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Mobile, social and local marketing

First, it was Web sites and email marketing. Now, it’s all about mobile phones, smart coupons that know your location and sites and services that hook straight into local communities. Restaurants aren’t just places to grab some grub anymore. They are active participants in the social conversation with legions of tech-savvy customers.

Summer Camp challenges preconceptions - in many ways

Peanut butter and banana sandwiches? A marshmallow-cramming contest? A dress code of shorts and flip-flops? This is an industry conference?

When Moe’s Southwest Grill heard that the annual BlogHer Food conference was coming to their hometown of Atlanta, the marketing department scrambled.

More Americans are abandoning the traditional "family dinner" and group restaurant meal to eat alone, according to a recent report by Bellevue, Wash.-based The Hartman Group. The conversations across the table with family and friends are being replaced by social media, claims the report.

Why are you here? In this industry. Running a restaurant. If your only answer is because you like food or, even worse, to make money, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Changes in the RLC’s content and a few tweaks in the format should help veteran show-goers get the most out of their visit as well.

Instagram is proving to be the social-media platform to watch and learn from thanks to new stats and a backlash against McDonald's sponsored posts.

Gift card sales are expected to climb this year. A new channel getting restaurants' attention is social media, where social gifting—sending someone a credit for a coffee or other gift via social media—is still a new phenomenon. Is it right for restaurants?

Concepts are reconfiguring their menu items to be camera-ready marketing tools.

Restaurants traditionally rely on chicken and turkey to be menu profit makers. Usually in good supply and always a good buy in relation to other proteins, operators often turn to poultry to keep costs in check when red meats and seafood skyrocket. But that strategy may be dampened in the months ahead.

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