How to use Pinterest to market your restaurant | Marketing content from Restaurant Hospitality

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you’re missing a great marketing opportunity. Pinterest is especially useful for restaurants, whose product promotes best via pictures. The following article from explains why Pinterest is so useful for restaurants and suggest ways for you to use Pinterest to market your restaurant.

How to use Pinterest to market your restaurant | Marketing content from Restaurant Hospitality.

For additional help creating a strategy to market your restaurant, contact O’Dell Restaurant Consulting by visiting our website.

Here is an article from 2008 I’m bringing back around because it is the most common asked question in the food service business.

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting's Blog

Calculating how much the food you sell costs you to sell is a very important practice in running a profitable restaurant. Knowledge is power, and knowing your food cost compared to your sales and your ideal food cost is very empowering information. By figuring your food cost percentage, you have an early warning system to alert you to potential theft and waste.

Before we get into the process for calculating food cost, it’s good to talk about how often this should be done. I suggest calculating your food costs at the end of every week. If you happen to have a cost control issue, it’s best to know as close to the time the occurence happened as possible. The farther you get away from an occurence that caused a cost problem, the harder it is to determine what that occurence was.

You are going to need to track a few pieces of…

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Pairing cocktails with food | Wall Street Journal

Pairing cocktails with foodRestaurants have been offering suggestions about pairing wine with food for as long as there has been wine. What about cocktails though? Here is a great article from the Wall Street Journal about pairing cocktails with food. It could help you better serve your restaurant guests…

Pairing Cocktails With Food –

For assistance turning your restaurant profitable, visit

A Boost for Botanicals | Restaurant Management online

Here is an article from Restaurant Management online that shares an up and coming trend, the use of botanicals in menus.

Though you shouldn’t jump on every new trend or fad, I think it’s really important for restaurant owners to remember that the industry is constantly changing with or without you. If you stay stagnant for too long, you become irrelevent and uninteresting. I suggest trying to stay on top of trends like this wait and exploit the ones that fit in with your concept or clientele.

A Boost for Botanicals – Restaurant Management (RMGT).

Culinary consultants grow in popularity

Culinary consultant and restaurant ownerHere is an interesting article from about the growing popularity of culinary consultants. Recipe creation, staffing, training and menu development are just some of the areas where culinary consultants can assist restaurant owners. Read what is happening as a trend in Philadelphia by reading the linked article…

For help developing menus and creating recipes for your restaurant, visit and contact Brandon O’Dell.

20 steps to lowering your food or liquor costs

So important, I had to bring this article back around.

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting's Blog

food inventory spreadsheet from O'Dell Restaurant ConsultingThis article will be one of the most important I’ve ever written for restaurant owners and managers in other food services. In this article, I’m going to do something you won’t see from another consultant. I’m going to share with you the exact steps of an action plan I created to help a restaurant create a food cost fitness program, along with some helpful commentary from me. These steps would be the same for liquor costs, but would focus on different employees in a different area of the restaurant. What you won’t find in this list is steps for purchasing. Negotiating lower prices is kind of a “no brainer” in controlling food costs, so it is not mentioned here. Other steps that are not mentioned, but are important none-the-less include proper monitoring of your vendor prices during the year, receiving goods properly, securing storerooms and surveillance of storage areas. In truth, anything you do with your food can affect your food…

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O'Dell Restaurant Consulting's Blog

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.

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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

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 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 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