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

Taco Bell takes on fast casual with U.S. Taco Co.

Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co.  -More

Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure
Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media debut

Ronald McDonald is giving off less of a clown vibe with a makeover that keeps the color scheme but adds a blazer, a yellow ve -More

Animal fats ramp up flavor

Chicago hot spots are serving up savory dishes flavored with animal fats such as Stephanie Izard's confit goat belly at Girl  -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

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth of 1.2% - Added 96 net new restaurants worldwide including 69 net new Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. - Revenue increased 6.2%

Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For 20 New Restaurants In South Orange County And The San Fernando Valley

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

Earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 16.7 percent to $0.84 compared to $0.72 for the third quarter of fiscal 2013

Togo's Inks Deals In Idaho And Utah To Develop 13 New Restaurants

Togo's Eateries, Inc. announced it has signed franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in Eastern Idaho and eight locations in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2014, the brand will also mark its entry into Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with restaurant openings planned over the next few months.

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: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

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