Meals I've Eaten, Issues I've Seen & Operations Advice


Credible Consulting has again partnered with the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) to aid restaurateurs and food start ups start and run their own food venture. This 8-week course provides comprehensive education about the methods of running a successful food business. Extensive information on topics unique to the food service industry are provided including restaurant start up costs & budgeting, managing your staff, licensing, menu creation, food and labor cost control, branding & marketing your business and the most important things to do BEFORE you sign a lease or open. If you are planning on starting a food business or have already started one but need help making it successful, this is the course for you! Classes start July 8th at the WWBIC Madison offices and run from 6:30-8:30 pm.


After many years of debate, the Wisconsin legislature and food safety regulatory bodies have come to an agreement and will be adopting the FDA 2009 Food Code in July.  The new code takes effect in September. One of the bigger updates require the "Person in Charge" at a restaurant (and their staff) to have a greater knowledge and training on allergens and the effects they have.  In order to help my clients address this and do some training, I've created the following informational fact sheet.   Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by the body’s immune system. A food allergy occurs when the immune system responds to a harmless food as if it were a threat. Each year, approximately 12 million Americans have allergic reactions to food, 3 million of them are children.  Food allergies occur most often in infants and children, it they can appear at any age and be caused by foods that have been eaten for years without a problem There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of the food(s) that causes these symptoms should be observed by the allergic person.  Knowledge of ...


About eight years ago, the hot buzz word in food was "artisanal."  Previously reserved to describe a skilled craftsman of a particular trade, savvy marketers latched onto this word and attached it to every bread, cheese and slightly different food item on menus and in stores across America.  Now calling something "artisanal" seems passe' or almost silly. Today's big buzz words are "Local", "Fresh" and "Sustainable."  I'd like to add "the stuff our grandparents made and ate" to that list, but it's not a word. Still, we do need a word or phrase to describe the growing interest in canning, pickling, fermenting and meat processing that harkens back to our grandma's dusty, musty root cellar filled with jars of would be science experiments fit for a horror movie. Sorry Grandma!  But back to Fresh & Local... So what does it all mean and how do we make sure it’s meaningful?  QSR Magazine recently published a great article on this topic entitled "Buzzwords, Defined" It's worth a read to clarify the words you are using and guarantee you are differentiating your brand in the direction you and your customers ...


Juicy Profits

Yesterday was Easter and we hosted brunch at our place.  I love keeping guests busy by setting up a "Make Your Own Juice" bar complete with our Jack LaLanne Juicer! It's so simple to just put out some freshly prepped fruits & veggies (don't forget the lemon wedges and ginger root to give it a kick) and just let guests go about concocting their own creations.  Fresh, delicious, super good for you and a little adventurous food fun. My mix of Strawberry Ginger Tangelo juice was promptly mixed with Moscato d Asti.  Hello Spring and boy did that pink juice look lovely! All that juicing got me thinking about an interview I did back in December for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association magazine.  I was asked about upcoming trends for 2013 and here's part of what I predicted... "The desire for seasonal ingredients and exceedingly fresh flavors has pushed the retro kitchen trend of juicing into the hottest kitchens and bars in the nation.  Locally consumers are willing to pay $5 for ...


If you are a restaurant, cafe or bar, you SHOULD be celebrating Saint Patrick's Day....and Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Groundhog Day, National Ice Cream Day and any other day you can jump on to increase sales.  You don't have to be a bar and sell green beer. McDonald's has practically built an icon with Shamrock shakes.  I'm dating myself but do you remember Uncle O Grimacey? I wonder why McDonald's no longer uses overweight monsters to market their food programs??? Every year McDonald's spike shake sales for their normal vanilla shake by adding what is basically green corn syrup.  Brilliant from a marketing point of view!  And don't even get me started on the sheer genius of selling potatoes, carrots, cabbage and rye bread (with a side of corned beef) as an entree.  What is cheaper than cabbage, potatoes and carrots??? I guarantee the food costs on that plate make your accountant and Uncle O Grimacey smile! Ok, so you don't sell beer or entrees?  What about breakfast items like irish tea, scones, bangers?  How about irish oatmeal or Baileys ...