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NEWS

FALL 2017

fresh. focused. inspired.

Rammys issue RAMMYS winners Cocktail Program of the Year RAMMYS Photo Album QA: Employee of the Year Mina's Corner

FEATURES Foodservice delivery Culture of convenience Maximizing your POS data On-demand ordering

WHISKEY AND BOURBON

eaterypulse.com | eaterypulse.tv | twitter.com/eaterypulse


6 CULTURE OF CONVENIENCE

contents

Restaurant operators tap foodservice delivery platforms to appeal to more guests and Millennials

12 RAMMYS WINNERS A recap of the winners of the night in D.C.'s epic annual gala, on its 35th anniversary

17 QA: 2017 RAMMYS EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR Joseph Cassis was selected as the 2017 Employee of the Year. Here are hs impressions after winnng the award

22 RAMMYS PHOTO ALBUM See the epic event pics here in this magazine and on video as we capture the restaurant night to remember in images

28 2017 RAMMYS COCKTAIL PROGRAM OF THE YEAR Taha Ismail, beverage director for Mike Isabella Concepts, and his team at Kapnos, have elevated the cocktail experience, and receive recognition for their program

38 WHISKEY AND BOURBON Bar and restaurant operators find ways to leverage the popularity of whiskey, with special emphasis on bourbon

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 3


editor's letter

MINA LEZCANO, EATERY PULSE TV PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON STUDIO SOLUTIONS EP

The crisp fall air will soon be upon us. Fall signals a

Point of sale: No longer used for just ringing in

change in seasons in the Washington, D.C. area, and

sales, but for tracking food cost, engaging

for many, fall is a time for reflection and looking

customers, understanding performance and

forward—getting back to business, preparing for the

speeding tickets to the kitchen

holidays, and figuring out a way to make a strong start

Food delivery platforms: Your driver or theirs?

to the next year. It’s not fall quite yet, so this issue is a

Technology is helping you compete in the

celebration of the summer, of the technology that

digital space with customers looking to stay put

surrounds us, and of the RAMMYs, too. Many of the

in front of mega, smart TVs, but wanting to

D.C.’s best in foodservice were on hand to be

order food from restaurants. Some solutions

celebrated and recognized. As a way to segue to fall,

offer to deliver the food for you; others focus on

we’re looking at restaurant technology, too.

the technology and marketing Marketing tools: Technology is helping us

Adoption of technology is currently a big topic in the

capture emails, sell tickets for events and sell

restaurant industry. How are restaurants tapping

gift cards during the holidays that will be

technology to improve business? To improve their

redeemed in the slow months of next year

relationships with customers? To compete in the

Convenience technology: On-demand ordering

digital space and to increase sales? Perhaps, because

platforms to market take-out food are

of generational differences, younger chefs and

increasing in popularity

restaurateurs understand the technology and its interface with guests in a deeper fashion, and many of

It’s surprising that we don’t embrace technology

them are making the necessary investments.

more religiously, whether it’s understanding all the beneficial reports in the point-of-sale system,

As we look ahead, these are some of the main

subscribing to a third-party delivery

technology tools to keep top of mind:

platform or capturing emails, these are all 

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 4


EXECUTIVE EDITOR Rick Zambrano EDITORIAL DESIGNER Ashley McCarty EATERY PULSE TV EDITOR Sean Cooper PHOTOGRAPHER Matthew T. Robinson

Eatery Pulse News is published bi-monthly and is available online and on the ISSUU KATHY E. HOLLINGER, RAMW PRESIDENT & CEO PHOTO COURTESY M. T. ROBINSON

digital news platform. This trade publication is dedicated to the hardworking restaurateurs who are making D.C.

important solutions that restaurant owners can use to thrive. Marketing technology, for example, can make it easier to engage customers through loyalty and reward programs, and to capture emails to continue marketing to them. When you talk to some chefs and restaurateurs in this city, email marketing—the most basic and highly-effective tool to market to existing

a dynamic and top food destination. This magazine issue is available at eaterypulse.com/september-magazine.  Eatery Pulse TV is an online and YouTubebased video news show dedicated to providing analysis, insights and news bytes

customers—may not be in their vocabulary.

to the Metro-Washington, D.C. restaurant

Restaurants are the cornerstones of many of our

at eaterypulse.tv.

neighborhoods. Let’s embrace all the tools at our

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disposal to succeed. This magazine issue is just scratching the surface, but it’s a good place to start. Have a good story to share for our next issue? Email us at tips@eaterypulse.net.

industry. Stay updated with our news show

Eatery Pulse News and Eatery Pulse TV are part

Rick Zambrano EXECUTIVE EDITOR

of Eatery Pulse News Media, which is dedicated to providing information services tailored to the needs of the local restaurant industry in Metro-D.C. Studio Solutions EP is a video, marketing, business anlaysis and

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 MAGAZINE COVER: JEMIL GADEA, MASSERIA (TOP LEFT), EUN YANG, NBC4 NEWS (BOTTOM LEFT), TAHA ISMAIL, MIKE ISABELLA CONCEPTS (RIGHT), BRETT SCHULMAN, CAVA GROUP (BOTTOM)

business-growth consultancy. Eatery Pulse News Media and Studio Solutions EP, our services platform, are Crown Rio ventures.


CULTURE OF CONVENIENCE FOODSERVICE DELIVERY HELPS RESTAURATEURS GROW BUSINESS RICK ZAMBRANO

C

ustomers appear to be enjoying the comfort of their homes a bit too much, surrounded by technological convenience via smartphones, smart TVs and smart home technology. Even refrigerators can alert consumers when it’s time to head to the grocery store to replenish or put in a grocery order with Instacart. Foodservice delivery is a popular option for consumers and last year, it was up a whopping 33 percent in non-pizza restaurants from its 2012 levels, according to NPD, a Chicagobased foodservice consultancy. The same firm expects restaurant traffic to end up flat this year—a big wake-up call to restaurants to expand convenience options for their customers in the form of delivery and online ordering. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Panera’s online orders now make up a quarter of total sales. Toast POS reports that 33 percent of consumers ages 18 to 54

order online for delivery or take-out, making these conveniences an extremely important imperative for restaurant owners.Ordering for take-out, for example, is an easy way to build sales. Partnering with a third-party platform can help market your business to new customers, but setting up an in-house system that is integrated with your point-of-sale (POS) system is also helpful and can provide an easy way for customers to order both take-out and delivery food. Advance POS systems like Toast offer an online ordering platform for customers that is managed in-house by the restaurant. Key drivers and trends in foodservice delivery Technology trends aren’t always easily interpreted and the consumer behaviors driving them are not always so clear. Part of knowing what restaurant technology to adopt is knowing your customer. A report by AlixPartners dispelled the notion that loyalty is a main driver of restaurant tech influencing whether to patronize a restaurant. Instead, 40 percent and 35 percent of consumers say that online ordering and Wi-Fi, respectively, are the main techrelated factors in using a particular restaurant. Consumer behavior isn’t generic, either: 42 percent of Millennials says restaurant tech is influential in restaurant decisions, whereas 18 percent of Baby Boomers see it that way.

CONSUMERS WANT INSTANT GRATIFCATION THROUGH SMARTPHONES. PHOTO COURTESY J. STREET


19

The study also indicated that third-party delivery is not popular at all, despite the fact that we see such companies, including Uber Eats and Caviar, growing in the Washington, D.C. area. Seventy-two percent want delivery to come directly from the restaurant, and only eight percent of customers want food delivered from a third party. Customers may trust the restaurant more, at least as it relates to foodservice delivery, and may want to interact directly with the restaurant itself. These are important factors that restaurants may want to take into consideration when deciding how to market and execute foodservice delivery. The cost of foodservice delivery borne by restaurants is also a big factor. Some third-party platforms for online ordering can charge upwards of 20 and 30 percent of revenue for a single order. Some experts have noted that in an in-house order taking can be significantly less expensive. Once a restaurant invests in the technology, that particular in-house platform or tool is then paid for and any online orders that are received have no additional tech or delivery cost outside of those in-house costs directly related to the order. Of course, restaurateurs invest in restaurant tech to build sales and recover multiple times the cost of the investment. There are a few pricing models out there. There are a variety of pricing structures with some providers passing along fees or surcharges in menu pricing to the customer. Others do not. ChowNow, a foodservice delivery platform operating in D.C., charges a flat monthly fee, enabling restaurants to leverage that cost over multiple orders taken in a given month with ChowNow. PHOTO COURTESY C. GEORGE

Customers are able to select from monthly, annual and two-year flat-fee pricing plans with no

CONTINUED ON PAGEÂ 9

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commissions. Participating ChowNow

then it becomes difficult to market directly to those

restaurants include Ben's Chili Bowl, Cava

customers and to engage them to gain their dine-in

Mezze, Ted's Bulletin and Rocklands BBQ.

business in the future.

ChowNow also has a Discovery marketplace where it can market a restaurants to new

Food safety is of utmost importance. Some key

customers and charge a finder’s fee for each

questions: Who is handling the food that is delivered

new customer.

to customers? How hot is warm food kept and how cold is cold food kept? What is the certification or

Food quality and food price, notes the

reputation of those coming in contact with the

AlixPartners survey, are the top

restaurant food? And how accurately is food allergy

considerations of customers when ordering

and intolerance data being transmitted to

delivery; thus, the cost of delivery to the

restaurants?

customer is also critical. Some restaurants have complained recently that third-party

In some instances around the country, third-party

providers have been marking up their prices

providers have been taking customer orders without

without their knowledge. This was widely

restaurant knowledge or may not have a sufficiently

reported this year and had an impact on the

intelligent platform to communicate food allergies.

specific company that was mentioned. Any

There have been cases of serious illness when this

fees or charges that are paid by customers to

type of information has not been documented and

a third-party provider should also be plainly

received by the restaurant, putting restaurant

understood by restaurant owners before

reputation and assets at risk.

signing up with that provider. It’s important for restaurants to work with third-party platforms that have incredible amount of transparency. Delivery is an extension of the restaurant’s operations and brand reputation—no need put it at risk unnecessarily. Considerations when implementing foodservice delivery When it comes to implementing foodservice delivery, access to customer information for marketing, food safety and food presentation & handling are other important considerations. In partnering with third-party providers for online ordering, delivery or both, restaurateurs do well in understanding who will own the customer information and who will have access to them for marketing purposes. If full customer information is not shared by a provider with a restaurant,

WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF FOODSERVICE DELIVERY? PHOTO COURTESY F. KARR


The ChowNow team says it avoids these types of issues through the ChowNow Menu Builder giving restaurants more control over the information that customers are sending them. Customers are presented with the information up front and they can select any modifiers and note other preferences with a comment. “Online ordering is the best way to make sure these needs are clear and fulfilled, as everyone involved gets the same info—think no sloppy notes jotted down in a hurry from a phone order,” says Emily Neudorf, ChowNow director of product marketing. “These requests are recorded for the customer in their digital receipt, for the restaurant staff on the ChowNow Tablet, for the kitchen on the print ticket, and then kept on record in the restaurant’s ChowNow Dashboard.” For restaurants that deliver the food themselves to customers, an important consideration is packaging. It’s important to choose packaging that fits the brand image

PHOTO COURTESY Q. LAGACHE

and keeps food secure from spilling and maintains food at the correct temperatures. There’s a numerous choices in foodservice delivery bags, totes and wrappers that can keep restaurant food at the right temperatures and avoid spillage. The food that is delivered at the customer’s door and experienced by the customer when unpacked is a direct reflection of the restaurant and its management. Restaurateurs should work closely with their vendors, do the proper research and invest wisely in packaging options.

Tech by the Numbers 35 percent of operators are concerned about competition from food retailers (L.E.K. Consultancy) 65 percent of operators plan spending on restaurant tech between spring '17 and spring '18 (American Express) More than a third of customers say online ordering and Wi-Fi are technologies influencing whether to patronize a restaurant (AlixPartners Study) EATERY PULSE NEWS | 10


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RAMMYS 2017 RED CARPET INDUSTRY GALA HONORS D.C.'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST FOODSERVICE STARS

T

he Restaurant Association of Metropolitan of Washington (RAMW) held the 35th Annual RAMMY Award ceremony in style and in star-studded fashion at the July 30 gala at the Walter E. Convention Center. In partnership with DC Events and the Citi Open Tennis Tournament, RAMW pulled out all the stops with a red carpet, DJ-driven music, tasting tables from near and far, including succulent indulgences and beverage bars from its finalists, and samples from international tourism, diplomatic and trade associations, including, for example, Taste of Peru, The Argentine Embassy and Wines of

Argentina. This year, the RAMMYS co-hosted the Citi Open Tennis Tournament Players Party within the event, adding to the forum’s celebrity status. A cast of notable personalities among D.C.’s elite were on tap to present the awards. A few of these included Joe Yonan, food/dining editor of the Washington Post, Council Member Jack Evans (Ward 2); Eun Yang, NBC Washington reporter, Holly Morris from Fox 5, RAMW Chariman John Snedden, RAMMYS Gala Chair David Moran, and 2016 RAMMYS winner Scott Drewno (Chiko). Kathy E. Hollinger, president & CEO of RAMW, kicked off the Awards ceremony. Eatery Pulse TV was represented at the event by its news anchor Mina Lezcano, part of the news team aseembled to beef up industry coverage for restaurateurs in Metro D.C. and available on YouTube, as well as photographer Matthew T. Robinson, who is part of the Studio Solutions team producing this fast-growing restaurant news show.

PRESENTER EUN YANG, NBC4 NEWS PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON


THE WINNERS ARE... SERVICE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR THE SOURCE BY WOLFGANG PUCK WINE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR WINNER TARVER KING, RESTAURANT AT PATOWMAC FARM PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

 CHARLIE PALMER STEAK CHEF OF THE YEAR    TARVER KING OF THE RESTAURANT AT PATOWMACK FARM REGIONAL FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR     DC BRAU BREWING COMPANY UPSCALE CASUAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

FOX 5 DC NEWS ANCHOR HOLLY MORRIS PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

  PROOF CASUAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR     COMPASS ROSE BAR + KITCHEN BEER PROGRAM OF THE YEAR     JACK ROSE DINING SALOON COCKTAIL PROGRAM OF THE YEAR FORMER WINNER SCOTT DREWNO PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

#RAMMYS17

  KAPNOS BY MIKE ISABELLA

WINNER RYAN RATINO, RIPPLE RESTAURANT PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON


THE WINNERS ARE... VOTING PUBLIC WINNERS: FAVORITE GATHERING PLACE OF THE YEAR   PEARL DIVE OYSTER PALACE UPSCALE BRUNCH OF THE YEAR LEFT: JOSE SHARKEY, DISTRICT COMMONS BAR MANAGER RIGHT: MINA LEZCANO, EATERY PULSE TV PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

  CONVIVIAL CASUAL BRUNCH OF THE YEAR     REPUBLIC EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR    JOSEPH CASSIS, PASSIONFISH BETHESDA MANAGER OF THE YEAR    JOHN GRACE OF THE HAMILTON RISING CULINARY STAR OF THE YEAR

WINNER JOHN GRACE, THE HAMILTON PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

 RYAN RATINO OF (NOW CLOSED) RIPPLE

FAVORITE FAST BITES OF THE YEAR WINNER MAX KULLER, PROOF RESTAURANT/FAT BABY, INC. PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

WINNER BRETT SCHULMAN, CEO CAVA GROUP PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

CAVA GRILL


Studio Partners provides referral services to reputable vendors and its consulting consortium. Restaurants and retailers can benefit greatly from these services. Obtain more information from the provider by navigating to arf.studiorestaurants.com. For questions regarding Studio Solutions or Studio Partners, contact solutions@studiorestaurants.com.


THE WINNERS ARE... JOAN HISAOKA ALLIED MEMBER OF THE YEAR   ACME PAPER & SUPPLY CO., INC.

DUKE ZEIBERT CAPITAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD   ASHOK BAJAJ OF KNIGHTSBRIDGE RESTAURANT GROUP (LEFT)

PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR   JEMIL GADEA OF MASSERIA

FORMAL FINE DINING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR   MINIBAR BY JOSÉ ANDRÉS

NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR   HAZEL (LEFT, ROB RUBBA) RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR     IKE GRIGOROPOULOS, DIMITRI M       MOSHOVITIS, TED XENOHRISTOS, AND BRETT SCHULMAN, CAVA GROUP


QA: JOSEPH CASSIS, 2017 EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR Name: Joseph Cassis Title: Head Bartender, PassionFish Bethesda Hometown: Charleston, W.Va. Residence: Arlington, Va. Favorite color: Gray Favorite quote: “It’s just crabcakes. You sell them, we cook them, they eat them. Crabcakes.” – Glenn Holly, Owner of Monteray Bay Fish Grotto

Eatery Pulse News: First of all, how did it feel to be recognized on the biggest stage in the D.C.-area restaurant industry? Joseph Cassis: Overwhelming. They give the nominees the option of sitting up front with two people. I chose to sit in the back with my team who had come to support me. I was truly stunned to win, but to be in front of so many people who I respect and admire made it much more meaningful. EPN: What is the biggest thing you love about working in restaurants and the favorite part about your job? JC: It’s difficult to pick one, but the energy of a high volume restaurant is amazing. Everyone is doing something different, but we’re all working towards the same goal of creating the best guest experience possible—it’s incredibly rewarding. My bar team and regulars have become my family. Even when there are bad days I am excited to come in, be better, learn more, and push the envelope. Our program is only as good as the last shift. Every day is an opportunity to improve. EPN: Please name some of the individuals who have been mentors. JC: More people than I can name have helped my growth over the years, but I wouldn’t be the bartender I am today without the guidance of Jim McGavin. He is one of the best bartenders and people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with in DC. My beverage director, Scott Clime, taught me how to manage a bar. He instilled an appreciation for consistency, the importance of standing behind my decisions and embracing (the fact) that failure sometimes happens.

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 17


EPN: Tell us what you see as the biggest obstacle to success for restaurants. JC: Online reviews: When a guest has a great experience they tend to tell one friend, when they have a bad experience, ten. Social media has exponentially changed this dynamic. I have watched guests write a poor review at the table instead of communicating their disappointment with our staff directly. The anonymity can allow people to troll a restaurant without giving them the chance to turn the situation around for the better. Passion Food Hospitality believes in each guest leaving the restaurant with a smile on their face. Our challenge is to create an environment where guests openly communicate any issues with us directly. PHOTO COURTESY M.T. ROBINSON

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ONDEMAND FOOD. ONLINE ORDERING. -LEVELUP

BRANDY MASKELL Companies that provide online ordering focus on

customers. Whether it’s through your own custom

mobile ordering since it is seeing rapid adoption

branded app or through an aggregated experience,

and is a big convenience for ordering foodservice

customers love having their favorite order ready

meals to go. According to LevelUp, a provider of

in a couple taps. We’ve seen that in our own data -

mobile ordering ahead technology, 71 percent of

the average merchant on LevelUp sees at least a

consumers have adopted mobile order-ahead apps.

15 percent increase in throughput when they add

According to an article by OrderTalk in QSR, a

order ahead to their app. Consumers love apps that

restaurant trade industry magazine, a sample of

give them real value (i.e. actually saving 10 to 20

restaurants that had adopted a mobile app for

minutes at lunch) and are likely to have larger carts

ordering saw 15 percent of total orders come in via

and order more frequently with this option ready at

the app.

PAGE 08

hand.

In this Q&A, we speak with Alex Shuck, director

BM: In what ways, are to-go orders as important

of marketing and analytics at LevelUp, to learn

or more important than food delivery?

more about mobile order-ahead technology. AS: Food delivery plays a very specific role in Brandy Maskell: What are some ways that giving

consumer’s lives, but to-go orders are more

customers the option of using an app for pick-

universal. They can make your commute to work

up can increase sales?

more convenient, your lunch more efficient and your commute home more useful. Delivery accounts for

Alex Shuck: When you have integrated mobile

about 10 percent of a restaurant's total sales. We

order ahead, choosing your business at lunch or

believe order ahead could replace the 90

coffee time is a more compelling option for your

percent that's currently done at-counter.

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 20


As customers come to expect mobile

by connecting guests and restaurants. On the one hand we

order ahead, it will become critical for

partner with order ahead providers to ensure we can list their

restaurants to adapt to evolving

restaurants for our users. And on the other hand, we promote

consumer behavior. We believe

those restaurants to our more-than one million monthly active

waiting in line will be comparable to

users via the LevelUp app, merchant-branded experiences and

hailing a cab on the street pre-Lyft—

through our partner's properties like Chase Pay, Facebook,

something that once was

Google and more.

commonplace, and now usurped by technology.

BM: Tells us about the associated marketing tools that LevelUp provides to help restaurateurs acquire new

BM: Are these types of solutions

customers.

affordable for independent restaurateurs and at what level are

AS: When you work with LevelUp, you get free distribution to

you serving the market?

millions of consumers providing instant new customer acquisition. We do all that for free, and even provide rich

AS: LevelUp works with nearly

analytics gratis. LevelUp also has a paid-subscription model

100,000 restaurant locations to help

where merchants can leverage our customer segmentation tools

them drive more order ahead orders

and campaign engine to create promotions that win over new

and engage their customers. We do

customers and keep them coming into your restaurant.

Who's zooming in on your business? Who can zoom in on your business and apply a numeric, analytical approach to dissecting your most challenging issues?  TRENDYSTIA offers profit optimization, food costing and efficiency analysis to help turn your business around. You're running a restaurant and too busy for just "talk." Turn to a data-based approach to increasing your profitability and putting your restaurant on the fast track to success. Request a complimentary consult. TRENDYSTIA CONSULTING, a Studio Partner Call 301.944.0889 x2 today.


RAMMYS PHOTO ALBUM

31 / EATERY PULSE NEWS


RAMMYS PHOTO ALBUM


SLIDES.EATERYPULSE.TV See more of the photo album online at slides.eaterypulse.tv

UPCOMING HOLIDAY ISSUE fall flavors coffee excellence holiday cocktails 2018 food trends email marketing EATERY PULSE NEWS | 24

s s i m t ' n Do it!


RAMMYS PHOTO ALBUM


RAMMYS PHOTO ALBUM

31 / EATERY PULSE NEWS


COCKTAIL PROGRAM OF THE YEAR KAPNOS BY MIKE ISABELLA TAHA ISMAIL

KAPNOS BY MIKE ISABELLA PHOTO COURTESY KAPNOS

This year’s RAMMY Awards Gala at the Walter E. Convention Center paid tribute to some of the local restaurant industry's great culinary artists, business stalwarts, hard-working team members and creative minds. For this reason, it’s a great night for restaurateurs to bask in the glow of their accomplishments and to be unified in celebration under one roof. The RAMMY award for Cocktail Program of the Year went to Kapnos in Washington, D.C. and Taha Ismail, beverage director for Mike Isabella Concepts. Ismail joined the group in 2011, working at Graffiato. He is also a partner at Pepita Mexican Cantina in Arlington, Va. Mike Isabella Concepts has been growing at a fast pace. The restaurant group now has nine concepts in the area: Arroz, Graffiato, Kapnos and G in Washington, D.C., Kapnos Taverna, Yona and Pepita in Arlington, Va., Kapnos Kouzina in Bethesda, Md., and Requin in Fairfax, Va. A planned 40,000 square-foot, multi-concept culinary hall, Isabella Eatery, is in progress at Tysons Corner, Va. The team that has made the cocktail program shine includes Jason Smith, recently promoted to assistant beverage director of Mike Isabella Concepts, Scotty Holland, Mary Kelly, and Hung 28 | EATERY PULSE NEWS

#RAMMYS17 Nguyen. Holland is a former bar manager at Kapnos and worked with Ismail when it opened in 2013. Kelly is a former Kapnos bar manager and Nguyen is the current bar manager of Kapnos. “It was exciting and it was an honor to be a winner,” says Ismail. “I put a lot of work into it and the team did, as well.” The growing foodie scene in the D.C. area and its increasing desire for great food and drink options have been a boon to restaurants like Kapnos. A dedication to best practices in cocktail creation, tapping Mediterranean influences and spurring creativity have been key to the winning formula. Starting with the quality of spirits and the fresh juices used, the cocktail program is derived and elevated from a desire to present the freshest ingredients. Cocktails are created with the ingredients in mind and then the spirits are fitted to the cocktail and their flavor profile. One of Ismail’s favorites, the Angry Elf, is made with a chartreuse that is infused with serrano chiles, Altos Reposado Tequila, lemon juice and benedictine, flavorful and herbaceous. “It’s a twist on a margarita,” says Ismail. The Casablancan native has made the ice program a centrepiece of excellence at the restaurants. At


Kapnos, the artisanal ice program produces different ice variations, including tubular, round, shaved and chipped ice—much of the ice cut from a big block of ice produced from chilled, purified water, as well as Kold Draft-produced ice cubes. Water quality is an essential consideration for the beverages. Attention to the details has paid off for the Kapnos team, but creativity, drives the unique and exotic beverage experience. Kapnos uses nitrogen to keep the draft cocktails fresh, creativing a top

SOME HEALTHY CHANGE experience for its guests. The draft cocktails,

which are included in the selections for happy

hour, include Private Events, a mix of El Silencio Mezcal with Plymouth Sloe gin, tepache, agave, lime, and coconut, and Living the Dream, a

harmony of Redemption Rye Whiskey, cinnamon, grapefruit, lemon and honey earl grey tea. Another highlight of the Mike Isabella culture and the reason Kapnos team is drawing local attention is its hospitality. As we’ve seen threaded throughout many of the stories of top restaurants in the D.C. market, the guest experience continues to be a hallmark of the best food and beverage programs. With the help of Smith, Ismail has been

TAHA ISMAIL POSING WITH RAMMY AWARD FOR 2017 COCKTAIL PROGRAM OF THE YEAR. PHOTO COURTESY KAPNOS

investing much time recently on the new multiconcept Isabella Eatery that is opening soon.

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#RAMMYS17

MINA'S CORNER Top restaurant owners, food critics, team members and other organizations all came together for a spectacular event. It was a show-stopping event that celebrated the D.C. restaurant industry for not only the new innovations that have developed this past year, but for many of the trendsetting restaurateurs that established precedent. The event commenced with a social hour as well as a meetand-greet with many of the finalists all pining to win the RAMMY award. Categories ranged from the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement award, to Favorite Fast Bites of the Year, to awards recognizing top restaurant personnel. The overall consensus was that each award was not from any single person's efforts, but earned from the team working hard day in, day out to contribute to the business and community. Following the award ceremony, there was an after-party held in the Ballroom where music was playing and food was especially delicious! The diverse offerings represented the melting pot of the D.C. community and brought together the true meaning of what the RAMMYS are: to celebrate the differences among all the restaurateurs and restaurant professionals who share an aligned goal of providing a delectable and memorable experience, serving harmoniously for their neighborhoods.


r u o y e r ' We n o i t a m infor d n e S . m r o f t a pl

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LARISSA AGUIRRE

restaurant savings QA: John Krebs, Axis Purchasing Axis Purchasing is a group purchasing organization,

together. This program is very large. It’s $20B in

saving restaurants money on the products they

size across the United States. It’s very vast. The

already use. Axis taps into savings and rebates that

number of products in the portfolio is very big

restaurateurs may not know about. The savings

and the size is very big.

program doesn't require you to change the broadline distributor you are already using. Check out the

With an authorization to release the data, the

YouTube interview of Axis President John Krebs by

distributor will report the data to us. The data is

Eatery Pulse TV's Larissa Aguirre at

then utilized for three (3) things:

axis.eaterypulse.tv or read the excerpt below:

Manufacturer's rebates: For the programs we have in place, manufacturers will offer cash

Larissa Aguirre: John, tell us, briefly, how the

back for loyalty. The cash is paid back on a

Axis Program works and how you help you

monthly basis to the restaurants.

clients within the restaurant industry save

There is contract pricing that is available,

money?

which will lower the distributor invoice cost, so now you have money coming back through the

John Krebs: We're a group purchasing

“back of the house.”

organization, with a little bit of expertise on the top.

Because we have your data, and we have

Like other group purchasing organizations, other

industry expertise, we can go through the data,

members who purchase the items or products that

and come back to you with suggestions for

go through foodservice or restaurants have banded

alternative products from different

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 32

SPONSORED


manufacturers or different buying practices that will help reduce your cost even further. The nice thing about this portfolio is that the members have complete control. They don’t change the distributors and there is no mandatory product list.They are always in charge of the program and in charge of the operations. There’s no burden on the operations; in fact, it’s a seamless implementation. (After signing up,) the operators won’t even know (when the changes take effect until they start seeing the savings). LA: In addition to food and paper supplies, what are other areas in which you can help restaurant operators? JK: There’s a myriad of other services that are available that are outside distribution. Uniforms is a big one. There is safety shoes. You can get office supplies, selfservice, maintenance, fryer cleaning and there’s a whole list of other things that are available, including armored car service, as well. Typically, we’ll start with a distribution program, and then, once the client is comfortable, we’ll move into other areas.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE SAVINGS PROGRAMS FOR RESTAURANT GROUPS WITH MORE THAN $1M IN FOOD AND SUPPLY PURCHASES AT AXISPURCHASING.COM

PHOTO COURTESY R. BYE

SPONSORED


RESTAURANT BUSINESS

MAXIMIZING THE DATA IN YOUR POS The point-of-sale system in a restaurant is one of the most underutilized tools a restaurant has at its disposal. It’s unfortunate, but true, because depending on the type of system,

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 34

a restaurant could use it for customer management, weekly marketing, loyalty and more importantly, building a more profitable business. Having the discipline to pull weekly reports is not difficult, but in a fast-paced environment where there may be a lot of management turnover, it’s hard to prioritize time for pulling point-of-sale (POS) reports, reviewing them and teaching this process to others.


Much the information out there and readily available from many sources will confirm that POS reports can be a great tool for helping create the successful and profitable restaurant that many owners envision. One of the most useful reports, aside from the daily and weekly sales recap reports, is the menu item sales report. It’s also known as the menu mix, product mix and product sales report, along with other names. This is the report that tells a restaurant owner what is selling and not by identifying the quantity, average price and extended price of

“Every day, easily identify the items that are directly contributing to restaurant sales—and consider dropping those that aren’t.”

the menu items sold in a given restaurant. A full-service restaurant,

between restaurateurs and their chef,

especially those that have bar sales

general manager or supplier. You don’t

and has at least two dayparts (e.g.

want to tinker with success, but there

lunch and dinner) worth of business,

may be ways to leverage the purchases

should use this report as a main tool to continually refine and update the menu, making important business decisions. “Are the dishes that are looking good to you the real (winning) ones?” says Tony Ventre, VP of Restaurant POS at Beyond, Inc. “Listen to your customers.” A sales report by menu item is a good place to start when reviewing ways to extract more sales and profit from your business. By identifying top sellers, restaurateurs may also be able to target weak sellers that may be low in food cost and simply need some marketing efforts behind them.  Top selling-items, conversely, could be targeted for a food cost validation or re-engineering—focusing on how to deliver these same winning items for less cost. Such a process, for example, could take the form of a discussion  PHOTO COURTESY R. RYE


and managers can make the most of the staff that is working on a particular day, night or week. Inversely, a report may show a labor percent (%) or labor cost per sales number, meaning it is a ratio of cost of labor to sales. “(You may want to ask) why is that ratio so high, when we weren’t doing any sales,” says Ventre. “We were we preparing for a busy night and there weren’t the reservations (we anticipated).” This type of figure is indicative of how your labor expense is trending, and as Toast Bistro has noted in its content programs, food and labor are definitely the highest costs in a restaurant and most worthy of management scrutiny CRM (Customer relationship management)

related to your winners for better pricing with suppliers. “Every day, easily identify the items that are directly contributing to restaurant sales—and consider dropping those that aren’t,” notes a report from Toast POS. Labor reporting Touch Bistro’s Snapshot Report summarizes sales and labor costs in real time. A manager would be able to review labor to sales ratios and decide to send a staff member home if sales aren’t what they were originally projected,or if the ratios are at a predetermined threshold. A strong measure of productivity for a restaurant is sales per labor hour. The higher the number, the more a restaurant is leveraging its (wo)man hours to produce sales. By using such a productivity report, restaurant owners

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 36

Many companies use CRM apps, software and services to track customers and the frequency of their visits. For a large Fortune 500 company, the CRM is indispensable for sales teams to understand who the biggest prospects are, the value of what a particular prospect’s business might represent and how many times a prospect or existing customers have been contacted to inform them PHOTO COURESTY ROB RYE about new products and services (which may lead to additional sales.) Many POS systems have the ability to be activated for CRM, depending on the capabilities and how they interact with card processing systems, cloud services and third-party loyalty and online ordering systems. The reports that can be extracted to discover insights on particular customer visits, preferences and dollar amount of business is a treasure trove for restaurants to build their businesses intelligently, targeting one customer at time. In our ongoing Restaurant Tech Discovery series, both in this magazine and on Eatery Pulse TV, we expect to cover more topics related to CRM and loyalty marketing systems. Stay tuned for additional insights and analysis in our holiday issue, coming out in October.


RANDOM PRIZE DRAWING

Who's telling your story?

Win a free video of your business! On October 17, 2017, we'll be awarding a free 2-hour HD  video filming to one lucky business. Enter the promotion by liking us on Facebook (facebook.com/eaterypulse). If you are restaurant, retailer or property manager in D.C. or within 25 miles of City Center, you can win a free video commercial of your business/property, including an interview on camera and the video footage, which you get to keep for your owm marketing purposes! For more information, message us on Facebook or check September's posts.

PROMOTION


TOP BARS AND RESTAURANTS LEVERAGE THE POPULARITY OF WHISKEY AND BOURBON Whiskey remains a thriving choice in the brown

Bar Manager Parker Girard. A lively retreat from

spirits category. The elevated cachet of bourbon is

politics and the power lunches, it beckons to the

also being embraced as a marketing and branding

politicians and lobbyists during the early evening,

force. “We’re a bourbon bar, not just a whiskey bar;

and to the local crowds in the late-night hours.

we specialize in bourbon,” says Max Cabrera, bar

Girard says he sees the crowds ask for the top-

manager at Barley Mac in Arlington, Va., in a recent

shelf whiskey, including coveted bourbon brands

Eatery Pulse TV Episode. The bourbon bar and

like Pappy Van Winkle. For top shelf, supply

Italian/American restaurant is a highly-rated

doesn’t keep up with demand.

evening spot in the Rosslyn neighborhood, which is currently seeing much redevelopment. It benefits

Bourbon’s popularity is not waning. American

from the popularity of whiskey, and more

straight whiskey volume, which also includes Rye,

specifically bourbon, the most famous of the

is growing 5.0 percent in the first half of 2017 and

American straight whiskey variety. Barley Mac

grew 5.1 percent in 2016, according to Beverage

reportedly has over 50 bourbons available.

Marketing Corp., a chicago-based research and consulting firm. Whiskey volume was the driver of

Barrel, located on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast,

growth for spirits. Total whiskey grew 4.0 percent in

in Washington, D.C., opened in 2014. Initially, it

2016, according to the Distilled Spirits Council,

was one of just three or four bars in the city

while total spirits, including whiskey, had volume

focusing on whiskey; now that has changed, says

growth of just 2.4 percent.

BARREL HAS AN EXTENSIVE SPIRITS COLLECTION PHOTO COURTESY BARREL


If there's any doubt about bourbon's popularity, one only needs to look at the recent launch of the Golden Circle Bourbon Shaving Cream Collection by the Art of Shaving. The "Bourbon Amber aroma that blends a rich, woody base with a warm, vanilla heart" is being promoted in partnership with "The Kingsman: The Golden Circle" movie.

ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE “We’re a late-night, local bar first,” says Girard. Customers will start out with a bourbon neat or rocks on the side and then move on to enjoy the variety of whiskey, spirits and craft beers on tap. Barrel has 300 whiskeys on the list and has access to smaller, less-known whiskeys that are introduced by distributors that may turn out to be diamonds in the rough. Variety is something that keeps the locals happy here, as well as the Southern-influenced small plates. American spirits and bourbon are always the top two best sellers, notes Taha Ismail, beverage director for Mike Isabella Concepts and a 2017 Cocktail Program of the Year award recipient at the RAMMYS. “Bourbon pays the bills,” he jokingly says. Ismail, too, enjoys having a variety of spirits for guests to enjoy and for mixing cocktails. A top shelf brand may not necessarily go with a particular cocktail. The juice and the flavors come first. There is an experimentation process that takes place to see which spirits fit well with the bar cocktails. Customers like stirred drinks, including the Manhattan and Old Fashioned, says Ismail. Bitters are key and citrus and vermouth are very complementary to whiskey. Ismail has a penchant for Fee Brothers Bitters, particularly the oldfashioned and walnut bitters. Embrace creativity and depth of flavor. “In the

THE MILK PUNCH COCKTAIL PHOTO COURTESY BARREL

winter, I like to use the spices in the bitters, (including) the cinnamon taste, bacon, spices, flavors of coriander and star anise. “My favorite is the Classic Old Fashioned, with old fashioned bitters and with a little top of sugar." Operations play a big part in enhancing the whiskey experience. For Barrel’s Girard, there are three keys: people, options and greeter. He looks to hire people with a fun attitude, who are friendly. He also surrounds his customers with options. Variety is essential and customers may start with one type of beverage and migrate to others as long as there are fresh options. From experimenting with staffing, he learned that the host position is critical to improve the guest experience. “We realized that we had to have someone greet them (to start things off in the best way).”


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SASHA FELIKSON, EXECUTIVE CHEF, DOI MOI PHOTO COURTESY JULEP PRODUCTIONS

Taking the culinary helm at Doi Moi, where the food is highly influenced by the late restaurateur Mark Kuller, and the founder’s’ journey to Southeast Asia, his days are long and exciting, he notes. At Doi Moi, you see deep Thai and Vietnamese influences, and it is perhaps the perfect place for Felikson, who has immersed himself in fine-dining, with early-career training in Asian fusion, to come into his own. The journey of Felikson, rising culinary star finalist Originally born in the Ukraine Republic, before the

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

RISING STAR

Chefs in the Washington, D.C. area are seeing the fruit of their labor as the city gets recognized as one of the top food destinations in the country. It wasn’t easy—the town was known for political power lunches and an abundance of steakhouses not too long ago. Chefs and restaurateurs knew this moment would come, however, as they attracted new chefs and culinary talent to this city, and the growing

fall of the U.S.S.R, Felikson’s journey to Doi Moi was rather scenic and uncertain. He and his family emigrated to the U.S. through Italy and found themselves landing when he was three in Boston, which has a large Russian and Ukrainian population. They took up roots in the D.C. area, moving to Rockville, Md., but he, himself, detoured to Colorado for a while. Early on, Felikson wanted to study the culinary arts but, early on, was persuaded instead to learn it through practical application and working with top chefs. After attending Salisbury College and

private sector spurred an interest in the global flavors

studying Psychology, he spent two years or so in

that had already been imported by immigrants and

Colorado; for a time, working at Bim Bam Boo, an

foreign embassy teams. The Restaurant Association

Asian fusion & Thai cuisine restaurant in Boulder.

of Metropolitan Washington and the RAMMY Awards

A typical day there could exceed 18 hours, not too

are part of this transformation for long-recognizing

much longer than Felikson’s current shifts at Doi

time-honored, as well as up-and-coming talent in

Moi.

D.C., through its awards and the July 30, 2017 gala, which provides a stage for and encourages the

Fine-dining restaurants can be the jewel of a

culinary talent that the city and surrounding suburbs

collection, a hobby, a pursuit of ambition or

have to offer to thrive.

recognition in the culinary scene for their owners. There can be hints of an aggressive crash-and-

One such chef is Sasha Felikson, a finalist for the

burn style, putting the pursuit of culinary

2017 Rising Culinary Star of the Year Award at the

excellence over business imperatives. There has

RAMMYS. As the executive chef of Doi Moi, his

been some of that in Felikson’s culinary career, but

energy and passion for serving great food and tapping into global inspiration is well known and unrelenting.

also the fortune of working with top restaurateurs who have survived the scene or who are more


financially-disciplined. His career includes stints at Graffiato and Kapnos, by Mike Isabella, for example. Since 2011, Felikson has dived deeply into the finedining scene and upscale-casual restaurants—his interests mostly in the former. He read “The Fat Duck Cookbook” by Heston Blumenthal (2008). Before he could do the deep dive into fine dining, he was keen on learning the basic fundamentals of cooking and that happened during his time at a steakhouse in Boulder, before moving back to the East Coast. After those basics, it was time to elevate his craft and develop his own style. Citizen at the Mandarin Hotel, Rogue 24 and the former Table in the Shaw all served to sharpen the acumen. In speaking with Felikson, one gains an DOI MOI BLENDS ASIAN TECHNIQUES PHOTO COURTESY JULEP PRODUCTIONS

appreciation for how driven he is to improve his game and that the hard knocks and a few humiliations in kitchens of the past were for a larger purpose. “It's all about bringing the best that you can, with good ingredients,” he says. “Focus on today, and today is what matters. What matters is what you do on that day, and what you put your heart and your soul in.” He looks outside the U.S. to appreciate progressive policies regarding food and agriculture. “The country (U.S.) needs to invest in good food and agriculture.” He’s very interested in the sourcing of local foods and in supporting smaller restaurant

This past October, Doi Moi was added to the Bib Gourmand list. young chef patronizing or supporting chains that are sourcing from large, distant suppliers, even the well-known chains started here in the D.C. area.

and restaurant groups that adopt this

Felikson helped open Menu MBK in

thinking.

Penn Quarter and then went on to Mini Bar, where fine dining was like a

“There are many countries that are super-

religion. His time there was made

progressive. And they focus on culinary

more enjoyable by his friendship with

and independent eateries, they focus on

Johnny Spero who was a chef there.

the small businesses.” You won’t see the

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 42


Spero appears to be close to opening

away from “commodity food.”

Reverie in Georgetown, one of the anticipated openings of 2017, by all

For Felikson, these changes are also improving the taste

lifestyle-magazine accounts. Reverie will

of food. Felikson is known to challenge the kitchen staff

open at the Grace Street Collective.

to put out the best food they can. Rather than go into tirades like the one from a past mentor, he’ll tell staff

A breakout moment is imminent

when he’s disappointed and not get upset. “When you see the dish come to your table,” says Felikson. “It

Additional techniques were picked up at

shows a level of care. The cooks at Doi Moi have a level

Yona in Arlington, Va. with Jonah Kim,

of care that transcends (their job).” After all, he’s

who left that partnership with Mike

appreciative of Japanese techniques, and how Japanase

Isabella for opportunities in Miami. When

chefs put so much attention into putting together

it was time for a turning point and better

ingredients—such discipline there. “That is the most

financial focus at Doi Moi, Jason and Max

responsible thing you can do,” he says.

Kuller, the current owners turned to Felikson. Through better portion control

In the rising star’s mind, he is a approaching the culinary

and an attentiveness to quality and not

style at Doi Moi with a bit of danger, but in a fun and

quantity, the financial performance of the

positive way. You may see hints of Eastern European, of

kitchen has improved. This work is

Korean cuisine. For him, they are interconnected and are

synergistic to the new-found zeal for

similarly-rooted. And it can be cross-Asian, too. He aims

quality. The menu sees a few tweaks here

to combine traditional culinary techniques with

and there, but the core of it, which has

adaptations of Southeast Asian cuisine. He fortifies

won accolades, is stable and true to the

curries with miso and beurre blanc, for example.

original concept. Doi Moi won’t take away the menu favorites patrons have fallen in

With the changes Felikson has made at Doi Moi, the

love with. With a philosophy in local

restaurant is on a positive trajectory. Food costs have

sourcing, the meats and produce at the

improved and sales targets have been met—all

restaurant have changed to being sourced

exceeding last year’s metrics. In October, Doi Moi was

from local and regional farms.There’s a

added to the Bib Gourmand list in the prestigious

deep interest in supporting local

Michelin Guide, an award that was very satisfying and a

agriculture and moving

tribute to Felikson and the entire staff of the restaurant.

DOI MOI WOK ESSENTIALS PHOTO COURTESY JULEP PRODUCTIONS


Capitol Riverfront Taylor Gourmet, Roti Modern Mediterranean and Salt Line already open Rasa Grill is being primed for a debut in October All Purpose is readying its space for a fall opening

Bethesda, Md. Gusto Farm to Street will open its third location at the Food Terrace at Westfield Montgomer Mall September 4. A second location of Lucy's Ethiopian Restaurant will replace GrapeSeed in midto late-November, according to Bethesda Magazine.


QA: Eatery Pulse Exec Editor Rick Zambrano EATERY PULSE TV ANCHOR DEVYN JONES

BRANDY MASKELL In this issue, Eatery Pulse TV’s Brandy Maskell interviews Rick Zambrano, Eatery Pulse News executive editor, to get the scoop on what is happening this fall at D.C.’s dedicated restaurant industry trade media outlet. Brandy Maskell: For those who may not be as familiar with Eatery Pulse News, give us the skinny on the magazine and the YouTube-based news show. Rick Zambrano: Eatery Pulse News is a trade news program for the hard-working restaurateurs in the nation’s capital. We run a digital magazine by the same name and a video news show featuring very local aspects of what top restaurant owners are doing to make this city a great place

EATERY PULSE TV ANCHOR LARISSA AGUIRRE

to dine and drink out. Much of what we focus on is the “business of restaurants”—those elements of marketing, operations and execution that complement what is happening in the culinary realm. We put out a lot of trend information, as well as best practices and insights to help restaurateurs run better restaurants and stay profitable for the long term. Our news anchors Mina, Larissa, Christina and Devyn are also dedicated to keeping D.C.'s restaurateurs informed. BM: Are there similarities with anything already out there? RZ: As a restaurant industry news outlet that covers only Washington, D.C.-area restaurants, there’s nothing exactly comparable to it. It takes just a few minutes to read one of

EATERY PULSE TV ANCHOR MINA LEZCANO AT THE 2017 RAMMY AWARDS CEREMONY

our articles or watch our YouTube video show, or even


watch an update on our social media channels. We’re definitely not a lifestyle paper, although we do also keep up with new store openings, closings and some of the top personality news in restaurant circles, just to keep our readers informed. Another differentiator is our services platform, Studio Solutions EP, which helps restaurateurs with hands-on support in video promotion, business-growth, marketing, food costing and day-to-day operational needs. Together with the Studio Partners consortium, restaurateurs are excited to see returns of 10 times to 12 times the fees/investment, so that’s something fairly unique, as well.

MINA LEZCANO FILMING IN GEORGETOWN,

OUR FOCUS ON DEPTH OF INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC INFORMATION AND RESTAURANT BEST PRACTICES ARE WHAT SET US APART IN THE LOCAL MARKET. We’re excited to provide these information and advisory services that are either free or affordable, and have a lasting impact. We’re in it to support local restaurateurs and we won’t waiver from that commitment. Those who know me will tell you I’m passionate about helping foodservice businesses succeed. BM: Tell us what you are looking forward to this fall.

DEVYN JONES FILMING IN ARLINGTON, VA.

RZ: I’m looking forward to our second season of Eatery Pulse TV: We’re doing a deeper dive into technology and business. We’ll be seeing much more influence and support from our Millennial anchor team, including Mina Lezcano, who represented us at the RAMMYS this year.


Millennials have grown up with better, more global food, and top culinary TV shows on streaming and cable outlets. They respect culinary innovators but are turning their attention to entrepreneurial mainstays. Their involvement is key, so our "TV" anchors are becoming more pivotal in our mission. We’re also launching a second consumeroriented video series to help restaurateurs promote their businesses on video platforms, social media and their own websites. This is a great collaboration with restaurateurs that we expect to kick off by December. We continue to find new ways to help restaurateurs succeed. For example, our magazines are fully-integrated with our video shows, so readers can catch up on our news, and then watch some of our interviews and best practices all in the same digital experience. We also recently launched commercial video production, in concert with Studio Solutions, so that any restaurateur could benefit from our growing video expertise. Furthermore, Eatery Pulse will be filming a restaurant industry documentary, so that is exciting, as well, from the

ANCHORS DEVYN JONES AND CHRISTINA PEREZ

perspective that we are paying tribute to the local restaurant scene here, and exploring broader issues across the U.S. On top of all that, we have our holiday digital issue and our holiday Eatery Pulse TV show coming out, as well. I’m also looking forward to having the help of Max and

Sponsorship is different than advertising. It’s an

Ryan this fall on the editorial side.

investment in quality rather than quantity.

BM: What type of experience do you have that will help you

Many of us who have advertised before and have not seen

succeed in leading this venture?

results have been over-focusing on numbers. You can put an ad in front of 20,000 readers and not get results. A big

RZ: I have over 15 years experience in food-related

part of news programming is to create high-quality

businesses, including financial analysis, trend analysis

information that can lead to (sales) lead generation.

work, research and publishing/writing experience. These are all elements that allow me to help foodservice

Our video-centric sponsorship allows foodservice vendors

businesses. I grew up in Arlington, Va. and benefit from

and technology companies to be interviewed on camera

local expertise. I know this area well, and I bring a deep

and keep much of the footage. Together with our

understanding of business and the changing dynamics in

promotion, that’s a way sponsorship delivers more value

foodservice.

than advertising alone can bring, and more exposure. Also, sponsors are also learning about Eatery Pulse News Media

As part of our mission, we also earmark 20 percent of

group's content marketing and consulting programs, which

profits for restaurant industry scholarship. We’re dedicated

are client-model programs that are less visible and overt to

to helping local business owners realize their dreams,

our readers, but are growing.

while we create ours. In many areas of business, quality definitely trumps BM: What is the financial model that supports the news

quantity. As we deliver increased numbers and continue to

programming?

provide valuable industry information, I will be excited to have more sponsors featuring their products and stories in

RZ: The model comprises three prongs: services, partner

our programming and content. This is a symbiotic

revenue and sponsorship. Services are definitely a big part

relationship that complements the content marketing and

of what supports it. We benefit from partnership revenue,

consulting that we already offer top purveyors in Metro-

as well. The third prong is industry sponsorship from

D.C.

purveyors to restaurants.

EATERY PULSE NEWS | 47


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Eatery Pulse News for Restaurants | Fall 2017  

The fall issue of Eatery Pulse News covers important topics for D.C.-area restaurateurs. First, we celebrate the RAMMYS, honoring RAMW and t...

Eatery Pulse News for Restaurants | Fall 2017  

The fall issue of Eatery Pulse News covers important topics for D.C.-area restaurateurs. First, we celebrate the RAMMYS, honoring RAMW and t...