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(Please Note: Often times links point to "current" articles. The link was correct at the time, but new information may have replaced it. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.)

Restaurant Report E-mail Newsletter

Your On-line Source for Food & Hospitality Information

Issue #17 February 23, 1998

(This publication may be freely redistributed in its entirety)

In This Issue

* Editor's Note
* Feature Article
* Sponsor Message
* Links of Interest to Hospitality Professionals
* New Top 100 Winners for February
* Reader Feedback
* Interesting Tidbit
* Additional E-mail Resources

* Promotional Opportunity!

Editor's Note

We would like to welcome our many new subscribers (Over 1000+ in the last month). So thank you to the folks who have been around since the beginning and thanks to all the new folks giving us a shot.

And if you like what you read, we'd appreciate it if you could spread the word by passing along the latest issue to a friend or colleague.

As a reminder to everyone, the focus of our newsletter is on the business side of the restaurant hospitality industry. We do however provide a lot of consumer oriented and general interest information. Hopefully the balance provides everyone with valuable information.

We're always looking for your feedback. Feel free to write us at Thanks again!

Feature Article

Technology in the New Millennium and Beyond...
By Thomas J. Haas

The age of technology has been with us for some time. We, as business people and consumers, have had to adjust to this new "information super highway." Now, the year 2000 is almost upon us with all of its hope regarding the implications of this new wave of technology in "the New Millennium and Beyond."

Most recently, technology has proven to be a challenge for the White House when an innocent staffer mistakenly punched "Kaffe" instead of the correct spelling for our national brew. It resulted in a brouhaha with all hell breaking loose in our nation's capital. A simple computer miscue has the FBI investigating the Justice Department, and the Attorney General (whose page in history has shrunk to one word - HELP!) is now pursuing our President over 44 tapes, until now undiscovered.

The new super highway obviously has many curves and bends which can create problems for consumers, businesses and even the White House. So many questions have yet to be answered: How will technology affect us as business people, and more specifically as retailers? What will consumers be like in the new millennium? How will they change their purchasing habits because of new technology? Will it be necessary to go out and shop versus other methods of purchasing goods and services? Will new technology have more impact on malls and centralized purchasing centers? Will convenience overtake past traditions and habits?

How much information is stockpiled and how much gets effective usage? What is necessary and can never be replaced by technology? Do you expect too much from your information systems or not enough? Do your employees become dependent on bar codes or other types of pricing systems versus their need to police themselves and not delegate the check process to machines alone?

Finally, how many times have you been unable to decipher your check in a restaurant because it's designed for in-house systems instead of clarity of customer purchase? Sometimes it's almost necessary to have James Bond attempt to crack the code while using the Hubble telescope in the process. It often seems that canals on Mars are more distinguishable than a customer's transaction.

Technology is great, but needs management intervention to make it productive and not destructive. More attention to detail is necessary with a definite understanding of the system's impact on your customers. Until robots replace human customers, restaurants must maintain their human touch and personality in order to make the dining experience more memorable in a positive way.

As we approach the new millennium, let us learn from Washington. Be careful where you store your tapes and don't get your entry codes confused in order that discovery occurs on your terms. Otherwise, keep the names of F. Lee Bailey, Johnny Cochran and Jerry Spence on file. In fact, I recommend an old fashioned concept that still works - the Rolodex.

Thomas Haas is President of Thomas J. Haas Associates, Ltd. Mr. Haas is a food service industry consultant specializing in strategic marketing, and is a leading analyst in the industry. Mr. Haas can be contacted regarding consulting and public speaking engagements by fax at 904-321-0779 or by e-mail at

Sponsor Message

Let the company that built the Restaurant Report website make your Internet presence successful. Benefit from our experience with the hospitality industry on the web.

IntrepidNet Marketing - is now taking on a limited number of hospitality clients for 1998. Don't delay, talk to us today by calling 215-877-2844 or by contacting us via e-mail at

*** Consulting * Development * Re-design * Marketing ***

** Free 15 minute consultation - contact us today **

Links of Interest

Independents' Fight With Chains Hits Apex

Senator Wants Gift Certificates Honored
Maryland restaurateurs may have to set aside funds to pay back gift-certificate holders if their restaurant ever closes.

The History of Food Page at Chef Ron's Kitchen Works
30+ fun, informative food tidbits on a variety of topics.

Restaurant Exchange
Site for buyers and sellers of restaurant-related business opportunities.

Farmer's Market
Directory for quality food-related sites. Divided into 15+ categories. Some of the included sites are reviewed based on a "Peachy Rating System."

Fish FAQ
"A Bouillabaisse of Fascinating Facts About Fish" (120+ questions and answers - a very informative site.)

Taste the Town - Phoenix
130+ restaurant recommendations from a local Insider.

Food Links (from the Food Channel)
A very extensive list, be sure to check it out.

*New Stories/Features at the Restaurant Report*

Port Wine Comes of Age
Port Wine importer and expert Leo Fox guides you through the spectrum of Port wines and how a restaurant might profit by expanding the selection of wines offered.

Food Service Sanitation Environment
A great business article designed to help restaurant owners, managers, and staff meet the challenges of restaurant sanitation and how doing so can improve the bottom line.

James Beard Dateline - March 1998
Newsworthy tidbits on the happenings in some of the biggest restaurant cities around the world.

Visit the Restaurant Report E-mail Newsletter Links Archive for a compilation of feature links from all past issues:

New Top 100 Winners for February

Each month through June we will be selecting five additional sites as Restaurant Report Top 100 Hospitality Sites Award winners.

February Winners:

Australian Wine Online - Total Score: 94
Food Resource - Total Score: 93
Mining Guide: Cocktails - Total Score: 95
Star Chefs - Total Score: 95
Woodbridge Vintage Barrel Chips - Total Score: 95

Visit the main Top 100 page to see the full scoring and "Site Bytes" for our new winners:

Reader Feedback

Regarding last issue's article on poor customer service; my experience has been that the better manager/psychologist I was, the better my staff performed.

Tom Shanahan
The Customer Service Training Group

Send newsletter feedback and comments to us at

Interesting Tidbit

Let Your Commitment Shine
by Dr. Kevin Nunley

Nothing impresses customers and prospects like knowing that you are committed to your business and clients.

I'd much rather have my TV repaired by a person who seems to revel in the different designs of televisions, and is genuinely enthusiastic about fixing mine (I know such a guy!).

Even though you may feel commitment toward your work and customers, it may not be as apparent to those just starting to do business with you.

Make everything in your business customer oriented. People need to sense your commitment.

When Bill came to tune my piano, he asked me all about where I'd gotten the piano, how long I'd had it, and the many times I'd moved it. When he was finished tuning it, he played a mini concert for my kids. Then he sent me a postcard thank you note.

There was no question in my mind that he was committed to his work, and, most importantly, he was committed to me his customer.

Kevin supplies marketing advice and copywriting fast and at low cost. Reach him at (801)253-4536 or See all his marketing articles at

Promotional Opportunity!

Your company can appear in the next issue! Article submissions, press releases, URL suggestions, comments, questions and suggestions are all welcome. Send your us at

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Copyright 1998 Restaurant Report

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