Which City Really Does Have The Most Restaurants Per Capita

Travel to most city websites around the net and you’ll be surprised by how many purport to have more restaurants per capita than anywhere else. This is claimed by San Francisco; Madison, Wisconsin; Washington DC; and Shreveport, Louisiana. At least Canadian cities stake the same claim.

So which cities do have a legitimate claim to the title of “Most Restaurants Per Capita?” The National Restaurant Association (NRA) does publish a list of restaurants per capita per state. According to the Association, California has by far the most restaurants with a staggering 87,225 dining establishments. New York State comes in at a paltry 58,027. The top five is rounded out by Texas (53,631), Florida (41,901) Pennsylvania (31,466).

In terms of per capita per state, Washington DC tops the list according to NRA. The US capital region boosts some 0.4 restaurants per 100 people. Second is, surprisingly, Montana at .354 restaurants per 100 people. Rounding out the NRA’s top five are Rhode Island (0.304 per 100) Vermont (.303 per 100) New York (.301 per 100). If you are a little hungry you might want avoid the three states with the fewest restaurants Mississippi, Kentucky and Utah.
In terms of North American cities, it is a little harder to ascertain who can claim the title of city with most restaurants per capita.

Here are ten cities with more than 100,000 people that have made the claim. But who has the real claim? Who offers the cuisine searcher or just plain hungry shopper the most choice? Who can claim the title of The Restaurant City.

The city of San Francisco is a city of 744,230 people and claims to have 2,662 restaurants within the city boundaries. There is no doubt that the standard of restaurants in the city of the bay is exceptional. If you just include San Francisco properly your density is 279 people per restaurant. But because costs of housing the number of people living in the city proper has declined while the number of businesses including restaurants, San Francisco is a distorted number. If you count the metro area, the number of restaurants climbs to 4,300 restaurants (we won’t include hundreds more in the nearby wine country of Napa and Sonoma). If you consider the metro area population of 7,168,176 and divide by 4,300 you get a per capita density of 1,667 people per restaurant.

Winnipeg is a city on the edge of the Canadian prairies that boasts a broad cross section of immigrant communities all of whom have their local ethnic cuisines. If you want French toast for breakfast, perogies and sauerkraut for lunch , and Vietnamese imperial rolls for dinner then this is the place to come. This city regularly claims to have more restaurants per capita than any other city. Some websites claim the city has 900 restaurants but in reality there are just 478. With a population of 619,544 Winnipeg can claim only one restaurant per 1,296 snow-bound Canadian.

Victoria. This city on Vancouver Island and capital city of British Columbia, Canada regularly makes the claim that it has the “second highest number of restaurants per capita,” which is perhaps clever psychology as the city has never indicted which is top. With a population of 335,000 the city claims to have 265 Italian, French, Greek, East Indian, Vegetarian, German, Dutch, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai eateries. That means Victoria has a restaurant per 1,264 people. But with its spectacular location halfway between Vancouver and Seattle, you’d hardly care if its claim is a little off.

In New York City no one cooks at home and by the time you’ve heard of a restaurant it has probably closed. Restaurants open and close with alarming alacrity in the Big Apple. On average, the city of New York can claim 6,650 dining places from the chic Lespinasse to the greasiest corner diner — the most restaurants in any one place on the continent. Yet with 8,168,338 people, New York can only claim to have 1, 228 people per restaurant. It might seem that every second building in New York is a restaurant but they have to cater to a lot of vertically housed residents. That explains why it is hard to find a table some nights.

The one Canadian city that can make a great claim to have the most restaurants per capita is Montreal in the province of Quebec. With just over 5,000 restaurants in the metro island area, is appears there are at least one restaurant on every street corner. With its diverse immigrant population and French majority, the city has every type of cuisine available from Lebanese to continental French to native Canadian. Some 3,720,000 Quebecois live in the metro area making Montreal the second largest French speaking city in the world. Giving it a restaurant per capita number of 744.

When you leave Austin you enter Texas so the saying goes. This funky city in central Texas has 1,088 eating places to enhance its reputation as Music City USA. That list includes 128 establishments in or around the University of Texas alone. Austin’s burgeoning population is currently 690, 252 making their people to restaurant ratio 634.

Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby, is a small city of just over half a million people. Pap John’s Pizza and Yum Brands, the parent company of A&W, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, both make Louisville their corporate home so it is not surprising that that this city on the Ohio River has 1,089 restaurants. That makes for 510 people per restaurant.

Madison owns the rights to the title of “city with the most restaurants per capita” and the capital makes the claim throughout its literature. However, pining down the actual number of restaurants is pretty hard. The best list available points to 437 restaurants that caters to 221,551 people in the Wisconsin city. But that makes for only 506 people for each restaurant. Good for only third on this list.

Wichita, Kansas is not usually a city that leaps to mind when one thinks of cuisine. But with an ethnically diverse work force, the largest city in Kansas has a reputation for cultural diversity and is located in the breadbasket of America. The 739 restaurants in town have only to cater to 360, 715 people. That translates into 488 people per restaurant, good for second on our list.

Dallas. This Lone Star State city has a population of 1,250,950 and a selection of restaurants that add up to 2,666. While the city is known for its BBQ and steak houses there is a surprising mix of great eateries from chic to basic. That means every restaurant, fast food place and steak house in Texas’ third largest city can boast an potential pool of just 469 people. Making this city the winner of the title “City With The Most Restaurants per Capita.”

10 Best Theme Restaurants in Kenya You Will Cherish Ever After

For all avid food enthusiasts who love to try multiple cuisines, here are ten best theme restaurants in Kenya that deserve special mention.

1. Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi

Situated on Langata Road, Nairobi, ‘Carnivore’, a unique restaurant owned by Tamarind group deserve a special mention. The entrance to the restaurant gives a ‘rustic’ feel, and the sitting arrangement is spacious. You will view the large oven that is ordered specially from South Africa. The meat of all kinds especially ox, buffalo, ostrich, and crocodile are served here. You will be served a special welcome drink by Mr. Dawa, which is an appetizer. There is a small flag which indicates full once you put it down. The concept of the restaurant is like ‘serve till you drop.’ The staff will help you with never-ending meat and continue to do so till you say ‘I am full’ by putting the flag down. Uniquely conceptualized by Tamarind Group of Hotels, it’s certainly an attraction for any tourist who visits Kenya.

2. Moorings Floating Restaurant, Mombasa

The only floating restaurant in Kenya is the Moorings. This floating platform was built in 1994 on Tampa Creek on the Northern Coast of Africa. Sip your peg of beer while enjoying nature. The restaurant serves all varieties of sea fish and alcohol. Enjoy the Crimson evenings and mouth-watering barbecued fish. This platform can accommodate maximum up to 100 people. During the spring tide, you may take a walk on the beach near the floating platform.

3. Tamarind Dhow Restaurant

This is a massive ship used as the base of the restaurant. The concept was first implemented in 1972. The Dhow sail every week from morning to evening. The individual Dhow can accommodate around 70 people at dinner. The maximum it can accommodate is 100 people and that also for a cocktail party. Mainly seafood is served over here.

4. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant

This cave is 180,000 years old located near Mombasa, 30 km south of the city and 200 meters back from the high water mark. Just three decades back, George and Jackie Barbour decided to transform the cave into a unique restaurant. There is a triangular Makati umbrella that is fixed to one corner of the restaurant. The floor is elegantly lit and decorated with chandeliers. The restaurant specializes in seafood and all types of Continental food.

5. Ol Covo Bamburi Restaurant

Bamburi is an island situated 12 km from Mombasa. It is a two-storied structure, and the top floor is meant for dining and entertainment venue in Mombasa. The upper deck is with a balcony and sea view. It has large wood burning shed for making traditional pizzas. It serves pasta dishes, new starters, salads, lobsters, prawns, calamari, and octopus. You will only love the tasty meal and fabulously tender meats.

6. Fisherman’s Camp Restaurant

This restaurant is situated near Lake Naivasha. It has a funky vibe and is great with food, music, and fresh air. It is an open restaurant with the wood place; enjoy freshly made pizza sitting under the sky. You may hire a camp to get pampered amidst the soft grass. It is a great place to spend some lazy Sundays.

7. Azura Royal Orchid Restaurant

This restaurant is situated near to Nyali Bridge, Mombasa. Enjoy a panoramic vision of the ripping Indian Ocean while sitting across the restaurant. Enjoy succulent meat cuts, seafood wonders, and barbecued seafood. It is an excellent opportunity to sip your beer and enjoy seafood delights.

8. Haandi, Kisumu

Located in Capital Centre, Nairobi, Haandi is a restaurant of Indian origin. The restaurant is spread over 4000 square feet area. It sports all types of Indian food. You will love the signature naan, kulcha, and chapatti and tandoori roti. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian option is available. They serve food in brass plate and glass; salt and lime are neatly placed at the side which gives a typical Indian look.

9. Tilapia Beach Restaurant

Located near Otoe Road, Kisumu, this restaurant is the best option to view the Lake Victoria and have various types of fish. You will get fish barbecued, fish grill, fish grill in the sauce along with Ugali and Sukuma. You will love this African variant.

10. Talisman Restaurant

Situated on Ngong Road, Nairobi, Talisman is a boutique restaurant and offers a myriad of experience to the visitors. The New York media described Talisman as one of the finest restaurants in Kenya. Enjoy the beautiful organic garden and enjoy the ambient bar with your friends. The cuisine is a combination of European, Pan Asian, and African delicacies. You may enjoy delectable cuisines like sushi and sashimi platter, braised belly pork and homemade gnocchi.

There are many exciting facts which you can enjoy while in Kenya. Apart from theme restaurants, you must also try the African street side food joints.

The Quickest & Easiest Way To Find The Best Sea Food Restaurant in Melbourne

Australia’s stylish southern city is the haven for the lovers of fine culinary.Melbourne, especially Port Melbourne, has some of the best seafood treats to offer. Dive in, and have your mind boggled by the numerous choices.

The Conservatory Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank

Phone: +61399095317

The Conservatory, Melbourne gives a global culinary experience with the finest décor in the heart of Melbourne’s Southbank. It is a pleasant place to be for solo diners, couples or small groups alike. Expect delectable Seafood, Sushi, Indian, Salads, modern Australian and much more. If you’re looking for a Buffet meal, this restaurant is sure to please. No booking is required if you’re heading there for Breakfast, walk-in only. Afternoon Tea, Lunch and Dinner reservations are essential.

Rubiras at Swallows Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: Port Melbourne-192 Station St.

: North Melbourne-480 Victoria St.

Phone: Port Melbourne-(03) 96462746

: North Melbourne-(03) 9329 1634

Rubiras at Swallows, Melbourne is one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne with two fantastic locations, private rooms available at both venues and menus tailored to your needs. Whether you’re heading there for a special occasion or a casual Lunch or Dinner, Rubria’s chilli tiger prawns, local bay calamari, scallops, oven-roasted scampi, spring bay mussels, bug-tails, and seasonal crayfish are a must try.The restaurant offers a huge selection of quality wines at very reasonable prices to ensure that food is complemented perfectly. Rubiras would be perfect for your next celebration.

Sea Salt Degraves Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 13 Degraves Street, Melbourne

Phone: (03) 96542095

This restaurant provides it’s customers with the tastiest and finest quality seafood in Melbourne with endless options. Head over to Sea Salt Degraves and order yourself some tender calamari, succulent king prawns, crunchy chips, fresh salad or the latest creation from their very own Sushi Chef for a fresh, healthy and satisfying meal. It is open all 7 days from 10:30 AM till late. If you’re looking for the ultimate Sushi, Fish and Chip experience, find a spot here and soak up the Melbourne feels.

Box on Collins Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 189 Collins Street, Melbourne

Phone: +61 3 9663 0411

Box on Collins is the best premium seafood restaurant in Melbourne. It offers not only fresh Australian seafood, but non-seafood, vegetarian and Gluten free options, too. It is a restaurant with an admirable ambience, companionable staff with a good sense of humor and a pocket friendly menu. So, next time you’re at Collins Street, pull out a stool outside this restaurant and watch the world go by.

Moshi Moshi Japanese Seafood Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 79 Bay St, Port Melbourne

Phone: (03) 96467288

Welcome, to Melbourne’s first class traditional Japanese seafood restaurant. Located in the heart of Port Melbourne, you can come here for a hearty midweek lunch, Tuesday through Sunday, or just drop by for dinner. If you ever get cravings for the wagyu beef salad or the soba noodles with the tempura fish and vegetables, this is the place to be. And when you’re thirsty, ask for a glass of the Geoff Merrill Shiraz. Advanced booking for dinner is recommended.

Hunky Dory Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: Port Melbourne-3/181 Bay Street

: S Melbourne-252 Clarendon St.

: South Yarra-670 Chapel Street

Phone: Port Melbourne-96461020

: S Melbourne-96964025

: South Yarra-98266875

How do you begin to review a restaurant which has been in existence longer than you? Yes, Hunky Dory has been a family of fishermen since 1927. It is one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne which offers fresh from the grill, tasty and healthy seafood menu. Whether it’s a delicious grilled fillet of Salmon or Whiting, Greek or spinach salad or a healthy serve of brown rice, there’s something for everyone. It’s open 7 days a week, from 11 AM till late.

Hooks at the Yarra Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 50 River Esplanade, Yarra’s Edge, Docklands Victoria, 3008

Phone: (03) 90434221

Situated along the banks of the Yarra in Docklands and right at the foot of the Webb bridge, this restaurant offers a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere under the palms along with an intimate dining experience inside the restaurant. Its menu offers freshest seafood, pasta, risotto, pizza, meats & seasonal vegetables which you just can’t resist. So, don’t forget to stop at Hooks for a glass of something sparkling with a beautiful view. You can definitely add it to Melbourne’s ‘must do’ list.

Saltwater Grill Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 93 Dundas Pl, Albert Park VIC

Phone: +61 3 9690 8969

Earning millions is of no use, if you didn’t go a have a heart fulfilling meal at this restaurant in Melbourne. Their best selling burgers include Cheese Royale, The Jacky Jones, The Down Under, Spicy Mex and Double Deluxe. If you want their specials, Oyster, Tacos, Seafood Skewers, Grilled Snapper and Stuffed Salmon are recommended. This place has huge lines throughout the day, so better you reach early and grab a bite.

Richmond Oysters Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 437-443 Church St, Richmond

Phone: +61 3 9428 5121

Welcome, to the world of Oyster! This restaurant in Melbourne serves premium quality seafood for the enjoyment of all. Their wholesale operations are complemented by their retail seafood display, take-away fish’n’chips and a world class restaurant dining experience. This place is bustling with foreigners, is abundant in alcohol and good food. The service, the ambience and the delicious Oysters makes it one of the top rated seafood restaurants in Melbourne ever to have been existed. You surely can’t miss out on this one if you’re in Melbourne.

A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro Restaurant, Melbourne

Address: 268 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

Phone: +61 3 9077 2856

A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro is an exceptionally good seafood restaurant in Melbourne where you can experience true French hospitality. You will surely have an informal, friendly and delicious experience here. When French visitors are feeling home sick for some Cream Brulée or Clafoutis this is where they visit. The taste of French seafood here is something which you’ll never seem to find anywhere in Melbourne. Apart from a versatile food menu, there is an extensive wine list featuring French and Australian wines, aperitifs and beers. This restaurant should remain at the top of your list if you’re in Melbourne.

Menu Boards Are Critical to a Successful Restaurant

For new restaurant owners a lot of thought and planning should go into your restaurant’s layout and design. When it comes to restaurant design it is critical to use your space wisely. Great restaurant design can help you to set you apart from local restaurants as well as competitors in other areas of town. A restaurant that is aesthetically appealing can encourage people to come in to your restaurant and let’s face it, first impressions go a long way and can help a one-time customer become a returning patron. Ensure your design is spacious and that your restaurant doesn’t feel too cramped. Knowing your target market is an important aspect of good design. A restaurant designed to accommodate teenagers will look very different than one designed for working professionals. Location will also impact your design. It is very important for you to try to differentiate your restaurant from your competitors, especially when your restaurant is located in a competitive area. An attractive, well designed restaurant sign is a great way to increase your restaurant’s traffic and attract potential customers who drive or walk by your restaurant but may otherwise not stop in..

When planning the design of your restaurant you want to consider how to achieve the best flow. You can direct traffic to areas like the buffet, bar or washrooms with creative indoor signage. When you achieve a good sense of traffic and flow in your restaurant you can increase the efficiency of your operations and reduce your costs. Listen to your staff about the traffic and flow in your restaurant, they may have suggestions or comments that would be very useful to you. Making improvements to your design can be as easy as rearranging furniture. You can increase efficiency and reduce expenses by utilizing good design in your restaurant.Consider the traffic and flow of your restaurant when making your design plans. Creative signage will help direct your customers to areas in your restaurant like the washrooms and bar which will improve overall flow. It is important to consider the flow and traffic in restaurant which will help you to increase profits by minimizing costs and increasing efficiency. You should ask your staff about any concerns or suggestions they might have about traffic and flow in your restaurant, after are most likely to encounter problems. Making improvements to the traffic might require simple changes like rearranging tables and adding extra signs or something more complex like moving the bar or buffet areas. It is very important to invest in a good design and layout in order to help your restaurant become more efficient and profitable.

A successful restaurant sign is critical to the success of your restaurant and will help you improve your brand awareness. You can attract new customers and differentiate yourself from the competition with a properly positioned restaurant sign. As a form of advertising restaurant signs are extremely effective. A restaurant sign that is interesting will make customers curious about your establishment and more likely to try it out. Ensure you invest in a quality sign because a poor quality sign can cause you to lose potential customers and detract from your establishment.

Menus are one of the most important pieces of advertising that you have in your restaurant, which is why it is so important to price items competitively. Menu items can fluctuate, especially in regards to seasonal items so it is important to have a menu board that is easily changeable. When it comes to the types of graphics you should use you will want to have a good balance between colours and images. When you are placing numerous items on your menu board you want to keep things organized by breaking the space up into categories and individual items. Consider which items are most profitable and which are less profitable and place the more profitable ones at the top left and the least profitable in the bottom right corner. Using your most popular items as a focal point is another strategy for your menu board. You should also proudly display any awards or distinctions that your restaurant has earned on your menu board..

You should ensure your menu board includes specials, current items and any specialty items you may have. Including the price along with the menu item is critical information that should be placed on your menu board. It is important to ensure that the level of service that you offer your customers clearly matches the images and tone of your restaurant signs and menu boards. A creative restaurant sign or menu board is a great opportunity to promote your restaurant. Place your menu board prominently to ensure that it will draw your customer’s attention.

Restaurant Reviews – How to Review a Family-Oriented Restaurant

You don’t have to look very far in the states of California or New York to find one of many thousands of their restaurants. If you are serious about finding a great one for dinner out whether it’s with friends, family, or someone special to you, it can be as difficult as trying to find a needle in a haystack. There may be quite a few decent mobile phone apps that allow you to check out restaurants in your vicinity but they don’t generally offer in depth menus and pictures. In this situation you don’t want a list of restaurants; you want something a lot better. It’s important to find a way to get sneak peeks through things like pictures as well as informative insights about prices and the types of cuisine the restaurant offers.

Does this occasion warrant more exciting restaurant menus than normal? It’s much easier to pick the perfect family restaurants, fine dining restaurants, and even casual dining locations when you take advantage of online restaurant guides to help you choose. This is more than your average restaurant names and basic details. You’ll get all kinds of extras about a restaurant with the right guide like types of food the restaurant serves, the general price range for the restaurant, pictures, and restaurant menus.

If you’re on the business side of the restaurant though, you’re going to have a different story. Online restaurant reviews mean something different for you than they mean to people looking for a place to eat. Your plans are for reviews to pain your restaurant in the most positive light possible. You want your restaurant to capture the attention of those looking for great restaurants in California. The bottom line is that you’re interested in appealing to people who are looking for what your restaurant has to offer whether it’s a family restaurant, or a Greek, Thai, Indian, or Chinese restaurant. You want to be able to offer people restaurant coupons so that they can come in and see what you have to offer for less. You want in depth reviews for your restaurants in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area and you’ll get them when you list your restaurant with the right guide.

You must make a name for your restaurant and ensure that it is recognized by the public if you want your restaurant to thrive. Those in the industry have paid a heavy price in the recent recession. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if you are the best thing to hit the Thai food market Brooklyn has ever seen or that you are one of the finest restaurants San Diego happens to be home to; if no one knows where you are they aren’t going to come inside.

Restaurant Budget Tips: How To Minimize Costs When Starting A Restaurant Business

The restaurant budget can balloon during the first year or so because of growth. A restaurant may be very profitable during this period, but when the costs of expansion overtakes the profits, then at the end of the financial period expect the young restaurant to declare a loss instead. To help you stay afloat, here are some valuable tips in trimming your restaurant budget:

1. Have at least six months of operating capital in the bank before opening your restaurant business.

When you got the financial power to back you up through a crisis, you withstand losses far longer than an independent operator who is not prepared for the onslaught.

2. Understand cash flow and learn to manage it.

Cash flow in a restaurant business is more volatile and less predictable than in retail or manufacturing. However, knowing where your expenses come from and identifying the averages in your restaurant will help you control costs in your restaurant budget.

During the first year or so, a restaurant owner may find himself spending money on replacing non-performing employees, repairing equipment failures or upgrading them to faster machines to keep up with demand, and tweaking the menu for flavor, presentation or preparation. These unexpected costs can cripple a business when the restaurant budget is insufficient to cover the losses.

3. Start small and simple. Do not splurge.

The location of your restaurant will determine the rent expenses. The prime locations in the city have more foot traffic, which means more customers. However, starting at an out-of-way location is not bad considering you are operating on a minimal restaurant budget. Once your place becomes famous for the excellent food, then that is the time to move on to a better location, and perhaps, finer interiors.

You shouldn’t have to strangle costs for designing your restaurant’s interior design. Some places attract customers because of the ambience inside their restaurant. However, you shouldn’t also splurge on costly interiors. A simple design that exudes comfort and serenity is far better than a glamorous look.

A smaller area is preferred for new restaurants. This means serving a smaller group of diners every few minutes or so, rather than attending to the needs of a large customer base. Less demand means less hassle.

4. Hire a small crew and be willing to do most of the work

A good restaurant owner knows how to work for each position in his or her restaurant. You should know how to work as a server, cashier, a cook and a manager. You should learn how to operate the machines and be humble enough to clean the floors after closing time.

Hire fresh graduates or trainees because they are more enthusiastic to do the job at a lesser compensation. Choose the ones who can do more work in less time. Plan their work schedules so that you always have enough number of people working in the restaurant to get the job done.

If possible, ask friends or family to help you out whenever the need arises, such as when holidays come in or when someone in your staff is sick. This does not mean that they work for you for nothing; offer a good pay rate, but explain that it is the most you can afford presently. They will understand your situation.

5. Keep your promotion expenses cheap.

Because your restaurant is new and few people know about it, your best bet in promoting your business is through the Internet. Rising costs in newspaper, TV and radio ad spots can hurt your restaurant budget. Save money by setting up a small blog about your restaurant and your menu.

Invite food bloggers as well as known food writers to taste your wares, so to speak. Once these media mavens spread the good word either through traditional means or through new media, you can expect an increase in diners.

The flow of traffic may not explode like what you imagine it would. No clamoring crowds or lines of waiting customers will appear on the first few weeks. However, as long as your food remains the best tasting and most innovative cuisine in your town, then you can be assured of a steady flow of customers to your restaurant. Moreover, as long as you keep your restaurant budget expenses down, expect a steady flow of income that will keep you in the black for the first two years or so of business.

Restaurant Reservation and Booking Systems to Boost Online Bookings

Table management systems and restaurant reservation systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, if you’re considering installing a reservation system for your restaurant there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a system and provider.

A restaurant reservation and table management system should provide you with the tools to plan and run your restaurant bookings effectively and manage tables, efficient table management means that a restaurant can maximise the potential of their dining room and this in turn should increase profits. Restaurant reservation systems with the option of combining a table management system are increasing in popularity with restaurant operators. With an increasing number of diners now using the web to find details of their favoured dining location having the facility to take booking via their website is an essential tool for a restaurant operator. Some restaurants have seen an increase of as much as 20% in reservation numbers just by offering online booking from their website. And with the addition of a table management system any restaurant will have full visibility and control of their seating at a glance with a full graphical view of their restaurants table status.

Online Bookings

Restaurants are the most searched for business category on the internet and many restaurants now have a website. A well designed website will attract new customers to your restaurant, online reservations are increasing rapidly with so many consumers seeking out restaurants via the web, a well designed website for a restaurant needs a few key elements that a customer looking to book would want to see. The first is a selection of pictures, potential diners like to see what a restaurant looks like and a gallery of well shot pictures will encourage them to look further.

Another key element is to include a sample menu complete with pricing on the website, many restaurants fall short on this one but pricing is important, any potential diner will want to know not only what is on offer but how much they will be likely to pay. No restaurant should be frightened to show pricing, after all I’m sure whatever is on offer it is considered to be value for money or why offer it?

The final key element is a facility to book online direct from the website, offering an online booking facility direct from the website as well as telephone booking offers the potential diner choice, in an increasingly tech savvy world browsing the web to look for a restaurant has become almost a national pastime. Having an online booking facility available for a restaurant is like having someone available to take bookings 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online restaurant bookings virtually eliminate the need to phone and book a table at a restaurant. Online bookings free up your phone and reduce the chance of someone calling to book a table only to be greeted by a busy tone on the phone.

Their are a number of providers of restaurant reservation systems, these range from systems which offer full integration in to the restaurants website with a live electronic diary to basic online booking systems which will only send an email to the restaurant operator of the required booking. A system with a live electronic diary should always be the preferred option, a live diary system will only display current availability when a curer is booking, it will also automatically update the electronic diary with current table availability as booking are made.

A number of systems also offer table management, with a full table management utility you can see the current and future status of all the tables in the restaurant at a glance, with a table management utility you can also operate a fully automatic wait list. If a customer walks in to the restaurant but there are no table currently available they can be added to the wait list and the system will automatically calculate the time for the next table available and alert the host/hostess who is next to be seated as soon as table become available.

Utilising a restaurant reservation system and table management system will streamline the restaurants operation, bring in additional custom from web bookings and help to turn table faster and offer exceptional customer service.

Why Restaurant Training Is a Must for Your Restaurant

Restaurant training has evolved to be much more than just setting tables, talking and answering customer’s questions, it is also a way that any restaurant owner can advertise their restaurant in their employees work. To have a successful restaurant many owners to take upon themselves to have the best services and the best template to draw in their customers and to keep them interested for a long period of time. With the help of the right restaurant training, employees can actually advertise and use the skills that they learned while they were being trained, as a marketing tool for the restaurant in which they work in. Each restaurant as different as they may be, has the same goals in their training:

Restaurant training helps employees train for any kind of situation
It helps personal answer any customers questions
It gives the owner a chance to see his or her future employees
It helps train employees with greeting and receiving customers
It helps with the marketing of the restaurant within the customers
There are several institutes that specialize in restaurant training

These alone can help just about any restaurant be more successful or become successful because they will get even more attention from other people. There are several things that an owner can do to help increase the chances of bringing in more customers to their restaurants on their own, without having to hire anyone to train their employees for them. Since this can cost money, for both the restaurant and their employees, business owners usually go through the list of things that they want to experience on their own when they go to other restaurants. One of the best examples of how great restaurant training can help a restaurant flourish is by looking at how each employee actually works and how this can help attract even more customers.

There are many institutes that specialize in training employees in several areas, one of them being restaurant work, greeting and receiving possible customers, and even how to answer specific questions about the restaurant. Once a restaurant is well established it is incredibly important to know how to keep its services up to date, and this can also be done during training for the employees. Restaurant training is not only for the employees of the restaurant anymore, it can also be for the restaurant owner and any other restaurant affiliate. This can be mainly for the employees since there are so many things that actually happen inside the restaurant, that it can be hectic for an employee and customers at some point.

Restaurant training can also help with problems within employees and it provide a clear and open path for employees to come talk to the restaurant owner about any problems that they may have at any point. This keeps certain problems from getting bigger and the restaurant growing. There are restaurant training manuals for owners and employees as well.

How A Restaurant Check List Will Help Your Service

A restaurant check list is very important and a needed part of the restaurant because the owner and employees can keep track of everything that goes into and out of the restaurant. The main reason that makes a restaurant check list so important is- in order for a restaurant to work properly there needs to be order and a list of what the restaurant needs, when and how much of it.

Without proper check lists, and proper control of restaurant affairs, it is very possible for restaurants to get out of control very fast and not be able to grow as businesses. Every proper business that has expanded beyond a simple restaurant and in time created chains of smaller restaurants or establishments, actually started with the same check list as small restaurants do.

A restaurant check list can include a variety of things such as help with keeping track of materials, not only of the owner but the employees. Checklists help points include:

Keeping track of materials and inventory
Opening and closing check lists for the restaurant
Milestone checklist
Leasing and marketing check list
Food and safety check list

All of these points help a restaurant grow and expand as time passes by, and it also helps their employees grow and advance in their job and even make their positions a career in field. There are many things that restaurant checklist helps keep track of, including how much business the restaurant gets, how many continuous customers there are, how long until the business keeps expanding, and how popular the business is. All of these points can be seen in a restaurant checklist that each owner has for their own business and they are able to share these with their employees, so they know how their hard work affects the restaurant itself. Most restaurants have the same number of checklist in their portfolio while others have more. There is really no actual number of needed checklists, so if the restaurant owner does not want to know about every single marketing or advertising strategy that there is when it comes to restaurants, then he or she does not need the entire extra Restaurant checklist.

However popular some restaurants are, there are always some that get lucky because even though they do not include all of the details of their restaurants in their checklists, they do have someone to help them advance to the next level in their business. This alone can help just about any person when it comes to how much they want to work, and how much of their time they are willing to put into their restaurant. There are places where financial and strategic professionals can be hired to fix a restaurant, or simply move it forward. Most of the time, the expert simply outlines in check lists everything that the owner needs to know about, and everything about the restaurant. Restaurant check list is a very important part of most eateries and restaurants because it is filled with a lot of information that can help them survive during any time.

Restaurant Financial Management Issues

Restaurant owners, while being aware of the financial management of their businesses, are more likely to be involved in troubleshooting the day to day issues that keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, a financial accountant is a luxury that many small restaurant owners cannot afford. This article will address six main accounting problems that restaurant owners often encounter and how to either prevent them from occurring or how to solve the problems once they do occur. Being a small business owner is always a challenge and the restaurant business is complex financially.

This article will concentrate on those issues that can be resolved with some good accounting skills and procedural methods. By teaching restaurant owners how to look for financial issues before they arise, an accountant, can help the owner correct or improve the financial techniques being utilized to manage profit and reduce any losses that are preventable. The six issues addressed here will focus on the:

Problem One – Absence of an Accounting System
Problem Two – When Major Operating Expenses are Higher than Total Sales
Problem Three – Menu Offerings
Problem Four – Food and Beverage Inventory
Problem Five – Issues that Occur When Inventory is Higher than Sales
Problem Six – Utilizing a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss at Month End

By investigating these issues, which are common problems for restaurant owners, managing these issues and troubleshooting them before the restaurant is out of control financially is feasible and can help an owner utilize accounting methods.

Problem One – Absence of an Accounting System

The first issues that a restaurant owner must deal with when trying to avoid accounting issues is to invest in a good piece of computer software that will help keep track of all transactions. Nessel, who is an owner and financial consultant to restaurant owners, recommends QuickBooks for keeping a General Ledger of all financial transactions that occur in the restaurant. All financial transactions must be recorded in the General Ledger in order for accurate records to be maintained. Without attending to this, the owner is not going to be able to run the restaurant without maintaining accountability in the ledger. Nessel further states that, “My experience is that how well the business is being proactively managed is directly correlated as to how well the owner is managing his “books”. Therefore, it is a primary concern for the owner to set up an accounting system in order to ensure the business runs smooth financially. Not having accounting and financial controls in place is the number one reason most businesses fail and if a restaurant is in trouble this is the first issue to address. The Restaurant Operators Complete Guide to QuickBooks, is recommended by many accountants as a guide to help setup a good accounting system.

Problem Two – When Major Operating Expenses are Higher than Total Sales

Statistics say that, “Restaurant food & beverage purchases plus labor expenses (wages plus employer paid taxes and benefits) account for 62 to 68 cents of every dollar in restaurant sales.” These are referred to in accounting terms as a restaurant’s “Prime Cost” and where most restaurants encounter their biggest problems. These costs are able to be controlled unlike utilities and other fixed costs. An owner can control product purchasing and handling as well as menu selection and pricing. Other controllable output costs for a restaurant include the hiring of staff and scheduling staff in an economically efficient way. “If a restaurant’s Prime Cost percentage exceeds 70%, a red flag is raised. Unless the restaurant can compensate for these higher costs by having, for example, a very favorable rent expense (e.g. less than 4% of sales) it is very difficult, and perhaps impossible, to be profitable.”

Rental expenses for a restaurant (if one included taxes, insurance and other expenses that may fall into this category such as any association fees) are the highest expense a restaurant will incur after the “Prime Costs.” Rent averages around 6-7% of a restaurant’s sales. Since it is in the category of a fixed expense it can only become a reduced ratio through an increase in sales. If the cost exceeds 8% then it is useful to divide the occupancy cost by 7% to find out what level of sales will be required to keep rental expenses under control so they do not put the restaurant out of business

Problem Three – Menu Offerings

Most offerings on a menu are priced by the owner after visiting other local restaurant competitors, viewing their offerings and menus prices. However, menu pricing should never be done by simply looking at the menus of their competitors. Menu pricing must be done (and periodically redone as supplier costs fluctuate) and documented into the software books. Some math skills will be useful as a menu is converting product prices from purchases to recipe units. A restaurant owner needs to know the cost of making a recipe in order to know how to price it. This means knowing what the ingredients and the quantity of ingredient used costs per recipe. There is software available to help with this and Microsoft Excel can be used to customize menu costing while linking to inventory items that are available.

Some of the things that an owner can do to help with accounting that are controllable through the menu would include:

– Pricing the menu for minimum wage increases.
– Using value-added meals to increase profits.
– Re-introducing price increases while still keeping your customer base.

A menu must be periodically updated as supplier costs change. This can be positive or negative according to the supplier. Either way, menu items can be adjusted according to the supplier costs with math and some help from inventory tracking software.

Problem Four – Food and Beverage Inventory

It is a common mistake for restaurant owners to review the Profit & Loss Statement and assume that what they have spent on food can be divided by sales in that period to find the cost of what was sold. This is an error. The inventory at the start and finish of the period must be known in order to calculate food costs in a precise manner. “For a restaurant with food sales of $50,000/month, an inventory difference of $1000 between the beginning and end of the month, can translate into a variance of 2%. This disparity represents half the total annual profit of a typical full service restaurant.” Simply put, one cannot manage food costs if they don’t keep records of what they are. Changes in inventory are essential to be aware of when calculating profit and loss.

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be utilized to track inventory and document pricing and know all the totals of inventory when it comes to food and beverages. Tracking this through Excel will prevent mistakes.

Problem Five – Issues that Occur When Inventory is Higher than Sales

When food inventory is too high, the costs will be too high and waste is inevitable. Calculating inventory needs is absolutely a necessity to prevent food from going bad, being over portioned in recipes or even stolen. “A typical full service restaurant should have on average no more than 7 days of inventory.”

There is an equation to use to find out how much inventory is needed for a restaurant to run properly. The equation is:

Step 1) Multiply your average monthly food sales by your food cost %.
Step 2) Divide that number (your average monthly food usage) by 30 (days/month)

By using this formula and keeping records of all the beginning and ending inventory the problem of losing money due to wasted food costs is reduced or eliminated.

Problem Six – Utilizing a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement

For a restaurant to be successful it needs to be operated like a large business by the owner as much as possible. A weekly report at the very least is needed. The formatting of the report should be categorized. Inventory, suppliers, labor and sales should all have a start and end period. Fixed expenses such as rent and electric should be broken down to fit the report if it is weekly, or daily. It is not advisable to wait until the end of the month to calculate a report as changes occur swiftly in the restaurant business.

It is a very important point that a start and end date should be included in the reporting and that even fixed expenses should be broken down so that a weekly net profit can be calculated. As previously mentioned, Microsoft Excel and other tracking software can be utilized for inventory and other costs, even scheduling which effects profit. Without keeping proper track of inventory, surplus, scheduling, menu pricing, portioning and all that has been covered in this study, can result in a restaurant going under. A restaurant owner simply needs to take the initiative to put some simple accounting strategies in place. It may seem as if a restaurant owner has to do it all; but, with some good software and a systematic method put in place keeping a restaurant on track financially will create financial rewards well worth the work.