Taming the Rising Cost of Insura

Document Sample
Taming the Rising Cost of Insura Powered By Docstoc
					           JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004

Taming the Rising
 Cost of Insurance                 Page 5

             Add to Your
     “Take” With Takeout
                                   Page 7

    Cutting Cleaning Costs
     Without Cutting Back
                 on Clean
                              Page 10
        Restaurant & Hospitality Association
                  of Indiana (RHAI)
    Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association (IH&LA)

           John Livengood
           President & CEO

             Debra Scott
             Executive VP
                                                           David Gayes
                                                    Director of Communications

                                                          Carol Weissert
                                                         Executive Director
             Teresa Koch                               Indiana Hospitality &
        IHLA & RHAI Director of                         Tourism Foundation

         Conventions & Events
                                                      Katherine Livengood
            Patrick Tamm                           IHLA Reservations Coordinator
          Vice President of
         Governmental Affairs                            Lesly Livengood
                                                      Administrative Assistant
            Tom Johnson
               Controller                               Stephanie Higgins
                                                      Administrative Assistant
            Diana Shapiro
 Membership Development Manager

 Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana
                                                                                                    3 From the Top
                       Board of Directors
            Jeff Nickerson
                                                            Brad Cohen
                                                          Arni’s, Lafayette
                                                                                                       IH&LA Chairman Jeffrey Brown and
      Honkers Family Restaurant,
             South Bend                                  Jim Cunningham
                                                      Maple Corner, Covington
                                                                                                       RHAI Chairman Jeff Nickerson
             Wes Stouder
           Vice Chairman,                                   Lennie Dare
   Penguin Point Franchise, Warsaw              One World Enterprises, Bloomington
                                                                                                    4 Building the Foundation
              Jay Snyder                                     Tim Flick
              Treasurer                            Mill House Restaurant, Jasper
      Hollyhock Hill, Indianapolis
             Russ Adams
                                                            John Frenz
                                                                                                    4 Calendar of Events
             NRA Director,                           Montana Mike’s, Vincennes

       Strongbow Inn, Valparaiso

            Sam Anderson
                                                             Bob Gatto
                                                    Texas Roadhouse, Anderson                       5 Cover Feature Taming the Rising
                                                           Matt Higgins
   Sam’s Food & Spirits, New Albany

            Nancy Adams
                                                Tumbleweeds Grill & Bar, New Albany                   Cost of Insurance
       Strongbow Inn, Valparaiso                             Pat Hurrle
                                                National Wine & Spirits, Indianapolis
              Rex Barnes
        Nick’s English Hut Inc.,                            Craig Huse                              7 Feature Add to Your “Take”
             Bloomington                         St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis

              Doug Owen                                   Ray Kavanaugh                               with Takeout
         Gordon Food Service,                                 Ex-Officio
             Indianapolis                       Dept. of Hospitality & Tourism Mgmt.,

             Tom Godfrey
           Stanz Foodservice
                                                      Purdue U., West Lafayette

                                                         Mark McDonnell
                                                                                                    9 Across the State
                                                      LaSalle Grill, South Bend
             Dan Bellman
   Sysco Food Services, Indianapolis                      Brent Reasner
                                                   Jim Dandy Restaurants, Tipton                   10 Feature Cutting Cleaning Costs
            John Benjamin
                                                          John Rodriguez
Outback Steakhouse Inc., Indianapolis

             Wendell Bias
                                                  The Red Geranium, New Harmony                       Without Cutting Back on Clean
      J’s Restaurants Inc., Liberty                       Sue Schneider
                                                                                                   12 Government Brief
                                                  Something Different, Indianapolis
            Doug Brucker
    Brucker Enterprises Inc., Marion                      John Wilkerson
                                              Cash Register Systems Inc., Indianapolis
            Mel Brutsman
       Sarge Oak, West Lafayette

             Tom Caccavo
                                                            Scott Wise
                                                     Scotty’s Brew Pub, Muncie                     12 In the News
  Crystal Food Services, Indianapolis                       John Xenos
                                                  Monarch Beverage, Indianapolis
            Tom Casaburo
      Casa D’Angelo, Fort Wayne                            Hal Yeagy Jr.                           13 On the Plate Middlebury’s Das
                                                  Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis
                                                                                                      Dutchman Essenhaus
            Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association
                       Board of Directors                                                          13 Under Covers
            Jeffrey Brown                              Karen Hirsh-Cooper
              Chairman                         Homewood Suites Lafayette, Lafayette
                                                                                                      French Lick Springs Resort & Spa

   Schahet Hotels, Inc., Indianapolis
                                                           Rose Jackson
              T.J. Hrycak                               Comfort Inn Kokomo,
              Vice Chairman
    T.C. & J. Hospitality, Logansport

                                                          Ray Kavanaugh
                                                                                                   14 IH&LA Membership Application
          Thomas Simmons                                    Ex officio
          Secretary/Treasurer                      Purdue University, HTM Dept.,
        Indiana Memorial Union,
                                                          West Lafayette
                                                                                                   15 RHAI Membership Application
                                                            Phyliss Kuhl
         Jim Gurzynski, CHA                       Pittenger Student Center, Muncie

                                                                                                   16 Marketing Tips “Cubanizing
              AHLA Director
    Holiday Inn Select No.-Pyramids,                       Kevin Markey
               Indianapolis                               Allied Director
                                              Markey's Audio Visual, Inc., Indianapolis
              Gary Miller
            Past Chairman                                  Dean Morgan                                Your Restaurant
   Indiana State Parks & Reservoirs,                     Focus Enterprises,
              Indianapolis                                   Valparaiso

           William Stanton
            GIHLA President
                                                          Letitia Moscrip
                                                        The Canterbury Hotel,
                                                                                                   17 Supplier Spotlight SYSCO Food
        The Westin, Indianapolis                            Indianapolis

              Kelly Bailey                               Pete Nosek, CHA
                                                                                                      Services Indianapolis
    Brickyard Crossing Resort & Inn,                      Potawatomi Inn,
              Indianapolis                                    Angola

     George Brinkmoeller, CHA
   Sherman House Restaurant & Inn,
                                                           Andy Rogers
                                                 Brown County Restaurants & Inns,
                                                                                                   18 New Member Spotlight

          Bill Burdine, CHA

                                                            Dave Sibley
                                                                                                      Circle City Pizza
 Holiday Inn Terre Haute, Terre Haute                   Marriott, Indianapolis

            Tim Dora, CHA
Dora Brothers Hospitality Corp., Fishers
                                                          David Waymire
                                                     Holiday Inn Fort Wayne NW,                    18 Meet Our New Members
                                                              Fort Wayne
          David Dunn, CHA
   Dunn Hospitality Group, Evansville

            Joseph Frasca
                                                       Maianna Weinzapfel
                                                 Indiana Tourism Office, Indianapolis              19 At Your Service RHAI and IH&LA
Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, Merrillville                 Karla Yeager
                                                                                                      President and CEO John Livengood

                                                              Days Inn,
         David Gielczyk, CHA                                 Sellersburg
Holiday Inn Michigan City, Michigan City

Indiana Restaurant & Lodging News
          John Livengood                             Tammy Nordin-Garcia
               Publisher                                    Art Director
             Jeff Owens                                    Jim Attinger
           Managing Editor                                Sales Manager
             Tom Tuerff                       Sanford Brown, Joel Cohen, John
            Content Editor                   Faifar, Edward F. O’Donnell Jr., Esq.,
                                             Adam Rane, Tom Tuerff, Frank Turco
                                                        Contributing Writers

                                                                                                          INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 2
Websites, HSIA & E-commerce                                                               An Interesting Year
                             t has become increasingly important over the past year to

                       I     really understand the profound effects that websites,
                             HSIA and e-commerce distribution have on our business,
                         and I would like to share some of my observations with you.
                                                                                                                        ew Year’s greetings to
                                                                                                                        all of you! I hope you
                                                                                                                        had a great holiday
                                                                                                                  season. This is the time of
                               The Internet has brought new meaning to the term                                   year when many of us usual-
                         “globalization.” A small mom-and-pop business on the cor-                                ly take some time to review
                         ner can now become an organization doing business all                                    the previous year and make
                         over the world. The Internet has become a primary source                                 plans or resolutions for the
                         for communication and reference information; websites                                    upcoming year. It is a time
                         have become the fastest growing and least expensive hotel                                of the year that I look for-
                         -booking channel. Today’s biggest group of users who book                                ward to. I can usually count
Jeffrey Brown,           through the Internet is leisure travelers. In the not-too-dis-                           on four to six weeks while
                         tant future, corporate travelers will also embrace the ease       Jeff Nickerson,
Schahet Hotels,                                                                                                   business is slow to create a
                                                                                           Honkers Family
IH&LA Chairman offered by the Internet, dramatically increasing that book-                                        master plan of goals I would
                         ing channel’s prevalence even further. Which brings me to         Restaurant,            like to accomplish during
of the Board             the point: How important are your websites? Have you tried        RHAI Chairman of the year. What do I need to
                         searching for your hotel, only to find its web link buried on     the Board              do to improve my business?
 the fourth page of search results?                                                                               What menu improvements
      It goes without saying that not having a website or having incorrect informa-       need to be made? Which foodservice guru’s con-
 tion on your website can hurt your business. The biggest challenge comes not with        ference will I attend that will be of the most bene-
 what is on the website, but with how it is displayed and where it can be found.          fit? What restaurants do I need to spy on to find
 Preferably, you would like your hotel to appear on the first or second page of           out what makes them so successful? Which books
 search engine results. Expedia, Travelocity and are the three biggest         do I need to read to inspire me to do a better job?
 Internet booking channels today. These sites use Sabre, Pegasus and the Extranet         What can I do to make things better for my staff?
 as their inventory sources. E-commerce is third-party distribution. There are many       All these questions and more go through my
 portals out there that deliver rooms to your hotel; just because you didn’t sign up      thought process at this time of year. It is a time of
 for them doesn’t mean you are not included on their sites. Trying to manage all this     great hope (at least until the year’s first crisis hits).
 can become a nightmare.                                                                      2004 will be a very interesting year, with some
      Most franchisors now require that their hotels provide high-speed Internet
                                                                                          important political races being decided. The
 access for guests. Just a few years ago, there were companies putting in systems
 at little or no cost. Most, due to lack of use, went bankrupt. Demand for this serv-     Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana
 ice changed when people started using high-speed access in the work place and            and the National Restaurant Association work
 at home. Our guests expect services in our hotels that they already have and use         extremely hard to make sure our story is told and
 every day. Should your HSIA be wireless, wired or both? T-1 or DSL? Is continu-          that your interests are heard. Your continued sup-
 ous service necessary? How secure is Internet access in your hotel?                      port is necessary and is very much appreciated.
       Technology today can be very baffling. It changes often and rapidly. Many of           I wish all of you the very best in the upcoming
 us don’t have the resources to have an IT department, and many that do still have        year. #
 no real understanding of how it all works. The Internet is and will continue to be
 an important part of our business. We need to know how or where we can get help
 to better maneuver through this jungle.
       The IH&LA recognizes this. That is why we have planned workshops to famil-
 iarize you with third-party distribution, websites and high speed Internet access.
 They are to be held as part of the Hoosier Hospitality Conference, March 17 and
 18, 2003, in Indianapolis. I strongly urge you to plan to attend. The conference is
 well worth your time and money. #
                                                                                                                          JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 3
Building the
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION                                                      through your business? This might take a bit more of your time, but
    We have a New Year’s resolution for you—or a great way to              you’d be a hero to these young people and their teachers.
redeem yourself if you’ve already made and broken one of your own!             Many of you make the same resolution every year—to simplify and
    As our ProStart® and Lodging Management (LMP) teachers and             discard things you no longer use. If your cleaning yields any type of
students return from the holidays to start their second semester of        equipment that could be used in a classroom, please don’t throw it
the year, many of them might be disappointed that they didn’t              away—some of our schools are desperate for kitchen and classroom
receive some items on their wish lists. These teachers very unselfish-     items. The better equipped they are, the more they can prepare stu-
ly asked Santa for simple items that would help them prepare their         dents.
students for careers in the hospitality industry, but Santa couldn’t           Finally, please look back to your own start in the industry. Didn’t
help. Can you?                                                             you have a mentor or someone who helped you to keep your career on
    Each ProStart® and LMP school would be thrilled by a simple            track? All of these students could use mentors. Make and keep a reso-
phone call from you. Simply showing an interest in what they teach         lution to mentor a student, and you will have one of the best years in
is a great morale booster. Could a New Year’s resolution be any eas-       your own career.
ier? A phone call would mean so much.
    Want to be a real hero? Make the call and ask if there is anything     3RD ANNUAL HOOSIER STUDENT INVITATIONAL
you can do to help prepare students for future culinary and lodging           Once again, the Hoosier Student Invitational will be a part of the
careers. You’ll be surprised by the answers. A school might ask for        Hoosier Hospitality Conference. This culinary event is the state com-
an hour of your time once a year to come and speak to a class, or for      petition from which we choose the team that will represent Indiana at
you to spend an hour two or three times a year sitting on a board of       the national competition in Orlando, Fla., this April.
advisors.                                                                     Please make it a point to stop and see these young chefs from all
    Not hard so far, is it? What if a school asked if a class could walk   over Indiana as they show off their skills in this difficult competition.

JAN 2004
 5, 12
 ServSafe® certification course                                                                                   Consulting, is the featured
 (two-day course)                                                                                                 keynote speaker. Kennedy will
 Rockville, Ind.                                                                                                  give an exciting and enthusiastic
 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.                                                           17, 18                                jump-start to this year’s “new
 19, 21                                                                     Hoosier Hospitality                   and improved” conference.
 The Americas Lodging                                                       Conference
                                                                            Hyatt Regency Indianapolis               Highlights for this year’s con-
 Investment Summit
 The Century Plaza
 Hotel & Spa / St. Regis
                                      MAR 2004                              2004 Hoosier
                                                                                                                  ference include many new edu-
                                                                                                                  cational tracks, a restaurant
 Hotel & Spa                           8, 12
                                                                            Hospitality                           operations boot camp, new
 Los Angeles, Calif.                   Host Midwest Expo
                                                                            Conference                            awards luncheon formats, a pro-
                                       Milwaukee, Wis.                         Don’t miss Indiana’s only all-     gressive dinner featuring some
                                                                            industry educational and net-         of the finest Indianapolis restau-
                                       8, 15
FEB 2004                               ServSafe® certification course
                                       (two-day course)
                                                                            working conference for hospi-
                                                                            tality professionals — the 2004
                                                                                                                  rants (a crowd favorite), a silent
                                                                                                                  auction and the 3rd Annual
 24, 25                                Bluffton, Ind.                       Hoosier Hospitality Conference,       Hoosier ProStart® Student
 AH&LA Legislative Action              8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.                     March 17-18 at the Hyatt              Culinary Competition. For more
 Summit                                                                     regency Indianapolis. Nationally
                                       16                                                                         information or to register, visit
 The Washington Court Hotel                                                 recognized corporate trainer
 Washington, D.C.                      Foodservice Expo 2004                                                      www.hoosierhospitalityconfer-
                                       Louisville, Ky.                      and     motivational    speaker, or call 317-673-4211
                                                                            John Kennedy, of Kennedy              or 1-800-678-1957.

                                                                                                                INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 4
                                                                         the Rising
                                                                         Cost of
                                                                                                       By Frank Turco

          ig insurance bills starting to worry you? Well, you’ve got     ble in most states and even declined slightly in some others.

B         plenty of company. Small restaurant owners and operators
          across the country are becoming increasingly concerned
about the cost of their property, liability, worker’s compensation and
                                                                             While most restaurateurs continue to pay the higher premiums
                                                                         reluctantly, more and more are beginning to take a serious look
                                                                         at their costs and are starting to search for new insurance companies
medical insurance.                                                       or measures they can take to hold down their costs.
    In fact, in a summer 2003 National Restaurant Association survey,        The number of them out shopping for insurance bargains has
13 percent of the restaurant operators who were questioned identi-       grown so rapidly that it has caused a delay in the time it now takes to
fied insurance costs as the number-one challenge facing their busi-      get a quote from some insurance companies, putting those who wait
nesses. That was an even higher percentage than those who saw hir-       too long in the position of having to either renew with their existing
ing and retaining employees—traditionally a front-runner among           companies and their higher rates or gamble without coverage for a
business concerns—as their biggest worry.                                week or so until another policy can be obtained.
    Their fears come with good reason, too. Insurance industry               “If you’re thinking about looking for insurance soon, I would sug-
experts say that in the past two years, premiums for liability insur-    gest you begin looking at least a month or so in advance, because it
ance climbed between 25 percent and 45 percent, health insurance         is going to take you that long to get a quote,” says Troy Burks, a
costs jumped between 14 percent and 23 percent, and property insur-      restaurant insurance specialist with Access Insurance Services in
ance rates edged up about 5 percent. The only coverage that did not      Portland, Ore. “It used to be we could get a quote out within a week,
see a big jump was worker’s compensation, which has remained sta-        but not any more.”

                                                                                                                         JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 5
    Burks suggests that restaurant owners who are serious about low-       held by restaurants cover damages to buildings and contents, gener-
ering their costs should consider having an independent risk manag-        al and specific liabilities and worker’s compensation. Few small,
er or their insurance agent perform a fresh assessment of their prop-      independently owned restaurants provide health coverage (paid or
erty and business practices. “The most important way to keep your          non-paid) for their employees, although some might offer partially
total insurance costs low is through good loss prevention and claims       paid insurance to employees who work a certain number of hours
management, and a risk manager is certainly going to be able to help       per week, usually more than 20.
greatly in that,” he says.                                                    Bloom says two key coverage areas that are sometimes over-
    It’s a good idea, too, he and other experts advise, for the owners     looked but should be part of any package are fire damage liability,
to do a walk-through inspection on their own and look for obvious,         which covers neighboring buildings damaged by a fire that originat-
but often overlooked, areas that might affect their current rates.         ed in the restaurant, and hire and non-owner auto liability, which cov-
    Missed measures that can affect rates can include making sure          ers damages caused by an employee who runs errands for the busi-
that parking lots and sidewalks are well lighted, fire suppressing         ness using a vehicle not owned by the restaurant.
equipment is in good working order, walkways are kept clear of                Restaurant owners can expand their coverage at no cost, too, by
snow and ice, fire extinguishers have current inspection tags, bever-      looking for insurance packages that include assorted extras that
age and food spills are cleaned immediately, servers and kitchen help      many companies add to their polices in order to make them more
are wearing non-slip shoes and cooks are using safety gloves.
    “It’s really a matter of awareness,” says Tom Bloom, a restaurant
insurance salesman with the Colorado Insurance Agency, an arm of              While most restaurateurs
the Colorado Restaurant Association. “You have to be able to recog-
nize potential problems and correct them as quickly as possible.”            continue to pay the higher
    Beyond the physical aspects, employee hiring practices and train-
ing programs are important factors, too, because a restaurant’s own             premiums reluctantly,
workers are more likely than customers to be injured at the business.
“Employee selection can make a huge, huge difference,” Burks says.
                                                                                 more and more are
“Having good employees who are responsible and good managers to              beginning to take a serious
make sure the employees behave responsibly is half the battle.”
    Bloom says restaurateurs need to take advantage of the many                  look at their costs
safety seminars conducted by insurance companies, restaurant asso-
ciations and others so that all staff members become more aware of         attractive. Some offer as many as 20 specials, including coverage for
safety issues that could lead to insurance claims and, ultimately, high-   such things as food spoilage, sewer and drain backups, mechanical
er premiums. “Anything that can reduce claims will reduce your             breakdowns, customer property and credit card receipts. “They’re
rates,” he adds. “You have to have a zero tolerance for a lot things.”     marketing tools made up of coverage that someone ordinarily might
    Too many claims can have a devastating affect on a business. “It       not buy, but which can add a lot to a policy,” Bloom says.
prevents you from getting insurance from the companies that have               While restaurant owners are serious about reducing their insur-
the better discounts and better rates,” Burks says, noting that restau-    ance costs, buying on price alone is not the best thing to do, Burks
rateurs with a high number of claims usually face paying the highest       warns. “It is very important that they get all of the coverage they
rates for the least amount of coverage.                                    need, because if an accident does happen to occur and they are not
    Angel Castro, president of South Florida Commercial Insurance          adequately covered, that could mean the end of their business right
Planners, which specializes in coverage for restaurants, agrees. “If       there,” he says. “That would make any savings they might have got-
you don’t have good control of your operation and follow safety            ten not worthwhile.”
guidelines, eventually your claims will come up and, once you have             In the meantime, health insurance costs continue to dog owners
losses, you are at a disadvantage because your prices will go up and       of small restaurants and prevent most of them from offering cover-
companies that you otherwise might have qualified for might not            age to their employees.
want to insure you,” he says.                                                  The National Restaurant Association has had the issue on its
    Castro says liability insurance, which has gone up the most in the     radar for several years and is now pushing for federal
past two years, is usually rated one of three ways—sales, total area       legislation that would establish associated health plans as the possi-
of the restaurant or total customer area—and that restaurateurs            ble answer. Such plans would let small and mid-sized employers join
should make sure their rating gives them the lowest cost. “If you are      together across state lines to buy insurance through national groups
a large restaurant with small sales, you would want to be rated by         such as the restaurant association.
sales,” he says. “But if you are a small restaurant with lots of sales,        Federal legislation allowing associated health plans has been
then you would want to go with the size of the restaurant.”                introduced in the House and in the Senate. U.S. Labor Secretary
    Available coverage, of course, varies widely and depends               Elaine L. Chao estimates that allowing restaurant owners to pool
on an array of factors, including type of business, location, building     their buying power could reduce the cost of health insurance premi-
layout, sales, equipment, customer base, management practices,             ums for small businesses by as much as 25 percent and bring cover-
hours of operation and employees. Typically, though, most policies         age to many employees who are uninsured. #
                                                                                                              INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 6
    Add         F
                       or much of the past few decades, your takeout options were
                       somewhat limited—burgers, fries, pizza, ice cream, tacos,
                       Chinese, and little else. You drove up, ordered and paid; the
                attendant said, “Here, catch,” and off you went. With a little luck,
                you arrived home to find that they didn’t mess up your order too
                bad. Unless, that is, you braved rush hour with the wheel in one
                hand and dinner in the other.

                    But takeout service, once almost exclusively the province of the
                quick-serve market, has grown up. In recent years, the snowballing
                trend is for full-service restaurants to vigorously embrace takeout
                service for an increasingly busy and mobile public that demands
                convenient and quality off-premise meals (note important buzz
                phrase) with exemplary service and reasonable prices. Coast to
                coast, countless full-service, family and upscale-casual outlets have
                added takeout windows, counters and online order-

                ing options.
                    Numbers don’t lie: Survey results published in
                the National Restaurant Association’s 2003
                Restaurant Industry Forecast show that for near-
                ly six out of 10 full-service restaurant operators
                with average per-person checks of $8 to $24.99,

By Jeff Owens

                                                               JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 7
takeout business now represents a larger          additional person—if that—to handle the           under way—coupled with new generations
portion of their total sales than it did two      takeout window,” says Jim Laube, president        of wireless hand-held technology—means
years ago (see chart). Further, 51 percent        of, a Houston-based           that you can call in from your car and have
of the adult consumers surveyed by the            online business resource center for inde-         your order ready and waiting curbside.
NRA indicated that they’d like full-service       pendent restaurant operators. “Probably 50        “You can get quality, fast, great-tasting full-
restaurants to have separate areas for take-      percent to 60 percent of sales will go straight   service restaurant food with the conven-
out ordering and pickup; 43 percent said          to your bottom line. You don’t get companies      ience of a phone call, without having to
they’d use a drive-through window if their        like Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse adding        leave your vehicle,” says Jim Brinkley,
favorite table-service restaurant had one.        takeout unless they’re making money on it;        president and CEO of Tempe, Ariz.-based
Research by the NPD Group/NPD                     unless they’ve studied it to the very last        Voltar Communications Inc. “The advan-
Foodworld®, a New York-based foodser-             point. You can see it—they’re retrofitting        tages of using wireless communication
vice market information leader, shows             stores all over the country.”                     takeout systems are vast.”
that, from September 2002 to August 2003,             There are a handful of popular methods;           So how do you do it if you aren’t
off-premise dining accounted for 58 per-          old and new. The time-honored takeout             already? “You don’t just roll out of bed and
cent of total restaurant traffic, of which the    window and takeout counter, while rela-           say, ‘I think we’ll implement takeout serv-
lion’s share (59 percent) was takeout din-        tively new to the full-service market, have       ice today,’” says Matt McMahon, joint ven-
ing (vs. 34 percent for drive-through serv-       been around for decades in the quick-serv-        ture partner with Outback Steakhouse in
ice and 8 percent for delivery service).          ice market. Much more recently, many              Phoenix. “It’s one of those thing to which
                                                                                                    you have to dedicate a lot of thought, plan-
                                                                                                    ning and resources.”
                                                                                                        Outback, a 15-year-old company, added
                                                                                                    its popular curbside takeout service five
                                                                                                    years ago in response to demand that had
                                                                                                    become tremendous. “We were doing so
                                                                                                    much takeout anyway that people would
                                                                                                    come in and sit at the bar and wait,”
                                                                                                    McMahon says. “We thought, ‘Well, we’re
                                                                                                    a service company, too, so let’s provide
                                                                                                        If you’re thinking about adding takeout
                                                                                                    service to your restaurant, the “Bread &
                                                                                                    Butter” section of the NRA website
                                                                                                    ( recommends that
                                                                                                    you consider these basics:
                                                                                                        • Designate a takeout area. Separate
                                                                                                           and clearly marked so that there’s no
                                                                                                           confusion about where to go.
                                                                                                        • Provide convenient parking.
                                                                                                           Designate a few “takeout only” spaces
                                                                                                           close to the entrance.
                                                                                                        • Package properly. Use containers
                                                                                                           that prevent spillage and allow
                                                                                                           reheating. Wrap condiments
                                                                                                        • Food safety first. Put “use by”
                                                                                                           stickers on all packages.
                                                                                                        • Double check orders. Make sure
   The marketing advantages are practical-        restaurants have implemented online                      customers get what they ordered.
ly self-evident. Certainly, implementing          ordering options, and Internet dining serv-              Make sure again.
takeout service creates a wealth of market-       ices encompassing entire lists of restau-             • Make ordering convenient. Phones
ing opportunities in that every box, bag,         rants and devoted solely to takeout and                  are great. So are fax machines and the
wrapper, utensil, menu and napkin that            delivery services have sprung up in metro-               Internet.
leaves your restaurant can be emblazoned          politan areas nationwide. You can even buy            If you haven’t already done so, examin-
with your name; your brand; your logo. Not        off-premise meals from some major U.S.            ing the possibility of offering some form of
to mention your address, phone number             full-service restaurant chains aboard com-        takeout service just may prove to be worth
and URL. Such emblazoning costs money,            mercial airline flights (boxed meals from         your while. It has evolved into something
but since “branding” is the biggest market-       T.G.I. Friday’s on select Northwest Airlines      much more substantial than a passing
ing buzzword these days, the effort often         flights, for example), in lieu of complimen-      trend—it’s a savvy business practice in full-
proves well worth the costs.                      tary airline meals.                               service restaurants that is likely to stay.
   “The financial advantage is that if you            Recent technological innovations have         You would be joining the growing number
could increase your sales by adding a take-       greatly increased the efficiency and con-         of resourceful restaurateurs who have
out window, all it’s really costing you is your   venience of ordering takeout meals. The           successfully been able to add to their
food costs and paper costs, and maybe one         personal communications revolution now            “take” with takeout. #

                                                                                                               INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 8
Members in the Press                                                  Recent Board Changes
   Two RHAI members were recently featured in nationwide                 The RHAI and the IH&LA boards recently welcomed several
restaurant magazines. The Strongbow Inn’s Russ Adams, board           new members. The RHAI Board of Directors welcomed Doug
member and National Restaurant Association Director, appeared         Owen of Gordon Food Service, Indianapolis; and Tom Godfrey of
in the September Restaurant Hospitality for his “Timeless             Stanz Foodservice, South Bend. The IH&LA Board of Directors
Turkey”; Hollywood Bar and Filmworks’ Ted Bulthaup was fea-           welcomed Alan Brand of French Lick Springs Resort, French
tured in Restaurant Business for the design of his recently           Lick; Thomas Simmons of Indiana Memorial Union in
opened Hollywood Boulevard.                                           Bloomington was appointed secretary/treasurer.
   Adams’ Strongbow Inn started as a turkey farm and has been
family-owned and operated for more than 60 years. Under his
direction, the restaurant has branched out to offer a wide variety
of menu items while remaining true to its turkey roots. The
                                                                      New Endowment
Restaurant Hospitality article featured a few of his most famous      to Remember Arni
turkey recipes, including the Strongbow’s turkey schnitzel and            Purdue University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism
turkey pie.                                                           Management recently announced the establishment of the Arnold
   Bulthaup put his new Hollywood Boulevard, a dinner-and-            I. Cohen Faculty Development Endowment. “Arni” Cohen’s fami-
movie concept, inside an old theater near Chicago. Restaurant         ly established the endowment to honor his commitment to the
Business commended, among other things, its colorful details,         foodservice industry and to Indiana’s restaurant industry. Cohen
“kitschy statuary” and restrooms marked “Normans” and                 served the RHAI as a dedicated board member and was inducted
“Mothers.” Media attention to its opening has helped the new          into its hall of fame for his years of service and his significant
concept get off to a great start.                                     contributions to Indiana’s restaurant industry.
   Congratulations to Adams and Bulthaup, and thanks to both              Born in Lafayette, Ind., in 1932, Cohen knew early on that he
for representing Indiana’s restaurant industry.                       would make his living in the restaurant industry. During college,
                                                                      he was hired by his uncle to bus tables at Sarge Biltz’s restaurant.
                                                                      Returning home after college and a stint in the Army, Cohen
Orange County Referendum                                              worked his way up to manager of Sarge Biltz’s before buying the
    The Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association Board of Directors      local Pizza King in 1965. From that, he built the Arni’s concept,
met last October at the French Lick Springs Resort in French          which now includes 18 Arni’s restaurants and a central commis-
Lick, Ind., where it voted to endorse the recently passed Orange      sary warehouse.
County gaming referendum.                                                 Cohen was an astute businessman with the ability to operate
    The IH&LA supports this referendum to open the state’s 11th       many units with excellent product and service consistency.
riverboat casino in Orange County. Citizens for the Future of         Further, he believed that participation in charitable activities in
Orange County has proposed construction of a gambling boat for        the community is an important responsibility for a business.
the waterway between hotels in French Lick and West Baden             Cohen was truly involved in the communities where his restau-
Springs. After 10 years of lobbying for a casino, Orange County       rants were located. He was a true leader, and his passing in
residents voted in favor of the referendum, which is expected to      February 2002 was a great loss to the community.
be beneficial to the local tourism industry in general, including         It is fitting that the endowment bearing his name will be used
IH&LA member French Lick Springs Resort. Many members of              to support and enhance faculty teaching and research skills for
the French Lick business community agree that the town will           the purpose of advancing the industry. You can honor Arni Cohen
gain jobs and tax revenue from the casino.                            with a tax-deductible donation to the Arnold I. Cohen Faculty
    More than 1,000 Orange County manufacturing jobs were lost        Development Endowment—in order to facilitate donations,
over the past year. The casino will provide an estimated 2,000        checks may be made out to the Indiana Hospitality and Tourism
new jobs for the county, giving the area a much-needed econom-        Foundation, 200 S. Meridian St., Suite 350, Indianapolis, Ind.
ic boost. In addition to the new jobs, casino revenues will provide   46225. Please note “Arnold I. Cohen Endowment” on the check.
amenities for the community such as new sports equipment for
schools, road improvements and more police officers.

                                                                                                                   JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 9
          Back on

By Jeff Owens
        ou run a busy hotel, and you’d like to clean house, so     (HOST) Report by Hendersonville, Tenn.-based independ-

Y       to speak, a little more efficiently. Specifically, you’d
        like to find a few ways to cut a few corners on the
housekeeping costs without cutting any corners on house-
                                                                   ent research firm Smith Travel Research, property opera-
                                                                   tions and maintenance—the category under which house-
                                                                   keeping and cleaning costs fall—accounted for nearly 5
keeping itself—the efficiency of your staff and the very           percent of undistributed operating expenses (non-revenue
cleanliness of your establishment. Whether you’re an inde-         generating departments; nearly half going to payroll and
pendent or part of a chain, you would of course like to keep       related expenses) nationwide at full-service hotels in 2002
housekeeping costs within the normal budgetary percent-            (slightly less for chain affiliates; up to 5.8 percent for inde-
ages for such expenditures, thus maintaining or perhaps            pendents). The same costs at limited-service hotels nation-
even improving on your bottom line. Who wouldn’t? The              wide in 2002 accounted for 5.4 percent (again, slightly less
good news, hospitality experts say, is that while Windex is        for chain affiliates, but up to 7.2 percent for independents).
still pretty much Windex, there are some quick and easy               That’s 5 percent to 7 percent of your budget with an ines-
ways to pare down those cleaning costs that you can start          timable value in terms of guest satisfaction. Indeed, the
using right now.                                                   importance of cleanliness—not only to actual health, but
   First of all, it may help to have an idea of what normal        also to public perception—cannot be overstated. “When a
cleaning expenditures look like in terms of your overall           room is spotless, it says that that property takes the health
budget. According to the 2003 Hotel Operation Statistics           of the public and of its staff very seriously,” says Tia

                                                                                                 INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 10
Gordon, spokeswoman for the                   the exact number of supplies (soaps,       smoothly during fluctuations in
American Hotel & Lodging Association          towels, drinking glasses, etc.) to go      occupancy, especially during slower
in Washington, D.C. “When a room isn’t        on a housekeeping cart to match the        times.
very clean, it says that maybe that hotel     number of rooms the housekeeper
hasn’t evaluated its housekeeping poli-       will be tending to.                      Train ‘Em Well
cies and practices; maybe they’re not       • Eliminate “sanitized for your protec-       Then, of course, there’s staff train-
taking the health of the public as seri-      tion” bands. A needless expense. It      ing. Just as the value to your bottom
ously as their fellow hoteliers are.          should be readily apparent without       line of cleanliness itself can’t be over-
Either way, it makes a huge difference        these that toilets have been properly    stated, nor can the importance and
when you walk into the room.”                 cleaned and sanitized.                   smart economics of good employee
   It’s a central truth that is hammered    • Identify specific issues. Is there one   training. “The connection there is that
on by hospitality experts. “It’s great        particular housekeeping problem to       properly trained employees will do
that your fitness center has the latest       solve, or is a complete reorganiza-      their jobs quicker and with greater pro-
advance in StairMaster, or that your          tion of the housekeeping depart-         ductivity, thus lowering the cost—
breakfast buffet features 60 kinds of         ment called for?                         more rooms cleaned per employee,”
omelets, or that your guest room televi-                                               says Edward Xanders, president of
sion offers 10 different pay-per-view                                                  Tallahassee,      Fla.-based      Interim
channels,” says Alfred Fine of New                                                     Hospitality Consultants LLC. “And, if
York-based Certified Housekeeping                                                      properly trained, they work happier,
Consultants, which specializes in hotel                                                thus increasing employee longevity.
housekeeping consulting services.                                                      That helps keep housekeeping costs
“However, when you come down to it,                                                    down, too.”
what still impresses and always will                                                      The money-saving potential of effec-
impress a guest the most is a clean,                                                   tive training is practically self-evident.
comfortable room.”                                                                     It is emphatically referred to as one of
                                                                                       the Fifteen O&M Best Practices,
Steps You Can Take Now                                                                 published by Portland Energy
(or Soon)                                                                              Conservation Inc. of Portland, Ore.,
   Fine calls making housekeeping                                                      and funded by the U.S. Environmental
more efficient “the single most impor-                                                 Protection Agency and the U.S.
tant way to cut costs.” He suggests that                                               Department of Energy. On its Building
hoteliers start with a comprehensive                                                   Technologies        Program       website
plan for the housekeeping department                                                   (
that is simple and easy to follow. He                                                  ate/operate.cfm), the Energy Department
and other experts suggest the following                                                notes that “even the best O&M proce-
steps to increase cleaning efficiency                                                  dures are of no use unless they are
and cut cleaning costs:                     • Give bonuses for outstanding             understood and followed by building
• Review your cleaning supply pur-            inspections. Every so often. A very      O&M personnel.”
   chases. Buy the right cleaners and         cost-effective way to get more from         Rocket science? Not in the least. You
   materials for the job—the needs of a       your staff while encouraging them in     don’t need to cut down on cleanliness
   30-room motel and a 200-room               a very positive way.                     in order to cut down on cleaning costs,
   resort differ vastly.                    • Use in-house laundry. Renting linens     and some of the ideas described here
• Use inspection checklists. Create           and using outside laundry sources        can be implemented immediately.
   these with (if you have one) your          can be costly. Laundry is closely        That cleanliness and good employee
   executive housekeeper. They should         aligned with housekeeping, and on-       training go hand in hand, and that both
   include all items to be cleaned and        premise laundry can greatly reduce       are essential to business success and
   tasks to be performed.                     the charge per bed or per room. Also     the satisfaction of guests and employ-
• Stop or reduce pilferage. Keep sup-         offers better inventory control.         ees, is beyond question. Some simple
   ply closets locked, use towels in        • Plan for occupancy fluctuations.         steps you can take to get started on cut-
   pool areas that are colored different-     Use a specific plan to ensure that       ting cleaning costs, however, certainly
   ly than room towels, and count out         housekeeping       operations    run     are not. #
                                                                                                          JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 11
  Government                                                              In The News
                             BRIEF                                      Looking for a New Year’s resolution that is attainable and beneficial
                                                                   for your business? How about committing yourself to improving your
                                                                   employee recruiting and retention practices by taking advantage of all
                                                                   the operational resources available through your RHAI and IH&LA
                                                                        As you know, satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which
                                                                   makes employee satisfaction critical to the success of your business.
Meet Our New                                                       Association membership gives you convenient access to a variety of
Lieutenant Governor                                                operational resources that can help ensure that you hire and retain the
                                                                   best employees possible.
                                                                        For RHAI members, the National Restaurant Association provides
    Gov. Joe Kernan chose Katherine Davis, Indianapolis City
                                                                   great tools to help improve the human resource function of your busi-
Controller, to succeed him as Lieutenant Governor. Davis is the
                                                                   ness. The NRA recently published its Winning Workforce Ideas 2003
first woman to hold that office in Indiana.
                                                                   booklet, a collection of the industry’s best practices and essays about
    Davis has held several important positions in Indiana gov-
                                                                   providing practical, actionable workforce solutions. Developed by the
ernment. Immediately before she became Indianapolis con-
                                                                   Resource Center for Workforce Solutions—an alliance between the
troller, she managed the start-up of the Indiana 21st Century      NRA Educational Foundation and the Coca-Cola North America
Research and Technology Fund—the O’Bannon-Kernan initia-           Foodservice & Hospitality Division—the second-edition booklet
tive to develop and commercialize advanced technologies in         includes case studies from 2003 Winning Workforce Awards winners
Indiana.                                                           and insights from leading restaurant and foodservice association
    “Kathy is as good as they come,” Kernan said. “In the short    executives. It also includes ways to improve workforce attraction,
time that we worked together on the 21st Century Fund, her         hiring, retention, education and training. To download your own copy
work was extraordinary. She is eminently qualified to make this    or to learn more about the Resource Center for Workforce
next step to the executive branch, and ready to step in immedi-    Solutions, visit Also, the NRA website
ately.”                                                            ( has a “Running Your Business” section in which
    Davis has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering        you can learn more about various products and programs that can
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s      help improve your business, including food safety training, alcohol
degree in business administration from the Harvard Business        sales training, and becoming a foodservice management professional.
School. After receiving her master’s degree, she worked for        It includes links to many online articles with additional information.
Cummins Engine Co., managing the business transfer of a new             What about IH&LA members? There are plenty of resources out
engine line and engineering, purchasing and manufacturing          there for you, too. The American Hotel & Lodging Association web-
operations. Davis then worked for the Indiana Department of        site’s ( Workforce Development Center can be
Transportation for six years, leading organizations responsible    accessed by simply clicking “members only” and going to the “recruit-
for statewide transportation planning and highway project          ing and retention” page. This online resource contains articles, tips and
                                                                   simple tools to help resolve recruiting and retention issues, and to
                                                                   assist you in creating a solid recruiting plan. You’ll also find valuable
    Her next major step was managing finances for the State of
                                                                   links to state and local workforce investment boards, government pro-
Indiana at the Indiana State Budget Agency from 1995 to 1997.
                                                                   grams and diversity sites. Another valuable resource is the AH&LA
There, she forecast revenues, developed the Governor’s budget,
                                                                   Recruitment Toolkit, a comprehensive, step-by-step program designed
managed state spending and represented the Governor’s fiscal
                                                                   as a workbook and reference guide. Its eight-section format lets you
interests in the state Legislature. She then became secretary of
                                                                   customize each section to fit your specific recruitment needs and helps
the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, respon-     you create winning recruiting strategies that can be integrated into
sible for the Indiana’s system of human services. She managed      your overall business plan.
an organization with 11,000 employees and a $4 billion annual           Want to hold your own employee retention seminar? Try the
budget, working with consumers, communities and providers to       AH&LA’s Tackling Turnover: Keep Good People Once You Get Them-
direct resources based on consumer choices and service results.    Ready to Lead Seminar Kit, a “seminar in a box” that a hotel can pur-
    For six months, Davis led a legislative team for the Council   chase and administer to its staff. The kit will help you invest in your
of Volunteers and Organizations for Hoosiers with Disabilities     employees by illustrating the positive effect that teamwork, motivation
that achieved a 42-percent increase in the state appropriation     and training can have on your bottom line. For more information on
for services to people with developmental disabilities. At the     AH&LA educational and operational products, visit
end of 1999, she joined the aforementioned Indiana 21st Century         There you have it—a simple New Year’s resolution that is easy to
Research and Technology Fund.                                      accomplish. If you are interested in ordering any of these products or
    Davis is married, with an 8-year-old daughter and a 20-year-   need more information, contact the RHAI at 317-673-4211 or
old stepson. #                                                     1-800-678-1957, and the IH&LA at 317-673-4207 or 1-800-455-4462. #

                                                                                                     INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 12
Dutch Treat
Middlebury’s Das Dutchman Essenhaus
By Jeff Owens                                                          French Lick Springs
                                                                       Resort & Spa
       K, it’s German 101. Even kinder can handle it. Very simply,
       you have essen, meaning “to eat,” and Haus, meaning, well,
       “house.” Essenhaus. Eating-house. Restaurant.
     And ach, what a restaurant! In the heart of northern
Indiana’s Amish country, Middlebury’s popular Das Dutchman             By Jeff Owens
Essenhaus — literally, “The Dutchman’s Restaurant” — makes a
rather bold claim for itself.
     “We’re considered the largest family restaurant in the state

                                                                               recent referendum has cleared the way for the French Lick
of Indiana,” said Robert Miller, president and CEO. “When we                   Springs Resort & Spa to add casino gambling and an exten-
opened on Jan. 4, 1971, it was just a small, 24-hour truck stop; it            sive historic district development project to its already long
probably seated around 80 people. We now seat 1,100 people.”           and storied resume. The move means that the resort, a historic fea-
     Miller and his wife, Sue, now preside over a small northern       ture of its namesake community for more than 150 years, will have
Indiana empire that is a far cry, indeed, from their 1970 purchase     the opportunity to compete squarely with neighboring businesses
of Everett’s Highway Inn on U.S. 20. Now, Das Dutchman                 that already offer lucrative casino gambling.
Essenhaus serves hungry guests from all over the United States               The Nov. 4 countywide referendum, which passed two to one,
and many foreign nations, and is the heart of an Amish hospi-          authorizes the construction and operation of a casino somewhere
                                                                       between the French Lick Springs Resort & Spa and the neighboring
tality mecca that also includes several gift shops and an 18-year-
                                                                       West Baden Springs Hotel (partially renovated and also a historic
old inn and conference center that is about to get considerably
                                                                       property) one mile away.
larger (a 54-room addition to the current 40 rooms is scheduled              “The result is that we are now forming a commission to work
to open April 1).                                                      with the Indiana Gaming Commission to recommend an operator
     But back to the restaurant, an operation of truly amazing         to develop a casino between the two historic hotels,” said Alan
proportions. Miller happily reports that the longstanding record       Brand, French Lick Springs Resort & Spa general manager. “It lev-
of 1,761 pies produced in a single day was exceeded on the day         els the playing field and lets us compete head to head.”
before Thanksgiving, with just over 1,900 pies. Baked and sold               Development of the casino—targeted to open sometime in
onsite.                                                                2005—will concur with the development of a mile-long historic dis-
     “Our bakery is really phenomenal,” Miller said, with master-      trict between the two hotels. Brand described the concept of the
ful understatement.                                                    district as harkening back to a 1920s vintage appearance, evoking
                                                                       “the heyday of the Spring Valley area.”
     Das Dutchman Essenhaus is not only the largest family
                                                                             Which was, of course, some heyday. Indeed, the resort bills
restaurant in Indiana, but also is certainly one of the largest
                                                                       itself as a place “where the past is always present.” Presidents, dig-
restaurants in Indiana, period. On a busy day, the restaurant and      nitaries and celebrities from across the nation and around the
bakery serve 8,000 guests. On a busy day, it uses 3,500 pounds of      world stayed at the lavish resort and bathed in the healing swirls of
ice, 300 pounds of salt, 2,800 pounds of white sugar, 120 gallons      its celebrated Pluto mineral water baths. Franklin Roosevelt
of apple butter, seven tons of potatoes, 1,400 dozen eggs, 4,100       announced his candidacy for president there in 1931, and intro-
chickens, 5,300 pounds of roast beef, 4,080 heads of lettuce and       duced his New Deal platform there a few years later. The 1940
40,000 napkins.                                                        Chicago Cubs had spring training there. It is Indiana’s first and only
     And, counting the thriving 8-year-old wholesale operation         hotel to be chosen as one of the National Trust For Historic
that provides Das Dutchman Essenhaus products to grocery               Preservation’s 175 Historic Hotels of America.
outlets in nearly 40 states, we’re talkin’ 14 tons of noodles and            The French Lick Springs Resort & Spa now occupies 2,600
                                                                       acres of the Hoosier National Forest. It has 470 rooms, two
720 angel food cakes per week.
                                                                       acclaimed golf courses and a wealth of other sporting, leisure and
     Further, operation of the whole shebang remains a family
                                                                       dining attractions and amenities. Business meetings of up to 1,000
affair. Bob and Sue are still very active in daily operations, and     guests take place in 22 function rooms and a 22,000-square-foot
sons Jeff, Lance and Joel—plus son-in-law Randi Yoder—are all          convention center.
with the company.                                                            “With this new tourist destination development, we see the
     “It’s really just great to have them involved in the business,”   future as being very bright,” Brand said. “It should return us to
Miller said. “We’ve been blessed with good staff here. It’s a good     being a premier destination in the Midwest, much as it was in the
community to be in.” #                                                 early part of the 20th century.” #

                                                                                                                    JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 13
       TIP                                                                                                           Joel Cohen,
                                                                                                                     The Cohen Restaurant

“Cubanizing” Your Restaurant                                                                                         Marketing Group

                                                  him more than $1 million for speaking out             “We don’t subscribe to a lot of the tradi-

           Dallas Mavericks owner Mark
           Cuban teaches business owners          (more than $2 million, since Cuban matches      tional types of research focus groups
           and marketing professionals            each fine with a donation to charity).          because we see this arena as a giant
about turnarounds and how to create cus-               His larger cause is making the NBA         focus group every night,” he told
tomer “evangelists” that drive an organiza-       exciting and entertaining. Average NBA last June. “We’re
tion’s success. He uses four lessons—con-         game attendance has declined since 1997;        not afraid to try things. Quite frankly, a lot of
nect with customers every day, focus on the       Cuban blames a league-wide and ineffectual      things we do don’t work, but it’s OK because
customer experience, create a cause bigger        culture. To turn the Mavericks around,          we just move on. It’s all about doing a lot of
than a championship trophy, and build a           Cuban identified the team’s culture to every-   little things.”
responsive and flexible team.                     one on the first day: “Have fun and make              Right or wrong, there are some key
                                                  money.”                                         points in his operating philosophy that can
Connect With                                           “You have to set the culture because       be summed up with the following questions
Customers Every Day                               that’s how people make decisions,” he said.     to ask yourself and your staff:
     Cuban is one of the most visible and         “If you don’t know what your cause is, what
approachable professional team owners of          your culture is, what you’re rewarded for,      • What have you learned from your guests
the past 20 years. He attends every               what’s respected and what’s expected, then        or fans today?
Mavericks game, sitting courtside and cheer-      you’ll make mistakes when you let people        • Are you accessible to your guests in the
ing his team on. He occasionally sits in the $8   make judgments. Then you get all kinds of         dining area?
seats, mingling with fans and listening to        autocratic environments that don’t suc-         • Do you seek advice and comments from
their input.                                      ceed.”                                            your guests?
     During home games, the scoreboard                 While winning a championship trophy        • Are you a demonstrative cheerleader for
flashes his e-mail address. Post game, he’s       is certainly a team goal, it’s not the cause.     your staff?
often found in the arena’s bar partying with                                                      • Rather than being a “suit and tie” or being
fans and downing oceans of Diet Coke. On          Build a Responsive and                            invisible in the kitchen, can you blend in
television, he hosts The Mark Cuban Show.         Flexible Marketing Team                           and bond with your guests?
     Ask fans why they’re fans, and the                Cuban lured Fitzgerald away from           • What promotional risks can you take to
answer is usually something like, “Cuban is       Coca-Cola specifically because Fitzgerald         wow your staff, guests and community?#
the only owner who comes to games in blue         didn’t have experience in sports team mar-
jeans and a t-shirt. He’s not stuck up.”          keting.                                            Joel Cohen is the owner of The
     Season ticket holders who don’t show              Fitzgerald’s grassroots marketing          Cohen Restaurant Marketing Group
up for a game get a call the next day. “We        approach is reflected in every operational      and publisher of The Journal of Restaurant
missed you last night. Is everything OK?”         aspect.                                         Marketing. More information about him can
Matt Fitzgerald, the team’s marketing hon-                                                        be found at
cho, said customers are usually startled by
the call but love the personal touch.

Focus on the                                             “We’re not afraid to try things.
Customer Experience
    Cuban isn’t shy about soliciting cus-
tomer input. He does it at every game, and
                                                       Quite frankly, a lot of things we do
with nearly everyone he meets. His e-mail
address is everywhere.
                                                       don’t work, but it’s OK because we
Create a Cause                                          just move on. It’s all about doing
Bigger Than a
Championship Trophy                                           a lot of little things.”
   Cuban has little incentive to please NBA
Commissioner David Stern, who has fined

                                                                                                           INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 16
  By Tom Tuerff

                         retend for a minute that you’re starting a restaurant from scratch. You have the
       SYSCO             land. You’ve got the building. Now what?
                             Chances are, your next move would be a call to SYSCO Food Services. It’s a

Food Services     name that has almost become the generic term for “where to buy all your restaurant

 Indianapolis           SYSCO’s regional distribution center in Indianapolis certainly lives up to this rep-
                  utation. It would be unfair to say that restaurant owners can find everything but the
                  kitchen sink at SYSCO, because they can find the kitchen sink there.
                        “We have pretty much everything you’d need to set up, stock, support and run a
                  restaurant right here,” said Dan Bellman, senior vice president of territory sales.
                  “Anything a restaurant needs, it’s here.”
                        And Bellman isn’t kidding when he says “anything”—a typical day for SYSCO
                  includes filling orders for everything from live seafood flown in daily from a supplier in
                  Chicago to designing and printing restaurant menus for establishments throughout cen-
                  tral Indiana and central Illinois.

                                    “Anything a restaurant
                                       needs, it’s here.”
                       Once you’ve used SYSCO to choose your equipment, pick your linens, buy your sil-
                  verware, select your cuisine and order your menus, the company’s myriad food selec-
                  tion awaits you. From ingredients for baked goods to prepared meats and more, it’s all
                       “Restaurants really appreciate our beef selection,” Bellman said. “We offer
                  Certified Angus Beef®, which many of our customers insist upon.”
                       Also popular is the SYSCO Fresh Express Program Service, which can deliver pro-
                  duce orders on a regular basis to restaurants in the Indianapolis area.
                       Of course, Indianapolis isn’t the only area where you’ll find SYSCO. The Houston-
                  based company is a well-known giant in the industry; a leading supplier in the “meals
                  away from home” business since 1977 and the largest foodservice distributor in North
                  America. A public company since 1970, SYSCO now operates 146 U.S. locations and
                  posts more than $23.4 billion in sales per year—more than 10 percent of the annual
                  restaurant industry budget. #
                                                                                      JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 17
NEW                                            Meet
Circle City Pizza
                                               Our NEW Members
(multiple locations)
Owner: Marilyn Warden

Describe your menu.
Why do you focus on
this food approach?
“Our main specialty is obviously
pizza, but we also offer some other
alternatives. These include sand-
wiches, wings and breadsticks.”

What’s unique about
your location?
“We have 12 different locations
                                               Restaurant & Hospitality             LaQuinta Airport, Indianapolis
                                                                                    Ken Ford
throughout the city, mainly in the             Association of Indiana
north, east and south. The down-               New Members                          Quality Inn & Suites Airport,
town location is convenient for                Circle City Pizza, Indianapolis      Dennis Brewer
many businesses and hotels.”                   Marilyn Warden
                                                                                    Super 8, Auburn
                                               Food Service Support, Terre Haute    Cathy Forbes
If your restaurant were                        Michael Kramb
famous for one reason
only, what would you                           La Scala, Lafayette
want it to be?                                 Kristin Serrano                      New Allied Members
                                                                                    Hays & Sons Complete Restoration
“Definitely our deluxe pizza. It’s                                                  Services, Indianapolis
                                               Nothing But Noodles, Indianapolis
not the variety of toppings, but the                                                Jeff Alexander
                                               William McKay
amount of toppings we put on our                                                    317-788-0911
pizza. It’s really what we’re known                                                 Full-service general contractor
                                               Pizza King, Portland
for, and it separates us from our              Richard McGalliard
                                                                                    Laundry City Equipment, Indianapolis
competitors.”                                                                       Curtis McDowell
                                               Wolff’s Bar Inc, Elwood
What do you see in the                         Donald Leever
                                                                                    Commercial and industrial
near future for your                                                                laundry equipment
“Once the economy turns around,
                                               Indiana Hotel &                      Sam’s Club, Indianapolis
                                                                                    David Bond
we hope to put more stores                     Lodging Association                  317-248-3577
around the city, especially on the                                                  Wholesale warehouse
west side of Indianapolis.”
                                               New Members
                                               Dollar Inn, Indianapolis             Signature Inc., Dublin, Ohio
                                               Cheryl Craig                         Barbara Randi
Why did you join the RHAI?                                                          614-766-5101
“The RHAI keeps us updated on                  French Lick Springs Resort & Spa,    Hospitality training solutions
                                               French Lick
restaurant industry information we             Alan Brand                           United Insurance Agencies, Muncie
wouldn’t normally receive. They
                                                                                    Michael Luzadder
also offer excellent money saving              Holiday Inn Express Mishawaka,       765-284-4443
benefits, such as competitive cred-                                                 Hotel/motel property and
it card rates and affordable health                                                 casualty coverage
                                               Holiday Inn Express Warsaw, Warsaw
insurance options.” #                          Patti Bradley

                                       18                                                 INDIANA RESTAURANT & LODGING NEWS 18
Gratitude and Loss                                                                                         John Livengood,
                                                                                                          RHAI and IH&LA
                                                                                                         President and CEO

A       s we begin our third year of publication, I want to thank
        everyone involved with putting together our magazine
for making this enhanced level of communication possible.
                                                                    Senate more than 30 years ago. There have been many well-
                                                                    deserved and kind words said about Gov. O’Bannon in recent
                                                                    months by political friends and foes alike, but none were more
Communication Director David Gayes deserves recognition, if         appropriate than the words of those who remembered him
only for putting up with missed deadlines, and especially for       simply as a gentleman.
doing such a great job of pulling everything together for each           Politics can be a rough-and-tumble business, and
issue.                                                              O’Bannon stood out because he found a way to be successful
      Our advertisers must be thanked for their support and for     while still being exactly what he appeared to be—a kind and
literally making the publication possible. By taking advantage      gentle person who cared deeply for people and for Indiana. I
of this advertising opportunity, they have chosen also to sup-      had the pleasure and honor of working for him during the 1979
port the industry. I also appreciate the vision of Pro Trade        General Assembly. He was my friend and mentor, and I miss
Publications in creating a cost-effective way for state hospital-   him each and every day. The last picture that I have of the two
ity associations to communicate with their members on a reg-        of us was taken on a golf course a few weeks before he died. I
ular basis. We send copies of each issue to state legislators,      regret that he wasn’t able to enjoy more opportunities to play
other elected officials and prospective association members.        the game he loved so much or to enjoy a well-deserved retire-
Having a quality publication enhances the image of our indus-       ment to the southern Indiana countryside he loved even more.
try. Legislators have told me that they look forward to receiv-     He gave up those opportunities to serve us, and he served our
ing the magazine and learning more about our industry.              state right up to the end.
      January is the month that the Indiana General Assembly             My thoughts also go to Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon
comes back into session. We will be seeking repeal of the com-      and her tremendous service to our state. I am glad to know
plimentary room tax and working to fend off a growing list of       that there are people who still value community service and
local communities that want to increase taxes unfairly on the       who have a real passion for making government work for the
hospitality industry. Reorganization of the state’s tourism pro-    benefit of everybody. Judy loves Indiana as much as Frank did,
motion program will also be a priority in the upcoming short        and I know that she will continue to find ways to contribute.
session.                                                            Frank and Judy O’Bannon led by example, and we will benefit
      It is difficult for me to think about government and poli-    from their legacy for years to come. #
tics in Indiana without thinking about the recent loss of Gov.
Frank O’Bannon. I came to work in the Statehouse two years
after O’Bannon took his father’s seat in the Indiana state

                                                                                                                 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 19

Shared By: