Restaurant business booming despite economic slowdown

Too many debt-ridden Canadians are spending big in restaurants, says the head of a credit counselling group.

“It’s not uncommon for people to tell us they eat out two or three times a week,” says Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions, a non-profit organization that helps people manage their finances.

“It’s expensive enough for a couple, but for a family? That just burns through money.”

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Culinary Internships Give Students a Taste of Restaurant Business

Pots were boiling, pastries were baking and bodies were moving Wednesday as students at Aliso Niguel High School prepared a special luncheon to announce the start of an internship program to teach students the restaurant business.

Students spend 15 hours a week working at local restaurants as part of their Culinary Arts Department curriculum. They also may receive community college credit. The paid internships teach students all aspects of the restaurant industry, from bookkeeping and produce inventory to cooking and busing tables.

“This will really help me a lot,” said sophomore James Noonan, who aspires to be the next Wolfgang Puck.

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Tipping Point: Is It Time to Rethink Gratuity in Restaurants?

American diners really give it to their servers. In New York City and Los Angeles, tips at independent eateries average 22 percent of the check, a big jump from a generation ago, when 15 percent was the norm, according to restaurateurs. Waiters and bartenders often earn more than $50 an hour.

And that has to stop, say a growing number of restaurant owners. Bottom-line necessity and common sense are uniting small family-owned cafes with the country’s most expensive chef-owned dining rooms in a move to abolish tipping.

The restaurant industry is facing a sudden 15 to 18 percent increase in costs, says Kurt Huffman, owner of ChefStable in Portland, Ore., which has invested in 17 chef-owned restaurants and food businesses. The rise in the minimum wage, to $15 an hour in some states, and new laws requiring paid sick leave and healthcare coverage are sending restaurant food costs soaring.

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Local Mexican Restaurants

When going out to eat at a local Mexican Restaurant it is important to consider the cleanliness of the operation before dining and to make sure that your family is safe. Most local Mexican Restaurants with good reputations are fine. However if you are not sure, you may wish to check it out first. One way to do this is to drive by or look around the back the day before your visit and see if it is clean behind the restaurant and check to see if the workers are wearing shirts or not. If they are hanging around out back and have matted hair and loosely fit clothes and no shirts on, this is a clue that there are issues. Remember that with Mexican food there are lots of cold lettuce and other condiments around the dishes, which are not cooked.

Additionally when you first sit down you may wish to look at the classes and the bottom of the tray with the chips in it to see if they have been cleaned recently. There should be no spots on the glasses and no sticky left over food on the chip tray. Another smart thing to do is to look at the servers and if they look like they are groomed nicely. If you see signs, which are not to your liking, simply leave and make a really good excuse that it is a family emergency and you are so sorry. It is essential to be very careful in restaurants, which may be more inclined to hire illegal labor, who may have diseases. But that is not just a good plan for Mexican Food Restaurants by all restaurants. Think on this in 2006.

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Promotional Bottled Water

Promotional bottled water can be a great advertising tool if the company’s imprint or logo is present on the bottle. These promotional bottles tend to make a big impression on thirsty consumers. Promotional bottled water can make a powerful marketing tool, as bottled water is very popular at the moment.

The art of promotional advertising is to capture the imagination of the target market with promotional bottled water they really like and want to drink and, more importantly, with the bottle that conveys the company’s advertising message. Promotional water bottles can be available in still or sparkling water bottles and can also be available with an option of a sports cap on still water bottles.

Promotional bottles can be perfect for specific event promotion, or as trade show giveaways, to promote a golf tournament, or any other kind of promotional event. A current trend is to use the customized bottles as a wedding giveaway. The bottles can have the picture of the bride and the groom and can be given as a personal gift to the guests.

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