Joshua Manocherian Talks About 3 Common Issues That Restaurants Should Anticipate

Joshua Manocherian: Top 3 Common Issues That Restaurants Should Anticipate

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As a restaurateur, Joshua Manocherian knows that any day can be the day when customer complaints might come, when safety issues could arise, or when accidents in the kitchen could happen. While you do not wish for these to happen at any given time, the chances of them happening are quite high; because every day, strangers walk in and each of them have their own personalities and quirks. Here Joshua shares the three most common issues that restaurants should learn to anticipate.

Before my wife and I opened our farm-to-table concept restaurant, we both knew that challenges would be an everyday occurrence; we just didn’t know at the time how huge some of these challenges were going to be. We thought we were prepared to face any challenge, be it food or customer service related. I can tell you now how gravely mistaken we were! What we went through during our first year in the business, we wouldn’t wish upon anyone else.

But we did learn a lot during that first year, and for the sake of healthy competition, I would like to share with my fellow restaurateurs the three common issues that restaurants must learn to anticipate, and be ready for. These are:

1. Poor customer service. You know, sometimes it doesn’t even matter to the customer how much you and your staff have done—and given—your best because to them, you still didn’t deliver the kind of service they expected. Anticipate customers who always have something to complain about. And regardless of whether or not who was at fault, your staff will always get the blame. Train your staff on how to handle such situations, and remind them to be humble and professional; rudeness and arrogance have no place in the dining area.

2. Kitchen accidents. Every restaurant owner knows that the kitchen staff is constantly exposed to accident risks (they work with knives and other sharp objects, and cooking equipment, for one thing) and while they may have safety measures in place, as well as safety reminders posted on every corner of the kitchen, accidents do happen. In this regard, your staff should be trained to handle such situations. From first response techniques to CPR, and keeping the incident from your customers in the dining area, your staff should be prepared to handle accidents. Panicking will only make matters worse.

3. Menu item not available. Sometimes, kitchens run out of ingredients or supplies and when this happens, menu items may not be available. Immediately inform your customers what these items are so they don’t have to waste time mulling over whether or not to order something that isn’t available. Also, offer other alternatives, and make sure to let the customers know what goes into the food that they are pushing. In this regard, you should also anticipate shortage of supplies. What do you when your supplier can’t make the delivery on a particular day? Do you have a back up supplier?

In our case, we grow our own vegetable garden, giving us more control over our most important supplies.

Do you have comments on this post? Please feel free to leave Joshua Manocherian a message below.

Please follow my other blog here Joshua Manocherian

 

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Camera Tricks: Easy Ways To Shoot More Creative Photos

Photography is very popular nowadays, thanks to social media sites like Instagram. Everyone now wants to be a photographer. Now that isn’t bad per se. But in order to be distinguished as a photographer, you should rise above the trend. Your photos need to be noticed, you’ll need to be more creative.

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Image source: pinimg.com

Here are things you can do to take more creative photos.

Play with angles and perspective

Experiment with your angles and perspective when trying to capture an object. Capturing your subject from an interesting perspective will make your photos unique. Try shooting from a lower or a higher angle, move closer or further away until you find the perfect spot.

Create a sense of scale.

Say you’re photographing a beautiful enormous tree. It’s awe inspiring in person and you want that feeling to translate that feeling in your photo. Give the viewers an idea of the size of your subject by including another of a known size as a reference point. So for example, include a person standing next to the tree.

Create a shallow depth of field

The viewer will naturally be drawn to the sharpest part of the image. A shallow depth of field means there’s only a small part of the image that is sharp while the rest appears blurred. This adds a sense of mystery to your image.

Hi I’m Joshua Manocherian. I’m a photographer who loves to travel. I also love seafood. I often blog about these. Visit my page to learn more.

Joshua Manocherian: Are You Ready to Run Your Own Restaurant?

Joshua Manocherian Asks: Are You Ready to Work Long Hours to Manage a Restaurant?

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Let’s face it; being your own boss isn’t all that it’s cut out to be, especially when you’re just at the early stages of your business. Hi, friends! It’s Joshua Manocherian, former professional photographer and current restaurateur. When I decided to open a restaurant with my wife, I knew that it would mean giving up leisure hours and weekends but I didn’t expect it to take over my life! That’s how it was, at least during the planning stage and throughout the first few months of operations.

So if you’re thinking about opening your own small restaurant, here’s something to ponder on: Would you give up your life to see your dreams come into fruition? And by life, I mean quality time with your friends and family, and time you usually spend on your hobbies or things that you love to do. You’ll also never have any “alone” time while you’re still launching your restaurant so forget about that for awhile. Are you ready?

If your answer is yes; congratulations! You’re on your way to greater and bigger things! Before anything else, you’ve got to come up with a solid plan. Even if you have the best chef on your team, or you managed to grab the perfect location, there is still a chance that your small business could fail. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that about 60% of independent restaurants fail within the first five years of business. I mentioned this detail not to derail you or dissuade you from pursuing your dreams; on the contrary, I mentioned it to help you plan ahead.

Creating a Business Plan

You’ve got an idea about the kind of restaurant you’d like to open; you even have a couple of “specialties” already in mind for your menu, but unless you figure out a detailed business plan, your idea might never fly.

Here’s a general breakdown of the details that you will need to work on:

  • Identity
  • Problem or need that you can address
  • Your solution to the problem or need
  • Target audience
  • Competition
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Expenses
  • Revenue
  • Team and each member’s role
  • Partners, suppliers, and other external resources

Looking at the list, you may already feel a bit overwhelmed by all the things that you need to plan for before you can even begin to work on the physical details of your restaurant. But like what they say, anything worth having isn’t easy. I’d also like to add that anything worth having deserves your time, attention, and effort. If you’re truly passionate about opening your own restaurant, these little details won’t bother you at all. As a matter of fact, you welcome the challenge!

Given that there’s so much to do, you’ve got to give yourself at least six months to plan, execute and launch your restaurant business. And during this time, it would be wise to keep working at your day job because you still have to pay for your living expenses.

I will talk about details of a business plan I mentioned above in my upcoming posts so I invite you to check back again soon. This is Joshua Manocherian and I look forward to seeing you here again!

 

 

Joshua Manocherian on Creating a Solid Business Plan

Joshua Manocherian on Writing a Strong Business Plan

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Joshua Manocherian is a retired professional photographer who now runs his own small restaurant in San Francisco, together with his wife. This post focuses on the importance of writing a good and solid business plan—and how time and effort are necessary sacrifices in the process.

You may have had a random idea about a business venture during your lunch hour, and not wanting to forget it, you wrote it down on a napkin. Or you may have had several discussions with your friends about starting a business and you’re all quite excited about it. If you’re serious about starting a business, however, you’ve got to put your ideas on paper—on an official, carefully written and well-researched document.

A detailed and well-written business plan can get you funding, get you the right suppliers, and pretty much provide you with a concrete compass as you navigate the world of entrepreneurship. The first three details will guide you towards the direction that you wish to take; these are identity, problem or need, and solution.

Identity

Your identity is who you are; how you wish your target audience to perceive you. For our restaurant, my wife and I decided to create an intimate space where good food and service are available. We also wanted our customers to see our restaurant as their friendly neighborhood diner where everyone is treated like a beloved member of our family.

A lot of ideas started flowing from there. Now that we know who we wanted to be, we were able to identify a need that we knew we could expertly address; my wife, after all, is an experienced chef!

Problem or need

Whatever type of business you’d like to get into, you must have something to offer to your consumers—a sound solution to a problem or need that’s easily accessible. My wife and I saw that with a lot more consumers now being more conscious about what they eat, which means that there’s a higher demand for organic food. There is also an increasing awareness about humane animal treatment. Both these premises gave us the inspiration for our restaurant.

Solution

Seeing that the market for farm-to-table specialty restaurants still had plenty of room for new players, this was the direction that we took. Add to this the fact that my wife isn’t really a huge fan of processed and pre-packaged food, and what we had was someone with the experience and expertise in creating unique recipes using the freshest ingredients from local farmers and artisanal food producers.

In other words, to address the increasing demand for organic food, and the consumers’ support for humane animal treatment, we went in the direction of an intimate farm-to-table restaurant that offers unique dishes and fresh takes on a few favorites at affordable prices.

So there you have it; the three key components of a business plan that will help you work on other details of your proposed business.

For questions regarding this post, please feel free to leave Joshua Manocherian a comment below. Rest assured he will get back to you promptly.

Joshua Manocherian on 3 Common Mistakes That Restaurants Make

Joshua Manocherian on Mistakes That Restaurants Make and How to Avoid Them

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Former professional photographer and now restaurateur Joshua Manocherian created this blog site to inspire others to pursue their dreams and passion by talking about his personal experiences; particularly how he turned from being a professional photographer to a restaurateur. He and his wife own and operate a small restaurant in San Francisco. In his latest blog entry, Joshua shares the common mistakes that restaurants make so that anyone who is in the restaurant business or thinking about going into it will know what they are and how to avoid them.

In one of my posts, I mentioned that about 60% of independent restaurants fail within the first five years and this is, in large part, due to lack of—or poor—planning. Today I’d like to go deeper into why some restaurants fail and others don’t by citing some of the most common mistakes that restaurant owners make.

1. There is no clear direction in terms of sales and profits. As in any type of business, setting a goal for sales and profits is critical to its survival. Your dining area could be bursting at the seams yet still barely make the profit margin. Be clear and concise about the percentage of sales that you wish to accomplish on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. If you have a full table but orders are limited to the ‘bare essentials’, don’t be surprised if you’re not raking in the money. With a clear sales target, you are given the opportunity to market your products. For instance, your wait staff could recommend specialty drinks, soup or dessert of the day, and such. But you don’t have to do it in one go. Focus on drinks first and when you’ve hit your weekly target, offer dessert on the following week, and so on. In other words, look at the big picture but take small, sure steps.

2. Too many items on the menu. When you have everything that you feel consumers want and expect, you might be spreading yourself too thin. If you’ve got a smorgasbord of every food item available in the market, you’re stripping the restaurant of the menu items that make it special and unique. In other words, your special menu is what makes you unique, and what would make customers keep coming back, earning their loyalty and patronage in the process.

3. Poor leadership. Again, with any type of business, good leadership is essential to success, progress and growth. Your staff will follow your example and if they see that you are not patient with customers or you don’t care much about food presentation, they will take this as their cue and follow suit. In other words, if you don’t care much about your customers, why should they?

I’d also like to add here that good leadership means giving your staff all the tools that they need to serve your customers. From kitchen equipment to appliances, dinnerware and silverware, and every other item that will help them provide exceptional service to your diners, all of these are necessary tools for excellent customer service.

This post is open for comments and discussion. Please feel free to leave Joshua Manocherian a comment below.

 

 

Joshua Manocherian: From Photographer to Restaurateur

Joshua Manocherian Shares How His Restaurant Business Came About

In all my years as a professional photographer, it never once crossed my mind to shift to another career; one that is so far off from my profession at that! But when I married my wife, who is a successful chef, the idea of running a small business kept nagging at me. Joshua Manocherian here, and today I’d like to share my story on how I became a small restaurant owner.

How did the restaurant idea came about?

My wife loves whipping up her own recipes from scratch (she’s not a big fan of processed and pre-packaged food), and every time I come home, I look forward to trying out her latest invention. One time, when I broached the idea of opening a small business to her, she mentioned that we should open our own restaurant. With my interest piqued, I played with the idea—the theme, size, location, and such—until it eventually became my sole focus. With the business decided, it was time to work out the details.

Small, intimate, and personal

We wanted a restaurant that will feel more like you’re at your own dining area than an actual restaurant so the first unbendable rule was that it had to be small, intimate and personal—nothing fancy or frivolous, just your good ol’ dinner table at home.

Farm-to-table concept

Before I met my wife, I was all about instant food. My job required me to travel a lot and when you’re practically living in a suitcase, you just don’t have time to pay attention to what you’re eating. My wife was my saving grace. If it hadn’t been for her, I would still be on an unhealthy diet and who knows how long that’s going to sustain me. When we decided to put up a restaurant, one other unbendable rule that we had was to stay away from processed ingredients as much as we can; hence, the farm-to-table concept.

Luckily, my wife knows quite a number of local farmers and artisanal food producers, and when we approached them for our restaurant concept, they were only too happy to jump in and supply us with what we need.

Testing the waters

After all the details have been taken care of; from location to permits, interior design and menu, to everything in between, it was time to test the waters. First, we had to test the menu, so we gathered our closest friends and family and invited them to dinner for a dry run of the restaurant and the menu.

And after a few more tweaks, it was time to open our doors to the public for a soft launch. To say that we had an overwhelming reception would be an understatement! San Francisco was ready for something new and fresh, and lucky for us, we just happened to be at the right place and at the right time.

Please stay tuned for my tips on managing a small restaurant, which I will be posting in the coming days. If you would like to comment on this post, please feel free to leave me a message below. This is Joshua Manocherian once more; thanks for dropping by!

 

 

Helpful Advice For Those Who Want To Get Into Photography

So you’re starting photography? It’s a great hobby, probably one of the most popular in the world today. The advancement of tech has allowed photographers, even budding ones, to capture images that are simply mind-blowing. However, technology alone won’t cut it. There are some things newbies need to know. Here are a few important tips.

Rule of Thirds

Make good use of the gridlines. Always position your subject along the lines that make up the center square. Centering a subject halves the photo and confuses viewers on which half to look at. Setting subjects on either side, or above or below the center emphasizes both the subject and the background.

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Image source: photographymad.com

Elevated Vantage Points

Sure, eye level shots are the basic ones, but rookie photographers should get their feet wet, and start experimenting with vantage points, especially elevated ones. Elevated vantage points make for dramatic shots that eye-level shots have trouble achieving. Getting used to changing the elevation of a shot can shorten the time new photographers need to progress. Low vantage points are also recommended.

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Image source: top10alltime.com

Full Resolution

As early as your first photoshoot, you should learn to never lower your resolution and quality. You may want to save space on your memory cards, but having photos that have low resolutions can immediately be noticed by scrutinizing eyes – like the eyes that would be looking into your future portfolios.

I’m Joshua Manocherian, and I love photography. Drop by my Facebook page to learn more about photography.