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Boulder Spotlight focuses on restaurants, chefs and happenings that are local to us here at Tundra.

Support for Boulder Flood Victims

In the wake of a natural disaster, its community coming together that really helps us heal.  To our friends, family, team members, customers and community, our hearts are with you as things start to dry out, and we wanted to put together this list of references and tools to help you better locate where assistance and products may be available to get you the help you need. We are committed to helping our customers, especially in times such as now.

For Our Community

Part of what Tundra is, is giving back to our community, and we see this as an opportunity for helping to repair areas that were damaged.  Over the coming weeks, we’ll be collecting information from Boulder County to see where there are volunteer opportunities that we can help with. 

Our sales team and drivers are also reaching out to access the needs of our customers, and see where there are possible ways that we can help.

For Our Team Members

Our human resources department is working to collect a list of needs for our fellow team members that were affected by the floods, including essentials and help with locating temporary homes.  During the flood, many of our team members were unable to make it in, but we were happy to have them safe at home.  We did have a few team members that were able to make it in, so we were able to answer our customers’ questions, and help with any concerns they had.  We’re happy to say that though many of our team members were affected by the flooding waters, everyone is safe.

Clean-Up

Unfortunately, what happens after a flood is a lot of clean-up.  And, as you can read in Congressman Jared Polis’s letter below, mold is a very real problem that can be damaging to your home and your health.  To help with cleaning, here are a few of our products that may help, as well as a link to other resources that will help with clean-up.

Helping Children During a Natural Disaster

A message from Boulder Valley School District

Natural disasters like the widespread flooding that has occurred within our community can produce strong emotional reactions for us and our children.  BVSD staff will make every effort possible to support you and your children throughout this difficult time.  Please know that if your children are experiencing stress and/or are overwhelmed with the events of this past week, BVSD has well-trained staff in place to provide support during the school day. 

By accessing the following links, you will find articles on how to cope with the stress that arises as a result of natural disasters, as well as ways to support your children: 

Community Organizations

A message from Boulder Valley School District

In addition, below you will find links to community organizations that can provide needed emergency or ongoing support through this difficult time:

  • Emergency Family Assistance Association: For all emergency needs for residents of Boulder and Broomfield Counties: http://www.efaa.org/
  • Mental Health Partners for Boulder and Broomfield Counties- For emotional support, especially for families in need without insurance:  http://www.mhpcolorado.org/Home.aspx  (Phone: For emergency needs: 303-447-1665; To request services: 303-413-6263)
  • Boulder Psychological Services:  For a large directory of counselors, therapists, and psychologists throughout our region: Mostly for those with insurance:  http://boulderpsychologicalservices.com/
  • Community Food Share:  For emergency or ongoing food needs for residents of Boulder and Broomfield Counties:  http://communityfoodshare.org/

FEMA & Disaster Assistance

To assist anyone that has had significant damage to belongings and property, there is now assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Individuals who suffered losses can learn more and seek assistance by applying online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1.800.621.3362.

 Below are documents provided by this agency to help direct to over 70 different types of assistance that have been made available to residents of Boulder County. 

Letter From Congressman Jared Polis

Dear Friend:

As we start to clear and rebuild our basements, homes and our communities, it’s important to be aware of all the problems that may arise. 

One of the most significant issues that can arise after a flood is mold.  Be sure to clean any wet areas with detergent and water, and dry out your home to prevent mold growth, as well as fixing any leaks in your home. After cleaning wet surfaces, sanitize the area with household bleach (make sure you’re wearing gloves and try not to breath in fumes!). Follow these instructions to safely clean surfaces with bleach: Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach.

Here are a few additional tips for recognizing and dealing with mold from the Center for Disease Control:

  • Sight (Are the walls and ceilings discolored, or do they show signs of mold growth or water damage?)
  • Smell (Do you smell a bad odor, such as a musty, earth smell, or a foul stench?)
  • When in doubt, take it out! Remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the home. Porous, non-cleanable items include carpeting and carpet padding, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, some clothing, leather, paper, wood, and food. Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold may cause allergic reactions in some people.

Protect Yourself From Mold

We’ve seen Coloradans pull together every time we’re faced with a difficult situation. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals hoping to profit from people’s misfortune may attempt to pose as government officials and scam you of your personal information. FEMA recommends the following precautions:

  • Federal workers do not solicit or accept money
  • Ask for an official laminated ID. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not absolute proof of identity.
  • Safeguard personal information: Do not give personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers unless you initiate the call.
  • Beware of people going door-to-door. People going door-to-door to damaged homes, or phoning homeowners claiming to be building contractors could be scam artists, especially if they solicit financial information.

Beware of Scams

If I can be of any assistance providing you with additional resources, please contact our Disaster Specialist, Danielle Henry, in my Boulder office at (303) 484-9596 or e-mail her at Danielle.Henry@mail.house.gov. If you live in Larimer County, please contact our Disaster Specialist, Jamie Grim, at (970) 226-1239 or e-mail her at Jamie.Grim@mail.house.gov. I am regularly updating my website with important documents related to flood relief and federal assistance available to constituents. Please refer to this page as well for any immediate questions:

Colorado Flood Relief Information

If you have an item that you are in need of to cope with the floods, or if you have an item or time that you can offer to someone in need, please fill in the following spreadsheet with your information so that everyone receives the help they need:

Help Your Neighbor!

Stay Colorado Strong,

Jared Polis

In Closing 

We welcome further ideas, thoughts, or comments on additional ways in which we can help and manage through this very challenging situation.

Sincerely,

Support for Boulder Flood Victims

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Lewis

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Sanitas Brewing Company Needs Your Help

Sanitas Brewing Company Needs Your Help

Sanitas Brewing Company opened their doors to the public just a few weeks ago, and we’re already excited to spread the news about this local brewery, because they’re doing things a bit different.  Not only are their beers made with organic ingredients, they’re plan is to offer rare beers that are made with wild yeast, bacteria, and unique ingredients that are aged in fresh oak barrels to help bring out intense flavors, not tasted in most brews. 

But there’s a catch. 

They need your help.  To get to the stage where they can successfully bring that aged beer to the table, they’re asking for help over at Kickstarter.  If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, I’d invite you to peruse through other community pages to see how people have successfully raised money by bringing Creators and Backers together.  It’s not about asking for money to start a business, it’s about sharing your story, and offering incentives to encourage backers to get involved in the project as well.  For Sanitas, they call it their “Barrel and Coolship Project.”  And the Backers are offered incentives, like acknowledgement on Sanitas blog and getting the keys to the Tap Room for you and 15 of your friends! 

As little as $10 can help, but you could be a superstar and give a little more to help this brewery bring wild and barrel aged artisan beers to the beautiful state of Colorado. 

Visit the Sanitas Kickstarter Page to Learn More

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Food Safety At Turley’s Part 2: Staff Training

Food Safety At Turley’s Part 2: Staff Training

Turley’s restaurant in Boulder, CO

Earlier this week I ventured to get a feel for practical food safety practices in a real restaurant.  Turley’s, an iconic Boulder, CO eatery known for its eclectic menu full of healthy eating and fantastic international flavors, was kind enough to spend some time talking to me about their food safety program.

I sat down with second and third generation Turley family members and managers David and Sandy for an extremely informative chat on practical food safety applications in a working restaurant.  What I soon discovered is that procedures and guidelines are all well and good, but if you don’t promote a food-safe culture through staff training and pure vigilance, all those rules aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

Turley’s staff start their food safety education with a S.T.A.R. (Sanitation Training Assistance for Restaurateurs) course through the Boulder CountyFood Safety At Turley’s Part 2: Staff Training Office of Public Health.  The course covers six fundamental food safety concerns: viruses and bacteria, potentially hazardous foods, time/temperature control, personal hygiene, cross-contamination, and sanitization.  Turley’s management are also ServSafe certified.

However, it’s not enough to just teach staff about food safety issues once and then get on with the hectic life of the restaurant business.  “We have goals, not rules,” says David, “And it’s an ongoing thing.  We’ve got to be a food safety driver, because if you’re not willing to commit, the issue just goes away.”

Turley’s keeps food safety front and center by carrying out campaigns on specific topics, starting with the daily shift meetings.  One recent campaign focused on disposable gloves for staff working the line.  Because cross-contamination and hand washing are vital concerns, but also extremely hard for management to constantly police, disposable gloves are required for anybody on the line in Turley’s kitchen.

At first, everyone wore the gloves with few exceptions.  But as time went on, busy kitchen staff sometimes forgot to put on the gloves while prepping food, and the disposable glove policy started going by the wayside.

Turley’s management responded with a campaign, reminding kitchen staff at the shift meetings to wear their gloves at all times on the line, and soon the repetition of the campaign turned glove wearing into second nature for the staff.

David sometimes feels like a broken record, but the harping has paid off, and the management’s commitment to following through on campaigns is a vital follow up to the basic training courses.

Food safety campaigns for the front of the house are a little more difficult because turnover in a college town like Boulder makes training new staff a constant chore.  Turley’s management continues to focus on education, however, and take a mentoring rather than policing approach.  Every shift meeting presents a new challenge and a new opportunity for improving the awareness of the front of house staff.

The evolution theme is probably the most important lesson about an effective food safety program that I took away from Turley’s.  Even as I learned about all the things the restaurant does every day to manage food safety, the management was already looking ahead to the next campaign, and the next strategy.

David is thinking about conducting self inspections: unannounced walk-throughs of the entire restaurant with his health inspector cap on, looking for things that are hard for management in their normal roles to catch.  It’s just one more way Turley’s works to keep the restaurant in top shape for their customers every day.

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Chef Lon Symensma Nominated For Food & Wine’s People’s Choice Award

Chef Lon Symensma Nominated For Food & Wines Peoples Choice Award

Vote For Chef Lon here!

Chef Lon Symensma has a serious culinary pedigree.  That’s why Denver foodies were extremely excited when he decided to partner with Culinary Institute of America classmate Alicia Deters to create ChoLon, his first restaurant, ChoLon, in the LoDo area of downtown Denver.

After stints at Buddakan & Spice Market in New York, and time in Michelin starred restaurants in France and Spain, Chef Lon came to Denver with a lot of top shelf culinary experience under his belt.

But it was his experiences traveling through Southeast Asia that have influenced ChoLon’s menu the most definitively.  The menu is packed with finely crafted versions of the street food that defines the culinary culture in places like Vietnam – pot stickers, spring rolls, dumplings, and more all have a place here.

These simple food items shine when given the royal treatment in Chef Lon’s skilled culinary hands.  5280 Magazine gave the ChoLon menu 3.5 stars out of 4 and Yelp is full of lengthy, raving reviews of Chef Lon’s simple yet powerful creations.

Taking the fundamental building blocks of Southeast Asian cuisine and fusing them with the mature culinary tactics of top European restaurants has earned Chef Lon a nomination for Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Choice Awards.

Tundra Restaurant Supply is a proud partner of ChoLon Bistro and Chef Lon is one of our favorite customers.  We’re extremely excited to see him nominated for this award and we’d like to encourage everyone to cast a vote for Chef Lon before March 11th!

Cast your vote here!

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In The Field: Food Safety At Turley’s

Here at The Back Burner we have talked a lot about food safety.  It’s an ongoing project for any restaurateur, and also a potential matter of life and death for any food service business given the stakes if a food borne illness were to break out in your restaurant.

So instead of sitting here in my ivory tower writing blog articles about the importance of this or that food safety procedure or product, I decided to get out from behind my computer (a rare occurrence, I must say!) and venture out into the real world for a closer look at the practical application of a food safety program in a real restaurant.

In The Field: Food Safety At Turleys

Turley’s Restaurant in Boulder, CO

Turley’s Restaurant in Boulder, CO is a family owned business that has been a Boulder icon since 1977.  Their eclectic menu focuses on diversity and healthy eating while serving exquisite flavors and beautiful presentation.

Turley’s management also take their food safety program very seriously.  Sandy and David are second and third generation Turley family, respectively, and they took a moment recently to talk about food safety in their restaurant.

Every good food safety program has a primary line of defense at critical points in the process of turning product and ingredients into entrees ready to be eaten, and the line in the kitchen is definitely one of those points.

Turley’s two-date temperature logs allow line cooks to track product over time and make sure it’s staying out of the temperature danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is prime bacteria breeding weather.

The restaurant equipment on the line is also checked and logged routinely by line cooks to ensure they are reaching the proper temperature, and the high-temp dishwasher is also monitored to make sure it’s sanitizing dishes at 180 degrees.  Turley’s management then spot checks product and equipment at random to make sure accurate readings are being logged by the kitchen staff.  Their preferred method for checking temperature is a quick-read digital thermometer.

“It’s an evolving process,” says David as he shows me the temperature logs he prints for his line cooks.  “It gets involved very quickly, but if you make people sick, you’re out of business.”

A recent evolution at Turley’s has been identifying problem product that has trouble staying out of the danger zone and putting it in freezer pans to make sure it chills quickly and stays below 40 degrees even if it’s pulled frequently for use on the line.

The process of collecting data, analyzing it and identifying trouble spots, then developing a solution is what makes a food safety program effective.  It’s also a cycle that must be repeated consistently to make sure your restaurant is a success.

Please stay tuned as we talk further with Turley’s management David and Sandy and get some important tips on staff training and their philosophy on a successful food safety program.

Visit Turley’s if you’re in Boulder at 2805 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302.

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Special Ties: A Tundra Ran Charity Organization

The Back Burner is written by the employees and friends of Tundra, and while we usually try to make this blog as informative as possible without imposing our brand on the information, sometimes there’s just going to have to be an exception. Don’t worry, we’re not going to suddenly turn this thing into a diatribe about how great Tundra is (although we’re confident we are pretty sweet).  Instead, we’d like to simply mention a great idea one of our employees had a while back that has come to fruition.

Special Ties is a charity operated by Tundra that serves many good causes in the Boulder community. In the past, Special Ties has donated time to the The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Women’s Shelter, and money to charitable organizations like:

Tundra has always felt strongly about giving back, and now we can do even more with our Special Ties program!

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The New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarket

The New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarket

ModMarket founders Rob McColgan and Anthony Pigliacampo

You’d think finding a place to eat lunch in a health nut haven like Boulder, Colorado that featured simple, all-natural ingredients made from scratch for a good price would be pretty easy.  Boulder residents Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan realized a couple years ago that unless they wanted to eat at Chipotle every day, finding good, affordable, healthy food prepared fresh and fast was much harder than it should be.  The two friends then set out to fix this problem.

Their solution is Modmarket, a fast casual restaurant located in the heart of Boulder’s 29th Street Mall.  The menu and the food follow a simple set of principles laid out by Anthony and Rob when they started: serve food that

  • Tastes great
  • Is made from scratch
  • Features simple ingredients that anyone can recognize
  • Is served quickly
  • Is affordable
  • Wouldn’t turn you into the guy from Super Size Me if you ate it every day

The crazy thing is how revolutionary this simple credo has turned out to be.  Modmarket’s daily offering of fresh salads, brick oven pizza, gourmet sandwiches, and made-from-scratch soups has been an instant hit with the Boulder locals, and founders Anthony and Rob are hard at work on a second location in Denver that opened at the start of the year.
Even more impressive than Modmarket’s fresh and tasty menu is their extremely savvy marketing campaign.  The New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarket

Modmarket’s founders are skillful practitioners of  cutting edge restaurant marketing techniques,  but one of their mostThe New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarket successful campaigns comes from an innovation all their own: using receipts as advertising space.

“We view the receipt as an asset,” says co-founder Anthony Pigliacampo, “We’ve taken what was going into the trash and turned it into a marketing tool.”  All Modmarket receipts list nutritional information for each item the customer ordered, not only placing the restaurant ahead of the curve on menu labeling but also reinforcing Modmarket’s message: we’re a healthy alternative to other fast casual chains.

“People like the fact that it’s transparent.  We’ve had people come in just because they’ve heard about it,” Anthony says of the nutrition information on receipts.  But Modmarket’s use of all that white space on customer receipts doesn’t end there.  At the bottom of each receipt is a bold black arrow pointing to the right that reads “Turn Me Over.”

On the back is a limited-time promo giving the customer 10% off their next order, provided it happens in the next two days.

Below the Modmarket promo is an ad with a coupon for a local chiropractor, which Modmarket prints for free in the name of supporting local business.  Below that ad are instructions for connecting to Modmarket’s Wi-Fi network – a great way to get customers to come back on their next lunch break.

Modmarket also uses catering as a secondary revenue stream and as a way to get their brand of fresh, tasty, healthy food in front of more potential customers in the Boulder area.  “Catering has spread through word-of-mouth and it’s great because it exposes our brand to new people and helps us utilize dead times at the restaurant,” says Anthony.

Catering can sometimes present a logistical challenge – especially when customers request Modmarket’s services with very little lead time.  On the other hand, margins are higher on the catering side and “getting our food into more hands,” as Anthony puts it, only helps find more Modmarket converts.

By far the most effective marketing campaign for Modmarket has sprung from local media.

Generating buzz around a story can be a delicate art, but when done properly can result in some great publicity for a restaurant.  The Modmarket guys landed in the local news after they placed a street sign in front of the restaurant that read “You Can’t Eat At Chipotle Every Day.”

On the surface it seemed like a fairly straightforward statement, but the Chipotle location a few hundred yards down the 29th Street Mall didn’t see the humor.  They asked Modmarket to take down the sign and soon enough the story was in the papers and a lot of new customers were coming through the door.

Of course, recruiting new customers doesn’t do a lot of good unless they become repeat customers.  A large part of the process of turning new customers into loyal ones depends on good food and great service, but there’s no reason why some smart marketing can’t help that process along a little.

Modmarket definitely recruits loyal customers through their receipt promos, but another method that has turned out to be very effective is email marketing.  There’s a computer terminal placed on a prominent wall in the restaurant that encourages customers to sign up for messages.  In a little over a year the list has grown to over 5,000 email addresses.

The New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarket“We make it so people want to open the emails we send them,” says Anthony.  “We don’t send them very often, and when we do, there’s always a great deal.”  In fact, Modmarket has seen as many as 1,000 redemptions on coupons they’ve sent via email.  Three elements of their email marketing strategy contribute to their success: 1) getting customer permission to send email, 2) carefully controlling how much email is sent, and 3) always including a compelling offer with every email.

Of course, no restaurant can call their marketing strategy effective without wading into the messy world of social media and the web.  Modmarket has rolled up two sleeves and plunged in on this front, with positive results.

For starters, the Modmarket website is clean, informational, and easy to navigate.  It’s also been optimized to show up in search engines like Google for specific keywords unique to people searching in Boulder for a great, healthy place to eat.

Anthony’s advice for other restaurateurs wanting to get more traffic to their website is to have Google help for free.  “The Google Local Business Page is the easiest way to increase visibility on the web,” he says.  “Even if you don’t have a website, at least create a Local Business Page for free.”

As far as social media goes, Modmarket is active on both Facebook and Twitter.  They test different marketing messages on the two social sites by using a unique coupon code specific to each message and then track code performance through their POS system.  The messages that work get used again, those that don’t are tossed.

These marketing messages are then mixed with a healthy dose of non-promotional messages that help create a conversation with customers.  For example, on Modmarket’s Twitter feed, a message promoting “Free Lunch Fridays” was followed by a link to pictures of the new location in Denver before opening day.  Posts like that give customers a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant and help engage loyal customers even when they aren’t there.

The conversation continues on Yelp.  Many restaurateurs have viewed the review site with a mixture of suspicion and fear, especially after revelations that Yelp was aggressively selling $300-a-month “sponsorships” that allowed users to decide which reviews ended up at the top of the list for a restaurant.

Modmarket views Yelp as an opportunity to engage customers, no matter what they have to say.  “The thing with Yelp is that you can respond to customers,” says Anthony.  “We’ve had a ton of reviews that started as 3s and are now 5s because we talked to that customer and addressed their issue.”

The secret is to respond to customers on Yelp as you would if they were standing in your restaurant.  Accept blame – even if you know their criticism isn’t true – and then win their trust by offering an incentive to try your restaurant again.  “We like to reward people for criticizing us,” says Anthony.

Modmarket also uses the criticisms they receive on Yelp to motivate their staff and hold them responsible for service.  Negative reviews are posted on a bulletin board in the back of the house so that employees get direct feedback on their performance.  This approach in turn helps Modmarket gain more positive reviews in the future.

Another aspect of web marketing for restaurants is using the website as a tool for collecting orders.  Some restaurants have struggled with online ordering systems in the past because the orders interfere with service in the dining area as staff try to fill online orders while dealing with a rush in the front of the house at the same time.

Modmarket dealt with online ordering by integrating it with their existing POS system.  That means the process of taking the order and getting it to the line in the back of the house is fully automated and frees up precious staff resources to handle in-store customers.  “I wouldn’t do online ordering without point-of-sale integration,” says Anthony.

The New Age Of Restaurant Marketing: ModMarketThere’s not a single one of these Modmarket strategies that emerges a clear winner in the battle to gain more customers and keep the ones they have coming back again and again.  But taken together, the sum of these many parts adds up to a very effective campaign that has generated a lot of business and helped Modmarket expand very quickly.

None of these strategies require a huge budget, although they all do need some investment and especially some time to succeed.  And what works for Modmarket may not necessarily work the same way for another restaurant.  The key is to take a comprehensive strategy and test different parts until you find what works for your restaurant.

Continual improvement is the hallmark of any successful marketing campaign, and Modmarket founders Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan are no exception to that rule.  Even as they see success with their current efforts, Modmarket’s approach is to look for ways to make their marketing and customer engagement initiatives ever more effective.

“Nothing has ever been good enough the first pass,” says Anthony.  “That’s why we track what happened and then try again.”

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The Big Red F Restaurant Group: One Vision, Many Places

The Big Red F Restaurant Group: One Vision, Many PlacesIf you’re at all familiar with the favorite local haunts of Boulder and downtown Denver, then you probably know a Big Red F restaurant or two, even if that name doesn’t ring a bell.  Big Red F is a group of unique concepts started by Culinary Institute of America graduate, former Q’s Restaurant owner, and Boulder native Dave Query.  Big Red F’s concepts are as varied as they are fun, including Zolo Southwestern Grill, Jax Fish House, Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, and The West End Tavern.

As differently as each concept approaches their cuisine, all of Chef Query’s restaurants take a singular approach to guest services, and anyone who has visited a Big Red F restaurant can tell you exactly how that feels.  Anyone who walks through the door is treated as a friend and a welcome guest at an exclusive party where the host knows exactly what he’s doing.

Chef Query sums it up the best: “Running a successful restaurant is like juggling ice cubes on a hot day: you have to be quick and precise, sourcing the freshest foods, being the home of all things seasonal, and keeping the chalkboards constantly fresh in an effort to do your very best to serve an incredibly fresh product smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. This is what we try to accomplish at our restaurants every single day.”

Big Red F restaurants view sustainability as an integral part of customer service, and since service is a thing they take very seriously, each restaurant is dedicated to reaching a high bar.  All paper products and many plastic products, including straws and trash bags, are either compostable or recyclable.  Big Red F offsets 100% of its energy usage with wind power and CFL light bulbs are used whenever possible.  Most Big Red F restaurants are also either PACE (Partners For A Clean Environment) certified or in the process of getting certification.

Bryce Clark, Big Red F’s PR director, explains why sustainable practices are so important:  “Some things like having CFL light bulbs save us money down the road, but most of our eco-friendly practices are just important to us and our customers.  Our customers come into our restaurants not only for the experience, but also because we care about being socially responsible.  To us it goes hand in hand with helping out the community.”

The synergy between Big Red F and their community reveals how powerful great customer service can be when you’re in tune with more than just a customer’s desire to eat great food.

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Boulder Spotlight: Chef Radek Cerny’s L’Atelier Restaurant

Chef Radek Cerny’s love of French cuisine is explained easily by using another of his passions for comparison: fast cars.  “Why buy a Fiat when you can drive  a Ferrari?” he asks without further elaboration.  And none needed.  A taste of his exquisite menu explains the rest.

The celebrated chef and owner of the critically acclaimed L’Atelier restaurant in Boulder, CO, has been tantalizing the palates of Colorado for more than 20 years.  With 11 restaurants under his belt, Chef Cerny has proven time and again that his effective blend of mastery of the culinary arts and savvy business sense brings success.

That success hasn’t slowed in recent months, despite the sharp decline in sales at fining dining establishments.  L’Atelier has fought back with clever promos like twice-a-week Recession Dinners ($29 per person for appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert on a specialized menu), wine specials, and Thursday happy hour.  “I’m helping the customer in tough times, and they appreciate it.  They come in for the dinner deal and maybe they buy some wine or some drinks.  We both win.  You have to give them something in this economy.”

Full Belly, Chef Cerny’s new project, is the perfect remedy for patrons with the economic blues: excellent food from a top chef at an affordable price.  The “downscale” bistro features affordable breakfast, lunch, and dinner without losing the style and flavor of signature Cerny cuisine.  “This menu is perfect for these times,” he says.  “Everything is affordable but the food is still great.”

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Boulder Restaurants Getting Some National Respect

Boulder Restaurants Getting Some National RespectBoulder area restaurants are garnering some respect on the national scene, including a write-up in the Wall Street Journal.  As you may know, The Back Burner is based in Boulder, so we took it as a great sign that some of our favorite restaurants in our own backyard have been recognized on the national scene.

Between well-known chef Radek Cerny’s French fusion cuisine at L’Atelier, The Kitchen’s gourmet sustainable fare, and Black Cat’s chef Eric Skokan’s recent appearance at the famed James Beard house in New York City, Boulder’s restaurant scene seems to be maturing very nicely.

Boulder’s restaurant scene is home to a great concentration of highly diverse, sustainably driven, and ultimately very high quality menus, and if you’re visiting the area any time in the future, we encourage you to take the time to enjoy this vibrant local scene as much as we do.

Check out all of Boulder’s offerings here.

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