a positive working environment and it also promotes merriment.

When employees feel happy or have something to look forward to their service quality and productivity goes up—something that will ultimately benefit your business.

staff - Traditions That Work: Why Your Restaurant Should Have a Secret Santa Box for Employees and Staff

Strengthens Camaraderie

The Secret Santa Box program is a great way to foster camaraderie between employees. Since they do not know who they are getting the gift from, it promotes an environment of friendliness. People who work in restaurants are already bonded through the troubles that they may face mid-shifts.

This sort of holiday program is a great way to give them something to look forward to in strengthening their friendships further.

In The End

A Secret Santa Box is a great way to keep the holidays alive and promote a positive working environment for all the different departments of your restaurant. If you’re thinking of trying it out, you may want to coordinate with the HR department of your establishment. If YOU happen to be that HR department, you may want to read up on how to apply the Secret Santa program to your restaurant.

What do you think your employees would have to gain from such a thing?

The Rise of the Bento: 4 Reasons Why the Bento Has Always Been Appealing

bento - The Rise of the Bento: 4 Reasons Why the Bento Has Always Been Appealing

Just what is a ‘bento’ anyway? What exactly about it has captured the interest and attention of the consumer market at large? This is something that we’ll be discussing today.

What is a ‘bento’?

The term ‘Bento’ is something that finds its roots in Japan. They’re usually referred to as a home-made meal that’s packed in a little box for take-out. It is usually considered a full meal with rice, meat, veggies, and even some soup in a different container.

It is also known as a ‘lunch box’. So how did a humble lunch box take over the collective interest of people all over the world? We’ve got four particular reasons for that:

They’re easy to make

The humble bento started rather plain. It was a simple serving of rice with a plum in the center, a couple of egg rolls, maybe some slices of fruit and some sliced veggies. So they were quite easy to make for any homemaker who wanted to make sure their kid or their husbands ate well while away from the home for the day.

While the bento has evolved to some really elaborate looking ones, they’re still pretty easy to make. All you have to do is to stick to the recipe.

bento2 - The Rise of the Bento: 4 Reasons Why the Bento Has Always Been Appealing

They’re easy to eat

The bento box has a very neat presentation of the food. The diner will take off the lid and start to eat the meal inside. The portions are neatly rolled and often slices of fruit or meat are accompanied with little toothpicks which allow for a smooth eating experience.

They’ve got controlled portions

The bento box doesn’t have a lot of space so the portions are carefully thought out and weighed. So if you’re trying to count your calories, a bento will be your greatest helper. It’s easier to stick to a diet if you’re using a bento because of the controlled portions.

They’re highly photogenic

One of the greatest features of a modern bento box is that it is highly photogenic. A lot of thought and care has been given into building the bento so you just can’t help but show it off. For a restaurant or café, a bento is a great calling card to use.

Consumers are highly invested in having something added to their carefully curated online image. So if you can get your bento to trend, you can expect a massive influx of clients coming in for it.

In The End

A bento is no longer something that is restricted to the homemaker or a student. The bento box has made its way into the restaurant industry where servings are given in a bento set. Not only is it a complete meal in a single serving but they’re also Instagram magnets. So they’re a great way to reach out to different generations.

Why do you think the bento is appealing?

Reeling Them In: What Sort of Perks Work in Cultivating Customer Loyalty

cust - Reeling Them In: What Sort of Perks Work in Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Humans like to feel rewarded for anything that they do—especially when it comes to their spending habits. If you have a restaurant, you may want to think of ways to trigger the reward center of your consumers. Most establishments have a reward system which allows consumers to obtain extra services for completing certain parameters.

Here are a few perks that we know works in cultivating consumer loyalty:

cust2 - Reeling Them In: What Sort of Perks Work in Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Extra Servings

Who doesn’t like getting an extra serving of something delicious? Restaurants with high loyalty from consumers provide them the chance to earn extra servings. If they sign up for the loyalty program or the rewards system, they can be treated to an extra serving of a side of their choosing.

A popular form of extra servings can also go for a pitcher of drink rather than an appetizer.

Major Discounts

A popular way to cultivate client loyalty is to give them an incentive to keep spending their hard earned cash in your establishment. You can do that by offering them major discounts. By purchasing up to a certain amount, they can either earn points that they can lump together for a massive discount.

Discounts shouldn’t be something that you fear. Instead, you should embrace it and make it work for you. After all, if the consumers have to earn the discounts, that still means revenue for you.

bidth - Reeling Them In: What Sort of Perks Work in Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Birthday Deals

One of the established ways that you can be sure that you’ll have clients come in is if you have a birthday deal. A lot of deals that surround birthdays often go in the tune of celebrants eat for free if they bring at least 2 other paying customers.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can offer the celebrant some special treatment like a fishbowl that they can pick a prize from. Be creative in celebrating someone’s special day.

In The End

When you are able to cultivate a good reward system, this provides incentive for your clients to keep coming back to patronize your establishment. This will mean continued profits for your business and a happier set of clients that will be more inclined to offer you free publicity with their social media posts. If you haven’t thought of a good restaurant perk system, you may want to give it some serious thought now.

The ones we’ve mentioned above are just a few examples. There are so many more out there so you have a lot of sources you can draw inspiration from. Which sort of customer perk do you see fitting into your restaurant plan?a

7 Cost-Saving Tricks for Your Restaurant

food2 - 7 Cost-Saving Tricks for Your Restaurant

There are many clever ways to help your restaurant save thousands every year. Imagine what you can do for your restaurant with all these money. Today we share 7 ways to help your restaurant cut back on costs:

1. Engage Your Employees

Without the understanding and participation of your whole team, any changes you want to implement will take a longer to happen. Simply telling your employees without letting them know why you are adopting a cost-saving strategy may not bring about change. Gather your team and motivate and engage them to share ways they can help contribute to the restaurant’s new direction.

Make sure everyone knows what the new changes are and how much money it would save the business.

Next, make realistic goals and motivate your team to take proactive measures such as turning off lights when not in use. Reward the team when goals are met.

2. Ensuring a Safe Workplace Environment

Ensuring a safe workplace environment in your restaurant reduces workplace accidents and helps reduces business costs and disruptions . If an employee is seriously injured during a workplace accident or if a fire breaks out in your establishment, the consequences would be disastrous for any restaurant owner.

Prevention is always better than cure. Start practising workplace safety by firstly getting a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit if you don’t have them in your restaurant. In addition, make it compulsory for all your staff to wear anti-slip safety boots to prevent slips and falls.

If you are wondering where you can procure all these safety equipment at an affordable price, check out this hardware store. They sell fire-fighting equipment, safety products like boots and material handling hardware at really competitive prices. I don’t think you can find anywhere with better prices in the whole of Singapore.

3. Training Your Staff – Hire The Most Handsome Banker

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Training your staff is one thing, but having them taught by a handsome pro is another. Witness the training stylings of Singapore’s most handsome banker – Pedro Cardoso.

The Most Handsome Banker In Singapore

Once your staff know how they can contribute to your new cost-saving strategy, train them to practice good workplace safety habits and to reduce wastage. For instance, train them to use the fire extinguisher properly or to not leave the doors of the freezer open. Training your staff may turn out be really valuable investment for your restaurant.

4. Use Your Inventory

Every day tons of useable food is thrown away by food establishments across the island. Don’t throw away what you have leftover if it is still usable. Engage the chef to see how he can creatively transform leftover food into special dishes.

5. Do Daily Inventory

Do a daily stock keep to deter staff from stealing from you. Things like this do happen and it is important to do a daily inventory to ensure that a staff member won’t secretly take home food or drinks without you noticing.

6. Minimise Delivery

Reevaluate your delivery system to reduce costs at your restaurant. If possible, try to use the same supplier and limit your delivery windows to once or twice a week, this makes it easier to negotiate for better prices.

7. Use Energy Efficient Lighting

Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs is a fast and effective way of bringing down your overall utility bill. These light-bulbs have a lifespan of a few years longer than regular light bulbs.

Cutting costs can be easy! You just have to be savvy about it and it is important to get the entire team on the same page.

Building Menus: What You Should Consider When Forming Your Menu

j2 - Building Menus: What You Should Consider When Forming Your Menu

When it comes to a restaurant, you can build the interiors or the theme as well as you like but what will really determine your success is the menu. So let’s take a look at what you should consider when you’re forming your menu.

Practicality

When it comes to forming your menu, you should let practicality take over the initial stages. If you aren’t the chef, you need to be realistic about your plans. If you are the chef, you need to consider how to be practical in the approach of your menu.

Is it cohesive? Does it match the theme of your restaurant? Is it something that is sustainable? Do you have the consistent manpower in order to achieve your menu?

If you have answered with a ‘no’ to any of the questions above, your menu still needs a bit of tweaking. Being practical is the lifeblood of all restaurants.

Ingredient Source

When it comes to what’s part of your menu, you must always consider the ingredients that are a part of it. How near or far are you from the source? What backups exist for your ingredients? It would be smart for you to accept the fact that there will always be troubles with shipments.

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Some will arrive late, some won’t arrive at all, and there will be other disasters which can hamper smooth delivery. This is why it would be good for your menu if you really plan out the sources of your ingredients.

Trends

The industry of food is always looking out for the next big thing so it would make sense to consider any trends that you can incorporate into your menu. Any restaurant owner will tell you that there should be some seasonal items in the menu that take advantage of the popular trending styles or flavors.

While we’re not saying that you should always cater to trends, what we are saying is that you should keep an eye out for any in the now trends that are aligned with your restaurant’s offerings or theme.

j1 - Building Menus: What You Should Consider When Forming Your Menu

In The End

The creative murals, the themed lighting, and even the servers that you have will be the calling card that will entice the diners in. The things that will make them really remember you will be your culinary offerings. So it is highly critical that you really put a lot of thought into the build of your menu. After all, your food offerings will also determine how long your business will stay running.

What do you consider most when forming your menu?

Café Your Way: Popular Trends in Cafes around the World

cafe - Café Your Way: Popular Trends in Cafes around the World

If a full blown restaurant is deemed to be a bit too intimidating, a café is often a good choice for budding business owners! Today, we wanted to discuss some of the more popular café trends around the world. When people say ‘café’, you’re not in the wrong if you think of pastries, slices of cake, and a good cup of coffee.

Not necessarily restricted to coffee, cafes have a variety of trends which keep things fresh and interesting. Like:

All Natural Cafes

These cafes have really taken a spike in the last couple of years. Consumers have become really health conscious in the past new years. It’s also a recent trend that healthy food was no longer restricted to simple salads.

All natural and even vegan options are now attracting people in droves. It’s a good way to cash in on a market that really looking for more healthy options for their meals.

cafe2 - Café Your Way: Popular Trends in Cafes around the World

Themed Cafes

This was something that was usually limited to Japan. As more and more people embraced their culture, more and more people saw that there was a distinct appeal in themed cafes. These cafes can range from being school themed to something more fanciful like Harry Potter and Star Wars.

These themed cafes often have their menus match the source theme. For example, if they were doing a Harry Potter themed café, the menu would have certain ‘food’ made popular by the source material like Butterbeer.

Pop-Up Cafes

This is often the new age tester of anyone who wanted to see how effective their menu or gimmick was. These are often temporary stations that are used to gauge the interest that the public has on the offerings that the owner or the chef is trying to establish.

cafe3 - Café Your Way: Popular Trends in Cafes around the World

What’s great about pop-up cafes is that their temporary status makes the consumer actively look for you. These are great marketing tools that let’s the consumer know you before you setup your brick and mortar location.

In The End

Cafes are a great way to get the pulse on what sort of processes and approaches will be needed when you want to venture into something a bit more formal. Cafes are different from restaurants in the sense that cafes often have a homier feel to it and do not necessarily offer larger meals. Café trends tend to come and go but the really good ones have a pretty loyal fan base.

If you had your own café, what sort of trend would it have?

Talking About Egg Tarts: Information about the Tarts You Should Know

eggtart - Talking About Egg Tarts: Information about the Tarts You Should Know

Portuguese Egg Tarts or Pastel de nata is pretty famous for its taste and texture so it does not surprise us in the least that people will want to serve them in their restaurants or in their events.

History

Most food nuts will agree that Portuguese Egg Tarts have their roots in Lisbon in the Jeronimos Monastery—rather an odd place for something so delicious. This is because the monks that inhabited this place used copious amounts of egg white in order to starch their clothes. This meant that there was A LOT of egg yolk left over.

egg2 - Talking About Egg Tarts: Information about the Tarts You Should Know

Catholics were pretty much “waste not, want not” in their beliefs so the egg yolks, once separated from their whites, were used for other things like cakes or the meals. They generally kept their recipes to themselves until shortly after 1820 where the monasteries had to find an alternative source of income (as they were no longer supported by the state or by the people around them).

We can probably say that this was a lucky break for egg tart lovers all over the world. Because the monks could not sustain their production but built a pretty loyal fan base for their tarts, they sold the recipe to the people who would eventually open up one of the best pastry shops in the world.

When and Where to Serve

There has been some concern over people who wanted to serve egg tarts in their establishments. Here are some of the concerns that we’ve come across:

  • Is it a dessert?
  • It is an acceptable appetizer?
  • How should it be priced?
  • How acceptable is it for events?

Portuguese egg tarts kind of require a lot of egg yolks so people may consider them a bit on the pricey side to make. However, there is no beating the flavor that you get from them. So here are a few tips about these world famous egg tarts:

egg3 - Talking About Egg Tarts: Information about the Tarts You Should Know

It can make a good breakfast

So for establishments that serve breakfast, a Portuguese egg tart can be a filling breakfast.

Egg tarts are primarily desserts

The creamy custard center is ideal for those who are wrapping up a meal.

In The End

Portuguese egg tarts are a great way to add a lot of flavor to your menu. Any self-confessed foodie will tell you that it’s quite hard to obtain the authentic flavor and really fulfilling flaky shell. So if you’re planning on adding this to your menu, you may want to take a visit to Hong Kong to get a taste of something authentic before you try your own spin on it.

Would you consider adding Portuguese Egg Tarts to your own menus?

Not Just Real Life: Popular Anime Focused On the Topic of Food and Restaurants

img - Not Just Real Life: Popular Anime Focused On the Topic of Food and Restaurants

If there was anything that you can rely on is that when something is deeply ingrained in our collective spheres of consciousness, it will eventually find its way into anime. Anime, otherwise known as Japanese cartoons, have been making waves all over the world. Anime series have a way of depicting real life and even highly surreal ones.

This is why anime is highly capable of starting trends in communities. In today’s discussion, we wanted to take a look at popular anime that have heavily featured food or restaurants. Let’s get started!

Cooking Master Boy

This is one of the older anime in our list. This tale follows the progress of Liu Mao Tsing, a young chef in China. In this world, China takes its culinary work rather seriously where you cannot even open up your restaurant if you have not passed specific tests set out by the government. In their society, there is a “Super Chef” test that rarely anyone ever passes.

We follow young Mao’s journey as he tries to inherit his late mother’s famous restaurant. In his journey he takes us through different native recipes, ingredients, and even ‘legendary’ cooking utensils. It’s a great way to learn something new and enjoy the way that Chinese tend to showcase their reactions as indicative of their movies.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

This one is quite new with its fourth season currently running. It follows the story of Yuhikira Soma and his adventures in the world famous culinary school Totsuki. This anime takes a very academic approach to food.

They even have a great emphasis on the individual specialties and their families’ established restaurants. So the audiences really get to see what goes into flavors, making new recipes, and all new ways to achieve certain effects. Culinary students will get to enjoy their discussions on different ingredients and molecular gastronomy.

Bartender

This one follows a bittersweet anime about a bartender named Ryu Sasakura. Every episode introduces new characters and new drinks. What is particularly fascinating about this anime is that the audiences are treated to more than just the beautiful motions of mixing a drink.

We get to explore more about the history of certain drinks and we find out more about the people who were behind them. It also offers great insight toward the interior design of a restaurant or bar—a good reference for anyone looking to open their own establishment one day.

In The End

Anime has really come a long way from just being about ninjas with a nine-tailed fox in them to showing slice of life stories which can really help viewers obtain a better understanding of the culinary world. There are so many other anime out there that’s about food, too.

Which anime which centers on food or restaurants have you seen?

Parts of a Whole: Departments Necessary for a Restaurant to Work

rest3 - Parts of a Whole: Departments Necessary for a Restaurant to Work

Restaurants are like a living body in the sense that it requires several parts in order to function properly. Today, we wanted to take you through some of the necessary departments for a restaurant to work. Generally speaking, there are usually three particular departments which have their own sub-sections. Let’s break them down:

Administration

This usually refers to the owner of the establishment. They and the people that work under them (HR and Accounting) make up the head of a restaurant. These are the people that are usually in charge of all major decisions like menu building and logistics.

rest1 - Parts of a Whole: Departments Necessary for a Restaurant to Work

Front House

This is the fact that your customers come into contact with: the maitre d’, the servers, and even the bartender falls into this department. They make sure that the service is good and that the orders aren’t lagging. They’re in charge of making sure that there are enough stock of beverages and orders are matched to the suitable tables.

Back House

The back of the house is usually the people in the kitchen. Often described to be the heart of a food place or a restaurant, the chef and the ones that work under him all make sure that the quality of production is maintained. They also make sure to tell administration if there are any issues regarding ingredients or sources.

rest2 - Parts of a Whole: Departments Necessary for a Restaurant to Work

It is all of these departments work together to ensure that the diners are given a wholesome and positive culinary experience. Each department plays a part in making a restaurant a well-oiled machine.

In The End

Restaurants have growing pains and it may take some time until all the necessary departments are in place. When a restaurant is new, that is usually the best time for the owners to really get a feel of what sort of setup they need to have.

What departments do you think are necessary in making sure a restaurant functions well?

Business Talk: Why Is the Business of Food Still so Popular?

food2 - Business Talk: Why Is the Business of Food Still so Popular?

Not everyone is happy working in a boring old office and making someone else rich. No. A lot of the time those who are aiming to build their own business tend to go through a highly familiar route: the business of food. Today, let’s explore why the business of food is still so popular!

Basing it off our own experiences, here are a few of the biggest reasons why:

It’s a Mix of Creativity and Profit

Having a restaurant or any sort of food business is always a great way to strike a balance for the owner as a way to express their creativity and earning a tidy profit, too. Food businesses always have a person with a dream at the very center.

Food3 - Business Talk: Why Is the Business of Food Still so Popular?

The most enduring factor about food businesses is that it is a great way to experiment and revitalize food that has been around and to discover fresh new flavors.

Demand Will Always Exist

As long as people are around, they will need to eat. This is something that is basically encoded into our nature. Eating for survival is always a factor so food businesses will always have a demand for them—especially if your offerings are practical.

food1 - Business Talk: Why Is the Business of Food Still so Popular?

On the glam side of things, eating for the same of experience is something that has also been around for centuries. People like to experience new flavors and restaurants are always good places to find these experiences.

In The End

The business of food has always been quite popular and we believe that it will continue to be a palpable presence in the world of business. Those who are lucky are able to build brands that last for several generations. Many fond memories are always created in food establishments which have their own soul and flavor.

Do you have any interest in trying your hand out in the business of food?