“Quiet Clubbing” :: Could this be a thing?

Already working in Europe and now coming to the US.

Great idea for places where you can’t run loud volume, and also just a cool opportunity to do something fun and different.  Also easier for clubbers to take a break from music to actually have conversations… 


Thanks to Nightclub and Bar Magazine.


The most important restaurant in the world?

This video blew my mind.  I would have said it was impossible.

Check it out here on YouTube

I live in Chicago and I’m driving to the Lakeview neighborhood ASAP to see for myself how this local restaurant manages to produce ZERO waste in 2 YEARS, when the average restaurant throws away 8 gallons of waste per HOUR.

Waste of food and supplies is one of the biggest costs in the restaurant / bar business and more importantly, one of the biggest problems on planet earth.  I’ll let you know what I find out up there.

sandwich me in

So far I’m amazed.  What do you think about this “zero waste” restaurant?


Designing Your Online Brand? Google Research says KISS!

In a study by Google in August of 2012, researchers found that not only will users judge websites as beautiful in less than a second, but also that “visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.

So the old school restaurant principle “Keep It Simple Stupid,” has relevance in the online age!

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At A-List Marketing, we link proven bar and restaurant best practices over decades with all the latest innovations vital to succeeding today.  Please reach out if you’d like to learn about joining our client family, many of whom have included us on their team from pre-opening to 10 year anniversaries and beyond.



Food Biz :: Fairness for Food Trucks

I’ve read several rants against food truck regulations in Chicago, DC and other cities, which limit food trucks from selling near buildings containing restaurants.

Food trucks aim to pig out on restaurant customers.

Writers including this think tank dude and this political pundit apparently think using public streets rent-free to undercut restaurateurs who rehab buildings and pay property taxes is libertarian free enterprise.  Somehow I doubt cities or pundits would favor me pulling up in a U-Haul and selling TVs on the street outside a Best Buy, or dropping pallets of fertilizer on the sidewalk in front of Home Depot, intercepting people on their way to those retailers.  There’s no difference between that and parking your cupcake truck in front of a local bakery.  It would be closer to a level playing field if food trucks paid the equivalent tax burden of a “brick and mortar” business, provided consistent employment for a comparable number of local residents, provided restrooms, cafe seating and the other amenities that restaurants provide.  But instead we have numerous start-up sites that say stuff like this: “With lower overhead costs and greater mobility, a food truck can be an exciting opportunity…”

Why would a city want to bet on a fad, making it easier for food trucks to congest already crowded city streets, hurting restaurants that make long term community investments to turn empty storefronts into public attractions?  If the neighborhood starts to slide, food trucks can drive away to another city or location; they have no commitment to a neighborhood or community.

By squatting on taxpayer-maintained public streets, food trucks are the farthest thing from a free market case study.  They need to be prevented from piggy backing on the entrepreneurs that build healthy city dining districts.  The Chicago rules, DC proposals and other regulations are not government favoritism toward established restaurants, but simply a way to level the playing field.  If food trucks can survive by bringing food service to unique locations, they are creating value on their own, but not by poaching traffic in existing restaurant districts built by tax paying long term operators.

If food trucks can’t make it without being parasites, they should die off as a short term fad, without taking our vibrant business districts down with them.

Need more street congestion? Here ya go.


What logo color is best your business?

Yellow, Orange and Red are traditionally thought to be the best colors for food and beverage company logos and menus.  They have long been associated with food and hunger.  Green is OK too.

The past few years there’s been more rule breaking in the restaurant sector, particularly with blues and purples that were long avoided.

Here’s an infographic showing the emotions attached to various colors, and more interesting info about logos.  Thanks to Kate Taylor and Entrepreneur.com.


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How Jim Koch Stayed 100% Sober When We Drank Together

On April 7, I was privileged to be a judge for Samuel Adams “Brewing the American Dream” food and beverage small business competition. It was a great experience being on the “Shark Tank” style judging panel with Boston Brewing/Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch, who had many great insights during the competition and also at a speed coaching session where all the judges counseled F&B start-up founders.  All night Jim had a beer in his hand, but never got the slightest bit “tipsy.”  He wasn’t pounding but he had a few during the hours we were together.

Me and Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Sam Adams, and possessor of beer drinking secrets.

Now thanks to Jim’s interview in Esquire I found the secret of how Jim can be in the beverage business, drinking regularly, and not get even close to wasted.  His secret is a few spoonfuls of something you can buy at any grocery store.  Jim reveals his secret below in Esquire Magazine!

Thank you Jim for an excellent evening supporting small businesses through Sam Adams “Brewing the American Dream” and for a great beer drinking tip!

HERE’S THE TIP:  http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/how-not-to-get-drunk

HERE’S MORE INFO on Samuel Adams “Brewing the American Dream” – a highly beneficial small business incubator program! http://btad.samueladams.com/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Cheers! Tim