Monthly Archives: March 2012

Craft brewers toast another year of growth | SmartBlogs

Here’s another great article linked below reinforcing the need for you as restaurant owners and food service professionals to take a look in your local market to see what farmers and other local companies you can incorporate into your business. Locally sourced food is no longer a “trend”, it is a full fledged “consumer demand”. It’s only a matter if time before it becomes an expectation for your business.

Craft brewers toast another year of growth | SmartBlogs

For ideas on how to utilize local foods in your menu, visit www.bodellconsulting.com and contact us.

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Marketing tips from a successful owner

In the linked article, a successful BBQ restaurant in Gilbert, AZ shares a couple marketing tips he and his partners use to market their restaurant. None of these tips include buying ads or issuing coupons.

I was lucky enough to eat at one of their other restaurants, Joe’s Farm Grill, while in Arizona a few weeks ago. They grow and/or raise nearly everything they serve right there on the same farm where the restaurant is located. It’s the definition of the word “fresh”.

How to create word of mouth buzz for a restaurant | Owner Interview from Restaurant Hospitality

For other marketing tips or help defining your brand, visit us at www.bodellconsulting.com.

Positive outlook for restaurants in 2012, or is it?

Here’s an article from Nation’s Restaurant News about sales predictions for 2012. According to the study, everything is looking rosy. The question to you is, “Since this study only contains data from the Top 500 largest chains, does this study suggest restaurant sales overall are going up 3.4%, or does it suggest that independent restaurant competition is weakening for the chains and they are taking a larger marketshare of the consumers budget?”

Since this report also recognizes that most the previous and expected gains have been in quick service restaurants, it suggests that consumers are still being careful with their dining dollar, looking for value in quick casual restaurants instead of full service restaurants. Time will only tell what the real deal is. I tend to trust studies that include a large sampling of independent restaurants. They are a better indicator of the overall market and health of the industry in my opinion.

Restaurant sales rose 3.4% in 2011 | Nation’s Restaurant News.

To help organize your restaurant systems so you can compete with the chains, visit www.bodellconsulting.com.

O’Dell Restaurant Consulting Webstore gets a makeover!

Restaurant/Food Service Manager's Log

We’ve completed a long overdue makeover of the O’Dell Restaurant Consulting Webstore! It now has a shopping cart and a much “cleaner” feel to it.

Our most popular downloads in the webstore are our Food and Liquor Inventory spreadsheets, our Recipe Costing spreadsheet, Daily Sales and Ideal Cost tracking spreadsheet, and our Chef Employment Contract.

There are also several other great downloads from Performance Appraisals and a Manager’s Log to the Employee Record and Attendence tracker. We have a few new downloads in development too. Stay tuned!

Payments process easily through Paypal, Visa and Mastercard. Visit the rest of our site while you’re there!

O’Dell Restaurant Consulting download webstore.

Good news for restaurants serving breakfast!

Breakfast study

Here’s an article from Nation’s Restaurant News about a recently released study examining breakfast habits.

Consumers’ changing breakfast habits favor restaurants | Nation’s Restaurant News.

For assistance putting together a great, manageable menu for your restaurant, visit www.bodellconsulting.com.

It’s been a year since I first wrote this article, and it’s time to bring it back. Rolling out a new restaurant menu is a scary ordeal for many owners, always afraid they are going to scare off valued customers with the changes. Here is a short guide on how to do it right and make sure your menu change goes off without a hitch…

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting's Blog

One of the scariest things to do for a restaurant owner is to change their menu. There is nearly always a fear that taking one wrong item off the menu will result in all a restaurant’s business slowly dwindling away. There’s a fear that raising prices will chase off all the customers, that EVERYONE will see all the changes and rebel!

In years of working with restaurant owners, private clubs, colleges and concessions with menu changes, I have yet to see any of these fears materialize. In reality, the fear itself ends up causing more problems than the changes do. After a menu change, owners are relieved they took the leap and thankful for the extra revenue. While most changes go unnoticed, the longer a restaurant waits to change their menu and raise prices, the higher the price increases have to be and the more likely they will be noticed…

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Managing employee records in a restaurant

Maintain complete and comprehensive Employee Files is one of the most important things a restaurant owner does in limiting their liability as a business owner. Properly kept employee files help reduce workers comp claims, lawsuits and even insurance premiums. Take our advice and read the following article to learn what it takes for a restaurant owner to keep comprehensive Employee Files.

There are a lot of human resource management softwares on the market today. Some are integrated into timekeeping and payroll softwares like ADP, but may cost upwards of $10,000. How does a small restaurant on a tight budget track employee information when they can’t afford an expensive employee management software solution?

I would like to share with you a tool we have that helps you maintain your employee records. It is a spreadsheet that allows you to input lots of vital information and calculates employee absence and tardiness. I’ll share a detailed description as to what exactly is on the spreadsheet so you can take with you the knowledge without having to buy anything if you like. If so inclined, you may also purchase our Employee Record & Attendence Spreadsheet download from the webstore at www.bodellconsulting.com/webstore.html to make things simple and easy. I will also cover the other information you need to make sure you are keeping a comprehensive Employee File.

Employee Record & Attendence Spreadsheet

One of the main functions of an Employee Record is to record vital employee data. The following information should be included in any basic employee record:

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Birth date
  • Gender
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Cell/Home phone number
  • Email
  • Position hired for
  • Direct supervisor
  • Department supervisor
  • Emergency contact
  • Contact relationship
  • Contact work number
  • Contact cell/home number
  • Start date

In addition to all this basic information that you should be keeping on every employee, you should also have a digital or written record of every occurrence of all tardies, unexcused absences, excused absences, sick days used, vacation days used and personal days used.

Our spreadsheet allows you to track every occurence listed above day by day. It also adds all the occurrences into total columns for each occurrence so you can view the total number of tardies, excused and unexcused absences, sick days, vacation days and personal days.

With a spreadsheet, your employee information can be tracked digitally to cut down on paperwork. You can also print it to put a copy in the actual paper file for the employees.

Other information to include in an Employee File

Some other items you should store in your employee’s paper file include:

  • Job application and Resume
  • Written Employment Offer
  • Signed receipt for your Employee Policy Manual
  • Signed Job Description
  • Employee Contract
  • Signed Training Manual receipt
  • Copies of completed and signed Employee Evaluations
  • Completed W-2
  • Signed Reprimandsalong with copies of Employee Policy Manual pages showing which policy the employee violated
  • Signed Customer Complaint Reports or Employee Incident Reports involving employee
  • Signed Employee Benefit acceptance or denial
  • Awards or Bonuses earned
  • Any other contract, agreement or receipt signed by employee
  • Employee Termination record

One common form that employers make the mistake of putting in the Employee File is the I-9. I-9s should all be kept together in one file separate from employee records. This helps keep the employee records private from federal immigration agents should your I-9s be requested. Medical records should also not be kept in Employee Files to make sure you remain compliant with HIPAA rules on patient privacy.

I hope this article helps you as a restaurant or food service owner to keep employee records that will keep your business safe from fines, lawsuits and other liabilities. Visit our main website at www.bodellconsulting.com to see if there are any other operating, cost control or marketing issues we can assist you with.

Brandon O’Dell
O’Dell Restaurant Consulting
(888) 571-9068

Silver Plate Award winner discusses her experiences in the foodservice industry | SmartBlogs

Congratulations to Mary Molt, Assistant Dining Director at Kansas State University, for winning the 2012 Silver Plate award! Mary is also the author of an essential food production cookbook named Food for Fifty. If you don’t have a copy, you are missing out on an incredible food production planning tool. It’s great to see Kansas food service professionals getting praise on a national stage.

Read her interview below…
Silver Plate 2012 award winner Mary Molt from Kansas State University

Quality, convenience key to restaurant selection, research finds – NRA News Blog

Quality, convenience key to restaurant selection, study finds

For help implementing tools and procedures to improve your quality and service speed, find our services at bodellconsulting.com.

45 (B) Tax Credit for Restaurants – Do you qualify?

IRS logoRestaurant owners may be able to take advantage of a tax credit on the taxes they pay on employee tip income this year. The following article discusses the qualifications for taking the credit.




Simply put, to qualify:

  • You must be profitable and owe taxes
  • You may not deduct the the same taxes as a business expense
  • You may not use the Alternative Minimum Tax

Check out the following post from the National Restaurant Association’s website to find out more details and for a link to download the necessary forms to file for this credit.

45(B) tax credit helps restaurants reduce taxes

For help getting your restaurant profitable so you can take advantage of this tax credit, visit www.bodellconsulting.com or call (888) 571-9068.

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