Restaurants bring vibrancy to the main streets of most small towns and neighbourhoods. • Photo by Brandon Jean on Unsplash

It’s fascinating how the nature of time evolves with age. As a kid, I used to think the 15 minute drive to the next town was eternity, as a university student I could rarely make it through a lecture without checking the clock 50 times. Yet as an adult, I don’t hesitate to spend 45 minutes crossing town to grab a pint, indulge at a pastry shop, or check out a new restaurant, all in the process of exploring a cool or up and coming neighborhood.

It goes without saying that food and drink establishments contribute to the vibrancy and…

It is often said that you can discern the quality of a restaurant by their steak knives. I believe this to be true, albeit in an age where steakhouses are just as rare as vegan restaurants once were, that statement has taken on a new form with the changing times.

I am not an interior designer, nor am I a graphic designer, but I’ve worked in some beautiful dining rooms. Now owning a design-centric technology platform, I have come to appreciate the nuances and complexities that differentiate something unique and beautiful from something unimaginative and sterile. …

I am just going to come out and say it: walk dates suck!

With the pandemic, they resemble some painful reenactment of the first date between Apollonia and Michael from the Godfather. Conversation feels forced and instead of a large Italian family following and judging you if you make physical contact, you have the ever present fear of public scrutiny that you might be within six feet. True story: I actually had a friend call me last summer, because a friend of a friend saw me on a walking date and thought we were too close together on the sidewalk.

I have no formal culinary training as a chef, but I love cooking at home. There is something very satisfying when attempting to prepare a sophisticated meal, pulling it off with half of the cool kitchen tools needed, and then basking in the admiration of your friends or family.

Psssst….the key to any great meal is to always double the amount of butter you think you need or the recipe calls for!

For those of you like me, who currently have no one to cook for, or those who became hot shit at sourdough for a week and then reverted…

For those parents out there with young children, this one is especially for you. Then again, I am sure many might agree with the greater message I am about to propose.

Between online learning, Minecraft, TikTok (and is Frozen still a thing?) I am sure your children are maxed out on screen time. We adults are no better, stuck on our Zoom calls and binging our Netflix, when we should be getting those 30 minutes of daily exercise and indulging in a good book before bed. Yes, an actual hardcover on the nightstand, imagine that!

This article isn’t to tell…

Part 1: A Flawed Model

Ever wonder why your favourite restaurant, that was always packed, and where you could never get a table, suddenly closes its doors due to financial reasons? You don’t need to be an economist to understand that something just doesn’t add up.

Every so often, you cross paths with a headline such as: “restaurants are a tough business”, “restaurants operate on tight margins”, or “it’s so hard to turn a profit in this industry.” You get the idea. What piqued my curiosity, was why we haven’t dug deeper than these simple hyperboles?

Why do restaurants struggle so hard to make money!?

Part 2: A Revised Model

As a server paying my way through a degree in economics, I’ve observed many guests compete for the best tables by trying to slip a bill at the host stand. Meanwhile my owners were struggling to make more than 3% margins. What I observed is certainly not a unique phenomenon in an industry that fails to accurately value its coveted real estate.

Framing a meal in terms of what it really is, an experience in a dining room that has finite real estate, is the first step in shifting perceptions and understanding the economic opportunities. Not only could one table…

Part 3: A Brighter Future

Before Covid, there was a general thought that restaurateurs were wealthy. Although some are, many of those made their money before becoming restaurateurs. Most restaurants are actually owned by individuals who worked their way up through the industry and scraped together enough money to start their own place.

Oddly, despite this long and well deserved road to ownership, most newly minted owners are very afraid to talk about the financial goals of their business. Their success is always framed in terms of how many meals they can cook for a local charity or the suppliers they support. This is a…

March 15, 2020 will be a day synonymous with a systemic change. Although Covid had been making headlines for a couple months, here in North America, reality was finally setting in as every major jurisdiction went quiet. Full lockdown, streets emptied, and mothers trading their first borns for a roll of toilet paper!

Well not quite that bad…fortunately. Despite a genuine fear that Covid lurked on every surface and that your delivery driver was one cough away from starring on the Walking Dead, many began discovering the art of bread making and were spared the long commutes in favour of…

A few years ago, I read a story in National Geographic titled “Who Invented the First Modern Restaurant?” Unsurprisingly, it was a Parisian chef known as Mr. Boulanger. His infamous dish of sheeps feet simmering in white sauce caught the attention of the growing French upper and middle class. Mr. Boulanger convinced them for the first time to leave their own personal kitchens and venture to this new form of dining called a “restaurant”; the French verb restaurer, meaning “to restore or refresh.”. This kicked off a 250 year-old tradition of dining out, which we now know encompasses bistros in…

Transparent Kitchen

Parent company of TABLZ, a premium guest service tool, changing your dining room economics….forever.

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