Local v Global/Chains

Hi guys,sorry BFM has been quiet as my iPhone crashed!!!!

Today I want to have a chat about restaurants being local v global or chains. Let me expand on the title. By local is meant is the establishment owned,run,sourced and operated locally in the home town/state/country or is it part of a national/internationally held chain.

Now when it comes to us as consumers we demand varying types of food from the cheap and cheerful to Michelin starred haute cuisine and everything in between. We want a varied genre of food from fast food to fine dining to snacks etc, at prices to compare.

As businesses the local restauranteurs through to multinationals want to make a decent living by providing a consistently high quality product and service,as well as looking after staff and environment. I know as our family have experience in a local independent family run restaurant.

As a local enterprise it is very competitive trying to balance all the different variables and still provide good product,service and staff morale as well as complying with all the legislation and running a business.Hence prices must be set to reflect this. For me one of the most important things a local family run restaurant is that the family should be present, but that will invite more discussion.

Step in the chains.These guys will have a replicable,consistent,exacting model which may be competitively priced, but does,in my experience, fall down in many areas. Let’s praise the good,at least we know that the food quality is consistent at any given time and location for comparable prices and that decour and staff dress are the same. But this takes away one of the big reasons for going to restaurants in my opinion, and that is people. You don’t get to know owners,chef and staff and I have found this is important. Also a lot of these chains are artificial looking and are poor copies of the original.

It strikes me that being “corporations” all they are after is profit at the expense of everything else. Now some sweeping statements, I invite comment, let’s get the discussion started!!!!

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3 streets 1 fine dining Mecca in Belfast?

BFM on walkabout!!!
Just walking down 3 adjacent streets in Belfast, Howard Street, Brunswick Street and James Street South. Their juxtaposition is 100 paces!!

The first of 5 gastronomic names is Deanes on Howard Street. Michael Deane has done wonders here with 3 restaurants in one EIPIC, Love Fish and Meatlocker. A quick jaunt across Brunswick street still on Howard Street are The Flame and Howard Street (not open Monday). Anyone remember the Skandia???

Back down Howard Street and into Brunswick street we have James Street South Bar and Grill, Restaurant and Cookery School headed up by Niall McKenna, who I must say does fantastic food and his cookery school is great also- more in a later blog!!!!

Then the newbie just opposite is Shiro a new Euro Asian Fusian place. This was the old Irene and Nan’s.
So we are spoilt for choice, best thing is get stuck in!!!!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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MenuPages launches premium dining out guide in Northern Ireland

The BFM wishes to share the food love that is below,may I invite you to look into:-

MenuPages.co.uk has launched their premium dining out guide this week in
Northern Ireland. Aimed at supporting the local hospitality sector and
driving sales, this online booking mechanism is designed to offer diners
the ability to search an entire database of eateries across Northern
Ireland, book their tables, review their experience and earn money-off

MenuPages.co.uk is the next stage for MenuPages.ie which has been firmly
established as Ireland’s best dining guide with over 700,000 unique users
using the site each month.

On the back of this success in Ireland, MenuPages is delighted to be
bringing this fantastic online service to Northern Ireland.

Orla Mc Donagh, Marketing Manager of MenuPages states; “From a business
point of view, we are delighted to be able to branch into Northern Ireland
and create extra business for the restaurant owners who are listed on our
site. By having a profile on MenuPages.co.uk more people will be able to
see your restaurant and your offering. It’s like having an online shop
window for everyone to see how fabulous your restaurant or Gastropub is.”

With already a number of listed restaurants in Belfast, MenuPages are set
to stand out from the crowd. Some of the restaurants include; Coco
Belfast, James Street South, The Potted Hen, Beatrice Kennedy, Malmaison,
Bengal Brasserie, Madison’s Hotel and Victoria’s.

Geoff Kemp, James Street South explains; “We are delighted to have joined
up to MenuPages.co.uk with their new launch in
Northern Ireland and due to its success in the ROI market we are looking
forward to a great working relationship. With the expansion of our group,
The Bar + Grill, Hadskis and the imminent refurbishment of James Street
South Restaurant in conjunction with the launch of our Chef Apprenticeship
Programme; we relish the opportunity to be part of the MenuPages

James Neilly, Head Chef, The Potted Hen enthuses, “We are very proud to
have hosted the launch of MenuPages at The Potted Hen and are very excited
to be apart of the new venture and we wish them every success.”

With 55% of smartphone users in the UK now using their devices to book
online, Orla Donagh, cites the growth of online shopping as the inspiration
for the MenuPages platform: “Digital is now an integral part of the way in
which consumers shop and we can offer a great facility to those customers
opting to book online.”

The website will soon offer delicious recipes and upcoming food and drink
related events. There is also the facility for MenuPages users to earn
‘MenuCash ’ which is redeemable throughout the
participating restaurants.

To find out more information or register your restaurant online, please
visit http://www.MenuPages.co.uk .



Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Lunch with the girlies

The BFM and his three girls decided to have a bite to eat and respite from the rain after a morning of visiting friends. We decided to try Havana at Bank Square

56-58 Berry Street
United Kingdom
028 9031 0809

We thought we would get a good choice of Cuban food,given the name ant the super decor. I was looking forward to tasting food by Julian Davidson. We were very warmly received by the staff especially Stefanie the manager.

We were informed that there was a BOGOF on the lunch menu,which was a pleasant surprise. The girls were very hungry and we ordered cheesy pasta (£5) and bangers n mash (£5), and we went with pork belly stew (£7) and fish n chips (£9).

The two young ones polished off their lunch and we let them try our fab dishes.My pork belly stew was tangy and tasty and was tantalising with Tabasco!! The fish was well battered and crisp, the fat chips were well fried and was served on bed of lettuce with drizzle of Hollandaise sauce with crushed peas, mmmmmm. The only down side was it was served on a slate,not a fan,slates are for roofs.
We washed it all down with ice cold water.

The kids had some ice cream and overall we were very satisfied.For £14 it was a hearty and good value,tasty lunch. I just thought we would get a selection of Cuban food? Please do give it a try!!!

Once again the BFM shares the food love!!! Ciao down now!!!

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Quik n tasty oriental buffet

Ok the BFM had to kill an hour b4 a meeting,and had to eat,so I headed down to China China for their early evening buffet with limited Teppanyaki. Soup,starters,mains,desserts,meat,prawns,sushi and freshly made pancakes.
Had the chicken Teppanyaki and all savoury fayre.
What a bargain for £8 between 5-7 http://www.chinachinaorientalbuffet.co.uk

Once again the BFM shares the food love