The Daily Rail: Being Ahead of Food Safety Education is Just Good Business

DRINKS: Using Fall Flavors to Welcome Four Classic Cocktails to the Season (NO PUMPKIN!)

With so much attention paid to the dinner menu at the change of the seasons, it’s easy to overlook your cocktail list. However, the deep flavors that come out of your kitchen can easily translate to your drinks, as well. Updating classic cocktails is a simple trick that intrigues experienced drinkers and offers newbies an avenue to try something beyond the basics. What better time to experiment than fall? Change is in the air; it might as well be in your glass, too. And we promise: no pumpkin spice.


Would You Date the Colonel?

The marketing gurus at KFC are at it again. This time they’ve created a Colonel Sanders dating simulator. The game is called I Love You, Colonel Sanders! and includes cooking battles, 9 “lovable characters,” multiple hours of play through, and of course, datable Colonel Sanders. This intro video shows off Hot Anime Colonel Sanders, as well as a corgi in a chef hat (we’re sold), and other very anime-like characters. KFC can’t stop and won’t stop.

Is There Pumpkin in Pumpkin Beer?

Pumpkin beer and its other fall-flavored friends hit shelves and taps late last month. But is there anything really pumpkin-y about pumpkin beer? The answer is typically no. Some brewers aim for more of a pumpkin pie flavor which is just cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla. Sometimes squash is used or canned pumpkin puree from last season’s harvest, but most just brew it with “pumpkin spice” – a far cry from the pumpkin beer of the colonists.

White Claw Shortage

America loves its White Claw so much that the spiked-seltzer brand is experiencing a shortage. The brand exploded this year with its low ABV and morally grey catchphrase of “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinkin’ claws.” And now the company is having trouble keeping up with consumer demands and isn’t sure when supplies will get back to normal.


Why it matters to you: Fake news or whistleblower?

Every day we comb the internet for stories that are relevant to you, so we can support you in the pursuit of best practices. Many times what we encounter in the media that passes as commentary on our industry ends up being total bullshit (oops, can I say that here?). Well, I did and, when you go through this blog that describes the way bartenders induce guests to tip more, you’re gonna say the same thing.  

The seven slides presented mostly describe the simple conventions that improve operations and ultimately service. For example, the author (a bartender herself) decries the use of guest tabs as some nefarious method of duping guests into tipping more. Aside from the fact that the observation is insipid, it completely ignores both the operational convenience and the fact that most guests prefer to run a tab, so they aren’t constantly reaching into their pockets for cash. Or worse, having to remove a credit/debit card and do a separate transaction for each item they purchase.

But she doesn’t stop there -- oh no! How about indicting the friendly banter that bartenders employ to create comity and engage the guests? Yes, this is to increase their tips, but not as some coercive practice, and exclusively because people tip bartenders that are more fun to interact with -- duh! My absolute favorite is the truly suspicious tactic of writing “Thank You” on the guest check. Yup, turns out common courtesy is so lacking in the writer’s world that gratitude is now suspect. Yes, I’m being strident, but it’s well deserved when a post that gaslights an entire segment of our staff is published on a national website like MSN/Business Insider.

[Source: MSN]


Why it matters to you: Being ahead of food safety education is just plain good business.

If you didn’t already know, September is National Food Safety month. It’s one of the most solemn responsibilities we have in our industry and requires discipline and organization to ensure the safety of your guests and staff. Among the biggest challenges operators face is the ignorance of the average person regarding food safety practices. This is especially vexing given the turnover in our industry. In fact, this is such an issue that many municipalities require a food safety certified person be on your staff or on shift at all times. This is why food safety training is so important to ensure you have an environment that avoids getting anyone sick.

That’s why this little quiz is a great place to assess the overall knowledge base of your staff. Here’s a thought: print this off and test a few people on your staff. Pick two servers, two BoH team members, and a manager to administer it to and then review your results. If you find your team answers all of them correctly, then you are doing a great job in pro-acting against sanitation problems. However, if they don’t, then you know you have some work to do to avoid being the next Chipotle. It’s certainly worth 15 minutes of your time because the only way to avoid getting someone sick is to take the precautions that good sanitation systems deliver. This is absolutely a good start to achieving that goal. 

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]