When Craig Bernstein was 10 years old, his family drew straws to determine which of the three siblings would get to go to the New York Knicks game, since his family had won only two tickets. Bernstein had the lucky draw, and he and his dad enjoyed the game from the last row in Madison Square Garden.
The logistics of Maurizio Mazzon’s job are insanely complicated—and that’s just the way he likes it.As senior vice president and executive chef at Il Fornaio, part of Mazzon’s job is to source rare ingredients from various regions of Italy and have them distributed, in fresh and perfect condition, to all 22 locations of this upscale Italian eatery—for a new menu every single month.
If you discount it, they will come. That seems to be the mantra for restaurants taking advantage of Groupon, mobile coupons, and other discount tactics. But the big-money question is this: Will discounts attract loyal customers who come back again and again to dine at full price? And while special offers are an effective tool for driving traffic, they can cause collateral damage.
It used to be that providing great food and great service was enough to keep diners coming back. But today, two factors combine to make it more challenging to hang onto guests: Consumers have more restaurant choices than ever, and the sagging economy means people are much choosier about where they dine.
In 2011, tornadoes ravaged Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri. In response, Taste Buds Management, which was already involved in charity projects in its hometown of New Orleans, founded Three Chefs One Mission to take its community service to other states.