Safety and Sanitation: Important Factors in a Successful Restaurant

lunch in a fine restaurant

Cleanliness and sanitation are vital to any commercial establishment. In the restaurant industry, though, these aspects are especially important in mitigating the contamination of food and in preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Workplace sanitation, hygiene and food safety are integral to the success of your restaurant. The common goal of each of these factors is to keep your restaurant free from foodborne diseases that may jeopardise your customers’ health and your business’ reputation. Bear the following tips in mind for a successful food business.

Workplace Sanitation

The cleanliness of your entire restaurant plays a crucial role in keeping the food you’re serving safe and free of contaminants. By maintaining a kitchen that’s not just clean but also sanitised, you reduce the chances of bacterial contamination.

It is also important to maintain sanitation not only in the kitchen but also in all facilities and parts of the establishment, from the tableware and service equipment to the kitchen tools and even the walls and floors. It is ideal to invest in heavy-duty machines that will make cleaning easier and to reduce manpower. Industrial scrubbers and vacuums are highly efficient machines that require minimal manpower, saving time and energy. This will benefit not only your customers but you, the owner, as well because your restaurant will make a good impression on your health inspector.

chefs doing quality taste test on foodPersonal Hygiene

One of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses is the cross-contamination that occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms are spread through the people who handle food. Maintaining cleanliness starts with oneself. Simple personal hygiene habits go a long way in establishing standard workplace sanitation practices. Personal hygiene routines such as frequent handwashing, wearing clean clothing and keeping one’s hair in place are basic yet critical standards to uphold in any food establishment.

Food Safety and Storage

In food handling, there are a lot of factors that contribute to and influence food safety. One of the most pressing concerns is cross-contamination. This happens when viruses, pathogens or allergens transfer from a contaminated source to the food that is being prepared or handled. Cross-contamination can happen from kitchen implements such as chopping boards and knives to the very ingredients that go into the dish or the product being prepared. Contamination may also occur as a result of improper food storage, either due to poor facilities, poor storage temperature, low-quality containers and such. Additionally, when raw food comes in direct contact with ready-to-serve food, it may result in cross-contamination as uncooked meats may harbour bacteria. Eliminate some of these contamination threats by thoroughly washing and drying kitchen supplies before use. In addition, thoroughly wash raw vegetables such as potatoes and root vegetables as these may also carry bacteria that may affect ready to eat food.

The safety and sanitation of the meals and beverages that you serve combined with the overall hygiene in your restaurant greatly influence your business’s reputation. Guard your reputation – after all, it is among the major factors that affect your clientele’s loyalty to your brand.

Marketing Strategies to Consider in the Digital Age

Marketing Strategies

Marketing StrategiesThe past few years have been a time of radical change in the marketing world. The advancement of technology across all industries created a stronger sense of inter-connectivity, and consumer trends evolved, soon after, to meet these developments.

Although social media marketing is not a new thing, it saw an exponential increase in importance in the last few years; a trend which experts now agree will only continue to grow. This creates a unique opportunity for companies to roll-out new strategies to spread brand awareness.

Here are some marketing strategies to consider for the digital age.

Augmented Reality via Social Media

At the moment, we’re seeing AR on platforms such as Facebook’s 360° photos, where users can point their smartphone at a particular direction to reveal a virtual billboard or play a video. Snapchat has also recently been used to promote movies, with studios releasing special animated filter that displayed elements of the movie being promoted.

Aside from offering a very different experience to users, augmented reality, or AR, has other advantages. With the rise of location-based, targeted marketing campaigns, companies can soon leverage AR to display an ad on a social platform whenever a user is at a specific geo-physical position.

Live Video Streaming

With advancements in online video streaming, companies have been able to leverage live video streaming across multiple platforms to engage their customers. Experts agree that this trend will continue, and even grow further, in the next few years.

Most often used by social media influencers, live video streaming also enables customers to comment on their concerns and issues, offering companies a chance to respond in real-time.

As consumer trends push towards more personalized marketing, live video streaming enables companies to reach their customers in a more organic and transparent manner. This creates approachability in a company’s branding that resonates with current trends, and will be effective in creating a solid customer base.

Voice Search Optimization

Studies show that nearly half of all search queries are now made on mobile devices. Because mobile devices make voice-typing much more convenient, most users are now foregoing typing words in search queries. This means that voice searches are changing the way marketers view SEO.

Voice searches use a more natural and conversational phrasing than regular SEO, which usually utilizes keywords arranged in a barely intelligible sentence. With the prevalence of voice searches, companies need to leverage this and optimize their content to be more voice-search friendly.

Influencer Marketing, but…

Be cautious when using influencers on social media. Although the trend is alive and well, most analysts are still unsure about how long influencers will remain relevant in marketing. Most of the concern lies in the difficulty of measuring the ROI of an influencer campaign, as it is difficult to properly quantify the amount of “influence” an influencer wields.

Despite this, the influencer marketing trend still generates strong interest with companies. One study showed that 84% of marketers used influencer campaigns in the last couple of years, with analysts predicting this number to double in the coming months. One of the strengths of influencer marketing is its ability to utilize the current trend of personalized marketing by presenting products in a more natural and less “staged” manner.

Personal Marketing

Perhaps the most important aspect of any marketing campaign in the digital age is creating more personal, almost one-on-one marketing strategies that target the individual user. As discussed throughout this post, consumer trends are now less focused on company-centric, brand-specific ads. Today’s consumers are drawn more towards customer-centric marketing campaigns, as these campaigns promote a sense of approachability in relation to a company’s brand.

One-on-one marketing is still a long way’s away, but experts agree that the next few years will see advancements in technology that will make this possible. Personalizing your company’s brand creates transparency, which is something that today’s consumer’s value. Customers want to feel that your company cares about them – and creating a marketing campaign that addresses their personal needs and concerns is an effective way of generating larger revenues for the digital age.

Aussie Millennial: How Millennial Spending Is Influencing Australia

Calculating Expenses

Calculating ExpensesBy the end of 2030, experts agree that almost 54% of the Aussie population will be made up of millennials. These are people who were born sometime between the late 80s and the early 2000s, and achieved buying power sometime around the 2010s. It is estimated that in 20 years, almost two-thirds of the Australian economy will come from the spending money of the Millennial workforce.

Despite this position of power, millennials seem to be on the receiving end of a lot of hate. “Wasteful!” the critics cry, “Back in my day…” and so on and so forth. But do these criticisms hold weight?

The Avocado Toast Comment

There’s been a lot of criticism regarding the spending habits of Aussie Millennials. Often, these critics are Baby Boomers who are tut-tutting what they see as wasteful spending. And who can blame them? One of the biggest points of controversy is how much a Millennial would spend on brunch, with critics pointing out that the cumulative cost of the avocado toast brunches these young adults love to spend on is eventually equal to the mortgage on a decent home.

This comment, made by property magnate Tim Gurner, resounded with critics worldwide. Although Tim meant it as a metaphor, analysts were quick to point out that it’s not a very good metaphor.

Despite the steep price of avocado on toast with a poached egg on top in fancy Sydney cafes averaging $22 a serving, “it would still take over 40 years for the forlorn avocado fan to save the required amount for a deposit [on a house]”, according to The Telegraph.

Although Gurner’s comments were understandably hyperbolic at best, could there still be a kernel of truth? Aside from extravagant meals, critics have also mentioned the propensity of the Aussie Millennial to spend money on “frivolous” things like travel and dining and gym memberships, while seemingly neglecting their financial future.

To which a lot of Millennials replied: “so what?”

Shifting trends

Larger and more powerful in terms of influence than previous generations, the Aussie millennial has been critical in shifting consumer trends away from physical goods. Instead of a new consumer item, Aussie millennials prefer to spend their dollars on “peak stuff”. Peak stuff refers to education, “shared” goods and desirable experiences like travel or extreme sports.

Along with digital products, Aussie millennials are also showing a preference towards sustainable or organic goods. Although it’s also reported that 18% of millennials in Australia  spend more money than they have or than they earn, 49% of millennials actually have solid financial plans.

It makes sense that Baby Boomers are getting so mad at Millennials. It isn’t so much the frivolous spending that annoys them, which if they spent that way in the 60s and 70s it would  have almost certainly financially ruined them, but rather the disruption to the entire system that Millennials are bringing.

Once upon a time, corporate greed and materialism ruled supreme over consumers. Now, millennials are demanding sustainability and shared commodities, experience over excess and, most shockingly, health over wealth.

This trend can be seen in multiple industries, especially in advertising and marketing, where content is now shifting towards a more personal, customer-centric approach. This mirrors how the Aussie Millennial spends money, preferring personalized and convenient transactions through digital mediums.

So, it would seem that, far from fiscal irresponsibility, the Aussie Millennial is simply fiscally different. And while most criticisms levelled against them still hold water in the current system, it won’t matter once Aussie Millennials have their way. And soon enough, they likely will.

Predictions for the Australian Economy in 2018

Economy

EconomyAcross the board, the Australian economy ended 2017 on a reasonably strong note. The economy did grow by 2.5% last year. This is, however, lower than the expected 3.25% growth predicted by the RBA.

Analysts are optimistic but cautious when it comes to the economy in 2018. Our international partners, like the U.S. and China, are maintaining strong economies, though their own growth is sluggish. For its part, Australia is poised to enjoy growth in multiple sectors, although there are areas of improvement that need to be addressed.

Rising CapEx and Millenials

Corporate capital expenditure or CapEx is set to increase in 2018. With the effects of the 2009 financial crisis finally decreasing, corporations are enjoying higher profits and renewed business confidence, to the point that analysts are forecasting an increase in their expenditures. These expenses are expected to boost economic growth.

But how do millennials factor into CapEx? As one of the largest generations in history, the world’s millennials are approaching an age where they are becoming major consumers. Because of this, millennial trends such as sustainability, clean energy and impact investing are becoming areas of key interest for corporations. Spending in these sectors is expected to rise, especially for companies who want to keep up with a new and growing customer base.

Weak Household Consumption but Strong Government Expenditure

The current expectation for household consumption remains uncertain, due largely to weak wage growth of the past year and high consumer debt. Experts are also citing rapid technological changes negatively affecting productivity growth in various sectors, which limits wage and productivity growth.

However, forecasts put wage growth at 2.5% for 2018. This means that, if the prediction is accurate, an uptick in household consumption could be seen as the year progresses.

This is in contrast to the forecast of strong Government expenditure. With CapEx boosting economic growth in multiple sectors, the Australian government has the necessary capital to reinvest in key infrastructure projects. This will ideally accelerate employment growth further, curbing unemployment rates and boosting consumer spending power.

Worldwide Trend in Business Investments

With our international trading partners going through steady, albeit sluggish, growth in their own economies, Australia is set to enjoy the recent upturn in global trade. Coupled with an increase in mergers and acquisition activity, business confidence is robust.

As one of our leading partners in trade, China has been able to ride the momentum of last year’s economic boom through accommodative monetary and fiscal policies. The United States is expected to have a more expansionary fiscal policy, despite the recent tax reform in their country.

The increase in mergers and acquisitions in Australia has seen companies try to consolidate their markets and customer bases, leading to general corporate growth. This consolidation of different industries under umbrella corporations has been instrumental in innovating new and/or disruptive technologies, which in turn has contributed to corporate growth and business confidence.

These mergers and acquisitions are predicted to continue in 2018, with analysts hoping that this will lead to bigger investments as business confidence remains high.

All these factors, of course, remain predictions. A string of internal and external factors can definitely skew the outcome of forecasts. However, if political climes in our trade partners remain stable, and if global confidence in business investments remains high, Australia could be poised to ride the economic upswing of 2018.