Report: Storm slams sales at Northeast restaurants | Taco Bell blends cultures with Lionel Richie's "Hola" | Cracker Barrel sponsors Brad Paisley's summer tour
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March 1, 2013
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Report: Storm slams sales at Northeast restaurants
Restaurant sales in Boston and Hartford, Conn., dropped by 33.08% and 36.22% respectively the week the blizzard dubbed "Nemo" hit the Northeast, according to Restaurant Sciences. "Our data shows that full-service restaurants were hit the hardest and do not recoup sales lost to major storms. That one week will negatively impact the first quarter and beyond," said president Chuck Ellis. (2/28)
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Restaurant News
Taco Bell blends cultures with Lionel Richie's "Hola"
Taco Bell is using a Lionel Richie song, sung in Spanish, in English-language commercials touting the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos. One comedy spot shows a sad man at a bus stop, trying to stuff Cool Ranch Doritos into his taco, only to be soaked by a passing truck, then learning from a bus ad of the upcoming product. "This is one of those [songs] you get without having to understand Spanish. It adds another level of context to the brand around the experience we're providing. It's blending cultures," Chief Marketing Officer Brian Niccol said. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (2/28)
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Cracker Barrel sponsors Brad Paisley's summer tour
Country singer Brad Paisley has added Cracker Barrel Old Country Store to his portfolio of sponsored brands. The brand is sponsoring his "Beat This Summer Tour" concert series. Paisley's agency called the alliance an "organic" partnership "similar to what he has done with Chevy and Hershey's," said Shari Lewin, brand partnerships agent at William Morris Endeavor. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (2/28)
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Why Success Is Less About Your Business and More About Aging Well
Do you have the qualities needed to age successfully? These 5 improvements may help the second half of your life be a smashing success. Read the featured article.

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How an ice cream startup bucked the recession
Comfy Cow founders Tim and Roy Koons-McGee went all in to launch their first ice cream shop during the 2009 downturn, and the partners have since grown to three locations and launched a franchising program. Here, they outline their strategy and share their recipe for growth. (2/27)
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"Fresh casual" brings fast casual up a notch
Industry experts tout the fast growth of fast-casual concepts, but the real growth is coming among a handful of chains focused on what Fresh Hospitality's Matt Bodnar calls "fresh casual." Fresh casual eateries boast china, silverware and chef-driven menus at the same $8-$12 price point consumers expect from fast-casual chains, he writes. (2/28)
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Taco Bell/ESPN college bowl QR campaign drew 225,000 scans
The college-football-themed QR code campaign from Taco Bell and ESPN attracted more than 225,000 scans, according to Snipp Interactive, which worked on the campaign. The QR codes on Taco Bell packaging allowed fans to scan to for ESPN previews of upcoming games in the series. "This campaign should serve as a testament to the value and staying power of QR codes and should serve as a case study for marketers looking to effectively leverage mobile marketing," said Snipp CEO Atul Sabharwal. Mobile Marketing Magazine (2/27)
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Culinary Spotlight
Brussels sprouts are tasty and healthy when cooked right
Restaurants in Palm Springs, Calif., are combating Brussels sprouts' reputation as a soggy, unpleasant vegetable with dishes that highlight the vegetable's flavor and nutritious properties. Trio serves a salad starring the sprouts which are quickly blanched in salted water and accompanied by white raisins, feta cheese and bacon. The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (2/26)
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Olive Garden to add more variety to the menu
Olive Garden will modernize its image and revamp the menu to include smaller, more affordable dishes, president Dave George said this week, as the Darden-owned chain seeks to turn around same-store sales declines. CNBC (2/28)
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Food for Thought
The mark of mediocrity is to look for precedent."
-- Norman Mailer,
American writer
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