Show 407, January 9, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the on-going, grass-roots, 86 The Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $130,000 (of the $280,000 raised thus far) in small, vitally needed grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels.

Chef Andrew also shares his carefully considered, multi-point plan to bolster the fate of struggling restaurants right now. Government assistance, at all levels, is a necessary part of bringing restaurants back. It’s very late…What’s in store for restaurants and dining in 2021? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 396, October 24, 2020: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part One

Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“FULL COMP was a selfish endeavor. I was lost and needed guidance. I’ve used the show as a platform to reach out to the folks I’ve looked up to my entire career, hoping their wisdom could help us chart a new path forward,” says Kopel.

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

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Show 396, October 24, 2020: Restaurateur and FULL COMP Podcast Host Josh Kopel Part Two

Josh Kopel of Full Comp Media“Restaurateur, Tech Entrepreneur and Host Josh Kopel has just launched Season 2 of the FULL COMP podcast. The restaurant industry is staring down the barrel of a 60% permanent closure rate due to COVID-19 and Kopel, himself being a casualty, decided it was time to help fix what’s broken. FULL COMP is a weekly show exploring the past and future of the hospitality industry. Provocative and actionable, the show aims to ask the tough questions, supplying listeners with the tools and resources needed to thrive post-pandemic.”

“As Host of FULL COMP, Josh Kopel challenges conventional wisdom by hosting both hospitality professionals and thought leaders from outside of the industry while tackling today’s toughest topics. Andrew Zimmern (Surviving the Pandemic), Nina Compton (The Benefits of Community Building), Jet Tila (Becoming a Brand), Joe Sasto (Charting a New Path Forward), Alex Day of Death & Co. (Redefining Cocktail Culture), David Meltzer (Set Yourself Up for Success), Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University (The Future of Restaurants), and Nyesha Arrington (Breaking the Rules for a Better Life) are just some of the most notable guests from FULL COMP SEASON 1, offering a new perspective on an old business.”

“Kopel, now serving up SEASON 2 of FULL COMP, hits harder and goes deeper. Together with some of the brightest minds from within and outside of hospitality, Kopel works to highlight the issues we need to tackle and work towards long-term solutions. FULL COMP SEASON 2 has a power-packed lineup including Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue), Sam Nazarian (SBE), Seth Godin (Marketing Genius), Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jeremiah Tower (Chez Panisse, Stars), Kat Cole (COO, Focus Brands), Will Guidara (IRC), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays), and many more! States Kopel, “I think Che Guevara said it best ‘A revolution is not an apple that falls when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall.’ The restaurant industry needs a revolution and now is the time.””

“The provocative ideas presented on the show have morphed into action with the release of the FULL COMP Industry Guide to Restructuring. This guide, which is available for free on Kopel’s website, is the culmination of the efforts of some of the brightest minds in the restaurant industry. Strategic partners included Oyster Sunday, Cornell University, Death & Co., Yelp and Jon Taffer, as well as countless insights provided by guests of the show, the result being an informative and actionable resource guide.”

“ When asked about the inspiration for the guide, Kopel responded, “As an independent restaurant owner, I had no interest in reinventing the wheel. I wanted to know what the smartest folks in our industry were going to do, and I’d follow suit. That’s why I started the podcast, but after months of doing the show, I still lacked a cohesive plan to reopen. So, I reached out to the innovators, frontrunners and the folks that were already open, to determine what was working and what wasn’t. This guide is the result of those efforts. One hundred percent of the credit for this project goes to the amazing people and companies that provided this information. This is my path forward. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen out there.””

Restaurateur Josh Kopel joins us.

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Show 393, October 3, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part One

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

Ghost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. Domino’s was perhaps the first major player in this space with their smaller footprint, delivery only units. It also includes chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. Where is this all going? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 393, October 3, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef” Part Two

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaGhost Kitchens in their various forms are seemingly on the fast growth track. Domino’s was perhaps the first major player in this space with their smaller footprint, delivery only units. It also includes chain restaurants with extra kitchen space that are preparing unaffiliated, branded food items To-Go and for delivery. How do you attract a viable following to a restaurant brand that only exists virtually? Where is this all going? We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef” and continue our insightful conversation with Chef Andrew Gruel.

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Show 391, September 19, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

The consensus is that fine dining will look a bit different once the Covid 19 crisis finally subsides and there is a safe & proven vaccine readily available to all Americans. We all anticipate other significant changes in eating out at all levels of price and service. We get Chef Andrew’s informed and insightful thoughts on the future.

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Show 377, June 13, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly starting to come back but with a lot of new rules. Patio or outside seating is highly desirable. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

All levels of government have sincerely pledged to support struggling (but essential) small businesses as we start to gradually recover from the COVID 19 crisis. Chef Andrew has a startling personal example of local bureaucratic fumbling at its best. We’re also starting to see a COVID 19 surcharge on select restaurant checks to make a contribution to increased operating costs. There is now talk in Congress about advancing the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020. As always Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

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Show 373, May 16, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out / Delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

On the surface 3rd party delivery services (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates) seem really convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. Chef Andrew suggests tipping the delivery driver in cash upon receipt of the food so you’re sure that person gets the full gratuity. We’ll again, “Ask the Chef.”

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

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Show 372, May 9, 2020: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part One

Jean Hagan of Krost CPAs and ConsultantsJean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Restaurant Operations and Management Strategies at the Culinary Institute of America.”

“As discussions about the success of flattening the curve of the pandemic are encouraging everyone that we will get through this eventually, now the page turns to how do we get reopened and get our businesses back up and operating. The first thing everyone has to do is recognize that the restaurant industry after this pandemic is not going to be anywhere close to what we left off in March. Everything is going to be different for a very long time, possibly forever. The restaurant industry is a perfect filter to see all other businesses through. We are a true indicator of the overall economy, consumer confidence, and disposable income figures.” – Jean Hagan

We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean and receive sound advice on how restaurants should gradually prepare for the return of table service.

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Show 372, May 9, 2020: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part Two

Jean Hagan of Krost CPAs and ConsultantsJean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Restaurant Operations and Management Strategies at the Culinary Institute of America.

“The general assumption is that the restaurant industry will not get back to full capacity until a year from now. Assuming that travel will be back to normal by December 2020, we could assume that restaurants will be about 80% of their previous years’ sales by that time. Travel transportation has to get back to normal and travel reservations have to catch up as well; late December 2020 seems like a realistic goal to be at 80% of 2019 sales. We also do not know what the restrictions of the various city and county health departments will be for relaunching, but it is not a stretch to assume that they will want the six feet of separation, meaning that your capacity will be reduced.” – Jean Hagan

We continue our conversation with Jean Hagan with a look toward the future of dining out and what restaurants can do now to be better prepared.

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