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Restaurant Operations 101
All classes are held at the McConnell Center, 51 Locust Street, Suite 23 - Dover, NH - 603.742.2218 Classes begin at 9:00 AM. Cost is $120 per registrant. Cost includes $20 Course Manual. Payment is required two weeks before class to ensure a course book manual. See class description page tab on the left for more details. New class schedule arriving soon!
« Current News »
The third quarter was not a good one for publicly traded restaurants. Same-store sales were weak. And profitability fell, as food costs did not fall enough to offset higher wages, according to a third-quarter Benchmarking Update from the consulting firm BDO. Average same-store sales fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, according to BDO, which analyzes reports from publicly traded restaurants to produce the update.
Leading the industry was the pizza segment, where same-store sales averaged 4.7 percent in the quarter, led by the 13-percent same-store sales increase at Domino’s Pizza Inc. — the best performance of the quarter by far.
On the other end was the fast-casual segment, where average same-store sales fell 1.3 percent. But that, too, included an outlier in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., where same-store sales declined 21.9 percent. Take out Chipotle, and the segment’s average same-store sales increased 0.9 percent.
That’s better, but it likely included a traffic decline, and it was particularly weak given that fast-casual chains are in growth mode and should be generating stronger results. Quick-service same-store sales averaged 1 percent in the quarter, but every other segment recorded declines, including a 0.9-percent drop in casual dining and a 0.2-percent average decline at upscale-casual restaurants.
Weak sales caused problems with labor costs as restaurants lost leverage in the quarter. Increasing wage rates, thanks to competition for labor and rising minimum wages, led to inflated labor costs. Labor costs were 30.1 percent of sales, up from 29.3 percent in the same period a year ago.
The biggest problem was at fast-casual chains, where same-store sales were weakest and where companies have been more aggressive at increasing wages. Labor costs as a percent of sales were 28.4 percent, rising 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Fast-casual chains, traditionally known for labor efficiency, were not as efficient in the third quarter as their quick-service cousins, where labor costs were 27.7 percent of sales, a 0.5-percent increase from the same period a year ago.
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« Facts of Interest »
The undisputed king of cheese is said to have originated in the province of Reggio Emilia, south of the Po Valley. The area was formally under the rule of the Dukedom of Parma which was the main trading center, hence its name. It was called the “Great Cheese of Seven Countries” because the ancient formula remained unchanged throughout the 700 years of history which altered the face of continents. Records dating back to 1200 to 1300AD describe the characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano as they are today and it is assumed that the real origins of the cheese go back even further as written by early Latin writers. It is a cheese best known around the world in its grated form - Parmesan; but in early maturity it is a fine table cheese said to have medicinal purposes.
It is produced from the 1st of April to the 11th of November in large drums weighing 52 to 97 pounds, the average between 72 and 79 lbs. with a height of 7 to 9½ inches, and a circumference of 28 to 36 inches. It is made with unpasteurized but tested milk of morning and evening milking in the “zona tipica” of Bologna, Mantua, Modena, Parma, and Reggio Emilia, where the soil, climate, vegetation, fodder and cattle rearing traditions has influenced its flavor and quality over the centuries.
Kitchen cooking TIPS AND TRICKS
A microwave oven uses electromagnetic waves that bounce off the surfaces and into the food to heat it. The microwaves penetrate the food from ¾ to 1 inch, causing the water molecules to vibrate producing friction and thus heat. Microwaved foods cook from the inside out.
After water, fat absorbs microwaves the best.
Arrange the food in a circle for even cooking. Favor the edge of the rotary tray, more waves reach there than in the center.
Use round dishes, square dishes overcook food at the corners.
Cover the food to reduce cooking time, but leave a place for steam to vent.
Use clear glass to watch the food cooking, not all plastics are microwaveable and metal causes electrical arcing.
Salted foods heat faster.
The Microwave does best with vegetables, then seafood, then chicken, then meat.
Never run the microwave empty, this will damage it.