Gordon Ramsay’s Own Kitchen Nightmares

@lawton_assoc,  & @felixsalmon point to the Bloomberg article on how Gordon Ramsay nearly went bankrupt.

For Ramsay, this was especially embarrassing because Kitchen Nightmares showcases him as a savior of other people’s restaurants.

“It’s not great if you’re making a show called Kitchen Nightmares and advising people on how to fix their businesses for you to go bankrupt,” says Pat Llewellyn,

I’ve watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America (I can’t speak for any of his Fox shows in the US) and I find it an entertaining show particularly for the way Ramsay (known for his screaming and liberal use of the f-bomb) deals with the softer aspects of running a restaurant. In episode after episode he’s called in to punch up disillusioned staff and help return them to past glory. It’s usually morale and interpersonal relations that add to bad cash flow management in killing good restaurants. To see how Ramsay turns the attitudes of put-upon staff and restores their confidence is what really makes this show for me. Who wouldn’t mind having Jack Welsh or Vince Lombardi as your personal coach for a month?

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Bobby McMahon Handicaps WC2010 for Prost Amerika Soccer

FSC Senior Analyst Bobby McMahon chats with Prost Amerika after the 2010 World Cup Draw and has these observations to make:

  • Are South Africa the weakest host country? “They’re not the strongest hosts… but… the host nation more times than not finds a way to get through.”
  • On Mexico- are they underestimated?: “Mexico… can be intimidated…  when they get up against vert strong, physical sides that get on top of them they can have some trouble… The States… for the longest time have built a team equipped to beat the Mexicans”
  • On Argentina- ‘very dangerous to link qualifying performances with performances at World Cup’
  • “I’m not a big watcher of Slovenian soccer but I watched both games against Russia… the second leg performance… was outstanding…. If they’re a counterattacking team… I think they cause problems for England.”
  • If Slovenia and Algeria were replaced in Group C with Russia and Egypt, people would be calling it the “Group of Death”
  • Bobby’s predictions for which teams will make it through…
    • Group A: France & Mexico;
    • Group B: Nigeria & Greece;
    • Group C: US & England;
    • Group D: Serbia & Germany;
    • Group E: Netherlands & Cameroon;
    • Group F: Italy & Paraguay;
    • Group G: Brazil & Ivory Coast;
    • Group H: Spain & Chile

Listen to the whole conversation here.

Tyler Cowen, NY Mag: Restaurant Menu Analysis

Thanks to Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution for pointing this article from New York Magazine. Most restaurant patrons probably don’t consider all the work that goes into designing a truly effective menu. Apologies for sounding like a rube, but this analysis is brilliant.

4. In The Vicinity
The restaurant’s high-profit dishes tend to cluster near the anchor. Here, it’s more seafood at prices that seem comparatively modest.

I didn’t realize the degree by which my decision making at dinner has been manipulated by business considerations. I do now.

Are we pushing on a string or crowding out?

“Both of these arguments are comprehensible… But they cannot both be true at the same time. Either the economy is so awash in liquidity that the Federal Reserve cannot do much to boost spending—in which case additional spending by the government won’t generate any substantial rise in interest rates. Or additional government spending will crowd out investment…—in which case the economy is not awash in liquidity, and quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve could do a lot right now to boost spending and employment.”

From: http://ping.fm/kE8it