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Vancouver Restaurants

Vancouver is the largest city in Western Canada, and third largest in Canada. Located at the southwestern corner of the coastal province of British Columbia. It is well known for its majestic natural beauty, as it is nestled between the coastal mountains and the Pacific ocean. It is frequently ranked as one of the “best cities to live in” and is certainly a beautiful destination to visit.

While Vancouver is a comparatively young city, at just over 100 years, its history begins long before. The indigenous peoples (First Nations) have lived in the area for thousands of years, and Vancouver’s namesake Captain George Vancouver sailed through the First Narrows in 1792. The first settlement on the downtown peninsula was Granville, located on the spot of today’s Gastown. In the year of Canada’s confederation a saloon was built on this site and gave birth to a small shantytown of bars and stores adjacent to the original mill on the south shore of what is now the city’s harbour. A seemingly endless supply of high quality lumber was logged and sold through the ports of Gastown and Moodyville, across the inlet. Some of trees were gigantic beams which were was shipped to China to construct Beijing’s Imperial Palace), and one account maintains that the world’s windjammer fleets could not have been built without the trees of Burrard Inlet. Vancouver proper was signed into existence in 1886. The first City Hall was little more than a hand painted sign nailed to a wooden tent post. The arrival of the transcontinental railway a few years later spurred growth even more and by 1892 the area had over 20,000 residents; eighteen years later this figure was over 100,000.

Factor in constant growth every year since (many in the double digits), and Greater Vancouver today is Canada’s largest metropolitan area west of Toronto with well over 2,000,000 residents, roughly half of British Columbia’s population as a whole. It is also the fastest growing part of Canada. Greater Vancouver is one of the most ethnically diverse metropolitan areas in the world and is home to the second largest Chinatown in the world.

The city truly arrived in 1986 when Vancouver “hosted the world” with the Expo 86 World Fair. Media attention from around the world was consistently positive, and many considered it the most successful World’s Fair to date. Vancouver has been awarded the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and this event will no doubt cast Vancouver into the world spotlight once again. It will be the largest city ever to host the winter games, and interestingly, the only city at sea level to host them.

Vancouver is perhaps best known for its scenic beauty, and the opportunities afforded by its natural environment. Vancouver is one of those rare places where you can ski in the mountains, windsurf in the ocean, and play a round of golf all in the same day. Surrounded by water on three sides, and crowned by the North Shore mountains, Vancouver is a great destination in itself, as well a a great starting point for discovering the area’s many outdoor activities.

Vancouver is a major sea port on the Pacific Ocean, and a base for many Alaska Cruise Ships in the summer.

Landmarks/Points of Interest

Canada Place Venture over to the cruise boats ready to depart and you can converse with the lucky passengers about to embark on ‘inside passage’ tours through Alaska. CP has an IMAX theatre as well. CP is located adjacent to the Pan Pacific Hotel.

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first full-sized classical Chinese garden outside China. It is located in China town on the edge of downtown Vancouver.

International Buddhist Temple is the most authentic example of traditional palatial Chinese architecture in North America. It is an edifice straight out of the Chinese past, as it resembles any authentic temple that can be found along the banks of the Yangtze River, where one of the world’s oldest civilizations originated. Come explore traditional Chinese art, culture, and the Buddhist philosophy inside this magnificent place. Free admission.

University of British Columbia This Campus has streets lined with trees and stretching over an area encompassing a small city, the UBC campus offers much to see and much to do. You can attend free lectures, relax at clothes-optional Wreck Beach [18], or see a show at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts [19]. The UBC Libraries form the second largest library collection in all of Canada (second only to University of Toronto). A must for cash-strapped visitors: UBC often hosts free events, such as seminars, theatrical performances or student concerts.

Granville Island is Vancouver’s famous public market. Along with the large market there are also numorus local art galleries, restaurants and even a brewery.

Gastown is Vancouver’s historic district, there are many tourist shops, restaurants and pubs in this area. This is also where Storyeum is located.

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Restaurant Training – This Is Show Business

In today’s increasingly competitive hospitality industry, owners and managers are constantly seeking the answer to an important question- How do you recruit, retain, and motivate staff who are responsible for creating a “magical” experience which exceeds your guest’s expectations?
Some answers may be found by looking to successful companies that are consistently achieving these goals.

William Shakespeare wrote, ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’. One company that has exemplified that quote is the Walt Disney World Co. based in Orlando, Florida.

Disney is recognised as one company which creates such “magical”experiences. The Disney challenge is to ensure that all of the 36,000 staff are playing a role in a show which exceeds all expectations.

The Disney approach to people management has helped gain them the reputation of providing a leading benchmark for quality and service in America.

Disney does not just “hire” people for jobs, they “cast” performers for a “role” in the show. The emphasis is in finding ‘people oriented’ cast members who are willing to adapt to the high standards established, and not necessarily on the skills an applicant may have.

Their ‘casting process’ introduces each applicant to the culture of the company, and the important role which they will play in the future success. This way there are no surprises, and it is this approach which helps to maintain turnover at approximately 20%.

Success on the “Restaurant Stage” requires the development and choreography of many different aspects, such as a great cast, script, support and direction.

Quality ‘Casting’ or recruitment, is critical to everything else in the production.

As an owner or manager, you are more director and choreographer of a performance. Your front of house staff, are the actors, and your customers are the audience for whom they must perform.

The supporting crew is responsible for ensuring the script and show is executed as planned. As director, you have to prepare your cast to recognize guest cues, deliver their lines and improvise when it will add to the enjoyment of the performance.

Think of a typical theatre performance- the audience files in, the curtain goes up, the actors make their entrances and speak their lines. If each and every cast member, not to mention the writer, director, stagehands, customers, makeup artists, and lighting technicians, have prepared themselves and the theatre well, the audience enjoys the show and tells others about it.

However, despite the proven talents of individual members of the cast or the presence of an award-winning director or the skills of the backstage crew, the whole thing can be a magnificent flop if just one person fails to do a job on which everyone else depends.

Filling out your service cast with people who can star in their roles is the key to success. But casting for a restaurant show is far more involved and difficult than hiring just anybody to answer a phone, or take orders and deliver food.

The next article, ‘The casting call’ is about how to attract the right cast members. For previous articles please visit the Archives section on our website.

Restaurant Business: How To Write Your Menu

While the recipes seem not to concern the menu, it is very much connected as the operations in the kitchen are triggered by the customerís orders, which are based on the menu. The recipes will serve as important definitions of what is written on the menu. The recipes are crucial to deliver the items in the menu as consistently as possible. If the chef can’t translate the recipe of a particular item simply enough for the cooks to replicate, then it is best to discard the item from the menu no matter how good it may be. Only after the recipes have been written down can the menu be drafted.

After writing the recipe and making the menu draft, the next step is to contact suppliers that provide the ingredients. The chef may be able to produce recipes and a menu of delectable pieces, but they can’t be made and served if there are no ingredients. The chef and the owner should be able to source out the items carefully and thoroughly. It is best to contact several suppliers to find one that can give the best quality, most consistent quantity, and most reasonable prices.

This stage in menu writing also determines the prices of the food to be served. The costs of ingredients directly affect the price of the finished dishes. At this point it may be necessary for the chef to substitute certain ingredients that might be too expensive to sell at a reasonable price, or in worse cases, discard a dish totally because the cost might make it impossible to be served.

When a good deal with suppliers has been made, the next crucial step is to test the menu. The chef has to assemble the menu, and then present it to the whole restaurant ñ the busboys, the waiters, the maitre dí, the managers, the owners, and everybody else involved in the service. This will acquaint the whole restaurant to the food and at the same time will help evaluate if the food will be good to serve. At this point it is wise to take pictures of the dishes to serve as a guide for the staff so that they will know how the finished dishes should appear.

At the end of the tasting the chef will know if there are necessary changes to be made in the menu. After which, the menu can be finalized. Restaurant startup costs cannot be overlooked! Get $200,000 US Government Grants for new businesses. Claim your FREE $79 Gov Grant book!

The last step will be the actual printing of the menus. There are several menu suppliers that will be able to present several types of menus and materials for the restaurant managers to choose from. You may choose a booklet type of menu, or a single paged one. The options are endless. Restaurateurs may choose to outsource the printing of menus or they may opt to invest in a menu printer themselves should they deem it necessary to change the menu more often the usual.

The menu may be just a sheet or some sheets of paper; however it is a very important backbone of a successful restaurant. The steps to write a menu may be tedious, but the efforts to make one are definitely worth it. Guaranteed US Government Grant for USA Citizens at

Mexican Living Survival Tip # 11 Restaurants

Eating out is a source of pleasure and cheap entertainment in Mexico in general and in Guanajuato in particular. We are always being asked where we recommend visitors eat. The difficulty in answering this question is that for $12.00 USD, you would be able to feed four adults. Americans think that is a cheap to feed one adult. Visiting gringos find it incredible that you can get a good meal in this city for under $4.00.

Most local restaurants in Guanajuato will have something called, El Menu del DÌa, or The Meal of the Day. This will consist, usually, of something from the regular menu that is served for a really cheap price. You get a choice of two soups, vegetable, starch, and meat. Sometimes the drink and dessert is included.

The portions are not anywhere the size of potions in the U.S. but the meal is filling and will satisfy you. One or two restaurants will serve something out-of-the-ordinary for their regular customers. We frequent one place that will give us the ìheads upî when they plan to serve liver (yes, we love liver!). It is not on their regular menu.

In some of the upper-range restaurants in the El Jardin area, their Meal of the Day can be very elegant with American-sized portions. These will be more expensive, around $6.50 per person, but is worth it every now and then. Some of these restaurants have bilingual waiters who can speak a bit of English.

We rarely eat out for any meal other than La Cena (the mid-day meal). We usually take advantage of the meal of the day. Sometimes we order from the menu. So, here are our suggestions of where you can eat, whether you are a visitor or expat in Guanajuato:

Truco 7 ñ When we get a hankering for a good steak, we eat here. We have expat pals who refuse to believe that you can get a good steak anywhere in Mexico. We take exception to that gross misstatement. Truco 7 is a trendily-decorated place that is well worth the time and effort to visit. It is off the beaten path and until you get to know Guanajuato you can ask anyone, ìøDÛnde est· Truco Siete?î and they will more than likely escort you there personally. We normally choose bistec y papas or steak and fries which is accompanied by a small salad, a little guacamole, and bolillos (a French-bread type roll). It is absolutely delicious.

Tapatio ñ This is located across the street from the enormous staircase that leads up to the main building of the University of Guanajuato. This is the place of choice to go for The Meal of the Day. The service is decent but not exceptional. However, it is immensely popular with Mexicans because of the food. You might be able to strike up a conversation or two with your fellow diners if you want. They have an excellent dish called Milanesa de pollo o res. This a piece of chicken breast (or beef) that is pounded into oblivion, resulting in an almost wafer-thin piece of meat. It is then lightly breaded and fried. It is usually served with fries, guacamole, and a small collection of freshly cut vegetables. It is the breading and seasoning of Milanesa that makes it very good.

Casa Valadez ñ This is owned by a very old family here in Guanajuato. My wife used to teach English to one of the members of this family. Casa Valadez is probably the closest thing in this town resembling an international restaurant. It has a bilingual menu and serves some American dishes along with some of the traditional Mexican dishes. If you get it into your head that you want an exceptional hamburger, then you have to eat here. In addition, the service is outstanding! They treat you like they simply adore you and that you made their day for stopping by. They also serve what I think is the best food in town. I have yet to find an exception. The presentation makes you wonder if they have Wolfgang Puck in the back. It is a nice place all around and even has someone who plays the piano during the afternoon meal. Our favorite ìoff-the-menuî dish is a regional dish called Enchilada Mineras.

No place else serves such an exceptional plate of Enchiladas Mineras. If you are in the mood to be pampered and fussed over, go hereóeven for a hamburger.

Know Your Restaurant’s Start Up Cost

The cost of opening your own restaurant business is one very important matter to be dealt with and often the hardest to determine because, to a great extent, it depends on the type of restaurant that you desire to open.

Your restaurant ìstart-up costsî are outlined as expenses incurred for the acquisition or creation of your restaurant business. ìStart-up costsî are comprised as any incurred amounts or out-going capital in relation with your restaurantís activity directed for income generation before your restaurant business starts.

ìStart-up costsî generally include the following expenses:

ï Potential markets surveys.
ï Evaluation of available supplies, labor, facilities, etc.
ï Advertisements.
ï Business equipment and fixtures
ï Equipment and fixture installation
ï Decorating and remodeling
ï Employee uniforms
ï Salaries for employees undergoing training and their trainers.
ï Costs of travel for acquiring prospective suppliers, distributors or customers.
ï Fees and salaries for consultants and executives and other similar services.

Estimating your restaurant businessí ìstart up costsî:

It is a wise decision to study your ìstart-up costsî estimate with a qualified accountant. 1.Begin by recording then add up your entire restaurantís equipment which you consider is necessary to begin and manage your restaurant. See the chapter on selecting equipment and furnishings for more help on this. 2.On your list, mark off certain items or equipment that aren’t really necessary and can wait. Restaurant startup costs cannot be overlooked! Get $200,000 US Government Grants for new businesses. Claim your FREE $79 Gov Grant book! Determine what kind of equipment needs to be bought brand new, and what type can be purchased used.

Determine what things may be leased, for the moment.

2. When adding up the physical cost (building or office) of your restaurant, remember to also add in the remodeling costs, decorating costs, fixtures, installation and delivery fees for equipment and fixtures.

3. Include professional fees, utility deposits, permits and licenses.

4. When computing your advertising costs, make sure to add trademarks, logo expenses as well as other graphics to be used.

5. Come up with ways where you may be able to lower some expenses. Call vendors and suppliers and work out certain deals.

6. Estimate that all expenses will be much higher than expected. It is sensible to add about 1-5 percent to your estimate.Guaranteed US Government Grant for USA Citizens at

7. Write your business plan before you come to your final estimate for ìstart up costsî. Generally, a business plan functions to reveal more ìstart-up costsî that weren’t really thought of. Again, see the chapter on preparing your business plan.

8. Include your restaurantís first 3-6 months operating investment in your ìstart-up costsî. These expenses will usually include employee salaries, advertising, rent, supplies, delivery expenses, utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, professional services, loan payments, inventory, etc.