Jon Rock's Blog (17)

The cellphone on turning 40

It’s hard to believe the first cellphone call was made last week 40 years ago. Remember the scene in the movie Wall Street where Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, calls Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) from the beach on a Motorola DynaTAC, which was essentially a brick with an antenna attached to it? These early cell phones cost several thousand dollars and the airtime charges were typically $0.45 per minute plus $0.25 for long distance. If you were outside your metro area, there were…

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Added by Jon Rock on April 8, 2013 at 10:07am — No Comments

OpenTable reduces direct restaurant reservations

In a recent article published in Gourmet Marketing, it has come to light that OpenTable made a change to their portal user interface. The restaurant URL previously was featured prominently on the Overview page; this was moved to the More Details section.  The article maintains that this subtle user interface change was done intentionally to capture reservations via the OpenTable…

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Added by Jon Rock on March 14, 2013 at 12:34pm — 2 Comments

Report from MoFuse: State of the Mobile Web

MoFuse, a global leader in mobile web content management, just released its State of the Mobile Web Report. The report reviews mobile browsing activity across many different types of mobile sites, with a focus on mobile web audiences for small-and-medium size businesses (SMBs). The report is an effort to help organizations understand how, and when, to best…

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Added by Jon Rock on September 7, 2012 at 8:20am — No Comments

Should Only People Under 25 Engage in Social Media Marketing?

A recent article titled “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25” drew much criticism and fire from marketing professionals of all ages. In retrospect, hopefully, the inexperienced author probably wishes she could retract her negative and inflammatory comments. A number of the posted comments are worthy of sharing.

“So, by that argument, once social media is replaced by the next big thing, everyone your age should be…

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Added by Jon Rock on July 25, 2012 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Restaurants that get mobile right!

According to a recent Search Engine Land article Why Restaurants & Other Local Businesses Need Mobile, “the keyword [restaurants near me] has almost 10,000 searches per month on desktop computers, but four times that on mobile devices.” The article also goes on to point out that desktop and mobile visitors have different end…

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Added by Jon Rock on June 1, 2012 at 6:39am — 5 Comments

What do QR codes, a wine list and your Smartphone share in common?

I was out to dinner at a Boston white tablecloth restaurant a few weeks ago with a coworker.  The waitress plopped down a couple of menus and a fairly extensive wine list over the usual pleasantries one would expect at any fine dining establishment. My coworker looked over the menu while I reviewed the wine list. The waitress promptly came over after about 5 minutes and asked us if we had any questions about the menu, the wine list, and to take our drink order. This created an awkward moment…

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Added by Jon Rock on May 17, 2012 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

A restaurant Internet marketing study: Behind the scenes

My company, Restaurant Sciences, has a research arm and we recently completed a survey of chain and independent restaurants to understand their internet usage.  The survey answers burning questions such as what percentage of restaurants have a main website, a mobile website or a various types of Social Media presence.



A portion of the survey results is featured in a Boston Globe article titled “Independent restaurants neglect…

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Added by Jon Rock on May 3, 2012 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Restaurants and the Instagram Buzz

Last week, Facebook purchased Instagram, the barely 2-year old photo sharing startup for $1 billion dollars. The New York Times recently chronicled Instagram’s road to success, struggling as a fledgling start-up to keep up with server demand as thousands downloaded the iPhone version of the app and began uploading pictures hours after it…

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Added by Jon Rock on April 19, 2012 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Every Picture Tells a Story: Facebook Timeline

There’s been negative buzz lately from marketers regarding the switch to timeline that automatically occurred at the end of March. We need to take stock in the fact that Facebook is a free and powerful social media platform, thus the powers that be can affect changes, which means we as marketers need to creatively adapt to those changes. Recently, Facebook Marketing Solutions posted this question to its fans: “For…

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Added by Jon Rock on April 4, 2012 at 5:00pm — 4 Comments

Tips: Restaurant Marketing with Pinterest

In our blog titled Pinterest: How can restaurants use this online pinboard, we examined this virtual pinboard to understand how restaurants could use this platform in their efforts to connect online with new and existing customers. Since this blog was written, we had the opportunity to gain insight from…

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Added by Jon Rock on March 19, 2012 at 5:30am — No Comments

Pinterest: How can restaurants use this online pinboard?

There’s been a lot of buzz around Pinterest in the media lately. According to an article published this month in TechCrunch citing data collected by comScore, Pinterest hit 10 million unique visitors per month faster than any standalone website ever. Its rise to prominence can be demographically credited to 18-34 year old women from the…

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Added by Jon Rock on February 16, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Can a Website Developed in HTML5 Look Good on Mobile Devices?

There are many differing opinions on whether sites developed in HTML5 can display content on mobile devices as eloquently as they do in the desktop and tablet world. Before we examine the pros and cons of each, here is a little background on the two technologies.

HTML5

HTML5 will be the new standard for Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), according to W3C. ("The World Wide Web Consortium is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the…

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Added by Jon Rock on January 27, 2012 at 12:13pm — No Comments

Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: Which is Best for Restaurants?

If you talk to a restaurant owner about going mobile (assuming they understand how pressing it is that they get on the mobile bandwagon pronto!) often the question will arise, “Should I get a Mobile App or should I go with a Mobile Website.” Surprisingly, you will find some restaurant operators are not doing anything because they just don’t know which way to go. Let’s try to clear things up by first examining each one:…

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Added by Jon Rock on January 19, 2012 at 7:12am — 13 Comments

Google Analytics: Restaurant Mobile Website Trends

In our original blog titled “Google Analytics: Analyzing Mobile Website Performance”, we reviewed a number of reporting metrics provided by Google and possible interpretations of the data. In addition, we discussed best practices for setting up a Google Analytics account for your main and mobile websites. In this most recent blog, we will take a look back at mobile website…

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Added by Jon Rock on December 30, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Last Minute Restaurant Marketing for the Holidays

Luckily, it’s a busy time of the year for many restaurants.  Trying to keep up with increased demand may have created an operational squeeze on your time.  Now here you are--in the midst of the holidays-- to find that you didn’t get to all of the marketing tasks you intended.  It is a little late in the game but there is still time for a few efforts that are pretty easy to tackle and inexpensive as well.

 

Gift Cards

Stay in the mind of your customers and shoppers…

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Added by Jon Rock on December 19, 2011 at 11:19am — No Comments

Google Analytics: Analyzing Mobile Website Performance

Now that you’ve created your restaurant’s mobile website it’s time to think about tracking results. This will help you analyze the effectiveness of your content and ultimately help you optimize your sales. The beauty of Google Analytics is that it’s free and you don’t have to be an analyst to interpret the data, or act on it.

 Key Metrics in Google Analytics

Here is a breakdown of a number of key metrics provided by Google Analytics, possible interpretations of the data,…

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Added by Jon Rock on December 9, 2011 at 1:03pm — No Comments

Mobile Website Makes Midnight Snacks Easier to Find

Have you ever been driving home in the wee hours of the morning and suddenly had a massive craving for eggs with hash browns and a side of pancakes and a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee? If you are in familiar territory, you probably know where the all night diner or fast-food chain is located. What if you are driving on a major highway out-of-state where everything is dark, even the interchanges --how do you locate an all-night diner without getting off at an exit and driving around…

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Added by Jon Rock on December 7, 2011 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Eateries turn to rationing as lime prices soar

Unrest caused by Mexico's drug cartels, along with floods in Mexico and a drought in California, are taking a toll on this ye -More

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Burger King to upgrade wireless with Whopper Wi-Fi

Burger King has teamed with AT&T to replace existing in-store wireless Internet with an upgraded system dubbed Whopper Wi-Fi  -More

Late-night indulgence pays off for Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box saw its profits rise sharply in the first quarter, a few months after introducing its $6 Munchie Meal menu of -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

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