4 Reasons To Always Use A Credit Card When Dining Out

Today’s fast-paced world has us running here and there, trying to meet the demands of daily life, maintain kids’ schedules, and run errands. Many of us don’t have the time to prepare home-cooked meals night after night. Dining out is a fun and, at times, relaxing activity that you can do when on the run or as you schedule more elaborate outings with family and friends.

Regardless of whether you go casual or formal, consider the many benefits to be had from using credit while dining out. Even a night in at the hands of Grub Hub will allow you to reap the benefits of dining on credit.

1. Picking Up the Tab for Others is Easier

Even if friends and family don’t offer to reimburse you for a meal, you may consider picking up the tab once in a while. Regular use and attention to your credit card will allow you to build a positive credit history, making you eligible for lower interest rates on high ticket items such as cars, property, etc. Every purchase and timely payment on that card will help to establish a solid credit history, one that you can draw from in times of need.

2. You’ll Earn Points for Purchases at Cooperating Retailers

Many credit card companies offer points incentives in exchange for use of their cards. In cooperation with these retailers, you’ll be able to offer discounts on valuable items, savings on purchases, and even free items from certain stores. Save up your points for a big purchase or cash in savings as you go, enjoying moderate discounts on daily purchases at stores like Target, Kohls, and Walmart. Check with your credit card company to see which retailers they currently partner with and start planning your next shopping trip with a purpose.

3. You May Earn Cash Back on Qualifying Purchases

Who knew that dining out would be so profitable? Some credit cards, in addition to points incentives, offer cash back options in exchange for spending on the card. Yes, you’ll have to spend something upfront, but getting cash back in your pocket could result in free meals for you and your whole brood if you play your “card” right. Keep track of your expenditures, and watch a percentage of your spending turn into profits that you can take to your next gathering.

4. You’ll Enjoy Discounts on Travel and Lodging

Credit card companies also partner with travel companies and hotels to provide benefits to their valued customers. Bank up those points after a night of beers with friends and you may just get discounted airfare or a free hotel room. Not only do you enjoy a thriving social life thanks to your dining card, but you can also enjoy discount travel and vacations courtesy of your card company.

Ready to Eat?

If all of this talking about dining out has made you hungry, call up your inner circle and invite them out for a delicious meal–on you! You’ll be the talk of the table as you secretly stock up on all the benefits to be had from dining on a card. Bon Apetit!

How to Spot a Good Franchise Opportunity

How can you know if a franchise option is a good one when you’re hunting for one? Here are eight qualities of a good franchise opportunity that will enable you to determine whether or not you have found anything worthwhile to pursue.

Location is Key

No matter how successful the business and marketing efforts are, it can be difficult to achieve sustainability if the franchise is not situated where it is readily accessible to many customers who need its services and products.

The office location may be less critical for companies whose framework is to deliver services or products at the client’s home or workplace. Still, other considerations such as rental expense, staff parking, and safety make the location an essential factor to consider.

Steady Growth

Companies grow at varying speeds, but the ones that experience consistent growth rather than a significant jump in revenue in a short period are more likely to be sustainable in the long run. Consumers get bored and go on to the next big thing, so the massive surge today might turn into a free-fall next month when they get bored and go on to the next big thing.

Discovering a franchise that serves the ongoing demands of consumers is a greater opportunity than getting on a bandwagon that will only last a few years. One of the best ways to assure your success is to research the top franchises in your area and make a shortlist of the opportunities that interest you.

Minimal Competition for the Same Services or Products

Any competition is not necessarily a negative thing since it will demonstrate consistent demand. Finding a relatively untapped market for required products and services, on the other hand, would help your franchise to maximize profits. You should also want to figure out what building projects are planned in the region to ensure that a competing company does not spring up a year or two later.

The Franchisor Provides Extensive Assistance

Knowing what sort of service a franchisor can have ahead of time is a good thing for any franchisee. Good franchise options will provide franchisor assistance with recruitment, advertising, and wholesale supply pricing.

Franchisees with their own suppliers for any of these needs may also see successful prospects outside of these boundaries. Still, the more assistance the franchisor provides, the greater the likelihood of success.

The Contract Is Easy To Comprehend

Franchise agreements are notoriously complicated, often outlining in minute detail the corporate standards that franchisees are supposed to adopt. Consistency through franchise stores informs consumers of what to expect and enhances brand loyalty, so precision isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, it is essential to thoroughly consider the provisions of every contract before signing on the dotted line so that you know what you’re walking into. It’s a smart idea to hire a franchise attorney to review the documents and clarify any things that don’t sound fair or customary.

Pleased Franchisees

Meet and converse with both existing and former franchisees to obtain their candid assessments of the franchise structure. If all of the franchisees are suing the organization, this is clearly not a positive indication. So it’s a good sign if the franchisees you talk to enjoy working with the franchisor.


Do you get quick responses and clear answers from the franchisor when you have questions concerning the franchise opportunity, or do you get a brushoff? The franchisor’s treatment of you now is a clear example of how you will be handled as a franchisee.

A decent match

Even though a franchise fits all of the standards mentioned above, there is one more factor to consider: the franchise must be a good match for your personality, ambition, and expertise. Long hours and hard work are required to make a franchise successful. For the franchise to prosper, you must love what you do.

Is Opening a Restaurant Right for You?

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When you ask people what their dream is, a lot of them will answer that they’d love to open a restaurant. But the truth is, running a restaurant is far more difficult than you might imagine, which is why the failure rate is so high among new establishments. That’s why it’s so important to consider whether opening a restaurant is really right for you before you make such a big commitment.

Opening a restaurant means investing in equipment

Even if you buy an existing restaurant, you’ll often need to pay for new equipment, as older models can slow your chef down. You can shop Electrolux Professional onlineto get prices, which can help you work out the overall cost for opening your restaurant. Newer equipment means fewer breakdowns and more efficient service, as you team will have the tools they need to do their job properly.

Some equipment you’ll need to invest in includes:

  • Coffee machines
  • Commercial blenders and mixers
  • Slicers
  • Beverage dispensers
  • Commercial ovens

These products usually come with breakdown cover and a warranty too, so if something does go wrong, you can get someone out to repair them quickly.

Working in hospitality will let you know what you’re in for

The most successful restaurateurs are often those who’ve worked in hospitality before. The truth is hospitality is a tough industry. You work incredibly long days and often don’t have many days off, especially at busy times like weekends and special occasions. It’s worth getting some experience in hospitality before you take the plunge, or at least work with a business partner who has this kind of background.

Restaurants need to adapt to survive

This year has taught restaurants a big lesson. That they constantly need to adapt to survive in today’s world. Whether that’s by offering takeaway options and meal kits, or starting a food truck to get their name out there. If you are someone who is very set in their ways, and doesn’t like to make changes, then hospitality might not be an industry you enjoy, as you often have to stray away from your vision.

Researching the steps you need to take

When you are thinking about starting a restaurant, researching everything is key to success, as you will need to know what the process will be. You should learn more about setting up a food business, and read up on local laws, regulations and much more. Your local government should have pages of information about this, and even if you plan to be hands-off, you might want to take a food hygiene certificate or similar, so you know how things work.

Starting a restaurant certainly isn’t an easy way to make money, and it’s notoriously a tough business to get into. You should consider how you can prepare yourself for entering this tough industry, whether it’s getting some work experience behind the scenes, or doing a qualification. You then have a much better chance of success in the long term and can get your business on the right track.

Advertising Your Food Truck with Digital Marketing

Disney Land, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Amusement Park

There is something exciting about food trucks, somehow food tastes better when it is handed down to you through a window. Maybe it is the anticipation from waiting in line, or maybe it is eating specialty foods in the open air, but everyone seems to love a food truck. However, food trucks have one real disadvantage. It is hard to get the word out, and people won’t go looking for you unless they know exactly where you will be. For this reason, food trucks need a great reputation, and they also need to have a good marketing plan. Running a successful food truck business means accessing all types of marketing and creating an exciting image.

  • Digital Marketing: Fortunately for the food truck industry, it is not necessary to do physical marketing, except while you are serving guests. The internet has levelled the playing field, and now you can go toe to toe with any size competitor. Especially if you have a well-constructed digital marketing campaign. Hiring a professional digital marketing firm can not only get you a great website, but they will be able to start you up with a Google Ads advertising strategy, that will maximize returns in your favour on search engines and through Pay Per Click advertising. The longer you run your campaign the better and better your results will be until you have your customer base well informed about your chili, and where you will be at 2 PM Tuesday.
  • Know Your Image: Just like any type of marketing, you need to develop your brand, but this is more than just a clever graphics package on your truck and a name. Your image comes into play at every level of customer interaction. Your uniforms, your packaging, your menu board, and your personality.  If you got the best Texas chili in Brisbane, then your truck has got to say Texas, and heat, and longhorns and ten-gallon hats. And that imagery must make its way into every part of the business.
  • Digital Reviews: Assuming that your Texas Chili really is the best anyone ever had, you are going to start generating reviews. But if you want to cash in on those reviews, you want something to tantalize your potential clients. An absolute must in this age, is to get the best quality food photography you can afford. And the next step is to get that sexy stuff all over your website and on Instagram and Facebook.  Yelp is another place that is going to generate a lot of traffic, but you have to make sure you setup an account, and once again you need to have the eye candy and the testimonials too.

The food truck business can be tough to get rolling (pun intended) but if you have a master plan and you are consistent with your image and quality, there should be no reason why you can’t get yourself a following and find your crowds lining up before you even arrive.  Most likely you entered the business because you had a unique approach and a great recipe. This is the sort of thing the internet loves, but you must be consistent, and you need to use all the advantages of the new media.

How To Deal With Bad Online Reviews Of Your Restaurant

Online reviews carry a large weight for any business. In fact, small businesses with 1 to 1.5-star reviews will generate 33% less revenue. Not taking action is not enough for one-star reviews. Firstly, make sure to apologize for the mistake and take responsibility. Regardless of personal feelings on the review, you are trying to win back the customer. The organization could also choose to make things right by offering promotions, discounts, and coupons for the mistake. While addressing bad reviews take this time to reflect and improve. Making improvements based on negative feedback is great for refining restaurant operations.

Infographic created by TouchBistro, a restaurant inventory management company

Nimrod Santo Shares His Top 5 Foods To Stimulate Entrepreneurial Creativity

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Entrepreneurs need to constantly be on top of their game and harness their creativity at a moment’s notice. And that can actually be a big challenge. 

Being continuously innovative and forward-thinking is no small undertaking. Just ask direct-response marketer Nimrod Santo. 

This online entrepreneur and business developer is relentlessly drawing on his creativity for his endeavors, and he has an arsenal of tools in his playbook to help him. As a surfer and traveler, Santo is a big believer in the fact that taking care of your body will lead to business success. 

That’s why he’s sharing his top five foods to stimulate entrepreneurial creativity, to help your body and your mind get their creative juices flowing.

Green Tea

Green tea has been utilized for thousands of years. Firstly, his humble leaf provides you with a boost of caffeine, which can definitely help stimulate your entrepreneurial creativity and keep you sharp throughout the day. But not only that, green tea includes compounds which can actually keep your body healthy. 

It’s chock-full of antioxidants, which can help prevent damage to your cells by destroying free radicals which get released into your body.


If you want to experience entrepreneurial creativity, you’ll need to take good care of your brain. That’s why Santo incorporates salmon into his diet. 

Salmon, and other fatty fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can literally help build up the crucial parts of your brain the process information. Plenty of other fish deliver similar brain-boosting benefits, and Santo is sure to keep them on his plate consistently. 

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds can also be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which as we just mentioned, are important for the health of your brain. But not only that, many seeds also have a nice helping of zinc, which can help with your memory, thinking abilities, and overall cognition. 

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc. If you have a zinc deficiency, then animal foods are better sources of zinc than plant foods. You can check out these top 10 foods highest in Zinc:


Spinach is rich in a key nutrient: iron. Santo values iron-rich food in his diet to stimulate entrepreneurial creativity because iron helps your blood transport oxygen throughout the body. So not only does iron carry oxygen directly to your brain, but it also helps you feel energized in general. 

Many people who are low on iron feel like they have low energy as well.


Avocados and other sources of “good” fats, such as olive oil, are great for your brain. Foods rich in healthy fats have been linked to things like better memory and improved vocabulary. 

Santo is sure to include healthy sources of fats in his diet every day.

About Nimrod Santo

Nimrod Santo is a serial entrepreneur who loves adventure as a direct-response marketer and online entrepreneur, he’s always on the go, and pursuing new ideas. In his free time, he is also an avid surfer and traveler.

Does Health Equal Wealth? Find Out What We’ve Learned From Marketing Expert, Douglas James

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Many entrepreneurs are focused on financial gains, and it makes sense. As an entrepreneur, your focus is on how your business or venture can excel and stand out from the pack. But what about your health? It may not be on the forefront of the minds of many entrepreneurs, but it could be just as important to the success of your businesses. Does health equal wealth? We posed this question to Douglas James, a marketing expert with years of experience working as an entrepreneur, and here’s what we learned.

Health and wealth are more connected than you might think

The connection between health and wealth is actually very strong, according to Douglas James. But this truth is also multi-faceted, and very complex. It’s not as simple as living a healthy life and acquiring wealth. So how are health and wealth connected?

Financial impacts

As an entrepreneur, your health choices matter, and will impact your business, according to Douglas. Firstly, if you’re making unhealthy choices, they’re likely draining your personal financial resources. For example, fast food that lacks nutrition, cigarettes, and other unhealthy habits can be costly. If you’re spending your hard-earned resources on expensive and unhealthy habits, you’re not thinking like a sharp entrepreneur.

Physical impacts

It’s not only your wallet that will feel the effects of unhealthy choices. If you’re making unhealthy choices, your body will be ill equipped to tackle your business. As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to take care of your body, so your body is ready to take care of your goals. So, what are some things you can do to treat your body well? 

  • Get enough sleep: Make sure you’re resting properly. As an entrepreneur, it can be tempting to forego sleep, to accomplish your business goals. But this can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and illness, among other issues. Getting solid rest should be one of your biggest priorities.
  • Exercise regularly: Just as it can be difficult to get enough sleep, it can also be challenging to exercise regularly. But exercise is a proven way to stay healthy, energized, and keep your body feeling good. Just as you prioritize sleep, you should also be sure to get some type of regular exercise.
  • Make smart food choices: Your food is your fuel. When you’re deciding how to fuel your body, you don’t want to be putting garbage into your finest machinery. Just like you wouldn’t put discount gas in a diesel engine. To help you make smart food choices, plan out your meals in advance for the week, and make sure you have healthy snacks that you can reach for in a pinch, for when you get swamped with work.

About Douglas James

Douglas James is a digital marketing expert known as “The High-Ticket Client Guy,” for his knack for landing big clients. Now, he helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals by learning the ropes of digital marketing. You can learn more about how Douglas has helped more than 1,500 entrepreneurs by reading this article.


Craft Beer and Coffee: What These Drinks of Choice Reveal About American Consumers

Two of the most popular drinks in America are coffee and beer. We’re wild about them (although not usually both at the same time). At the most recent estimate the average American threw back 20.8 gallons of beer and 18.5 gallons of coffee every year, which is kind of insane. Now that doesn’t make America really any different than other countries on its own – unless you count all the tea-drinking countries, which I don’t. But there’s something else that seems to weirdly set the United States apart in its coffee and beer consumption: We aren’t just obsessed with coffee and beer; we’re obsessed with luxury coffee and beer.

Craft beer is the only part of the larger beer market that is actually still seeing growth in the U.S., and it continues to score new and bigger wins against the traditional American beer industry.  Meanwhile, in coffee, cash-cows like Starbucks and the rise of fair trade coffee have long dwarfed some of the cheaper alternatives like Folgers and Maxwell House – and that entirely leaves out instant coffee. In fact, Americans are so fixated on artisan, high-quality coffee, that a few millennial entrepreneurs even tried to create a luxury alternative for instant coffee so they wouldn’t have to cope with the trauma of getting by on cheap instant coffee while living abroad.

The United States Versus Everyone Else

What makes this trend interesting is how it contrasts with much of the rest of the world. For those who drink coffee in many other parts of the world, the usual choice is instant coffee – generally some variety of Nescafe. Instant coffee sales are booming around the world, with products that people are only barely conscious of at all in the U.S. We don’t realize we’re sticklers for luxury coffee – to us it’s just coffee.

The same thing goes for beer. Some countries like Germany also have higher general standards for brewing quality, but most countries, interestingly enough, drink some of our cheaper, mass-produced domestic beers. Bud Light, while the target of so much scorn among young people in the U.S., is a marketing giant here and abroad. It’s up there with Doritos and Coca-Cola in terms of its aggressively large presence on the commercial airwaves. And as a result it’s the third-most consumed beer in the world, while the first two most popular beers are Chinese brands sold primarily in the Chinese market.

“The American market is picky, especially these days,” says Paul Michaels, founder and CEO of National Bartenders. “People want specialization, they want design and detail. It’s less about the buzz and more about the flavor and the experience around it.” There’s a social environment and a certain popular sense of style that seems to have grown up around the rising trends in craft beer and luxury coffee, and it doesn’t exist in the same way for lower grades of coffee and beer.

Why America is Different and What This Means for Marketers

But why are we so stuck on these luxury, artisanal styles of beer and coffee, when beer and coffee used to be so straightforward without frills? Maybe we can blame marketers? Coffee and beer seem to have almost matched wine for the complicated culture that surrounds it. And now more and more beer bottles and bags of coffee come with their countries or cities of origin proudly stamped on the label with in-depth, flowery flavor profile descriptions, strangely reminiscent of wine as well.

Luxury coffee and craft beer have become their own cultures that consumers can find meaning in, although perhaps without as much of the elitism that wine culture seems to suggest. That in itself is probably part of the appeal, but where did these new food cultures come from, and do they offer any sort of guidance or road map for other marketers looking to do the same? One simple explanation could be that these craft food cultures themselves grow out of the longer eating and drinking traditions. We’ve been drinking coffee and beer for a long time, so this developed naturally.

And obviously it would be a dream goal for many marketers to have a product that inspires as much adoration and community devotion as coffee and beer seem to. One take-away is that achieving that level of consumer buy-in isn’t possible unless the manufacturer or supplier takes the product just as seriously. Craft beer depends on brewers that take the quality of their beer seriously, and the same goes for coffee. Many consumers, especially younger ones, just don’t trust the larger, established companies to do that anymore.

Eat More Turkey, Save More Money

Every Thanksgiving Americans dig into more than five billion pounds of gobbler. It’s both a tradition and an obsession. For only a few days the whole country becomes turkey-conscious. We serve it up roasted, deep fried, barbequed, hot, cold, and pickled. As the comedian Jackie Gleason once joked: “After Thanksgiving we even had turkey-flavored ice cream just to get rid of the leftovers!”


But the way Americans eat, or don’t eat, turkey is no joke. Every year there are dozens of cases of food poisoning caused by the incorrect cooking of turkey — and many consumers never even look at a turkey the rest of the year, even though it’s one of the best protein foods around and is the least expensive meat, pound for pound, in the supermarket for most of the year, according to


Here are a few tips to make your upcoming Thanksgiving holiday less of a stress and more of a rapport:


Do your planning even earlier than your shopping

Have a written shopping list, and stick with it. Never mind that marzipan is on sale or candied citrus peel is two for one — if it’s not on your list just forget it for now. Thanksgiving is crazy enough without adding little odds and ends that will sit in the corner unused, driving you even crazier. Write down your guest list. M ake a note of any food allergies; who’s gluten-free and who just joined AA (keep the wine away from them!) Do you have one TV dedicated to football and another dedicated to DVD’s? Get this all sorted out prior to the arrival of your guests to avoid the kind of meltdown that should only happen in a nuclear reactor (in some other country, please). You’ll save money, too.

Home cooking is cheaper than ordered in

Resist that urge to have your holiday feast catered by the local supermarket. The price may look reasonable, but if you break it down you’ll find you’re paying through the nose for a bunch of mediocre lukewarm stodge. Make it yourself and you’ll save about ten dollars per person served.

Start scouting for coupons and discounts NOW

Never pay full price for that Butterball turkey or those sweet potatoes! Most food processors and grocery stores start their Turkey Day bargains and run their coupons starting in mid-October. Get online and start a search with words like ‘turkey’, ‘bargain’, ‘butter’, ‘discount’, ‘pumpkin pie filling’, etc.

When surveyed the top turkey producers in the Midwest they found that the reasons most people shy away from turkey the rest of the year they were told that consumers think turkey is too difficult to cook and is less flavorful than meats like beef and pork.

But a basic turkey recipe is so simple an eight year old child could do it. Most turkeys come with a built-in thermometer that pops up red when the turkey is done. So really all that needs doing is to set the proper oven temp, put the thawed bird in a pan, and shove into the oven — and then keep track of the time and wait for the little red thing to pop up. Your turkey is done.

For something more elegant, try champagne turkey. Follow the same instructions as for the basic turkey, just have an opened bottle of the bubbly on hand to ladle over the bird every hour or so to make the turkey sweeter and juicier. For any teetotalers at the table, the alcohol will all evaporate long before the bird reaches the table.

If you are ready for a real turkey challenge, then try roast turkey with flavored butter. The flavors can range from rosemary to garlic to anchovy. If you make the flavored butter ahead of time you can baste the turkey into a deliciousness that will have your guests reminiscing, and patting their stomachs, for years to come.

Strategies for Developing Your Brand

You may have walked by places where there are a lot of street vendors. Whether the people are selling cheap watches or hot dogs, they seem to be hawking the same merchandise, saying the same things with similar signs up. You may wonder how a customer can possibly make a distinction between one street vendor and another. It’s natural that they are all hollering that they have the lowest prices because there doesn’t seem to be anything else that is distinctive about their products. As a result, they have to yell loudly and mark things down to move their merchandise.

The above scenario shows the difficulty of brandless marketing. The street vendors are not developing a brand but have to sell existing brands. Therefore, they can’t really say anything about their merchandise except that it is in very good condition and very cheap. If you are running a startup and are in the position of developing a brand, you have a significant advantage over the street vendors. You can go beyond simply saying your product is the least expensive and works efficiently, and can create entire essence around your product that makes it unique.

Being Unique

We are surrounded not only by street vendors, but virtual street vendors every time we check our email or Facebook wall. It seems that people are trying to sell us things everywhere we go. Developing a brand involves not just selling someone an item, but providing something deeper and more satisfying. The main thing to keep in mind when marketing products is addressing the question of what makes your product unique.

The answer to this question creates the foundation for your brand philosophy. What may be unique about your brand is that it is made of natural and organic ingredients. However, you need to take that a step further and answer the question of what makes your natural and organic product different from all other natural and organic products, and so on, until you identify the one or two things that make your product unique. Once you have identified that quality, you should emphasize it in the development of your brand

Anticipating Trends

You don’t have to be a psychic to figure out what’s on the horizon. You don’t even need to be the first one there, but can jump in on a trend early on if you see there are enough factors present to give it momentum. The healthy eating trend, for instance, has been around since the 1960s, but it has taken various forms. The popularity of tofu in the 80s was followed by an increasing awareness about organic food in the 90s. Veganism seemed like a new thing a few years ago, and now it is a way of life among millennials.

An astute brand developer stays aware of news and trends and can have an idea of where things are going, and this helps brand development. It was clear through the years that interest in healthy eating continued to grow and didn’t wane.

A David and Goliath Tale of Branding

The story of Hampton Creek illustrates how a new brand can overtake a traditional one because of shifting attitudes among consumers. Hampton Creek, the developer of the Just Mayo brand was hit with lawsuits by Unilever, who owns Hellmann’s real mayonnaise. Unilever claimed that Hampton Creek did not have the right to use the term “mayo” for its brand because its mayonnaise replacement did not have real eggs and could not be considered as mayo. The news could have damaged a small company that didn’t have a trend to support its brand. However, the public was much more interested in healthy eating than in old-fashioned mayonnaise, and as a result of the news story, more people became aware of the vegan mayonnaise alternative. This led to Just Mayo appearing in the aisles of supermarkets when before it was sold mainly in health food stores.

The Trend is Your Friend

When it comes to branding, regard the trend as your friend even if it doesn’t seem to be. If your product appears to be going the opposite direction of where the trend is going, then it may be time to diversify or to tweak your branding. Promoting a brand is much easier if the public is in the mood to accept it and it is a good idea to not only stay aware of trends but to anticipate where they’re going.