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Surveillance photos released of suspects wanted in fast food robberies

Topix - Wed, 2014-11-05 19:24

Houston police are asking for the public's help in identifying four suspects believed responsible for several robberies of fast food restaurants in the southwest Houston area since August. In all the incidents, the suspects entered the business, pointed a dark-colored, semi-automatic pistol at an employee and demanded money from the register and the restaurant safe, police say.

Categories: Today's Food News

Mir Restaurant Asks Customers to Wash Dishes in Exchange for Food

Small Business Trends - Wed, 2014-11-05 18:30

Don’t have enough money to pay your restaurant bill? Well, you might have to stay and wash some dishes instead.

For a few days last month, one restaurant in Paris put that idea into practice — literally. Of course, the whole thing was planned as a promotion for some dishwashing detergent.

Here’s the story of why one French eatery changed its name and even its facade, and all to trade some fine Parisian cuisine for a few dishwashing chores.

Diners at La Bastide d’Opio found themselves up to their elbows in suds last month when the restaurant stopped accepting money altogether, instead asking them to wash dishes in exchange for food.

The arrangement could hardly have been a surprise to most. During the same period, La Bastide d’Opio changed its name and even transformed its outside appearance.

The establishment became instead Mir Restaurant, named for the Mir dishwashing detergent that, through more than coincidence, customers were using to clean the dishes after each meal.

A dishwashing trough was added as the central element of the restaurant, where diners used Mir detergent to clean up in exchange for their meals. The video below shows some scenes from the pop-up promotion:

Mir Restaurant also put together a specialized sort of menu, with prices given in terms of the amount of dishwashing that would be needed to pay for each item. For example, a customer would have to wash four pieces of cutlery in exchange for a mozzarella and tomato gratin. Or they could wash a whole saucepan and its lid for a duck confit.

As crazy as this might sound, basically for three days customers at the restaurant ate for free. Although, of course, they had to put in a little elbow grease after the meal to make sure the plates were squeaky clean in return.

And, of course, makers at Mir dishwasher detergent are probably hoping they noticed how clean those dishes got thanks their product.

In the end, of course, both the restaurant and the detergent got a fair amount of brand visibility as a result.

What lesson can your small business take from this?

Probably that brands can sometimes work together in unconventional ways that can send a strong message to customers — and maybe to the general public too, if you’re lucky.

But also, it’s important to remember that marketing should be used not just to draw attention but also to amplify your brand’s message. If your marketing can show your product or service in action as the Mir Restaurant promotion did, so much the better.

Image: Mir Restaurant

The post Mir Restaurant Asks Customers to Wash Dishes in Exchange for Food appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Bill Knight Lincoln in Tulsa Sponsors Driven to Give, Benefitting Sand...

PR Web - Wed, 2014-11-05 18:03

Bill Knight Lincoln in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is proud to sponsor Driven to Give, benefitting the Sand Springs Education Foundation and Sand Springs School District teachers on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 from 9...

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at

Texzon Introduces "True Apples to Apples™" Electricity Rate...

PR Web - Wed, 2014-11-05 18:03

Transparent process eliminates the guesswork and the hassle of getting competitive bids for commercial electricity. Assures buyers that they are looking at pricing with no hidden fees or confusing...

(PRWeb October 30, 2014)

Read the full story at

Men In Kilts Will Clear Your Snow and Hang Your Christmas Lights

PR Web - Wed, 2014-11-05 18:03

Men In Kilts, a window and exterior cleaning franchise, will be offering Christmas Light Installation and Snow Removal this winter at several locations.

(PRWeb October 30, 2014)

Read the full story at

Noodles & Company 3Q profit falls 12%

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 17:57
IPO costs weigh on net income IPO costs weigh on net income

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Tim Hortons U.S. same-store sales gain momentum in 3Q

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 17:17
Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain plots U.S. growth ahead of merger with Burger King Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain plots U.S. growth ahead of merger with Burger King

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Dairy Queen tests mobile app

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 17:10
“MyDQ” offers loyalty, payment, geo-location marketing platform “MyDQ” offers loyalty, payment, geo-location marketing platform

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Resort Development Land Listed in North Caicos by RE/MAX Real Estate...

PR Web - Wed, 2014-11-05 16:53

A RE/MAX Real Estate Broker has listed a sensational piece of resort development land located in Turks and Caicos.

(PRWeb October 30, 2014)

Read the full story at

Papa John’s: Same-store sales offset rising cheese prices

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 16:35
Same-store sales rose 7.4 percent in North America during 3Q

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Lower gas prices, longer alt-power payback

AutoNews - Wed, 2014-11-05 16:32
I've enjoyed seeing my gas tank fill-ups cost $10 to $15 less than usual. I'm sure that people selling bigger vehicles do, too. But one group probably isn't cheering: Anyone marketing alternative powertrain vehicles.
Categories: Latest News

Spotlight: CellarPass Provides Online Guide for Wine Lovers

Small Business Trends - Wed, 2014-11-05 16:30

A visit to wine country is normally meant to be a relaxing getaway. But waiting in all those lines and scrambling for last minute reservations at the most popular wineries can ruin those plans.

That’s where CellarPass comes in. The online platform and its accompanying iOS app allow visitors to book reservations and buy tickets to various wineries and tasting events. In addition, wineries can use the CellarPass platform to increase their reach and make it easier for their guests to plan trips. Read more about CellarPass in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does:

Provides an online and mobile platform for winery visitors to buy tickets and book reservations.

People can use the service to search for winery events in a particular area. Or they can just browse for various wineries to visit and book reservations or buy tickets right on the site.

CellarPass offers a few different plans for individuals and wineries, including free options and those that come with a monthly fee. Depending on the plan, the company also charges a small fee for each reservation.

Business Niche:

Featuring only the best and most popular destinations.

Unlike some other services, CellarPass hand selects all of the wineries it features. It then continues to secret shop each of its selected wineries to make sure they continue to live up to the company’s standards.

How the Business Got Started:

Because of consumer demand.

The small CellarPass team originally came up with the idea for the reservation and ticketing platform back in 2006. They tested the idea with a few select wineries and decided that it was a bit ahead of its time. A few years later though, consumer demand for an online and mobile reservation and ticketing platform had risen.

Jonathan Elliman, founder of CellarPass says:

“We delayed the official launch to early 2012 when the consumer demand was so high, wineries could no longer ignore the service.”

Biggest Risk:

Rewriting the entire platform from scratch.

In late 2013, Elliman and the CellarPass team decided to invest in some improvements to the platform’s interface. Had the new platform not lived up to their expectations, it could have easily bankrupted the business. Elliman says:

“We’re glad to say that when we launched CellarPass v2 in June 2014, our clients applauded the new version which provided a brand-new interface and new tools on how to provide a new foundation for future releases of the platform. If it went wrong, we could have easily lost all of our clients due to programming errors, design issues or lost data during the migration process.”

Lesson Learned:

Focus more on ticketing.

Elliman explains:

“Since CellarPass offers a reservations platform and a ticketing platform as one service, if we were to rethink our launch, we would have launched the ticketing side of the platform first. It offers the most opportunity since not all wineries across the U.S. require reservations, but every one of them throws at least two to three events a year.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000:

Compensating the company’s hardworking team.

Elliman says:

“Being a self-funded startup, I think I would give myself a small salary and a raise to all of our employees because without them, CellarPass wouldn’t exist.”

Fun Team Activity:

“Research” Fridays.

Each Friday, the team at CellarPass goes out to various wineries recommended on the site. It’s a chance for them to make sure each one continues to live up to expectations. But it’s also a fun way to get out of the office and enjoy wine country. Elliman says:

“This is a great chance for some of our team members to get out, secret shop our destinations, get feedback from consumers and our wineries, and enjoy what wine country and our service has to offer.“

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.


The post Spotlight: CellarPass Provides Online Guide for Wine Lovers appeared first on Small Business Trends.

With viral campaign, McDonalds attempts to put McRib rumors to rest

Topix - Wed, 2014-11-05 16:22

You've heard the rumors about the McRib patty, McDonald's barbecue pork sandwich first rolled out by the fast-food behemoth in 1981. It's made from pink slime.

Categories: Today's Food News

Longer vehicle ownership might mean less loyalty, study says

AutoNews - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:51
The longer a customer owns a vehicle, the less likely he or she is to buy that same brand again, an Experian Automotive study found.
Categories: Latest News

One big reason pizza chains thrive

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:38
Both Domino's and Papa John's have been among the best performing restaurant chains of late. Why? Both make it very easy for customers to order their food. It's a lesson that all restaurants should be watching carefully.

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Jamba to refranchise 114 units

Nation's Restaurant News - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:35
Fresh juice platform boosted 3Q same-store sales Fresh juice platform boosted 3Q same-store sales

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IFA requests explanation for NLRB's joint-employer decision

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:31
The IFA is pushing the National Labor Relations Board to provide an explanation of its July decision regarding the joint-empl -More
Categories: Latest News

Pinot's Palette exec discusses work-life balance, franchise growth

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:31
Beth Willis says her experience working with people from diverse backgrounds is serving her well in her role as chief creativ -More
Categories: Latest News

Marriott opens its first luxury resort in India

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:31
Marriott is launching a new resort in the Himalayan foothills, a region that sees thousands of travelers a year who come to t -More
Categories: Latest News

Owning Dream Dinners franchise helps entrepreneurs give back

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-11-05 15:31
Owning a Dream Dinners franchise is helping Sheila and Phil Harris accomplish their goal of making a difference in the world. -More

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Categories: Latest News