Community Newspapers CONNECTING THE COMMUNITY SINCE 1958
issUe HEALTHY LIVING IN MIAMI GARDENS
• • • • • • • • • CRITICAL CONDITION “SOUL-FOOD” RESTAURANTS PART 3
• • • • • • • • • 4TH ANNUAL BUSINESS EXPO
• • • • • • • • • CALENDAR OF EVENTS
• • • • • • • • •
Great inaugural season for the CMGYS 2011 Baseball Program It was a great inaugural season for the City of Miami Gardens Youth Sports (CMGYS) 2011 Baseball Program! There were 4 teams and 70 baseball players ages 4 to 12 years old traveling to compete. Practices were held at Bunche Park during the season, and games were played in the City of Miami Gardens as well as neighboring cities. The City of Miami Gardens was represented extremely well by our T-ball players, the “Miami Gardens Athletics”. The Athletics consisted of 12 players ranging in ages 4 to 6 years old. The main focus for this group of children was for the coaches to teach sportsmanship, teamwork, as well as the basics of catching, hitting, and running around the bases. During everyTball game the children did an outstanding job by playing extremely hard and showed great sportsmanship after each game by shaking hands and giving high fives. The A’s played most of their games in Aventura and a tournament was held at Pepper Park. The A’s also played one of their games in Sun Life Stadium, home to our Florida Marlins.
You can really tell the children loved it, as well as learned a lot. The City’s coaches pitch 8 and underteam “Miami Gardens Dodgers”had a great season! With a team roster of 20 baseball players which included 17 boys and 3 girls, the Dodgers won 18 of their 20 games.
CMGYS, page 2 Councilman Andre Williams Hosts Mayor Carlos Gimenez Town Hall Meeting at Miami Gardens City Hall By Andre williAms Councilman The residents of the City of Miami Gardens are important to the fabric of Miami Dade County. We pay taxes and vote just like our counterparts in other
parts of Miami Dade County. We should have access to our leadership at Miami Dade County to discuss our issues and the upcoming budget proposed by Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. I am proud to announce that Mayor Carlos Gimenez has accepted my invitation to host his Town Hall Meeting to discuss his proposed budget at Miami Gardens City Hall located at 1515 NW 167th Street on
Thursday, August 11th from 7pm - 9pm. Please join us for this very important conversation. Miami-Dade commissioners voted Tuesday, July 19th in favor of Mayor Carlos Gimenez's new property tax rate which eliminated the wildly unpopular property tax-rate hike that was pushed through last year by former county Mayor Carlos Alvarez, signaling a marked new outlook for government.
CMGYS from page 1 -------------------------------------------------------------The Dodgers also played in Aventura, and won every game in the entire league and advanced to play in the championship game. The Dodgers competed and won the tournament that was held at Pepper Park. The Dodgers also had the opportunity to play at Sun Life Stadium which was very exciting for the young boys who experienced playing on a championship field. The young boys really showed teamwork throughout the entire season on and off the field. Recently the team was recognized by the City Council at one of the City’s Meeting where each team player was awarded a certificate for “Excellent Play”. The City’s 10 and under league was represented by the “Miami Gardens Braves”. This age group learned how to play baseball at a faster pace. The players were taught everything from pitching, running the bases at a high rate of speed, and hitting the baseball extremely hard. Although, they had a slow start to the season, by the 7th game they beat Pepper Park Marlins in the last inning. The crowd was amazed and the children were extremely excited to pick-up their first win of the season. As the season progressed, the Braves made it to the playoffs and the children showed a great amount of progress throughout the season. Coach Lee Jones, stated that the City of Miami Gardens has a lot of young talent and he looks forward to working with the youth of our community in the years to come. Over half of the children who played on our 10 and under team could have
played on the 8 and under coach pitch team, but decided to play up and work on their skills for the future. So next season, look out for our 10 and under Miami Gardens Braves!
Last but not least, the 12 and under “Miami Gardens Marlins” showed more than just team work, they played as if they were a family. The Miami Gardens Marlins grew into very respectful young men who now have a love for the game of baseball. Coach Tijuane Morten who played baseball locally at Miami Central High School showed these children more than just how to play the game of baseball. He worked hard each day at practice with the children and pulled off a lot of big wins finishing with a season record of 9-8. The Marlins were respected throughout the entire league and the City. Coach Morten stated, “That at any game it can be any player’s given night, that’s why this team was so special.”The majority of this team will return next year with even more experience but for those who will be over the age of 12, the staff will be implementing a 14
and under Miami Gardens team that will increase the number to five divisions. So look out for our 12 and under Marlins next season as well as the new 14 and under division! As a wrap up of the 2011 City of Miami Gardens Baseball Program season, the teams finished with an overall record of 40 wins and 18 losses. Aside from this outstanding record, what is more important is that everyone enjoyed every minute of the season and learned many important things both on and off the baseball diamond. Our staff is looking forward to the continued expansion of the baseball program. Join us next season and experience the City of Miami Gardens baseball magic! For information on CMGYS program, please contact 305-622-8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
•• PUBLIC SAFETY CORNER ••
Miami-Dade County's Mosquito Control Division Schedules Aerial Spraying for Local Area Mosquito aerial spraying at Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) and other areas of Miami-Dade County is scheduled to occur during the week of July 25th, 2011 through July 30th, 2011. The flights are scheduled to occur from 5:30-8:00 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, with Thursday being a back-up day, if needed. Residents are advised that a large aircraft, a C· 130 Hercules, will be flying as low as 150 feet over the spray areas to train aircrew and spray Dibrom Concentrate. Spraying areas will include those parts of the County that are being most affected at that time by increased mosquito activity. Possible areas to be sprayed include Homestead, Florida City, the Redlands, areas East of US1 and, if necessary, West Kendall and West Doral. Once again, areas to be sprayed will be entirely dependent on where mosquito activity has shown a demonstrable increase at the time of sur-
veillance on Monday, July 25th. After spraying, about 90 percent of adult mosquitoes should be killed; however, the reduction in mosquito populations depends on how favorable conditions are for new mosquito production, such as continued rain and/or wind blowing from breeding grounds in the National Park. Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying operations in their particular area. Individuals with known allergic reactions should stay indoors. The 311 call center, which accepts mosquito service requests, is open Monday through Friday, 7 am to 8 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. The call center will be updated with the areas to be sprayed as the information comes available. Residents may call 311 to find out if their area will be included in the spray mission.
City of Miami Gardens Community Newspaper EDITOR-AT-LARGE Ula Zucker-Williams • MANAGING EDITOR Anthony Jackson EDITOR Stephanie Saenz • CALENDAR EDITOR Tamilla Mullings • WRITERS Antranette Pierre, Janey Tate, Cynthia Roby CONTRIBUTORS Andre Williams, Felecia Robinson, Carl Williams, Mike Gambino, Chef Emanuel Washington If you have news or events that you would like to submit for consideration to be published in the Miami Gardens Community Newspaper, please email email@example.com or call the Events & Media Department at (305)622-8000 ext 2482.
Community Newspapers (USPS 699-310) (ISSN 1060-782) 6796 S.W. 62 Avenue, South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355, Fax (305) 662-6980 PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Michael Miller SALES MANAGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Walter White WRITERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Beasley, Robert Hamilton, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephen, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Albie Barnes, Roberta Bergman, Beatriz Brandfon, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Enrique Chau, Sharon Christian, Lori Cohen, Cecile Fanfani, Dianne Maddox, Denzil Miles,m Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Diane Sedona Schiller, Georgia Tait, Walter Whitem LEGAL ADVERTISING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Enrique Chau PROOF DEPARTMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Vavrek PRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Ortega, Vera Salom, Marie Scheer, Isabel Vavrek PUBLISHER EMERITUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Miller POSTAL INFORMATION: Community Newspapers is published by Your Hometown Newspaper, Inc. 6796 SW 62 Ave., S. Miami, FL 33143. Periodicals Postage Paid in Miami, Florida, and additional mailing offices. Published weekly. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Community Newspapers, P.O. Box 43-1970, South Miami, FL 33143. Subscription rates: $27.50 a year. GENERAL PROVISIONS: Every issue of Community Newspapers is fully copyrighted, and all property rights, including advertisements produced by Community Newspapers. Artwork and/or typography furnished or arranged for/by us, shall be the property of Community Newspapers. No such ad or any art thereof may be reproduced without the prior consent of Community Newspapers. Editorial e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.communitynewspapers.com
•• BUSINESS •• Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (MCH) Program & Policy Director Position Description 2011 Position: Program & Policy Director Organization: Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. Location: Miami, Florida Compensation: Commensurate with experience; Benefits Available Reporting Relationship: This position reports to the Executive Director Position Purpose: MCH’s mission is to promote community efforts to prevent and end homelessness in South Florida by establishing alliances with agencies and organizations. MCH prides itself in its advocacy work both at the policy level and the consumer level oftentimes serving as a strong voice for those persons experiencing homelessness. This position provides administrative and managerial support for the agency’s grant funded programs as well as supports the Executive Director (ED) in managing the Coalition’s policy initiatives. Additionally, this position also expects strong advocacy, community engagement, building awareness and gaining support, financial or otherwise, for our agenda to end homelessness. Position Responsibilities: • Supports the ED in the development of policy action plans aimed at preventing or ending homelessness. This includes working collaboratively with like minded organizations to develop policy position papers based on thorough research and analysis that can be presented to media, public offcials, business and community leaders. • Initiate, via an RFP process, implement and award grants, via an objective evaluation process and monitor, via a comprehensive project management tool, new program ideas and services in support of MCH’s strategic plan. • Work closely and collaboratively with government, nonprofit and private entities to provide greater access to housing, social services, education and employment opportunities for those individuals experiencing homelessness. • In managing grants, must prepare contracts and letters of agreements as well as prepare and maintain accurate records and data to evaluate effectiveness of funded projects. • Develop strong collegial relationships with project partners, grantees and funders to ensure sharing of information and best practices. • Participate in the supervision of volunteers and interns working to support the
mission of MCH. • Assist in the research and analysis required to develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for MCH. • Assist the ED in all other duties as assigned. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities • Demonstrated strong research and analytical skills applied to public policy issues including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue. • Experience convening groups of policymakers, advocates and other professionals to reach consensus and move toward a desired outcome. • Demonstrated time and project management skills including an ability to meet multiple deadlines. • Excellent computer skills to include Word, Excel, PowerPoint. • Ability to think strategically, creatively, remain attentive to details and maintain ability to be flexible and accept change. • Strong interpersonal skills to be able to interact affectively with a wide and diverse group of individuals and community groups ranging from consumers to government leaders. • Excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as proficiency with financials. Qualifications • Bachelor’s degree with a preference for an advanced degree in the field of social work, psychology, education. • Five to ten years of progressively responsible nonprofit experience. • Bilingual a plus. • Previous experience relating to advocacy and policy development
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Compensation is commensurate with experience. Resumes must be received no later than August 15, 2011. Please email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 305-571-8157
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Miami Gardens Calendar of Events August 2011 AUGUST 6 •BACK TO SCHOOL HEALTH & WELLNESS FAIR 3000 NW 199 Street Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex @ 10am-1pm AUGUST 8 •Councilwoman Robinson’s “Meet Me on Mondays” Meeting Topic: Education 3422 NW 187th Street Miami Carol City Senior High School @ 7pm AUGUST 9 •Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 6 pm AUGUST 11 •4TH Annual Business Expo 3000 NW 199 Street Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex
@ 9am - 12N AUGUST 15 •Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Police Department 1020 NW 163 Drive Miami Gardens, FL @ 7pm AUGUST 16 •Caribbean Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 6pm AUGUST 17 •Elderly Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 3:00pm-4:30pm •Commission for Women Meeting 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Conference Room @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm AUGUST 18 •Nuisance Abatement Board 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200
Miami Gardens, FL Council Chambers @ 5pm •Parks & Rec. Advisory 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 City Hall Conference Room Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:30pm AUGUST 20 •Back to School Giveaway Robert Renick Education Center 2201 NW 207th St Miami Gardens, FL @11am - 5pm AUGUST 21 •Progressive Young Adults Committee 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 City Hall Conference Room @ 3pm-5pm AUGUST 24 •Special Master Hearing Code Cases 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 9am - 3pm
City of Miami Gardens Police Department Use the se numb ers to contact us Operations Division Major Anthony Chapman Patrol Division
School Crossing Guards Cherise Asberry Traffic Concerns Neighborhood Watch Report Truants
305-474-1526 305-474-1391 305-474-6473 305-474-6473
Investigations Division Major Alan Mandelbloom Captain Rafael Suarez Captain Frank Trujillo Auto Theft/Pawn Unit CST/Narcotics Unit
305-474-1407 305-474-1430 305-474-1418 305-474-1428 305-474-1427
Support Division Major Steve List Captain Athena Skellion Captain Alfred Lewers Jr Communications Center Court Liaison Off Duty Police Employment Records Unit
305-474-1408 305-474-1380 305-474-1405 305-474-MGPD (6473) 305-474-1412 305-474-1412 305-474-1413
Professional Standards/Training Unit Background Investigations 305-622-8059 Captain Marilyn Gongalez 305-622-8059 Training Unit 305-622-8059 Non-Emergency Police Communications & Information (305) 474-MGPD (6473)
City of Miami Gardens Staff Directory Name Julie-Ann Smith Sonja K. Dickens Ronetta Taylor Danny Crew Renee Crichton Daniel Rosemond Vernita Nelson Tasha Codner Sharon Ragoonan Patti Varney Mike Gambino David Motola Taren Kinglee Kara Petty Jay Marder O. Tom Ruiz Pam Thompson Ula Zucker-Williams Matthew Boyd Hilary Marshall Tashek Hamlette
Department E-mail Asst. to Mayor email@example.com City Attorney firstname.lastname@example.org City Clerk email@example.com City Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy City Manager email@example.com Asst. City Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Asst. City Manager email@example.com KMGB Director firstname.lastname@example.org Director. Building & Code email@example.com Finance Director firstname.lastname@example.org Floodplain Administrator email@example.com Fleet Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Human Resources/ Risk Director email@example.com Parks & Recreation Director firstname.lastname@example.org Planning & Zoning Director email@example.com Public Works Director firstname.lastname@example.org Procurement Manager email@example.com Events and Media Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Miami Gardens Police Chief Assistant to Council email@example.com (Vice Mayor Campbell, Davis, D. Williams) Assistant to Council firstname.lastname@example.org
Main 305-622-8010 305-622-8055 305-622-8003 305-622-8007 305-622-8006 305-622-8005 305-622-8008 305-622-8009 305-622-8018 305-622-8000 Ext. 2780 305-622-8039 305-622-8000 Ext. 2697 305-622-8030 305-622-8080 305-622-8025 305-622-8004 305-622-8000 Ext. 2490 305-622-8035 305-474-1400 305-622-8000 Ext. 2793 305-622-8000 Ext. 2705
City of Miami Gardens Mayor and Councilâ€™s Corner To contact your Council representatives, call 305-622-8010.
Mayor Shirley Gibson
Vice-Mayor Aaron Campbell Jr. (Seat 1)
Councilwoman Lisa C. Davis (Seat 2)
Councilman AndrĂŠ Williams (Seat 3)
Councilwoman Felicia S. Robinson (Seat 4)
Councilman David Williams, Jr. (Seat 5)
Councilman Oliver G. Gilbert III (Seat 6)
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•• FYI ••
Lower Flood Insurance Rates for Miami Gardens Residents and Business BY M. GAMBINO, CFM The City of Miami Gardens is proud to announce that we have improved our rating in the nationwide Community Rating System Program (CRS)! The CRSis part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and is designed to reward communities that provide flood protection above and beyond the minimum standards of the NFIP. By conducting these activities citizens are rewarded with reduced flood insurance premiums. While the CRS program has a starting rating of 10, which means no flood insurance discount, Miami Gardens was able to enter the Program in May 2009 at a rating of 7, which translates to a 15% discount on flood insurance policies for those with policies in flood zones. By continuing to find ways to better protect our residents and businesses from flood damage, Miami Gardens recently achieved a Rating of 6 in the CRS
Program. This means that, for residents and businesses living and operating in flood zones in our City, a 20% discount on flood insurance premiums is now availablefor flood insurance policies! Residents that are not in flood zones also can receive a 10% premium discount! Our Public Works Department is committed to continuing these flood protection activities, to improve the quality of life for residents, to reduce flood damage in our city, and to provide continual monetary savings for residents and businesses in the City of Miami Gardens!
•• COMMUNITY NEWS ••
City of Miami Gardens Promotes Healthy Living through Corporate Partnerships BY CARL WILLIAMS Aging is a normal part of life, and people are living longer. Due to today’s medical advances, many adults are celebrating good health along with longevity. With a healthy lifestyle, exercise, activities, and strong social support, seniors can look forward to personal fulfillment and a long fruitful life. The City of Miami Gardens is committed to providing it’s senior population with information about their wellbeing and encouraging a focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Starting in July of this year, the City partnered with Independent Living Community Services (ILCS) to provide Living Healthy Programs that not only offer educational information, but also demonstrate how evidence based programs can improve your overall health. The Evidence Based Programs that ILCS will be offering include Chronic Disease Self-Management (Living Healthy), Matter of Balance, Diabetes Self Management Training, and Fit and Strong. These workshops will take place at the newly constructed Miami Carol City Park Recreation Center, located at 3201 N.W. 185 Street. The implementation of these programs and the strategic partnerships with key organizations, the City of Miami Gardens continues its effort to becoming a healthier
community. For more information about registering for these programs, please contact Carl Williams at (305) 6228080.
Shop locally and SAVE GAS!
• business • BY CHEF EMANUEL WASHINGTON Restaurant operations: Every day in the restaurant business is a new day; there are no two days alike. Each day is filled with new faces, old problems and yesterday’s ambitions, and all of these present a myriad of new challenges. It is a continual learning process. Some days you will walk around singing love songs and other days will make you want to grab a guitar and sing the low-down blues. The restaurant industry moves at the speed of sound. Today, it runs neck and neck with the information technology (IT) industry. Just as IT companies are sprinting from Research & Development to launch, toting their latest inventions and updates, chefs all around the world are jockeying for position at the top of the culinary totem pole. Likewise, restaurants are searching for any scientific, technological or business advantage they can find, to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. Restaurant operations are a key component to the success of any restaurant business. The most successful restaurants in the industry have the best operations. Even if the food sucks and it usually does, they get repeat business. Customers come back because they are efficient. Most restaurants today operate like well-oiled machines, while many others struggle to find their way from the kitchen to your table. Customer Service: A customer service issue is an operational issue. How many times have you sat at your table with ‘rocks in your jaws’ waiting for your meal? Who has time today to just sit around twiddling their thumbs? Even when you have a brief moment of relaxation, who wants to spend it with a gum popping server, who feels she’s doing you a favor by just being there? Personally, I’d much rather fight Mike Tyson on a tricycle than be subjected to rude and discourteous service. People tend to tolerate crummy food before they will accept bad service. If you ask 10 people, how important is customer service to you? 8 ½ will say it as very important. Today, businesses must be customer service focused. There is too much competition in the marketplace not to do
‘Critical Condition’ Soul Food Restaurants at the Crossroads! The Series: Part 3 so. Restaurants with poor customer service are sealing their own fate. Soul Food Restaurants and Customer Service: A restaurant’s reputation is only as good as your customer’s last dining experience. No one cares how good your ribs were last month. They care about how good they are today. Last month doesn’t count; it’s all about now. Restaurants are not in the food business, they are in the people business. Every day in this business presents a new and unique opportunity to connect or reconnect with your customers. Bad customer service in the restaurant industry is business suicide. Customers tend to remember bad dining experiences before they remember the good ones. It’s the nature of the business. Restaurants that take good care of their customers will prosper. Those that do not will become business statistics. That’s just how it is. Sometimes a few can spoil it for many. There is a saying about Soul Food Restaurants that goes a little something like this: “If you want good food, go to a Soul Food restaurant. If you want bad service, go to a Soul Food restaurant.” Let me make something perfectly clear. First, yes, it is true-- there is no better food on earth than Soul Food. Second, today most Soul Food restaurants in America have impeccable customer service. However, there are some Soul Food restaurants in America that are still wearing ‘Bell Bottoms’. For some, their idea of good customer service is just saying “Hi, grab a seat”. Some don’t even take time to do that. Customers know bad service when they see it. If you get more than your fair share of customer service complaints, then I guess this Bud’s for you. Bad customer service affects the bottom line of any business. The reality is that most customers won’t complain to you; they voice their complaints by taking their business somewhere else. Wait Staff: Your wait staff is your primary point of customer contact. All restaurants are judged by the service customers receive from them first. Personal issues and attitudes have no place in business of any
kind, particularly in a customer service driven industry. I find it more than annoying to see my waitress leaning against the wall, talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone, while I have been waiting 20 minutes for my Fried Chicken and Collard Greens. The restaurant business is the people business. The only reason restaurants exist is to serve their customers. If you are no good at that, perhaps you are in the wrong business. If you have no customers to serve, then you have no business. Be careful who you hire. Friends and family are not always the best idea. If you and your family have a good thing going, then I applaud you. Keep up the good work. It can work for some families, but for most it does not. Question: When Friends and Family screw up on the job, what’s their retribution? How can you discipline Keisha when she babysits for you? That won’t turn out quite right now will it? I am of the mindset that business and personal should be detached. Instead, hire the most qualified, the most committed to your business philosophy and those who will support your company’s mission. Sometimes you may find a diamond in the ruff. Management 101: If customers are unhappy, the fault lies with management. There are no two ways about it. Wherever you find bad customer service, you will also find bad management. That’s where the buck starts and stops. 1) No customer should ever walk into a restaurant and not be greeted. It tells customers that you don’t value their business. 2) No customer should ever, under any circumstances, be allowed to leave a restaurant after spending their hard earned money with you, without a team member thanking them for their business. It tells them that you could care less whether they come back or not. 3) From the time a customer walks into your restaurant until the time they leave is an opportunity to sell. Hint: What do you have to sell other than food? Smart businesses even sell to their customers after they leave. Kitchen Issues: Whenever customers have to routinely wait long periods of time to get their food,
it is a sign of kitchen inexperience. Cooking for family at home in a one-quart pot is far different from cooking for 600 in a restaurant environment. It requires industry experience and a restaurant science aptitude. Chefs have a formula that the average cook does not. That is why they are called chefs. Restaurant Science: Restaurants today don’t operate the same way they did 40 years ago or even 10 years ago. If you are a Soul Food restaurant that is still operating the same way you did 10, 20, and 30 or 40 years ago, you are at a disadvantage in the industry. Modern restaurants are scientific. How do you handle a lunch hour rush of 300 customers between 11:30am and 1:00pm and make everybody happy? How do you get 50 plates of hot food in front of your customers within 20 minutes? How do you do all of this and ensure that the food is fresh? Restaurant Science. Commercial kitchens today are much better equipped. You simply cannot get the job done in most of the older kitchens. Personally, you couldn’t pay me to serve 300 people in 1½ hours, in an outdated kitchen. That’s just asking for trouble! It is time for the Soul Food restaurants that seem to be lagging far behind the good ones to come on line with the rest of the restaurant industry. Invest in your business! Cost controls: Restaurants today have efficient cost control measures. Modern restaurants are adept at menu engineering, systemized ordering, portion control, prep guides, purchasing, theft, inventory controls, food waste management, par levels, food dating, etc. Questions: Are your restaurant operations tight? Do you know the formulas? Do you have an operations manual? What is your management philosophy? Do you have a plan? To be successful in the restaurant industry today, your overall operations need to be flawless. Chef Emanuel is a prominent soul food critic. Recently relocated from Chicago, Il, he was formerly the Executive Chef and Food Service Director at The Department of Defense Analysis. He is also the founder and owner of a culinary school in South Florida as well as a Food Historian. He has studied American Food History and the 'Soul Food' discipline for decades. For more information about Chef Emanuel, visit his website at http://chefemanuel.com.
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