Reflection

 

Looking back at the beginning of this semester, I amazingly realize the huge progresses and achievements I have made throughout this course. These progresses and achievements positively affect many different areas of my life.

Aha-Effects

 

Importance of Teamwork

 

After this course, I got a completely different understanding and perception of what it means to work in a team. I have learned that team work is much more than just working in a team. Team work is trust, relying on each other, mutual support, learning from each other. As for my soul food blog team, I also learned a lot from my team members.

Just like in the wordpress team, initially I did not have much to do with my soulfood team members. But again, team work worked pretty well in this group,too, eventhough we have 3 completely different characters.

 

I saw it rather as an advantage than a disadvantage as it is unbelievable how much you can learn from each other: Irina has shown me how to organize oneself, setting priorities and being hard-working. Her blog entries about the use of high-tech in the restaurant business have been of great interest to me as I also have the intention to start an own restaurant business in the future. From Timur, in turn, I learned how NOT to behave, for example to start early on and work consistently instead of procrastinating. Just like in real life, there are always good and bad people, or rather people with good and bad features. Along with my blogging team, I experienced to work and cooperate with people with such opposing traits. As a result, I could learn from both, their achievements and mistakes.

 

Significance of Blogging

 

To be honest, at the beginning I was not really enthusiastic about the idea of blogging. For me, it was purely a waste of time. However, what I would have never espected is that blogging indeed turns out to be incredibly enriching. Through blogs you can make gigantic approaches with just a small step.

 

Far and Near

 

What I especially appreciate is the fact that we were able to increase our horizones so much through blogging by learning from far (professionals) and near (collegues).

Thanks to this blogging project I had the opportunity to read about many different topics and therewith found out what really interested me. For example, I found out that psycholgical issues, such as my collegue’s article about intro and extroverts, has been of great interest to me.

 

From A to B

 

Where am I now (point A)? Where do I want to be (point B)?

A further georgous Aha-effect I gained is the certainty that I want to specify either in Marketing or Human Resources Management. Moreover, while writing my blog posts about the actual restaurant business, sushi, bubble tea, etc. I became aware of my deep desire to start an own small restaurant business sometime.

 

Importance of Feedbacks

I highly appreciate sincere feedbacks as they always help me to improve. The comments I got for my blog post for example have always been very useful to me. Through criticism I knew what I should do better the next time, questions show me what readers are actually interested in, and compliments and praises finally give me the confirmation that my hard work was worthwhile.

 

How to make life easier

 

I learned that proper note taking is very important and safes a lot of time in the future.

 

I love Evernote!

 

Getting to know Evernote is one of the greatest outcome of this course. Whereas at the beginning of this semester I have never heard of it before, now at the end of the semester, I can’t imagine to live without this amazing application. I use Evernote to store uni material as well as my private stuff. It makes my life so much easier.

 

Ask Google!

The last but not least mentionable Aha-effect is to know that Google knows the answer to everything!

 

 

Put it in a nutshell

 

To resume, I have learned so much in such a short period of time and I have managed to do things I woud have never thought I could ever do. Especially, I am very proud of my reaction posts and blog entries which are denoted as excellent by fellow bloggers. The great care and real time investment in our blogging project seems to be really worth it as I now master the post editor, linking, and design attributes. I am profoundly convinced that I really managed to fulfill almost all the criteria of the first column of Dr. Spear’s evaluation rubric in terms of site design, collective work, self presentation, post design, search, world, engage professional debate, critical evaluation and comments. I thank my collegues and above all Mr Spear for these achievements. 

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Can Sushi make me become a Toyota?

Looking at the title of this blog entry, some of you would certainly think of Lukas’ excellent blog series referring to Toyota’s A3 model. If you presume that I am just copying his idea, just read this article until the end and you will find out that I am not. As I have already mentioned in my last bog entry, this article is going to be about the world-wides most popular Japanese dish: SUSHI.

Why have I chosen this title?

I got inspiration for this topic when sitting in the bus apps class listening to Toyota’s A3 report. Being profoundly impressed by Toyota’s A3 model and the way it managed to get to the top, I was wondering what else we could learn from these smart Japanese. Definitely, there must be much more behind this success. Besides their mentality and education, could maybe nutrition play a decisive factor for their intelligence? Talking about Japanese nutrition, Sushi immediately comes into my mind. Is this national dish the secret of the Japanese success? We’ll see…

Having worked for several Sushi Bars in Berlin, Sushi is something I know too well and I am sure, most of you are familiar with Sushi as well. However, just like Bubble Tea or other “odd stuff” coming from Asia, it took quite some time until being successfully introduced into the Western world and warmly welcomed and accepted by the Western palate.

Raw fish?! No thanks!

Whereas nowadays it is considered “normal” to eat raw fish, about 15 years ago, it would be natural to find it unbelievingly disgusting- what today many amongst us indeed still do.

Short Introduction

Sushi is a type of vinegar rice topped with fish and wrapped with seaweed.

Besides of pure fish, other toppings and fillings such as seafood, vegetables, tofu and eggs are used.
Sushi always comes along with ginger, wasabi and soya sauce as a side dish.
In general, there are 3 different kinds:
  • Nigiri- a rice ball with a slice of fish on top,
  • Maki- sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed
  • Temaki- sushi wrapped in a large cylindric form.


Origin

What I did not know prior to my researches is the fact that Sushi actually does not originate from Japan, but from ..guess what: China. (that’s what nobody would have expected as Chinese are normally famous for copying things 😉 Nevertheless, Sushi was introduced to Japan in the 17th century and in the course of time it had become the most well-known national dish. Above all, its highly valued nutritional nature has made this dish becoming so popular.

Nutritional Benefits

In general, the main ingredients of sushi -rice and fish- are naturally low in fat. More nutritional benefits are presented below:

  • Fats: Rich in Omega 3 or unsaturated fat. No fat was introduced in making the sushi as it is served raw.
  • Proteins: High levels of protein in tofu, seafood, omelet and above all in fish.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Ginger, seaweed and many other vegetables are rich in nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates: Found in vegetables and mainly in rice.

Evernote Food Icon- a piece of evidence for Sushi's popularity

What do we learn?

From the Marketing point of view:

As for launching a new product, respectively entering in a new market, we can see that it is essential to exermine the market very carefully, knowing the target group, its demand and preferences. By knowing exactly the great Western ambition of turning from an unhealthy nutrition to a well-balanced diet, a trend I have presented in my last post, the clever Japanese saw the gold opportunity to perfectly promote their traditional dish.

And from the consumer’s perspective?

If you assume that I will invite you to only eat sushi from now on as it contains so many nutritional benefits, you are completely… wrong! Through further researches, I have also found a rather shocking fact about this so highly valued dish.  Dailymail.co.uk revealed that fish, such as tuna and bluefin, have great levels of mercury which can be hazardous to one’s health when eaten it in large quantities. Eating uncooked fish furthermore can expose you to bacteria and viruses, raw seafood may also result to risks of anisakiasis, causing diarrhea, parasitic infection and poisoning, especially if not prepared properly. Blogger Bianca additionally reveals in her blog that surimi- the popular imitation crab meat- is over-processed and loaded with sodium. According to welt.de, Omega-3 fat which until now claims to be extremely healthy, is not much healthier than lard.


Confused? -You are not alone!

Huh.. all that information has made me really uncertain now. However, there is one thing I am completely certain about:

Sushi alone definitely does not make you become a Toyota! 

By all means, I do further researches in order to clarify this confusion. Furthermore, I am really keen to know what kind of food really influences our intelligence. Is it actually possible? If you are curious about the answer, just stay tuned to my coming blog entry!

In the meantime, check out the following links to learn more about sushi, from its history to recipes:

Time to act!

Before my next post I want to do a little announcement that refers to my recent posts.

As I continued informing myself more intensively about the topics I already introduced to our blog I acknowledged a very interesting event that is going to take place here. Exactly the problems and concerns I mentioned will be treated

There is a march going on in Berlin promoting farms instead of ‘meat production plants’.                                                 It starts at the central station Berlin at 11:30 on the 21th of January. The 20th the EU agricultural commissioner will be present at the ICC and answering questions of the protestors.

 I would recommend you to have a look at this event if you are interested into what is going on behind the scenes.

I will try to go there myself to show that I care about what I am not supposed to know: the production of our daily – bread meat.

 Take care!

Hi-tech design for McDonalds.

In this post I’d like to develop and continue Lanny’s theme by adding some more new trends in the eating out industry. According to the Technomic’s research on the trends of 2012 the restaurant business will be oriented not only on healthy food but will offer more meals like pizzas and wraps instead of “breakout items taken from less-familiar global cuisines”. Some new trends will be observed in design as well. The fast food industry are going to meet some modernization.

Do you know this place?

A perfect example of it is Mcdonalds.
Thus Mcdonald’s are intending to change its inner design completely turning from red and yellow colors to more smoothing shades of them and a lot of contemporary white, leaving the red only in the special boots designed for more privacy. Is it really a family colors, may be yes, because they are not aggressive at all, little patterns of calm yellow, green and orange make the interior to look not so dull, but cheerful and natural.
On the one hand, the decision, to return to an old concept of Mcdonald’s that was intended to become a family place but then turn out in another direction, crowded place for meeting teens, is a  dangerous marketing decision.  The whole world knows and recognizes this brand this very kind of design representing its consept for mor than 70 years. Is it worth it to invest so much money in redesigning, that would mean not only completely different interior, but the different concept?  Nobody can give now the answer, but this design is accepted only in France, the country, that loves Mcdonalds the most after the USA.

On the other hand, redesigning is, as it is pointed out in Time World, just another attempt of the franchise in France to get more acceptable by French gourmets, who are so accustomed to the haute cuisine. Does it attract more customers; I’m inclining to think positive. The first reason is that here from now would come not only teens but as well the families. And being not a great fun of McDonalds, it is more pleasant for me personally to sit and enjoy the calmness of hi-tech design then aggressive primitive tone of red and yellow. Moreover, we can as well here enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend. It’s become possible also due to an innovative concept in design (stolen from Starbuck) but nevertheless successful – McCafe.

In conclusion, I’d like to notice that interior design is a great field for a discussion. It can attract more customers, support the concept or help to change it. Is it profitable or not to invest in the enormously remarkable design? What specific role does it play in branding?

So looking for answers in my another post…

Food Business Trends to watch for 2012

Before starting with my first blog entry of this year, I hope you all had a healthy start into the new year!
The reason for me to chose the following topic is due to the German Saying:
“Neues Jahr -Neues Glück” – As for 2012, first of all I wish you a lot of luck and success and may all your wishes and ambitions become true. If some of you intend to start a business in the food industry this year, don’t miss the following article!

 

No matter how tough the economy is, people still need to eat, right?

Recently, my colleague Martin published an excellent blogpost listing numerous crises that affect our world. Despite the fact that there are indeed lots of crises happening at the moment, my first blog entry this year however will be dedicated to Food Business Trends for 2012, a topic I have already mentioned in my introductory blog post.
It is completely justified to say that “the recession has sparked a renaissance of restaurant industry creativity”. As a matter of fact, foodservice entrepreneurs have shown a lot of creativity in the last few years.
Now, beyond food trucks, bubble tea, burgers and beer, what are some of the hot food trends for 2012?

Here are 4 of 10 most promising trends that were published on  ‘s food trends site, SmallBizTrendCast.

1. So cool it’s hot:

Ice cream shows no signs of slowing down. Next up, restaurant consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Co. predicts “snow ice”–a dessert with the flavor and creaminess of ice cream but that has a light, airy texture—will hit big in the U.S. for 2012.

For me this trend has a huge potential as people nowadays strive a health-conscious nutrition without waiving. Snow Ice is an outstanding alternative as it contains much less calories because cream was substituted by ice. Snow ice still is a very fresh and fruity dessert you can perfectly combine with chocolate sauce or enjoy with fresh fruits. Personally, I have already tried that kind of alternative to ice cream and I was totally impressed!

 

2. Let’s get Juicy

Even though juice bars are nothing new as you can find them in almost every shopping malls, it still has high potential. Starbucks entrepreneur Howard Schultz, for example, recently bought Evolution Fresh, a super-premium juice maker with a brand presence in grocery stores on the West Coast. His plan is to sell the juice to more retail outlets, put it on the menu at Starbucks and launch juice bars in 2012. If Schultz thinks this market has more room for growth, maybe you should, too—especially if you’re in an area where juice bars (or Starbucks) don’t have a strong presence. A vitamin injection never hurts 😉 

3. Appetite for appetizers:

Call them tapas, small plates or appetizers, smaller-sized portions are definitely going to keep growing strong for several reasons. They’re less expensive for cost-conscious diners, offer smaller portions for health-conscious diners, and are made for sharing, which appeals to people’s desire to make eating out a social experience. Chefs like them, too, because appetizers allow them to experiment with new recipes and ingredients without committing to a full-scale meal.

4. Familiar Favorites with a Twist: 

One overwhelming trend that will continue into 2012 is a yen for familiarity. Nowadays, consumers battered by the economy want comfort food. However, that doesn’t mean plain old mac-and-cheese. People are eager to try new tastes, as long as it’s couched in something they know. As a result, smart chefs are putting new twists on old formats, like pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, or using exotic ingredients in familiar foods, such as wasabi ice cream.

Interesting, isn’t it? – To give you some idea I would like to share my personal experience with that kind of trend which can be found at the sushi bar I am working.

“Pimp My Sushi”

My boss used to be a very inventive guy. To make his Sushi extravagant and different from others’, he tried out many new things- with success! For example, besides pure soya sauce which usually comes to sushi, he started offering sweet unagi sauce, mayonnaise and sesame as a side-dish which has become a great hit. Moreover, he implemented “Pimp my Sushi” where you can have Japanese Sushi with a Western flair by adding cream cheese or ruccola to it. Good idea, good strategy, my boss is absolutely in trend! 😉

Conclusion

In general, almost all food business trends for 2012 I have presented are following one common rule:

BACK TO BASICS!

Whether Snow Ice, Fresh Juice or Appetizers- they all aim to represent simple food or beverages which should be healthy and contain as less preservatives and chemicals as possible. “Pimped up ordinary food”, however, is an exception here. How can baked sushi for example be healthier than original sushi? Shouldn’t pure rice with raw fish contain more vitamins and nutritional substances then sushi which was fried in fat at extremely high temperatures? To be honest, I cannot give you the proper answer yet…

These questions have made me very curious and lead me to the decision of writing my next blog entry about, guess what- Sushi! Is sushi as healthy as it claims to be? How has Sushi managed to become so popular in the recent years? Which Marketing strategies were used to launch this new kind of dish? How does the Sushi you get today differ from original sushi?  As it comes from Japan, what can we learn from the Japanese concerning their Business mentality in this respect? You will find all the answers to these questions in my coming blog posts, so please stay tuned!

Links

http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2011/12/31/food-trends-2012

http://nutritionunplugged.com/2012/01/2012-food-trends-whats-hot-whats-not/

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/top-food-trends-2012-6626424

Dear followers!

Still remember the update from my latest post I did some days ago?

I want to complete this post with a little intellectual game concerning corporate (social) responsibility. Doing my researches I had to ask myself quite often who to blame for all those (economic) wrongs, legal abuses and lacks of dignity in almost every corner of our everyday life.

I know I can’t solve and/ or discuss all the problems we have in one single blog post. Therefore I’m going to limit it to the fundamental ideas I thought about. The topic of my last post – animal abuse (tethered housing with respect to large-scale livestock farming) gave me the right incentive to start this discussion of principles about economic behavior.

Starting my discussion, I assume that nobody likes torturing animals. Based on this assumption there can be only one reason for this bad state of affairs => MONEY.

Homo oeconomicus?        

        … the average human certainly

A consumer who has the choice between two similar seeming products will pick the cheaper one. This is one of the principles of consumption our economy is based on. Due to that we develop competition, ambition and advancement. Therefore you can’t blame ANYONE for following this principle – not even if purchasers would know under what circumstances cheap products are produced.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch”

…there is also not such a thing as a cheap product!

Our discount is paid at the cost of mankind and environment – no matter if its milk, meat, clothes or toys. The fact that consumers are deceived by advertisement and that background information about questionable products are quite complex to investigate is a whole other topic and will be disregarded in this post.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect people who inform themselves about various goods they consume and consume accordingly. But not everybody has got the time and/ or the money to consume the way he would like to.

Moving on to producers: Is it their responsibility to produce sustainably and ethical reasonable?                      As much as I would like to say ‘yes’ the answer is ‘NO’. As long as they don’t break the law producers should maximize their effectiveness and profitability.

From the economic point of view a more effective production (no matter at whose cost – unfortunately) will drive competition, that is not able to adapt, out of the market in the long run.                                                         Therefore ethics play a subordinate role in order to survive in a competition based economy.

Now there is only one faction left to draw the shortest straw: the state.                                               According to my opinion only the state (reasonable, competent, democratically elected) can be entrusted with the responsibility and DUTY to create guidelines that ensure a reasonable, sustainable and TRANSPARENT economy that is clean of exploitation of humans and environment, consumer deception and child labor.

Either utopia is not profitable or lobbyism, corruption and blindness won’t let us get out of this mess.             But I am confident things will get better, slowly but surely we will must recognize that only sustainability and the wealth of the many not the few will bring us forward to JOINTLY meet the challenges of the future.

In a nutshell:

The only obligation we have is to follow the written law, moral is optional in a free market economy.

Wealth must be spread instead of bundled. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Modesty and sustainability instead of decadence and opulence!!

ALL POWER TO THE STATE!!

interesting links!         

consumer behaviour 

cheap is unfair

www.supermarktmacht.de

Facebook page for a restaurant.

In this blog I’ve promised you to report about  hi-tech innovations in restaurant business and tell what profit you can get by implementing them. But this post I’d like to devote the most interesting theme –marketing thus the last one is impossible to imagine without information technologies and business applications at all. Such kinds of advertising (let’s call it ads for short) like TV and radio is expensive for start-ups or small businesses and spreading the flyers is not enough to make your business really well-known, as well as it doesn’t give credibility to people at all.
So the best way is to promote your business according to Marc Brandau is social media strategies. This kind of strategies is going to be a trend in 2012. Millions of people are having their pages on facebook and chatting on twitter, spending a lot of time on the internet – so it makes more sense for the restaurant, café and franchise owners to attract these potential customers without investing a lot in promotion. Thus, Peter Riggs, vice president of brand development, Pita Pit considers that the best way of promotion is to talk with your customers in the most friendly way making them real friends of your own brand. Twitter and even better facebook give such an enormous opportunity. Just have a look on this very page, and you will get an idea what I’m talking about. ttps://www.facebook.com/ROCPitaPit
Such a page is very easy to control and to get in touch with potential clients, establishing new menus or presenting the customers some giftcurds or selling the invitation per facebook to some events or parties. You’ll get the casual and friendly contact with customers and will receive a lot of feedback to improve your own business strategy. On livebooking the author provides six pieces of advice to benefit from facebook. On the one hand they are really simple, but on the other one really important. So just in short some of them. First of all you have to set your goals, like in every business, and then according to it, come into action. For example, increasing a traffic or inviting more people to an event are completely different goals and requre different types of messages. Or when your ad is already created with a like button it is very easy to analyse whether it is appriciated or not. Such a button have a lot of websites that make a connection with socialmedia.

But the other question in this case arises:
Why is facebook and twitter and not websites? Gary Occhiogrosso, chief development officer, Trufoods LLC, has observed that the customers looked more on these pages then on the websites. The only reason that I see is that we all have on this page our relatives and friends to talk to and of course the best credibility for us is their opinion.
Even if we are out we chatting on facebook and twitter using our smartphones, iPhones or iPads. So that is a good reason for even a small eatery to have an account on these social pages, don’t you think so?