What can you not leave home without?

For Juan Coronado and Carlo Splendorini—two of the amazing cocktail wizards recognized in our Toast to 20 Best Beverage Programs—what they can’t do without is their jigger.

Carlo, head mixologist for the Michael Mina Group, says his jigger is the “measure of consistency” for everything. And Juan, who is the cocktail innovator for Chef José Andrés’ Think Food Group, told me he won’t leave home without his jigger because it’s absolutely the “most accurate.” Although he also “loves his spoons,” and adds: “When performing at a bar, I’ve got to have my three-piece shakers.”

Daniel Johnnes, wine director of Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group, says he never leaves home without a corkscrew—and described for me with explicit detail the one that is his all-time favorite: “It’s really nothing fancy,” he insists, “but beautifully constructed, with a very sharp blade and a long, narrow worm. The mechanics are perfect, and it never breaks corks.”

As for me, I’m totally lost if I find myself without a pen and paper. Sure, I text myself reminders of story ideas and sources, and I can’t imagine spending a night without the comfort of at least one device that will readily access every story in my queue. But fundamentally, I can’t function without a pen.

We all have tools of our respective trades that we can’t leave home without, but the ultimate, ubiquitous security blanket everyone has grown attached to is the cell phone—or whatever mobile communication system allows us to stay connected nonstop.

Many debate whether this obsessive communication addiction is more blessing or curse, but

I honestly can’t remember how we all conducted business without being tuned in constantly. I’m guessing most of you agree: A survey of FSR readers tells us 87 percent of you use a mobile device for business email on a regular basis, 67 percent of you are using one for business-related text messages, and 56 percent of you use one for business-related apps.

Across the restaurant industry, the advent of mobile devices has successfully streamlined and simplified communications between operators and employees—we explore that trend in Mass Messaging Employees, page 71. And if you doubt the ease of implementing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies with your staff, consider the data from a recent Nielsen report on mobile usage that says 94 percent of U.S. consumers use a mobile phone and more than half of those users, 53 percent, have a smart phone. Surprisingly, the proliferation of mobile phones is even higher in the U.K. and Italy (97 percent each), and 99 percent of South Koreans use a mobile phone.

So as you read this issue, don’t hesitate to text or tweet your friends and associates about what you find most interesting.



Expert Takes, Feature