Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Importance Of Choosing a Theme For a Restaurant

Running a restaurant allows its owner to have creative freedom over the menu and the overall atmosphere of the place. Even if it’s a chance to show one’s artistry, a free rein to do whatever an owner desires can be difficult to maintain in the long run. This is where having a theme is useful because all the ideas would need to flow with it.

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Choosing a theme could be difficult, but a restaurant owner should consider his or her strengths. Are they experts when it comes to Mediterranean cuisine? Are they using only organic ingredients? Aside from thinking about the food, restaurant owners can also consider their interests. For example, are the owners and kitchen staff big fans of a particular sports team or a movie? These specialties and interests could be fused together to create a restaurant theme. Not only will it make the place stand out, but all the people involved will also be invested in the project.

A word of caution, though; selecting a trendy theme can be difficult to maintain especially if it’s not the team’s passion or specialty. What sells today may not be profitable tomorrow. The food and beverage industry can be cutthroat, but at the end of the day, those who follow their passion will have a better chance at making their niche in this business.

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Bob Sambol is the operations manager of Trinity Groves in Dallas, Texas, which serves as an incubator for innovative restaurants. For more on the restaurant industry, visit this blog.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Creating a Niche: How Restaurants Can Benefit From a Target Clientele

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Many business owners are familiar with niche marketing, but for the sake of those who have yet to learn about it, here is how it’s defined:

Niche marketing is about choosing a target audience. For restaurateurs, it is about crafting a marketing plan that can attract their ideal diners.

Why do starting restaurants need to establish a niche market? Every restaurant owner has a set of preferred guests. Identifying the ideal guest depends on the presented theme, environment, and culture of the restaurant.

Here are benefits of creating a niche for a restaurant business:

Larger profits

Niche markets help businesses stay focused on selling products and services where they have a competitive advantage. Because they address a certain market, businesses are sure to have a patronage.

Greater credibility

Because establishing a niche means focusing on selling a specific product (or addressing a specific target audience), it gives a notion that the business is specialized and therefore good at what it does.

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Less competition

When people see that a business provides expert services or products in a certain field, it gains the trust of customers. Consumer trust gives a business a big sales advantage.

Robert J. Sambol and his team helps beginning restaurateurs find their niche in the market. He currently works as the operations manager for Trinity Groves, a restaurant complex in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about his work by visiting this Twitter page.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Unique Features To Put In a Restaurant

As with any business establishment, put in something different, and people will want to experience it at least once. People mainly go to restaurants because of the food, but there are also added factors that help these establishments attract customers. Here are some unique features that potential customers might want to see in a restaurant:
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Themed restaurants have been around for the longest time. Pop culture plays a huge part in the lives today’s consumers. Hit television shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Big Bang Theory” could lend their popularity to restaurants, many of which nowadays have adapted movie and genre-inspired designs. Science fiction fans can choose from a lot of restaurants that are patterned after Star Wars or Star Trek, or even superhero movies. Restaurants with countless collectibles and memorabilia are a big draw.


Back in the 50’s and 60’s, customers would flock to diners that had waiters and waitresses serve their food and drinks on roller skates. Later on, not only did restaurants have live musicians entertain their guests, some establishments even had their staff sing or even, rap, the menu. Restaurants can come up with a lot more innovative ways to accommodate their guests through good and surprising service because customers will eat it up, so to speak.
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Bob Sambol manages operations at Trinity Groves, a 15-acre restaurant, retail, and entertainment complex in Dallas, Texas. Subscribe to this blog site and learn more about the restaurant industry.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Consumer Power: How Review Sites Can Make a Restaurant Successful

Thanks to the Internet and apps, everyone can be a food critic.  Everyone can assign stars and write down their recommendations for each restaurant they visit.  While this could be convenient for the public, this setup can sometimes intimidate restaurant owners.
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Review sites such as Zagat, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are some of the popular places where diners can praise or declare their frustration about a restaurant.  In recent years, most people have turned to these sites while looking for new places to try. 

These sites were also useful in catapulting several restaurants to fame, exposing holes-in-the-wall to the rest of the world, and dictating dining trends. 

Instead of being overwhelmed with these insta-review sites, owners must know how to play this online game.  After all, it is still a business and restaurateurs must know how to roll with the punches especially if the reviews are not in their favor. 

To get focused reviews from the average diner, a restaurant must first stay true to its cuisine or theme.  It should continue to improve specialties and work on dishes that have earned criticism.
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Even restaurants with five-star ratings shouldn’t rest on their laurels.  People online could be merciless, even on a fully-booked day.  This means it would also help if the restaurant staff are warm and generous with their guests.  After all, impressions directly affect the ratings.  If the food didn’t win over  the diners, at least they’ll stay for the ambience.  And perhaps, they’ll come back to try the food again on a better day.

Review sites have proven that the consumers and not necessarily the trained critics are the ones who dictate the success of the restaurant.  It would be helpful for restaurants to hear out overly kind, even scathing reviews from their customers.  The industry thrives on word of mouth and these days, it is moved along by written words online. 

Bob Sambol is the operations manager of Trinity Groves, a restaurant and entertainment business that combines good food with superb sensory experience. He is also active in charitable causes. For more insights about the restaurant industry, subscribe to this blog.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Getting On The Tapas Trend

Big food trends are now being served on smaller plates. Tapas are small, savory Spanish snacks or appetizers and they are becoming a big restaurant trend. Served in small plates, tapas are often paired with wine or a cocktail. Popular tapas dishes include calamares (fried squid rings), cured ham, and potato omelets.

Now, with the rise of fusion cuisine, more dishes and cuisines are adopting a tapas-style of service. Arab and Japanese-fusion cuisines, for example, have their own takes on small-plate dining.

In Spain, tapas is a generally informal dining experience. Diners partake of tapas standing up and the restaurant environment is often noisy and crowded. That is part of the appeal of tapas as it provides diners with a casual and fun dining experience. Food is shared by everyone, providing a unique, communal dining atmosphere where diners have more opportunities to socialize and interact. And because dishes are served in tiny portions on small plates, guests can try and enjoy a little bit of everything on the menu.

Now, diners and foodies do not need to travel to Spain to try out this unique food experience. Restaurants serving tapas are now popping up across the United Sates. At Trinity Groves, a sprawling dining and entertainment area managed by Bob Sambol in Dallas, Texas, innovative takes on classic Spanish tapas are being embraced by the local Spanish restaurant. There is no need to go far for a fun and unique dining experience. This small-plate dining food trend is definitely also winning over America.

To know more about restaurant ideas and startups, subscribe to this Bob Sambol blog.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Steak: A Beefy History Of America's All-Time Favorite Food

Before the beefsteak experience made its way into the American palate, there was once a tale involving a bear, his cub, and a cow. The bear was the merciless ruler of the forest who never knew fear until he saw his cub face to face with stampeding cows. From atop a tree, much to his surprise, he saw a cow stopped right in front of his cub and offered the little one the blade of grass that the bovine has been carrying in his mouth. The bear climbed down, comforted his cub, and thanked the cow. To celebrate what happened, the bear and the cub devoured the compassionate cow like ravenous beasts delighting themselves in the ultimate beef experience. 

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While some considered eating beef a sacrilege, people just couldn't resist a good serving of the lean meat. In Ted Turner's words, " ... steak is so good I can taste its soul." In as early as 8,000 B.C., primitive people began hunting, domesticating, and consuming wild animals, including the bovine in many different forms. There were two types of cattle being domesticated: the Bos taurus that came from Europe and the Bos indicus that came from South East Asia and Africa. The first depiction of early people hunting for Aurochs, the ancestor of domestic cattle, can be seen in many historic cave paintings, such as the one in Lascaux, France. 

After Spanish explorers introduced the first Longhorn cattle to the New World way back in 1534, gourmands in the Americas hungered for more, much to the delight of British colonists who brought the Devon cattle in the early 1600s to serve as a source of meat, leather, milk, and labor. Unlike Europe, America had vast tracts of pastureland which eventually became home to other imported breeds such as the Herefords, Aberdeen Angus, and Shorthorns.

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In the 19th century, after the civil war, cattle raising moved to the east where the majority of the population was. Industrialization and advances in technology refined the process of cattle raising and meat preparation and became instrumental in adding flavor variety and standards for doneness. 

Make your Dallas trip even more flavorful with a visit to Bob’s Steak & Chop House, one of the finest and highly revered steakhouses in the state founded by Bob Sambol. Follow this Twitter account for a hefty serving of food business ideas, leadership insights, and passion for succulent steaks.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Restaurant Innovation: Inspiring New Ways to Define Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a vast topic and success in it could be essentialized into personality types or instinctive business acumen. Learning how to become an entrepreneur, on the other hand, takes quite a number of years and plenty of practice and diligence. Following this line of thinking, many financial advisors are now seeing great potential in businesspeople in the realm of restaurant innovation.

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The concept is not new, although restaurant innovation has been heavily contested and resisted for some years. The logic is fairly simple: entrepreneurs are encouraged to "spice up" the industry by creating new ideas and concepts that would appeal to the public. This becomes challenging as most people do not want to experiment with food, which is directly related to health. Nothing could be more disastrous than health problems arising from food consumption in a restaurant. This is the main fear that puts off entrepreneurs from restaurant innovation, which is good on paper but risky to put in practice.

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It is in this environment, however, that a budding entrepreneur can test his or her mettle. The challenges of such an endeavor are large but potential profits are promising. Successful innovative restaurants – while few – typically see a return on investment within a few years. Additionally, truly innovative concepts see rapid branch expansions and publicity. Once established, these startups are no longer seen as flouting the norms; their practice becomes the norm. And this should inspire other restaurateurs.

Trinity Groves is a successful restaurant incubator in West Dallas, where Robert Sambol is an operations manager. Jumpstart your restaurant idea by taking inspiration from this Facebook page.