Sirvo Says: The 6 Most Unique Things To Do In Denver

Sirvo Says: The 6 Most Unique Things To Do In Denver

With its gorgeous landscape, wonderful mix of cultures, and unique attractions, Denver, Colorado is one of the most popular destinations for adventure-seekers and those just looking for a break from the norm. Not only does Denver have plenty to offer in the way of good food, scenery, and fun things to do, it’s also a haven for sports fanatics due to all the big-league teams in and around the city. For outdoorsy travelers and those who seek a bit of beauty and refreshing change, Denver is the perfect destination. Read on to find out more about the best ways to have a unique trip to the Centennial State.

1. See the town on a bike

Many people in Denver forgo a car in favor of the much more efficient bicycle, and if you don’t happen to have one with you, the city provideth. There are Denver B-Cycle stations everywhere, and you can rent a bike for a minimal fee (30 minutes or less is free!). There are also several options for guided bike tours, some of which include brewery stops! Check out some of the best here.

2. Take in some oddities

A visit to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys will be fun for the whole family, but make sure you check out the permanent displays, like Chuck’s Circus, which features 4,000 tiny painted figurines, animals, and a complete freak show.

2. Eat some sopapillas

It wouldn’t be a visit to Denver without going to the motherland, Casa Bonita. This Denver favorite made famous by South Park is one of the most nostalgic locations for locals. The 40-year old establishment boasts cliff divers, an arcade, and world famous sopapillas that people of all ages can enjoy.

3. Live like Scrooge McDuck

Ever wanted to see a pile of money so big you could swim in it? Head to the Denver Money Museum, where you’ll find that and more.

4. Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

If you’re a morning person–or decidedly not a morning person but love breakfast foods–head to Snooze, where you can get a giant stack of sweet potato pancakes complete with caramel, pecans, and ginger butter. If you’re looking for something more savory, try the chilaquiles benedict, tortillas filled with ranchero sauce, cheese, barbacoa beef, and poached eggs. This restaurant is more than your average breakfast diner and will leave you full and satisfied.

5. Experience the Alfred Packer Memorial

In Littleton Cemetery lies the body of Alfred Packer, who made the trip from Utah with fifteen friends during the gold rush and ended up stranded in a snowstorm so intense he had to eat his traveling companions to stay alive. He made it, only to be sentenced to forty years for manslaughter.

6. Visit Stephen King’s inspiration for The Shining

Horror lover? You’re in luck, because just a short drive out of the city will take you to Estes Park, where the Stanley Hotel stands. The gorgeous site is the very same where Stephen King stayed many years ago and was inspired to write The Shining, and, like the setting in the book, the hotel is known for a bevy of ghostly goings on.

Come to Denver with a sense of adventure and leave your stresses behind. This beautiful, mountainous area will leave you feeling well-rested and fulfilled–at least until the next trip.

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Lessons from Las Vegas

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New Ruling on Tips in Colorado

New Ruling on Tips in Colorado

A recent Tenth Circuit Court case decision changes the rules on tips depending on if you take the tip credit or not. Our friends at The Colorado Restaurant Association are on top of the story but due to the complexity of this issue, we suggest you read the full story here before acting!

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Training Hacks: Building Your Team

Training Hacks: Building Your Team

Having a solid training program will provide benefits every time your employees work a shift. The best training programs begin by hiring the best employees. This can be the difference between immediate success and possible failure.

Here are the first steps to take to put the right people in the right places.

1. Determining Staffing Needs

Every establishment is different but the theories behind determining staffing levels are similar all around.

Think about the flow of your business and every step a customer will take on their way to an excellent experience, from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave. To ensure service, you’ll need employees who’ll engage the customer at each step, and then you’ll need a support staff. The support staff are employees who the customer may not deal with directly, but still affect the final customer experience. Examples of support staff are barbacks, busboys, prep cooks, and housekeepers.

Based on the size of your establishment and the level of service you plan on providing you’ll want to have at least two (if not more) of each position during your peak hours.

Of course, you’ll want to employ more than two people for each position to account for day and night shifts, for days off, for extra coverage when needed, and as backups in case of emergencies.

2. How To Hire

Now that you’ve determined your staffing needs, it’s time to put the word out.

There are many ways to let potential employees know you’re hiring. The best way is to post your open positions to a job site specific to the hospitality industry, preferably one that partners with the big job search engines as well as with local sites and with trade associations. This ensures you’ll connect with the most enthusiastic and professional candidates.

The best way is to post your open positions to a job site specific to the hospitality industry.

Of course, there are always the traditional ways such as word of mouth, employee referrals, and the trusty old “Help Wanted” sign.

It’s a good idea to tell any and all applicants you’re always accepting applications, even when you think you may be fully staffed. By doing so you’ll always have possible employees in the pipeline ready to begin training at a moment’s notice. Don’t wait until an employee resigns or until you involuntarily lose an employee before hiring their replacement. This gives you peace of mind knowing all possibilities are covered.

3. Who To Hire

If you’re always accepting applications and interviewing potential employees, you’ll find the person you spend valuable training dollars on will be of a higher quality.

Unfortunately, it’s common in the industry to hire out of necessity. This can affect customer service and employee morale in the long run. Try to avoid backing yourself into this corner at all costs.

Before you begin interviewing potential employees, take the time to list the personality traits and skills you’d like your perfect employee to have.

Each position requires a certain type of person. Before you begin interviewing potential employees, take the time to list the personality traits and skills you’d like your perfect employee to have.

After you form a profile of your superstar employee(s), you’ll want to tailor your interview questions accordingly. Always remember to ask open-ended questions to keep the candidate talking as much as possible. This allows you to get an idea of how they’ll deal with service as well as how they’ll fit into the team. Of course, you’ll want to include a few skill questions to make sure they can meet your skill level requirements, too.

Here are a few other quick hiring hacks to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to be creative or out of the box with your questions. You want to force the candidate to think quickly, as they’ll be doing this continuously during shifts.
  • During the interview, don’t just show your amiable side. Remember, it’s their goal to impress you, not the other way around.
  • Also, keep in mind there may be some strict guidelines you’re required to follow when interviewing. Rules and regulations vary from state to state. Click here for more information on the regulations where you’re located.
  • Last, schedule a follow-up interview for a day or two later so you can think about things first. Avoid hiring a candidate “on the spot” if at all possible.

One of the best quotes we’ve heard from a small business owner when asked about their hiring practices was, “Every horse runs a good first lap.”

“Every horse runs a good first lap.”

He meant everyone puts their best foot forward during interviews so take the time to think about how the candidate will fit into the big picture. It’s tough to build a cohesive and successful team when new hires let you down or move on within a few weeks. If you find this happens frequently, you may want to revisit your hiring process.

Finding a good hire is the first step in a successful training program and should not be taken lightly. It’s rare that an employer finds the perfect employee who’s always on time, enthusiastic, and able to handle anything thrown their way…all while providing the best service possible.

Protect your business by establishing and following great hiring practices. That’s the best way to start training off of the right foot.

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So The Holidays Are Over, Now What? Tips to Keep The Money Flowing

So The Holidays Are Over, Now What? Tips to Keep The Money Flowing

The holidays are great for the hospitality and service industry. Sure, you’ll hear the occasional grinch toned story of bad luck or holiday heartache. But for the most part, business will be booming no matter what aspect of the industry you work in. The increased business can be a boon for your income with customers willing to be more relaxed in their spending habits. So how can you prepare yourself for the slow season? Here’s what to do when business dies down.

“When you have money, think of the time when you had none.” – Japanese Proverb

Even though everyone knows they should put money aside for a rainy day, it’s not always done. When business slows down, it’s a good idea to slow down on the spending in your personal life, too. You may be tempted to let loose now that your schedule has relaxed, but resist the urge.

Setting money away is the hardest thing on this list to do so here’s a good rule of thumb: Put your paychecks aside and live off your tips. You’ll want to have three to six months of living expenses saved up for emergencies. The worst thing you can do is to put yourself in the position of living shift to shift.

Use the time to relax and reset

The essence of hospitality is staying one step ahead, anticipating needs, and getting things done as quickly as possible. Many employees find themselves working full time or even overtime during the busy season to ensure such great service.

Even though everyone knows they should put money aside for a rainy day, it’s not always done.

While this may be great for your bank account, it’s hard for your body and mind and this can quickly lead to burnout. Take the time to catch your breath. Also, the downtime after the holidays is ideal for returning to any healthy habits you’ve put aside.

Perfect your craft

Hospitality and service industry employees increasingly have their sights set on becoming authorities (even celebrities) for what they do. If you plan on progressing past casually working weekend shifts, it’s a good idea to use the slower pace to perfect your technique.

Use the tranquility after the holidays to learn about and experiment with new products and innovations. Who knows? You may come up with a new recipe that turns into the next big thing.

…after the holidays is ideal for returning to any healthy habits you’ve put aside.

It’s a good time to bond with co-workers

Chances are the busy season brought a lot of new faces into the building. But with guests coming and going constantly, it’s hard to find a moment to talk about anything besides work.

Now you can take the time to connect (or reconnect) with your coworkers. In turn, this makes your work environment less stressful and fosters organic teamwork. Better teamwork equals better service which equals better tips, reviews, and ultimately increased business.

Pick up shifts at another location

There will be times when one employer can’t offer you enough hours. Luckily, it’s common practice for employees to work part-time at more than one location. And after the holidays or busy season, some staff members are likely to ask for time off. This opens up possibilities around town for you to earn extra income. Check out Sirvo for all the best job opportunities.

Even though it may be a slower time, these opportunities are always available and managers may be looking for reliable help to fill open shifts. This could be your chance to finally get your foot in the door at your dream job. Use these tips to help you weather the post-holiday season. One great thing about the hospitality industry is its seasonality. Take advantage of that benefit.

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Culinary Quick Start Program: Learn to Work as a Cook for FREE

Culinary Quick Start Program: Learn to Work as a Cook for FREE

With Colorado’s restaurant industry booming and not enough qualified individuals to fill essential kitchen roles, Sage Restaurant Group and EatDenver have partnered with Emily Griffith Technical College to develop a comprehensive program to train people to become line or prep cooks. And the best part, it’s completely FREE!

Highlights

  • Four-week course to train people to confidently execute some culinary basics, contribute in a prep or pantry station, follow safe food handling practices and more
  • Developed by local restaurants and taught by popular area chefs
  • Completely FREE and open to anyone who is interested
  • Class Monday through Friday from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Emily Griffith Campus located at 1860 Lincoln Street
  • Immediate work opportunities; guaranteed connection to more than 100 restaurants which currently have job openings

There will be start dates in January and February (with more in the works). An application (available here) and a two-hour orientation are required. Orientation sessions will be held at 1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, on the following dates:

  • Jan. 4. from 1-3 p.m.
  • Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • February dates TBD

Please bring Photo ID, proof of ability to work in the US (SS card or work authorization) and proof of age. Full details can be found here.

Why Enroll

This is an excellent opportunity to start a successful career. Line and prep cooks can move on to become executive chefs, restaurant owners and more! If you’re looking for a job or a change in work, then this is a unique chance for you to move into a promising field, learn from great chefs and do so without financial burden. It’s never been done before! Be one of the first to take part.

Find out more about how cooks contribute to professional kitchens and why they’re so important.

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Why Mixology is a Real Trade and How it Enhances the Dining Experience

Why Mixology is a Real Trade and How it Enhances the Dining Experience

What’s the difference between a bartender and a mixologist? Well for one there is a difference between pouring a beer and enhancing the overall dining experience with precision and craft. While bartenders are certainly beneficial for restaurants, mixologists shouldn’t be ignored. Particularly in restaurants that want to be recognized for their unique drinks and/or their impeccable drink and dining pairings.

Here are some key reasons why mixology is a legitimate trade, one that restaurants should support if they want to give their guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Science is involved

Mixology isn’t exactly like biology, physiology or any of the other science-ologies out there. But it does require some science to be a great mixologist. That’s because mixology involves a certain understanding and knowledge of the chemistry of drinks.A great mixologist studies the chemistry and history of cocktails to create new flavors. They also need to understand how particular flavors in a cocktail will enhance flavors of food to add depth to diners’ entire experience.

Mixologists adapt to your menu

A great mixologist can create new work when they are presented with a new menu. If your menu changes seasonally, a mixologist can prepare new cocktails that match the seasons and also compliment the menu. They can have different specials for brunch, lunch, dinner and even special events.

A great mixologist studies the chemistry and history of cocktails to create new flavors.

Mixologists can also be hired on a consulting basis. If you only need a mixologist once a quarter to craft a new drink menu, you can hire one on the side instead of keeping one in-house throughout the year.Many mixologists make a great living this way. In fact, they might have a greater range of knowledge and experience than mixologists who work for one location. Considering they have had to craft new and unique drinks for a wider variety of establishments.

Mixologists are your “behind the scenes” bartender

Think of bartenders as your customer-facing alcohol experts and your mixologist as your “behind the scenes” expert. Mixologists focus on the quality of the drink rather than the speed at which it is poured. Use your mixologist to craft seasonal and otherwise unique drinks that match your restaurant’s atmosphere and theme.

Your bartenders will be the ones mingling with the guests, pouring drinks and making recommendations based on the carefully crafted drink menu your mixologist has prepared in advance.

Advanced training really does help

Bartending isn’t exactly the easiest job out there. People who are naturally social and have the ability to multi-task can make a decent living without getting any type of additional certification or degree.

A certified mixologist has gone through extensive training to learn the ins and outs of crafting exquisite drinks. Their training has taught them the science and background they need to know to work with your dining menu and create new concoctions. Don’t underestimate the knowledge gained through mixology certification or degree programs.

Contrary to popular belief, mixology isn’t a term that was coined by hipsters. Its root dates back to the 1850s, and it has been used in cultures worldwide, from Hong Kong to England.

It has historical roots

Contrary to popular belief, mixology isn’t a term that was coined by hipsters. Its root dates back to the 1850s, and it has been used in cultures worldwide, from Hong Kong to England. The fact that it has historical roots doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a more legitimate term than bartender. It does point to the fact that we are not the first generation to have identified a difference between a mixologist and a bartender though.

Think of a mixologist as the person who makes your drinks beautiful, the person who knows how a drink can compliment every dish on your menu. Whereas a bartender is a person who charms your guests and simply pours their drinks. There is a distinct difference between the two, which is why restaurants should have both on hand to create the ultimate dining experience for their guests. Check out Sirvo for all open bar positions and become Denver’s next great mixologist! 

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