I have helped many owners clarify their ideas, develop menus, implement catering programs, and direct them in team-building professional service staff. Having decades in food-service: from 5-star dining of the Mark-Hopkins Hotel to Pizza restaurants of North Beach, from a gourmet food market in Carmel to simple, fast food service in C-store outlets, I've seen the spectrum of food-service.
I begin by listening to your concept and goals, then offer an objective opinion based on experience. As a team, we fine-tune your idea and provide design ideas and support of your vision with proven operational systems and marketing techniques. I will help you focus on what's most crucial to your long-term strategy and growth.
I coach, create, design, observe, mentor, and implement change in various restaurant and hotel food-service businesses. I have three decades in restaurant management and partnerships. My services help you actualize your vision by understanding that all aspects of an operation are related. I examine Staff training, procedures, and marketing from a systems approach to integrate a cohesive operational system. Changing one aspect can bring both good or bad influences on all other parts of a successful restaurant.
One of my strengths is understanding Point-Of-Sale systems for evaluating menu development and sales projections. Guest relations and training are critical to a service-oriented business, and restaurants are at the forefront of guest service expectations.
I have a creative eye for food styling/photography and copywriting for your social media/website's meaningful content. I have an eye for detail and telling a story. I assist new and existing restaurateurs in grasping their vision's full extent and helping bring it to realization. My forte is Visual Marketing.
My passion for hospitality, combined with a Fine Arts education, gives me specific talents to advise you on the transformation you need to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. My process involves visual marketing, food styling, exceptional photography, compelling copywriting, and setting specific goals to create, communicate and present your 'Brand' to the community. I can help formulate stylistic decisions on service, visual communications, and your dining room's overall ambiance.
If you need a coach to identify your blind spots, evade pitfalls, make better decisions that will grow your business more strategically, I am here to consult.
Operations of any foodservice have altered as no one could have predicted with COVID-19 closing restaurants for indoor dining. Take-out became a necessity but requires a new approach to your menu for holding quality and travel times to consider.
Having been directly affected, my recent work in Wedding Planning came to a sudden end in May of last year. How does outdoor dining work in your situation? Can you package quality food that travels well for up to 20 minutes? All these affect menu choices to remain in business.
Many new considerations will affect your new business model. New ordering systems, new seating arrangements, and packaged meals all need to be planned and executed quickly. I can help you design and execute new menu options and logistics.
See some food and other shots from the Grass Valley Downtown Assoc. holiday campaign. I had the priveldge to shoot over 30 stores and restaurants. GALLERY
My Core Mission
To share my knowledge in F&B business practices which will bring in new customers, increase guest loyalty, and increase guest check average through better service and visually appealing, effective marketing.
New Reality, not Trends in Food-Service
Visual Marketing, Social Media, Convenience, Take-Out Foods- Are you ready?
Before our current Pandemic and the devastation impact on foodservice retail, I wrote a piece for this home page to introduce what I saw as a trend in restaurants in particular. These words have proven to be even more relevant to how everyone needs to pay attention to how food is prepped, packaged, and sold. We are now looking at outdoor dining spaces, limited indoor seats, and mostly a culture of 'to-go' for home meal replacement.
Restaurants have been moving toward a marketing plan to include guest conveniences not known a decade ago. Casual Dining, as an alternative to fast food, is being redesigned by the consumer. People are looking for convenience, and don't want to cook or have time to dine out. They want quick service, yet better quality food. The new realities involve ordering ahead for a sit-down meal or convenient pick-up, fully prepared take-out meals, and delivery. To Go as a Home Meal Replacement is the future of foodservice, be it in a sit-down restaurant, deli, or coffee house.
Increasing sales from special 'to-go' menus and prepackage foods for off-site consumption is a direct extension to your regular menu, which you need to address in today's marketplace. Menu items can be anything from pre-made sandwiches displayed in a countertop cooler to 'oven-ready' clam-shell containers. Full entree preparations, of your signature entrees ready for pick-up, will add revenue and convenience for your guests. Selling 'creative solutions' in meal service requires a logistics plan for packaging the convenience of 'take out' items. When you can't fill seats during middays in your restaurant, you can prep and make retail items in a cold or hot display case.
Promoting these lucrative off-site sale items require a 'social media strategy,' delivering updates on menu specials, and promotions. While using social media or a webpage, you need to start with inviting quality images of food and descriptive copywriting to distinguish your restaurant and create a narrative. Story-Telling with food as the main character is more than showing a well-made sandwich. It's about creating desire!
You create a 'Brand' through visuals and the written word. Your storytelling is creating by the content and images you reveal. Start by building a portfolio of 'stock photos' to have on hand for use in various daily posts or changing webpage content.
According to international consultants Arron-Allen Associates, "The menu is the single most important piece of marketing collateral for any restaurant. A well-designed menu can consistently increase profits for any restaurant." Doesn't it make sense to offer your menu for off-site consumption, as a showcase of your menu?
I design custom food programs to create a take-out food plan which works within your existing food operation; deli, coffee shop, or casual restaurant. Recognized, from decades in food service, I've created diverse programs from convenience stores to 'fine-casual' to increase sales in off-site catering as well as grab-n-go services. To implement a take-out program, I draw upon business resources and proven marketing skills. I help you promote your restaurant with food photos styled and presented in a way to showcase your menus. Dynamic food photos with compelling writing tell your story, encourage a returning guest, and introduce you to potential new patrons. I help you accomplish this task.