Category Archives: Consulting

Welcome 2 new clients and thanks to another!

I’d like to welcome my 2 latest clients, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group in Chicago and Portillo’s Hot Dogs (nationwide).

And a quick thank you to everyone at Nestle and their agencies for being such a pleasure to work with while opening their pop up bakery and managing their Nestle Toll House “100 Days of Baking Some Good” program from Sept – February. For our culmination event, our bakers set a world record for continuous baking!








7 Myths Held By Self-Improvement and HR/Management Gurus

7 Myths Held By Self-Improvement and HR/Management Gurus

(1) Overworked managers have not already performed 80/20 elimination of unnecessary tasks.
(2) Customers and employees are rational and fair-minded.
(3) Co-workers will not exploit your work/life balance to advance their own career.
(4) Companies have money to add staff for any reason other than increased customer demand for goods/services the company sells.
(5) You don’t need fear in management.
(6) Bosses allow workers and managers the freedom to re-prioritize.
(7) Customers are willing to pay more for good service.

Reality check.  LinkedIN writers, I’m talking to you!  Wishing all the best to everyone in the corporate world – I’ve been there!  Cheers – Tim

Join me this Friday for my client’s new restaurant / bar opening!

The latest great joint from my friends and clients the Hoffmanns opens this Friday (8/22) – Whiskey River BBQ and Honky Tonk on River Road near the Des Plaines Casino (near O’Hare Airport).  If you’re in the Chicago area join me for some great food, Bears Pre-Season football on the big screens and a couple whiskeys maybe?

The Hoffmanns have 22 places and growing fast – 3 more coming in the next year!   I’ve been proud to work with them for more than 20 years on marketing, beverage programs, entertainment and location development.

The address is:
702 N River Road, Mt Prospect
(847) 298-7200

See more here and here about Whiskey River…


Restaurant Reality *VS* Reality TV

In case you think yelling, swearing, ego and humiliation seen on restaurant “reality” shows has anything to do with how operators succeed in our business, check  out how many US restaurants “rescued” by celebri-chef Gordon Ramsey are still open.  From the first 5 seasons, out of 59 restaurants only 17 are still open today (28%).  The most recent 6th and 7th seasons bring up the average to 38% still open, but it’s likely those seasons are too recent to show the eventual full failure rate. 

Of course any consultant can tell you it’s tough to rescue troubled businesses, but that’s not the bigger point to be made here:

Truth is, Reality TV is far from Reality of Success in the Restaurant and Bar Business.  They are marketed as showing “experts in action,” but there is not one “rescue” show on TV that properly captures what real operators and consultants do to succeed.  Screaming at people is not on the list of keys to success.

Stop yelling, TV Celebrity Consultants, you look like idiots.  And even as mindless entertainment it gets boring pretty quickly.

Yelling for ratings, not venue success.


We at A-List Marketing are proud to have offered assistance to more than 100 bars, restaurants and beverage brands from pre-launch through sometimes 10 or more years of success.  With very little turnover and nearly 100% success and retention of our services long term.  Need help?  Reach out, we will be there for you.  Not yelling.