Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Dragon is upon us !!!

With Chinese New Year just around the Corner here are a few ideas to help complete your preparation for the festivities


Before you start decorating, grab a broom. According to Chinese custom, a good sweeping prior to the New Year celebrations cleans out any bad luck and gets your home ready to receive good fortune in the coming year.

Wish your family and guests well in the new year by putting up traditional wall hangings decorated with Chinese phrases, like red banners with the Chinese word for happiness and red paper cutouts featuring Chinese good-luck sayings.

Complement your red decorations with other bright colors. Traditional New Year's flowers come in a rainbow of shades: Fill your vases with peach blossoms, kumquat plants and chrysanthemums (symbolizing luck, prosperity and longevity, respectively). Platters of oranges and tangerines, both of which symbolize happiness, lend a vibrant splash of color to your holiday decor.

The Tray of Togetherness, a tray of sweets consisting of eight dried fruits, offers a sweet start to the year and a show-stopping centerpiece to your party. To create it, you'll need a large round, or octagonal, tray with eight compartments. In each section, place one of the following items:
candied melon (symbolizing good health)
red melon seed (joy)
lychee nut (strong family)
kumquats (prosperity)
coconut (unity)
peanuts (longevity)
longan (many good sons)
lotus seeds (fertility)

Now that you've decorated your home in the colors and items that will bring you happiness, health and prosperity, keep the good luck coming by following these superstitions as you greet the new lunar year.
Dress in red. Crimson clothing is said to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
Open doors and windows, weather permitting. This lets the old year out and helps good luck find its way into your home.
Keep lights turned on to scare away any ghosts and bad spirits.
Don't wash your hair—you could inadvertently wash away good fortune.
Avoid mentioning the past. Keep the focus on the new beginning offered by this brand-new year.


Mah-jongg tournament! This ancient Chinese game became all the rage when it was introduced in the US in the '20s and still maintains a devout following.

Create your own red money envelopes. The envelopes are usually decorated with Chinese characters, often in gold or black text. Tradition dictates that you put an even number of money inside the packet. Odd numbers of cash are usually given during funerals.

Fireworks, said to scare away evil, are a New Year's must—if they're legal in your area. Make sure you handle them safely by keeping them away from children and always having a bucket of water handy. The water douses any fireworks that ignite and should be used to soak fireworks before disposing of them.


The eve of the lunar New Year is a time of grand feasts featuring chicken, fish, noodles, dumplings and both sweet and savory cakes (see two below). Stay away from all-white dishes on New Year's Day; the color signifies death and misfortune, so it is thought to be unlucky.

The New Year's Cake, known as neen gow, is considered the most important cake eaten this time of year. Consisting primarily of glutinous rice flour and brown candy (peen tong), it is dipped in egg and pan-fried, resulting in a sweet, sticky, chewy cake.

Turnip cake is made with Chinese turnips (law bock, a type of daikon radish), sausages and rice flour. This savory cake has a consistency closer to bread than cake and is served throughout the year in dim sum restaurants.


Golden Champagne Cocktail
3 parts sparkling wine
2 parts tangerine juice
1 splash grenadine

Pour sparkling wine into a champagne flute, then add tangerine juice. Top with grenadine.

Stay in the spirit of the holiday by using signature flavors such as lychee, coconut or tangerine. To add some extra sparkle why not add a Danmade Party Sparkle for that extra Pizzaz!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Using Technology to Help Your Restaurant Business Attract New Customers

There's an App for that !!!

In todays crazy, and highly competitive world we all need to look for that special uniqueness that sets our business apart from the competition...

In-App Reservations - Customers can be provided with this convenient feature within your restaurant app which will let them make a reservation, then receive confirmation through an email with the date, time and party size and also turn-by-turn directions to your restaurant location.
This allows your customers to make reservations at a time convenient to them. Your customers can even call you with an easy one-touch button on the landing page of your custom app.

Digital Menus - You can impress your customers with a “digital menu”. Customers will astounded by the way they are served by you, even before their welcome drink! By offering them a facility to choose their menu on iPad or other tablet, you provide them a sophisticated way to select their meals.
These types of electronic meal selection are fabulous, as they can easily search for their favorite cuisines and dishes. This digital menu can be simple, and also stimulating and directional.
You can help your customers with suggestive themes, and specially segregated layouts which can really help revolutionise the way they order. Imagine placing a screen in front of them, which offers a simple selection module with a separate section for both non-vegetarian and vegetarian and other cuisines!

Google Maps-Based Apps - You can integrate Google maps in your restaurant app to help customers in reaching your restaurant or its different branches using Google maps. Youre venue can also be tagged and will show up in results when anyone searches for restaurants or keys in some specifically selected key words.

Promotional Apps - You can interact with your customers directly and keep them updated 24/7 with promotional and special offerings. You can also encourage your customers to refer more people and offer them auto generated privilege offers and loyalty points.

Update Apps - You can share amazing videos and pictures of your restaurant. Party space, events, celebrity visits, food, hospitality and occasional decorations can be shared with guests and customers.
With mobile apps, you can also share chef’s specials, video testimonials, information on different branches, signature services, facilities and birthday celebrations which you can make available as a part of your extended services with the help of intuitive videos.

Payment Apps - You can take payment from your customers easily with a module that processes credit cards. Also offer them loyalty points, cross-promotional offers and additional privileges. Apps can even compare their current bill with the bill that they would have paid if they had visited your restaurant during happy hours or other promotional times. Why not even include a simple tip calculator!
By developing custom mobile applications for iPhone and Android devices for your restaurant business, you can open the doors to some of your best promotional strategies.
It is possible, to use various mobile applications to help your restaurant business attract more customers within a relatively short time.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

An Innovative Idea for Restaurants to Improve Business

This is a great new way for Restaurants to improve their visbility on Google search in turn increasing their revenue.

Have you seen the distinctive blue pins that appear on Google Maps alongside the numerous red location markers?
I did a search for “Nottingham Restaurant” and in the Google Map below you can see a single eye catching Blue label marker (the number one) jostling alongside the alphabetically ordered red pins.
The red pins correspond to the  free business listing on the Google Places service.
The blue pin corresponds to the restaurant Tarn Thai that is using the paid AdWords advertising network.  It’s advert appears directly below the map:

The Blue Pins are not triggered just for the top ads.
In the example below, you can see that the number One pin corresponds to an advert way down in position six.

Perhaps a useful way to save money with your advertising, getting high visibility on the map at a cheaper advertising position?

Twice the visibility in just one advertisement….

Would you believe it? : Kids at Restaurants Are Out; Bread, Spicy Foods Are In

  Burgers are no longer rare ! 

1. Babysitters are as important as reservations. You love your children, naturally, but your fellow fine diners? Not so much. Two-thirds of respondents would prefer you leave the little ones at home, even though just as many restaurants are more than glad to serve young foodies.

2. Bread is back. Carbs be damned; more than 60% of diners want to see bread on the table at the beginning of their meal — and they don’t want to have to ask for it, thankyouverymuch.

3. Almost everyone likes it hot. Nearly 90% of OpenTable diners want chefs to turn up the heat with spices.

4. Burgers are no longer rare. Three-quarters of guests surveyed welcome burgers on fine dining menus and half of fine-dining restaurants serve them.

5. Breakfast: It’s what’s for dinner. More than 80% of respondents would like to see breakfast food served all day. [Ed. note: Me, too!]

6. Desserts go beyond carrot cake. Bugs Bunny’s fave veg will have to share the dessert tray, as many other vegetables are being used in desserts. And, nearly 20% of diners have tried veggie-based sweets – and half of our respondents are interested in trying them.

7. Let’s get small. Diners are growing more health-conscious, with 70% reporting that they are pleased that restaurants have reduced portion sizes.

8. Sustainable is good for restaurants’ sustainability. 85% of diners prefer that restaurants serve sustainably sourced ingredients.

9. It’s easier to be gluten-free. More than 75% of restaurants surveyed said they offered gluten-free items, and many that do not plan on adding dishes that are safe for Celiac sufferers.

10.  Fine dining goes high tech. One-fourth of restaurants are or will be integrating more technology into the dining experience, via menus and wine lists on iPads. This is great news for our diners: 65% would welcome it!

 What are your dining predictions for next year? Add a comment or tell us on Facebook!