The week in ideas, February 8, 2013

Quizno's uses behavior and location to run a successful mobile campaign, the USDA is following their own advice, a restaurant rewards well-behaved kiddos and gets a spot on the Today show, snatching delivery guys' tips to cover fees is a no-no, and McD's is upping the service level down under.

Idea #1: Your ad in their hands. Quizno’s recently ran a mobile campaign in Portland, Ore. generated a significant 20 percent increase in coupon redemption in that market. The secret to their success wasn’t just geographic targeting, but boosting it with behavioral targeting as well.

Idea #2: USDA putting their money where their mouth is. Not a restaurant idea, but you should be aware the USDA is getting a taste of their own medicine. They are going fryer-less… As in not a single deep-fat fryer in their cafeterias, which serve more than 40K people, including members of the public, each month. They will automatically serve 100% whole wheat breads and pastas, there’s a station in the main cafeteria that conforms to the low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-calorie requirements, and there will be a daily MyPlate example on display.

Idea #3: Rewards for good behavior. A restaurant in Kingston, Washington, rewarded a family of well-behaved children with a meal discount – and the results went viral.

Idea #4: Tips are not intended to cover fees. A lawsuit against a restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York City claims the restaurant was swiping tips from delivery workers for orders placed online. Their defense? They’re using them to recoup fees charged by the online delivery sites. The judge isn’t buying it.

Idea #5: Table service at a McDonald’s? That’s right. They’re testing it in Australia.

Today's top stories

1
Romano’s Macaroni Grill has named a former Noodles & Company executive its new vice president of marketing. Holly Wagstaff-Bellomo, who had served as vice president of marketing at Noodles &...
2
The struggling Cosi fast-casual chain said it has fired CEO and President RJ Dourney and accepted the resignation of CFO Miguel Rossy-Donovan. The franchisor says Rossy-Donovan will continue in his...
3
Punch Bowl Social has brought on chef Hugh Acheson as culinary partner of the eatertainment concept, which has been working to build out its culinary team. Acheson, who runs four restaurants in...
4
Starbucks bumped up the number of postings for tech positions just three months after it announced plans to hire 100 tech workers. Now, most of those 100 positions have been filled, and the coffee...
5
The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe chain. Tropical Smoothie...
6
Today, flavor plays a big part in differentiation. Any foodservice operation that wants to distinguish itself from “the place down the street” needs to come up with flavors that are distinctive,...
7
Year No. 2 of a pumpkin shortage is upon the foodservice industry—at the same time restaurant chains are whipping up pumpkin LTOs earlier than ever. The PSL battle isn’t holding off until the fall,...
8
Guy Fieri could bring his signature Donkey Sauce to the home of Disney World, as the celebrity chef is creating a specialty menu for Planet Hollywood’s Orlando revamp. This fall, Planet Hollywood’s...
9
Restaurants Unlimited’s experiment with letting customers know exactly why they were charged more for a meal this month may have worked too well. Customers noted the breakout on tabs of a 1%...
10
In my role as a hospitality educator, this is one of our most frequently asked questions: “I’m a good cook/baker/mixologist, my friends love my stuff, how do I learn to open a restaurant ?” And that’...