Monday, December 28, 2020

2020: A Year We’ll Never Forget

What a horrible year 2020 has been. But we survived!

For TableBoost, we had such high hopes for 2020 and it started off so well for us.

In January we started our Beta program and 9 of the first 10 restaurants we spoke to all signed up with TableBoost. 

In February we added more customers and made improvements to our product.  It was a great start!  We had built a great team and we were flying high.

In March we got a few investors, and we were planning on officially launching the company at the New England

Food Show in Boston at the end of the month.  We had our booth all set up, we created a great professional video,

and had prizes and shirts… then COVID shut down the show and essentially shut down the industry.

April, May and June were a blur as everyone scrambled to figure out what to do and how to survive.  TableBoost

started looking at other food service related businesses that weren’t as hard hit as restaurants (including

cloud kitchens, convenience stores, caterers, grocers) and started experimenting with alternative sales and marketing

strategies, because walking into a business and asking to speak with the owner/manager just wasn’t happening


So we did our research and experimented with different ideas, we continued to improve our product, and added

Dining Alliance the #1 restaurant GPO as a partner.

We slashed our budget but kept our team together and even brought on a group of amazing college interns.

We had no chance of achieving our initial goals in terms of # of customers and revenue, so we set new goals;

“Survive to thrive after COVID”; enhance our product; and build our brand.

Over the summer we kicked off our Social Media marketing programs with two posts per week on FaceBook,

Instagram and LinkedIn along with an active Twitter account.  We then created a weekly Blog and now operate like a

well-oiled machine.  We added QuickBooks integration and other product improvements.  We discovered that Insurance carriers were very interested in the Risk and Loss reducing benefits of TableBoost. We also

started using HubSpot to implement outbound email marketing programs.

In the Fall we welcomed a new team of college interns, we added key Partners like Parts Town for replacement parts

and Ascentium Capital for equipment financing, and also discovered that TableBoost is a perfect tool for Hotels.

As the year is coming to an end, we are increasing our focus on the hotel industry. We are adding hotel specific

product features, we hired a hotel industry veteran as our VP for the Hotel Division and most importantly, we’re gaining more hotel customers every week.

So, having survived COVID so far, we are picking up steam at the end of 2020, and 2021 is looking very hopeful.

Stay Safe and Be Nimble!  

Pray for a quick end to COVID, and 2020, 

Good Riddance to Ye!

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Monday, December 21, 2020

It’s a Matter of When, Not If

Your equipment is going to breakdown, and soon!

Every day there are 3,100 emergency repairs required in US restaurants. EVERY DAY!  So, sooner or later it’s going to happen to you.

Unfortunately during COVID, many restaurants and hotels have been forced to defer whatever expenses they can which means equipment

is not being maintained/replaced as often as it should be.  This will lead to increased equipment failure. When this happens, the business is at

risk of losing revenue, providing a poor experience to customers, being stuck with huge repair bills, and having to replace equipment. It

significantly impacts profitability every time and it happens way too often.

So be prepared by using the free TableBoost app to better manage equipment so that emergency repairs happen much less frequently and when

they do happen, they can be dealt with quickly.  

And if equipment cannot be repaired:

- TableBoost can provide multiple competitive bids in minutes (so you always get the best price)

- Our partner, Ascentium Capital, can help with 100% financing (including delivery and installation)

- Our partner, PartRunner, can get your equipment delivered Same Day

We are here to help with the inevitable “when.”

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Is COVID Making You Plan to Hibernate for the Winter? Here’s what you need to do…

COVID-19 has devastated the service and hospitality industries.  Every day that goes by, the US seems to break new

records.  This elevates our level of uncertainty to levels we couldn’t have imagined a year ago in the businesses

we have dedicated our lives too.  Whether it be government mandated or mandated by simple economics, you may be

facing a temporary closure of business.  Last March, we all experienced this and have learned lessons from each experience.  

Here is what you need to do now...  

Notify your staff!

Your staff is the lifeline of your business and you’ll need them to assure a proper temporary closing of the business

and ability to reopen seamlessly as quickly as possible.  Service and hospitality workers are among the hardest

working and most loyal employees of any industry.  They have been there for you, now be there for them.  

Know your state’s unemployment policies and offer assistance to each staff member as they navigate their own

uncertainty.  Let them know they will be welcomed back as soon as your business is ready!

Clean and sanitize everything! 

Right after closure, bring your staff in for a cleaning day.  You’re going to have perishables that you’ll need to get rid

of before you close, so offer your team anything that can’t be stored and reused or frozen.  Beer also needs to be sold

fresh and is a great motivator…

When you do reopen, you have no excuse for not having your business immaculate and ready to hit the ground

running.  Deep clean all of your cooking equipment.  Clean out your grease traps.  Clean and sanitize all of your

equipment and areas above, under and behind.  Even the most rigorous of cleaning schedules can miss areas.  

You may also need a health inspection before you reopen.  Make your health inspector proud!

Negotiate with vendors and your landlord if possible.  

You are not the only business that is struggling in these times.  Your vendors and landlord are most likely facing

difficult financial times and handling cost cutting as well.  If you can, offer to pay a smaller monthly amount to keep

your vendor accounts active and lower your balances in good faith. As commercial property prices are starting to

drop, review your lease with your landlord.  Items such as a lease extension at current market value in lieu of or

reduction in rent during your shutdown may be possible. Reasonable measures can be negotiated in unreasonable times.  

Shut down any unnecessary equipment.  

Consolidate any refrigerated non-perishable or frozen items into as few units as possible. Deep clean and unplug the rest

of your refrigeration units.  

Unplug all of your neon lights, TV’s and POS terminals (but keep your main PC on for any POS updates and for backup). 

Any lights that are on a timer should be shut off.  The electricity savings may surprise you.  

Shut off the main gas valve to avoid any leaks and save on your gas bill.  

Cancel or suspend any unnecessary subscriptions and services.  

Let your waste removal company know you will not need service once your deep clean has been completed.  After your

deep clean, suspend your overnight or contracted cleaning service if possible.  

Cancel your TV package.  Suspend any subscriptions to software programs for reservations, etc.  By the way, TableBoost

is FREE, so no need to! Keep your alarm on (may require you to keep phone and/or internet service).

Stay updated with all communications from the National Restaurant Association, and your state’s Restaurant Association.  

Companies such as Dining Alliance and Buyer’s Edge also post valuable information.  

Reach out to your local and state representatives, they are your voice in government.  Make your voice heard.  

There may be grant or loan programs at the state or local level targeted to assist you and your tax-earning business

during this difficult time.  


If you’re planning on hibernating for the winter, Prepare, stay aware, stay safe and be ready to wake up when the

alarm rings.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

TableTip #3

TableTips # 3

Assigning Employee Tasks


It is simple to assign one-time tasks (e.g. “Put up the Holiday lights”) or recurring tasks (e.g. “Change the Fryer oil every Friday…) to one or more employees.

Watch this Video.


Follow these steps:

1. Add a New Ticket

2. Select Type "For Employees - Internal"

3. Select the Equipment related to the task or Leave the Equipment blank, hit Next

4. Click No, it is not recurring

5. Assign the User(s) 

6. Change Ticket Title to reflect what the task is e.g. "Clean Restrooms at End of Shift"

7. In the Details field, enter today’s date and any relevant instructions.  "Clean the sinks and toilet and mop the floor. Update this ticket as Work Completed when you are done."

That's it.

TableTip #2

TableTip # 2 

Posting Manager Notes

(like today’s specials)

It‘s easy to communicate information on a daily or weekly basis to your employees and management team using a TableBoost ticket.

For example:  Post the info that you normally communicate verbally at pre-shift meetings including Today's Menu Specials

Watch this video 


Follow these steps:

1. Add a New Ticket

2. Select Type "For Employees - Internal"

3. Leave the Equipment blank, hit Next

4. Click No, it is not recurring

5. Assign all Users who should be receiving this information 

6.Change Ticket Title to "Daily Manager's Notes and Today's Specials”

7. In the Details field, enter today's date and enter the info the manager wants to communicate including Today's Menu Specials

That's it.

If you run out of a special, you can simply update the details section "Out of carrots, so substituting squash" and everyone will receive a notification of the change.

The next day you can simply re-use the same ticket by just updating the date and the details.  Or you can create a new ticket.

TableTip #1

TableTips # 1

When to Take Action

Any ticket with a red triangle means you need to take action!

Examples: Accept a Response, Assign a Service Provider, or Approve an Invoice


Monday, December 7, 2020

Time to sell your restaurant? How to get the most for it.

It may be time to sell your restaurant?

The COVID pandemic has shuttered many a business, with restaurants being hit especially

hard.  Some restaurants will be able to survive and others just won't.  Some landlords

are willing and able to provide relief and others aren't. If your restaurant just can't sustain

itself for another 9 months of COVID or you’re just ready to move on, then you need to

start getting it ready to sell. If you just shut down and walk away, you will get nothing

for your brand, location, inventory, equipment, loyal customers, etc.  So, don't shut down.

Sell it!

You have spent time, sweat and tears building a business that has value. 

Don't let a short-term pandemic strip you of all that.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Create a detailed inventory of all of your equipment, furniture and systems. A simple and free way to do this is to use the TableBoost app. TableBoost catalogs all of your equipment and systems including make, model, year, salvage value, warranty... This is critical for defining a $ value.  Click here to start the process. 

  1. Identify all of your vendors (service providers, suppliers) with their contact info, service contracts, and the recurring preventative maintenance schedules. Note: This is all stored in TableBoost, so if #1 didn't convince you to set up a free TableBoost account, click here and do it now. 

  1. Organize all of your facilities related documents (e.g. Board of Health inspection reports, Fire & Safety inspections, Building Dept inspections).  Note:  This can all be stored in TableBoost, so if #1 and #2 didn't convince you to set up a free TableBoost account, click here and do it now. 


  1. Create a detailed inventory of everything else you have.

  1. Put together a story about what is special about your business (e.g. the location, the community, the loyalty of customers, your menu, special events, what makes your business important to the community...)

  1. Create a financial overview of 2017, 2018, 2019; forget about 2020 as it’s not relevant to what your business is worth after COVID.

  1. Define a bunch of recommendations you have for the next owner. List things that you should have done that could increase revenue... 

  1. Calculate what they could achieve (total revenue) post-COVID.

  1. Talk to a small business broker and find out what you should do to put your business in the best possible light to get the maximum value. Just Google "restaurant business broker" to find brokers near you. Here in the Northeast, we can recommend National Restaurant Exchange, Northeast Restaurant Group, and Corbett Restaurant Group. If you know of good brokers in other parts of the country, please share their name and website URL in the below Comments section of this blog.

  1. Let your landlord know that you are considering selling your business and want to know if they will cooperate with a new owner (e.g. have them assume the rest of your lease or need to create a new lease, etc.)

While few owners want to sell their restaurant(s), it may be the most prudent option to

pursue. And being well prepared with TableBoost’s app, will help you get the most money

for your business.

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