Category Archives: Food

Commercial Dog Food Verses Homemade Canine Food

Not many people know the truth when it comes to commercial dog food verses homemade canine food. There are many differences and reasons why you need to know what is being served to your pet. Just because something is approved to feed an animal does not mean it is the best for them. Not every dog responds to the same food in the same way. Knowing your dog and what he or she prefers helps. If you are not sure what is in your dog’s food, you need to go look. You may be surprised at what you are actually feeding him.

Fresh Verses Fake

Protein is a major component in your dog’s daily diet. The content and type of protein in commercial pet food verses homemade food is completely different. Commercial canine food offer poor protein sources that are not adequate. Animal by products such as ears, hair, lips, and hooves are not considered quality meat sources. Yet, these end up in our pet food and we are supposed to be alright with it. Homemade dog food offers you the chance to be sure that your dog is getting quality protein sources. You do not need to buy the best meat on the market, but you can buy actual meat. Using standard beef, chicken, or turkey will allow your dog to get the amount of actual protein each day it takes to stay healthy.

Filler Or Fuller

One of the many issues surrounding commercial dog food verses homemade canine food is that commercial foods are full of filler. These low digestible products are made to make our dogs feel full, but do not offer a high source of carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, or minerals. They are pure fiber and filler that make our dogs need to potty more. A lack of easily digestible carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, or rice can make dogs lazy. It is the carbohydrate in a dog food that gives the dog the energy he or she needs. Not getting enough proper carbs can also make your dog very sick and require more vet care than usual. Making your own food offers you the chance to give your dog the proper energy he or she needs each day.

The Allergy Factor

Despite the fact that when it comes to commercial dog food verses homemade canine food, homemade food is healthier; your dog is less likely to be allergic to it. Allergies are common in many dog breeds. The most common type of dog allergy is a food allergy. These manifest in many ways and can cost a dog owner a lot of money. Commercial dog foods do not allow you to choose the ingredients that are put in it. Take into consideration the preservatives and additives to make it last months under your counter and it is no wonder why many dogs do not fare well on it, Homemade dog foods allow you to control what your dog eats and keeps allergies to a minimum. There is also no reason to add any chemicals, as fresh is best.

Pencil and Crayons – Back to the Future in the Food Service Industry

What happened to the fundamentals in food operations? I may be dating myself but when I was just counter high and working in my Grandfather’s deli, sprinkling sawdust on the floor, and straightened out cans on the shelves, I remember that the business never required a formal meeting, a computer, or for that matter a calculator. I remember my uncles behind the deli, my grandmother behind the register, and my grandfather making basket cheese and mozzarella in the back kitchen. Were those the days and there was no doubt that everyone worked hard, and by the end of the day, the staff was exhausted. The difference was the staff loved his or her jobs and had fun doing it.

Thinking back about the design of the store, which was relatively small but had any food item that you could possibly need within the stores simple design. When walking into the store, to your left and right were the canned goods and fresh pasta. The pasta was fresh and placed in bins and served by the pound. The right wall had all the refrigeration and freezers, the left side of the store has a long deli counter where customers could purchase hot or cold items, cakes, coffee. If a customer knew my grandfather, they were offered a little Sambvca in the coffee, at no charge.

These old times had many challenges with the recession and people making pennies a week but I need to ask these questions, what are the differences today?
The main difference is the love of job followed by the passion and camaraderie of the staff and the relationships with vendors and customers. The food business is about the people and the food and if anyone thinks differently, he or she does not understand the food business. There are certain basic expectations when a customer walks into a food establishment and that is, it needs to be clean, organized, have good displays, and friendly smiling faces, which is the most important ingredient of a successful operation.

Maintaining the excitement and passion in food service requires strategies on how to develop people and stressing the importance of hospitality, which is the most challenging because the industry has become overly complicated.

Take the meaning of fresh food as our first example. The meaning of fresh food to some establishments is finishing the item on premise, which is taking the food items out of a box and placing it in the oven. Some think fresh food must be organic whereas others have no clue about the difference between fresh or frozen.

At this time, let us think through the operational design process. We have our equipment companies, designer, architects, marketing people, menu design group, financial people, sometimes a third party who has a food idea, and so on. The concerns are, do the “professionals” understand the vision and expectations of the business.

What about food purchasing and the purchasing groups where the focus is on drop size, volume discounts, commodities, givebacks but none of these incentives address quality of food and building consistence in menu.

Thinking back to my grandfather’s deli, there was always a sense of pride with the quality of served food, and there was entrepreneurial spirit that lived in each person who worked in the deli. How I do miss those days.

Nevertheless, today generates new opportunities with new challengers. The missing link is the proverbial owner. People understand that “the owner” in many businesses do not reside at the business location but in some corporate office but is this an excuse to not deliver a clear message by the organization to his or her managers about caring about the customers and staff. Leadership’s role is to lead by example, by training and communicating the importance of the goals and expectations.

Pencil and crayons is a term that refers to, going back to basics, and simplicity, of design, menu, service, atmosphere, and a culture. Unfortunately, many of food service concepts are cookie cutter concepts. However, what drives success is leadership and leadership realizing a cookie cutter design may work, but there are, no cookie cutter approaches in dealing with people.

Whether one is introducing a room service of point of service programs, designing a cafeteria, upgrading or opening a retail food operation there needs to be a plan for the intangibles. A good design will lend itself to operational ease and a good marketing looking but in the business plan there needs to be reference to the “owner’s perspective” and ensuring this person has the skills to work with people and deliver success.

As with any business, the day-to-day operators are the most important individual in the operation and operators require the support, resources, and a clear vision allowing the operator to make good decisions. With today’s opportunity “sustainability may have been the buzzword of the decade, but it too reflects a back-to- basics mindset of careful resource usage and judicious budget spending” (Fassl, 1, 2010).

The food business although simplistic in theory is complicated and operators need to learn to “dance the dance” and be able to operator after all the support and the proverbial “expert matter” professions go home. Lessons learned is learning from my grandfather where each day the focus was on good food and friendly service within a winning design and not the other way around.