Issue 30

Posts From Jill Cockson

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Jill Cockson

Jill Cockson

Menu Development 101

I often write about the importance of understanding the gears of business. Of knowing, fundamentally, how the gears of profitability work together. It is easy to know that a business works (you are either in the red, or in the

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The Art of Hospitality

When I was 10 years old, I earned my first-degree black belt in Taekwondo. My instructor, Ken Brooks, had a reputation for earning respect. He gave us the tools to succeed, and the personal room to fail; the choice was

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Defining Sustainable Success

The failure rate of entrepreneurship in hospitality is daunting. It is so daunting that it prevents many from realizing the opportunities that exist, as a result of both simple psychological deterrence, and the refusal of financial backing based on the

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Employee vs. Apprentice: The Value of ‘How’ vs. ‘Why’

I barely remember Jerome Didier. I remember standing in an aisle of the grocery store where my father worked. I was staring at the collection of sewing thread, in every color imaginable. My dad was talking to Jerome. That’s it.

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No Bubble Trouble

I am coming up on my 20-year anniversary as a bartender/hospitality professional, which has caused me to reflect on how much the beverage industry has changed in the Midwest during that time. Like many who enter the industry, I began

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The Answer is Yes… Unless the Answer is No

For many in hospitality, Danny Meyer is a legend. His book, Setting the Table, has become the equivalent of a syllabus for many aspiring restaurateurs. At the core of his philosophy on hospitality is a general commitment to the mantra,

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Bar Managers Get with the Program

I hate the term ‘bar program’. It is meaningless. You either have a bar, or you don’t. You either have a bar manager, or you don’t. The addition of the word ‘program’ simply communicates that your bar is a specific

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Love on the Rocks: Percentage Markup and Bar Ownership

Quality, or quantity? That is the question. Recently, I have spent a lot of time analyzing the profitability of ‘percentage markup’ vs. ‘profit margin’ models in our industry. The bar biz love affair with percentage markup is undeniable; it poses

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Facebooking Reality: The responsibility we all share

In 1992, Madonna wrote the original Fifty Shades of Grey, entitled Sex. There was an uproar (as expected) from the conservative community regarding the dark and explicit nature of the book. In a television interview regarding the negative response from

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Good Training is Hard to Find

Social media outlets and pop culture trends are creating a new breed of consumer that is more product-educated and less responsive to marketing gimmicks. They are challenging our industry to up its game as they demand an elevated food and

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