Category: My Blog

HOW TO GUARANTEE CUSTOMERS WILL COME BACK POST-PANDEMIC

HOW TO GUARANTEE CUSTOMERS WILL COME BACK POST-PANDEMIC In a post-pandemic landscape, one might assume that it would be easy to get customers to come back to restaurants. After all, they’ve been stuck at home, cooking their own food in their own kitchens for more than a year. But consumers’ priorities have shifted; some are apprehensive about safety, while others may simply enjoy getting takeout more than they do dining in. For operators, drawing diners back to the dining room is key for business success; guests may order more food when they dine in versus when they order takeout or delivery, and they also may stick around for multiple rounds of drinks, which can add up quickly to benefit the restaurant’s bottom line.   So how can operators guarantee customers will want to come back post-pandemic? There are a few things to consider. 1. Highlight safety In Technomic’s 2020 Future of FSR: Family Style & Casual Dining Consumer Trend Report, consumers shared the factors that would encourage them to dine in at a restaurant. Topping the list are some expected factors, such as that the restaurant is following government safety guidelines, as well as the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, 37% of consumers said that they’d like for the restaurant to go above and beyond government safety guidelines—that is, even if distancing is no longer required, some patrons may appreciate a more spaced-out dining room. But safety isn’t the only factor that will get customers in the door—about a quarter of consumers said that special deals and promotions for dine-in visits would encourage them to do so, and about one in five said new or unique menu items being offered would encourage them to dine in. 2. Promote innovation Unique menu items and promotions are going to be crucial for enticing customers to come to dine in. Try introducing a couple of LTOs and showcasing game day promotions such as happy hour deals. Operators can also consider partnering with distributors or suppliers to feature a certain brand of drink, for instance, as another way to get people in the door. Get creative—learn about current food trends, including better for you, plant-based and comfort foods, to inform menu changes and LTO plans. 3. Leverage entertainment and sports Finally, leverage entertainment as a way to get customers excited to dine in. Sure, watching the big game at home surrounded by friends and […]

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REMEMBERING LORELEI

REMEMBERING LORELEI Born in captivity, she was known for her gentleness   Lorelei was nearly 43 years old when she passed away on April 23, 2018.Recently, we received the sad news that Lorelei, one of the manatees in our Adopt-A-Manatee program, had passed away peacefully on April 23, 2018, at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. She was nearly 43 years old. Lorelei had the distinction of being the first manatee conceived and born in captivity in the state of Florida. She was born on May 3, 1975, to her parents Romeo and Juliet at the Miami Seaquarium. Because Lorelei was born in captivity, she was not considered a good candidate for release. Lorelei was originally brought to the park, which is located at the headwaters of the Homosassa River, in 1986. Lorelei also spent six years at The Living Seas at Epcot/Walt Disney World in Orlando before returning to the park in 1994. She lived there for the rest of her life, along with other manatee residents Amanda, Ariel, Star, Betsy, and Electra. Lorelei gave birth to three calves during her lifetime before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a policy of keeping male and female manatees separated in captivity. One of her calves, named Hugh, currently resides at the Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. Known for her gentleness, Lorelei was also fairly social. She was often seen resting with Ariel, Betsy, and Electra, three other manatees living at the park. Lorelei will be greatly missed by park employees, volunteers, and visitors. She was also a favorite in the Save the Manatee Club’s manatee adoption program and had many admirers from around the world. “We can honor Lorelei’s legacy by ensuring the protection of warm water springs because protecting this vital manatee habitat is one of the most effective ways to protect manatees,” said Patrick Rose, Save the Manatee Club Executive Director. “We can help by increasing public awareness about the importance of protecting Florida’s beautiful freshwater springs, rivers, and coastal waters, and we can all do our part to keep the waterways clean for the benefit of both wildlife and people.” A memorial adoption for Lorelei is available for new and renewing members, and the proceeds of her memorial adoptions will go to help protect all manatees. For more information, contact Save the Manatee Club by phone at 1-800-432-5646 or by […]

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Drink in the Island Life at Lorelei

“Another perfect day, on this island town.” It was impossible to argue with the guitar-strumming duo who sang those words as the sunset over Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina in Islamorada, Florida on this 76-degree May evening. My wife and I were stuffed from a fantastic dinner at the world-renowned yet refreshingly casual, ocean-side restaurant as the musicians crooned up on stage, but that didn’t stop us from devouring our frozen key lime pie. As we indulged, it occurred to us that the only way to improve on the accuracy of the song’s refrain would be to add the phrase: “at this perfect bar.” “Perfect” is a cliché, but spend an evening at Lorelei’s outdoor restaurant and you’ll quickly see why it’s the first word that comes to mind. You’ll also see why Lorelei, recently named one of the top five “after-fish restaurants” in the world, attracts folks from all over the planet. The restaurant feeds over 1,500 people throughout a busy day, with live music every night, a massive marina home to hundreds of boats and 33 fishing guides, and an ideal view of the sunset. But most importantly, Lorelei possesses a vibe all its own––a fun-loving fellowship shared by its staff and guests alike that embodies the spirit of the Florida Keys. “We have fun here,” said John Maloney, the restaurant’s general manager. “We get good musicians every night and we offer very affordable prices so people want coming back.” Maloney knows a thing or two about coming back. The Islamorada native has failed at retirement twice, returning several times to manage the restaurant he’s helped operate since 1989. Lorelei is the place the locals go––along with the tourists, of course––so when Maloughey walks along the west-facing deck, he’s stopped by handshakes, smiles, and fishing tales from friends. His down-to-earth nature is commonplace at the restaurant. He sat down at our table to shoot the breeze with my wife and me, sipping on lemonade while we enjoyed rum runners from the restaurant’s extensive happy hour cocktail list. “I still work about 80 hours a week, but when you love what you’re doing and you don’t necessarily need the money anymore it’s a lot different,” Maloney said. “We have a lot of staff who’ve been here for years, and that makes it nice.” Our waiter that night, Sean, was a classic Keys man. His home floats; a boat he shares with […]

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Tiki bars you’ll love in the Florida Keys

  I had a friend who was disappointed in the Florida Keys. He thought the drive down the Overseas Highway passed too many tacky commercial establishments spoiling the natural beauty. I understand. The Keys are an acquired taste, like beer. Fortunately (or not), I’ve acquired a taste for both, and one of the things I love about the Keys is where authentic tackiness meets postcard views. And that is at the Florida Keys tiki bar. Elsewhere, tiki bars hearken back to the 1950s romanticized view of Polynesian culture — carved wooden masks, hula-girl lamps, that sort of thing. In the Keys, it’s more of a chickee-bar or cabana-bar culture and it’s all about being outdoors and overlooking the water, particularly at sunset. Florida Keys tiki bars are some of the best places to eat fresh fish and fried anything. They are usually family-friendly because kids at an outdoor table can wiggle and make noise. And they are the epitome of the Keys attitude — sit back, relax, be entertained by fish snapping up breadcrumbs or the passing clouds.   Skippers Dockside, 528 Caribbean Drive, Key Largo Located two blocks off the Overseas Highway at M100, Skippers has a chicken building on an elevated deck with a postcard-like view of a broad canal. While you sip your rum drink or craft beer, you watch fishing charters and diving boats come and go. If you’re really lucky, you might see the African Queen, the actual boat from the 1951 Humphrey Bogart movie, steam by and toot its iconic horn. It’s moored a few boats down the canal from Skippers and you can stroll by and see it after you eat. And do eat. We had outstanding fish tacos and a yellowtail snapper sandwich. We’d love to come back and try the fish dip and conch fritters, which get good reviews. In addition to the expansive area under the tiki building, there are comfy chairs around sandpits and a large air-conditioned indoor area. Skippers Dockside website. Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant, MM 82 Bayside, Islamorada For years, the big mermaid sign on US 1 at Mile Marker 82 in Islamorada, has said: Relax, you’re finally in the Keys. When people say “Florida Keys tiki bar,” lots of them are talking about Lorelei. Beyond the parking lots, Lorelei’s decks, chicken huts, palm trees, and sandy waterfront create an expansive and outstanding place to watch the sunset. Lorelei’s […]

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Lorelei Restaurant And Cabana Bar – Islamorada Waterfront Dining – Florida Keys

Enjoy fine dining inside or outside overlooking the marina and sunset beach. Their casual Lorelei Restaurant opens each night at 5 p.m. and continues serving until 10:30 p.m. The Lorelei Restaurant’s menu offers its customers a large choice of fresh seafood and great steaks. Lorelei’s “Family Menu” offers 7 complete meals for $15.95, served from opening to closing in the restaurant. Their chef prepares “Daily Blackboard Specials”, a listing of both appetizers and entrees that change on a day-to-day basis with entrees that start at price at $12.95. Their menu, of course, also features a special section for children. The Lorelei Restaurant is set up to accommodate parties of varying sizes. Their restaurant caters to functions both on and off the property as well as large functions, up to 300 people, on Lorelei’s Beach. John Maloughney, The Lorelei’s general manager, can be contacted by e-mail or at their office number, to set up custom functions for groups of 20 people or larger. The Lorelei accepts all major credit cards, their dining rooms have designated smoking areas and the entire property is wheelchair accessible. Their dining room will accept reservations for parties of five or larger. Enjoy an evening at The Lorelei and find out why “The Lorelei is the pulse of Islamorada”. Marina and Fishing The Lorelei, situated in Islamorada, “The Sport Fishing Capital of the World”, offers its customers some of the best fishing guides in The Florida Keys. All of the Lorelei guides are licensed Captains. Their boats are in top condition and they will provide you with the best fishing equipment and bait. For a day of great fishing, all that is required of a customer is to bring their lunch. The backcountry offers not only fishing, but beautiful scenery found nowhere else in The United States, Bald Eagles, Roseate Spoon Bills, and flocks of wild Flamingos… be sure to bring a camera. Offshore fishing trips are also available.

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