It’s About the Ingredients

There was a time when I used to cook a lot and I loved it. Now I eat out a lot…and love it. For some reason this spring, I’ve been cooking a lot, and the more I cook, the more I realize why I love restaurants. Read More »

‘Tis the Season

It’s April, and the spring party season is here.

Last weekend, I had a party for my nephew and his wife, who were in town on spring break, and what started as a quiet dinner grew into quite a party that included his high school buddies, old neighbors, friends and family. Along the way, I decided to “outsource” a little and got online to check out my options. The last time they were in town, I made margaritas, appetizers and desserts and then picked up tacos and burritos from Baja Fresh. It was great, but since my Baja Fresh has closed, I had to find another alternative that would go with margaritas. Luckily, my nephew assured me that everything goes with margaritas. Read More »

Strategic Freebies

Yes, we are still in a deal-driven environment, but more and more, the deals I see are increasingly strategic. Think about Denny’s free Grand Slam or Chick-fil-A’s March Mania Friday where customers save their receipts and get their exact order for free before the end of March. These are what I call “strategic freebies”…very different offers with very different underlying strategies. Read More »

Are You Ready?

Since it’s Lent, the Catholic schoolgirl in me couldn’t resist a trip to McDonald’s today for a fish sandwich. (It brought back a flood of school cafeteria memories for me.)

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What Can We Learn from Chick-fil-A?

The list is long.

From product quality to adherence to core values, Chick-fil-A is replete with best practices. But the thing that most recently impressed me is this: When the going gets tough, the smart get strategic.

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Useful Immediacy

I just read an article about Twitter that used the phrase “useful immediacy.” (Ironically, a new microwave–the granddaddy of useful immediacy–is being installed in my kitchen as I type.)

Cabin Fever

Am I the only one who’s getting sick of winter? Every time I see the TV commercial featuring Travelocity’s “Roaming Gnome” sitting in front of a television screen filled with palm trees and sandy beaches while a storm fills the window behind him, I almost chant along with him…

Peak Performance

I just saw an interview with Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White, whose snowboarding stunts are almost mind-boggling. When interviewed, he explained, “I can see what I want to do before I do it.”

What Is it About Burger Love?

OK, I admit, burgers have been on my mind lately. But the other night, Bob Costas even broached the topic while he was doing Jay Leno’s final “10 at 10 List.” He admitted, “If I have $10 in my pocket, no offense to In-N-Out, I’m going for a Carl’s Super Star with Cheese.”Clearly, people love their burgers. Read More »

What Is it About Burgers? (Part II)

In a presentation at a culinary conference years ago, my menu maven friend announced that we are all motivated by “our culinary heritage.”