Restaurants

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10 Companies That Make Me Happy

Happy people supposedly think happy thoughts. So as an experiment, instead of stewing about the decline of customer service while waiting on hold and listening to the dreaded, “Due to heavier call volume” message, I challenged myself to name 10 companies I enjoy doing business with.

The envelopes please …

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When Private Equity Goes Organic

I developed a severe tummy ache upon discovering that Erewhon, my overpriced organic food emporium I mistakenly believed was 100 percent owned by a local couple, is backed by a New York private equity firm. Adding insult to injury, the CEO of the PE firm was accused by more than 300 neighbors of trying to build a McMansion on an environmentally fragile lake in Southampton.

My indigestion worsened upon discovering that private equity is heavily involved in the organic food industry, including the supply chain.

Public good rarely results from private equity involvement.

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Why Michiganders Settle For Blue Mugs

Veteran Michigan journalist Micheline Maynard recently opined American consumers are too spoiled and need to accept and embrace lower standards. That mindset is why Michigan is possibly on an irreversible decline and Christmas this year arrived early in Tennessee.

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Woman ordering food online and paying with a credit card, the delivery guy is giving her a bag with her fast food

How SUGARFISH Humanized an Impersonal Delivery App

Delivery apps are harmful because they place a barrier between restaurants and their customers. Here’s how a top-notch sushi chain keeps customers happy and connected when orders aren’t quite up to standards.

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Small pigs in the farm.

Why You Should Boycott Ruth’s Chris Steak House

The Payroll Protection Program was intended to bail out small businesses, the lifeblood of the American economy. Instead, money was used to protect investors of publicly traded restaurant chains, including one whose entrées most Americans can’t afford. The obscene use of funds will contribute to an American dental pandemic. Allow me to explain.

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My Most Memorable Bars and Bartenders

Jen Agg, a Canadian restauranteur, recently had a rant published in the Globe and Mail decrying “Best” lists of restaurants and bars. Here’s a taste (pardon the pun) of what she wrote: I have always been suspicious of lists. From Michelin to En Route to Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, they…

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The Greatness of Restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Wolfgang Puck

If it were not for a senior editor at Fortune agreeing to meet me for lunch about ten years ago, I would have never discovered the wonders of a Danny Meyer restaurant. Journalists have champagne tastes (at least when someone else is buying), and the editor suggested we meet at…

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J. Alexander’s Does Frank, Dean & Sammy Proud

I’m still smarting from the $24 the bar at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel recently charged me for a Woodford Reserve on the rocks. It is the most expensive cocktail I’ve ever purchased, and the measly pour was less than two ounces.  The bar offered no entertainment, save for a clueless…

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