2013 was quite the year for the restaurant industry. Taco Bell made a splash with its much-anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos launch and Smashburger bowed its first TV campaign.  Other big news was made by McDonald’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, and Panera – and then there was the non-news of KFC’s Original Recipe boneless chicken. Check […]


The McRib is back!  As the masses hurry into McDonald’s for the perennially successful product, other fast feeders are hoping their latest new creations will inspire similar loyal followings.  And new products aren’t just the lifeblood fast feeders — most every type of business faces the challenge of introducing new offerings that will catch on […]


Speaking PR

There may not be such a thing as bad publicity, but there are definitely bad ways to do public relations.  Thanks to some great tips from my PR mentor, Robin Raskin, I have ten rules for doing PR the right way. Please check out my QSR Magazine column for these great tips.  (And, if you’re […]

brand-as-business bit:  A Google search for “marketing to millennials” produces nearly 1 million results.  Tapping into the large and influential millennial market is certainly important for many companies. But if you really want to get out in front of the trends, you should also be tracking Generation Z.  Generation Z is the cohort group of 68 […]

brand-as-business bit:  “Brand Relevance and Evolution.  It’s an ambitious topic and of great importance in any industry, but it’s absolutely crucial for restaurant companies.  Your brand is everything.  It’s who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and why you matter.  Nothing could be more essential.”  This promo blurb is what drew me to […]

In my latest QSR Magazine column, I lay out keys to social media success.  Frankly it was a difficult column to write — not only because there are so many media options and new ones are emerging daily (I just learned about Ban.jo and Muuver this week), but also because there are so many ways to use these […]

brand-as-business bit:  Last week as I sat working in my favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop as closing time drew near, I overheard two servers reading their store’s recent Yelp reviews to each other.  (This, of course, is not a good practice for employees to engage in with customers in earshot, but since I’m such a regular […]

brand-as-business bit:   To expand or not to expand, that is the question — the question most companies grapple with at some point. While entering a new market certainly opens up a new revenue stream and increases the impact and stature of your brand, it can also add complexity and variability that threaten your operations and […]

It’s a new year and it’s time to set marketing budgets! Looking for guidelines to follow?  First, clarify your marketing objectives. Then you can weigh the importance of achieving those objectives relative to other budget items.  The general rule of thumb is marketing expenditures should be between 2-10% of sales.  However that’s a very broad […]

Whaddya miss this month?  Among my pieces that generated the most conversation and shares were: innovation or core? try both — My latest QSR Magazine column about how start-ups and established brands alike must balance their focus on their core brand, while also pushing the innovation envelope. brand romney — A post explaining what Presidential […]