Top chef Benoit Violier (second from right) and his brigade working at the Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville in Switzerland. The restaurant reopened two days after Violier's apparent suicide sent shock waves through the culinary world. ALAIN GROSCLAUDE/AFP/Getty Images In the span of 10 months, three top chefs committed suicide. On Feb. 4, James Beard Award-nominated chef Daniel Nilsson, owner of DaBa in Hudson, New York, apparently killed himself on a family farm. Not even a week earlier on Jan. 31, 44-year-old French-Swiss chef Benoît Violier took his own life. His three Michelin-starred restaurant, Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville in a Lausanne suburb, had just been named the best in the world by La Liste. Before Violier, it was 38-year-old Chicago chef Homaro Cantu, who hanged himself last April. Like Violier, Cantu arguably was at the pinnacle of his career. He was chef at the Michelin-starred Moto restaurant in Chicago, was opening a brewery and finishing a second … [Read more...] about Suicides of Top Chefs Shed Light on Food Industry Issues
Restaurant industry averages financial ratios
If you watch the news, you hear all the time about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other averages like the S&P 500 or The Russel 2000. These are "market averages" designed to tell you how companies traded on the stock market are doing in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is simply the average value of 30 large, industrial stocks. Big companies like General Motors, Goodyear, IBM and Exxon are the kinds of companies that make up this index. See Dow Jones & Company for details on how the average is calculated. See The Investment FAQ for a list of the companies in the average. The thing to understand is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is nothing magic -- someone has chosen 30 companies and averaged their values together by following a specific formula. That's all it is. There are all sorts of averages out there. The S&P 500 is the average value of 500 different large companies. The Russel 2000 tracks the average of 2,000 smaller companies. And there are … [Read more...] about What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Start the Countdown "Hmm, should we order the chicken or the lobster?" Don't just look at the price when making your decision! Jupiterimages/Pixland/Thinkstock Going out to eat is not easy on the wallet, so a $5.99 all-you-can-eat spaghetti buffet seems like a good deal. But, is a pasta dinner for four, something you make at home, really worth $25? Not unless it's imported direct from Italy. Surprisingly, the steak dinner that would cost your group more than $100 might actually be a better deal. According to Forbes magazine, a fine-dining restaurant's average cost of raw food is around 38 to 42 percent of menu price, but only 5 to 8 cents of every dollar goes to the restaurateur. The rest is swallowed up in overhead, payroll and food costs. So, restaurants want to maximize revenue. To do this, they balance high-profit dishes like pasta or chicken (that cost less to buy and serve) against high-cost like seafood or beef, where the markup will be less. Certain industry … [Read more...] about 10 Budget Busters on Everyday Restaurant Menus
All you can eat? The placement of the buffet items is not random. Batista Moon Studio/Getty Images It's lunchtime on a Tuesday, and you have exactly 27 minutes before you need to be back at the office for a marketing meeting. If you have to choke down one more dry turkey sandwich from the corner deli or a tasteless salad from the hippy co-op, you're gonna cry. But what's this — the Indian place that's usually only open for dinner has an $8 lunch buffet? Score! When it comes to food, time-crunched Americans love variety, speed and low prices, which is precisely why they love a good buffet. For decades, savvy restaurant owners have been cashing in on the buffet boom — not just all-you-can-eat chains like Golden Corral or China Buffet, but regular a la carte restaurants that choose to offer a weekday lunch or Sunday brunch buffet. Chefs and restaurant industry consultants say that when executed right, a well-designed buffet with steady foot traffic (stomach traffic?) is a … [Read more...] about Why Restaurants Love Buffets Even More Than You Do
A close up of the woks in the robotic kitchen at Spyce in Boston, Massachusetts. Grace Uvezian/Spyce Food Co. At Spyce, a recently-opened restaurant in Boston, diners can choose from a menu of meals-in-a-bowl that draws upon international influences ranging from Thai to Moroccan cuisine, which they can have customized to their individual tastes with vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and vegan options. But it's not just the quality of the food and the relatively low price — bowls start at $7.50 — that's creating a buzz about the eatery. At Spyce, diners also can watch as their meals are cooked by a robotic kitchen designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates. (Here's an article from MIT's website about the restaurant.) After a customer orders a meal via one of the touchscreens mounted on the restaurant tables, the information is relayed to a 14-foot-long (4.27meters), nine-foot-tall (2.74 meters) machine, which retrieves the ingredients … [Read more...] about Robot Revolution: Coming to a Restaurant Near You