Starbucks

Starbucks Joins the Canlis Birthday Game in Seattle

Most birthday celebrations do not last 50 days or invoke a city-wide chase. But brothers Mark and Brian Canlis, owners of Seattle restaurant Canlis, are shaking things up.

To celebrate their restaurant's 60th birthday, the brothers signed 50 original menus from 1950. They hide them in various locales throughout Seattle, send out a clue via the @Canlis Twitter account and Facebook page, and wait for the first person to locate the menu. The game continues with one menu per weekday until December 11, the restaurant's birthday.

What to Do About Waste

A look at how some restaurants are cutting down.

When New York City–based burger concept 4food opened its first location in August, the media buzz it generated mostly stemmed from its innovative use of technology and social media. Plasma TV screens adorn its walls, including one that scrolls customer tweets. iPads are used to order food. And diners can save their specialized burger orders to an online database, available for anybody to order in the future—an act that credits the customer with 25 cents on later 4food visits.

The Price is Complicated

Setting the right price points is no easy task. In today’s post-recessionary economy, product pricing is particularly tricky because consumers’ perception of value is confounding and seems to shift constantly. People will camp out overnight for the chance to buy a $499 iPad, but you can’t seem to spark any interest in a $4.99 burger combo.

The 30-Day Challenge

Sharon Olson, president of Olson Communications, tests her will and waistline in a month-long experiment in which she only eats food from the top quick serves in the nation.

The Bistro Solution

Several years ago, Marriott executives determined they were letting revenue walk out the front doors of their Courtyard hotels, which are tailored to frequent business travelers, or “FBTs.” At the time, Courtyard’s breakfast offering was the full-service buffet, familiar to almost anyone who has ever stayed in an American hotel, and their lunch and dinner offerings were negligible.

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