Every month, we aim to deliver a selection of noteworthy news bites, restaurant real talk and other things you need know from a hospitality perspective. Without further ado, here are the things that have piqued our interest in January!

The top restaurant trends of 2017
The start of a new year always brings with it countless trend forecasts for the months ahead – and nowhere is this more true than in the restaurant industry, where there are so many predictions about the next dish du jour that it borders on the ridiculous.

Why you need to audit your menu
The most successful, profitable restaurants create targeted menus to provide delicious but limited options for their guests. Why? Managing fewer ingredients allows restaurants to be selective and source only local items. Offering a limited menu also reduces food prep, and therefore food waste. Too many choices may also leave guests confused about what type of restaurant they are eating at. Oftentimes, even if their meal was fantastic, a guest may leave wondering if they made the right choice. Bottom line: Be confident in what type of restaurant you are and what kind of food you offer. Serve the best and people will come back.

How transparent does your menu need to be?
Starting this year, the Ontario government now requires all chains with 20 or more locations that sell ready-to-eat foodservice products to post calories on their menus and menu boards. While this regulation has not yet arrived in British Columbia, at least one B.C. chain has pro-actively decided to implement the same criteria already.

It’s encouraging to see responsibility from coast to coast, and education from QSR food service groups! While posting calories may not change habits overnight, it definitely helps to know exactly what we are putting in our bodies. Although designing and building new menu boards is an additional cost for franchisees, increased transparency is a trend we should continue to see in the future to help consumers make the best meal choices.

Let’s talk about responsible consumption
Decreasing food waste, reducing our carbon footprint and making more sustainable choices are all concerns we as consumers face today. So it’s quite encouraging to see hotels making strides to address these same concerns. In fact, AccordHotels, one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, intends to “reduce food waste by 30%.

The Best Restaurants in Canada … says who?
As a foodie, I’m often drawn to those so-called “best” restaurant lists because I’m keen to compare my experiences to the results of these lists. While many different criteria impact the results of these lists, it’s important to remember that the lists are often just a popularity contest. They are subjective, and not every single restaurant that deserves a mention make it on these lists. At the same time, the restaurants that do ‘make’ the list are also not amazing every single night! I say this not to criticize the list creators or to critique the restaurants, but I want to bring awareness to the fact that all those in the food service industry work hard to create and deliver incredible food experiences and fantastic service. I’ve never met a restaurant owner or chef who didn’t come to work every day with the intention to produce their best work. We’re all human and it’s normal for restaurants and the people behind them to have off-days, so let’s remember that as we look back on Canada’s Top 100 list from 2016!

A closer look at labour challenges in B.C.
Between November 2015 and May 2016, go2HR conducted a labour industry study of the landscape of cooking occupations in British Columbia across all sectors that employ cooks and chefs. This report provides an in-depth look at costs, wages and statistics that can help operators, franchise head offices and human resource specialists understand market trends and make decisions. If you’re thinking about getting into the hospitality industry yourself, this is also a great resource. Go to page 4/144 for details about base compensation ranges for cooks and chefs.

#ICYMI: Chew On More
Don’t forget to check out our blog Chew On This for more news bites and restaurant real talk. Read an interview Trish Hudson, the founder of Holistic Hospitality Solutions here.

Got something you’d like to discuss with me? Have a question about your restaurant? Email us at trish@holistichospitality to inquire about your free consultation.

Author Trish Hudson

Trish is the owner and principal at Holistic Hospitality Solutions. She aims to help assess her clients operations from top to bottom in order to gain efficiencies, save money, and increase their bottom line.

More posts by Trish Hudson