Dan Simons is a DC area restaurant & hospitality industry consultant
and former employee of TGIFridays, The Cheescake Factory and eatZi's Market & Bakery. Dan is quoted last week in the New York Times, on the phenomenon of citizen reviews of restaurants. The customer is not only right these days, he is empowered to criticize effectively:
“Social media for business now is life or death...You could open a business and… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on August 9, 2009 at 5:32pm —
- the company as wiki. Best Buy?… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on July 23, 2009 at 7:10am —
Clay Shirky's recent talk to the State Department has ramifications for the food industry. Means… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on June 17, 2009 at 12:13pm —
An excellent article by Alice Julier, Professor of Sociology
, makes me think of how to apply this knowledge to restaurant chains.
"Food seems like a pretty basic and obvious necessity -- everyone needs it. The problem is that in our previous incarnation as a Land of Abundance, we produced enough food to feed our… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on February 19, 2009 at 2:39pm —
Check out what Dancing Deer Baking Company is doing. (2 minute MonkeyMedia
clip at the SF Fancy Food show).
Even now, and especially now in these difficult times, Trish Karter is investing her food brand equity in giving. There's something magnetic about doing what's needed, and being generous with your time and effort; if the success of Dancing Deer
is any indication, the bottom line seems to know… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on February 10, 2009 at 9:26am —
This may come off as an ad for a high end, local catering company. Making an ad for them wasn't the idea, but if this video does promote them I'm OK with that.
Because - when the rules change, when the predictable doesn't work, leadership matters. And maybe leadership is most effective when people, like Out To Lunch Catering in Vancouver, quietly lead with their conviction and example - effectively modeling change for the rest of us.
Sustainability is still a significant… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on January 19, 2009 at 6:28am —
Vance Carlton, of the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, speaks about capitalizing on untouched catering & delivery opportunities while keeping existing customers satisfied. The company is bullish about the future, and should be.
"Adding new customers each day is just something we're doing right now...
A telephone podcast I did at my place of employment - MonkeyMedia
- this week. Hopefully worth your… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on November 13, 2008 at 3:30pm —
Economic downturns freak us out - the need for comfort is more deeply felt than ever. This is something operators must know.
We get comfort from two main sources, by pampering ourselves with scarce pleasures ( the drive for luxury) and indulging in familiar things ( the drive to Mom's house).
Luxury can quickly become cost prohibitive, from both the operator and customer’s point of view. Providing an experience that is purely familiar also won't do either. By going 'back to the… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on October 30, 2008 at 12:23pm —
We all know how uncomfortable it is have our business or prospects stuck, or to feel the business wavering in uncertain times. Now's the time to be proactive.
Liquidity, in the form of capital and credit, can free us out of a current situation, allowing us to shift gears - but today, after years of being spoiled by easy credit in many sectors, we're seeing things dry up across the board. This is a deep concern, especially for companies that have little or no… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on October 27, 2008 at 10:10pm —
The idea of the "right way" to prepare spaghetti sauce or coffee has recently been smashed into a million pieces that make up an elongating tail of the market. The same can be applied to most restaurant items.
Change for change's sake can be misleading. And we will always like to bond over what is imprinted as common - for instance, a Big Mac is a Big Mac, and Thanksgiving dinner is very similar from home to home. One lesson seems to be this: there is room to be distinguished, and… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on October 3, 2008 at 8:55pm —
First it was trans fats; today Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that enforces the posting of calorie information on menus and indoor menu boards throughout California.
Already, services like Calorie Count(TM)
provide web access to nutritional information; some establishments like chicken restaurant chain Koo Koo Roo are using nutritional transparency as a selling point.
As of July 1 2009, chains with… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on September 30, 2008 at 9:54pm —
What distinguishes casual catering from regular sandwiches or takeout is an element of presentation. In practice, the added edge can be very subtle, like nice distinct boxes, delivered by a polite staff member. But it has to be there.
Odd build up maybe for this video that shows the CREATIVE MAGIC of presenting food
...and food is, if not magical, pretty wonderful. Easy to lose sight of that. And easy to lose sight of the importance of the sensual side of presentation - in this… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on September 26, 2008 at 2:06pm —
Like it or not, a bunch of people made an obscene amount of money doing reckless things with other people's stuff. Go figure.
Seth Godin's respone
"And for most people, it won't matter so much. Because most of us aren't focused on flipping assets. We're building value by creating interactions that work, by writing stories that spread or by designing products and services that actually create… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on September 16, 2008 at 5:02am —
The example set by Fohboh is loud and clear: Facts and knowledge can only go so far. So can the words from the stars in the business. I've recently helped bring together a group of experts in deli, bakery, catering and food branding: Ari Weinzweig, Roy Bergold, Trish Karter, Michel Suas...
- all willing to answer everyday questions.…
Added by John Dumbrille on September 11, 2008 at 8:02pm —
This hilarious video shows what might happen if customers are left to their own devices, with no interaction. The customer is not a passive "audience". At all.
By Jan… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on September 7, 2008 at 8:21am —
Chefs have to introduce variety and good taste on a regular basis.
For instance, fresh sheets/specials are often about using foods you have on hand, and delivering them in a new way; for any menu item, the trick is to provide taste and variety without expanding your inventory too much, or increasing food costs.
Maybe a little geeky for some chefs, this online tool from Food for Design
is actually pretty easy to use once you get into… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on September 4, 2008 at 9:01am —
Food sensitivity is all the rage now, with one in 25 Americans report a food allergy. A lot of business owners are wary of bending their business out of shape to accommodate small segments of the population. But if you are wondering if it's not a lot of business to go after, consider this: if the allergenic customer eats with just one other person on average, turning them away may means turning more than 1 in 13 potential customers.…
Added by John Dumbrille on August 29, 2008 at 9:02am —
We’re often told that markets are fragile. But when it comes to food, the market lives on...and a train runs through it.
A story from Bangkok, via Rudy Maxa's… Continue
Added by John Dumbrille on August 27, 2008 at 5:36pm —