What does true brand loyalty look like? Well, you can't do much better than WhatsApplebee's, a new iOS app independently created by programmer Mike Lazer-Walker to let Applebee's fans network with each other. He's labeled it "The Most Exclusive New Social Network," and given that it will only work while the user is physically inside an Applebee's location, that might just be true.
We love the idea of using a deck of cards as a tool to help spark innovation. From the medieval Tarot deck to Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, there have always been attempts to capture creative inspiration in a few slips of paper. But New York restaurant The Nomad is getting even more specialized, using a deck of custom cocktail cards to help diners construct their ideal tipple.
It’s a trend that has infiltrated every class of restaurant, from the dollar menu to the tasting menu. Call it what you will – small plates, shared plates, minis, tapas or the fourth meal – the snack sized portion has taken the country by storm.
When it comes to sweet and creamy treats, frozen yogurt has been dominating the field for quite a while now. First came the tart frozen yogurt revolution spearheaded by Pinkberry, Red Mango and all their ilk, and then came the second wave of do-it-yourself yogurt sundae bars like Sixteen Handles and Orange Leaf.
Former president and COO of McDonald’s, Mike Roberts, has a new venture in the works that might surprise you – a sustainable, grass-fed, butter-free, cream-free, white sugar-free, white flour-free, high-fructose corn syrup-free, GMO-free, trans fats-free, additives-free, and generally all-the-bad-stuff-for-you-free chain of restaurants, utilizing the much maligned but highly efficient McDonald’s style of supply chain management.
It’s widely believed that most of the waitstaff in New York are actually out of work actors, but did you know that many of the waiters over in China are actually… robots? At Haohai Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China, robots are responsible for the table service as well as the cooking AND the entertainment – in fact they’re the whole staff!
In a restaurant-rich city like New York, it can be easy to get the feeling that regional cuisine has explored every region, that modernist chefs have created every conceivable texture, and that every nation's fare has been fused and remixed with that of every other. Fortunately, we're noticing signs that cutting-edge gourmands have found a new vein of inspiration to mine -- the past.
New York Magazine’s “Grub Street” blog recently declared the death of the “curation” buzzword. In the last few years, it’s become an inescapable part of restaurant menus and press releases, an easy way to boost cachet and make any group of items sound like they were placed together only after hours of careful consideration.
When the news broke that El Bulli would be closing indefinitely, we imagine that more than a couple molecular gastronomes glanced over at the six-volume sets of Modernist Cuisine weighing down their bookshelves and wondered, “What’s next?”
Do you know what the future of social media holds? This week we sent two members of our team (Dave B. and Dave C., a.k.a. "the Daves") to ReadWriteWeb's annual 2WAY summit at Columbia University in search of insights about digital technologies and social media.
In many ways, we're on the threshold of a new phase of the social media boom. 71% of the US population is on Facebook. 89% of US adults are using some form of social media, and 88% of companies are communicating with them. As this technology nears saturation, brands will need to find new ways to stand out from the crowd.