Sprinkled throughout this story are suggestions and innovations from restaurant owners and operators, culminating in a presentation of 100 Best Practices to consider for 2017. We thought this list would be a fun and productive way to kick off the New Year, but a list that could be just as important is what not to do. A few to contemplate:

  • Don’t wipe down tables or dining areas with smelly chemicals that overpower the senses of guests sitting nearby, or that leave residual odors for the next diners. 
  • End the obsession with endearments: There is nothing appealing about a server referring to guests as Baby, Honey, Sweetie, Bro, Dude, Bud—need I go on? 
  • Don’t scrimp on tableware. Flimsy flatware is the bane of the polished-casual dining experience, and casual doesn’t mean cheap.
  • Don’t let your restaurant look its age: Refresh paint, replace tired furnishings (especially cushions that have gone flat), and update décor. 
  • Don’t serve a stale menu. Of course those irreplaceable signature dishes keep loyal guests coming back for more, but everyone appreciates seeing something new and exciting. LTOs and chef specials help, but a new menu energizes the dining experience—for cooks and servers as well as for guests.

Here at FSR, we’ve done our own refreshing and updating—starting with the launch of our all-new website: FoodNewsfeed.com. The design has been optimized for all viewing devices and the format has been created to provide a highly personalized user experience. 

FoodNewsfeed steps beyond the full-service segment to bring you industry coverage of all aspects of the restaurant space plus commercial, non-commercial, and retail foodservice. You’ll still find all of the content from the pages of FSR magazine as well as headline news from throughout the foodservice industry and an expanding collection of special reports.

Beyond the new website, we’re also bringing additional perspectives to the pages of our print issue, including the introduction of a department on Hybrid Concepts that explores the emergence of the growing category of hybrid business models, which blurs the lines between quick service and fine dining. 

In our guest column, we’ll continue to share the insights of industry leaders like The Culinary Institute of America, the ment’or foundation, and other key organizations. However, our back-page column has become a forum where chefs like Manish Mehtrotra, owner of Indian Accent in New York City, will have their say. 

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on anything that strikes your fancy. 

Expert Takes, Feature