Josh Harris is one half of the Bon Vivants, the cocktail, hospitality, and marketing firm behind the San Francisco bar Trick Dog. Along with his business partner Scott Baird, Josh has consulted on cocktail menus for Bay Area restaurants such as Comal and Kin Khao — so he knows what makes a bar program successful. Rule number one: “It needs to be more about the bar program, but not as much about the bar program. You need to pay just as much attention to the music and lighting as you do to the drinks — in the long term, they contribute to your total package.” Read on for more!
In a restaurant, a thoughtful training program ensures staff members are skilled and confident, and that they take pride in their work. There’s a reason so many of the world’s best chefs come from a background of fine dining and formal training! We asked the team at San Francisco’s Quince, General Manager Matt Cirne and Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Black, how they approach training at their two-Michelin-star restaurant. Here are their tips for developing members of the front of house and back of house.
Sometimes chefs need to get out of their own kitchens to grow their audience — and business. The team behind Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas created Indie Chefs Week to start a dialogue between chefs across the country. Their events bring young, aspiring chefs to their restaurant in Austin and beyond, sharing venue spaces and audiences to reach new customers. The flagship event is a face-to-face meeting of 30 chefs, who come together in a single venue to prepare multi-course meals for guests.
Happy New Year! Now that 2015 is upon us, resolve to make this the best year yet for your restaurant business. Every day in January we’ll be featuring a new tip from restaurateurs, chefs, and other industry leaders to shape up your marketing, operations, hospitality, and more. Check back daily for expert advice and successful strategies to start your year off right.
As a former restaurant critic for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Ruth Reichl knows what can make or break a great dining experience. She’s famous for her creative and serious approach to the job, which earned her two James Beard Awards for restaurant criticism and led to her dressing up in elaborate disguises to avoid being recognized on the New York dining scene, as she describes in her memoir Garlic and Sapphires.
Here, we ask Ruth what restaurants should know about criticism, how to deal with a negative review — and yes, how to spot a critic.