Lets clarify something from the get go, eating Gluten-Free is a lifestyle. This is one of the many things restaurants need to know about Gluten-Free. It is important to understand this, since restaurants treat dieters differently then they do food allergies or lifestyle choices, so please try not to call it a diet.

Trends are like diets as they tend to come and go. Lifestyles however are a way of life and accordingly they have staying power.

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I love this Inforgraphic by Lab42, granted I am a sucker for Infographics. I love the simplistic layout for disseminating information and statistics in digestible bites. I wanted to share this particular Infographic with my readers because it reiterates multiple points that I am in favor of.

Below are 6 quick takeaways:

  1. Visuals are powerful. Do not underestimate the value of imagery, photos and icons.  
  2. Smartphones and Social Media are a match made in heaven for Restaurants.  Read More…

Nobody likes the feeling of being trapped. It is hard enough to run a restaurant and when you add in the burden of marketing that restaurant, things can become overwhelming. Time is one luxury that owners and operators lack. But what about money? Spending money on marketing should be looked at as an investment and like any investment a plan and strategy should come first. But don’t get trapped into thinking you need to stick with any one medium in particular, especially if you cannot prove that it is worth the investment.

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Ok so here is the lay of the land, I was born and raised in New York but for the last 12 years I have lived in the South. First, Atlanta, Georgia for 5 years and now currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Yes, that’s right Music City USA. The first thing most people think about when they hear Nashville is Country Music. To which I respond with, well it’s not my first choice in music. But as a brand consultant there is a lot that I can learn from Country Music. Country Music is not afraid to reinvent themselves and evolve, something that all corporations can learn from. Simply put Country Music knows how to give back to it’s audience and that’s just smart business. Read More…

Being a memorable brand is important. Positive memories can leave a lasting impression and favorable taste in our mouths. I recently went back to the city that was home for over 4 years. It had been a while since I was last in the city where I attended college. It’s been 15 years, besides a few visits here and there to watch a basketball game or attend a friend’s wedding. This time I went back with my wife for some rest and relaxation. No kids. No plans. Truly just an escape and a trip down memory lane.

You see, my wife and I met in this same city. We both had memories together, while each having our own personal favorites. Memories are funny. Sometimes our memories are better than the actual event. I think that is part of what makes us human, we tend to want to forget the bad and concentrate on the good. This reminds me of how we deal with brands. We like to highlight the pluses and glance over the negatives. Let’s be honest, just like our memories brands are not perfect.  Of course this only holds true to brands that we like. Strike that, brands that we LOVE.

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Like most people who attended the National Restaurant Association Show 2012 in Chicago at McCormick Place, I am still getting my hands around all the wonderful content that was shared. This year’s show included record attendance and showed strong signs for positive growth throughout the industry. If you have never attended the NRA Show you should think about it, if not next year sometime in the near future. It is a wonderful way to stay up on trends, learn about new products/services and of course network with fellow restaurant industry folks.

For those of you that did not attend, I will attempt to share my finding and offer up new resources that I stumbled upon during my time at the #NRASHOW 2012. I will share additional thoughts over the next few weeks broken down into multiple posts.

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There are very few guarantees out there, especially in marketing, in business or in running a restaurant. But I will guarantee you this, Mother’s Day is one heck of a day to own a restaurant. Every year Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to eat out. Because no one should have to cook on Mother’s Day. Well, at least your Mom shouldn’t have to.

So what are you doing this year to capitalize on the traffic?

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I recently suffered through a trying time, I am on the other end of it now but I was lost, confused and felt isolated from the outside world. I was running around town without a functioning smartphone and I did not like it one bit. My iPhone literally took a bath and I was without the use of my mobile for what felt like an eternity, in actuality it only lasted a little over a day.

Smartphones are mobile computers with almost the same functionality and the convenience of being in the palm of your hand.

At first, I was embarrased about my relience on my iPhone. Then I realized why should I be ashamed that I use technology to make my life easier by staying in-touch with the world and my social circles. I’ll admit to being guilty of feeling the urge to stay connected and secure in knowing all my contacts are in the palm of my hand.

Do you like the idea of staying better connected with your customer?

Have you ever noticed how when you go without something for a period of time it feels like everyone around you is experiencing a break through? Such as taking a break from carbs while the entire city is buzzing about the newest bakery or sandwich shop. While I was sans mobile, I had three close friends all get an iPhone. And, of course they were asking for suggestions on apps. I was happy for their excitement, they were now holding the power of unlimited connectivity in the palm of their hands. But what do you do with that power? Read More…

— #Quote David Schwartz – BrandEd

OK, I’ll admit content is king. But while you are putting that content out there don’t you think it is important to be consistent? We rely and expect consistency in our lives, such as when I pick-up a baseball anywhere in the United States I know what to expect. A baseball should always weigh between 5 and 5.25 oz and is between 9 and 9.25 inches in circumference. Maintaining consistency is also about living up to expectations and delivering on promises.

We work real hard to communicate messages to our audience, so why would we waste everyone’s time by confusing them?

It is important when building and maintaining a brand to be consistent.

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