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Restaurant news to know: July 7, 2014

Restaurant news to know: July 7, 2014

NRN editors select top industry stories from around the web

Restaurant reservations for sale (GeekWire)
Need a last-minute reservation at the hottest restaurant in town? A new startup is buying up top tables for those willing to pay for a reservation.

—Lisa Jennings

A warming trend in restaurant service (The Wall Street Journal)
A turn toward friendlier, perk-filled service is winning customer loyalty. At Gabriel Stulman’s six restaurants in New York, waiters, bartenders and hosts can drink on the job, play their own music over the sound system and wear just about anything they like. As company policy, his team is encouraged to offer a drink or dish on the house every day and to lavish guests with such warmth they may want to pay it back with a hug. "We have this mantra," Stulman told the first Welcome Conference on hospitality in New York. "Treat celebrities like locals, and locals like celebrities, because everyone loves to be made to feel special."

—Ron Ruggless

Photo: Thinkstock
The proposal by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to limit the size of sodas restaurants could sell has been laid to rest permanently by the state's highest court, with nationwide implications for the restaurant industry.

—Bret Thorn

5 questions with Denny's social media guru (Marketing Land)
Meet the man behind the social media strategy for Denny’s: Kevin Purcer, senior vice president of digital strategy for ad agency Erwin Penland.

—Lisa Jennings

Michigan’s pizza pioneers in twilight (Bloomberg Businessweek)
“One wants to save Detroit, and the other wants to save everything else,” is how Businessweek describes the golden years of Little Caesars founder Michael Ilitch and Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, who have pursued different business interests since their days leading daily operations for two of the largest pizza chains in the world. The expansive double profile follows the current dealings of Ilitch, who owns the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings sports teams, and Monaghan, who has funded and started a charitable foundation, a university and law school, a mutual fund, and a radio station to promote and advance Roman Catholicism.

—Mark Brandau

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