The Best Hospitals in Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city of Brazil and was the capital of the country up to 1960. Rio is the third largest metropolitan area in South America. The headquarters of many international oil, telephone, media and communication companies in Brazil are located here. Rio will also host the final match for 2014 Football World Cup. Rio de Janeiro has been Brazil’s primary tourist center by virtue of its world famous Mardi Gras parades, beaches and many world famous landmarks such as the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, Corcovado Mountain.

Rio de Janeiro is a major center of research and development in the country and also houses many world-class hospitals that offer latest medical treatments. These well equipped private hospitals have special international patient sections and offer service of English speaking staff.

This is a short description of some of the popular hospitals in Rio de Janeiro.

Hospital Copa D’or located at Rua Figueiredo Magalhães, 875 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro is owned and operated by the Rede D’Or group. All of their hospitals are internationally accredited and follow international standards in their management.

Hospital Copa D’or, Rio has latest generation of equipment and eminent doctors providing care. The hospital offers the best possible service in their surgical center, post operative center, center for diagnostic imaging, neuro-intensive treatment center, out-patient hospital, adult and pediatric emergency rooms, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychiatry, infectious diseases, hemodynamics, clinical nutrition, pediatrics and coronary care unit. The surgical centers of this hospital are state-of-the-art, they can perform the most complex surgeries.The hospital has centers for intensive care including intensive care unit, cardio intensive care unit, semi- intensive care unit and even a special pediatric ICU. The hospital accepts all major health insurances. Tel:e 21 2545-3600

Hospital Samaritano located at Rua Bambina,98 -Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro is one of the well trusted, modern private hospitals in Brazil provided  with state-of-the-art medical  technology and service of eminent doctors. The hospital offers a complete range of medical and surgical service of global standard in all relevant departments. The well known cardiology department of this hospital has excellent coronary unit, hemodynamics laboratory and cardiac surgery center.

Hospital Samaritano‘s specialized sections include imagery diagnostics department with computerized tomography, radiology unit, magnetic nuclear resonance and PET-CT and modern nuclear medicine department with scintilography, myocardial scintilography and sentinel linfonode research. The hospital has an accredited emergency room staffed by physicians approved by the American College of Surgeons for trauma care. All the beds in this section are provided with modern equipments for trauma care like portable monitors, breathers, defibrillator and artificial pacemakers.

The Intensive Care Unit of Hospital Samaritano is notable with newest facilities and has 10 beds, all provided with breathers, infusion pumps, artery pressure, oxygen level, and heart beat monitors. Hospital Samaritano is also a pioneer in medical education, research and training. This is a favorite hospital among the foreign communities and all major health insurance companies are accepted here. Phone (21) 2537-9722 • Emergency: (21) 2535-4000

Hospital Sao Jose is another reliable hospital in the city with modern health care facilities. This hospital founded by the Santa Catarina Congregation, a religious group with wide reputation, has been providing effective and modern medical service to the people at a reasonable cost since1923. This large hospital with an area of more than 625 sq miles has full fledged departments in all major branches of medicine. The hospital’s emergency department including a 5-bed special cardiac ward offers round the clock service. Sao Jose Hospital’s international patient section with English speaking staff is also well known for providing complete medical service and best personal care. Tel: (21) 2741-4300.

Wholesale Business: How to Start a Beverage Distribution Business

Combine Wholesale Distribution with the Beverage Industry and you get one of the most profitable and fun businesses in the world.

This article will give you an introduction into this great business, how you can start and how much money you can make on each case of beverage sold. Is beverage distribution for you? Find out right now.

Beverage distribution is one of the easiest and most profitable businesses I’ve seen.

I like it because you don’t need a lot of customers to make a lot of money. You can easily make an extra $5,000 with a few customers.

You will see why beverage is one of the best businesses in the world. I started in beverage while I had my tool and novelty distribution business. I was looking for new products, products that I did not need to exchange so often and that I could sell over and over again to the same customers. This last part was key.

You see, when I was selling tools I figured that I could sell up to 1,000 tools per day or more but every customer was unique. In other words, if you buy a hammer at a store on Monday chances are you will not go on Tuesday and buy another Hammer. Even if it only costs $1.98!

Don’t get me wrong, the “tool distribution business” is a wonderful business and I still love it. I was just looking for another type of product to add to my current items.

I figured out that in order to sell the same product over and over again it would have to be a food product. So I started going to trade shows and looking at chocolate, potato chips, candy, and other products. I even looked at name brands like Hershey’s. The problem was that I could not buy directly from the manufacturers and the profit margins were super low, about 12%. I was used to up to 70% profit margins.

Finally I ran into a beverage manufacturer of an Energy Drink. They were just starting with their product and it was easier to become a distributor.

Now let me tell you a bit about Energy Drinks. Energy Drinks are the new Super Profitable products. Everybody makes money, the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer. You see, Energy Drinks sell for $1.99 to $2.40 at the stores for 8 to 16 ounces. This is incredible if you consider that you can buy a soda that’s the same size for $0.50 to $0.75. Even a 20 ounce soda runs you about $1.25.

Distributors love the product because they make about $8 per every case they sell compared with about $2 to $4 for their other products.

Let’s get back to the Beverage Business. The great part of this business is that if you have only one customer going into the store buying your product you sell at least 1 case of that product per month.

You see; if you sell a soda someone can buy a soda every day, compared to a hammer, where people don’t buy a hammer every day. So you need fewer customers because you sell more per day.

For example: Let’s say you have only 100 stores that you service yourself and sell 3 different beverages. You sell one Energy Drink and 2 Sodas. You make $8 from every case of the Energy Drink and $3 from every case of soda.

If you sell only 1 case of the Energy Drink per week per store and 3 cases of each soda you’ll make about $600 profit from the sodas per week and another $800 profit per week from the Energy Drink. That’s $5,600 profit per month with only 100 stores and only 3 different products. It’s very easy to ramp up to 5 or even 8 products. This is why I love the beverage business.

Now let me tell you a bit more about Energy Drinks. They are the category that is growing the fastest of any other drink. It grows up to 70% per year in the US compared with 2% growth for soda. Companies are still growing from 100% to 300% per year every single year. The best part is that there is no end in sight.

Not only that, the Energy Drink Business is incredibly fun. You get advertising and promotion from companies, you get to do club and store promotions, get t-shirts, hats, gifts, extra commissions and free product from the Energy Drink companies. You also get free racks, coolers, sometimes even refrigerators.

Copyright 2006 Cube 17, Inc.

10 Foods to Avoid With Endometriosis

There are certain foods to avoid with endometriosis. In fact, many women who suffer from endometriosis can improve their condition and their symptoms naturally by simply controlling their diet. Knowing what not to eat can make a significant difference in the way an endometriosis sufferer feels.

Creating an endometriosis friendly diet is about eliminating foods that increase prostaglandins. Prostaglandins stimulate estrogen, which is the main hormone that wreaks havoc in an endometriosis sufferer. Estrogen is responsible for symptoms including painful menstrual cramps, as well as meorrhagia (heavy menses), diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

However, when you learn what foods to avoid with endometriosis, you will discover that not all prostaglandin are bad. For instance, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) actually helps to relieve symptoms, while prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a) contribute to the symptoms mentioned above.

The following are 10 foods to avoid with endometriosis –

1. Sugar – Sugar, in all its forms (refined, artificial, natural), can produce a more acidic environment which can encourage the inflammatory pain of endometriosis. Therefore, it’s a good idea to limit the consumption of chocolate, sweeteners, drinks and sweets with high levels of sugar, and honey.

2. Wheat – Wheat contains phytic acid which can aggravate endometriosis symptoms. Furthermore, wheat contains gluten, and studies have found that many endometriosis sufferers appear to have gluten sensitivity which can cause and increase painful symptoms. Products containing wheat and gluten should be avoided or limited.

3. Soy products – Like wheat, soy contains phytic acid; however the levels of phytic acid in soy are considerably higher than wheat. Phytic acid is known to irritate the digestive system and reduces mineral absorption, especially calcium. Soy is found in many food products including granola, pasta, imitation meat, soy milk, soy based cheese, etc.

4. Caffeine – Caffeine, especially when consumed in high amounts, has been found to increase estrogen levels, which can trigger endometriosis attacks and cause the condition to develop. Caffeine foods to avoid with endometriosis include coffee, tea and soda. Consuming more than two cups of coffee a day may cause estrogen levels to rise.

5. Alcohol – Alcohol eats up vitamin B stored in the liver. Liver function plays an essential role in clearing out excess estrogen which helps to control endometriosis. Eliminating alcohol on the body puts excessive stress on the liver, hindering it from expelling other items from the body.

6. Dairy products – Dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses. To help keep calcium levels up you can find other sources of calcium in sesame seeds, almonds, salmon, sardines, seaweed, figs, and calcium fortified foods (I.E. tofu, orange juice, etc.) Note: Remember to be careful when substituting dairy products such as pasteurized milk with soy milk, as soy can also aggravate symptoms.

7. Red Meat – Meat promotes PGF2a production. Furthermore, red meat may contain growth hormones that include estrogen. If meat is your main source of protein, you can obtain the protein you need through other protein-rich foods such as beans, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and peanuts.

8. Saturated fats and oils – Foods that are high in fatty acids stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a. Fatty acids are found in saturated fats, oils (IE coconut oil, palm oil, etc.), butter, margarine, lard, organ meats, and plenty of fried foods.

9. Refined carbohydrates – refined carbohydrates (I.E. white bread, pasta, flour, pastry, cakes, etc.) have had most of their natural nutrients removed. Refined carbohydrates deplete the body’s nutritional stores as they are needed in order for the body to absorb the nutrients in the refined carbs. This can lead to endometriosis symptoms. Instead of refined carbs, stick to unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, etc.

10. Additives and preservatives – processed, frozen and pre-packaged are foods to avoid with endometriosis as they are full of additives, preservatives chemicals, and many other ingredients that promote ill-health and PGE2 and PGF2.

An Introduction To Vending Machines

The very first vending machine was said to have been invented by Hero of Alexandria, a 1st century inventor. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed a fixed amount of “holy water.”

Basically, a vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise after a customer deposits money. Vending machines have a currency detector which determines if the money inserted is sufficient to purchase the desired item.

Common locations where vending machines are usually placed include: next to the entrances/exits, next to the water fountain, in front of the restroom, in the break room, by the coffee maker, next to the other vending machines, by the receptionist, next to the cash register, next to the listening station at a music store, next to the change machine or in the waiting area.

The items sold in vending machine vary. In the U.S. vending machines may even carry alcoholic beverages such as beer and cigarettes. This practice is increasingly rare though, due to concerns about underage buyers. I

n Japan, there seems to be no limits to what is sold by vending machines. These include: drinks and cigarettes, bottles of wine, cartons of beer and pairs of underwear. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every 23 people.

Vending machines are classified mainly according to the products it carries. Below are just some of them:

Newspaper vending machines

With newspaper vending machines, a customer could open the box and make off with all of the newspapers after paying for one. Such assumes that the customer will be honest.

Candy vending machines

Candy vending machines are mechanical machines that vend a handful of candy, a bouncy ball, or perhaps a capsule with a small toy or jewelry, for one or two quarters.

Soda snack/vending machines

Soda/snack vending machines are, as the name suggests, sell cans or bottles of soda and/or small packages of snacks. For operators, soda/snack machines have the advantage that many locations recognize their need for such machines.

Specialized Vending

Specialized vending machines are those that dispense personal products, typically in public toilet facilities. These vending machines are often found in toilets used by transient persons in high traffic locations, such as bus stations and truck stops.

The machines in ladies restrooms typically sell sanitary napkins, tampons and tissue paper. In men’s rooms, the vending machines contain tissue paper, cleansers and sometimes condoms.

These vending machines use a spiral kind of mechanism to separate and to hold the products. When the machine vends, the spiral turns, thus pushing the product forward and falling down to be vended.

Most vending machines are designed as large safes. They have also been extensively tested and designed to inhibit theft. Like any machines, vending machines are susceptible to malfunction. The causes are many-fold.

Coin acceptors often jam up, especially if a child inserts a bill or other foreign object into the coin slot. Bill validators sometimes falsely reject a legal tender bill that happens to be crumpled, ripped, or dirty. Vending machines usually have a phone number that angry users can call for service.

One of the newest vending innovations is telemetry, which is made possible by the advent of reliable, affordable wireless technology. With telemetry, data can be transmitted to a remote headquarters for use in scheduling a route stop, detecting component failure or verifying collection information.

Choosing Candy For Your Vending Machine

The bulk candy you use will be the third biggest choice besides the vending machine you chose and the locations you get. Most new vendors never really give the bulk candy they use any thought and how it will affect their sales. I am telling you right now you can have a very good location and not even know it if you use the wrong candy. Another thing you want to think about when choosing your candy is this is your business and you make the final decision. I had a bulk vending machine at an investment company in Murrieta Ca.

I asked the lady at the front desk what kind of candy does she want in the machine. She gave me a couple of suggestions so I put the candy in there that she wanted. Every month I came back she wanted a different type of candy in there. So my kindness back fired, and I lost money trying to please her with the candy she wanted. So my advice to you can take suggestions but this is your business and you make the final decision.

What Kind of Bulk Candy to use?

This can be a mystery or you can stick with the statistics. The best selling bulk candy hands down is peanuts m&ms. Now wait before you leave this website and go to the store. If you are not careful the m&ms can be very messy. Imagine a hot summer day and your bulk vending machine is placed near a window, I don’t care if that office has the thermostat down to 60 degrees, if that sun is beaming down on your vending machine those m&ms will melt and you will lose that location quick when the lady in the office gets chocolate on her hands and accidentally gets it on her blouse, believe me I know firsthand. So if you are going to use peanut m&ms please be careful where you put your vending machine.

My favorite Bulk Candy Mike and Ikes

Man I have had a lot of success with these colorful tasty little bad boys. If you never had any of them I compare them to jelly beans. I love these things and so do other people. Mike and Ikes do well in the winter and in the summer but just like the m&ms please be careful in the summer. In the summer if your bulk vending machine is in a hot location the Mike and Ikes can stick together and become one big ball. To stop this from happening you can lightly spray the Mike and Ikes with Pam or your favorite cooking spray, and you shouldn’t have a problem in the summer time. I ignored this tip and when I went to a couple of my locations I was wondering why the Mike and Ikes hadn’t moved at all since they had been a success in previous months. Well after opening my vending machine all my Mike and Ikes were stuck together and on the top of that the owner was complaining because people were asking for their money back because they didn’t receive any candy. So please don’t ignore this tip or you could be sorry like I was at first.

Skittles

I use Skittles a lot in my bulk vending machines and I stick with the original Skittles. Yes there seems to be about a million different types of Skittles now but I stick with the original type. I have tried other types but I had the most success with the original so I have just stuck with it over the years. I never really had any problems with this candy. It has a nice hard shell so it does well in the winter and in the summertime.

Gumballs

Gumballs are your best friend in your business. They are by far the highest profitable bulk candy you can buy, and they are indestructible. The only tips I can suggest on these gumballs are after a couple of months in your machine please check them by biting into a gumball every now and then. Sometimes these gumballs get real hard and after that you are going to want to get rid of them. Another thing is do not get cute with the gumballs. As with skittles these things come in a variety of flavors and colors. Don’t get cute with buying Halloween colored gumballs because if you don’t sell them within a month nobody is probably going to buy them with Christmas comes around. Now I have bought gumballs that have looked like little baseballs and I had great success, but the baseball season is six to seven months long so I had plenty of time to sell them. If you are just starting out just stick with the basics until you are making money and getting comfortable with your vending route.

Bouncy Balls

How did I almost forget. These can be great these bouncy balls never go out of style and they never spoil or anything like that. Just be careful where you place them because little kids can choke on them. When I use the bouncy balls I put a sticker on my machine stating ages 5 and up. Most people might put 3 years and up but I don’t want any problems so I put age 5 and up. Bouncy balls can be great; I use them at a lot of pizza places since there are probably other vending machines than mind there that have gumballs, so I use the bouncy balls.

Peanuts and pistachios

I have used both peanuts and pistachios and they will work if you have the right location. I have a bulk vending machine in an old folk’s home in the hallway and I can’t keep that bulk vending machine full. It is always emptying out. I use vendesign vending machines and two of the canisters hold pistachios and the other two canisters hold regular peanuts. Those seniors love there peanuts and pistachios. I do not use any bulk candy at this particular location.

Runts, Boston Baked Beans and other Bulk Candy

I know there are some people that love runts out there but I have never used them. I just never really thought of Runts as a serious candy to use. I know Runts are cheap but every time I see a bulk vending machine with runts, it always looks abandoned or not taken good care of. Now don’t get me wrong I know there is somebody out there that is doing good with runts, I just don’t use them. Boston Baked Beans I have never used either. I love them and buy them every now and again when I go to a gas station, but I haven’t tried them in my vending machines.

Someone please let me know how you are doing with runts or Boston Baked Beans so I can give a better account of these two candies, or anything else you are using that I haven’t mentioned on this page. Lastly do not buy off brand cheap bulk candy, this will just make you miserable when you walk up to your vending machine and realize you haven’t made any sales. Don’t be cheap!

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

5 Effects of Good Nutrition

The effects of good nutrition on the body are as visible as the effects of bad nutrition on the body. The difference is that bad nutrition can destroy the body, while good nutrition only supports and builds up the body. Hence, the better goal in life is to maintain a lifestyle that promotes good nutrition. This will cause many positive effects, including the following 5 effects of good nutrition.

5 Effects of Good Nutrition:

1. Maintain normal body function

This includes better learning, proper balance and pH in the body tissues, to stabilize and regulate body systems like blood pressure, rebuild tissues, and maintain proper blood sugar levels

2. Maintain healthy weight

This includes proper blood pressures, less likely to allow diseases like Diabetes, heart malfunctions

3. Prevent disease

This includes prevention of cancer, tissue disease, parasitical invasions, bacterial infections

4. Pass along good start to future generations

Healthy babies, immune system, healthy pregnancy

5. Provide stress relief

Reduce side effects of drugs, boost immune system, maintain calm and coping abilities

If you can enjoy these 5 effects of good nutrition, you will be well on your way to a better, healthier body that is able to function properly.

One key to getting good nutrition regularly is to avoid excess. Balance food intake between the major groups, and eat appropriate amounts. You need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. A multi vitamin may be helpful if you are not sure about your food intake but it is not a substitute for eating properly. Water is essential to body functioning, moving nutrients into cells, and handling waste disposal.

You can obtain and follow the standard daily food pyramid and recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) put out by the government. It is adjusted according to age because dietary needs change as a person ages.

This pyramid is composed of nutritional groups of: calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and includes lists of antioxidants and herbs that are beneficial to health.

Besides age, the body’s nutritional needs change with use of drugs, or disorders and diseases that affect the body’s ability to meet those needs, or interfere with absorption or intake of food nutrients.

There are more than the above 5 effects of good nutrition, but these go a long way to getting you started in a healthy lifestyle if you pay attention. By the way, if you cant pay attention, you may need better nutrition! Avoid excess sweets and highly refined food, because they can cause bacterial excesses that can even have a lethal result if left unchecked (Candida). By providing the proper fuel (food) to your body, you enable it to function at its optimum capacity, keeping you healthy, happy, and fit for years and years, with benefits extending even unto the next generation.

Restaurant Training – Waitress and Waiter Training to Fuel Sales for Hospitality and Food Service

Did you know that your restaurant can make more than $100,000 (based on serving 300 customers a day) over the next year by training your waiters and waitresses how to become top sales people? It takes only a few extra seconds for your wait staff to enthusiastically offer suggestions to build add-on sales and increase checks averages. Developing a solid sales training program that focuses on suggestive selling and making sales training one of your top priorities is essential to driving your profit.

Training your wait staff to become top sales performers and making your dining room a profit center is essential to the growth of your restaurant, especially in a sluggish economy. Here are some key selling ideas and specific training strategies:

The Menu: A Server’s Sales Brochure

A sales person can not sell properly unless they have obtained the necessary product knowledge. You will benefit by having your team know the menu inside out-yes, that means having them sample every item and learning details such as descriptions, sizes/portions and ingredients. When servers are unfamiliar with food and beverage items, they will lack the confidence they need to sell. Would you buy a computer from a dealer who has no experience operating the model you are interested in? Probably not.

According to Ray Barshay, the owner of River Grille Restaurant and Crabby Joe’s Deck and Grill in Florida, “To keep sales a priority, we place two to three dinner specials on our tables at pre-shift meetings and have servers taste them so they have a solid idea of the flavor. Then, we ask them to fully describe the features and benefits of each item. Being equipped with this knowledge builds our servers confidence to effectively sell to our customers.”

At Five-Star Training, we recommend to our clients to provide every server with at least two hours of suggestive selling training upon hiring covering all the basics. Then, as ongoing refreshers, each server should attend pre-shift meetings that touch on core sales strategies. This is a good time to implement sales contests to drive sales motivation. It is a positive habit to fully retrain your servers every six months with at least another two hours. If servers are not recharged, they will run dry. Knowledge is power and power breeds confidence. The more your servers know, the more your profit will grow.

Up-selling and Making Add-On Sales

So how can you earn an extra $100,000 each year? It’s simple: Train your wait staff to sell an average of $1 more per customer by specifically teaching them to:

• Upgrade alcoholic beverages (sell a call instead of a well, a premium instead of a call, or suggest frozen specialty and premium drinks)

• Offer to add meat, poultry, or seafood to a salad

• Suggest sides such as mushrooms on steaks and French fries with sandwiches

The following menu items offered to an entire table will also average to $1.00 more per customer:

• Offer one dessert for the table to share or a dessert to go

• Suggest one carafe or bottle of wine/champagne per table

• Recommend one appetizer per table for everyone to share

Four Key Selling Strategies

Here are some additional ideas to teach your wait staff how to effectively sell:

Encourage them to…

Sell with enthusiasm and a smile-show excitement about what you are suggesting. The more enthusiasm generated about a menu item (your favorite), the more likely the customer will order it. For example, say: “Our frozen chocolate Mudslide is outrageous and made with real Godiva chocolate”

Sell the Benefits-tell the customer how they can benefit from a particular food/beverage item. Here are some examples:

• Combination appetizers/entrees, so the customer can sample a variety of items

• Large platters to satisfy hearty appetites

• Frozen thirst-quenching drinks on hot days such as Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris

• Name-brand liquor for a smooth and flavorful taste

• Wine to complement the entree

Sell routinely and during all courses of the dining process-the

more frequently you offer suggestions, the greater the opportunity you will have to increase sales. Keep customers’ minds on food. When they are enjoying one course, preview the next course. For example, say: “Save room for our Krazy Kahlua Koffee.” Be sure to have at least two of your favorites ready to suggest for every course.

Recognize key selling clues-listen carefully to what the customers say. You may hear some clues that will signal greater sales opportunities. Here are some common phrases:

• Customers who are celebrating…”It is our anniversary/birthday.” (bottle of wine/champagne)

• Customers with hearty appetites…”I’m starved.” (large Captain’s Platter)

• Customers inviting your suggestions…”What do you suggest?” (your favorites)

Always take the time to properly train your waiters and waitresses and provide them with the key training tools to make them successful sales people. By developing a solid sales training program within your organization, you are sure to expand bottom-line profits with minimal effort by your wait staff.

Please Note: Always train your wait staff to be aware of the signs of intoxication and to avoid overselling alcohol. Teach your staff to refuse selling any alcohol to minors.

Catering Business Profits, Earnings and Salaries – How Much Money Can You Really Make?

Many people have turned their love of cooking and entertaining into a good living by starting catering businesses.

Catering is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and as one of the fastest growing segments of the food and beverage industry, the catering business offers great opportunities for those wanting to start a small business with a low start up cost.

In this article we will look at catering business profits, earnings and salaries and how much money it is really possible to make in this industry. Then we will examine some of the things that separate the really successful players from the amateurs.

Is a $100,000 Yearly Profit Possible in Catering?

Many people consider a $100,000 pre-tax salary or profit to be a benchmark for success and they wonder if they can reach this level of earnings in catering.

Most small catering business owners who put in the effort can expect to earn between $20,000 and $40,000 profit per year for the owner during the first couple of years. After a couple of years in the business, you can easily scale up to earning a ‘six figure’ annual income from catering.

Tips for Getting to the ‘Six Figure’ Level

1) Forget catering from your home kitchen if you want to get to this salary level. Business savvy caterers do volumes that require them to either rent commercial kitchen space by the hour, arrange access to restaurant kitchens during off-hours or focus on ‘on-premises’ jobs only and use the kitchens of their clients.

2) Successful players love spending time creating menus, following food trends and interacting with people without neglecting the business side of catering.

3) Start to create a powerful brand right from the start with your logo, company values and unique service that will grow into a valuable asset that allows you to command a premium price for your catering services in the market.

4) Develop systems for every part of your business to streamline day-to-day operations. Analyze the way that you and your staff work and strive to increase productivity.

5) Understand that there are ‘niche’ markets within the catering industry that you would never think of until you really start looking. Top caterers find these untapped opportunities, and carve out a business catering to the specific needs of these groups.

6) Perfect the process of consulting with new clients and learn how to politely up-sell them on some of your more expensive offerings.

7) Realize that you are leaving money on the table if you don’t also up-sell additional event related services to your customers.

8) Learn how to hire, train and organize a small team to assist you with food preparation, delivery, service, and even sales if you want a realistic chance of getting to an income level above $100,000.

9) Don’t neglect traditional advertising methods but also pursue other modern marketing methods such as networking, cross promotions and guerrilla marketing.

10) Successful caterers also recognize the importance of customer referrals. Customers may introduce friends to you because they like your food and services but there are also other ways to get them talking about your company.

To get started on the right track, do as much reading as you can about general small business management and the catering business specifically. Many highly successful caterers have published start up guides and you have a chance to learn from their mistakes instead of making your own and you can benefit from their expert advice and insider tips.

It is possible to make a lot of money in the catering business if you put in the effort. Reaching a level of earnings that will allow you to make a ‘six figure’ salary from your catering business is entirely possible within your first two years in business.

Foodservice and Restaurant Merchandising 101

Visual food merchandising is one of the hottest trends in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry today, which is the fine art of presenting your products in a way that gets your customers to buy, as well as bringing your products to life with eye-catching displays of freshness, color, quality and abundance.

A great food merchandising program paired with cross-merchandising strategies will help to increase your restaurant or foodservice operations’ sales significantly, as well as boost customer satisfaction and return business.

The benefits of eye-catching food merchandising displays and cross- merchandising techniques are immediate. Sales will increase between 15 percent to 300 percent if you have done a proper job with your merchandising program Your staff’s morale will also be raised from the improved surroundings and satisfied customers.

Running a foodservice operation takes much more than just displaying the usual information like the “daily special”. As an operator, you must consider what will lure your customers into your operation in the first place. Here are some basic merchandising rules and tips to follow:

1. Make it look appetizing

You should build your food displays so that customers can see them from all angles of your facility. Use nothing but the freshest ingredients and colorful food items to catch their attention. Display your food items using uniquely shaped plates and dishes with different textures. Use terra cotta and other environmentally conscious colors, and incorporate natural wood and bamboo to create a more modern, clean and sleek image.

For example, the addition of a simple, thick, wooden board placed inside a standard glass display unit for sandwiches emphasizes to customers that the sandwiches have just been freshly made. Without the board, the sandwiches look start and naked, and allows customers to wonder how long they have been sitting there, since a glass and steel display unit tends to evoke a sense of coldness and emptiness. The cutting board helps to add warmth and life to the display unit.

2. Place products on a slant and use color

Food is always displayed better when placed on a slant and not lying flat. Show your customers your products! Tilted European-style wooden racks are a great merchandising tool to display breads, pies, pastries, and other products, creating an inviting display to tempt your customers to buy.

Color is one of the most important factors when dealing with food displays. Many food products tend to come from the brown and beige palettes, so is necessary to brighten up your operation with greens, reds, oranges and yellows, to also create a fresh and healthy look. Consider looking at what items you might already have on hand in your kitchen, pantry and stockrooms that might add mouthwatering color and substance to your display.

3. Use cross-merchandising techniques to use higher sales

For cafeterias and market-style operations, cross-merchandising is an excellent opportunity to upsell by placing the right foods together. Soups, sandwiches and potato chips should be placed in the same area, while coffee and tea should be served right next to desserts. Side orders and salads could be split. For example, small containers of salad could be packaged and placed on ice next to the grill, as well as stationed next to the sandwiches. Also try different varieties of cream cheese next to bagels, or fresh fruit and whipped cream next to cake and ice cream. Coffee and tea is a great partner to bakery items. Sales of beautifully packaged coffee will soar when placed next to bakery items.

4. Use the cash-wrap area

The cash-wrap area is prime real estate for merchandising. Proper merchandising of additional retail products at the cash-wrap area will help you increase average checks. Use your cash-wrap area for last minute sales of coffee, soda, desserts, candies and chocolate bars, and create an irresistible display of goods that customers cannot refuse.

5. Proper signage points the way to increased revenues

Proper signage can help you tell customers what you need to tell them when you are unable to offer them personal attention. It is very important to be clean, concise and to the point when designing the signage for your operation. Make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase food items by providing proper signage that inform your customers about your products so they will buy them. Signage can be displayed in all shapes and sizes, and should be used accordingly. Use branded mini cards to label and price your products, and write short descriptions of the item detailing the ingredients you used or your cooking method. If you insist on handwriting your signs, be sure to make them legible and graphically appealing.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe?

There is nothing like a great sugar cookie recipe. Don’t buy the roll of Pillsbury Dough, you can make a superb cookie that will remind you of the days when Grandma made them.

Grandma used to sit by the fire and drink her tea and Grandpa used to sip his coffee made from his French Press, before it was trendy. I loved seeing them sit there enjoying the day. When we walked in the house there were smells coming from the kitchen you just couldn’t imagine. The sweet smell of warm sugar cookies invaded your senses. You knew today was going to be a treat.

It was a tradition that we enjoyed every year. The kitchen was filled with flour storms and the counters were sticky from Buttercream frosting. We had tin cookie cutters spread all over the table. I liked the boot best, my sister liked the angel.

Grandma had a special way with those cookies and she handed down the recipe to me. I was to teach my kids how to make these wonderful holiday sweets. It wouldn’t be Christmas time without this recipe of Yummy cookies.

I am publishing it because I want you to enjoy the best sugar cookie recipe ever.

Grandma’s Favorite Sugar Cookie

1 cup white sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs beaten

1 tsp cream of tarter

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups flour

½ cup corn oil

Cream the sugars and butter together. Mix the beaten eggs, vanilla and corn oil, in. Add the dry ingredients .Mix all the ingredients well and chill overnight.

Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes….DO NOT OVERCOOK.

We used to make the funniest colors to decorate the cookies, most of them looked inedible. They tasted heavenly, though. We figured if we made them look gross enough, the adults would leave them alone. We were wrong. Everyone knew they were Grandma’s famous sugar cookies from her handed down recipe book. This page was splattered with all sorts of colors. I have that book now. I love making these cookies with my kids.

Grandma’s Favorite Frosting (don’t forget the food coloring)

2 cups of powdered sugar

½ cup butter melted

1 ½ T Milk

1 tsp vanilla

Cream sugar, butter and vanilla. Add a small amount of milk (1 to 2 tablespoons). Beat until fluffy. If frosting is too sweet add a little more milk.

Try it this season. Enjoy your family and brew some wonderful tea or coffee and relax. Take the time to make memories with your family or neighbors or friends.

Pregnancy – Conceiving Tips – Five Foods That Can Kill Your Fertility

Eating the right foods is essential to fertility, but these won’t do any good if you keep on eating foods that damage your chances of pregnancy. Conceiving is a delicate process that involves environmental cues, hormonal balance, and physiology. It’s so easy for the wrong foods to disrupt these events and prevent the union of an egg and a sperm. By avoiding these five foods, you can boost the fertility of yourself and your partner and increase your own chances of a healthy pregnancy too.

Sugar

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are a big no-no for fertility, especially if you are suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). According to the Nurses’ Health Study, the largest study on nutrition and female fertility, women who eat more refined sugar are more likely to suffer from fertility problems. Our body’s glucose levels rise whenever we eat refined carbohydrates or sugar. As the glucose levels rise, the body produces the hormone insulin so the cells can use the glucose for energy. Foods with a low glycemic index allow the body to go through the glucose slowly, but refined sugar (foods with high glycemic index) causes the blood glucose levels to rise too quickly. This makes your insulin levels stretch out too thinly and adds stress to your body. If you keep a regular diet of refined sugar, your body will eventually become insulin resistant. This means that your cells will no longer respond to the insulin produced by your body, skewing the hormonal production required for timely ovulation and interfering with your chances of conceiving. Research shows that up to 70% of women with PCOS are insulin-resistant.

Trans-Fats

Chips and fries may be crispy and satisfying snacks, but they’re also rich in an industrially created fat called trans-fat (trans-fatty acids or partially hydrogenated oils). Trans-fats are found in packaged goods, fried fast food, microwaved popcorn, or vegetable shortening in order to extend their shelf-life. Any commercial good that has “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “shortening” in the ingredients label probably has trans-fats. The Nurses’ Health Study found out that women who ate more trans-fats were suffered from more ovulatory problems than women who did not. In fact, just a 2% increase in trans-fat consumption makes a woman 73% more likely to suffer from ovulation-related infertility. Trans-fats affect fertility by making the body more insulin-resistant and causing inflammation. In men, high trans-fat levels make the membrane of the sperm cell less flexible, decreasing its ability to successfully penetrate an egg cell.

Soy

Reports show that too much soy protein can decrease male and female fertility. A study published in Human Reproduction looked at the sperm samples and soy intake of 99 men with unexplained infertility. Researchers discovered that over half of the men had poor sperm motility and low sperm count. The researchers also observed that the men with higher sperm count and better sperm quality had lower soy intake.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that high soy consumption can decrease the levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and increase menstrual cycle length.

Caffeine

Like most hardworking people, you probably like starting your day with a strong cup of coffee. But you might want to cut back on this and other caffeine-laden drinks. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, women who consume over 400mg of caffeine a day (one eight-ounce cup of coffee has 100-300 mg caffeine) are more likely to be infertile. Caffeine causes the fallopian tubes to tense up and slow down the movement of a fertilized egg towards the uterus. Once the egg finally reaches the uterus, the endometrium may not be healthy enough to receive it.

You can keep your morning cup of coffee and your fertility too; as long as you consume less than 300mg of caffeine a day, you should be fine. Do take note that soda is also laden with caffeine; the Nurses’ Health Study notes that women are 50% more likely to experience ovulation problems if they drink two or more cans of soda a day.

Aspartame and artificial sweeteners

Here’s another reason to avoid soda, especially diet soda: they contain an artificial sweetener called aspartame that affects fertility. According to Pediatrician and Professor Dr Louis Elsas, consuming aspartame before conceiving increases the likelihood of neurological problems in the child. When aspartame enters the intestines, it gets broken down into a chemical called phenylalanine and becomes concentrated in the placenta, causing developmental problems in the growing baby. Dr. Maledon Price of the University of Washington also notes that aspartame destroys the neurons that regulate the release of hormones, causing low levels of the FSH, LH, and gonadotropins. Aspartame is also known to impact sperm production and egg quality.

A Complete Guide For Restaurant Real Estate Investments

Restaurants are a favorite commercial property for many investors because:

  1. Tenants often sign a very long term, e.g. 20 years absolute triple net (NNN) leases. This means, besides the rent, tenants also pay for property taxes, insurance and all maintenance expenses. The only thing the investor has to pay is the mortgage, which in turn offers very predictable cash flow. There are either no or few landlord responsibilities because the tenant is responsible for maintenance. This allows the investor more time to do important thing in life, e.g. retire. All you do is take the rent check to the bank. This is one of the key benefits in investing in a restaurant or single-tenant property.
  2. Whether rich or poor, people need to eat. Americans are eating out more often as they are too busy to cook and cleanup the pots & pans afterwards which often is the worst part! According to the National Restaurant Association, the nation’s restaurant industry currently involves 937,000 restaurants and is expected to reach $537 billion in sales in 2007, compared to just $322 billion in 1997 and $200 billion in 1987 (in current dollars). In 2006, for every dollar Americans spend on foods, 48 cents were spent in restaurants. As long as there is civilization on earth, there will be restaurants and the investor will feel comfortable that the property is always in high demand.
  3. You know your tenants will take very good care of your property because it’s in their best interest to do so. Few customers, if any, want to go to a restaurant that has a filthy bathroom and/or trash in the parking lot.

However, restaurants are not created equal, from an investment viewpoint.

Franchised versus Independent

One often hears that 9 out of 10 new restaurants will fail in the first year; however, this is just an urban myth as there are no conclusive studies on this. There is only a study by Associate Professor of Hospitality, Dr. H.G. Parsa of Ohio State University who tracked new restaurants located in the city Columbus, Ohio during the period from 1996 to 1999 (Note: you should not draw the conclusion that the results are the same everywhere else in the US or during any other time periods.) Dr. Parsa observed that seafood restaurants were the safest ventures and that Mexican restaurants experience the highest rate of failure in Columbus, OH. His study also found 26% of new restaurants closed in the first year in Columbus, OH during 1996 to 1999. Besides economic failure, the reasons for restaurants closing include divorce, poor health, and unwillingness to commit immense time toward operation of the business. Based on this study, it may be safe to predict that the longer the restaurant has been in business, the more likely it will be operating the following year so that the landlord will continue to receive the rent.

For franchised restaurants, a franchisee has to have a certain minimal amount of non-borrowed cash/capital, e.g. $300,000 for McDonald’s, to qualify. The franchisee has to pay a one-time franchisee fee about $30,000 to $50,000. In addition, the franchisee has contribute royalty and advertising fees equal to about 4% and 3% of sales revenue, respectively. In turn, the franchisee receives training on how to set up and operate a proven and successful business without worrying about the marketing part. As a result, a franchised restaurant gets customers as soon as the open sign is put up. Should the franchisee fail to run the business at the location, the franchise may replace the current franchisee with a new one. The king of franchised hamburger restaurants is the fast-food chain McDonald’s with over 32000 locations in 118 countries (about 14,000 in the US) as of 2010. It has $34.2B in sales in 2011 with an average of $2.4M in revenue per US location. McDonald’s currently captures over 50% market share of the $64 billion US hamburger restaurant market. Its sales are up 26% in the last 5 years. Distant behind is Wendy’s (average sales of $1.5M) with $8.5B in sales and 5904 stores. Burger King ranks third (average sales of $1.2M) with $8.4B in sale, 7264 stores and 13% of the hamburger restaurant market share (among all restaurant chains, Subway is ranked number two with $11.4B in sales, 23,850 stores, and Starbucks number 3 with $9.8B in sales and 11,158 stores). McDonald’s success apparently is not the result of how delicious its Big Mac tastes but something else more complex. Per a survey of 28,000 online subscribers of Consumer Report magazine, McDonald’s hamburgers rank last among 18 national and regional fast food chains. It received a score of 5.6 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, behind Jack In the Box (6.3), Burger King (6.3), Wendy’s (6.6), Sonic Drive In (6.6), Carl’s Jr (6.9), Back Yard Burgers (7.6), Five Guys Burgers (7.9), and In-N-Out Burgers (7.9).

Fast-food chains tend to detect new trends faster. For example, they are open as early as 5AM as Americans are increasingly buying their breakfasts earlier. They are also selling more cafe; latte; fruit smoothies to compete with Starbucks and Jumba Juice. You also see more salads on the menu. This gives customers more reasons to stop by at fast-food restaurants and make them more appealing to different customers.

With independent restaurants, it often takes a while to for customers to come around and try the food. These establishments are especially tough in the first 12 months of opening, especially with owners of minimal or no proven track record. So in general, “mom and pop” restaurants are risky investment due to initial weak revenue. If you choose to invest in a non-brand name restaurant, make sure the return is proportional to the risks that you will be taking.

Sometimes it is not easy for you to tell if a restaurant is a brand name or non-brand name. Some restaurant chains only operate, or are popular in a certain region. For example, WhatABurger restaurant chain with over 700 locations in 10 states is a very popular fast-food restaurant chain in Texas and Georgia. However, it is still unknown on the West Coast as of 2012. Brand name chains tend to have a website listing all the locations plus other information. So if you can find a restaurant website from Google or Yahoo you can quickly discern if an unfamiliar name is a brand name or not. You can also obtain basic consumer information about almost any chain restaurants in the US on Wikipedia.

The Ten Fastest-Growing Chains in 2011 with Sales Over $200 Million

According to Technomic, the following is the 10 fastest growing restaurant chains in terms of revenue change from 2010 to 2011:

  1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries with $921M in sales and 32.8% change.
  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill with $2.261B in sales and 23.4% change.
  3. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop with $895M in sales and 21.8% change.
  4. Yard House with $262M in sales and 21.5% change.
  5. Firehouse Subs with $285M in sales and 21.1% change.
  6. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse with $621M in sales and 20.9% change.
  7. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar with $2.045B in sales and 20.1% change.
  8. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers with $206M in sales and 18.2% change.
  9. Noodles & Company with $300M in sales and 14.9% change from.
  10. Wingstop with $382M in sales and 22.1% change.

Lease & Rent Guaranty

The tenants often sign a long term absolute triple net (NNN) lease. This means, besides the base rent, they also pay for all operating expenses: property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses. For investors, the risk of maintenance expenses uncertainty is eliminated and their cash flow is predictable. The tenants may also guarantee the rent with their own or corporate assets. Therefore, in case they have to close down the business, they will continue paying rent for the life of the lease. Below are a few things that you need to know about the lease guaranty:

  1. In general, the stronger the guaranty the lower the return of your investment. The guaranty by McDonald’s Corporation with a strong “A” S&P corporate rating of a public company is much better than a small corporation owned by a franchisee with a few restaurants. Consequently, a restaurant with a McDonald’s corporate lease normally offers low 4.5-5% cap (return of investment in the 1st year of ownership) while McDonald’s with a franchisee guaranty (over 75% of McDonalds restaurants are owned by franchisees) may offer 5-6% cap. So figure out the amount of risks you are willing to take as you won’t get both low risks and high returns in an investment.
  2. Sometimes a multi-location franchise will form a parent company to own all the restaurants. Each restaurant in turn is owned by a single-entity Limited Liabilities Company (LLC) to shield the parent company from liabilities. So the rent guaranty by the single-entity LLC does not mean much since it does not have much assets.
  3. A good, long guaranty does not make a lemon a good car. Similarly, a strong guaranty does not make a lousy restaurant a good investment. It only means the tenant will make every effort to pay you the rent. So don’t judge a property primarily on the guaranty.
  4. The guaranty is good until the corporation that guarantees it declares bankruptcy. At that time, the corporation reorganizes its operations by closing locations with low revenue and keeping the good locations, (i.e. ones with strong sales). So it’s more critical for you to choose a property at a good location. If it happens to have a weak guaranty, (e.g. from a small, private company), you will get double benefits: on time rent payment and high return.
  5. If you happen to invest in a “mom & pop” restaurant, make sure all the principals, e.g. both mom and pop, guarantee the lease with their assets. The guaranty should be reviewed by an attorney to make sure you are well protected.

Location, Location, Location

A lousy restaurant may do well at a good location while those with a good menu may fail at a bad location. A good location will generate strong revenue for the operator and is primarily important to you as an investor. It should have these characteristics:

  1. High traffic volume: this will draw more customers to the restaurant and as a result high revenue. So a restaurant at the entrance to a regional mall or Disney World, a major shopping mall, or colleges is always desirable.
  2. Good visibility & signage: high traffic volume must be accompanied by good visibility from the street. This will minimize advertising expenses and is a constant reminder for diners to come in.
  3. Ease of ingress and egress: a restaurant located on a one-way service road running parallel to a freeway will get a lot of traffic and has great visibility but is not at a great location. It’s hard for potential customers to get back if they miss the entrance. In addition, it’s not possible to make a left turn. On the other hand, the restaurant just off freeway exit is more convenient for customers.
  4. Excellent demographics: a restaurant should do well in an area with a large, growing population and high incomes as it has more people with money to spend. Its business should generate more and more income to pay for increasing higher rents.
  5. Lots of parking spaces: most chained restaurants have their own parking lot to accommodate customers at peak hours. If customer cannot find a parking space within a few minutes, there is a good chance they will skip it and/or won’t come back as often. A typical fast food restaurant will need about 10 to 20 parking spaces per 1000 square feet of space. Fast food restaurants, e.g. McDonald’s will need more parking spaces than sit down restaurants, e.g. Olive Garden.
  6. High sales revenue: the annual gross revenue alone does not tell you much since larger–in term of square footage–restaurant tends to have higher revenue. So the rent to revenue ratio is a better gauge of success. Please refer to rent to revenue ratio in the due diligence section for further discussion.
  7. High barriers to entry: this simply means that it’s not easy to replicate this location nearby for various reasons: the area simply does not have any more developable land, or the master plan does not allow any more construction of commercial properties, or it’s more expensive to build a similar property due to high cost of land and construction materials. For these reasons, the tenant is likely to renew the lease if the business is profitable.

Financing Considerations

In general, the interest rate is a bit higher than average for restaurants due to the fact that they are single-tenant properties. To the lenders, there is a perceived risk because if the restaurant is closed down, you could potentially lose 100% of your income from that restaurant. Lenders also prefer national brand name restaurants. In addition, some lenders will not loan to out-of-state investors especially if the restaurants are located in smaller cities. So it may be a good idea for you to invest in a franchised restaurant in major metro areas, e.g. Atlanta, Dallas. In 2009 it’s quite a challenge to get financing for sit-down restaurant acquisitions, especially for mom and pop and regional restaurants due to the tight credit market. However, things seem to have improved a bit in 2010. If you want to get the best rate and terms for the loan, you should stick to national franchised restaurants in major metros.

When the cap rate is higher than the interest rate of the loan, e.g. cap rate is 7.5% while interest rate is 6.5%, then you should consider borrowing as much as possible. You will get 7.5% return on your down payment plus 1% return for the money you borrow. Hence your total return (cash on cash) will be higher than the cap rate. Additionally, since the inflation in the near future is expected to be higher due to rising costs of fuel, the money which you borrow to finance your purchase will be worth less. So it’s even more beneficial to maximize leverage now.

Due Diligence Investigation

You may want to consider these factors before deciding to go forward with the purchase:

  1. Tenant’s financial information: The restaurant business is labor intensive. The average employee generates only about $55,000 in revenue annually. The cost of goods, e.g. foods and supplies should be around 30-35% of revenue; labor and operating expenses 45-50%; rent about 7-12%. So do review the profits and loss (P&L) statements, if available, with your accountant. In the P&L statement, you may see the acronym EBITDAR. It stands for Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation (of equipment), Amortization (of capital improvement), and Rent. If you don’t see royalty fees in P&L of a franchised restaurant or advertising expenses in the P&L of an independent restaurant, you may want to understand the reason why. Of course, we will want to make sure that the restaurant is profitable after paying the rent. Ideally, you would like to see net profits equal to 10-20% of the gross revenue. In the last few years the economy has taken a beating. As a result, restaurants have experienced a decrease in gross revenue of around 3-4%. This seems to have impacted most, if not all, restaurants everywhere. In addition, it may take a new restaurant several years to reach potential revenue target. So don’t expect new locations to be profitable right away even for chained restaurants.
  2. Tenant’s credit history: if the tenant is a private corporation, you may be able to obtain the tenant’s credit history from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). D&B provides Paydex score, the business equivalent of FICO, i.e. personal credit history score. This score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating better payment performance. A Paydex score of 75 is equivalent to FICO score of 700. So if your tenant has a Paydex score of 80, you are likely to receive the rent checks promptly.
  3. Rent to revenue ratio: this is the ratio of base rent over the annual gross sales of the store. It is a quick way to determine if the restaurant is profitable, i.e. the lower the ratio, the better the location. As a rule of thumb you will want to keep this ratio less than 10% which indicates that the location has strong revenue. If the ratio is less than 7%, the operator will very likely make a lot of money after paying the rent. The rent guaranty is probably not important in this case. However, the rent to revenue ratio is not a precise way to determine if the tenant is making a profit or not. It does not take into account the property taxes expense as part of the rent. Property taxes–computed as a percentage of assessed value–vary from states to states. For example, in California it’s about 1.25% of the assessed value, 3% in Texas, and as high as 10% in Illinois. And so a restaurant with rent to income ratio of 8% could be profitable in one state and yet be losing money in another.
  4. Parking spaces: restaurants tend to need a higher number of parking spaces because most diners tend to stop by within a small time window. You will need at least 8 parking spaces per 1000 Square Feet (SF) of restaurant space. Fast food restaurants may need about 15 to 18 spaces per 1000 SF.
  5. Termination Clause: some of the long term leases give the tenant an option to terminate the lease should there be a fire destroying a certain percentage of the property. Of course, this is not desirable to you if that percentage is too low, e.g. 10%. So make sure you read the lease. You also want to make sure the insurance policy also covers rental income loss for 12-24 months in case the property is damaged by fire or natural disasters.
  6. Price per SF: you should pay about $200 to $500 per SF. In California you have to pay a premium, e.g. $1000 per SF for Starbucks restaurants which are normally sold at very high price per SF. If you pay more than $500 per SF for the restaurant, make sure you have justification for doing so.
  7. Rent per SF: ideally you should invest in a property in which the rent per SF is low, e.g. $2 to $3 per SF per month. This gives you room to raise the rent in the future. Besides, the low rent ensures the tenant’s business is profitable, so he will be around to keep paying the rent. Starbucks tend to pay a premium rent $2 to 4 per SF monthly since they are often located at a premium location with lots of traffic and high visibility. If you plan to invest in a restaurant in which the tenant pays more than $4 per SF monthly, make sure you could justify your decision because it’s hard to make a profit in the restaurant business when the tenant is paying higher rent. Some restaurants may have a percentage clause. This means besides the minimum base rent, the operator also pays you a percentage of his revenue when it reaches a certain threshold.
  8. Rent increase: A restaurant landlord will normally receive either a 2% annual rent increase or a 10% increase every 5 years. As an investor you should prefer 2% annual rent increase because 5 years is a long time to wait for a raise. You will also receive more rent with 2% annual increase than 10% increase every 5 years. Besides, as the rent increases every year so does the value of your investment. The value of restaurant is often based on the rent it generates. If the rent is increased while the market cap remains the same, your investment will appreciate in value. So there is no key advantage for investing in a restaurant in a certain area, e.g. California. It’s more important to choose a restaurant at a great location.
  9. Lease term: in general investors favor long term, e.g. 20 year lease so they don’t have to worry about finding new tenants. During a period with low inflation, e.g. 1% to 2%, this is fine. However, when the inflation is high, e.g. 4%, this means you will technically get less rent if the rent increase is only 2%. So don’t rule out properties with a few years left of the lease as there may be strong upside potential. When the lease expires without options, the tenant may have to pay much higher market rent.
  10. Risks versus Investment Returns: as an investor, you like properties that offer very high return, e.g. 8% to 9% cap rate. And so you may be attracted to a brand new franchised restaurant offered for sale by a developer. In this case, the developer builds the restaurants completely with Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FFEs) for the franchisee based on the franchise specifications. The franchisee signs a 20 years absolute NNN lease paying very generous rent per SF, e.g. $4 to $5 per SF monthly. The new franchisee is willing to do so because he does not need to come up with any cash to open a business. Investors are excited about the high return; however, this may be a very risky investment. The one who is guaranteed to make money is the developer. The franchisee may not be willing to hold on during tough times as he does not have any equity in the property. Should the franchisee’s business fails, you may not be able to find a tenant willing to pay such high rent, and you may end up with a vacant restaurant.
  11. Track records of the operator: the restaurant being run by an operator with 1 or 2 recently-open restaurants will probably be a riskier investment. On the other hand, an operator with 20 years in the business and 30 locations may be more likely to be around next year to pay you the rent.
  12. Trade fixtures: some restaurants are sold with trade fixtures so make sure you document in writing what is included in the sale.
  13. Fast-food versus Sit-down: while fast-food restaurants, e.g. McDonalds do well during the downturn, sit-down family restaurants tend to be more sensitive to the recession due to higher prices and high expenses. These restaurants may experience double-digit drop in year-to-year revenue. As a result, many sit-down restaurants were shut down during the recession. If you consider investing in a sit-down restaurant, you should choose one in an area with high income and large population.

Sale & Lease Back

Sometimes the restaurant operator may sell the real estate part and then lease back the property for a long time, e.g. 20 years. A typical investor would wonder if the operator is in financial trouble so that he has to sell the property to pay for his debts. It may or may not be the case; however, this is a quick and easy way for the restaurant operator to get cash out of the equities for good reason: business expansion. Of course, the operator could refinance the property with cash out but that may not be the best option because:

  1. He cannot maximize the cash out as lenders often lend only 65% of the property value in a refinance situation.
  2. The loan will show as long term debt in the balance sheet which is often not viewed in a positive light.
  3. The interest rates may not be as favorable if the restaurant operator does not have a strong balance sheet.
  4. He may not be able to find any lenders due to the tight credit market.

You will often see 2 different cash out strategies when you look at the rent paid by the restaurant operator:

  1. Conservative market rent: the operator wants to make sure he pays a low rent so his restaurant business has a good chance of being profitable. He also offers conservative cap rate to investors, e.g. 7% cap. As a result, his cash out amount is small to moderate. This may be a low risk investment for an investor because the tenant is more likely to be able to afford the rent.
  2. Significantly higher than market rent: the operator wants to maximize his cash out by pricing the property much higher than its market value, e.g. $2M for a $1M property. Investors are sometimes offered high cap rate, e.g. 10%. The operator may pay $5 of rent per square foot in an area where the rent for comparable properties is $3 per square foot. As a result, the restaurant business at this location may suffer a loss due to higher rents. However, the operator gets as much money as possible. This property could be very risky for you. If the tenant’s business does not make it and he declares bankruptcy, you will have to offer lower rent to another tenant to lease your building.

Ground Lease

Occasionally you see a restaurant on ground lease for sale. The term ground lease may be confusing as it could mean

  1. You buy the building and lease the land owned by another investor on a long-term, e.g. 50 years, ground lease.
  2. You buy the land in which the tenant owns the building. This is the most likely scenario. The tenant builds the restaurant with its own money and then typically signs a 20 years NNN lease to lease the lot. If the tenant does not renew the lease then the building is reverted to the landowner. The cap rate is often 1% lower, e.g. 6 to 7.25 percent, compared to restaurants in which you buy both land and building.

Since the tenant has to invest a substantial amount of money (whether its own or borrowed funds) for the construction of the building, it has to be double sure that this is the right location for its business. In addition, should the tenant fail to make the rent payment or fail to renew the lease, the building with substantial value will revert to you as the landowner. So the tenant will lose a lot more, both business and building, if it does not fulfill its obligation. And thus it thinks twice about not sending in the rent checks. In that sense, this is a bit safer investment than a restaurant which you own both the land and improvements. Besides the lower cap rate, the major drawbacks for ground lease are

  1. There are no tax write-offs as the IRS does not allow you to depreciate its land value. So your tax liabilities are higher. The tenants, on the other hand, can depreciate 100% the value of the buildings and equipments to offset the profits from the business.
  2. If the property is damaged by fire or natural disasters, e.g. tornados, some leases may allow the tenants to collect insurance proceeds and terminate the lease without rebuilding the properties in the last few years of the lease. Unfortunately, this author is not aware of any insurance companies that would sell fire insurance to you since you don’t own the building. So the risk is substantial as you may end up owning a very expensive vacant lot with no income and a huge property taxes bill.
  3. Some of the leases allow the tenants not having to make any structure, e.g. roof, repairs in the last few years of the lease. This may require investors to spend money on deferred maintenance expenses and thus will have negative impact on the cash flow of the property.

Sesame Oil Hair Recipes To Grow Hair Long Fast Naturally

Recently I was just as delighted as a lady who shared with me how she found out sesame oil and water worked great to restore the health of her scalp and hair. Consistently using sesame oil for her scalp massages and to apply on her hair has stopped her scalp from itching. Since then, her hair has become less dry and fizzy which makes her really happy.

It is indeed good news from her and I am as delighted to hear that she found that sesame oil does wonders for her scalp and hair. Incidentally, sesame oil is something I also use occasionally for especially my scalp massages.

In fact, I use a variety of oils and it all really depends on how I feel or what recipe I feel like doing during a certain period of time, like for a couple of weeks. I ‘spontaneously schedule’ and rotate my hair recipes while exploring new stuff or new ways to mix and match the ingredients I know work to grow hair long fast.

I will share some sesame oil recipes to grow hair long fast. However, if you wish to give sesame oil a try, as always, you need to first check with your doctor for any allergies – especially if it is something new to you. I do know of a few friends who are allergic to sesame, as some are allergic to nuts.

Once you are ready, here are some ways to use this simple and cheap oil.

Sesame Oil Hair Spray

This is the simplest recipe. Put 2-3 drops of sesame oil and some water into a handy and small pump or spray bottle that you can with you. Before use, just give this mixture a good shake to mix well. Then spray or squirt some on your hands to apply to your hair ends. Well, now you have a handy little bottle of hair spray or hair moisturizer to use throughout your day as and when you need.

Hair sprays are the easiest to make and can be very handy especially when I know I need to be outdoors like in the sun, in the park, on the beach, etc. After a swim and after I wash my hair, using just a little of this natural spray does wonders to moisture dry hair.

Sesame Oil Scalp Massage

Follow these 6 steps for a-feel-good sesame oil and scalp massage:

Step 1 – Comb your hair. Wash your hair clean and dab dry.

Step 2 – Apply sesame oil directly on to your scalp using your fingertips. Do not apply on to your hair ends. Now, massage your scalp for some at least 5-10 minutes. Get the oil to penetrate into your scalp skin or pores.

Step 3 – For dry, coarse, brittle or fizzy hair, apply some sesame oil on to your hair ends with the palm of your hands. Glide them evenly onto your hair or use a comb.

Step 4 – Leave on for 30 minutes. If you feel you want to wrap your hair up in a warm towel, this is great too, especially for dry textured, fizzy or coarse hair.

Step 5 – Otherwise, you may leave this on overnight. Just remember to use a cloth or towel to cover your pillow. Wash this off when you wake up the next day. Otherwise, you may also skip this step and move on to Step 6.

Step 6 – Wash and rinse your hair with mild shampoo. Your hair is clean. There is no need to wash until it is too dry and ‘squeaky clean’. It is alright if your hair feels ‘moist’. Otherwise, if it feels too dry, especially for dry textured hair, you may want to spray some moist to it later. Another way is to add honey to your mild shampoo as a conditioner.

Sesame Oil Hair Conditioning Warm Treatment

This is not something you need to do every day as this takes more time to do. For dry, coarse, brittle and hair with split ends do this routine once or twice a week, for a good start. Then you may lessen the number of times depending on the condition of your scalp and hair.

When you are ready, here are 6 simple steps to follow:

Step 1 – Comb your hair. Wash your hair and dab dry.

Step 2 – Put sesame oil in a small flat-like dish. Place this dish on a mug of steaming hot water to warm the oil.

Step 3 – Apply warm sesame oil on to your scalp lines or skin – again, not on your hair, yet. Take your time to do your scalp massage really well.

Step 4 – Apply or ‘glide’ sesame oil evenly on your hair, especially hair ends. Use a comb to do this evenly.

Step 5 – Wrap a hot towel over your hair. Leave your hair wrapped for 30 minutes to 1 hour – this really depends on your own convenience and time.

Step 6 – Remove towel, wash and rinse hair with a good mild shampoo.

Take your time to have fun, play around and fine tune your recipes to best suit you or suit your scalp and hair condition.

I always have a fun time exploring my ‘grow hair long fast’ recipes and I hope you find this information useful and have fun exploring too!

The Importance of Vending Machines

The availability of vending machines is very important because many people depend on them to access products conveniently. They are normally used to dispense candy, drinks, food and other consumables that do not require a sales person’s presence. These machines cater for the needs of consumers whenever they need them. Considering the pace at which the world is working in today, it is important to have fast-paced machines that dispense what consumers need. These types of machines are preferred by many traders because of the many benefits they have.

· Increase of sources of income

A vending machine helps the organization to increase its sources of income. In light of the fact that people are increasingly becoming busier, there has been a rising demand for the fast foods. Therefore, businesses are looking for ways of meeting this demand by placing machines in various locations. This has gone a long way in boosting the income of businesses. Organizations are on the lookout for reliable suppliers of vending machines that can be positioned in high traffic areas.

· Saves time

Vending machines allow consumers to access their preferred products while on the go. This helps to save them time. The machine can be positioned in a location where there are no cafeterias in the vicinity. This makes it possible for people to access their favorite products such as fast food during their leisure or work. Therefore, consumers do not have to take long journeys to find products because the machines are often strategically positioned to cater for their needs.

· Saves money

Businesses have a lot to gain from vending machines. These machines help them save a substantial amount of money in the form of labor cost that is often required to make their products available to consumers. The machines play an important role in dispensing products and collecting money from the consumers within good time. Businesses have gone out of their way to install machines that accept different types of payments including credit cards. This makes it possible for more consumers to make their purchases.

Innovative businesses are looking for ways of taking advantage of these machines. Vending business is popular in educational institutions. The machines make it possible for students to access drinks and snacks conveniently and at competitive rates. The school can boost its revenue by installing machines in strategic locations within the school compound. To ensure the best results, it is important to ensure healthy nutritious foods are supplied to students using the machines.