AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

TGI Friday’s Will Force Couples to Kiss with Mistletoe Drones

TGI Fridays Drone

Someone working for TGI Friday’s has been taking in too many science fiction movies. Either that, or stalking is no longer enough. or being a closet stalker just isn’t doing it for him, so it’s time to be a little daring. The proof in that Yorkshire pudding is found in Manchester, England.

TGI Friday’s is testing something that is certain to get people talking in the dining category…

Here’s the scene: you’re chowing on some cheese sticks and sipping an adult beverage when you hear this loud humming sound. It’s not that kind of party, so you ask your server what’s going on. She points up and there it is — a drone hovering overhead with a dangling twig of mistletoe just in time to creep you out during the holidays.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Guy Fieri Restaurant Thriving Despite One of the Worst Reviews in History

guy fieriRemember that time The New York Times‘ Pete Wells went all the way off in a restaurant review of celebrity chef Guy Fieri‘s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square?

“Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?” Wells asked, one of a lengthy series of over-the-top questions that made up the entirety of the article.

“Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?… Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” it continues. It is brutal poetry.

Despite the acerbic review, that restaurant is one of the top moneymakers in all of New York, proving that people on vacation really don’t care what they eat so long as they don’t have to do the dishes.

Read more

Finally, Jesus Gets Some Good PR During Sunday Brunch

sundays9n-1-webFULL DISCLOSURE: I love the Lord with all my heart. As some of you know, I went to Seminary and earned one of those Ph.D. thingies.

FULLER DISCLOSURE: I was a city trainer/head server for eight years at a certain restaurant known for having fun on “Fridays.”

FULLEST DISCLOSURE: The stereotypes are so very true. Many church folk exhibit their great suckage during Sundays at any dining establishment.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d love to introduce Pastor Chad Roberts. He agrees that church folk can suck out loud and the worst shift at any restaurant in the country is Sunday brunch. (Ask any server if you don’t believe me and the good pastor.)

To wit, he created the above website (and we’ll talk about it after the jump): Read more

Date Night? Olive Garden Will Take Care of the Kids

olivegarden

When you’re here, you’re family … so leave those brats with us.

In restaurant circles, it’s the rumor that Darden‘s fun Italiano concept Olive Garden is hurting for your money. To wit, it came up with what they think is a genius marketing campaign to get your butts in their seats — the restaurant will spring for your babysitter.

In a world of hypersensitive parents, child predators and sick freaks around every corner, this has to be a great PR idea, right?

Read more

How Should Applebee’s Respond to Its Ongoing PR Crisis?

In case you haven’t heard, quite a few people on the Internet are upset at Applebee’s right now for its actions in the tale of the obnoxiously self-righteous customer. After the story blew up, the company went strangely silent on social media, but on Friday its PR team got pro-active, releasing an official statement from the company president and choosing Facebook as the best forum in which to respond.

There’s a reason for this: Ad Week recently named Applebee’s as the most “socially devoted” restaurant brand on Facebook. But this story has proven to be its greatest social media challenge: “What’s the Buzz”, a homepage feature showcasing tweets about the brand in real-time, has been overwhelmingly negative for the past few days.

The new damage control effort began with this post:

The message goes on to clarify that the fired server violated company policy by publicly sharing a receipt on which the customer’s name was visible, thereby compromising her privacy (they added that the customer’s party did in fact pay the 18% gratuity required). Since then, the post has inspired almost 25,000 comments.

This crisis is not over.

Read more

PR Win: Restaurant Gives Discount for ‘Well-Behaved Kids’

Most viral restaurant stories concern customers, bosses and co-workers behaving very badly–but today Reddit has finally provided us with something to laugh about: a Washington State eatery gave one family a special discount for “well-behaved kids.”

As young, childless urbanites, we always assumed that the whole “terribly behaved kids who spill food everywhere, run around the dining area and refuse to shut the hell up” phenomenon was a modern-day big city phenomenon (or a Portlandia sketch that we haven’t seen yet). Color us corrected: young kids everywhere apparently have trouble being quiet and respectful in public settings!

The family involved in this story (with kids aged 2, 3 and 8) had eaten at Seattle-area Italian wine bar/ristorante Sogno di Vino “a handful of times”–but at the end of their most recent meal a server made a point of telling them that most of the staff “didn’t even notice the kids since they were so well-behaved” before giving them all a free bowl of ice cream and deducting $4 from their total. Here’s the receipt:

Now the mom behind the meme has responded to all the hype…

Read more

Will Terrible Reviews Hurt the Guy Fieri Brand?

Guy FieriYesterday, quite a few food fanatics shared The New York Times writer Pete Wells’s epic takedown of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant. Wells wrote the review as a series of scathing rhetorical questions for the chain’s founder. Examples include:

  • “Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?”
  • “Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?”
  • “What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?”

He keeps going for two pages; it’s a little intense.

We really like Pete Wells. He’s a true “subject matter expert”, and nearly every major media outlet mentioned his review at some point over the past 48 hours.

Here’s the thing, though: his write-up (and the many other negative reviews sure to follow) probably won’t hurt the restaurant’s business or damage the multimillion dollar Fieri brand. The Guy isn’t known for the quality of his food; he’s known for being a regular Joe who shows up on TV all the time looking like a he just lost a dare involving a vat filled with Axe hair gel and bleach. The whole point of his show is that mediocre food is fun, and he’s very good at marketing and product placement.

Read more

Lights-Out Dining Venture Trips, Falls Flat

Every fine restaurant needs a little mood lighting, but how would you like to eat in total darkness? No? Didn’t think so, but somebody in the industry felt like it was a brilliant idea.

Fussy New Yorkers love some high-concept dining—our restaurant industry is notoriously brutal, and if a new Manhattan kitchen doesn’t have a great pedigree and a killer hook then it’s not likely to last a year. High-end restaurateurs don’t just sell great food, they sell an experience—for example, the recent re-branding of five-star eatery Eleven Madison Park includes card tricks, smoke-filled domes and cheese courses served in tabletop picnic baskets.

That being said, we think we can add “dining in the dark” to the long list of business ideas best kept in the board room. Midtown Manhattan’s Danse le Noir? (question mark theirs!) claims to free diners from their “inhibitions” and “awaken” their senses by empowering them to “completely re-evaluate…perception[s] of taste, smell, and texture.”

Yeah, OK. But the food fanatics at Eater make short work of that idea in a hilarious blog post describing dinner at Danse as “the worst experience I’ve ever had in a restaurant.” One editor writes that “I’ve never come so close to having a panic attack in my entire life.” More, please!

Read more

New All-Food PR Firm Launches in Manhattan

Check out the logo! Today in things you may not know: It’s tough to run a successful restaurant in New York City! For readers looking to open the East Village small plates-fusion gastropub of their dreams (you know who you are), look no further than the newly formed Metro Restaurant Marketing Group – they launched today in Manhattan, and they’re fresher than a well-made mint julep! These foodie Svengalis specialize in “social media, e-marketing and public relations” to help eatery clients stand out in a city with more than 24,000 of ‘em.

Of course, such things don’t happen in a vacuum: The heads behind Metro are also associated with Long Island’s masters of hospitality, WordHampton Public Relations. Restaurant owners and PR pros looking to enter the edible arena should keep an eye out. The rest us will practice using our Instagram filters just in case anyone actually DOES want to check out the sweet lobster rolls we ate last night.