Cleaning a Commercial Refrigerator

National Restaurant Consultants and Webstaurant Store share tips on keeping your fridge and kitchen up to code

By Sarah Ann Noel - March 19, 2019

"The daily and ongoing organization of your entire kitchen--and in particular, your refrigeration storage--is critical in maintaining proper food handling procedures," says National Restaurant Consultants CEO Richard Weil. As a member of the  State of Colorado Health Department Appeals Board, Weil is especially in-tune with the requirements of health codes, and all of our restaurant consultants agree that clealiness and organization in the back-of-house make for an efficient, enjoyable experience in the front of house.

Weil says, "Food safety and quality go hand-in-hand. Rules set by state and local health professionals should be viewed as an asset to help operators achieve their goal of delighting guests. Quality guest experience is critical to your operations success and so are these processes.”

But in the midst of daily restaurant tasks, tackling larger cleaning and organization projects can seem daunting or even impossible. Still, we're nearing spring and there's a natural inclination toward sprucing up and cleaning out. In an effort to eliminate stress, Webstaurant Store recently posted an article with eight easy steps for cleaning out your commercial refrigerator

"It's always a good time to clean out and organize your commercial fridge, walk-in, or freezer. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to ensure that your refrigerators and freezers are as clean as the day you installed them," the article promises.

Weil also notes that these necessary tasks aren't just about organization or efficiency. "Quality of ingredients, quality of prepped product and the end result in presenting to every guest with every meal starts with organized and well executed policies and procedures," he says.

Our restaurant consultants are experts in restaurant operations. With offices in Denver and Phoenix, and clients across the country and worldwide, we know what sets the standard for efficient, clean, pleasing kitchens. Contact a restaurant consultat today and let us help you get your operations on track. 

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The Demise of the Manager's Office

Why National Restaurant Consultants is making a bold recommendation about space and efficiency

By David Kincheloe - March 13, 2019

National Restaurant Consultants works in all facets of the food service and hospitality industry throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. We have offices in Denver, Phoenix with regional representatives in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Our vice-president, Jared Flowers, who resides in Phoenix, weighs in on what may appear to be a touchy subject for some managers; but looking at the options below, it may be a great solution for many restaurant operations and owners.

In recent years, we have read the countless articles, we have heard numerous complaints, and we’ve seen the lawsuits, all citing workplace harassment and/or sexual harassment that has taken place behind the closed doors of the manager’s office. And it’s not just the employees having trouble with their managers! Reviews pop up all over social media sites where guests state that they had issues with their dining experience, but that there was no manager present at any point during their meal. 

I think there is a relatively easy solution to this: NO MANAGER OFFICE.

Restaurant square footage comes at a premium for both the front of the house and back of the house, so the available square footage for operations is of the utmost importance. National Restaurant Consultants has, with recent designs, has recommended the area normally allotted to a closed-door manager’s office be use in a myriad of other ways. Whether reallocated as an additional family restroom; more dry/liquor storage; a media room where the audio-visual equipment as well as the safe is kept; all are more useful, efficient solutions than dedicating the space to a traditional manager’s office.

In the digital age that we now occupy, it is less important to keep volumes of printed manuals, employee files, invoices, and other such paperwork. Our restaurant consultants suggest a laptop for the dining room or kitchen. From this one device, your manager will be able to perform all of the same tasks that required 200 square feet ten years ago! 

It also removes all doubt from he said/she said conversations that occur behind closed doors.

And operators and owners can rest assured that their managers were always on the floor or on the line observing staff and talking to guests. 

Maybe it’s a radical suggestion, but the pros seem to tip in favor. Would you eliminate your manager’s office? Let our restaurant consultants sell you on the idea and help streamline your restaurant’s operations. Contact a restaurant consultant today!

Photo by Henry McIntosh on Unsplash


The Case for Excellent Management

Why staff member retention declines and how to stop it

By David Kincheloe - March 6, 2019

How are you at retaining your employees? It all begins with how you manage your staff members.

"A Gallup poll of more one million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor. 75 percent of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself," writes Brigette Hyacinth in her recent article, "Employees Don't Leave Companies, They Leave Managers."

While the food scenes in cities like Denver, Nashville, and Phoenix is grow so rapidly, it's a phenomenon that our restaurant clients are bumping into more and more frequently.

"Over one-quarter of the conversations we have in the past 18 months from clients relate back to this topic," says CEO Richard Weil, noting the "whys" behind employee retention are the most important pieces. "Being a better employer cannot just be words, but the actions behind those words. Staff members have multiple options, sp creating a competitive edge for your guests starts with your staff."

Hyacinth breaks down the different types of employers--Marionette, King Kong, Superman, Taskmaster--and explains how these management styles will affect the the manager-employee relationship.

"A bad boss can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation," Hyacinth says.

Weil adds, "Attracting and retaining staff is one of the most challenging business needs for food service operations throughout the US.  As the unemployment rate continues to hover near record low levels, becoming the 'better employer of choice' is a deliberate process that operators must look at." And that starts with staff member management.

As Hyacinth admonishes, "Managers please use the human-to-human approach when dealing with employees. It’s people you are dealing with and not just a statistic on a graph. Get to know your people, meet them where they are and be flexible. You can't buy loyalty but you can earn it."

Is your restaurant struggling with an employee retention issue? Or a management one? Our restaurant consultants excel in identifying the problem areas and in staffing restaurants with capable, knowledgable workers. Contact a restaurant consultant today.

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The Perfect Los Dos Potrillos Margarita

How a National Restaurant Consultant client is revolutionizing operations and streamlining their most popular beverage

By Sarah Ann Noel - February 28, 2019

With our main offices in Denver and Phoenix, our restaurant consultants are very familiar with Mexican-inspired food and drink. Our client Los Dos Potrillos recently opened their fourth restaurant location in Parker, Colorado. The restaurant’s 20-year following and public relationship continues to grow based on quality, service, cleanliness and consistency. From the original location in Centennial, Colorado to this newest location, Los Dos Potrillos delights customers with their made from-scratch recipes and specialty drinks.

Last week was National Margarita Day, and Los Dos Potrillos no doubt spent the day serving up this classic, authentic cocktail across all of their locations. On any given day, it's a go-to drink for all Los Dos guests, probably because the restaurant boasts over 100 tequila offerings and over 30-custom margaritas.

So how does our client handle this volume and manage the integrity of their recipe? Their award-winning margaritas are available on-tap, which is a unique system that greatly boosts efficiency and consistency. For frozen or blended margaritas, Los Dos Potrillos also utilizes the Island Oasis process. Island Oasis has been in business since 1984, and is a premium frozen beverage process.  The patented ice-shaving system has been a pinnacle procedure, along with the ownership's “secret” recipe for making simply “a great margarita”.   

How can you streamline your restaurant's operations for great quality, consistency, efficiency, all way staying within your budget? That just happens to be our restaurant consultants' specialty. Contact a consultant today for an Operations Analysis.

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National Restaurant Consultant Earns Honorary Doctorate

CEO Richard Weil honored by North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers

By Sarah Ann Noel - February 20, 2019

National Restaurant Consultants is pleased to recognize our CEO, Richard Weil, for his honorary doctorate this month. For his more than 40 years of management, leadership, and commitment to the food service and hospitality industries, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) awarded Weil on February 7 and 8 in Orlando, FL.

NAFEM also presented 28 other awards to industry leaders, including the chairman of Coca-Cola USA, the chairman of the National Restaurant Association, and Ed Manley of the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), pictured with Richard and Greg Baggott of NAFEM above. Richard is the current chairman of the board of IFSEA, the nation's oldest food service and hospitality industry trade association, which began in 1901.

National Restaurant Consultants is proud of the collective industry and business-related experience that makes our firm different from other consulting agencies. Our consultants demonstrate, time and again, their award-winning expertise and commitment to the food and hospitality industries. Congratulations, Richard, on your accomplishments and this deserved recognition.

View the official press release here.

If you are looking for help with your restaurant or start-up project, consider the benefit of our restaurant consultants' experience. With offices in Denver and Phoenix, we take our services internationally to better the restaurant industry and your business. Contact a restaurant consultant today!

Turning A Bad Review Into a Good Strategy

National Restaurant Consultants offers advice on dealing with negative press and guest responses

By David Kincheloe - February 13, 2019

Whether or not it seems fair, one bad review of your restaurant can set you back. But like we always say, and as National Restaurant Consultants President David Kincheloe was quoted in QSR Magazine, "A bad review is an opportunity to win a guest for life." He says, you just have to be proactive.

Of course, one of the biggest reasons that negative responses from guests is so hard to combat these days is the prevelance of social media--and like most mediums, bad news tends to travel faster than good news. We've covered this a bit on our blog before, mostly about how to respond to negative comments on social media platforms. This is a good way to be proactive before a bad repuation spreads too far.

Fires need to be put out before they're big, and good customer service means have a plan of action for this. Recently, our Phoenix restaurant consultant, Jared Flowers, came across this Modern Restaurant Management magazine article that has extensive advice on making these plans. It's three simple steps in tackling the problem head-on and allowing the negative situation to turn your restaurant into an even better place to be--for the disgruntled customer, as well as others.

Our restaurant consultants are experts in dealing with guests and their dining experience. With offices in Denver and Phoenix, our restaurant consultants travel worldwide to help restaurant owners and management ensure that they are creating the best presentation possible. Contact a restaurant consultant today.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Valentine's Day Tips

Smart, romantic tips for your menus from National Restaurant Consultants

By Sarah Ann Noel - February 7, 2019

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and it's an evening most restaurants like to do something special. Probably you've already booked your reservations and are preparing for the main event. Regardless of your type of restaurant, for a big holiday, a special menu is key. 

Last year, our restaurant consultants shared some of their favorite ideas for full special menus. Perhaps you want to make only one special dish offering, or add something new to your menu. Food & Wine has great recommendations for recipes that can be split for two--very romantic; or if you're atmosphere is a little more cheeky, a list of sexy foods.

Another option to consider for special events are a la carte and prix fixe menus. American Express has recommendations for the how and why on their business blog, and they are tips worth considering. 

Our restaurant consultants have found that, whatever you choose to dress up a special day like Valentine's Day, it's best to keep it simple. This way you can ensure smooth execution and little interference with guests who are coming in for an intimate date.

Want some more advice on holiday celebrations or menu design. Contact our expert restaurant consultants today.

Photo by Huy Phan via Unsplash.


Dozens of Hot Drinks To Warm Up Your Winter

National Restaurant Consultants helps restaurants fight the winter blues on their cocktail menus

By Sarah Ann Noel - January 29, 2019

Today record-breaking low-temperatures and wind chill will pound the Midwest and Great Lakes areas, icing over Chicago and Indianapolis. We got another five inches of snow in our Golden office and around Denver. And even traveling back from our Arizona location, our restaurant consultants were surprised by the chilled temperatures in Phoenix. It's safe to say, we're in the dead of winter, and for the United States this year, it looks like it's going to be a cold one.

The good news is, that doesn't stop people from going out. In some cases, diners are looking for a reason to leave their house. So, our restaurant consultants think you should give them one. It's time to update those happy hour menus again, this time with some hot cocktails sure to warm the body and spirit at the same time. We've rounded up from the most trusted sources in mixed drink recipes, and here is what we found.

Since the Midwest is getting hit the hardest, we looked to Midwest Living first, and they surprised us with a Vin Brulé as their first in a collection of unexpected hot drinks to try out

You've probably read about Golden Milk and the many health benefits of turmeric; it's no surprise that Martha Stewart knows about that trend too, and her slideshow of hot drink recipes includes a Golden Latte that you could easily grow-up with a shot of bourbon. 

Epicurious tries out a raspberry and thyme hot toddy, turning to fruity and spicy flavors rather than sweets and nuts--likely a welcome change for guests looking to warm up with a drink, not dessert. They have 28 other recipes you can experiment with too. 

Delish has 15 recipes in this blog post that are hot drinks specifically for adults. Save the hot chocolate for post-sledding adventures and look to these for your new menu design. 

This Real Simple toddy uses Frangelico for a hazelnut flavor that's sweet and delicious. There are a few additional spins on standard favorites in this collection, too; like mint ice cream or malt and toasted marshmallow in the hot chocolate.

Of course, it's the season of sniffles, and colds aren't stopping your guests for coming in. For those under the weather and looking for some comfort, The Inspired Home has 26 drink ideas for nursing colds and flu. Serve at arm's length!

Our restaurant consultants are experts in menu design and special menus. Think outside the box for new ways to give your menus a personal and seasonal touch. Need some help? Contact a restaurant consultant today.

Photo by Alexandru G. STAVRICĂ on Unsplash

Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery Opens in Arizona

National Restaurant Consultants Phoenix office works to serve locally-sourced restaurant

By Sarah Ann Noel

The National Restaurant Consultants Phoenix branch has been working with David Nelson since June 2018 to open a new concept for the metro-area food-scene that embraces hospitality, community, and a healthy lifestyle. Cherish Fresh Farm Eatery will open in south Chandler on February 9 of this year. You can follow the countdown on the website or follow news on the Facebook page

Senior consultant Jared Flowers has been working on the project. "The menu is focused on locally grown produce, grass fed beef, organic when possible, craft açaí, local beers and wines on tap, vegan, vegetarian, Keto and paleo friendly items," he says. Cherish will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. 

Our restauarant consultants are experts in turning new visions into realities. Contact a restaurant consultant today for assistance opening your restaurant. 


Los Dos Potrillos Opens Brewery in Parker

National Restaurant Consultants client opens fourth location, first brewery

By Sarah Ann Noel - January 14, 2019

A big congratulations to our restaurant client Los Dos Potrillos, who recently opened their fourth location in Parker, Colorado. With three other establishments in Littleton, Centennial, and Highlands Ranch, the Parker location is the first Los Dos Potrillos with an on-site brewery. 

If you have the chance, swing into the Parker location for great authentic Mexican food and a cold, house-brewed beer. Felicidades, Los Dos!

Want to open or expand your own restaurant? Contact a restaurant consultant today!