5 Class Days - 3 Self-Study, 9 Certifications
Our IFSEA Global MeetUp is always the last Tuesday at 4pm Eastern. Same link each month, why don’t you spend a fun hour with us, on February 22nd. PW is IFSEA. https://www.ifsea.org/ifsea-meetups-.html. Here's the one from yesterday which was all about, "The Great Resignation." https://tinyurl.com/IFSEA-Global-MeetUp-Jan-2022

Add 9 professional certifications to your resume
and lots of new knowledge to your brain, by attending the next Virtual Master Certified Food and Beverage Director Symposium, February 22-26, 2022, hosted by Army in Okinawa, so 6pm to midnight Eastern time. Management, customer service, beverage, culinary, nutrition, HACCP and more. 5 days of Zoom class, plus 3 self-study. https://tinyurl.com/Okinawa-Symposium

The lower-level cafeteria at Carle Foundation Hospital is currently closed for remodeling. But customers can still get fresh, custom salads nearby from Sally the Robot, a robotic vending machine that can churn out made-to-order salads quickly and efficiently. Sally, a product of Chowbiotics by DoorDash, has 22 refrigerated canisters filled with a variety of fresh salad ingredients like leafy greens, fresh vegetables, diced eggs, chicken, shredded cheese, and salad dressings. Next to the compartments is a touchscreen where customers can choose from five pre-set base salads (developed by Chowbiotics) or choose a custom mix of ingredients. The salads are assembled in individual disposable bowls, and then it's time to eat.

It takes Sally just one to two minutes to make a salad. It takes some customers a bit longer to get the hang of ordering from the touchscreen, but the pace quickly picks up. "The longest delay we've seen is people learning how to navigate the tablet and make their choices. But now we have some folks order from the robot four times a week, and it's like boom boom boom," Steffes says. Customers can also place orders ahead of time via an app. "They can flash their QR code and Sally will start making the salad for them," he explains.

Foodservice employees make sure Sally's ingredient canisters are stocked before 10:00 AM, and they typically don't have to replenish anything until the lunch rush ends around 2:30. "We can get through that period without having to restock. But we may get a notification that Sally has moved on to a backup canister," Steffes says.
This and a surge in orders for robot “workers” are some of the tech-related developments you may have missed recently. 

Hire The RIGHT people for the RIGHT Job
From Bill “The Restaurant Doctor” Marvin – this falls in line with the Customer Service course Bill wrote for us:
For any operation involved in delivery, the person on the phone is 50% of the guest's experience. Because this key person doesn't have a face, only a voice, doesn't it make sense to do part of the interview process for this position over the phone?
Give them a phone script, encourage them to personalize the words (without losing the meaning or content) and evaluate what you hear.
·        Do they have a pleasant voice?
·        Do they speak clearly?
·        Did their "pitch" sound natural and helpful?
·        Could you easily understand what they were saying?
Ours is a business of details. Sweating the small stuff is part of Doing the Work!
The Great Resignation is less about recalcitrant, lazy workers and more of a structural crisis where retirements are up, married people are relying on their spouses and the stresses of low-paying jobs and caregiving are causing millions to reprioritize work, writes James daSilva. Individual managers can't solve those societal issues, but they can focus on training for new employees and new managers, pay more attention to remaining employees' growth and embrace the challenge of creating a better workplace, daSilva writes.
 Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership

February 14-18 – Hosted by the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), CWO2 Cannon in Norfolk, VA
February 22-26 – Zoom Virtual – Hosted by 10th SG, Torri Station, Okinawa, Japan, CW2 Daughette and SFC Llewellen. April-May TBD – Hosted by HQ Africom Command, in Stuttgart, Germany (Covid permitting), with SFC Faendrich

People leaving the industry in droves – in November alone the industry lost 9% of its workforce. We spent an hour on the subject, some of which was about the age of robotics – from soup making machines, to burger flippers to order takers and delivery robots. 

Chef Chris Lindsay brought up Nala Robotics. Nala is a fully automated restaurant which uses patent pending cutting-edge technology to innovate the culinary industry
*Cooking consistency - You know how the dish should taste to satisfy your customers, and Nala can recreate it with machine-like precision
*24/7 operations - No need to close your restaurant for holidays, late night hours, or social distancing considerations. With Nala’s robotic chefs, your restaurant can operate 24/7
*Scalable model -Nala is your international solution, fully trained and ready to serve any city in the world. We make it easier for you to do business
*Easy to open simple to operate - Chef Nala never quits, gets sick, or clocks out!
*Consistent quality - Each dish is perfectly made-to-order every single time.
*Customizable meals - Build-your-own pizza, pasta, pad thai, and more with the ingredients you love most.
*Scalable worldwide - Chef Nala speaks every language and cooks every cuisine.
*Low overhead costs - Save on staffing costs while collecting extra profit from 24/7 hours, carryout, and meal subscriptions.
*Opensource Platform - Easy to use mobile app technology connects Chef Nala to the world and you to your customers
*Nala Business Verticals - It's not just a robot, NALA redefines the entire
ecosystem of the food service industry

A growing number of restaurants are switching to tasting menus as they navigate labor challenges and supply issues caused by the pandemic. Some chefs see this as a temporary switch, but Greg Ryan, chief executive officer of Companion Hospitality, said he sees it as a more permanent move because "the set menu changes daily allowing space for our team to be creative within a controlled environment."  Full Story: Robb Report
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeship program is rolling out in Colorado and some other states to match students ages 17 to 24 with participating restaurants eager to build the restaurant work force. "There is statewide investment to get these programs off the ground, as apprenticeship leads to more competitive jobs, workforce development and a way for operators to recover from the ongoing impact of COVID-19," said Lauren Roberts, president of the Denver-based Watercourse restaurant group. Full Story: Westword (Denver) 
Noodles & Co.'s Vice President of Franchise Sales John Ramsay talks about the company's motivations for joining the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance's Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership, acknowledging that more must be done to level the playing field for aspiring Black entrepreneurs who may lack access to opportunities and generational wealth. "Knowing that, we then have to change our mindset of recruitment efforts," said Ramsay. Full Story: Franchise Times (Minneapolis) 

A growing number of chefs are finding success opening restaurants outside of major cities, in towns where rents are lower and many residents have an appetite for eclectic foods. However, setting up shop in the suburbs can be challenging due to local governments not being as familiar with the needs of independent restaurants and the risk of suburban development driving up costs.  Full Story: The New York Times
Charcuterie made Flavor & the Menu's list of 2022's top 10 trends, thanks to its growing popularity driven by social media and chefs' creative methods of offering assorted meats and accompaniments for off-premises dining. From breakfast-themed spreads to sweet dessert boards, restaurants are expanding the definition of charcuterie, and trend analyst Mike Kostyo of Datassential said "it's not only going to grow more, but it is going to continue to grow in other directions."
 Full Story: Flavor & The Menu 
Restaurant companies outlined their plans and outlooks for the year at the ICR Conference earlier this month, including Denny's plans to grow through a ghost kitchen partnership and Domino's efforts to cope with inflation. El Pollo Loco executives detailed efforts to create an employee-friendly workplace to retain staffers in a tight labor market, and a Jack in the Box executive shared plans to revive franchise growth. Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News 
Teams that are tired, low-energy or otherwise unfocused can benefit from leaders who try to engage them instead of exhorting more effort, writes Vicki Halsey. Examples include changing the format and length of meetings, prioritizing weekly individual check-ins, highlighting great work and, above all, showing care and compassion. Full Story: Blanchard LeaderChat 
Sibling restaurant chains Checkers and Rally's have teamed with restaurant software company Presto on a plan to roll out artificial intelligence-powered voice ordering robots at 267 drive-thru restaurants. The move comes in a tight labor market and will allow the eateries to redirect human employees to higher-touch tasks, the company said. Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model)
Robin Robison took her first gig at a burger restaurant as a teenager to earn cash for new boots, then discovered a love for the restaurant industry that grew into a career spanning stints at chains including Red Robin and Bob Evans before leading to her current position as Modern Market's chief operating officer. She talks about the key role a mentor played in helping her develop leadership skills and advises other restaurant executives to retain their curiosity even as they shift into coaching roles. Full Story: QSR 
Leaders can improve their skills in the new year by creating a culture of connection that recognizes and encourages the nascent leadership skills of their team members, writes Tanveer Naseer. "The point is, leaders should absolutely realize that their employee's needs matter," Naseer writes. Full Story: Tanveer Naseer
Leaders who place a premium on collaboration and focus on nurturing a shared purpose are overtaking the command-and-control model, which was already waning before the pandemic, says Heidi Brooks, a senior lecturer at Yale University School of Management. "This experience of talking with people about their needs, having curiosity about their career trajectory and their engagement at work, and understanding the dynamics of the team is part of the new face of the future of work," Brooks says. Full Story: Charter

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