How to Bring in More Business to Your Restaurant

The food distribution industry can be quite profitable. As we all know people consume food products every day. However, the food industry can face many challenges.

Gas Prices

Gas prices can affect your business any day. What can you do to avoid the impact of gas prices so it will not affect your business earnings? As you all know, gas is a commodity. You can view historical prices every day on any major exchange and analyze gas prices ahead of time. Major companies like Ryder Trucks have specialists that just analyze gas prices similar to a commodities trader on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Natural Disaster or Causes of Nature

Some food distributors may rely on specific products such as coffee, beans, rice, produce, etc. While you may be able to acquire cheaper goods outside of the U.S., you may consider purchasing from two different regions that produce the same food product. This is called, hedging your positions.

Specialty Foods

Some food distributors rely on one two to five products because they understand everything about those products. However, to avoid a dependency syndrome on few products you may consider reinvesting some of your products in expanding your product line. In the short run it may be more expensive, but in the long run you will come out winning.


Larger food distributors can obtain financing from large banks. However, small and medium size food distributors may have difficulties in obtaining bank financing. Other options to consider are; inventory based financing, purchase order financing, accounts receivables financing, and cash flow lending. Few lending companies have been fueling capital into the food industry. The food industry can utilize many mechanisms of short term financing because the sales cycles are short.

Currency Fluctuations

Today, more than ever the dollar is picking up traction in becoming a strong currency around the world. The strength in the dollar may or may not affect you depending on the role you play as an importer or exporter. Exporters in the U.S. may have a more difficult time selling outside of the U.S. because a strong dollar reduces purchasing power in foreign nations. Currency fluctuations can be attacked by purchasing within the U.S. and outside of the U.S. A purchase diversification strategy can help you defeat currency fluctuations.

There are more issues that the food industry faces. Despite of the issues, the food distribution industry is very lucrative because people consume food products every day.

By Gil Martin Zapata

What Makes an Excellent Restaurant Server?

For those that have seen the movie Waiting, or for anyone who has dealt with less than stellar service in the past, it’s easy to believe that there is no such thing as an ideal server. Or there is, and they’re called robots.

But the truth is that service is one of the most critical components of any restaurant and that good waiters can turn a first time customer into a regular. When I was working as a host at Chilis back in highschool, there was a waiter there who was so good at his job that people had regular nights of the week they came in just to see him. Even though he was a complete asshole in real life, when customers came in he could turn on the charm and upsell like you wouldn’t believe.

So when gauging what makes a good employee, here are some things to consider:

1.) Do they buy in to your vision?

If the waiter doesn’t get excited, or seem to get excited, about working for your restaurant then the customer will know it. Just like having someone post for your social media, authenticity is key as a waiter and reflects how well your organization is being run.

2.) Are they Dramatic?

Unfortunately, the service industry does tend to attract a large number of people using this job as a support until they get what they’re passionate about. That group often includes those who wish to be actors. Which is fine, until that drama conflicts with the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Making sure your employee can keep a level head is important.

3.) Are they honest?

While there have been big leaps in technology that allow owners and managers to check employees from gauging or outright stealing from the business, every restaurant needs their employees to have integrity as there will always be ways to take from the business.

4.) Are they experienced?

This is not to say that every new employee needs to have worked at another restaurant before. In fact, many seasoned professional waiters will walk in with a chip on their shoulder and a concreted belief in how things should be done. But having some level of experience does help them get into the swing of things faster than a newbie, and shows that they understand what its like to deal with customers on a day to day basis.

Bill Parks works for My Owner Box, a company that shows people how to open a restaurant.