Mind your own business


Have you ever tried taking an exam without studying? How about cooking a dish from your favorite restaurant without following the recipe? Now imagine trying to run a business without knowing your competition. The underlying principles remain.

Understanding the competitive landscape within your market is a narrative that business owners and managers often overlook. It’s one thing to know your company inside and out; i.e. labor cost, cost of good sold (cogs), sales, etc. but taking a step back can give you a fresh perspective that will not only help your organization internally but also provide your customers with a better experience.

Know where you fall within your market. What’s your competition charging? What type of packaging do they use? What’s the average portion size? Average sale price? What type of ingredients are they using? Do they sell online? Do they use a co-packer? Is there new technology that can steam-line your process? On the surface some items are easier to recognize over others but once you scratch below the surface you’ll find the magic lies within the details. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Analyze the micro and macro trends. Look at the flow of traffic, the presentation of the product, or the logistics of the supply chain. It’s easy to become complacent when you’re riding the wave of success but never assume that’s the end-all.

Remember, this is continuous exercise that should be revisited every couple of months. We leave you with this challenge: every quarter go back and run a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) comparing you along with your top 5 competitors. Don’t think of this as a burden; try to have fun with it. Pick a night, bring a colleague or business partner and take a moment to enjoy your meal. If at the end it feels like a dead end, try to keep with it but be humbled at the fact that you now know your market better than your market knows itself.

Business VS Home Finances


Is running your business that far off from managing your own finances? The key to success is having a plan. Whether that is creating a budget in order to monitor expenses or creating a retirement plan (investor payback), setting benchmarks for 5 or 10 years down the road will lead you towards a path of success. Click here to see how Kerry Hannon of the NY Times maps out a retirement plan that encourages you to think into the future. While reading this think about how a plan like this can apply to your business. Do you have goals for 5, 10, 20 years down the road? Once your business start turing a profit how will you allocate those earnings?

Operations, Part 2 of 6: Labor


In part 1 of this series we linked you to a quick video, provided by Bon Appetite, that went behind the scenes of a Chick-Fil-A. Now this may not touch home with everyones operation but hopefully if made you start to think about all of the moving parts to your business and how everything is interconnected.  In todays column, we highlight one of the most critical elements to any business- Labor.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Restaurant Operations Report, labor costs make up a third of sales in a typical restaurant. This means that any increases in labor costs can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

To cut down on unnecessary spend, make data-driven staffing decisions. Excellent customer service and staff retention are always top priorities, and your staff are on the front lines of the customer experience. Equip your employees with information they need to perform well, and strategically place them in roles where they are needed and feel passionate.

  • Compile data. Get granular with it. Dive deeper than simply identifying your restaurant’s peak service periods. Look for any overtime trends in your restaurant, and then determine how to get those numbers down without negatively affecting your operations.
  • Avoid over- or under-staffing. Too many staff standing around the dining space can be off-putting to guests, and not enough staff in front- or back-of-the house can lead to bottlenecks and frustrated customers. Analyze your data, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Stagger departures and arrivals. Instead of setting block schedules that have singular arrival and departure times per shift, consider spreading out scheduled clock-ins and -outs by about 15 minutes for select positions. This can help eliminate the chance of not having enough employees on the floor.

This article was adapted from the Nation Restaurant Association and can be found here


America’s fast-food giants lured Meal with $1 deals


America’s fast-food value meal is so popular for so many years. Like McDonald’s 20-piece pack of Chicken McNuggets goes for $5; Taco Bell’s Beefy Fritos Burrito for $1;KFC’s Fill-Ups menu promises lots of food for little dough for $5 and so on. However according to Andrew F. Smith, who is author of Fast Food: The Good, the Bad and the Hungry, pointed out there’s a dark side to a good these deals. Smith said “research has shown that bundled meals encourage customers to purchase more than they might if they just selected individual items, and this imperative to overbuy has impacted consumers’ wallets and waistlines for decades.” I think this is good reason why these fast-food restaurant can be successful so many years, and can still earn big profit on it.

If you want to know more informations about it, please click here.

Eleven Madison Park to Open Hamptons Pop-up During Renovations

All summer, Eleven Madison Park will be closed for renovations. While this is not ideal from a business perspective, it’s even less promising for the employees who would have been out of work for an entire season. Luckily, EMP Summer House will be debuting in June in the Hamptons and the EMP staff will be working on Long Island all summer long. The restaurant will be collaborating on a “number of unique experiences. American Express members will have first crack at getting a seating during the pop-up, but you could possibly get lucky with a walk-in spot if you are willing to pay cash.

You can read more about he event here.

Ikinari Steak to Open in the East Village



Ikinari Steak, the popular Japanese quick service restaurant will be opening on Thursday in the East Village. Known for its lack of chairs, the restaurant offers 40-day wet-aged beef to diners looking for a quality meal on the go. The beef comes from an Illinois-based company that also provides the meat for the Japanese-based locations of Ikinari. Diners can eat steak, soup, salad, and rice during lunchtime for $20. This includes tip, but does not include a seat.

You can read more about Ikinari here.

Labels: “Best if used by”


On Wednesday, those two groups, and Walmart, announced that they had agreed to whittle that lexicon to just two phrases: “best if used by” and “use by.”

“Research shows that the multitude of date labels that appear on foods today are a source of confusion for many consumers,” Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health for Walmart, said in a statement.

Read more here

Operations, Part 1 of 6


We kick off this weeks Paige Papers with a special 6 part series dedicated to understanding the operations of your business. Here at TaraPaige we place a great deal of emphases keeping your costs low and running efficiently.  While sales and cash flow keeping the gears in motion, if there are flaws in the day to day process it will slowly deteriorate your companies infrastructure

Lets begin with a quick video produced by Bon Appetite featuring Deputy Editor Andrew Knowlton as he works 24 hours straight at the original Chick-fil-A in Hapeville, Georgia.


Wine snobs, you’ve warned


“A sommelier presented the unopened bottle for approval, so he could affirm it was the wine he had ordered. She then took it away for opening.

At restaurants where wine is not a particular point of pride, she might have opened it tableside, while carrying on the usual banter with diners. But at restaurants that take wine seriously, like Italienne, the sommelier will open the bottle in a private corner of the dining room. She will then take a small taste to make sure that the wine is not corked or flawed in some other way.”

Click here to continue reading

Coney Island RFP Now Open


Coney Island is now accepting application for new vendors. Interested businesses can range from “amusements, games and/or ancillary entertainment attractions”, according to the RFP.  The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) says,”sites are comprised of multiple city-owned properties located between Surf Avenue and the Coney Island Boardwalk, within the Coney Island amusement district”.

To sign up or apply click Here

If you would like to skip the sign up process, you’ve already done the leg work for you. Here is a PDF of the RFP: coney_island_east_rfp_final_6698-2-2