Article: “Google Maps offers discount coupons for US stores” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“Google Inc. will offer printable discount coupons to local shoppers, in a promotional bid that aims to drive U.S. online shoppers using its Google Maps service to visit stores, the company said.

The world’s top Web search supplier is taking advantage of the marketing tool, which is traditionally used by small businesses, to entice U.S. consumers to seek out savings from local retailers such as dry cleaners, pizza delivery restaurants and auto repair shops.

Google has partnered with Valpak, the top U.S. supplier of coupon advertising, to provide more than 20,000 coupons from current Valpak advertisers when consumers search for relevant stores using its Google Maps map and local directory service…”

source: “Google Maps offers discount coupons for US stores” by Eric Auchard (Reuters, Aug.14,2006)

Article: “Chowhound: Rave reviews’ smell suspect” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“Chowhound.com, a popular online message board devoted to those in search of good food and drink, has banned mentions of a Cambridge restaurant from its site.

Chowhound alleges it was receiving a suspicious number of rave reviews of the 4-month-old Conundrum in Harvard Square, many of them coming from the same computer connection.

“We’ve had a blitz of postings with rapturous praise for Conundrum from many, many posters, all of whom are utter newcomers to the site, and our users have been complaining that it seems like we might be getting played,” Chowhound co-founder Jim Leff said. “I’m not trying to do anything but run an honest food discussion, and it’s my job to defend that discussion when we feel like it’s being taken advantage of.”

source: “Chowhound: Rave reviews’ smell suspect” by Donna Goodison (Boston Herald, Aug.12, 2006)

Web Site: Foodie Headquarters

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“Like Food? Like Wine? Like People who like Food & Wine? Then you’ve come to the right place. With hundreds of user supported recipes, wine reviews, and events, our site’s chock full of information all Foodies love to have at their fingertips.”

link: FoodieHeadquarters.com

You can find local wine tastings, dinner events, and cooking classes.

related link:
LocalWineEvents.com

Resource: Restaurant Technology Discussion Boards

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There are not many free discussion forums to discuss restaurant technology and POS. Here are two forums available:

Foodservice.com’s TechTalk – Restaurant POS / Software
WebFoodPros’ Bits ‘n Bites Foodservice Software Forum

Free: Restaurant Industry, Hospitality, and Foodservice Discussion Forums

If you would like to hear how others in the restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice industry feel about a topic, then visiting and/or participating in a discussion forum can be very helpful. While there are some fee-based membership forums for restaurant owners, here are some message boards where restaurant folks are talking for free:

Foodservice.com’s Industry Discussion Forums

sample forums:
Restaurant Biz Talk
TechTalk – Restaurant POS / Software
Chefs and Cooks Corner

Chef2Chef’s Professional Community Forums

sample forums:
Ask a Chef! Get an Answer!
Restaurant Equipment Forum
Wine Beer Spirit and Beverage Forum

Topix’s Restaurant Management Forum
Restaurant Report’s “The Great Debates” and “Question & Answer
StarChefs’ Message Board

ChefTalk’s Cooking Forums
Atlanta Cuisine’s Restaurant Talk

Press Release: “MealAgent Launches National Free Online Food Ordering Website” (Jun.,2006)

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excerpt:
“A new website is now offering restaurants around the country free online food ordering for their customers. MealAgent.com provides a customizable, web-based take-out interface that is free to both restaurants and to their customers: people ordering food are never charged, and restaurants are only charged for extra services.

MealAgent believes that every restaurant should be able to have a web presence and that people should be able to easily order from their favorite restaurants without having to pick up a phone…”

source: “MealAgent Launches National Free Online Food Ordering Website” (Meal Agent, Jun.21,2006) [press release]

MealAgent is able to send orders to restaurants via:

  • Fax
  • Email
  • SMS Cellphone Message
  • Alpha Pager
  • Supported POS Systems

link: MealAgent

Other companies providing related services:
Waiter on Wheels
Waiter.com
Delivery.com
Ehungry.com

Article: “Google’s gourmet giveaways dispel no-free-lunch axiom” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“In the category of large-scale, single-site foodservice enterprises at business and industry venues, Google’s extravagant employee dining program arguably is second to none.

In terms of subsidized cost per meal and the breadth of its chef-driven menus, Google’s dining operation appears to surpass even the most generous of corporate kitchens, except perhaps for some exclusive executive dining rooms.

The company’s culinary offerings stand out even in comparison to other Silicon Valley firms famous for lavishing perks on employees…”

source: “Google’s gourmet giveaways dispel no-free-lunch axiom” by John Anderson (Nation’s Restaurant News, Jul.31,2006) [free registration req.]