Monthly Archives: May 2013

May Viral Videos

Every month, we’re treated with a host of viral videos. Take some time out of your day and see what’s gone on in the world of food. Grab lunch and hit play. Continue reading

Mongolian Chicken? KFC Opens First Western Restaurant In Mongolia

Ulan Bator is Mongolia’s capital and largest city. It features about 45% of the population of the country. It is landlocked by Russia and China. It has also been the home to a mining boom in recent years, thanks to a discovery of copper, coal, and gold.

It is also home to their first western restaurant chain.

KFC opened in the capital city last Wednesday, according to Huffington Post. By KFC’s estimations, they served nearly 3,000 people between a soft launch the day before and their opening day.

They hop to open 15 more locations in the next five years, with a second to open in June. There have been a few setbacks to the formation of a KFC in the country, namely due to it’s landlocked nature and the country’s national subsistence on beef and lamb. They’ve been importing chicken from the United States and Japan, with a heavy usage of frozen facilities, until local farmers can begin to produce the quality and quantity of chicken they’ve desired. Additionally, they’re hoping to add dishes to the menu that are Mongolian-cultured, such as fried dough, beef dishes, and spicier foods.

If KFC succeeds, Yum! Brands may introduce a sister chain, Pizza Hut, to the region.

Will KFC manage to last in the country? Can their beachhead into the country lead to others following in their footsteps?

Looking into a larger scope, have you ventured into a territory you had, or nobody else had? Tried some dishes that nobody had explored? Ventured into a style of service that’s new? As KFC has proven, you can have your biggest successes by going out of your comfort zone.

When Should Coffee Be Free?

Serious Eats has a serious coffee question. Do you charge for coffee, and if so, when do you offer one for free?

It depends on your intensity and focus on coffee; if you’re a coffee shop, you won’t want to give out coffee all the time, but free samples are always delicious ways to actually encourage consumers to try your coffee. If you’re focused on the business of selling coffee, a free sample of coffee can ensure a customer for years.

For locations that have coffee, but not have it as a focus, a free cup of their (most-likely cheap and non-premium) can’t cost too much, but can go a long way in endearing a customer and making them a regular. If a customer is obviously having a long or hard day, a free cup of coffee can pick up their spirits and offer them a quick jolt of energy. Likewise, students doing late-night projects at your diner might be more likely to order coffee for energy, so a free cup to them would be a lost sale.

In some situations, a free cup is just a nice thing. Mention of a birthday, anniversary, or other celebratory note would make a free cup a treat. Likewise, you could be evil and make a customer who just dropped the coffee outside the door buy a new one, but a new cup would be an appropriate replacement; they’re obviously not drinking the one that’s now watering the plants. In similar cases, people may also be unhappy with their drink; you should not be offended and offer them to remake the drink for free. If, after making sure it’s made exactly to their specifications they still do not like it, then you could theoretically be off the hook for fixing the drink.

As a restaurant owner, you might want to codify the situation with your employees in which a free coffee would be expected and appropriate. It may cause confusion and distrust when one employees offers a drink for free, but another doesn’t in the same situations. Some staff might offer a free coffee in anticipation of a better tip, which may or may not be a practice you want to encourage.

Have you considered the rules of free coffee?