New Co-Working Start Up Is Partnering With Restaurants

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New coworking start-up Spacious launched earlier this month by using DBGB Kitchen and Bar as a meeting and office space. They are now also adding L’Equipe in East Village and Public in Soho to their public work space portfolio. According to founder Preston Pesek, they plan to announce partnerships with restaurants in Williamsburg, Chelsea, Tribeca, Upper West Side, and even San Francisco and Los Angeles soon, but Pesek says they’re not targeting just any restaurant. It must be beautiful, and even though they won’t be serving food immediately, the menu must be delicious, he says. A good restaurant, he says, works perfectly as a good meeting space.

Besides being dinner-only restaurants, the restaurants involved with Spacious also need to be near public transit, be well-designed, and be big. DBGB has about 180 seats, and L’Apicio offers about 190. All of the eventual participants will have a minimum of 60 to 100 seats. Spacious members pay $95 per month to work in the spaces during the day, and restaurants are part of a profit-sharing partnership with the start-up.

Eventually, Spacious users will be able to order limited small plates at some of the restaurants through an app on their phone and pick it up themselves so as to avoid table service. “Most of the kitchens open early for prep work anyway, and it would be a way to showcase what they’re working on”, Pesek added.

Read more here.

Congratulations to the Winners of Pitchfest 2016 Round 1

PitchFest, the annual event hosted by Food + Enterprise which allows food entrepreneurs to present their business plans to a panel of expert judges, has chosen the 16 applicants who will proceed to round 2. These selected applicants were chosen based on a business Impact Statement, Year End Financials, “Why Should I be Selected” Statement, & Pitch Deck with a three-to-five Year Forecast. They will now have the chance to present on Saturday, April 9th at the Food + Enterprise Summit. Attendees to the summit can watch these presentations for an inside scoop into the ever-changing world of NYC sustainable food.

Finalists have a chance to win a number of prizes, including an entrepreneurship course at Natural Gourmet Institute, a scholarship to an Innovative Intensive at Food Business School or a Summer 2016 Food Venture Lab Intensive in Napa Valley.

To read more, click here.

Openings: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 11.23.31 AMTomorrow, the much-anticipated Dominique Ansel Kitchen will open its doors to the West Village. The Cronut king has taken the industry by storm developing hybrid desserts and he plans to take things to the next level with his newest endeavor. Dominique Ansel Kitchen will be the first of its kind bringing bakery retail together with restaurant service. According to their newly launched website 70% of the menu will be made to order.

Dominique Ansel names time as an ingredient, placing importance on the care and process that goes into each pastry. The bakery vows to offer the “best and most genuine versions of pastries…at the perfect time for you to eat it”. Menu speculation includes chocolate mousse, baba au rhum, beignets, mille-feuille and very buttery lemon tarts that are all prepared a la minute with a one to two minute prep time. Additionally, the bakery will offer savory options including garlic bread croissants and béchamel filled squid ink toasts.

Ansel announced earlier this month that 26-year-old Karys Logue would be his Executive Chef overseeing both Dominique Ansel Kitchen as well as the original Dominique Ansel Bakery. Logue first crossed paths with Ansel when they worked together at Daniel and since she has perfected her skills as sous chef at Café Boulud as well as executive pastry chef at Sepia and Tessa.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen, 137 Seventh Avenue South (10th Street), 212-242-5111, dominiqueanselkitchen.com

3 Day Food + Enterprise Event in Brooklyn

On February 27th-March 1st the exciting Food + Enterprise three day food event will take place in Industry City Brooklyn. Food + Enterprise was founded in 2013 as a social impact, mission driven platform dedicated to promoting understanding and collaboration amongst multiple stakeholders; be it farmers, entrepreneurs, consultants, funders or investors who aim to accelerate change in the local food system.

The event will consist of multiple speakers, workshops, and lastly a fun ‘shark-tank style’ pitch competition! The competition gives selected growth-stage food and farm enterprises an opportunity to present their business plans and launch crowdfunding programs on Barnraiser to an audience of investors, consultants, peers and consumers at the three-day summit dedicated to collaborating to finance for a better food system. The three day Food + Enterprise event will take place at Industry City in Brooklyn which is accessible from the D, N, or R trains to 36th Street. For more information on the event schedule and speakers or to register click here.

Webinar Event: Creating a High Performance Organization

Tomorrow, December 10th, Hospitality Concepts will be hosting a webinar entitled, “Creating a High Performance Organization.” The webinar will take place from 5pm-6pm EST and will show how each organization is comprised of a variety of personalities, all with different skills that when balanced as an organization, can lead to successful operations. A few of these “personalities” include:

  • “The Entrepreneur” has the vision.
  • “The Producer” makes things happen.
  • “The Administrator” is the bureaucrat, troubleshooter, and organizer.
  • “The Integrator” helps the personalities understand one another.

The webinar will also demonstrate how best to grow a brand from one location to multiple units. The total cost of the webinar will be $49.95 per person. To register for the webinar event tomorrow and for more information , click here

Customer Service is of Utmost Importance

Customer service should always be a top priority for any business, but especially for the service industry. It is simply bad business not to ensure that you have efficient customer service systems in place. You want to be that business that is known for setting high customer service standards. Put simply, a lack of strong client services will lead to a lack of business. Here are a few suggestions to strengthen your customer relations:

ONLINE:

  • Make the business able to be easily located and accessed online
  • Build a professional website
  • Index the website on the most popular web search engines
  • Make the website easy to navigate from desktops, tablets and smart phones
  • List your business on popular directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.
  • Establish your business through social platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook

PHONE:

  • Make sure customers rarely get a busy signal when trying to reach your business by phone
  • If you can’t hire a full time receptionist, consider hiring an answering service
  • Install a hosted phone system such as VirtualPBX or Grasshopper so you can receive alerts when a call is received
  • Have a system in place to record when calls are received (a simple Excel spreadsheet would work just fine)
  • Always return phone calls

The most important aspect is to always be available and accessible. Keeping in touch with your past customers will most likely lead to continued service and loyalty. This will make your customers want to write good reviews online, refer you to a friend, and generally create a positive buzz about your services.

To read more about the importance of smart customer service, click here

Modernist Cooking not Immune to Modern Real Estate

After 11 years Wylie Dufresne is forced to close his lower east side modernist restaurant, wd~50. November 30th will be the influential restaurant’s last night of service. Wd~50, named after the chef’s initials and the address, 50 Clinton St, is a fine-dining New American restaurant known for the chef’s experimental cooking methods and unique use and manipulation of ingredients. Wylie Dufresne had a vision and he admirably stuck to it for 11 years, never rethinking his concept or straying from his original idea.

Unfortunately, a developer has plans to build on the site which is forcing the restaurant to have to close. Wylie is looking for a new location in the city but has nowhere specific in mind at the moment. After Wylie announced that the restaurant would be shutting its doors, a number of disappointments with the situation were expressed by fellow chefs and thoughtful testaments flooded the twitter feed. David Chang, Korean chef/entrepreneur and founder of Momofuko added “This is unfortunately what’s probably going to happen to almost everybody, unless you can buy the building.”

To read more about the closing of wd~50 click here