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Dennis Knows Food

Dennis Knows Food

Author: Luke LaBree

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Welcome to THE podcast for foodservice professionals, restaurant operators and anyone who lives-and-loves the world of food! From fast to fine, casual and convenient Dennis Knows Food serves up industry news, insightful conversations, marketing strategies and more - join host Luke LaBree on a journey to "put the foodie back in foodservice!"
68 Episodes
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  The most valuable weapon you have in the battle for eyes, ears and engagement online is content. Content is as important to your digital presence and marketing efforts as the food you serve is to your dining room. It shows who you are, what you do and what you’re capable of – but most importantly – it can impact a visitor’s decision to return. Like a great meal, great content helps customers establish an affinity for your business and brand. This episode explores (what is in my opinion) the best way to be found, to be followed and to grow your foodservice business using the internet. I won’t be going into specifics on how to establish properties like your website, Facebook page and Instagram account. This is for foodservice owners and operators who already have digital properties and want to get better at using them to increase traffic. Subscribe to Dennis Knows Food on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Castbox and other top platforms! We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com.
 Six figure sales swings, last minute website launches, loss mitigation, oncological humility and a philanthropic culture… Paul Saval shares how his team never backed down from the pandemic and what he hopes is on the horizon.If you work in the food industry, provide distribution services, conduct sales calls or are at all curious about the chaotic world and persevering positivity of an independent businesses over the past several months this episode is a can’t miss. Foodservice distributors provide the food and supplies at restaurants, delis, bars, hotels, schools and institutions… basically the nations food operations. Their contribution to America’s dining and leisure time often goes widely unnoticed by the general public. In this episode a food distribution CEO, who never really wanted to work in the industry to begin with, shares his thoughts on the business of foodservice and maintaining a positive outlook during a challenging time.Subscribe to the Podcast - Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include www.savalfoods.com and www.dennisexpress.com.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com.
Wisdom nuggets with a twist. We're cross-pollinating podcasts in this episode! Full Comp host Josh Kopel takes the reins and joins Dennis Knows Food host Luke LaBree to discuss some of their biggest takeaways from past interviews. Episode 59 reflects on the experiences and advice of several widely different foodservice professionals. Timeless and relatable wisdom; the ideas and insights flowing in this episode will get you fired up about finding unique opportunities in your operation.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include www.joshkopel.com and www.dennisexpress.com.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com.
A discussion about using restaurant reopening guidelines as a to-do list for marketing messages.In this episode of Dennis Knows Food host Luke LaBree talks with Cary Weston, partner at Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications. The idea at hand… What if foodservice operations used restaurant reopening checklists as a guide for marketing their businesses?Sharing your adherence to safety and sanitation practices will help build customer confidence at a time when the public seeks comfort and reassurance. Plus, adding a dash of personality and empathy to your messaging will help showcase your unique business and build an emotional connection with your customers. Episode 58 provides inspiration for capturing customer attention while reinforcing your foodservice brand during this challenging time.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include www.sutherlandweston.com and www.dennisexpress.com. For the CDC’s restaurant reopening guidance click HERE. For COVID-19 related information click HERE.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
The New Video Norm - Marketing During the CovidIn this special video and audio dual-edition of the Dennis Knows Food podcast, host Luke LaBree interviews Sal Marotta of SM Media Group on the creation and use of video in the foodservice industry. Video, especially social media video, is a powerful marketing tool that has become increasingly more potent and important during the coronavirus outbreak.Luke and Sal discuss how the restaurant industry can take advantage of video, tips and tactics for first timers and novices, best practices for marketing strategies and a lot more.There's a wealth of insight in this episode, which is available in video and standard podcast format. Enjoy, subscribe and share with anyone who could benefit from this information.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include: dennisexpress.com and the Foodservice 411 Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/foodservice411We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
Making the Most of Downtime [During the COVID-19 Crisis]The restaurant industry is in a chaotic and difficult situation due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a result many operations are seeing significantly lighter traffic, or have temporarily closed their doors, and are facing prolonged periods of downtime.In this episode podcast host Luke LaBree, and 4 other foodservice professionals share ideas and advice to help restaurant owners and operators make the most of this unfortunate situation. Topics discussed include reviewing menus to maximize profits, improving operational efficiencies, training staff, marketing and more. If you own own or operate a restaurant this episode, this advice, is for you.If you have any question or would like more ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out, email Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) For the video version visit: dennisexpress.com/making-the-most-of-downtimeWe look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
The Takeout Transition [During the COVID-19 Crisis]Following the need for many operations to transition from full service, dine-in establishments, to takeout and delivery only – I joined a Zoom call with 3 other industry experts to discuss 5 important topics pertinent to restaurants and the foodservice industry during this challenging time.The Transition to Takeout & Delivery OnlyWhat to Sell / Effective Menu PlanningTakeout PackagingEffective Messaging to Your CustomersMaximizing Your Labor & ResourcesSubscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) For the video version visit: dennisexpress.com/covid-takeout-transitionWe look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
In this episode of Dennis Knows Food we're sharing tips to help prepare your kitchen for the fall foodservice season. Foodservice operators take tremendous pride in their kitchens and equipment. Now that we’re through the hectic pace of the summer season now is a good time to clean equipment and ensure everything is in proper working order. And, if you’re looking for some fall-food inspiration we’ve assembled a list on our website featuring some of our favorite fall items. There’s even a section dedicated to all things pumpkin, with over a dozen different pumpkin related products. This week saw the celebration of National Coffee Day on Friday Sept. 29th – and this week’s foodie fact is inspired by coffee. The first "what" was invented at The University of Cambridge to let people know if the coffee pot was full or not. Find out what it was in this episode! Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website - www.DennisExpress.com. And our Fall Favorites at www.dennisexpress.com/fall-favorites.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!This weeks podcast photo comes from Chris Isherwood.
We're breaking from our usual format with this episode and pulling an unpublished segment from the archives!In this episode we're sharing an unpublished portion of our Christmas 2017 podcast that, due to time constraints and bustling activity here in the office, was just never finished. Tune in as your host, Luke LaBree, shares one of his favorite traditions - movie night - featuring seven foodie films to enjoy with your friends and family.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
Our longest episode yet offers up valuable insights for today's foodservice operators. Join us for an open-ended conversation with fellow industry professional Michael Mirarchi!A departure from our usual format - Episode 44 takes on a life of its own as Dennis Knows Food host Luke LaBree, and special guest Michael Mirarchi, share their thoughts on a number of trending industry topics - paper straws, eco-friendly packaging, branding, the power of Yelp, social media and more - don't miss this episode!This week’s foodie fact is brought to you by Original Philly - Original Philly Cheesesteak Company crafts enough raw and fully-cooked steak each day to make a cheesesteak that would stretch from South Philly to Atlantic City. We’re asking, how long was the largest cheesesteak ever made? Steve’s Prince of Steaks and Amoroso’s Bakery nabbed the record for world’s largest cheesesteak in 2015… how long was it?Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com and the Michael Mirarchi's book - Sales Wisdom from a Toilet Paper Salesman [HERE].We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com![This episodes blog photo courtesy of @lauragrafie.]SaveSaveSaveSave
Constructive criticism is not a personal attack.In this episode Chef Tim shares one of the very first lessons he learned in foodservice. A story about teamwork from the unteachable point of view of a dish-pit newbie.Having worked in foodservice for over 31 years, Chef Tim Labonte has done it all and seen it all in professional kitchens... but, everyone starts somewhere.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include: dennisexpress.com/dailyfoodieWe look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
"If you're not making enough money, it's because you're not making enough money."Joshua Kopel is an entrepreneur, restaurateur and environmental advocate from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During his 20-plus year career he's managed everything from dive bars to fine dining establishments. Today he runs two successful foodservice ventures in Los Angles, and has recently started broadening into the consulting and services side of the industry. Hospitality has always been where his heart is, but it hasn't always been easy or fun. In this episode Joshua shares his thoughts on growth, overcoming challenges, management and leadership, sustainability and the importance of culture in foodservice.For listeners that would like to ask Joshua more questions, or request his breakdown on strategies to grow business, his email address is: joshua@preuxandproper.comSubscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links relevant to this episode include:preuxandproper.com, southcityfriedchicken.com, justcallflo.com, thepineapplepost.org and joshkopel.comWe look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
Creating valuable content that will help build your brand, and inspiration for how to use it.Social media has exponentially increased the opportunity for people to develop an emotional connection with your brand. The Secret Social Sauce is a strategy that will help you identify your brand’s unique marketable attributes for digital content and social media. Using the sauce will increase your creativity, improve your content and help your followers establish a deeper connection to your business.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.comFor more on the Great Pepperoni Debate, check out Hormel's blog.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
Two pepperoni experts join us to share their thoughts on the lay-flat vs. cup-and-char debate raging in America's pizzerias.Pepperonis with edges that curl and crisp when cooked, leaving delectable pools of grease at the center, are most commonly referred to as cup-and-char. Lay-flat has been the dominant pepperoni among pizza purveyors for decades, but the grease-chalices challenging the lay-flat throne are making a big comeback! Brody Swedberg and Anthony Panichelli of Hormel Foodservice share their thoughts on why the popularity of this old-world pizza topping is on the rise. Plus, they drop some news about pizza topping innovations coming in the very near future.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.comFor more on the Great Pepperoni Debate, check out Hormel's blog.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
After a whirlwind month we're back in the podcast studio, joined by Tina Parker of The Dough Co!Our team has been working downright diligently over the past few months to bring the Dennis Difference to more customers, in more places. Part of those pursuits includes the addition of new employees; team members who will help support our mission and our customer's businesses. We'll share a few updates on our recent efforts in this episode. Also in this episode, Tina Parker of The Dough Co. joins us to talk pizza dough, and about a big change they've made!We've also got a fresh Foodie Fact! This week's fact is brought to you by Island Made Ocean Clams. Hear a clam question and a clam answer in this episode!Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com and The Dough Co. website at www.thedough-co.com. We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
Steve Hewins, President & CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Inn Keepers Association has some big news... In this episode we're getting details on the merger of these two organizations; a big focus at the Maine Hospitality Summit on October, 29th in Bangor, Maine. Listen in as Steve shares his thoughts on one of Maine's largest industries and gives us a glimpse at what the future holds for supporting its businesses.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com. The article the Maine Restaurant Association website [LINK], the Maine Inn Keepers Association website [LINK], and the Maine Hospitality Summit website [LINK].We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
In this episode we're sharing tips for looking like a pro on camera with special guest Brad LaBree. If you get nervous even thinking about talking on camera this episode is for you! Video and cameras are playing an increasingly impactful role in our daily lives; they're also a great tool for getting in front of customers. But, what happens when you clam up on camera, and the words just won't come out? The future of marketing is video and the power to compete is in the palm of your hand. So, let's get over the nerves and get you recording with a few tips and strategies for foodservice operators looking to do more with video.Plus, this week's foodie fact! We're asking, before the invention of the automated bagel machine, bagel making typically required a team of how many people? Find out at the end of the podcast.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com. The article [Tips to Look Like a Pro on Camera] by Brad LaBree.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
If you own or operate a foodservice establishment, you don't want to miss this epic, self-aware restaurant marketing deep-dive with two strategic thinkers from Geaghan's Pub & Craft Brewery.Subscribers to our podcast know that we discuss a wide variety of topics designed to help you grow and improve your business. In this episode, rather than just hear advice on how you can harness the power of your team, market through social media or think like an innovator... you're going to hear how an actual foodservice operation has been successfully putting these tactics to use to grow their business and broadcast their brand to the world!Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com. To learn more about Geaghan's and to follow them on social media, visit their website [here].We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
In this week’s episode we’re sharing some stats from a new report published by the IFDA and we’ve got a few tips to help keep your kitchen running smooth.From the locally sourced products we proudly distribute, to the construction crews we’ve hired to expand our warehouse – twice now – in order to hold thousands of products, to the diesel we put in our trucks and the uniforms we put on our backs; your business with Dennis supports other Maine and New England companies. You'll hear more about how the foodservice industry contributes to our economy in this episode!This week’s foodie fact is a two-part’er, we’re asking... how large and how old can lobsters get? We’ll have the answer for you at the end of the podcast.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com, and the report from the IFDA [LINK].We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
With our school food show on the horizon, we're putting an educational twist on this week's episode - focusing on the importance of paying attention to advances in foodservice.The school of life is the greatest education of all, and in it the learning never stops. Life in foodservice is no exception. As we go about our daily duties, it’s important to stop every so often and assess what’s coming on the horizon. For example, one of the next big foodservice disruptions will absolutely be... find out what it is, along with 5 recent foodservice tech trends and more in this episode!This week’s foodie fact is inspired by wild Maine blueberries. We’re asking, annually, what percentage of wild blueberries are sold fresh and what percentage are sold IQF – individually quick frozen. We’ll have the answer for you at the end of the podcast.Subscribe to the Podcast -  Subscribe Now (Subscribe with iTunes) Links and product information mentioned in this episode include our website: www.DennisExpress.com.We look forward to your feedback, send an email to podcast@dennisexpress.com!
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Comments (3)

Nate Hall

great episode

Nov 15th
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Nate Hall

nice stuff Luke and Jesse

Jul 4th
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