Contributed by Greg McGuire
Information is key to success in the food service industry. Restaurant owners and managers must navigate a complex and competitive world on the path to success. Not everyone makes it, and for those that do, lessons learned the hard way are the most valuable thing they own.
John Lebel, owner of Anthony’s Pizza in Denver, CO, has learned a thing or two while expanding Anthony’s to 29 locations along Colorado’s Front Range. His advice to anyone starting out in food service? “Work hard at understanding the food business and food costs,” he says. “You’ve got to watch that stuff like a hawk.”
Whether it’s sage advice from an old hand or updates on the latest trends, staying on top of what’s happening in food service can be difficult.
That’s precisely why Tundra Specialties, an industry leading restaurant supplies and equipment dealer based in Boulder, CO, launched a digital library of information called the Foodservice Resource Center on their website (www.etundra.com) this week.
It’s an ambitious project to help food service professionals stay informed, and it’s different from media coverage because the Resource Center focuses on what works in food service. Tundra has drawn from the collective wisdom of 20 years in the industry to create this resource for customers. The result is a comprehensive collection of practical advice for all segments of the food service industry.
“At Tundra we care deeply about our customer’s success. We receive so much feedback from all of our customers about what has and hasn’t worked,” says Ryan Lewis, Tundra’s President. “Now we have a central place to share our knowledge.”
The Tundra Resource Center addresses the most important issues facing the industry today:
- Management. Tips, best practices, and trends in management are aimed at helping restaurateurs achieve better productivity while reducing turnover.
- Marketing. Many restaurant budgets are stretched thin, and that’s why this section focuses on ways to effectively market your restaurant without the big media spend traditionally expected.
- Equipment Buying Guides. Buying restaurant equipment and other food service products requires a working knowledge of the differences between the hundreds of options out there.
- News & Trends. Staying up to date with the latest trends and biggest stories in food service is a lot easier when the most important issues are covered all in one place.
The Resource Center is already proving its value to professionals in the industry.
“I need to be able to answer customer questions and give recommendations on anything from green practices to sourcing the latest new food ingredient or online ordering system and give knowledgeable feedback about it,” says Heather Turner, a professionally trained chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Her company, Forfeng Designs, provides digital marketing services for the hospitality and food service industries.
People like Turner are exactly why Tundra Specialties launched the Food Service Resource Center. In an industry known for long working hours and late nights, aggregating a wealth of food service information in one place makes a lot of sense.
“One stop shopping for information is a huge timesaver for me. It’s convenient to be able to go to one place and find good quality, up-to-date information,” she says.
Tundra plans to continue to invest in the Food Service Resource Center, and many new articles are coming in the second half of 2010. As the industry evolves, so will the information available in the Resource Center, making for a dynamic pool of information restaurateurs can draw upon for years to come.