Another bright light extinguished

16 05 2012

I am so sorry to hear the news that Logan Square Kitchen (a shared use commercial kitchen facility here in Chicago) will be closing it’s doors June 28th. It’s a disgrace for our city to extinguish the bright, creative energy and talent that flows through this kitchen every week. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have carried this economy the last few years and we should be supporting more incubators like this, not shutting them down.

Practice what I preach.

29 03 2012

I had a meeting with a potential new client the other day.  I am always thrilled and delighted when my marketing dollars are working for me, which in this case is basically some very solid organic SEO built into my website which brings new inquiries regularly.

With this particular restaurant owner, we had engaged in a prior phone conversation in which we addressed some of the basics and I answered his questions on why I felt my company was best suited to help them grow their business and what set us apart as consultants.  I mentioned the usual characteristics … passion for the industry, experience, approachability and resources in the most self-deprecating manner I could. Then when we met in person, they asked again and commented on how I was the only one of several consultants they had reached out to, who actually responded to them and took the time to answer questions and establish a rapport, they wondered why?

My initial response was that I try very hard to practice what I preach.  I can’t tell my clients they need to jump all over their leads in the most timely fashion and then not do the same.  But, it got me thinking about the rest of the advice and guidance I dispense on a regular basis and I must admit, I need to follow more of my own advice!

I can’t believe this is my first blog entry in a while and I am woefully behind in my email marketing campaigns.  However, another message I always share with clients is that we cannot change the past we can only do for today and the days ahead.  So … today I am updating my facebook page, trying to befriend the new timeline and various apps, writing a blog post and creating my next email campaign, which now by the way will drive more business to my facebook page. Clearly, I need to take my own advice and practice more of what I preach … are there enough hours in the day …  will you do the same?


Wonderful review of our latest restaurant project

16 01 2012

I am delighted that our most recent consulting project for restaurant start-up, Wickets Bar & Grill in Schaumburg, has received a wonderful review in The Daily Herald.

We are so proud of Wickets and look forward to working towards building the business in 2012.  Caterconsult, Inc. continues as the marketing agency and as the general business consultancy.

Wickets Bar & Grill is a suburban sports bar and restaurant with an urban vibe.  Wonderful atmosphere, great food, full service bar and all of your favorites sports on state of the art flatscreen TV’s.

Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood or visit the website for additional info at:



A New Year

1 01 2012

I look forward to 2012 in every possible way.  I am encouraged by the uptick in small business activity and thrilled for my clients that the giant slumber of the last three years has awakened new energy, new passion and new spending.  It’s a circle of awakening and a circle of spending.  We have all dug in deep these last few years, sifting through what works and what doesn’t.  We’ve looked at our businesses with conservation and conservatism at the forefront.

New year …  new eyes … new opportunities … but with the wisdom of the recent past as we look in the rear view mirror.  This wisdom will bring good things.  Informed choices, smarter spending and better earnings.  Bring it.

Restaurant Start-up

23 10 2011

The Bears Game is about to start at Wembley so I’ll make it quick today.

I am so delighted to have had the chance to create a fabulous new restaurant on behalf of my clients.  Wickets Bar & Grill is going to come to fruition shortly. We have come a long way baby!  From our initial discussions with the clients almost one year ago to our opening in the next few weeks.

Like so many things that have come before, this project has been both a joy and a challenge.  One of the things I have always loved best about being in the restaurant and catering industry is the reality that every day is different.  I come to the table with a positive spirit and tools of the trade.  Along with my gut instincts, knowledge, experience and a huge base of resources, comes the opportunity for collaboration and cooperation, it’s all good.

Can’t wait to see you all at Wickets, stay tuned.  GO BEARS!


Respect for effort.

15 10 2011

I had the task and pleasure of speaking with well over one hundred restaurant job applicants over the last few days, looking over applications and getting to know the candidates, albeit very briefly.

It was a stark reminder of just how tough it is in this economy to secure employment. Beyond that, it was eye opening to realize how many people are working not just one, but two and three jobs and still struggle to make ends meet.  It has been said before, but this economy has been a game changer in so many ways, and the impact on our society is going to be analyzed and realized for many years to come.

Thank you to all of you who came out to apply in person, I have deep respect for your effort.  While we cannot employ all of you or even most of you, I do so wish you well.

technology and the human experience

15 05 2011

I just sat down to eat breakfast and turned on the kitchen TV.  CNN was airing an interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt.  As a baby boomer and avid tech student, I am always interested in how our lives, both personal and professional, can be enriched by the warp speed changes in technology.

Eric Schmidt said something that just grabbed me at the right time in the right way.  It wasn’t anything new or something that I hadn’t thought about, but it was the way he said it and how it landed for me.  As he was discussing the iPad and the Droid version of the same concept, and the differences between closed and open sources, at some point he said that “technology enables the augmentation of the human experience”, or something close to that.

WOW!  This is so true. Some of my fellow baby boomers, think of these mind-blowing advances as a “replacement” for human experience.  But when we can re-frame our thoughts about tech innovations as augmentation instead of replacement, we have a whole new ball game.  Go Bulls.

I can’t help but ponder how these augmentations will continue to impact the restaurant industry and how we will all benefit.  We already have servers with mobile units entering orders so the kitchen can run more efficiently, more lean.  We have POS (point of sale) systems that keep track of our inventory, menu mix and sales, and enable us to market promotions directly to our customers.  QR codes for smart phones which link to mini mobi sites which enable our customers to get the info they need when they want it.  What’s next for cloud computing?  How will it help keep our businesses lean, strong and healthy?

It’s Sunday and I’m heading out for some human experience visiting friends in Milwaukee.   I’m taking my Blackberry and  iPod with me in my GPS and Satellite Radio equipped ultimate mobile device …. at least it was when I was sixteen and gas was 36 cents a gallon.