News/Articles

Restaurant Reality 2.0

Restaurant Reality 2.0

Published on Monday, 02 May 2016 Written by Amelia Levin, Contributing Editor A 40-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Chris Tripoli, principal of A’La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group based in Houston, has provided management advisory consulting to foodservice operators in all sectors of the industry. Here Tripoli shares his thoughts on the top issues and

HOOKED ON RESTAURANTS

HOOKED ON RESTAURANTS

  By Heather Daniels, Nside Texas Business / January February 2014 Chris Tripoli’s A’ la Carte Foodservice Consulting Group is on everyone’s menu – and judging by its success so far, it will stay there for many years to come. He vividly remembers helping his mother with all chores related to the kitchen while his

THE REVITALIZATION OF MARKET SQUARE IN HOUSTON

THE REVITALIZATION OF MARKET SQUARE IN HOUSTON

The FCSI consultant learns from each other — we meet regularly, we challenge each other, we network, and we learn from what others are doing,” says Chris Tripoli, FCSI The Americas member and president at A’la Carte Foodservice Consulting Group.

HOW TO TURN GOOD MANAGERS INTO GREAT LEADERS

HOW TO TURN GOOD MANAGERS INTO GREAT LEADERS

You cannot operate a successful restaurant without both good management and good leadership, even if it has to be provided by the man or woman in the mirror: you. For smaller operators, that might be fine in the early years of business, but few restaurant owners want to spend their careers as restaurant managers.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART ONE

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART ONE

It was one week until my client’s restaurant was set to open, and as I walked in I found myself stepping over a man installing the marble floor entry, dodging the delivery people bringing supplies to the bar and watching the painter touch up a wall while someone else reached around him to hang up the artwork.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART TWO

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART TWO

Selecting the right location for your restaurant is as important as creating the concept, developing the menu or designing the restaurant. In fact, it may well be more important, because location is the most permanent thing about a restaurant.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART THREE

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART THREE

One morning about two months ago I was having coffee with a senior executive of an energy supply company. I remember how excited he was as he described the small bakery cafe he wanted to open and operate with his wife. He felt the timing was right because their children were grown and almost out of college. They had very little debt and had saved nearly $200,000 for the project.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FOUR

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FOUR

Chef Glenn Cates gets off the plane in McAllen, Texas, fresh from his tour of selected restaurants in Victoria and Monterrey, Mexico. He reflects on the menu items he has tasted, presentations seen and the local product availability.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FIVE

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FIVE

Few start-up restaurateurs have to be convinced that poor hiring decisions can trip up the business right from the start. But most people opening their first restaurant haven’t worked for a large corporation with a sophisticated human resources (HR) department, so they aren’t familiar with the mechanics of interviewing staff.

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART SIX

SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT:  PART SIX

It has been said – tongue firmly in cheek – that the process of opening a start-up restaurant may be the closest thing to having a baby that a man will ever experience: The whole process usually takes at least nine months from design and permit through construction to opening day.

Daily Line Checks and Preshift Meetings

Daily Line Checks and Preshift Meetings

Every successful restaurant shift requires coordination, high energy, team spirit and a minimum of mistakes. Maintaining these four elements over the course of several hours is challenging under the best of circumstances, however, it is infinitely easier when the shift begins with a strong start, including planning and camaraderie.

Management Bonus Plans That Work

Management Bonus Plans That Work

This is a story about Frank. He was one of three managers of a popular full-service, casual-theme suburban restaurant. He worked his schedule, fulfilled his responsibilities and on the 20th day of the month received a bonus for his previous month’s efforts.

HOW TO INTERVIEW AND SELECT YOUR STARTUP STAFF

HOW TO INTERVIEW AND SELECT YOUR STARTUP STAFF

You can’t be too selective in picking your starting lineup. On the other hand, it is a time-consuming process. You need to be careful. You need to be efficient. It’s a tricky dance. And to find a starting team of top performers you need to meet a lot of prospects.

Restaurateur Heal Thyself! A Guide to Assessing Your Restaurant’s Operation

Restaurateur Heal Thyself! A Guide to Assessing Your Restaurant’s Operation

Peter Fernandez, and his family, own a small Japanese restaurant-sushi bar in South San Francisco. He and his wife are very busy keeping up with all that is needed to support the operation of this 70 seat full service, 6 day a week restaurant. There is the purchasing, menu planning, staff handling, accounting, and facility maintenance issues in addition to daily shift related customer service duties to perform.

Weekly Planning: Big Plans Require Small Steps

Weekly Planning: Big Plans Require Small Steps

Most everyone has heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” For restaurant owners, planning can sometimes be a tricky proposition. There is the long-term plan, the annual plan, management plan, marketing plan and so on. And after we complete a reasonable plan, our real challenge becomes executing it successfully.

Don’t be a Seagull, and Other Tips to Help Independent Restaurant Owners Deal with Growing Pains

Don’t be a Seagull, and Other Tips to Help Independent Restaurant Owners Deal with Growing Pains

As you execute your plans to open your second, third or subsequent unit, you’ll find that not only your business model will change, but your role as owner will change, as well.Your hands-on style,overseeing every shift and on top of every detail of the business may have brought you great success when you were operating a single unit,however, that approach can quickly turn into a liability when you open a second place.

How to Manage the Lifecycle of Your Restaurant

How to Manage the Lifecycle of Your Restaurant

When first planning to open your restaurant, your goal is to get open, your strategy is to get open and all support tactics involve getting open. On one hand you can’t wait to hear the register start ringing. On the other, you just know that you’re going to forget something.