Why you need a mentor and how to find one

By Jocelyn Ring on May 20, 2015

I recently read an article about the finals of the 2nd annual Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room contest. It’s a national contest for small business owners in the food and beverage industry and the prize is a $10,000 grant, extended coaching & mentoring from Boston Beer Co. founder, Jim Koch and other senior executives. The winner also gets an opportunity to pitch their product to a panel of retailers and buyers.

Some of 2014’s finalists were asked what they’d do with the grand prize. In a Fox Business Small Business article by Gabrielle Karol. Click here for the article. The answers focused more on the value of the mentoring aspect of the prize than the cash.

Tattooed talent, new restaurants and breaking news beating you out of publicity you deserve? – How to fix that!

By Karen Post on May 12, 2015

Last week I connected with a veteran restaurateur from my days in Houston, TX. It had been 15 years since we last talked and Restaurant Branding roadmap blog reunited us. Love when that happens!

Anyhow, his restaurant has been around for over 40 years. It’s an icon in the city, it has a great reputation and it’s still going strong. Despite all this good stuff, he’s finding it challenging to generate news buzz. He asked me about the best ways to earn a share of publicity among all the new restaurant spots opening, the young, tattooed chefs and breaking news.

That’s a great question. Here’s what I told him.

Ask the expert: Ike Orcutt, head brewer and founder at BuckleDown Brewing

By Karen Post on April 29, 2015
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Here’s our second edition of “Ask the expert” series with Ike Orcutt of Buckledown Brewing.

Once a month we post an interview with a successful restaurateur, chef, supplier, brewery professional or a hospitality industry authority. To keep things short and concise, some interviews may be split into two parts. If you enjoy the article, please share. If you’ve got a suggestion for an expert we should interview, let us know.

Founded in: 2013
Location: Lyons, IL
Number of employees: 7
Do you serve food, if so what kind?
We don’t have food but we do partner with local food trucks. We’ve got a rotating line-up of food trucks every Friday or Saturday. We also partner up with local restaurants to offer free happy-hour food every Thursday. We call it “Local Food Thursday” and it gives us a chance to promote other small, local businesses.

Website: http://buckledownbrewing.com/

Our conversation with Ike.

Repaint the story – Your brand is your canvas

By Karen Post on April 21, 2015

My new husband earned an all-expense paid trip for two to the Mexican Riviera from his employer. When I first heard the news I was not excited. My perception of traveling to Mexico was negative. Visions of drug cartels and crime, water that made me sick and less than stellar service experiences from past trips danced through my mind. I was not jazzed about this destination brand.

On top of that, it was an all-inclusive resort another hard wired image in my head of lame food buffets, B-class beverages and mediocre service. I suspect I was not the only guest that arrived with more than their just checked baggage.

After only five days at the Grand Velas Resort, my opinion is completely different and now positive. This organization understands brand management and they, along with the help of a handful of other great experiences, turned me around.

How to attract more restaurant customers using social media

By Jocelyn Ring on April 15, 2015
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We’ve received a few questions lately about social media. The common themes are:

“How can I get better at social media?”
“Should I do it myself or hire someone?”
“How can I get more bang for my buck with social media?”
“There are so many social media sites out there, how do I post on all of them?”
“Where do I start?”

Social media provides a wonderful array marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They allow you to connect with customers, have conversations, share news and events or showcase pictures of your restaurant and the food and beverages all in real-time.

5 of the best places to stay on top of food and restaurant trends

By Karen Post on April 8, 2015

Last week, thanks to social media, we were able to get a sneak peek at the International Association of Culinary Professionals 37th Annual Conference.

The photos and Tweets posted about the emerging trends in food were especially intriguing. There were a couple of interesting new terms like “nose to tail,” “sea to table,” “root to stalk,” and “farm to glass.” Paleo, gluten-free and hybrid popped-up, too.

Make sure you check out our other articles.