How to Adapt to Rising Minimum Wage

How to Adapt to Rising Minimum Wage, we discussed highlights from our Restaurant Insights report and brought in restaurant experts Robert Ancill and Bruce Macklin to explore practical strategies – and mistakes to avoid – to help your business survive higher labour costs. Read More

Awards 2017

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Corporate Traval Awards 2017

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The Next Idea
Only a very select group of businesses earn our top ratings and the Spectrum Award. Even fewer are able to earn this recognition in consecutive years. Congratulations to you and your team for such an honorable achievement.

The Award is not a snapshot in time of a single interaction, it is all encompassing. That is because we take your ENTIRE customer service performance into account.  Unlike consumer review sites, your 5 star rating is stable.  It will remain 5 stars for the entire 2017 rating year.

People have greater faith in award-winning companies.  As a Spectrum Award winner you earned the opportunity to promote your business as Award Winning!

How to ‘Gram your Food: 10 Steps to Food Porn

There’s no doubt that Instagram is Emperor when it comes to #foodporn. The trend of sharing food photos is so formidable that Instagrammable restaurants can leverage their new persona to leave their competitors wondering what just happened!

The great news for any restaurant owner is that, in today’s high tech world, everyone possesses a smart phone, including you!

What’s the cleverest way to show the best side of your food and entice those increasingly elusive millennials to stop by?

There are right ways (and very ugly, fuzzy wrong ways) to showcase your delectable bites on IG at no cost.

1. Remove the clutter!
We like your friends a lot, but they’re not the focus here. Neither are your keys, wallet, half a warm beer…you get the drift. Try moving all distractions away from the dish to let it do what it does best – look hot (or cold)!
c/o The Next Idea International
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               2. Cue the (natural) lights

No flashers allowed! Opt for natural light when possible. Your next best bet is to enlist a friend to use their camera light, or to position a candle nearby. Flash generally doesn’t provide your camera phone with the right amount of time to focus and capture the best image. Turn the flash off and keep it off.

c/o @worldveganfood

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3. Angles: Focus on your dish’s good side

While that ¾ up selfie shot may work for you on a night out, your food doesn’t like it that much. Shoot from the top down. If that’s not doing it for you, shoot from the side.

c/o The Next Idea International

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4. It’s ok to cheat (with other apps)

It’s hard to look great, so why not give your plate a boost? Yes, Instagram comes with filters and editing tools, but that’s not the main focus of the app. Take your editing elsewhere with apps like Adobe Lightroom for quick fixes, Adobe Photoshop Fix or Snapseed for fine-tuned edits, and Facetune to take your food’s look to the next level.

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5. Be inspired

Develop a style. What makes @YourIG special and different from other foodie accounts? If you need a little help, try checking out #foodporn for inspo.

c/o @frasave_                                                                               c/o @davidwma

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6. Go for colors!

While there are plenty of examples of IG-worthy food that isn’t colorful, adding color to dishes is one way to stand out. Adding a pop of color attracts attention, and when done well, lots o’ likes!

c/o The Next Idea International

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7. Focus first

Tell your camera what to focus on – you’re in charge. Be creative! Focus on one part of the dish, encompass the full dish, or put something in the foreground and focus to the back of the photo with your dish.

c/o The Next Idea International

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8. Delectable dishware is all the rage

Sometimes, the plates, cups, utensils etc. are just as exciting as the dish itself! Brighten up dull plates with funky patterned plates, colored glasses, and one-of-a-kind looking utensils.

c/o @anna__devito

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9. Be a tease

Don’t show it all off, honey! Keeping the viewer guessing is just as exciting as centering your main dish. The best way to capture a large and interesting spread is to focus on one or 2 dishes, with the rest artfully cut out of the photos.

c/o @noodleworship

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10. Put a “cherry” on top

Don’t forget about your caption! A great caption is the cherry on top of your tasty post.

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Article by Thelma Weaver, Restaurant Marketing Consultant with The Next Idea

Editor and Partial Photography by Robert Ancill, CEO, The Next Idea

Key Performance Indicators Explained

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Key Performance Indicators Explained

For a manager, whether one of the team or a designated senior professional, chances are that they will have heard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are the performance measurement tools or data that represents the success or opportunities within a business – good or bad. There’s a saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!”Hence KPIs require reliable and truthful data reports for decision making. Remember, if there’s a problem, required action should be taken. And if the organization is successful, it is easier for the executives to identify the successful elements that may be exploited.In essence KPIs depend on the figures to provide a wider understanding of success.  Read More

2015 TNI’s Food Forecast: The Consumer is now in charge of your brand

Author: Robert Ancill

Keywords: Restaurant Consultants, Food Trend Forecast

Mahatma Ghandi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, and in 2014, it just seemed that Americans finally took notice of his advice. A year where virtually all food trends were health-based; the themes of honesty, transparency and wellness that have acutely manifested since the recession, have now become steamroller trends that will unquestionably maintain velocity over the coming years. Read More

9 Ideas for a More Successful Restaurant Web Site

Author: Robert Ancill

Keywords: Restaurant Consultants, restaurant websites, online restaurant marketing

According to The Next Idea Restaurant Consultants; what consumers want from a restaurant web site may differ from what you think.

At the top of the list was “current menus with up-to-date prices” – no surprises there. But also of high interest were: descriptions of dress codes, driving instructions, hours of operation, and information regarding special needs. For example, is the site wheelchair-accessible? And are large-type menus available? Read More

The Next Idea’s 2011 Food Forecast

 Catering to the Consumer Mindset: Empowerment, Alternatives, and a Search for Balance

 Amidst a mood of cautious optimism, The Next Idea releases its annual report on global hospitality trends. For 2011, the prevailing message reflects a melding of increased consumer intelligence, expanded empowerment and alternatives, and a demand for a balance between cost and quality.

 Simply put, in a post-recession restaurant marketplace, consumers are increasingly calling the shots. Read More