How To Choose the Right E-commerce Platform

“When choosing the best online sales platforms for your e-commerce story, know there are options that fit everyone’s needs. See the pros, cons and information for getting started on the three most popular platforms: Amazon, Etsy and Shopify.”

“Shopify allows you to create beautiful websites with customizable themes, which you can’t do on Etsy or Amazon. Creating your own website with a custom domain name adds to your brand’s credibility. Shopify stores can also integrate with Amazon and other marketplaces to get the best of both worlds.”

See more here.

The 12 Hottest Brunch Restaurants in NYC

“There are plenty of brunch restaurants to choose from in this city, but all too often they involve lame prix fixe menus, boring egg dishes, and watered-down mimosas.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a guide to 12 recently launched brunches that are worth checking out. There’s everything from Korean small plates to ultra-fluffy pancakes.”

“MeMe’s Diner”
“This small Prospect Heights diner focuses on comfort, both on the menu and off. Food leans toward Americana classics, which at brunch means dishes like chicken and biscuits or everything bagel babka. Beyond food, the owners’ focus is on making the restaurant a queer space, and that emphasis has people flocking.”

To view all hottest brunch restaurants click here.

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New York’s Latest Restaurant Openings

Baker's Pizza & Espresso - slice

“Baker’s Pizza & Espresso is an updated version of East Village hit Baker’s Pizza, introducing a line-up of breakfast fare with coffee. Because, anything can become breakfast if you add an egg on top, even a slice of pizza.”

See more openings here.

Fast Casual vs. Fast Fine Dining Trends

“Take one of the latest casual dining trends as an example: fast fine dining. Not to be confused with fast casual, which refers to places like Chipotle or Five Guys, who distinguish themselves from fast food by offering high-quality ingredients and less of an assembly line atmosphere. Although the economy brought down spending at higher-end restaurants over the last several years, the love for creative food has been growing at a rapid pace, enabling fast casual and fast fine restaurants to thrive. And let’s not forget food trucks!”

“Diners who are health-conscious, but still want speed, find themselves searching for options where they can pay a little more and wait a tad longer for food that is healthier. This is exactly what fast casual restaurants offer.”

View more here.

A ‘Queer Eye’ Makeover for a Vintage Diner

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“Healthier comfort food will be the focus at Queer Eye Antoni Porowski’s upcoming fast-casual restaurant in the West Village. The Netflix show’s food expert is jumping off the screen to prove to the world that he can actually cook, at his reboot of 36-year-old diner Village Den.”

“Dishes like turkey-stuffed cabbage rolls with cauliflower rice or macadamia-crusted fish sticks with maple parsnip mash are on the menu here, the Times reports, food that will appeal to the “30s health and fitness” crowd by largely following the low-carb ketosis diet that Porowski occasionally is on.”

“What won’t be a big part of the menu is avocado, the trendy fruit that got Porowski a reputation where people questioned if he could actually cook.”

View more here.

Starbucks launches community-based program to help local causes

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“Starbucks and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, have launched Starbucks Service Fellows, an employer-led service program inspired and informed by national service, according to a press release. The initial six-month pilot, launching this month, includes 36 Starbucks store partners (employees) from 13 cities across the U.S. who will serve with a Points of Light affiliate in their community, collectively providing more than 17,000 hours of community service.”

View more here.

Everything You Need To Know About Crafting A Restaurant Marketing Plan

A graphic showing how to create a restaurant marketing plan

“1. Gather ideas. Consider the perspectives of every stakeholder in your restaurant from managers and owners to head chefs to, of course, the kinds of customers you want to come through the door. This step is especially important if you haven’t come up with a marketing strategy yet. If you have, figuring out how to best position and communicate your band will largely have been covered already, but if not you’ll want to answer the following questions before doing anything else: What is the theme of the restaurant? Who are our ideal customers? What makes us special among the competition? What can we do better? How can we streamline our marketing costs?

2. Learn from those who came before you. If this is your first time coming up with a marketing plan, taking a look of some restaurant marketing plan examples can seriously help you figure out what the end product should look like. (…)”

To view more go here.

Save time, save money: Run your small business from your smartphone.

“In the last few years, there has been an explosion of cloud-based, mobile apps (or mobile versions of desktop software applications) that make it easy to stay on top of most of your business operations right from your mobile phone. And that’s great for today’s small-business owner, because you’re more likely than ever to be on the go: meeting customers, traveling to trade shows, balancing work life with family needs.”

Useful apps:

• Money management and accounting. Send out invoices, track time, pay bills, run payroll, track mileage and more: QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Intuit Online Payroll, Harvest, Wave,, Shoeboxed, Everlance

• Payments: Receive payments instantly from customers. Square, PayPal Here, QuickBooks GoPayment

• Make sales: Turn your phone into your storefront and make sales directly to customers. Shopify, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram

• Scheduling: The apps take bookings and appointments, accept upfront payments, send clients reminders and more. Square Appointments, HouseCall Pro, Acuity Scheduling, Timely, Eventbrite Organizer

•Document storage and sharing: Store, share and access your files from any device. Google Drive, Zoho Docs, Dropbox, Box, Hightail Spaces

• Communications: Communicate with customers and manage your team back home. Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Join.Me, Webex

•Newsletters: Manage and monitor newsletter campaigns you’ve created in advance on your desktop. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Emma, Aweber


View more useful apps to run you business here.

Popular Middle Eastern Restaurant Gazala’s Is Back on the UWS

Gazala’s is once again open on the Upper West Side. The popular Druze restaurant with its signature thin, springy pitas closed in the neighborhood in 2015, and is now back at 447 Amsterdam Ave. between 81st and 82nd streets.

Chef-owner Gazala Halabi has an expanded menu and a full liquor license here. New dishes in addition to her classic spreads, salads, fish, and kebabs include shrimp hummus, a cauliflower tahini salad, and shawarma. The bar in the 100-seat space focuses on Israeli wine and cocktails with arak, an anise liquor.

The UWS location was busy before it closed. Halabi has been looking to return to the neighborhood since, but two leases prior to this fell through. She was 27 when she opened the original location of Gazala’s in Hell’s Kitchen. Now 39, she says the differences in this new location come with that age.

View more here.