Top Five UK Restaurant Stories – July 2010

5. Skye Restaurant Named One of the Top 5 in the World by Famed Critic

A restaurant in Skye has been declared one of the best five places in the world to eat by famed food critic Frank Bruni. Staff at The Three Chimneys were ecstatic at the news that Mr Bruni rated them so highly, with the critic lavishing praise on the popular sea food restaurant in an article, stating that the restaurant was “an enchanting experience through and through. Some diners come by helicopter from Edinburgh or Glasgow: that’s how big a deal this restaurant is in Scotland. It’s intimate, beautiful, serves amazingly fresh local seafood, and does right by the local lamb as well.”

The restaurant is run by a husband and wife team, with Shirley Spear acting as Head Chef while running the business alongside her husband Eddie. She said that “We did not know it, but he visited us two years ago and obviously still retains fond memories of his experience here. To be selected as one of only five well-known greats such as Trattoria Monti in Rome or Hill Country in New York is staggering.”

The Spears took over the restaurant when they decided to make a lifestyle change and move their young children from Croydon to the comparatively quieter region of Skye.

4. EU Not to Ban Selling Eggs by the Dozen

In a move that food lobbyists in Britain will likely celebrate, it has been confirmed that the EU is not planning on banning the sale of groceries by quantity. Renate Sommer MEP responded to suggestions that shoppers might have to change their habits by stating that “There will be no changes to selling foods by number.”

Earlier in the month the European Parliament rejected an amendment that proposed that some foods traditionally sold by number could be exempt from the proposals to label food by weight.

However Ms Sommers confirmed that the new rules would simply allow for both weight and number to be indicated, requiring little in the way of changing the traditional method of purchasing. The law appears to have no actual effect on how goods are sold, and simply seems to enforce that each product sold should have its weight indicated.

British Labour MEP Glenis Willmott said “there is absolutely nothing in the new rules… that would prevent producers from selling their products by quantity – so to say that it won’t be possible to sell eggs by the dozen is plain wrong”.

3. Bromley Beats Out Birmingham to be Named UK’s Curry House Capital

The small town of Bromley has been named the UK’s curry house capital after a survey revealed that the town had one Indian restaurant for every 853 residents in the town in south-east London.

The town beat of stiff competition from a number of other locations, including Birmingham which has become renowned for its “Balti Belt”, a range of Indian Restaurants in the city centre. Other hotspots include Reading and Leicester.

There are currently believed to be around 9,000 Indian restaurants across the country, with Birmingham hosting a large amount of them but simply not matching the restaurant to person ratio of Bromley. The survey was released to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the UK’s first Indian restaurant, with one in five UK residents now claiming that Indian food is their favourite meal.

2. Radical Indian Restaurant Defies Normal Conventions

Chef Dev Biswal is looking to bring through wholesale changes to the Indian restaurant scene after opening a restaurant that doesn’t serve any curry dishes but does serve pork dishes. The controversial move comes attached to a promise that the restaurant will provide gourmet Indian food, however the use of pork seems to go completely against the halal traditions upheld by most Indian restaurants.

Biswal, who has worked as an executive chef in a Michelin starred restaurant, says the move is “something almost unknown in the UK’s 10,000 predominantly Bangladeshi-owned south Asian establishments.” Dishes are scheduled to change daily and will include a range of off-kilter Indian recipes.

He also intends to prove that wine can be matched to Indian cuisine, and is holding a tasting session to prove his point on the 8th August.

1. The Restaurant Show Begins Preparations for 2010 Event

The Restaurant Show 2010 is getting closer and closer, with event organisers promising everything from live shows to competitions and seminars in an attempt to attract visitors working in the restaurant and pub sectors. The show is now in its 22nd year and will run between October 11 – 13, boasting a line-up that includes some of the UK’s biggest chefs as well as tips from restaurant heads on how to succeed in such a competitive field.

Show organisers are planning a number of features, such as;

- A Centre stage to host the top chefs in the business as they provide workshops for interested foodies.

- A competition theatre that will see chefs from around the country go head to head to see which can create the best dish.

- A drinks quarter that allows bar managers to gain extra information and insight into stocking the right wines and spirits.

- Business seminars in which visitors can tap the minds of some of the biggest names in the industry.

Clair Bowman, features manager for the upcoming show, claims that “This year’s Restaurant Show is set to be the best yet – in fact I’d say it’s a must attend event for those working in the industry. We have a number of really exciting features, key industry networking opportunities and high profile competitions running over the three-day event providing even more entertainment for our visitors.”

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Internet Promotion – Advantages and Disadvantages

The emergence of globalise trade, increase in foreign investment and cross-border transactions have put many small businesses under pressure to find innovative ways to continue to market their products and services. This is especially difficult given that they often operate on tight marketing budgets.

In the quest for cheap marketing alternatives, these small businesses continue to use conventional marketing tools such as newspaper, magazine, radio and television advertisements, unaware of the advantages that Internet Promotion offers. All too often, these entrepreneurs focus on the disadvantages of Internet Promotion and fail to adequately take advantage of the opportunities that it presents. Moreover, their preoccupation with conventional marketing strategies is driven by a misconception that these are cheaper than Internet Promotion.

To most small business entrepreneurs, marketing or promoting their products or services via the Internet can be a daunting task. However, with adequate information small businesses can benefit significantly from Internet Promotion while minimising the disadvantages that it presents. In fact, it may prove to be the marketing strategy that generates the highest return on investment.

The Advantages

Cost Effective and Enduring Marketing Strategies

The Internet has become the information superhighway for the buying public. Most persons prefer the hassle free transactions that Internet shopping can offer. As a result, the Internet has become the most powerful selling tool. Internet Promotion offers cost effective ways for small businesses to enhance their product or service distribution networks. For example, the use of portals can help create new marketing channels and logistics, or provide better or faster product access for customers.

In comparison to other forms of marketing, Internet Promotion presents the advantage of reduced budget and storage costs, when compared with printing brochures, producing television or radio advertisements or managing a call centre. It presents a fast and cost effective option for penetrating new markets.

Market Penetration

With millions of person using the Internet to search for products and services, small businesses can penetrate other markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.

Websites act as virtual storefronts, allowing businesses to stay open 24/7. Internet Promotion gives a business greater visibility, thereby creating more opportunities for increasing its customers at relatively low cost. Never before has it been easier for an upstart business to be able to reach out to literally millions of potential customers and to position themselves for success, without the need for costly infrastructure and overwhelming marketing costs. Thanks to the Internet, new businesses can become popular almost overnight.

Low Cost, Instant Communication

Email makes business communications instant, whether the customer or business affiliate is across the street or across the globe. It makes it easier for customers to maintain contact and readily facilitates repeat purchasing. An effective online strategy can therefore turn a small web business into a virtual cost saver and income-generating machine. The net result is that the small business can gain significant competitive advantage in a given market.

Many online businesses have therefore resorted to the use of ezines, blogs, pop-up ads and other online marketing tools to let customers know about new products or services as well as provide information relevant to their respective industry. The benefits of this strategy are two fold. Marketers can effectively heighten brand awareness for relatively new products on the market whilst strengthening customer relationships, with shorter time frames.

Content is Timeless

Internet Promotion also provides the advantage of being enduring. Whereas participation at a trade fair or conference loses sales impact, once it is over, and an advertisement in a newspaper or business magazine may quickly lose its sales generating value within a day or two or as soon as the next issue is released; Internet Promotion is often timeless. Apart from the dates and sometimes prices, much of your website content remains valid years after.

Real Time Statistics For Measuring Success of Promotion Campaign

One of the most significant advantages of Internet Promotion is that its success is measurable. Marketers can use tools that provide real time statistics, on unique visitors, repeat visitors, click through rates (CTR) on advertisements, thereby allowing them to evaluate the effectiveness of a promotion campaign. This enables marketers to determine what works for their particular market and to make timely changes in their marketing strategies.

Time Saving

Another important advantage of Internet Promotion is that it saves time since it generally does away with counselling on product uses and benefits, service information and sales administration. Visitors can access “frequently asked questions” to help themselves, and can buy online, without the involvement of staff. This saves time and money. So, whether 10 or 10,000 visitors visit the site, the increased cost is marginal whilst the savings can be immense.

But like any business approach, Internet Promotion is not without its risks and weaknesses.

Disadvantages

Difficulty in Attracting Customers

Small business may not have the resources to pay for paid directory inclusion, pay per click inclusions and often have to rely solely on search engine optimisation or word of mouth to drive traffic to their sites. With millions of businesses selling the same product and services, competing with more established businesses can be frustrating and costly venture for small business.

On the other hand, larger companies can offer promotions, pay for directory inclusions, implement pay per click campaigns as well as employ the “who is who” in internet marketing to develop campaigns that generate traffic and leads.

Difficulty in Evaluating Legitimacy of Transaction

Another notable disadvantage of doing promoting businesses online is that it may be difficult for the businesspersons and consumers to thoroughly evaluate the legitimacy of a transaction. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to thieves using stolen credit cards and stolen information to do online transaction.

With Internet credit card and identity fraud on the rise, small businesses are forced to finance costly security measures to reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent transactions.

Salespersons and Customers are Isolated

Another disadvantage of promotion via the Internet is that the customers and businesspersons are isolated. There is little personal contact between customer and salesperson prior to and after the sales is closed. Thus, the prospect for repeat sales may thus be diminished. Entrepreneurs are therefore compelled to adopt marketing strategies to drive online users back to their site.

From all indications, it appears that the advantages of Internet promotion, far exceed the disadvantages. With adequate knowledge, entrepreneur can benefit significantly from Internet promotion, especially small business owners.

More and more, the growth and outreach of the Internet’s, its ease and accessibility for customers is becoming inevitable. Small business would therefore be well advised to start their web advertising function in order to improve their competitiveness online.

Thinking Like An Online Entrepreneur – E-Commerce Tips

So much has been written about entrepreneurial thinking that I will not try to distil it here. However, there are certain behaviors I have noted about how some web owners approach the development and running of their e-commerce websites which deserve a little discussion.

Let me start with the most important, influencing factor to any web owner's success: belief.

Belief

Starting your online entrepreneurial activity with the right mindset and beliefs is like winning the match before you've stepped out onto the court. It's what separates the really successful businesses from the average ones.

Ask any sportsperson or sports psychologist and they'll tell you that your beliefs greatly affect your performance.

What we believe is possible in our online entrepreneurial life is the limiting factor in our success.

Let's take an example. Lots of people wish they were millionaires, but of those who want to become millionaires, very few actually believe they will be millionaires. Those that do, however, stand a far greater chance of becoming what they believe. Why? Because at a conscious and subconscious level they are doing everything they can to pursue that one objective. Now I'm not suggesting that being a millionaire should be your life's goal; I'm just using it as an example. The point is that your underlying beliefs in what you are capable of fundamentally affect the actions you take and the choices you make.

All this may seem more like some New Age incantation rather than hard-edged business-speak, but there is good reason I mention it. Owning and running an e-commerce website is not for the faint-hearted. It is complex and demanding and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long hours, headaches and hard work, but also be prepared for more customers, a growing bank account and a sense of achievement. Your belief that you are doing the right thing is what will see you through and keep you on course for success.

Owning an e-commerce website can be a wild ride but how you handle it is totally dictated by your mind and your beliefs. For example, many e-commerce websites fail because their owners give up – they lose confidence, interest and commitment, especially in the early days of their website's life. It's easy to give up if you're struggling or faced with outright failure. However, those who believe they will succeed do not see failure as a setback but as a learning experience – they have the right mindset and they will do well because of it.

I'm telling you this because you know that success is not a set of purely mechanical step-by-step processes. (If it were, we'd all be millionaires.) Success comes from your mindset: what you believe you can achieve and the expectations you set yourself. This mindset is as important as knowing how to Search Engine optimize your e-commerce website or write compelling sales copy.

Essential Things to Change in Insurance Training

Insurance services use knowledge related to finance, regulations, analytics in general and everything else in specific. For example, take project insurance. The insurer needs to evaluate various risks associated with the project. He should be able to make use of project management documents to understand the measures being taken by managers to manage the risks identified by them. He should be able to assess loss in case of claim. He need to use the knowledge of project management techniques in project insurance.

Again, if it is agriculture insurance, an insurer has to get idea about the crop yield, soil quality, farming practices etc. To do a meaningfulful insurance. So, knowledge of agriculture science need to be applied. Since insurance extends its services to every possible activities in the world or even in space, it has the potential to use every kind of knowledge.

Knowledge gained by insurance professionals during training are to be used. They are not for answering few questions in examination and then forgetting them. There is no end of values ​​that insurance service can add in risk management in any kind of activities. And that is through the use of knowledge related to risk management techniques and also the knowledge related to activities. It may not be expected that every insurance professional will gain knowledge of every activity. But, he will do better if he is able to identify what knowledge to be used from where. This where can be external too.

There can be such training courses that are related to existing practices. But these are at the most basic level. It makes sense if there is a need of organized training on existing practices. There are regular changes in standards, regulations, etc. That may create a need for organized training to make them known to insurance professionals in formal way.

However, since Insurance service by nature is futuristic, there has to be an emphasis on such topics that empowers the professionals to understand the future in scientific way with greater nuance. Such training prepares insurance professionals to go much deep in their profession and make the profession richer.

So, one thing that definitely need to be in the insurance related training is something about the future, something latest, something new, something that make the participants come out from the routine thinking and dive deep into topics related to finance, regulations and analytics or Related to the special area of ​​insurance.