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.”

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

Show 369, April 18, 2020: Eater L.A.’s Senior Editor, Farley Elliott

Farley Elliott at the KLAA StudiosFarley Elliott is the always well-informed Senior Editor of Eater LA, covering the daily restaurant news beat in greater Los Angeles. His work appears nationally in the online, print, and digital video space. He’s also the guy from that Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos video.

Additionally Farley is the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks, a book about the long, winding saga of street food in Los Angeles. Find him all over the internet at @overoverunder.

Farley joins us to discuss how he is covering the restaurant business during the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis (with Stay at Home) and graciously shares some insider insights on how restaurants are coping and also still generously giving back to their communities.

Play

Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel of The Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with 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. Of course, the safety and well-being of restaurant employees and guests comes first. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

We’re all in a precarious financial squeeze right now not knowing how long “safely at home” will continue. If you have the resources please keep in mind small, independent restaurants are the backbone of the economy. Chefs & restaurateurs are the stalwarts of their communities. If you can possibly order one (or more) takeout/deliver meals a week from your favorite restaurant it’s a help. It keeps their hard-working & stressed employees going. Pick-up is best if it works for you because the high 3rd party delivery fees really cut into the vitally needed revenue for the restaurant.

Play

Show 361, February 22, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment where we respond to listeners’ inquiries. Cashless restaurants are around but don’t seem to be going momentum locally. Is it hospitable to refuse cash?

We’re also reeling-in what bonus ingredients go into making the ultimate Tuna Melt. Does lettuce really have any place in this sandwich?

Play

Show 355, January 11, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group joins us from the road with another informative “Ask the Chef” segment. Where is the restaurant business headed in the new decade?

Is fine dining in transition? Consumers want the convenience of delivery yet 3rd party delivery entities are having a rough go of it. Is there a business model that works? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Play

Show 255, January 6, 2018: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew and William GruelOur always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

Where is fine-dining headed? Where is the labor pool of tomorrow coming from? Is the restaurant business over-seated?

This is Part 3 of his spirited conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

Play

Show 66, March 22, 2014: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is back with us to talk beef. We’ll talk about wet and dry aging and the cuts of steak. We’ll also weigh-in on whether having the bone-in on a steak adds more flavor once it’s cooked.

Play