Learning from Panda Express’ Fried-Rice Escapade

It was like a classic rock band refusing to play its biggest hit at concerts. The fan backlash that Panda Express saw after it switched up its fried-rice recipe in April, getting rid of long-grain white rice in the dish in favor of brown rice, was intense, to say the least. “That may have been […]

Photo Frenzy

To say that consumers have become photo-crazy would be a colossal understatement. Around 40 million photos are uploaded each day through the photo-sharing application Instagram—to say nothing of the millions of non-nostalgia-enhanced photos posted daily on blogs and through social-media sites. Time was, way back in 2004 or so, when photos taken in restaurants were […]

A Call to Rally ‘Round the Pub

A new national consumer campaign being led by six pub groups asks U.K. consumers to share their take—via stories, photos and videos—on why life is better at their local pubs. The “It’s Better Down the Pub” campaign is meant to generate goodwill toward the pub industry, whose members consider themselves under attack variously by retailers […]

Are U.K. Restaurants Anti-Social?

Maybe not, but if they’re like the majority of U.K. companies, their relationship with social media could be significantly friendlier. A recent survey from Aspect Software, an American customer contact firm, found that most U.K. companies don’t interact with consumers via social media. This isn’t to say they don’t have a social-media presence at some […]

Four Lessons from Food Trucks

In June, street food will return to the actual streets of Montreal for the first time in 66 years. Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum touted the end of the long-standing street-food ban at a news conference last week, saying the city hopes mobile food trucks will help show off uniquely Montreal fare. Love them or hate […]

Lifting the Curtain on Hidden Menus

Although secret menus are not a new trend, they are increasingly popping up in public forums. Even though most restaurant operators don’t deny that these secret menus exist, they also don’t promote them in restaurants. Instead, customers have to be in the know about these hidden menus, either through word of mouth, social media or […]

Engaged Customers Help Promote Chain Restaurants

A restaurant brand’s most passionate customers are its best advocates. They recommend the chain to friends—or bring them to the restaurant themselves. With the growing influence of social media, it’s even easier for them to spread the word about their favorites by posting pictures and comments about the brand with their online networks. One way […]