Why food presentation is so important

It can make or break a customer’s opinion on their meal. A chef’s job is to ensure that customers are happy with what they eat, and that starts with making sure that food looks appetizing. The way in which chefs present their food can determine whether or not customers will return to the restaurant again in the future.

Chefs, whether they are professionals wearing their fancy chef coats and waist aprons for women and men, or trainees in cook shirts and bib aprons, can express their creativity in the way they both prepare and present food, and while the taste is important for a customer, so is the way that the plate looks. Aesthetics are important for many customers, so it’s crucial that chefs put as much effort into food presentation as they do.

A restaurant is only as good as their last meal and to keep customers coming back time after time, the chef needs to show off great food. Food presentation plays a big role in keeping loyal customers returning because it gives them something nice to look at while eating. While taste takes priority over aesthetics when serving food, if the appearance doesn’t match up with what tastes delicious then people may not be satisfied with their meal regardless of how well-prepared it was. Customers want value for money spent on an expensive meal out, but equally don’t like wasting tasty ingredients by sending them back due to poor preparation or presentation. Presentation has a way to making the dish appealing to the eye, which makes it more appealing to eat.

People are less likely to return if they have a bad experience due to food presentation, so this means that restaurants need to make sure their chefs can prepare aesthetically pleasing dishes for customers in order to keep them coming back again and again. In addition, a beautiful looking dish means the customer will share photos of it on their social media, promoting the restaurant among their friends and family, creating free publicity for the establishment.

Market Bulls Gaining a More Audible Voice

The market lost over 6% of its value during the first half of 2010, and the “I told you so” bears have been roaring, especially since the incredibly volatile month of May. The European debt crisis as well as the American budget deficit has given the bears fodder without much in the way of resistance, and it is easy to make the bear argument when every week it seems the market has a day where is gets absolutely crushed. The seven day losing streak from June 24 to July 2 had the bears dancing on the grave of the 2010 edition of Mr. Market.The arguments made by the bears have validity; if Europe is unable to stabilize their financial situation, if China stunts their economic growth for fear of a popped bubble, if the United States cannot rein its over 9% unemployment rate, the market’s reaction will most likely be one of depressed mood. Fear causes money to withdraw from the market, and all the above factors are anxiety provoking.It’s is admittedly easy for the bulls to emerge from under their desks after the market jump of 5.3% the week of July 6-9, which marked the best weekly return in a year. But there have been a few lone wolves who have been predicting resurgence with reasons to support their argument which are hard to counter. Notable experts such as James Paulson, Doug Kass, and James Altucher are not only bullish about the future, but are in fact positive about the last two quarters of this year.Atlucher’s optimism is more centered around America in general rather than the stock market specifically. Although it is difficult to tell someone who has been unable to find employment over the past year that things are better, he correctly asserts that the stimulus package has accomplished much in the way that is was supposed to, most notably in its effect of stabilizing our banking system.Paulson and Kass also cite the economic growth of the United States and the improved health of corporations. This has led to an underlying base of strong fundamentals that are being concealed as the above stated fear factors dominate headlines and resonate in the psyche of investors.Paulson and Kass have the bears on this one. The markets composite price to earnings ratio of 11 is not only far lower than the historical average of 15, but in times of low interest rates, this P/E ratio is absurd. When the market creates a big wave and either takes share prices up for the surf or dunks them underwater, this is referred to as a “correction”. It seems that if some global financial stabilization coupled with some more encouraging news on the home front occurs, that fundamentals would then dictate market direction. A return of optimism, or at least a calmer collective nerve could trigger a prosperous correction upward.Who will end up saying “I told you so” at the conclusion of 2010? We will have to wait for that answer, but I do believe that even if the bears resume dancing, that the contentions of Atlucher, Paulson, and Kass will be ultimately proven correct, perhaps just in the context of a longer time frame.

Feel Good About Using Direct Mail Marketing and Still Be Eco-Friendly

Direct mail marketing has been around for a long time. The idea that a company can market one on one keeps it a popular form of advertising. It is also an effective means of contact for small businesses in particular. With this being the age of “going green” it is still possible to use this marketing tool and feel good about it.Some people think that direct mail is a complete waste of our natural resources and causes the destruction our forest and many other natural resources. Did you know that mail is made from a renewable resource? The vast majority of paper produced in America today comes from trees grown for that specific purpose. The forest industry ensures that the number of trees each year is increasing, so trees are not a depleting resource. In fact, forest land in the United States has increased by 5.3 million acres in the past three decades.Another interesting fact: studies show more than 70% of Americans shop direct. Direct mail is therefore a green way to shop. If Americans replaced two trips to the mall each year with shopping by catalog, we’d reduce our number of miles driven by 3.3 billion–a 3 billion pound reduction in carbon dioxide and a savings of $650 million on gas alone.The production of household advertising mail consumes only 0.19% of the energy used in the United States. That number is total energy used, from recycling materials to the cost to print. Those are some spectacular numbers.Did you know that mail represents only 2.4% of America’s municipal waste stream?Want an even “greener” direct marketing idea? If you use a direct mail company that recycles left over material for your direct mail marketing that can make a bigger impact on waste production. For those companies that have the ability, try incorporating web-to-print advertising. By printing material as it is needed there is zero waste involved.When it comes to the advantages of using direct mail marketing as part of a well rounded campaign, here is a fact to remember. Direct mail is critical to the economic well-being of communities, businesses and charities throughout the United States. In 2007 it represented more than $686 billion in sales, supporting jobs at more than 300,000 small businesses across the country. With small businesses being the backbone of most local economies that says a lot.Non-profit organizations raised nearly $200 billion from generous donors through direct mail in 2007. Even though the amount raised per person by direct mail marketing is smaller, the total amounts are higher than by any other means. Imagine how many social programs that help those in need would shutter their doors without direct mail marketing?Finally, did you know that more than 80% of U.S. households read some or all of their advertising mail? What other type of marketing tool can reach a consumer with that kind of coverage?
Not bad for a time tested marketing method.The next time you wonder why your business should consider direct mail marketing as part of your advertising campaign, do it. You might end up being pleasantly surprised.