Pencil and Crayons – Back to the Future in the Food Service Industry

What happened to the fundamentals in food operations? I may be dating myself but when I was just counter high and working in my Grandfather’s deli, sprinkling sawdust on the floor, and straightened out cans on the shelves, I remember that the business never required a formal meeting, a computer, or for that matter a calculator. I remember my uncles behind the deli, my grandmother behind the register, and my grandfather making basket cheese and mozzarella in the back kitchen. Were those the days and there was no doubt that everyone worked hard, and by the end of the day, the staff was exhausted. The difference was the staff loved his or her jobs and had fun doing it.

Thinking back about the design of the store, which was relatively small but had any food item that you could possibly need within the stores simple design. When walking into the store, to your left and right were the canned goods and fresh pasta. The pasta was fresh and placed in bins and served by the pound. The right wall had all the refrigeration and freezers, the left side of the store has a long deli counter where customers could purchase hot or cold items, cakes, coffee. If a customer knew my grandfather, they were offered a little Sambvca in the coffee, at no charge.

These old times had many challenges with the recession and people making pennies a week but I need to ask these questions, what are the differences today?
The main difference is the love of job followed by the passion and camaraderie of the staff and the relationships with vendors and customers. The food business is about the people and the food and if anyone thinks differently, he or she does not understand the food business. There are certain basic expectations when a customer walks into a food establishment and that is, it needs to be clean, organized, have good displays, and friendly smiling faces, which is the most important ingredient of a successful operation.

Maintaining the excitement and passion in food service requires strategies on how to develop people and stressing the importance of hospitality, which is the most challenging because the industry has become overly complicated.

Take the meaning of fresh food as our first example. The meaning of fresh food to some establishments is finishing the item on premise, which is taking the food items out of a box and placing it in the oven. Some think fresh food must be organic whereas others have no clue about the difference between fresh or frozen.

At this time, let us think through the operational design process. We have our equipment companies, designer, architects, marketing people, menu design group, financial people, sometimes a third party who has a food idea, and so on. The concerns are, do the “professionals” understand the vision and expectations of the business.

What about food purchasing and the purchasing groups where the focus is on drop size, volume discounts, commodities, givebacks but none of these incentives address quality of food and building consistence in menu.

Thinking back to my grandfather’s deli, there was always a sense of pride with the quality of served food, and there was entrepreneurial spirit that lived in each person who worked in the deli. How I do miss those days.

Nevertheless, today generates new opportunities with new challengers. The missing link is the proverbial owner. People understand that “the owner” in many businesses do not reside at the business location but in some corporate office but is this an excuse to not deliver a clear message by the organization to his or her managers about caring about the customers and staff. Leadership’s role is to lead by example, by training and communicating the importance of the goals and expectations.

Pencil and crayons is a term that refers to, going back to basics, and simplicity, of design, menu, service, atmosphere, and a culture. Unfortunately, many of food service concepts are cookie cutter concepts. However, what drives success is leadership and leadership realizing a cookie cutter design may work, but there are, no cookie cutter approaches in dealing with people.

Whether one is introducing a room service of point of service programs, designing a cafeteria, upgrading or opening a retail food operation there needs to be a plan for the intangibles. A good design will lend itself to operational ease and a good marketing looking but in the business plan there needs to be reference to the “owner’s perspective” and ensuring this person has the skills to work with people and deliver success.

As with any business, the day-to-day operators are the most important individual in the operation and operators require the support, resources, and a clear vision allowing the operator to make good decisions. With today’s opportunity “sustainability may have been the buzzword of the decade, but it too reflects a back-to- basics mindset of careful resource usage and judicious budget spending” (Fassl, 1, 2010).

The food business although simplistic in theory is complicated and operators need to learn to “dance the dance” and be able to operator after all the support and the proverbial “expert matter” professions go home. Lessons learned is learning from my grandfather where each day the focus was on good food and friendly service within a winning design and not the other way around.

Booming Internet Phone Service Industry

Today with advanced telecommunication products and services, a revolution has come in the communication industry. By the means of phone services such as conference calls, video talks, chats, etc. the Internet service providers has gained the lime light and are in huge demand. With the help of Digital technologies, the companies offering phone and other related services via Internet are not only saving a lot of money but, can only interact with their clients or customers quick and easy, anywhere and anytime across the world. This speaks how convenient these services are for everyone, especially the corporate world.

Whenever you are running a business (small scale, individual or widely spread), you need to communicate with various people regarding your work, products, services and other necessary issues. In case you go by normal land line service you undoubtedly end up costing a huge phone bill for yourself or company. This can be resolved as there are many call service providers available online who offer cheap rates for conference or any other calls. This makes your job easy and trouble free.

As you surf through the net you can find countless Internet phone service firms but, make sure that you choose an adequate one that suits you business or phone requirements the best. In case you just need some network to reduce down the cost of your conference calls made through Internet then the scheme or service might be different than a scheme that involves web-cams, Mac chat options, international calls, etc. So, first you need to specific your requirements and then compare few phone service providers near your reach that offers you the most. After comparing them all, pick and choose the best among the rest.

No matter whether you want specific VIP business phone service solutions or H.323 and SIP IP telephonic protocols, you will get it all with a renowned Inter phone service organization. All you need to do is just make sure that your Inter service firm is technical sound and strong. It must be proficient in picture resolution and voice codes such as G.723 and G.711u, G.729, ACD, ASR, etc. Keep an eye on other technical aspects as well while choosing them for your business or personal use.

Now days, the high speed Internet service providers broadband connections that delivers voice as well as data, thus, one can not only transfer business files, pictures, videos but, can also talk with several people face to face all at a time. With efficient and professional 24/7 technical support, your potential and experienced phone service company can make you interact online via phone, chat, email, conference call and other interactive mediums.

Open Source Provides Key To Software-As-A-Service Industry

Open source software (OSS), a low cost alternative to proprietary programs, is rapidly gaining popularity in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry. Because of the structure of open source, with readily available code for users to change and develop for their particular needs, it is extremely adaptive, responsive, and more secure than the commercial counterparts.

Software-as-a-service is a delivery model where a vendor develops an application and hosts it for use by their clients over the internet. In this business, customers do not have to pay typically hefty licensing fees but instead pay the vendor a periodic fee to use the software. SaaS is generally thought to be a low cost alternative for businesses to obtain the benefits of commercially licensed programs without the high initial cost and internal complexity of running such programs. The idea for SaaS began to circulate around the year 2000 and it has gained in popularity since that time.

According to research by Gartner, up to 90% of SaaS companies will be based on OSS within the next 2 years. The analyst firm states open source solutions can be used in the operating system, application server, or database to reduce overall expenses for the company. Robert DeSisto, vice president of Gartner, proclaimed “the more SaaS vendors use open source in the technology stack, the lower their software acquisition cost becomes.” This cost cutting, however, is not expected to be passed on to the consumer of SaaS services though. Gartner expects the SaaS companies will either reinvest the saved money to improve efficiency or may pocket the money to elevate their overall profitability.

In addition to the use of open source software by SaaS companies, user communities can utilize open source methods to facilitate data and application sharing. Self-policing can occur when both the data and the source code is available for everyone to see, making illegal practices less likely as watchdog groups are naturally created. It is important for businesses and users to not infringe patents in their quest to lower costs. Software-as-a-service provides a legal alternative for companies interested in using licensed software but who are financially unwilling to pay the steep prices associated with such programs.

Gauging Economic Success Via The Business Jet Industry

Just as the Great Depression did, nearly a hundred years ago, the recession we’ve been suffering through has been difficult for us all, and it will even have an impact for years to come. Businesses have reduced business travel among many other expenses, and spending has been hugely reduced by the masses.

Before the recession, it was standard for business executives to travel via helicopter and charter jet to get where they needed to go. In the process of the infamous bail-out proceedings, automotive executives would mainly use private jet charters to attend.

Once the truth became apparent, companies began using various options such as conference calls and commercial flights instead of business jet charter. And in some situations, the term charter jet alone could have been cause to suspect the morals of the ones in charge.

The industry is beginning to profit once again, and the worst now seems to be in the past; the charter jet industry can sometimes be gauged with reports approximately twenty-four months behind corporate earnings. To travel around the globe for multiple meetings in a short time as well as creating new clients and raising new assets, big business, and the investment banking sector in particular, have grown in their use of charter jets.

This is a terrific indicator of things coming and as more industries start to use private charter jets once more, it will reference the health of the economy after the credit crunch period. There’s various indications to lead us to believe that the industry is on its way back to the top, and more than just financial institutions are utilizing private jets.

There are aspects of the charter jet industry that service your needs better than that of the alternative, although flying via charter jet is a little more pricy than flying commercially. The bottom line is the intent of the venture; if it’s time sensitive, needs additional preparation, and demands a higher class presence, then private jets are the optimal means of travel to suit your needs.

Time is money, and in this current time, money isn’t something to waste, and even though the situation is improving, it is important not to overstep your bounds. With additional benefits such as Wi-Fi, added personal room and the luxuries of a remote office, traveling for work on an executive charter jet is unequaled, and with it includes a sense of pride and luxury that might assist you to stand apart from the competition.