Wednesday 30 November 2011

How Foodies are Changing Restaurant Culture

In communities around the world Food culture is making a massive change. Gone are the days of the bourgeoisie, and coming into the forefront is the more accepting all inclusive culture of the "Foodie". But why is there such a dramatic change from the past to now.

The basis of this change is the push in the Food service industry towards education and inclusion. We are coming to a time where Food Service outlets need customers to understand the difference between varying differences in food quality. That there is a difference between food that is "organic, free range, first press,.. ect. And the reason that customers need to know the terminology and ultimately the difference is because these products typically cost more and without proper marketing there would be no future for these products.

With the changes in customer perception of what is considered high end food the industry is shifting from an emphasis of quantity to an emphasis of quality. Documentaries like "Supersize Me", and "The Future of Food” are excellent examples of how the public had been brainwashed, and also how standards of what is considered food has deteriorated over time.

Finally we are seeing a push back from restaurants and customers alike. The focus on food has meant an increased importance of regional local products and farms that are ethical and responsible. The focus on grass roots products and communication between distributor and supplier have filtered down to the restaurateur customer level. Now high end restaurants are more bistro style environments, where chefs are not afraid to run out of products if it means that the product that they put out is fresh and of the highest quality.

While the foodie culture continues to experiment with new ways of delivering food to customers it is the attention to the quality of products that we need to continue cultivating to ensure that we do not slip back into the McCulture that has dominated the industry for the past 50 years.

The evolution of media has helped in some ways to advance and educate the general public. We now have entire channels on television that are dedicated to the Food industry which has helped to market certain products and various styles of cooking. Unfortunately it is very rare that anyone broaches the truly tough topics, and if they do they are met with heavy opposition. Chefs like Jamie Oliver are tackling food issues at a grade school level with his "food revolution". By educating children about proper nutritional choices he is unconsciously helping to ensure the succession of the foodie culture.

While the foodie culture is still in its growth faze it is important for people to get involved and shape the future of what it is to be a foodie. While there is a portion of this culture that is based on fun things like travel, wine and beer tastings, almost everything to do with being a foodie is based on sharing and experiencing knowledge as much as it is food.


Sunday 20 November 2011

Pro Line - not really an option for the "Real Pro"

So, here I am watching another pro line ticket go down the drain! A near certainty I presumed, simple, 3 home teams at heavily favored odds to get me an easy $150.

Let's have a closer look at this, my picks were:-

New York Giants 1.7
Tottenham 1.4
New England Patriots 1.05

3 victories = 2.5 = $250 for my $100

Then I went to my English bookie William Hill to see what they were offering-

New York Giants 1.9
Tottenham 1.53
New England Patriots 1.07

3 victories = 2.99 = $299 for my $100

Wow, a difference of $49 I hear you say!

But hold on a minute, with my pro line wager my "football teams" need to win by at least 4 points to avoid the game being settled as a Tie (I lose) how much is that little 'stipulation' worth to a "pro punter" - by the way my English 'bookie' William Hill are kinda happy with me just picking the winner, no 4 point stipulation here! If my team wins by 1 point, I win!!

Tonight as I watch the New York Giants fail miserably, was the night I placed my LAST "pro line" wager.

I am sure the same benefits would be afforded to me at, (to name but a few) Sports Interaction- Bodog- Bet365.

Is it worth the convenience of being able to wager at a 7-11 or gas store when we are so plainly being hosed when it comes to the odds and rules involved?

Your thoughts people?

Tuesday 15 November 2011

How do we decide what to put in a blog ?

Like all good stews the ingredients are vitally important I make blog enjoyable and .... You asleep yet! What a load of tosh. I write about what I know and to be honest that isn't much ... So here we go today's blog is on the plight of the white farmers in Zimbabwe.
This is test as we don't think anybody reads this blog and if you respond that you do, I will enter your name into a draw for a gift certificate for the casino ... Easy right!! In order to be entered simply put your name at the bottom of this blog and answer the simple skill testing question:-

What is the capital city of Zimbabwe.

Then we shall announce a winner next week!! Hooray!!

Wednesday 9 November 2011

No messing - Just Rememberence

Things should go into perspective this week- found this piece In the Vancouver Sun - lest we forget.

Remembrance Day has a personal and significant meaning for me on a number of levels.

I'm the son of Dutch immigrants who lived through the German occupation of Holland during WWII. A country that was liberated by Canadian-led forces during the five-week long battle of the Scheldt in October through November 1944, at a cost of 6,367 Canadian casualties (killed, wounded or missing). Their sacrifices allowed my father's family the freedom to start a new life in Canada in 1954 — as well as my mother who immigrated to Canada three years later.

Who I am, where I live and the freedoms I enjoy today are a direct result of their sacrifices.

But for me that is not the only connection nor is it the main source of my thoughts on Remembrance Day. I was a soldier with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry for four years in the 1980s and to this day it remains the fondest, most adventurous four-year stretch of my life.

The military gave me numerous life experiences in a short period of time that I would not have achieved otherwise. Basic training showed me that your body can be pushed farther than your brain thinks it can. It also showed me that greater success can be achieved through teamwork rather than individual effort.

I gained a true sense of camaraderie, a feeling of belonging that I had never known before or since. Stationed in Germany for two years, it allowed me to experience numerous different countries and cultures.That included my parents’ homeland, for not only did I get a chance to meet aunts, uncles and cousins but I also participated in the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen (marching 160 km in four days while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military backpack weighing at least 10 kg).

Canadian troops participating in the marches are treated like celebrities.We marched to the applause of bystanders and children asking for souvenirs and autographs. The appreciation the Dutch have for the Canadian troops who liberated them has been passed down through the generations to this day and it truly was an amazing experience that brought me full circle to my ancestry.

I've been to Belgium and walked through preserved World War I trenches, understanding how miserable, wet, cold, depressing and dangerous the conditions were for the men there. I've been to some of the beautifully kept military cemeteries in Europe and have read and touched the Gravestones of the Canadian soldiers who paid the ultimate price for freedom and I feel a kinship to them, a true sense of pride.

My military career ended in Germany because of a spinal cord injury which rendered me a quadriplegic. Had it not been for my career I would not enjoy the quality of life, nor the level of independence I do today. Veterans Affairs provides far more for me with respect to income, medical coverage and equipment coverage than I ever would have achieved otherwise.

When Remembrance Day comes around — and many times throughout the year — my thoughts go back to those times and experiences. I also think of current events and the soldiers participating in them today (some of whom I've known and soldiered with 20 odd years ago).

I feel their hardship, their time away from their friends and families and the horrors of war that they might be subjected to. But I also feel envious of their positive experiences, their adrenalin-rushing experiences, their scared-to-death experiences and the experience of being with a tight-knit, well-oiled group of people who have each other's back.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Twitter and its impact on Restaurant culture


The evolution of the internet, cell phones and e-mail have meant huge changes for the restaurant industry, as todays customer is often attached to their blackberry or iPhone. It is rare to see a group of people out at a restaurant without at least one person texting or chatting on their phone. Restaurants in older generations and cultures were a place of community, a place to socialize but in the age of technology and cell phones has the sense of community been swallowed up by the fast paced environment of today? Is twitter a way to get back to communicating with the guest at a grass roots level?

It is important to note that over the relatively short time that twitter has been in existence it has developed its own sub culture and even its own vernacular. This is a new world, where an average of sixty five million tweets get sent out in a single day and Charlie Sheen can reach one million followers in a little over 24 hours. So to make sure everyone has caught up to the tsunami style trend, here are just a few pieces of common twitter vocabulary:

Tweeter - Someone who is authoring a statement to a group of people.
Tweet - Is an individual statement that a tweeter has made.
Follow - Means that a twitter account holder has selected another account holder to track and will receive all of their tweets automatically
Retweet - Is reposting a tweet that someone has written
Hashtag - Hashtags allow the general public to reference tweets, so that if a certain word or un-spaced group of words is hashtaged it can be searched out from a database of recent tweets.

There are definitely other forms of social media out there; some of the sites offer similar functions, but it is the little details that make Twitter unique. While sites like Facebook and Hi5 operate on the basis of community networking, it is only Twitter that allows its users to follow their favorite movie stars, recording artists, and even culinary talents. Chefs and restaurateurs alike have direct access to their followers and can feature products and events at the touch of a button. Twitter allows for 140 characters of text, the ability to add photos and marketing potential that is limitless; so Chefs like Cam Dobranski of Calgary’s Wine Bar can tweet photos of the great food that he is serving and hit the dedicated customer base that it is intended for.

Cam Dobranski

My pork hock for two at my brasserie Kensington. Need I say more...

This approach allows guests to put a name and face to the creativity that they’re experiencing. Tweets like these represent a truly hands on approach to marketing and a way to make the intangible; tangible.

Most restaurateurs struggle with the feasibility of radio, print and television as a means of advertising as there is little way to tell how many people the ads reach, and what the success is if the customer is exposed to the ad. With Twitter writers know exactly who they are tweeting to and have the ability to invite groups of people, or reference just one specific follower to join them in their establishment. This works great for special events that tend to bring people out; sporting events can be a major revenue generator for Food and Beverage establishments, depending on what type of venue is operating. Scott Roberts Marketing Director at the Elbow River Casino uses Twitter to inform customers of upcoming events on the big screens at Sammys Sports Bar.

Elbow Casino
@elbowcasino Calgary
The #1 entertainment venue in Calgary, featuring Yuk Yuks Comedy Club.

Big Day at the Elbow!! Belmont Stakes into UFC 131throw in a side of Yuk Yuks and Vegas Style Gaming!! #1 entertainment venue in Calgary!

As strange as it seems the Twitter platform gives immense possibilities to the food and beverage industry. Twitter is a way the restaurant industry can connect with its guests on a personal level, with amazing capabilities and in real time; but with the good, the chance for bad. Although restaurateurs have the opportunity to connect with their clientele, that clientele has the same access. So if there are issues or problems with an establishment, they can be uncovered in an open forum for everyone to see and re-tweet.

Twitter is in its truest sense word of mouth advertising and the saying has always been that “word of mouth is your best form of advertising” so be sure to put your best foot forward as twitter could be a best friend or a worst enemy.

Jordan Knox

Friday 4 November 2011

Snow... Jog On !!

So, how was that for you this morning , A regular leisurely 20 minute drive turned into a crazy 1hr 20 minute episode of Fast and Furious -Calgary

Today see's the start of the breeders cup weekend here at the elbow river casino, what is the breeders cup I hear you say? Well, if you are saying that, close the browser, I don't want you reading on as it is going to be a horse racing inspired 5 minutes!

Over in Louisville, Kentucky (cue the music from deliverance) today starts 2 days of pure unadulterated horse racing heaven for yours truly, I sold my kidney on Ebay earlier this week to have enough funds to participate...I mean who needs 2 kidneys eh?

We are going to take a weekend hiatus from the pro line picks on the English soccer as I suck
terribly! really horribly! We cannot win, and so, I will not inflict more pain your way!

I will be throwing tweets out all day with the horses to follow at the Breeders Cup so if you are passing by down-town pop in and see what this spectacle is all about. The room is already packed to capacity and we are getting into the swing of things! Lovely Jubbly!

For those of you visiting the blog- You can catch our tweets at @elbowcasino

Look forward to chatting with ya!!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Working abroad

Working and traveling is one of the big upsides of a career in the Food and Beverage industry, but how easy is it and are there certain hurdles to navigate when considering a move to a warmer local?

Aside from checking out what the political situation is like in the area, the main focus of research should be financial, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Although making money is important, once you have landed a job it will generally cover the cost of living. The main financial concern to start with is how much is needed for start up costs. To figure this out you will need to know the currency of the location, most places that have their own currency will convert everything to American Dollars or to EU Currency. Once you have determined the living costs (rent, food, and transportation) there is the small issue of immigration costs. Most countries will expect you to arrive with the equivalent of $200.00 of local currency per day that you are there while unemployed, they will also expect you to have lodgings for this time period so be sure to have a copy of your online booking slip as well as bank statements.

Because you are immigrating to a new country you do not necessarily get the same welcome that you would if you were a tourist visiting. Expect immigration officers to ask a lot more questions, and if you are going to a smaller community or island perhaps, expect that everyone on the island knows someone from the immigration department that may or may not be able to vote you off.

In some countries it is up to the employee to pay for a work permit or visa, in others it is up to the employer to apply and pay. In any case the term of your permit should last as long as you want to stay. In most situations the government wants people applying for work permits out of the country until paperwork has been processed. So if you do not have a work permit before you go you may want to plan a trip to a neighboring country.

Other things to consider when you are picking out your work destination are the local rate of employment as most countries will give preferential treatment to locals. If you are going to a country like this look for major chains that are classified as equal opportunity employers this means that they sometimes have company guidelines that will supersede local government preferences.

The final thing to consider when moving abroad is the immigration process itself, many Caribbean countries will screen for various medical conditions such as tuberculosis or STD’s. Most of the time you can go on to the individual government websites and print out the work permit or visa forms to give you a head start on what you will need. Hopefully the country that you choose will be fruitful although sometimes when it comes to working abroad it is less about the money and more about getting out of the cold and experiencing the world.

Happy Trails and Good Luck
Jordan Knox

Sunday 30 October 2011

Maybe the Mayans are right ...

The world is about to end.... And here I am worrying about a pro line nightmare from hell... Truth is I think I'm on the block.. I'm like the Henry Burris of the Elbow River Casino. Old faithful who has been a little gun shy recently, I could get away with the old 2/3 every week but surely not a 1/3 oh dear, I can hear them now, sharpening there pencils as the thought of the blog being up for grabs becomes more than a pipe-dream!

So, what do we do, where do we start, can I ever forgive myself for picking the worst team (aside from Blackburn. Who are woeful) and letting your hard earned cash go up on smoke. Yep I can so onwards and upwards we go!

Quit sniveling losers, smell the coffee, get your pencils sharpened ready for the weekend!

This weekend sees one of the biggest weekends of the year at the casino as we host the Breeders cup in our off track betting room, the top horses from around the world merge in Kentucky at Churchill Downs and over a period of 2 days, dreams can indeed come true, huge money on offer and lots of gambling enjoyment to be had with the ponies. Come on down it should be a ton of fun!

Off topic, have you ever met a Mayan? You'd think they would be everywhere wouldn't ya, moaning about the world ending, wish I knew one who had money or a nice car, just to make a deal with him prior to the date with our destiny

Me- Hello Mr Mayan
Him- alrite
Me- so the worlds ending soon then?
Him- yep
Me- is that an Audi you drive?
Him- yep
Me- i'll give you 20 bucks for it
Him- 20 bucks for an Audi, are you mad?
Me- well, I thought you said the world was gonna end, what do you need an Audi for? Unless you were telling fibs?
Him- sold

*i think it sounds better if the role of me is played in the voice of Sean Connery and the voice of the mayan by Morgan Freeman ... Just my thoughts!!

I'll be back with pro line picks on Friday

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Possibly the worst weekend ever...

Sorry, but did anybody see that coming? My beloved Man United beaten to a pulp and I mean pulp by our sworn enemy Manchester City, let's put this into perspective for you my friendly Canadian brethren, this would be like the calgary flames getting beaten by Vancouver !! Oh hang on, that happens a lot, hmm maybe Calgary Stampeders getting beat by the Edmonton Eskimos...oh hang on, that happens a lot also ... Jeez!! This could be harder that I thought! Oh yeah guess what happened with the pro line picks.. 2 out of 3 surprise surprise!
So, what now, when will the pain end, when will the pro line gods smile down on us, when will the cash start rolling in? Surely anytime now, stay strong folks do not lose faith in the game.

Yet still I am receiving mixed messages from people who think that I am too hard on Wigan, you think I have been too harsh in isolating the fat people... Have you been there? There is nothing isolated in Wigan except the salad bar !

Anyways enough of the frivolity, onto the money making 2/3 machine.

At time of writing, the wonderful lottery folks at the wclc (the most crooked organization by the way when it comes to odds compiling- I'll break it down next week) have yet to have the soccer sheet available for Saturdays game, so it's gonna be a wonderful surprise when you hit the gas station or CASINO to place your bet-
Saturday -

Everton vs Manchester United

4 seasons have passed since we have a win at Goodison Park, but Everton have lost a great deal of talent over those 4 seasons and will struggle against a wounded Man Utd squad intent on forgetting the Man City debacle ASAP. In the last 4 games we have seen 14 goals so don't expect a boring stalemate here! It's a 5am kick off over here so get up early and enjoy the red devils winning!
Verdict - Away Win

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Arsenal are without a win away from home in their last 8 games, do not expect that to end at Stamford Brdge-
Arsenal have looked very vulnerable t the back whilst Fernando Torres appears to have found his scoring boots, this could be a bad game for the gooners.
Verdict - Home win

Wigan vs Fulham

Well, what do you expect?? Well think again, we are siding with the worst team in the league against one of the worst traveling teams in the league. Wigan surely have to be bet here, Fulham are shocking on the road an whilst tempted with the tie am going to side with the fatty's with no teeth!!
Wigan will be great value and should be bet!
Verdict - Home Win

Good luck you crazy kids!! Lump on !! $$$$$$$$

Disclaimer against bad grammar and spelling as I type this on my iPhone which does not understand my english dialect! :)

Friday 21 October 2011

OKay ...we stink...until this weekend..

Right, take it easy, we haven't been having much success and so I am taking a little heat for that, it's ok, I've got broad yet a little tubby shoulders, So it doesn't upset me too much, WHAT DOES UPSET that some of you out there are taking offence at the things i'm writing about Wigan... Wow...People are supporting Wigan... How did this happen? I only speak the truth so get over it...Hey..Did you see that they had a beauty contest last week in Wigan and guess what...Nobody won!! Booom.... hey what do you call a pretty girl in Wigan?? A Tourist ...Booooom ...Why's that coz it's full of fat people ..that's why... anyways onto business, the business of making money - The pro line picks for this week are as follows:-

Newcastle vs WIGAN - Who do you think we are gonna take? Not the fat ones... Come on Newcastle...Truth is Newcastle are not really that good...but Wigan are FAT - so not good wins out over FAT everytime - Newcastle - Confident home win

Tottenham at Blackburn- Tottenham have really started to move forward in recent weeks whilst somehw Steve Kean remains in his job at Blackburn, though there is another scheduled protest against him taking place before the game. Expect him to be fired at game's end after the spurs run out comfortable winners. - Tottenham - Away win

Wolves vs Swansea - Wolves are english- Swansea are welsh- Welsh are good for nothing except saying really long words in a silly accent - oh and sheep...don't get me started on the sheep...

That's it folks-

Games 80-Home / 83-Home -88-Visitor

$20 investment WILL WIN you $94 this week (presently -$80)

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Pop Up Restaurants

From European to North American markets, we are seeing a new trend emerging in restaurants. Top chefs like Thomas Keller, Ludo Lefebvre, and Grant Achatz, just to name a few, are pioneering a new pop-up concept that is bound to hit the mainstream restaurant industry in the next couple of years.

Much like the tasting menus that are being embraced in most major metropolitan centres and are a focal point of most high end Las Vegas casinos, we are seeing the development of the same type of appeal for the pop-up restaurant. But how is a pop-up restaurant defined? What makes a pop-up restaurant different from every other restaurant down the block? And what is the appeal of the pop-up concept? To answer these questions, we have to first establish what ingredients are needed to create these unique dining experiences.

Ingredients for a pop-up restaurant

The first and most important ingredient is a top quality chef, preferably someone that has a certain amount of name recognition.

Almost as important as the chef, is the location. For a pop-up restaurant to work, you need a space that is funky, unique, and/or obscure - preferably all three.

An edgy, yet knowledgeable staff is a major asset in ensuring the success of the pop-up restaurant since most of the marketing for this concept, if executed properly, is word of mouth.

There must be an established “foodie culture” within the area that the restaurant is going to operate. This should provide a strong customer base to build from provided that the next ingredient is put together properly.

Fresh, local ingredients that are executed to perfection with a flair for dramatic presentation and unique service methods will give customers something they can talk about around the water cooler the next morning.

An excellent part of the mix is a local artist aspect. It may be pieces of art that help to accentuate the d├ęcor or it may be as bold as having the artist create a space or interactive art piece within the restaurant.

A small but thoughtful menu is what should be expected from this style of restaurant, as there can not be a lot of room to waver on quality or availability of product.

Essential in the opening of any pop-up restaurant is a strong social media campaign that uses direct to customer marketing, making it easy to approach the specific niche markets that are required to create a strong customer base from which to build. This will also help to define the exclusivity of the venue and increase the association each time a new pop-up is initiated.

There must be a known expiration date on the restaurant, as this is the major defining factor of what a pop-up is. It has to be fresh, vibrant and similar to the idea of a limited time offer, but on an entire restaurant scale.
If all of these ingredients have been laid out ahead of time and are put together with thoughtfulness and attention to detail, there is no telling what the impact can be. It is more of a back-to-basics approach in a way, where the focus is the food, the service, the product, and the space. This is a departure from the huge push to open restaurants with gala events and media-only campaigns that pay short-term gains only to be followed by empty seats when the next newest restaurant push is on. It is difficult to give the pop-up a true definition as it is a reinvention with each new concept, but with the obscurity of the definition comes the appeal of the interpretation.

Hoping you enjoy the next restaurant popping up in your neighbourhood.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Damn you meatloaf...

Not the food (which by the way and whilst we are on the subject is not a true top 5 favorite of mine) I am of course referring to the big fat 1980's rock star who penned the wonderfully catchy 2 out of 3 ain't bad!!
Well fatty, it isn't very good either, we have posted 3 pick em blogs to date And each week we have the unfortunate 2 out of 3 last week we fell victim to the worst display of ball handling since Jenna Jameson in 'dirty nurse' (or so I'm told by a friend who watched it....)
So down $60 we found ourselves in a little spot of bother wondering where this weekend will take us!
I am going to try and find some solace in the English soccer again after our Philadelphia meltdown the NFL can wait for a couple of weeks! lots of big games this weekend and None bigger than the 5.45am feast on Saturday when my beloved Manchester United venture into one of the stinkiest horrible towns in the UK (no, not Wigan this time) but our scouser neighbors Liverpool, this doesn't take much in depth profiling, it is kinda simple...they suck and we don't !! Visitor win at 2.0
Next up we are going with the home of the world famous oatcakes (google it) Stoke - where men are men and sheep are scared!! They are very tough to beat at home, almost as tough as they are to understand!! And they are taking on fulham, who travel as well as I do (2 packets of gravol) confident home win.
Last but not least let's take the money laden Q.P.R at home to Blackburn, huge expectations at QPR after a huge spending spree prior to the transfer window closing, the new additions seem to be setting in well and all augurs well for a uneventful season
Free of the worry of a relegation dogfight! Get on em at home against a poor Blackburn side who's boss Steve Kean could be out of a job by Noon on Saturday!!- home win.

So, here we have it-

80- visitor 2.10
83- home 1.9
84-home 1.75

$20 investment returns $139.60. Presently -$60

Good luck to all!! :)

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Coupon Conundrum

The positives and negatives of online discounting websites

There is a huge array of online discount sites like Groupon and Living Social sprouting up across the country and around the world. These are without a doubt great deals from a customer standpoint, but what is the benefit to the establishment? What are the positives and negatives in the big picture of online discounts?

The basic premise of these websites is that a company puts a substantial discount on a product or service they provide and in doing so get exclusive exposure on a website. The majority of sites feature only one discount per day, and there is often a minimum purchase requirement to initiate the deal. From a restaurant standpoint, there is some control on the amount of the discount that is offered, although the majority of sites give priority sequence to those establishments willing to offer greater discounts.

The benefit to the customer is obvious, and the coupon’s popularity is undeniable, especially with the 18 to 45 year old female demographic which make up close to 70 per cent of the customer base for the online coupon sites. This is great for salons, spas, and restaurants that cater to this market. There are however some negative aspects for restaurateurs which should be factored in when deciding to move forward with online coupon offerings.

Realize the dangers

One danger of putting out high percentage discount coupons is that restaurateurs continually devalue their products hoping to instead make returns on different revenue streams or repeat business. The problem with this mentality is that instead of building loyalty to an establishment it seems as if the only loyalty is to the website that provides the discount. Meanwhile restaurants are paying 25 to 40 per cent back to the website that offers a deal that has already seen a 50 per cent price reduction - not exactly a sustainable restaurant business plan.

Over the past three years, the decline in the global economy has made sites like these extremely popular. With increased costs in basic commodities and cost of living, the average consumer’s disposable income has decreased substantially; we are at a point now that most people need to look for ways to cut corners in their spending. At the same time the decline in the traffic through business doors has meant that restaurants are looking at any possible way to get seats filled.

So with the influx of coupon customers, what is the next progression of the lifecycle? Is this a trend that will be short lived with the eventual rebound of the economy, or is the coupon around to stay? While these sites may even the playing field for restaurants with new locations, poor locations, or locations with inferior products or services, is it to the detriment of the industry as a whole?

How online discount websites can work

But what is the alternative? Most print and media ads cost far more than the social media sites and have no tangible results. With these coupon sites, we can clearly see the people coming into our restaurants and feel the paper in our hands. This sweeping trend has done what marketing departments everywhere continually strive to do – take something that is inconclusive or immeasurable and make it real and tactile.

Regardless of your viewpoint, the fact is undeniable that these sites are changing the way that a large segment of customers spend their money, and while it may not be a long term solution, the results of getting people in the door are staggering. It is a chance to infuse businesses with new clientele that operators’ may draw from in the future. With this marketing tool, the view must be long term, and if you expect to have any recapture rate, you must believe in your product and its presentation 100 per cent. There are constantly differing viewpoints on these sites, and it is up to each individual restaurateur to make an educated, well thought out decision when navigating through this coupon conundrum.

Good luck!

Friday 7 October 2011

Pro-Line Picks Oct 07, 2011

Week 3 of the pro-line blog see's our attention switch codes from English Soccer to NFL Football... I did visit many sources for information for my picks this week and hope that the research will be worthy of a nice ticket coming our way! We have experienced 2/3 on the soccer tickets and whilst that is none too shabby, it does not bring home the bacon and leaves our followers at -$40.

Lots of interesting action scheduled for this weekend and I perused long and hard before making the final picks.

Good luck folks, see ya at the windows! :)

Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers

For the Denver Broncos, things might just get worse before they get better.
John Fox's debut season as head coach in the Mile High city is already heading for free-fall at 1-3, and now the San Diego Chargers come a calling this Sunday.
Fresh off a shredding at the hand of Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers is not exactly the perfect antidote for a porous Broncos secondary that gave up 408 passing yards in the 49-23 loss to Green Bay.
Once again a leading MVP candidate, Rivers has yet to hit top gear but has still thrown for almost 1300 yards in the first four weeks of the season. And he must be smacking his chops at the prospect of facing the Broncos on Sunday.
Rivers has feasted on Denver in recent years, going 8-2 as a starter with a 112.4 passer rating. Those numbers include a 33-28 decision at Mile High last season.
One boost for the Broncos this week is the likely return of Champ Bailey at corner, but that's unlikely to stop Rivers and his multi-talented offense.
Vincent Jackson - Rivers' favorite target - is averaging almost 19 yards a grab and could be set for a big day, while last year's first-round draft pick Ryan Mathews appears to be finally hitting something like top gear in the backfield.
Mathews has rumbled for 179 yards in San Diego's last two games, and his emergence takes some of the pressure off Rivers and the passing game.
On the offensive side of the ball for Denver, Kyle Orton remains the starter but the calls for Tim Tebow will surely start again if he struggles early against the Chargers.
So far in 2011 the Chargers have gone 3-1 without really exploding - expect that to happen this Sunday. It could be a shootout early, but I confidently expect Rivers and co to overcome both a 3.5-point handicap on the spread and a 4 point victory on pro line to push the Broncos deeper into despair.

Verdict - Game 28- Visitor 1.6

Buffalo Bills vs Philadelphia Eagles

Our 2nd featured game see`s Philadelphia bid to finally live up to that 'Dream Team' moniker and start waking from a nightmare 1-3 start.
All the Super bowl talk has ended for now in the City of Brotherly Love after Andy Reid's men somehow blew a 23-3 lead at home to San Francisco, eventually losing 24-23.
Things don't exactly get easier for the Eagles this week, and they head to Buffalo to face the free-scoring Bills in what is now pretty much a must-win game for them.
Two games at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season have produced a total of 138 points - heart-stopping Buffalo victories over Oakland (38-35) and New England (34-31).
The Bills came within an ace of going 4-0 last week before eventually falling 23-20 in Cincinnati, but I expect normal offensive service to be resumed this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's reputation is growing weekly and with star Eagles pass rusher Trent Cole set to miss the game with a calf injury, the Bills should again put up some pretty offensive numbers.
Vick meanwhile runs a high-powered and well-balanced Philly offense, with an array of potent aerial weapons complimented by the terrific LeSean McCoy on the ground because of this we expect Vick to come out on top this weekend.
It's difficult to see anything but another high-scoring affair in Orchard Park and a confident selection of a visitor win and a total points score of over 49.5 is expected to pay dividends.

Verdict - Game 20 - Visitor 2.0
Verdict - Game 20 - Over 49.5 points 1.7

Recommended wager -

$20 Double Play ticket
Game 20 - Visitor and Over
Game 28- Visitor

= $108.80       (presently -$40)

Scott Roberts

Friday 30 September 2011

Pro-Line Picks Sep 30, 2011

So, we approach week 2 of the pro line blog, having got 2/3 last week we find ourselves at (-$20) losses that we figure are borrowed and we will surely find ourselves thrust into the positive before too long.
Wigan who we successfully took on last week, again find themselves on our staking plan and once again we wholeheartedly are happy to take them on- I did receive a couple of notes from English friends in Calgary, who agreed with our position on the fact that they house the ugliest women in the UK... Ugh !! :)
So, please find below the path to riches that is week 2 ... and we hope to see ya at the payouts!! 

Aston Villa v Wigan
Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez might have a bit of a point to prove having turned down the job at Villa Park in the summer while he will be keen to keep the shackles on Charlie N'Zogbia, who did depart the DW Stadium and arrive at Villa Park.Villa are this season's draw specialists so far and five of their last six Premier League games have ended in stalemate. Alex McLeish was forced to give them a rocket at half-time in the match at QPR where he described their performance was insipid and that the players looked low on confidence. He should be boosted this week by the possible return of five regulars, including front man Darren Bent following a groin problem. Villa were certainly much better in the second period at Loftus Road and McLeish is now demanding a similar display but over the full 90 minutes. Bent's return will relieve pressure on Gabby Agbonhlahor - who still does not convince as an out and out striker.
It will be a dark day when I place any sort of wager on this poor wigan team to actually win a game and so I confidently pick the return of Bent to be a huge difference to the home side.
Verdict- Game 81  Home Win -1.45

Sunderland v West Brom
To describe this week as turbulent for Sunderland boss Steve Bruce would be a gross understatement. First came a 2-0 defeat at Norwich, one that leaves the Black Cats just a point above the relegation zone, then came the news that Titus Bramble has been suspended having been released on police bail on Wednesday evening. Bramble has been held under allegations of drug possession, 2 words in that statement that I thought I would never hear are - Bramble and Possession!! :)  Saturday's game will mark a welcome return to football matters, but whether West Brom are entirely welcome visitors is another matter. On the face of it they're a side with problems of their own, languishing as they do in 19th position following an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Fulham last weekend. However, Roy Hodgson's side did the double over Sunderland last season so will arrive knowing they have what it takes to heap more misery on the home side. A feature of recent meetings has been goals, with 13 in the last four games between the sides, and with West Brom having almost a full complement to pick from and Sunderland without Bramble, it wouldn't surprise me if there were a continuation of that trend on the cards.
Verdict - Game - 84- Tie-3.05

Everton v Liverpool (1245BST)
It has been a while since these two drew at Goodison Park but with neither holding outstanding claims currently, the stalemate could be the way to go on this occasion. Liverpool have shown flashes this season to suggest they are top four material but it has been sporadic and mostly centered around Luis Suarez as they try and integrate their summer signings. The striker looks a special player despite his little strop after being substituted last week in the win over Wolves - he is only going to improve as he adapts to the English game. This will be a good test for him as Everton dealt pretty well with the similar Sergio Aguero although they eventually buckled against Manchester City in their last outing. David Moyes and his side will continue to grind out the results in resilient fashion but squad depth will mean they'll need to remain disciplined and get every ounce out of the players available. Defeats on the road at Stoke and Tottenham are a stark highlight of Liverpool's deficiencies at the moment but this has the look of two evenly matched teams currently and the points are set to be shared. This match up generally proves very entertaining and tempers are often frayed- I would not be surprised if a red card was shown and Marouanne Fellaini has to be watched as he can get a little excited at times!
Verdict -Game 80-  Tie-2.95

So, Here we have it :-
-Game 81- Home 1.45
-Game 84 - Tie 3.05
-Game 80 - Tie 2.95

For a $20 investment the return will be $261.00

Scott Roberts

Friday 23 September 2011

Pro-Line Picks Sep 23 2011

So, here we have it, the first sailing of the good ship Scott Roberts Pro Line picks!! Dedicated this week to the fine art of English Football...or Sock-er as my lovely north american friends prefer to call it!!

Let's have a little fun, try and win some cash so for week 1, I thank my friends at Bettingzone and see below the path that will lead to surely to all our mortgages and lines of credit being paid off within 3 months!! :)

Man City vs Everton

The extremely early kick-off should, in theory provide City with their biggest test to date at the Etihad Stadium, that's if history is to be believed. Visitors Everton did the double over City last season and have won a remarkable seven of the last eight meetings of the sides, with five clean sheets in that sequence. But if any team's recent history is easily brushed aside it's City and with the embarrassment of riches up front, Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli, Silva and Nasri six men capable of winning games almost single-handedly, Everton's defence is highly likely to struggle. Confident Home Pick for City.

Verdict - 80-home - 1.3

Newcastle vs Blackburn

Newcastle defend one of the league's last unbeaten records against a Blackburn side who've found the net seven times in their last two games. Steve Kean's men were fantastic in the second half against Arsenal a week ago and after Tuesday's Carling Cup win will fancy their chances at St James' Park, even though Newcastle lie fourth in the league. The home side had to endure extra-time to take care of Nottingham Forest in the cup but the return performance of Hatem Ben Arfa bodes well as his creativity should pave the way for more chances at home.

In what could be a free scoring game, the tie looks the most obvious pick at a great price.
Verdict – 84- Tie -3.2

Wigan vs Tottenham

Tottenham did the business in great style against Liverpool last weekend in an emphatic manner, winning 4-0 and hardly giving their opponents a kick. Spurs' early-season problems appear to have been put behind them, with Wolves (2-0 away) and then Liverpool (home) both brushed aside. Particularly impressive in those wins has been the forward combination of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe, who appear to have linked up well and hit the ground running since linking up upon the former's arrival from Man City. Wigan's defence has conceded six in their last two after a 'soft' start against the three promoted clubs and it's no surprise to see them drifting towards the foot of the table. Now they've lost star striker Hugo Rodallega, their main source of goals last season, through injury, at least for this game, and you wonder who is going to get them the goals to keep them up. Spurs' defence has kept four successive clean sheets if you take in all competitions (admittedly with much-changed sides).

Wigan- Home of the ugliest women in the world, will be overwhelmed by Spurs attacking prowess. Confident away pick.
Verdict - Tottenham 86 -V - 1.8

So, the pro line picks this week are:-

80- Home 1.3
84 -Tie 3.2
86- Visitor 1.8

For a $20 wager the ticket will pay $140.98 - We will see you at the Roulette Table with your winnings !!

See ya next week