Q & A With Coolhaus: NYC Food Truck Association

In a fun series launching today, the NYC Food Truck Association goes “Behind the Wheel” with Natasha Case, co-founder of Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck.

NYC Hospitality Alliance Event on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 9:30-11:30am

Seminar with the NYC Hospitality Alliance

Balancing Employee Relations, Payroll & the Law

 Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 9:30-11:30am

Where: NY Institute of Technology | 16 West 61st Street, 11th Floor (Map)

Cost: $20 member          $35 non-member  

Register Here

In today’s competitive and highly regulated business environment, it’s important for restaurants, hotels and nightlife venues to create a positive work environment for employees while complying with the various federal, state and city labor laws.

You do not want to miss this unique opportunity to hear industry leaders answer questions such as: 

  • How do you retain your best employees?
  • How can you protect your business against potential lawsuits filed by employees?
  • What are the best resources for finding and attracting qualified employees?
  • Wage & Hour, Immigration, Paid Sick leave AND much more!!!

Learn the in-and-outs of balancing employee relations, payroll & the law by joining The Alliance for an in-depth and interactive panel discussion with experts from the NYC hospitality industry.

Moderator: Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance

  • Angie Buonpane, Director of Human Resources, Union Square Hospitality Group
  • Michael Busch, President, Valiant Restaurant Division
  • Carolyn D. Richmond, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP


Tech Trends: Social Hiring Streamlines Staffing

Staffing can be overwhelming for any enterprise, but many new resources, including Hourly, JobFox, Harri, and Jobster, hope to simplify the process by creating social networks for hiring, where candidates and employers create profiles and are matched together. There are many advantages for both enterprises and jobseekers.

For enterprises, there are several key benefits. First, social hiring allows enterprises to search for and see profiles of only those candidates who have the skills, certifications, or experiences required for the job. Candidates’ profiles also bring them to life in ways that go beyond the typical resume and cover letter, allowing enterprises to see quickly whether candidates could be a good fit for their work environment.

Furthermore, social hiring provides one streamlined hiring interface without cluttering up email inboxes. Enterprises can hire back of house, front of house, and other staff all on one site. Sites like Hourly even allow enterprise to find graphic designers, accountants, web designers, and other professionals they may need.

Social hiring can also help enterprises keep records for compliance. Some social hiring sites will soon offer downloadable reports of all candidates who were matched to a job, which may help enterprises keep notes to protect themselves in the event of a lawsuit or investigation.

For jobseekers, social hiring allows them to find many types of jobs easily. Jobseekers select what type or types of work they are seeking and what type of employer they would like to work for, then let the hiring site make the match, rather than having to search several job sites for individual positions. Profiles also allow jobseekers to give prospective employers a better sense of their work style, personality and goals. Some sites will soon allow jobseekers to display portfolios and projects, as well.

For both enterprises and jobseekers, social hiring also provides transparency. Many jobseekers choose to post references and background check verification, eliminating that step for prospective employers. Likewise, there is a degree of accountability and legitimacy in employer profiles that is absent from many job sites, where posts are often made anonymously and are not traceable.

Happy Hiring…TaraPaige Group

Court of Appeals on Starbucks Tip Case

Tipping at Starbucks has again made it to State court, and operators will be wise to follow the legislation. Employees who have authority to hire and fire are never allowed in tip pools. Reuters provides a thorough analysis.


514 3rd Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets (Murray Hill) • 212.679.2273


Bareburger Murray Hill

Their Success…Incorporating the trend towards transparent food sourcing with a classic favorite—burgers and fries. As the dining public becomes more aware of food origins and demands more transparency from restaurants and other food establishments, many enterprises are making small notes on their menu or incorporating local produce where they can. Bareburger, however, has built sustainability into the core of their concept. They have 13 locations in NYC and Long Island.

The Bareburger menu names which farms and producers supply their ingredients, and their meats in particular. Cards in the condiment buckets, and a section of their website, explain the meaning of terms like “organic,” “grass-fed,” and “pesticide free.” Bareburger also lists clearly which meats are organic, local, or sustainably raised. Even their interior décor has a nod to their sustainable roots, with salvaged or reclaimed barnwood used to construct the tables and wooden ceilings.

Yet Bareburger has embraced this shift towards sustainability and transparency in a way that does not reinvent the food itself, keeping themselves on the forefront of both comfort food and food policy.

Take Aways…Embracing sustainability and transparency in food sourcing can be an important factor in drawing guests to your enterprise in today’s environment. But doing so does not have to mean making your enterprise trendy or fleeting. By keeping the food familiar and the atmosphere warm and inviting, your enterprise becomes one that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their view on food policy.

Getting a Grip on Big Data: Translating Numbers

QSR gives a good run down of data and where companies need to be in terms of understanding it. With an ever-increasing load of software and social media and plug-ins, companies like Avero in New York City become necessary resources for operators who may have time but not manpower.

Unless an operator’s  background lies in analytics or statistics, the numbers may become obsolete, and need translation.

Read the full article here.

Umami Burger: Arrival in New York with an Addictive Ingredient

Grub Street gets down and controversial with Adam Fleischman and his Umami Burger.  He explains he “wants New Yorkers to know that his L.A. Umami Burger empire—which has grown, in just four short years, from a $40,000 investment to a multimillion-dollar enterprise with madly popular, ever-multiplying outlets in San Francisco and Miami—isn’t a burger joint in the usual ho-hum, utilitarian way.

“Burger chains like Shake Shack are all designed the same,” he explains. “The food is all designed to taste the same. We don’t do that. Each of our restaurants has its own character. We want our customers to have a unique experience. We wanted to be a restaurant group, not a chain.”

How to Manage Your Business Partner

Entrepreneur Magazine provides some helpful tips in working with a partner, beyond setting boundaries and maintaining your own lives outside work.

Disagreements and misunderstandings can stop a company before it starts. They provide four ways to manage a partner and set the business up for success:

Get an outsider’s perspective.
Most startups don’t have a board of directors but still need an outsider’s viewpoint. Frank Demmler, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, advises founders to give a monthly presentation about company goals and challenges in front of two or three mentors. Presenting to a third party keeps partners from blaming each other for company decisions gone wrong. For example, partners who disagree about how to price their product can present their cases to their mentors instead of getting into a direct conflict with one another. Getting into this habit also helps the founders gain perspective on their decisions, since their mentors are removed from the day-to-day ups and downs.

Solve problems before they happen. 
Just like you would create a business plan, it’s a good idea for founders to sit down together, write out potential hot-button issues and think through solutions in advance. For example, you’ll want to outline each partner’s time commitment to the company and how you’ll handle personal problems, such as illness. It’s also important to discuss how and when the partners will be paid and strategies for growing the business, says Demmler. For instance, one partner may want to keep the profits, while the other may prefer to re-invest them in order to scale. Taking the time to address what’s important to you upfront can help prevent future breakdowns in communication, he says. “Do it at the beginning when rational minds are engaged.”

Clearly outline job responsibilities. 
If one or more founders isn’t pulling their weight, it can breed resentment. One way to avoid this is by assessing and redistributing the amount of work each one does through weekly partner meetings, says Shahab Kaviani, chief executive at CoFoundersLab, an online co-founder matching service based in Rockville, Md. Knowing you will meet regularly to discuss the workload can help ease any lingering tension. Keep in mind that a balanced division of labor doesn’t necessarily mean divvying up every project. For example, instead of splitting the marketing work down the middle, one partner can focus on marketing while the other concentrates on operations. Of course, you’ll want to consider each other’s strengths when making those choices.

Consider all partners when making decisions. 
For many business partners, making even the smallest company decisions can turn into a drawn out, painful process, which can slow down the company’s upward trajectory. Learning how to effectively negotiate with your co-founders will help smooth out potential gridlocks. When negotiating a big decision, Douglas Noll, a corporate mediator in Clovis, Calif., suggests that partners focus on their overarching goals, rather than quibble over specifics. For instance, if you’d like to take more money out of the business to pay off company debt, make a list of the long-term benefits of doing so, such as added financial security. When you come to the negotiating table, discuss ways that you might be able to achieve your ultimate goal of financial security, and offer directing funds to pay off debt as one possible method.

At the same time, Kaviani advises against making concessions without getting something in return. For example, when negotiating a hiring decision, one partner might agree to hire someone they’re not sure about, if the other agrees to a three-month trial period for the employee. Then, both sides feel they have gained. Finally, he says it’s important to stay calm during these discussions, because losing your cool can escalate the conflict rather than resolve it.



Happy Memorial Day! Making it On Long Island’s North Fork

Memorial Day sees many city folks heading out East for the unofficial start of summer. This article in the Wall Street Journal is sticking with us, thinking of those who might like to make a permanent move. One major trick? Managing the off season.

We’re Watching as a Cronut Craze Sweeps NYC

It’s not often that a single food takes a city by storm, but Dominique Ansel’s Cronut seems to have done just that. Have you tried it yet?


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