Instgrammers Restore Israeli Winery

Carmel Winery, one of the oldest wineries in Israel, has made a splash into the 21st century. Noticing a disconnect between Millennials, the winery decided to try a new approach to their wine dinners.  The Winery teamed up renowned Chef Meir Adoni and ceramic designer Adi Nissani to produce FOODOGRAPHY, a series of events and workshops that present a culinary experiance that is picture perfect for Instagram.

foodography_Limbo-964x644Chef Meir Adoni of Tel Aviv’s Catit restaurant, created a visually stunning 5 course menu inspired by the color of red wine and composed of hard-to-source ingredients. The menu was then paired with one of a kind ceramics that create flawless backdrops to capture still photography as well as live videography. Adi Nissani created two pieces for the series, the first is the “360”, which includes a revolving platform and a stand to hold one’s smart phone. The second design is called the “Limbo” which also features a stand for one’s phone as well as a high backdrop to cut out background and interference. The final piece of the equation was having one of the country’s best food photographers on hand to host a smartphone food photography workshop during the dinner.

foodography_360-964x644The success of the series was extremely positive as the hash tag became trending on Instagram and the Winery was featured on the nightly news. In attendance were Michelin Star chefs, food bloggers, wine critics and food lover’s alike that all wanted to experience this interactive dining phenomenon. They series reached 20% of the countries population and increased the wineries sales by 13%.

The jury is out on Instagram’s place in the restaurant; many Chefs are flattered while others feel that it distracts the diner. Instagram can be a fantastic tool offering unlimited marketing and promotional potential when used correctly and in this case it appears that Carmel Winery has successfully found a way into the glasses of Instagramers.

To read more, click here

Chobani Launching Food Incubator

Next Spring, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya will be launching the brand’s first food incubator in New York City. The company has been doing very well with sales increasing from $3 million in revenues in 2007 to over $1 billion by 2012. The newly launched six-month program will be offering up office space and contacts with potential clients. Chobani will also be allocating up to $2 million in early-stage investment for the first group of about 10 companies. Ulakaya has had the idea to launch a food incubator for some time now, expressing that they, “have learned a lot about the space, about the food, and we’ve proved our model works. The founding mission we had was better food for more people–why does yogurt have to be exclusive?”

The program will be putting emphasis on branding, positioning and pricing. Chobani knows that these factors are crucial to food startups as they too have made important strategic decisions to get them to where they are now. Ulakaya will ensure that the startup’s products are tasty and affordable so as to appeal to mainstream consumers in the same way  Chobani’s products have. According to Ulakaya, “Some of the [issues with obtaining this food] is that it’s a lifestyle, but a majority of it is also availability, and if it is available, it’s not affordable. We can start from a better position and make it better as we go.”

There is a webpage where Chobani urges new entrepreneurs to apply and the class will be announced in the next few weeks. The entrepreneurs will have access to a host of resources such as marketing and distribution, and will be mentored directly by Ulakaya. To read more about the launch of Chobani’s first food incubator in New York City, click here

Marketing & Branding Live Webinar: Text Analytics

On October 21st at 2PM EDT a live webinar will be hosted by marketing and branding experts on Text Analytics 101: Watch Your Language. This webinar will stress the importance of words and especially those of your customers. It will show how important it is for your enterprise to be well equipped to a)listen and b)respond and act upon the messages customers are sending out about your enterprise.

The webinar event will show how successful brands use text analytics to participate in customer conversation and the key differentiators between different types of text analytics. The panel will also discuss what types of questions brands should be asking themselves before selecting a text analytics solution. Panelists include Kurt Williams, Chief Product Office of InMoment who brings over 15 years of experience in envisioning software products. Spencer Morris, VP of Text Analytics for InMoment directs the innovation and implementation of the industry-leading text analytics program.

To register for the event online and to learn more about what the webinar will reveal, click here

Webinar Event: Branded Restaurant Apps

Restaurants can really benefit from having a branded smartphone app for their marketing campaigns. It is also important to know that many customers now expect a mobile app and when it is not available for them to use for payment, loyalty programs, promotions or online ordering, it could cause some frustration.  The most important thing to a customer is that all systems are efficient and run seamlessly, and this webinar will help to achieve these goals. A few things that will be addressed are:

  • How to introduce an app and encourage adoption
  • How to engage the customer with the mobile app and impact customer behaviors
  • Promoting effectively via the mobile app
  • The appropriate times to use traditional marketing tactics and when to use mobile promotions in lieu
  • Integrating messages and promotions so customers have a consistent experience
  • Optimizing mobile promotions by segmenting users (new, lapsed, best customers)
  • Transferring contact information and behavioral data between existing marketing systems and mobile/online platforms
  • How much control should your franchisees have for setting up mobile marketing?

The webinar is hosted by an enterprise level SaaS platform for ordering, payment, geo and trigger marketing, and a leading technology integrator to create ‘super apps’ that include in-store and app loyalty, stored value cards and mobile wallet technology called The panel includes founder and CEO of Fishbowl, Scott Shaw, and CEO and President of, Vijay R. Bangaru amongst other important figures in the digital marketing realm. To read more about the panel and to watch the webinar, click here


Protecting Restaurant Intellectual Property

With the rise of digital and social media platforms being used for advertising, it is crucial for restaurants owners to protect their rightful intellectual property. It takes a great deal of creativity to grow a business, so the National Restaurant Association has come up with seven ways to protect this intellectual property in order to strengthen the restaurant brand and help to avert competitors.

  1. Names: It is recommended to consider names that won’t be difficult to protect. For instance, naming a restaurant after a family name will be difficult as chances are it already exists, however an arbitrary yet distinctive name with unspecified value will be easier to trademark; a little trademark research could come in handy. For local restaurants it is advisable to choose names that do not resemble those of competitors in the slightest, and for nationwide restaurant chains it is important to note that a strong trademark with a federal registration is obligatory.
  2. Menus:  Signature dishes should come with creative signature names as well. Opt for special names rather than non-specific descriptives.  Unique names can be protected as trademarks and help to build value for the restaurant. If the restaurant menu incorporates  illustrations, images, or photographs in a creative manner, these elements can also be protected and trademarked. By doing so, if a restaurant owner stumbles upon another restaurant that has copied the menu layout or names, he or she can use copyright law to stop the infringement.
  3. Recipes: Just as non-disclosures and non-competes are included in employee contracts, the actual restaurant recipes should also be protected. Not having protected recipes could result in the loss of a trade secret. Patent protection for unique and distinctive recipes is also highly recommended.
  4. Back-of-house: Many QSR have patented their methods of doing business such as their assembly lines for food preparation and even food-frying methods! .
  5. Take-home items: Signature products that are sold in restaurants  such as coffee, preserves, spices or condiments, apparel and dish ware for in-home use should seek trademark protection .  in expanded classes of goods as you are extending your brand beyond the confines of the restaurant.
  6. Décor:  Restaurant floor plans, layout and interior/exterior décor can be protected so long as it’s unique. Certain common layout/décor combinations cannot be protected, such as chianti bottled candles and red and white checkered linens in Italian restaurants, but if an operator consistently employs the same combination of unique and distinctive elements it can be protected.
  7. Websites and social media: Web pages can be protected under copyright law, as can it’s content such as the photographs and layout arrangements. Social media outlets should be consistent with themes similar to the website. The thing to look out for in the web sphere is to ensure that the content is not in violation of advertising laws as this can actually weaken the owner’s intellectual property.

The NRA has provided this helpful information to help out whether you are starting a new restaurant, opening a second location, or developing a franchise. Using intellectual property law to set your brand apart from others in an industry that is so competitive is a smart move. To read more about these seven steps, click here


Developing A Restaurant Tech Strategy

Food Tech Connect will be hosting a series of classes on June 28th in NYC on how to save money on technology in a restaurant. The first class in the series will touch upon how to choose the POS system best suited for your restaurant, how to budget for your restaurant IT and how to drive more traffic and keep customers coming back. Overall the class will teach how to create a tech strategy that is straight forward and that will save you time and money. Mike Dulle, who leads the Restaurant & Bar Initiative at ShopKeep POS, will be leading this first 90 minute class.

Here are a few of the steps that will be covered in the class:

  1. Operational Setup: tech to purchase (Hardware & Network), website creation, POS
  2. Workforce Management: employee scheduling, payroll
  3. Demand Generation: reservations, local business listings, menu management, yelp
  4. Customer Retention: loyalty, email marketing, social media

The second class in the series is taught by Felicia Stingone, former Senior Managing Director of Brand and Marketing for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. The class focuses on different marketing strategies and how to really leverage and build your brand.

Here are a few takeaways from the class:

  • Learn about the marketing strategies restaurant powerhouses use to grow their business
  • Get an inside look at how to start to leverage “brand” to scale a business, from opening more doors or new concepts to publishing books and launching products
  • Walk away with insights and practical tactics that you can use to shape a brand strategy and develop a marketing plan to help grow your business.

The last part of the series is a panel led by the founders of Culintro, Easy Pairings and Culinary Agents. The panel discussion will focus on how to streamline hiring processes and which technologies can help make this process easier. It will also share tips on how to empower employees to succeed and give an insight into how these three startups are working to improve and simplify the hiring process.

The series welcomes already established brands as well as startups and anything in between. The course will take place on June 28th in NYC but will also become available online on Aug 6. To read more about the event click here

Mobile Payment Solutions Explained

This past Thursday, our team at Tarapaige Group attended a Webinar event about mobile payments hosted by LevelUp and QSR magazine. Lysa Chen, Marketing Director of Chop’t and Michael Hagan, COO of LevelUp, shared their insights into how to avoid mistakes big brands are making, how to drive revenue, and how to achieve a successful customer adoption.

A few mistakes big brands are making in their implementation of mobile payment apps is that they are creating the app off of a loadable gift card model. What this means is that although the app is free in the app store, the customer is then being asked to invest in the brand via the price tag for their gift card. The redemption methods are also confusing as the customer must open the app, log in, load the gift card which has a numerical code and then give this code to the cashier. If after this whole process the cashier is not aware or trained, it will result in a very frustrated customer. It is important that the staff is trained and that the app provide more value than a gift card or than simply swiping a credit or debit card.

Lysa Chen stressed upon the power of promotion for a successful implementation. She suggested creating campaigns for app adaption such as loyalty programs and a way to earn and redeem rewards. She recommended a “spend x get y” loyalty program to drive revenue as opposed to a “10th visit get a free item” approach because this limits the potential of the additional spend.  Chop’t also launched an acquisition contest to celebrate the app whereby every transaction made by the customer  using the mobile app was automatically entered to win $100. Another one of Chop’t’s best practices was to distribute FAQ flyers to the customers and have the staff in the queue engaging with the guests directly to promote the app.

Most importantly, when implementing a mobile payment system the emphasis should be put on the ease of use in the digital experience and improving overall efficiency. The goal is to add as much value to the app as possible and to apply campaigns based on the insights received on customer behavior. Lysa Chen and Michael Hagaan drove these points home in what was a very informative and helpful Webinar event.