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Say It Ain’t So, Pizza Hut.

January 3, 2015
Pizza Hut's Doritos Crunchy Crust

Pizza Hut’s Doritos Crunchy Crust

I don’t know where I’ve been for the last few weeks to miss the launch of Pizza Hut Australia’s Doritos Crunchy Crust, but thank you, God. Unfortunately, because of what it’s doing to my perception of Yum! Brands [but fortunately for this blog], I heard about it on a rerun of Late Night with Seth Meyers. I guess I can’t really knock it until I try it, but some things that don’t seem to go together, probably shouldn’t go together. I’m just saying. Now the awesomeness that is the Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell is just that… AWESOME… and amazing, but let’s be real, it didn’t really surprise us in the sense of whether or not it should exist. It seemed like a match made in quick serve heaven. With the Doritos Crunchy Crust pizza on the other hand, it seems to be more of an alarm for me that it does exist.
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Falling With Style.

December 3, 2014

Arby's LogoOne day, my wife and I were walking with a buddy of ours and his young daughter through the hallways of our church. Playing around and focused on other things, as kids often do, she tripped over her own foot and began to fall face first. Her father quickly yells out, “Fall with style!” All of a sudden, as if she had years of training, she lands on her side with the grace of an eighties’ b-boy — hand propping up her head and legs crossed. It was so awesome and memorable that years later I still talk about it like it was last Sunday.

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When the Door is Open.

July 28, 2014

I know that title sounds like I’m about to drop some extremely profound wisdom on you — I just might, we’ll see — but it’s actually the opening to an article about taking advantage of an awesome opportunity; about walking through the proverbial door when you see it is open and not waiting until it is too late. When I began this post, I had in mind to talk about White Castle’s busy year of menu development, but in doing some research, what I noticed was that White Castle’s steady rollout of new menu items was given some momentum; better yet, the door was opened for White Castle and it was up to them to walk through it — they chose to run. Read more…

The Power of the Mascot.

April 30, 2014

Ronald McDonaldLast week’s makeover of Ronald McDonald (seen here) got me thinking about my favorite restaurant mascot, the King, and how I miss seeing his glossy, plastic face in commercials. From the moment I heard about Burger King dethroning their infamous mascot — choosing to focus on freshness instead of capitalizing on what the King offers — I knew they had made a bad decision. What does the King offer you ask? Like most mascots, the King offers the wiggle room to do or say something that no real person could ever get away with. Other than Jack in the Box, Burger King was the only quick-serve chain with a sometimes off-color mascot who could play a family man hugging a baby and in the very next scene be half naked seducing someone’s girlfriend. Remember the King’s burger-inspired cologne “Flame?” Remember the commercial? No other mascot could pull that off.
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You Eat With Your Eyes First.

February 25, 2014

If you are a smart restaurateur or corporate restaurant marketer, you make an effort to dine at other restaurants — especially your competition. It’s then that you get a better picture of what they do better or differently than you. Often times when doing this recon, the focus is on the service, cleanliness, or food, but there is something else you should be observing… Read more…

The Equation of a Successful Restaurant.

January 20, 2014
Photo: Breakfast with Nick

Photo: Breakfast with Nick

Before getting into marketing, I was all about mathematics. Not only did I make it my major when I first went off to college, but I’m actually helping a girl with her Algebra in Starbucks while I type this article. Although I can’t say enough about how glad I am that I got into marketing, I still tend to think about solving problems as equations.  The success of your restaurant can even be seen as an equation if you measure success by acquiring customers, gaining their loyalty, then repeating the process. Read more…

Your Name is What?

November 20, 2013

Frozen YogurtNaming a restaurant might just be the most important thing you’ll ever name with the exception of your children. It’s what tells the public who you are, what you offer, and/or how they should feel. Intentionally or not, the name conveys whether the restaurant is casual or stuffy, perfect for dates or a place to bring the entire family. Without an expressive name, you’ll have to get everything else spot-on to inform your potential guests of what they will experience when or if they visit. Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about… Read more…

Burger King’s Non-Marketing Plan.

November 15, 2013
Burger King's Big King

Photo: Burger King

By now you’ve either heard about, seen, or tasted Burger King’s version of McDonald’s Big Mac. If so, you know that they call it the Big King, but I’m certain you didn’t learn that from a television commercial. I’m certain because Burger King hasn’t aired any commercials for the Big King nor do they plan to. Instead, they’re spending their advertising dollars promoting the new lower-calorie Satisfries and the BBQ Rib Sandwich. So how is the Big King getting so much attention? Read more…

Sea Food Differently.

March 20, 2013

Red LobsterLast December,’s columnist Darrel Suderman wrote an article titled “Can Innovation Salvage Darden Restaurants?” that explained how innovation is the solution to the problem of declining sales and deep discounts for a brand that has lost its luster. Read more…

Domino’s Awesome Japanese App.

March 13, 2013

dominos-app-japanWhat do you get when you combine Domino’s no. 1 guy in Japan with Japan’s no. 1 singing humanoid? Possibly the weirdest commercial in the world. But hey, at least the app is cool.

Domino’s Pizza Japan has teamed up with Crypton Future Media, Inc., the creator of Hatsune Miku, to create one of the best restaurant-related interactive apps to date. Why is the app so cool? Imagine Hannah Montana in her prime. Make her an anime character and have her promote the top rated pizza delivery chain in Japan. Now do you understand how big this is? It’s like Michael Jackson and Pepsi. Bill Cosby and JELL-O. Okay, maybe it’s not that big, but you get my point. Other than the creepy commercial and the less than creative name (Domino’s App feat. Hatsune Miku), this app is huge for Domino’s Pizza Japan. Read more…