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KERN BUSINESS JOURNAL

August / September 2015

Restaurant demand in Bakersfield reaching new heights By Nathan Perez

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“doughnut” know how to put this but, Bakersfield has a love affair with food and the national and regional restaurant scenes want a “pizza” the pie. Enough with the puns, food in Bakersfield is serious business. How serious? Consider this: Bakersfield has consistently ranked in the top 10 list for retail sales in the state. Of those retail sales, restaurant sales have played a major role. Bakersfield households spend $5,245 annually at restaurants compared to Nathan Perez the state average of $4,816 in annual sales per household. In 2013 alone, restaurants in Bakersfield reported more than $600 million in sales, and that number is expected to grow in 2015. With those numbers, it is clear to see why every time you turn your head in town, there is a “coming soon” sign for a new restaurant. This influx has presented a new problem: location. Retail property supply in Bakersfield is very tight, and it only gets tighter for properties that require a drive-thru, sufficient parking and the right visibility. Fortunately, where there is a problem, there is opportunity and many local, regional and out-of-state developers are

taking advantage of this opportunity by developing prime land in high-traffic areas that offer everything a restaurant needs in a property. As of this writing, there are about seven retail developments throughout Bakersfield that will offer space for food tenants, with more developments coming next year. The restaurants that are clamoring for space in Bakersfield fall into two categories. In the first category are those that already have locations and are well established here. Their strategy is to expand and open more locations in order to meet the growing demand for food and push out competition. The greatest demand for retail locations comes from those that are in the second category – those that do not currently exist in the local market and are opening their first locations here. An ever-growing list of these restaurants includes the Massachusetts-based Dunkin Donuts that has already opened a handful of locations in the state since 2014. Most will remember, and still lament, the closing of Krispy Kreme in 2005 that was located on Stockdale and Gosford. Its first location on its return to Bakersfield is already under construction at 9410 Rosedale Highway, the former A&W. Blaze Pizza, a leader in the growing trend of do-ityourself pizza that allows customers to choose their own

Corner Bakery Cafe

ingredients, will have its first location in Bakersfield at California Pavilion, the former Three-Way Chevrolet lot on California Avenue and Easton Drive. Others that have secured sites or are actively seeking sites in Bakersfield are Corner Bakery Cafe, Smashburger, BurgerFi, The Habit Burger Grill, PizzaRev, Pieology, Deli Delicious, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and many others that are expected to seek sites in Bakersfield soon. – Nathan Perez is a sales associate at Cushman & Wakefield | Pacific where he specializes in retail properties. Perez represents retail tenants and landlords at the national and local level.

Basics of content creation

Sprains common workplace injury

n the world of social media, content is constantly being published every single day on more and more platforms. Individuals are being oversaturated and, in turn, tuning out the noise. The best approach is to stop interrupting what individuals are captivated by and create useful and informative content for your customers in order to build loyalty and brand awareness and convert prospects into customers. Developing good content does not have to be time consuming, as many small-business owners may believe. It does, however, require generating content that appeals to them and draws them to your content. Let’s take a look at some ways you can do this. Use images to drive engagement – With visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, it is easier than Mira Patel ever to tell captivating stories and imitate meaningful connections based on mutual areas of interest. Using a video or an image on most Facebook posts is a natural way to promote your company culture and show your personality and the human side of your brand.  Connect with your audience – Put yourself in the audience’s shoes and think about the type of content you would want to see on your social media. Would noisy content prevent you from engaging on a post? What would make you stop and read a post and not continue to stroll? Is it a compelling image, word or video? Let your audience share their brand passion – Permitting your fans and followers to show off their personalities in a brand-relevant way is a win-win. This allows you to gain a better understanding of their needs and interests, and they get a stage for self-expression and creativity. It is also a great way to develop original curated content, which the mass public can relate to. Remove the apparent barriers into conversion – More often than not, people have questions that need to be addressed prior to making a purchasing decision. Help support their research process and clear up the confusion. Your content can help guide them toward your business and help the consumer feel like they are making the right and easy choice. Be creative in incorporating your products and services into posts so it does not come across as an advertisement and people will be interested in what you have to post.

By Dr. Mark Pucek

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Content creation can be intimidating, especially if you are just starting out. To name a few, resources such as Canva, Easel.ly, Pattern Library and Recite are just some of the many online applications that can help you look professional with minimal costs. Do not get discourage; good, quality content may be right in front of you! – Mira Patel is the owner of Six23 Media, a local marketing and public relations consulting firm.

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illions of people report nonfatal workplace injuries each year – injuries that are all too common and seem to recur year after year. Accidents at work can happen in an instant: a minor slip, tripping over something, a shaky ladder or forgetting to put on work gloves. The important thing is to ensure that employees fully recover from workplace injuries. U.S. HealthWorks operates more than 220 clinics and worksites in 20 states. The top five injuries that we’ve treated this year include: 1. Back sprain 2. Finger cuts 3. Arm or shoulder sprain 4. Neck sprain 5. Wrist sprain This list is dominated by various types of sprains, which basically means the tearing or stretching of ligaments. Sprains can range from minor – healed with just a few days’ rest and icing – to severe, with major swelling and extreme pain. When not properly treated, sprains can result in chronic pain and joint instability. These nonfatal injuries result in a loss of productivity in the workplace, stress for both the employer and injured employee, and obviously physical pain and discomfort for the injured employee. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 1 million workplace injuries in 2013 that resulted in days away from work, with a median of eight days missed due to nonfatal injuries. The list of injuries remains relatively unchanged from years past. Despite efforts to ensure safe workplaces and train workers

to prevent these common injuries, they still occur from time to time. The most important things to do once an injury occurs is to help the employee recover quickly and ensure he or she is fully rehabilitated so the injury doesn’t cause lingering pain or discomfort. Full recovery is essential to employee health and safety. While employers cannot prevent some of the workplace accidents that occur, there are a few ways to help reduce risk. We know that most follow OSHA guidelines, but a few sensible reminders are helpful: • Ensure that walking and working spaces/ surfaces are cleared of clutter and debris to prevent tripping and falls • Instruct all new employees on proper lifting of heavy objects and have current employees revisit proper procedures annually • Provide protective gear, including safety goggles, gloves, eye wash, etc. • Never leave sharp corners or blades exposed • Employees should be encouraged to stretch daily at home so they’re more limber and less susceptible to sprains • Provide ergonomically appropriate chairs for those who sit frequently Accidents happen, of course. The keys to prevention are to raise awareness and encourage proper safety practices and, if an injury occurs, follow through with thorough treatment and healing so that individuals can recover quickly and get back to work safely. – Dr. Mark Pucek has served as chief medical officer for U.S. HealthWorks since 2013. In this role, he oversees medical operations for more than 200 centers and worksites in 20 states, ensuring that each center provides quality care and efficient, effective service.

Kern Business Journal August/September 2015  
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