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Musings

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

August 23, 2010

It’s been months of traveling for us at INSIDE F&B. We’ve been bouncing around the globe searching out f&b stories for you – we’ve been to Mexico, New Orleans and more. And the one thing we’ve seen is that service standards are so variable. Some places good, some, well…not so much. And not necessarily where you’d expect it to be good or bad (though kudos to Echo in Palm Beach, Florida – www.echopalmbeach.com – where everything was absolutely on point but of course, given who’s running the show there, we expected nothing but excellence. And they delivered.).

So, it got us to thinking that there’s a whole lot of opportunity out there for you as hospitality industry professionals to punch up your game and really impress your guests and, dare we say it, even see more revenue because of it. Yup, treat your guests with the utmost attention and expect that your staff is knowledgeable and articulate and you’ll benefit. Ignore the little things (e.g., telling a guest that you don’t use sour mix in your cocktails as you’re putting a gimlet in front of them rather than having that discussion before you make it, or ensuring that there aren’t any allergic people at the dinner table before you bring out an amuse bouche) and it impacts your bottom line in a negative way. Pay attention to details and you may see bigger checks, bigger tips, and have in one fell swoop created a committed ambassador who goes about and spreads the good word about your establishment.

In an effort to shake up the cocktail establishment just a little bit and open some eyes to what’s happening on the retail side of things, John Henry of Pipeline presents his street report on what’s keeping the cash registers ringing – http://insidefandb.com/2010/08/front-line-report-from-the-cash-register/.

The music that’s ringing in your ears night after night, shift after shift may grate on your nerves since you’ve
heard that tune over and over again. But how’s it impacting your guests? Are they getting into the groove, understanding the concept and embracing your menu all thanks to the soundtrack playing in your bar or restaurant? Pat O’Neill explores the importance of creating the right aural ambiance in his piece insidefandb.com/2010/08/meal-music.

Nature’s created some of the best fruit we could possibly want to put in our desserts and planted them right in our backyards. So why buy something that’s out of season and possibly flavorless? Don’t! That’s what pastry chef Ryan Butler of Double Crown says in insidefandb.com/2010/08/the-seasons-of-cooking.

These are just some of the stories we hope you’ll enjoy in this month’s issue of INSIDE F&B’s newsletter. Of course we hope you’re checking in every day or so to see what else we’re talking about.

And, we want to hear from you. What’s on your mind? What’s happening in your kitchen and behind your bar and in your dining room? What’s making you happy? What could you do without? What equipment do you plan to buy, or will you just fix the stuff you have and make do? And where are you going next?

Let us know. And thanks for being with us at INSIDE F&B,

Francine

Musings

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH INSIDE F&B

June 7, 2010

By Francine Cohen

If you’ve been thinking lately that we’ve been very spirited in our editorial focus, you’d be right. It’s been an exciting time for drinks events these past few months, starting with the Absolut Sensory Experience which was an eye opening exploration of vodka that just may be the kick in the pants that many bartenders needed to revisit this category (more on this later), and a recent visit to NYC by Japanese cocktail master, Kazuo Uyeda (inventor of the Hard Shake and owner of Tender Bar).

Uyeda-san’s message was heard loud and clear by bartenders who took subways, buses, taxis and planes to be present and learn from a living legend. The two day seminar was a cultural exchange in which the audience was enlightened about the exacting and consistent Japanese approach to style, technique, and, above all, pleasing the guest through service and attention to deliver the most delicious drink (*Factoid: Uyeda-san mentioned the words “delicious” or “deliciousness” a minimum of 20 times each day. It definitely drove the point home.). The Tender Bar approach to crafting that perfectly delicious cocktail is an effort that exhibits the same amount of detail, finesse and grace as a Japanese tea ceremony. For more about this two day East meets West drinks exploration see this story: http://insidefandb.com/2010/05/turning-japanese/

Following right on the heels of this bit of international beverage bonanza a number of those same out-of- town bartenders returned for the inaugural NYC drinks fete/conference/ party that celebrates the mighty cocktail and is known as The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (www.manhattancocktailclassic.com – affectionately referred to as the MCC). Embraced by their NYC brethren, many of these said bartenders were quickly put to work batching drinks for the masses who were about to descend upon the MCC gala. And, while all of them had bar backs, only a few lucky ones (namely Ricky Gomez, Danny Ronen, and Charles Steadman) had the assistance of Oompa Loompas as they manned the Willy Wonka themed bar showcasing Remy Continue Reading…

Musings

WELCOME TO INSIDE F&B

February 1, 2010

By Francine Cohen

INSIDE F&B is for you, and by you. Don’t panic, we’re not going to make you write your own content; we are just counting on you to continue to inspire us to write about the things that matter most to you.

Launching on Groundhog’s Day inspired us. It’s the big question…what will the future bring? Are we in for more winter or is the warmth of spring just a few weeks ahead? At Inside F&B we’re looking forward to sharing the present and the future of the industry with you. And we’ll do it regularly, not just once a year like our furry friend Phil.

INSIDE F&B is an innovative online magazine providing immediate and thorough access to what’s impacting the hospitality industry and INSIDE F&B was also created as a convergence point for us to build a strong industry community, enhance communication, forge new connections, provide educational opportunities, and promote charitable giving.

Poised to become the driving force for the industry, INSIDE F&B evolved from the ongoing conversations that I have with thousands of professionals about what they care about most, their business. My dedication to the f&b community is at the heart of INSIDE F&B’s mission to provide news and business building opportunities, while creating and supporting charitable efforts that benefit hospitality industry employees and related causes. We are thrilled to launch today and provide you with the information you crave and can use to thrive.

As we developed INSIDE F&B’s content so many of you have generously shared with us what’s on your minds every day as you’re butchering, baking, braising, setting the tables, organizing the mise en place, carrying ice, stocking the reach in with beer, checking the wine inventory, taking reservations, placing orders, paying invoices, fixing ice machines, washing dishes, polishing glasses, chopping, dicing, slicing, and everything else it takes behind the scenes to be successful in the hospitality industry. Thank you.

INSIDE F&B’s inside view of the food & beverage world will put trendsetting information at your fingertips. You are the hospitality, culinary, and spirits industry leaders we look forward to serving and we’ve designed INSIDE F&B (www.insidefandb.com) to deliver the news, trends, events, tools, techniques, and best business practices that make your industry strong. Access to research, news and resources on the site will enable you to grow your business. We hope that INSIDE F&B will soon become the tool of choice for those of you who are interested in staying at the top of your game.

In addition to feature stories on those topics near and dear to your heart, please enjoy INSIDE F&B’s regularly scheduled columns, which include:
Rocks Stars – profiles of tastemakers in the spirits industry
PPX – profiles of leaders in the food and hospitality sector
Brain Food – book reviews
Don’t Miss – new product introductions
Eat Here Now, experiential dining and travel coverage with input from local chefs, bartenders, and food and beverage managers

Our editorial coverage and pro-bono advertising will support our genuine efforts to give back. A percentage of the online magazine’s advertising revenue will be donated to industry related not-for-profit organizations, such as Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), Share Our Strength, City Harvest, Meals on Wheels, and the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG). Additionally, in-kind donations and fund-raising efforts will raise awareness and revenue for an educational fund to provide grants to hospitality industry employees interested in furthering their careers.

We hope you’ll join us in our efforts to provide information and support to the f&b/hospitality community. Please share your thoughts and opinions about our coverage and let us know what else we should be talking about.

Best,
Francine

P.S. Thank you for being patient with us as our site evolves.

P.P.S.  Keep in touch via email: francinecohen@insidefandb.com or follow us on Twitter @insidefandb

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