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Monday, December 30, 2013

Trieste Cafe Review

I don't know about you, but when I forget my lunch or am too lazy to make it the night before I want something cheap, appetizing, and fast. Most of us are only allowed 1 hour if even for our lunch so fast is definitely key.

If you are craving Greek/Mediterranean cuisine for a quick lunch, I would strongly suggest Trieste Café in Downtown Minneapolis. They aren't really easy to find as there is no signage outside of the building but just keep an eye out for the black board they have outside on the sidewalk informing you of their specials.

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/trieste-caf%C3%A9-minneapolis-2?select=XlKyGY0s79d0GQpW2fAT2w#ZrpW1FoKBDtel5eGwARFqw
Prices had increased


The trip took me like 10 minutes. It was amazing...fast like Jimmy Johns. I thought they had great customer services also in spite of it being crazy busy around 12 pm. I ordered the gyro with rice for $7.50. The option sized was perfected. I inhaled it easily, and I know my coworker can usually make two meals out of her food.

Gyro with rice


On top of fast being a key factor of where I eat for lunch, I also am very into quality. What do I know about quality? Besides being a foodies, I grew up working in a restaurant. You know what short cuts people make and can judge poor quality a lot easier as I've been behind the scenes. My mother is a perfection in her kitchen and only uses the best ingredients at Asian Café in Eau Claire, WI so I can tell when people don't.

I mainly judge quality on freshness of their vegetables. You can tell most restaurants specifically chain restaurants do not wash their vegetables. That is disgusting and a main reason why I don't order salads. I could tell that my green leaf lettuce was washed. There was a few browned leaves in there though. Also most Greek yogurt cucumber sauce doesn't sit well with my stomach, since I'm lactose intolerant (growing up from WI it's hard to resist). However I felt fine after inhaling my food at Triste Café.

It's definitely a place worth visiting at least once. I'm not sure if I would actually dine in there though, it a bit of a strange layout and felt a bit tight and cramped. Also it was crowded and there was a lot of conversations going on so it made it hard to hear much of anything.

Have you been to Triste Café before? What did you think? Are there any other Greek restaurants you would suggest for lunch? http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/trieste-caf%C3%A9-minneapolis-2?select=XlKyGY0s79d0GQpW2fAT2w#vW4tLl_wYtEXx-53u5B6Vg

Monday, December 23, 2013

How to effectively use the tools necessary for a CSR initiative


What are the tools you need to start a CSR initiative?

You first need to develop a policy to ensure everyone understands what the CSR initiative is exactly, and how they can contribute in each department. There are a few things you need to think about when you are developing your policy.

They are as follows:

1.       Business opportunities and how this works with stakeholders’ wants/needs

2.       How your company is currently addressing CSR and what it can do to improve

3.       Set realistic, obtainable, and measurable CSR goals with a deadline

4.       Develop the policy to make sure that your goals are reached

Once you have established your goals and initiative, the next item to develop would be the evaluation. How can you make sure you have reached your CSR goals?

Here are a few evaluation items to get you started:

1.       Activity: What did your company do to reach the goal?

2.       Output: Who was affected by the activity directly and indirectly? Were they the people/group you were trying to help? How many people were helped? Are your goals being reached?

3.       Relevance: Are all the actions taken relevant to achieving your CSR objectives? Is everyone involved who needs to be involved? Are you using all of your resources effectively?

4.       Sustainability: Are your goals and actions still pertinent and long-term? What else can you do to make sure the effects are permanent?

What are some tools your company uses for your CSR initiative? What have you found to be the most useful or not useful?

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Some of the Critical Elements of a CSR Initiative


Does your company have enough of a competitive edge? How about using corporate social responsibility as an edge? 67% of consumer will most likely buy products from a company that gives back to the community over their competitors that don’t.  Toms is definitely a good example of a company that can back that statistic up with their success.


1.       Sticking to what they know and using that to help the community. For example, Toms is a shoe company, and they are donating shoes to individuals who don’t have shoes.

2.       Being able to justify the why of it all with solid research. Why should everyone else care about the corporation’s cause, and what exactly is the business doing to solve this issue?

3.       Focusing on one social issue/cause at a time. Everyone knows that if you want to make a big impact and get something done, you need to just focus on it solely instead of trying to juggle multiple things at once.

4.       Don’t be afraid to get help from experts. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. If there’s an organization/non-profit that is already working towards a cause you want to help, partner up with them and let them teach your company what you can do to make the biggest impact.

Those are some key factors to focus on when starting your CSR initiative. Are there any other elements that you think should be focused on as well?

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Genesis of Corporate Responsibility


We hear about corporate responsibility fairly frequently in our daily lives, but where did it begin? When did corporations start to feel the need to give back to society?

The term corporate responsibility, or more so social responsibility, was first coined by Howard R. Bowen, an American economist, who wrote “Social Responsibility of the Businessman.”  This book focuses on how companies should behave towards society in regards to morality and ethics. Some could also argue that it started even early than that in 1930s and 1940s, with Chester Barnard’s (1938) The Functions of the Executive, J. M. Clark’s (1939) Social Control of Business, and Theodore Kreps’(1940) Measurement of the Social Performance of Business. However, Bowen was the first to have a clear definition of social responsibility. Bowen definition was “It refers to the obligations of businessmen to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society”.

Although, there was a variety of literature that was published on social responsibility after Bowen, the first company to actually publish a social report was Ben and Jerry’s in 1989 followed by Shell in 1998. Shell was forced to take social responsibility seriously as they were facing accusations of being compliant with the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other activists in Nigeria. Shell was also being attacked by Greenpeace for their decision to sink the Brent Spar oil platform. Because of all these issues that were arising against Shell, investors and the public lost confidence in Shell.

Shell spent over 20 million dollars on their publicity to rebrand and outline their values “Honesty, integrity and respect for people.” They also incorporated on their website “Tell Shell,” allowing individuals and shareholders to share their concerns with Shell. It gave them a sense of having a more active voice in Shell’s decision making. Tom Delfgaauw, former Vice President for Sustainable Development at Shell, said in regards to the issues the company faced in the mid-90s “The best thing that ever happened to us, first because we’ve come out of it much, much stronger as a company, and second, because it accelerated a great many needed corporate developments.” Because of the incident with Shell, it was an eye opener for other corporations to self-reflect and prepare themselves for any possible backlash they might receive on any of their decisions. They also needed to refocus on how their corporation was affecting the communities and lives of people around them.

This also began the rise of other organizations who wanted to help corporations instill corporate responsibility into their vision and mission. These companies include: PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Burson Marsteller. Other companies that would serve on a more consulting side of corporate responsibility are: SustainAbility, Business for Social Responsibility, and CSR Europe. Also, as business began to travel overseas and internationally, organizations such as Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Center of Transnational Corporations began to emerge around the 1970s.

How does your company fit in with social responsibility? Has the corporate and social responsibility actually begun at your workplace? Who is in charge of making sure that you are giving back to your community and making the right choices?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Don’t settle for a typical trip to the Grand Canyon!


The Grand Canyon is definitely a must see when you are in Arizona, since it’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world. However, you shouldn’t just do the typical trip like everyone else and just stand around wondering how long you are supposed to look at it, like the scene from “Guilt Trip” with Sean Rogan and Barbara Streisands, while taking your obligatory photos which you can later post onto Facebook.


Do something different and bold to actually experience the Grand Canyon like it was supposed to be experienced. Take a breathtaking trip in a helicopter with Maverick Tours. They offer a variety of options, which will please just about everyone. You have the option of either landing or air tours.

 

For example, if you take the Wind Dancer Air and Landing Tour, you can actually descend 3500 feet and land in the Grand Canyon in the Hualapai Indian Territory where you can hear about their legends and culture. On top of that you’ll be provided with light snacks as well as champagne. This is definitely an experience you’ll want to have a loved one around for.

 

Are you and your friends a little more adventurous than that? You should check out Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. You can choose your tour type from: helicopter, airplane, bus, or rafting. With the Glen Canyon rafting tour you’ll get a different experience and perspective from the rest of tourists. You will also have the opportunity to visit Antelope Canyon, where you will be amazed by the beautiful natural soft pastel colored rock formations. Your tour will be continued with a nice and relaxing float trip down the Colorado River. This is great opportunity to learn about the history and geological aspects of the formations which you won’t want to miss.

 

Have you taken any of these tours? Let us know what you liked about them in the comments section below.