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Mark Laux
http://www.hotoperator.com
Entrepreneur, marketing expert and profit pioneer
Interests: music, marketing, dining out, movies, webinars, business building, acim, restaurant menus, menu design, teleseminars
Recent Activity
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Because the source of supply for beef is historically low, mostly due to weather, record high beef prices could last through 2015. And if you think about it logically, with the drought hitting the American southwestat a time when world beef consumption is up, 2015 may be optimistic for a price drop. Here are 5 things you can do right now to protect your profits without loosing all of your customers in the process. Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Next, you need to completely answer 'what's good here' because your guests want to know what you think. To them you are a celebrity, and your opinion matters. It is not just an opportunity to help your guests find something good, but it is your responsibility to guide the guest through your menu. As an example, at least one of your entrees needs to stand out, and not just by happen chance, but because it really does stand out. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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In many cases, small independent operators will say they can’t afford a custom illustration, when in fact, the truth of the matter is: they can afford it, but choose not to. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to lift a great work from someone else and hope you never get caught. It’s another thing to spend a few hundred dollars on an illustrator to create something entirely your own. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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The best restaurant menus all share some commonality. They all have a brand essence, which is just a fancy way of saying they look different in some significant way that makes the menu attractive and distinctive. They all have products listed in a way that is relatively easy to read, with names that are easy to pronounce and fun to say. And they all have items that are specially highlighted in some way, so the guest will find and order them more often. Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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One of the two most misunderstood parts of menu engineering are product positioning and price positioning, and if you get these two things right you will be well on your way to a better menu. Let’s start with product positioning. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
With the right amount of effort and some creativity, you can create menu stars in your restaurant business. But to do that, you first need to understand value and how to create value in the minds of your restaurant customers. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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When you go about making products for your restaurant that you hope will become stars with your customers, keep in mind that the restaurant menu price you sell an item for is restricted by its function. And to get the price to move up, you will need to offer a higher functional value to your guests. To increase the food products function, and thereby its value with consumers, you’ll need a little creativity. Continue reading
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Would you like to make this your year? You can make this your year. It’s not easy, and it requires the right plan, but it can be yours if you want it. You just have to decide if you are ready to work on your business rather than in it. It’s really that simple. And when you decide to work on your restaurant business, the next few steps will be easy by comparison. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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No matter what you think about your staff, you and your business are directly connected to their effectiveness in your restaurant. If they have a bad day, miss an opportunity to up sell, have a fight with their significant other, you’re potential to generate a profit is directly affected. So rather than screaming, firing and crying about your staff, instead, plan some fun, competitive restaurant server games to play in your restaurant every week. When you do, your staff will be more engaged in serving your guests and paying close attention to selling and up selling in the hopes of winning the prize for that day – week or month. Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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In the case of Hardee’s, the product is excellent. The marketing is good, too. Positioning the fresh-baked bun against sandwich shops is brilliant, but Hardee’s advertising? Not so much. Here's why... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Just in time for the mid winter surge in restaurant dining, here is a list of restaurant drinks that will warm your restaurant guests hearts and help you grow your incremental restaurant profits at the same time. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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But how to know if you should take the prices up on your menu, or just ride out the storm? Do a little simple math. It will cost about $200.00USD to update a few pages of your menu and get them printed. So based on the couple hundred dollars, you have to decide how much shrimp you're selling and how much taking the price up will return. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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I don't actually like "before" and "after" menu images. But in this case, I wanted to illustrate the restaurant menu design HotOperator created for The Nags Head, Cyprus. Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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According to a new survey referenced in Nations' Restaurant News, restaurant consumers may be thinking about staying away from their favorite restaurants because of health concerns. When considering updating some or any of your menu items with healthier ingredients and cooking techniques, start with some daily specials and see which ones customers will order again. Continue reading
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Just came across this article in Nations Restaurant News. It seems IHop is taking a page right from our playbook (just wish they had called us, we could have helped them with the decline in traffic at the same time). We've had these same results for many years. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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People want to know what you recommend and why. I’ll say that again, because it’s worth repeating so it sinks into your superior blindness. Your guests want to know what you are thinking. They want to know what your recommend. They want to be led. And to do otherwise is nothing short of rude. Continue reading
Here are some examples that were published on line, but it's an average, and it's not confirmed from these restaurants. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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This is a process that we've pioneered here at HotOperator. It helps your guests from a psychological standpoint make better decision in your restaurant when they order. At the moment, your menu is capped at around 17.50. That doesn't mean people won't spend more than that at your restaurant, but what it means is the bell curve is peaking at that point or there about. To get the needle to move, you need to understand the consumer and how they make buying decisions. There are some parts of this that you're doing well, but you could do more. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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HotOperators FREE "Insane Menu Profit Guide" A primer on menu engineering. Get the book free and increase your profits on your next menu. Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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The fact is, most people are really bad with money, and sadly, many restaurant operators are not much better than their customers. Want proof? Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Many of the most successful restaurant operators I work with have a ‘door crasher’ item that brings in droves of people and can help to stave off the in-and-out style promotions the chains offer. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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The reason you want a background color is you will want your highlights to be lighter, or white so they stand out. I don’t recommend using a white background and then highlighting with a brighter color. Our research shows that this style of highlight actually slows the product down, rather than speeding it up. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Branding is the key step-by-step process that can shift sluggish and unpredictable sales into a steadier, more predictable flow – by appeasing the customer’s desire to return and to have expectations met. To view any restaurant for how well it struts its stuff in one impact filled image, just try entering a restaurant you know – maybe your own -- as a new customer. See what you “see.” Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Customers expect the brands they love to live up to the distinct entities they believe in. They constantly make mental comparisons of other brands. Sometimes they do this consciously, like in sports, automobiles, purses, etc. And other times they do it unconsciously. But they are always sizing each brand they encounter against other brands they are familiar with. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2013 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Especially in the restaurant business. There is the image of the restaurant and there are health standards. And there’s research to support it. I can attest that people are the Number One most important part of a restaurant. So it pays to hire people who look good and carry off the establishment’s image, the appeal of the food, and the assurance of a satisfying and safe dining experience. Continue reading