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Critics and Food Writers


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On one hand your saying that people are all the same, then you say you must know your market.

Yes... that could be confusing.... we all have the same need; not the same wants.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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No idea if it helped the buiseness at all (minimal if anything) but i did it for FUN!

I had a nice group of Canadian ladies who tuned in regularly.For a while , i used yahoo with sound, so they could ask questions about what i was doing.Interactive webcam/kitchen / customer interface type thing...it's the future HAHAHA

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I am reading George Orwell... Down and out in London and Paris....

Wow! Anthony Bourdain is right about that book, very good.

See... That is a critical opinion... No different then giving an opinion about a restaurant.

A big publication can have serious consequences on a small restaurant that just happens to be on the wrong place at the wrong time.

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I can not ask myself that question enough.... “who is my Customer".....

That is the basis of every business plan.

The question is here... how we in the restaurant business utilize the critic or media for increasing our sales or just plain exposure, is that not what media is all about?

What come first the chicken or the egg?

No pun intended

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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We really should get this back on topic, and helping simon with his place.

But, i have a healthy mix of regulars, locals, tourists, 2nd Homers, and people doing the "Stein" thing.Oldest regular guest 97, youngest 3 days old (OK that was my son :biggrin: )

Cooked for a few EG and other forums members as groups which is fun.Was it the Hard Rocks motto, feed all, serve all?

anyway...back to helpfull advice for Simon

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In this new technology I find it funny that the critic is so close e to those who they are criticizing... so much so that they are right at your finger tips... many battles have been fought on the Vancouver pages and I have to say that has been more beneficial then harmful. But someone always loses out in a fight. Some person’s feelings are hurt, but is that the price you pay to play?

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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When Pizza Express opens a new joint, the public know what it does, and the price point, it has a brand image.We are talking about creating something from scratch.

You are getting close to the bulleye

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Price point sets the game... music sets the mood. Serve, volley... Love

We all love to cook.

But…

Who do we love to cook for?

The critic. Sure; we all love TV

But we can not all be stars.

We must make our business and families live everyday

staff and customers make our game.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I would argue " treat everyone like your best customer", then you get no complaints

If they are your best customers... like any good relationship you take that good and the bad... Critics can miss out on this; although I have seen some amazing Canadian relationships between the critic and the Chef.

can this be Bad?

but when those conections turn sour

ouch

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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£2 each for a hand dived scallop. Cut it down to two scallops and charge £10

This is funny, raise it lower it...

shit.. people will pay what they will.

sell a burger for 1o cents and all you need a hundred customers to break even.

sell a burger for 10 and all you need is one!

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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When Pizza Express opens a new joint, the public know what it does, and the price point, it has a brand image.We are talking about creating something from scratch.

Out of interest, how long did , for example , The Fat Duck take to establish itself as a destination restaurant.Was it pitched at the same price area that it is now? Was the menu the same?

It's rather unfair to compare any new venture against Fat Duck: the thing about exceptional places is that they are exceptions. Nevertheless, perhaps a quick summary of the press coverage may indicate how quickly somewhere can achieve destination status, as well as bringing us back to the original subject.

The answer, it seems, is three years.

Restaurant opened summer 1995, with MPW acting as the unofficial PR man. Prices, according to the history on the website, were <£5 for starters and £10ish for mains.

First (extremely positive) mainstream reviews I can find are by Fay Machler. She wrote about it every six months or so starting April 1996.

First national review was from Jonathan Meades in The Times, October 2006. ("5/10. Less is more and keep it simple are the maxim and the injunction this place should take to heart.".)

The first article about Heston, as opposed to a standard restaurant review, appeared July 1997 in the Daily Telegraph. ("The chef at The Fat Duck might be a bit crazy - but there's no doubting the sanity of his food").

It received the honour of a visit from Michael Winner in April 1998. In the same month, Heston is named among the "People of the Year" in the Evening Standard.

AA Gil pitches up in August 1988. He quotes £13 for a starter and £20 for a main.

By October 1998, the restaurant has become news by itself ("Fat Duck gives village a double helping of fame" - The Times)

It's listed among the four Sunday Times restaurants of the year in December 1998. (Others are Brown's Hotel, Club Gascon and the Hotel Bristol in Paris, incidentally).

Wins its first Michelin star in February 1999. Reviews and features start arriving at a rate of about two a month.

Guardian names it restaurant of the year in December 2000. The red-tops begin to run the now-familiar stuff about the wacky science-chef.

By 2001 articles are appearing at a rate of about two a week. But it takes another four years for wacky science-chef to become famous enough to be referred to in headlines only by his first name ("Heston's gastropub gets the chemistry right" - Independent, December 2004).

Edited by naebody (log)
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Thanks for the potted history naebody.So even an exceptional resturant takes time to become recognised as exceptional.

Antony's in Leeds is another place to remember.No star, but plenty of good press, interest on the net, and i'm sure a succesfull buisness.

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It's rather unfair to compare any new venture against Fat Duck: the thing about exceptional places is that they are exceptions.

You're right there. The FD is also exceptional in the sense that Heston had a lot of cash at his disposal, so the normal rules of business don't really apply.

In answer to the question, when did the FD become a 'destination'? It can be pinpointed to the moment Heston got Maureen Mills to handle the PR.

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