New Always Wins

brand-as-business bit:  One of my colleagues in private equity, Rahul Aggarwal of Brentwood Associates, and I were recently discussing the importance of image and environment in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industry segments.  He relayed a sentiment that really resonated: new always wins He was referring to the buzz and excitement that a new facility […]

brand as business bit:  “A strong concept that has the potential to evolve into a brand” is among the five criteria for a successful fast casual restaurant concept, according to Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs.  Speaking at an education session at the National Restaurant Show earlier this week, Don shared his insights about growth. […]


What makes a store more than a store?  What makes a breakthrough brand experience at retail? These are questions that companies with brick and mortar assets wrestle with as they continue to lose share to online competitors or to those with mobile capabilities (smart phone-enabled mobile commerce as well as IRL roving mobile units and […]


Long Live Retail

brand-as-business bit:  I got a response to my last “brand-as-business brief“, Value and Values, that I just have to share with you.  It’s from Kevin Knight, who along with his wife Heather, run Anjou Bakery, a “a thriving incubator of good taste in food” in Cashmere, WA (about 2 hours East of Seattle.)  Kevin writes: […]

Four successful leaders in the restaurant business shared wise advice and juicy tidbits at the California Restaurant Association Orange County Chapter‘s CEO/President’s Panel last week.  Panelists included: Skip Fox — President, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Doug Cavanaugh — Chairman, CEO & Founder, Ruby’s Diner Joe Manzella — Proprietor & Founder, TAPS Fish House […]

brand-as-business bit:  SmartBlog on Restaurants just published a piece of mine, “So You Want to Try a New Concept?”  In it, I layout the considerations in designing a test that will ensure you get the most learning and value out of it – including: carefully evaluating your options before jumping to the most obvious selecting […]


brand-as-business bit:  My latest Brand New Perspectives column in QSR Magazine answers a QSR operator’s question about keeping customers coming back. The piece outlines my thoughts on increasing purchase frequency — an objective of practically every marketer — I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the effectiveness of a heart-felt ‘thank you.’  Said with […]


The Founder and CEO of Brand Value Advisors, Mike Kelly, joins me to talk about what’s hot, what’s not, and why in the restaurant industry. Mike should know.  Brand Value Advisors is a marketing and branding advisory firm which private equity and VC investors call upon to provide brand strategy, brand valuation, and sales and […]