Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hungry for Business: A Look at Restaurant Marketing featured in Ai InSite

Recap of the ACF AZ meeting at National Restaurant Supply also seen in Restaurant News of the Rockies

Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Restaurant Supply in Tempe, Arizona was the location where the October 3rd meeting was held and a perfect place for our technology themed meeting with their beautiful demonstration kitchen.  The Eloma chef’s prepared a meal featuring their Combi-Oven Southern Fried Chicken show casing the technology of the Genius T Combi-Oven; we also baked Hope’s Cookies Triple Chocolate cookies for dessert with beverages from Sun Orchard.  A special thank you to all for your contributions and support; it really helped make this a nice meeting for all. 


Dawn ­­­­Kennington Bejar, owner of Benedict’s Catering and CafĂ© was our first speaker and she shared with us her experience using Groupon to market their cooking classes.  She did a fantastic job with her presentation.  Before she became a restaurateur, Dawn worked in the cosmetics industry for 20 years with the latter part of her career as Director of Sale & Marketing.  It was extremely interesting to hear her perspective and best practices learned from marketing with Groupon.  


We Are Copperstate Restaurant Technologies also gave us a presentation about the latest technology of the MICROS Point-of Sale system.  With over 30 years in the industry, they are one of the most successful distributors in the country. 


You can look forward to learning more from these presentations and more in the ACF AZ Culinary Library powered by KP Culinary has been in education for over 15 years and currently being used by over 3,000 schools and institutions we are using the platform and over 265,000 students graduated using KP Education Systems. Our chapter is using this resource as away to connect with our community beyond the meetings as a way to expand the value of our local chapter. 

As this is a controlled learning environment, our chapter is using this platform as a resource hub; a way to share information and bring value to our food service community with measureable results.  In next month’s issue we will be able to share a more information about how we are using this platform for our association.  We have been gathering content for the past four months so when we officially launch, we’ll have a solid base of information to share. 


We have also created a Monthly Meeting Planning tool for the 2012 calendar year.  This will help us in the planning of our meetings in a format that encourages community involvement for meeting ideas, meeting locations, vendor participation, contests and challenges and more. 


Our next meeting is November 7th at Macayo’s on Central focusing on alcohol awareness food service.  For more information on what’s happening with our chapter, please connect with us on Facebook @acfchefsofaz. 


Madonna Kash


Restaurant Marketing Partners 

American Culianary Federation 

FoodService Geeks

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We're digging the Mint Social Dashboard and we're going to share with you why!  Right now I am typing this post within the Mint Social Dashboard and it's a beautiful thing.  It's very easy to use, much like using your own email service and Word only so much more to offer because with one click I can send this post to multiple accounts.  Here, I'll do a print screen of the post so you can see what I mean. 



See, very slick.  I then clicked on the "photo or file" tab and interested the picture.  I can edit this just like a Word Doc too but here I am can schedule out my posts. Now I just have to get better about blogging, something I struggle with.  What's great with this format is like other blog sites available, I can share this with multiple users so we can all share in blogging.  


What I really like about that is for our newsletter.  It allows us to log into the same information so we can work on it together.  Yes, there is many options out there to do this as well however nice that this is a feature within the Dashboard as well.  One my counter-parts, Sherry Handzel out of Chicago had a great idea of blogging about the Dashboard so from time to time you will see our thoughts on this and how food service can use this awesome tool. 



Madonna Kash
voice    602.492.8419
mobile 602.692.1135

mint dashboard print screen.png

Food-Borne Illnesses Still a Threat, Despite New Food-Safety Law -

Saturday, February 5, 2011


In the past few years, food safety has had an increased presence in the media spotlight. Whether through mainstream channels or through emerging social media, the consumer is more aware of food safety than ever before. High profile foodborne illness outbreaks related to E coli in spinach and Salmonella in eggs and peanut butter have helped garner the attention of legislators as well. This increased food safety awareness helped fuel legislation such as the food safety modernization act and other local food safety regulations.

The food safety modernization act, which was signed in to law earlier this year, basically gives the FDA increased regulatory authority and mandates most food manufacturers to adopt food safety management plans. Although last minute changes to the legislation did exempt most small restaurants and small farmers it is not unreasonable to wonder what impact the legislation will have.

One organization has taken a look at the potential impact of the food safety modernization act and has provided their “Point of View” on why food safety may be good business. Even though small restaurants and small farmers are exempt from implementing food safety standards, there may be a competitive advantage to utilizing voluntary food safety programs/resources such as: Food Safety Manager Certification Exams (ServSafe, Prometric, and NRFSP), FDA Retail HACCP program, HACCP Certification Programs, and 3rd party supplier inspection services.

What are your thoughts on recent food safety legislation? What does this mean for your restaurant? Let us know your thoughts and join us as we discuss more food safety topics in upcoming newsletters.

Contributed by:

Ray Campa, DTR, RS, SNS

FoodSafety Geek
voice    602.492.8419

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The National Restaurant Association every year releases expected trends for the new year and I bet no one was surprised to see this years report, at least not the top ten.

1) Locally sourced meats and seafood has my interest as five months ago I gave up eating meat and over all I am vegan by daily choices.  High cheeses and seafood are the categories I miss most and need to dig into the seafood segment to really understand where and how seafood is sourced and raised.   The Seafood Watch is the reference point Bon Appetit uses and a good place to start.

2) The locally grown produce is thankfully easy for us here in the Southwest and very dialed into that category. Everyday of the week there is a market somewhere and now with the Phoenix Public Market we have a place devoted to our local sustainable needs in Phoenix.

3) One of my newest connections is with a women who has her masters degree in sustainability from ASU.  This is exciting for a reasons yet to early to share; let's just say, I'm liking it.

4) Nutritionally balanced children's dishes is big segment with Chef Ann CooperJamie Oliver, the White House and  Let's Move and Slow Food.  Today in the Food Safety News they high light the new USDA's School Lunch Standards.  I do have opinions in this area however they would bring no value to the our conversation so I'll just keep them to myself.

5) Hyper-local something that has interested me this past with restaurants in growing their own herbs.  Again, due to our location this is very do-able.  Community Support Agriculture (CSA) is another also fits the Hyper-Local segment and another area I do have my hands on the pulse of.

With 6-10 there is a lot of over lap with the information I have posted so far so I didn't expand on those.  Over all I'm sure you see where this is all going and it's all good in my book.


1 Locally sourced meats and seafood
2 Locally grown produce
3 Sustainability
4 Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes
5  Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, do your own butchering)
6 Children’s nutrition
7 Sustainable seafood
8 Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
9 Simplicity/back to basics
10 Farm/estate-branded ingredients
11 Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
12 Locally-produced wine and beer
13 Half-portions/smaller portion for a smaller price
14 Organic produce
15 Nutrition/health
16 Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
17  Newly fabricated cuts of meat (e.g. Denver
steak, pork flat iron, Petite Tender)
18 Fruit/vegetable children’s side items
19 Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asianflavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
20 Artisan cheese 
For the What's Hot in 2011 full report click here.


Madonna Kash

Restaurant Marketing Partners/ FoodService Geeks
voice    602.492.8419
mobile 602.692.1135