Look At Us We are Changing- The Menu, The Schedule, The World

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Let’s face it — sometimes you’ve simply got to change your ways. New makes news (notice there’s only one letter difference.) For restaurants, one clear way of staying top of mind is by introducing new offers and promotions to keep guests coming back for more. Clearly a restaurant can’t go all Lady Ga-Ga on us and reinvent itself constantly, but it can and should shake things up from time to time. Here’s why—

Menus should change regularly. Changing menus keep things fresh, and shows respect for the seasons. It’s like fashion – you don’t wear the same outfits in summer and winter; so why eat the same food? While we do love our signature dishes at our favorite restaurants, most of us don’t want to eat the same thing all the time – so there should be enough variety through daily specials to keep us coming back for more.

Limited time offers are a great way for restaurants to bring in guests. By offering special deals, promotions and invitations to special events, restaurants give guests a sense of “I’ve gotta have it or I’ve gotta to go to that event.” From fine dining to fast casual restaurants – offering concept aligned programs really work. Events like chef’s cooking classes or Margarita Mondays work – and keep us coming back for more.

Restaurants can also impact change by hosting charitable events. Restaurants can be influential in enacting change, encouraging environmentally friendly behavior in guests, raising money for a cause, and giving people and organizations an outlet to host events and raise money. These can be win-win situations – as the restaurants gain exposure at the same time.

Of course, the flip side is that restaurants that change too much may create concept confusion and can alienate guests who don’t understand what is going on. Italian places should never do sushi! So for the restaurants we love out there — don’t go changing to try and please us – we love you just the way you are. (Just shake it up every now and then!)

About The Author

Prior to opening Andrew Freeman & Co., a full service boutique consulting agency specializing in hospitality and restaurants in 2007, Andrew started his career working with several legendary New York venues including The Rainbow Room, The Russian Tea Room and Windows on The World. In addition to running the day to day marketing/public relations activities at these famed New York restaurants, Andrew was also responsible for the creation and management of their special events and catering departments. At all three venues, he also launched and then oversaw successful outside catering businesses. Andrew left New York in 1997 and departed for San Francisco to join Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. He spent ten years with Kimpton, launching over 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand. For his first five years with the company, Andrew was first Director and then Vice President of Restaurant Sales and Marketing. In this role, he worked with the restaurant team on the creation, launch activities and marketing/public relations programs for the group’s chef driven restaurant concepts and private dining venues. He was then promoted to Vice President of Public Relations and Strategic Partnerships for both the hotel and restaurant divisions. In this role, Andrew was responsible for strategic development and execution of all public and media relations activities. During his tenure Andrew also spearheaded several programs with industry and community partners including Kimpton Cares, a social responsibility program and Kimpton Hotels LGBT travel program which has garnered numerous awards and positioned Kimpton as one of the Top Companies for LGBT employment. Andrew also contributed to the launch of Kimpton’s highly successful Women in Touch program which became the spring-board for their national partnership with Dress for Success, an organization which helps low-income women enter the workforce and excel in their new jobs. Today, Andrew Freeman & Co. is busy consulting hotel clients, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, The Lodge at Sonoma, The River Terrace Inn, and Bay Area restaurant clients, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Barbacco, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar, étoile at Domaine Chandon, ETO, Fifth Floor, Grand Café and Poggio. Andrew Freeman & Co. is also proud to be an intricate part of SF.Chefs.Food.Wine a food and wine event that celebrates the unique flavor, diversity and bounty of Northern California. The annual event incorporates tasting tents, classes, seminars and an array of activities while supporting local charities such as the San Francisco Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, The Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation and Project Open Hand. Andrew is honored to have also worked with JW Marriott/Marriott, Larkspur Hotels, Magnolia Bakery, Personality Hotels, the Palm Restaurant Group, and W Hotels. In 2009, Andrew Freeman & Co. launched a New York City office and is proudly serving clients including Pranna, Incentient and David Burke Restaurant Group. Andrew also works with a variety of clients on sales and service training, as well as concept development and operations refinement.

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