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)

Article: “Check, Please!”: Reality TV that believes a viewer’s heart is in his stomach” (Aug.2006)

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excerpt:
It’s a television show that has attracted entries from 20,000 people who want to appear on the air. And it’s not “American Idol.”

It’s “Check, Please!” on which a mix of three everyday diners — instead of food critics — each get to pick their favorite restaurant and wax rhapsodic, then bicker about them.

Creator and executive producer David Manilow calls it “Zagats meets Siskel and Ebert” and he hopes that it inspires viewers to leave their comfort zones and try new restaurants or cuisines…”

source: “Check, Please!”: Reality TV that believes a viewer’s heart is in his stomach” by Tara Burghart (Associated Press, Aug.2,2006)

related link:
“Check, Please!” web site

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

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

Advice: SoloDining.com

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excerpt:
SoloDining.com serves up “solo dining savvy” for you — whether you despise or delight in a solitary meal in a restaurant or at home; whether you’re fond of fast food or fine dining (or something in between!) AND whether you’re married or divorced, single or solo, bachelor or bachelorette, widow or widower; business/pleasure traveler or stay-at-home-lover.

…The SoloDining.com web site is chockfull of strategies and tips on how to increase your comfort and options as a solo/single diner, plus need-to-know information for anyone considering solo/single travel.

You’ll get the scoop on notable solo-friendly restaurants across the United States and beyond. And while discovering what’s out there, you’ll learn what to look for and, “just as important,” what solo dining amenities to suggest to your favorite restaurants…”

link: SoloDining.com

Resource: Restaurant Resource Group’s Archived List of Featured Articles & QuickBooks Tips

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RRG – Restaurant Resource Group provides financial management tools and support services. The site contains fee-based information, services, and products, but their site also has a free “Tips & Articles” section with many interesting pieces.

Here are samples titles:
“10” Restaurant Financial Red Flags
Counting Your Beans with Confidence…A QuickBooks Primer for the Startup Restaurateur
How To Win The Menu Pricing Game
Restaurant Marketing: An Art and Science

link: RRG’s Archived List of Featured Articles & QuickBooks Tips

Article: “10 Tactics for Driving F&B Sales”

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excerpt:
“Delivering measurable increases in food and beverage revenues can be achieved with simple restaurant promotional techniques available to big budgets and shoestring marketers alike. There are thousands of possible tactics you can employ to drive revenues without any reliance on mass media advertising.

Here are 10 of the best restaurant promotion ideas to get your own creative marketing wheels turning:

Restaurant Promotions Tactic 1. Publicity stunts – Stunt is a word with negative connotations for restaurant owners, but I wanted to use a word that conjured up images that are different than traditional press relations efforts…”

source: “10 Tactics for Driving F&B Sales” (Quantified Marketing Group)

Quantified Marketing Group has an archive of restaurant marketing articles, here are some sample topics:

Restaurant Marketing Plan
Best Practices in Email Marketing
Restaurant Positioning

link: Quantified Marketing Group’s Restaurant Marketing Articles

QMG also offers a free newsletter which offers advice about restaurant marketing.
Click here for the July 06 newsletter.