Reviews for Chef Michael Bennett latest natural healthy cookbook.

Reviews on Chef Michael Bennett ‘s first All-Natural Cookbook:

Natural Recipes That Will Change Your Life:

Simple and Healthy Recipes for Delicious Appetizers

by Chef Michael Bennett

RATING: 3.71

Author and Chef Michael Bennett – South Florida (Miami, Fl.) has become a livewire cookbook writer and publisher. In the past four years he has written, produced and published four cookbooks along with writing ghost-authored cookbooks for two International Publishers. Chef Michael Bennett has been a noted South Florida chef with participation in dozens of charity and culin…more

Reviews

May 23, 2013Pax Fernandez rated it 3 of 5 stars

It is akin to cooking and eating with a conscience. Michael Bennett carefully weave the art of cooking with the science of achieving a healthy body and sane mind. He introduced to his readers an approach in eating that have been inspired by the wisdom of the ages.

The encouragement to lose or at least lessen the meat in our diets can be a bit difficult for some to fathom. Nevertheless, his method of going natural is worth trying with determination and discipline as their key components.

He provided recipes that are simple, fun and with some twists on the classics (bouche and ceviche).

The good thing was he also plotted a sample of how going natural can be applied in a daily eating regimen. It would have been better though if he added more recipes for his readers to be more inspired.

Furthermore, the chef-author courageously shared his ideas based on how he was able to curb his personal health concern by changing how he ate. The good thing is he still leaves it up to the reader to decide whether he/she will adapt to his approach.

This book is a must have for those who thought they have ‘read it all’.

Rating: 3/5

Jun 13, 2013Dini rated it 3 of 5 stars

This has been one of many recipe books I have gone through so far and I could rate it as average comparatively and my feedback is a mixture of pros and cons of the book.
Recipe books are mostly for fun and to try something new and different. But as per the title in this book “Natural recipes that will change your life”, it adds some kind of seriousness to the book making it unique and stands above the ordinary cook books. However I did not find the book as professional and inspiring as I expected it to be. For one thing, the font style and the size were lacking the professionalism. True that it was easy to read and soothing for the eyes, but it would have been better if the recipes were somehow managed within 1-2 pages and followed a standard font style, size and a format.
According to my view, table of contents plays a major role in attracting the readers to read the book. That is even more important with e-books as the reader usually don’t get a chance to flip through any random page before the purchase. Also if we go with the famous saying “first impression is the best impression” table of contents is quite powerful to intrigue the readers. Unfortunately I don’t find that technique has been used in this book. I feel it would have been a great catalyst if the recipe names were also penned down as sub topics so that readers will be both curious to learn the new recipes and also would know what to expect from the book.
The content was great. The author has nicely presented many important facts in a well-organized way. Yet again I felt inconvenient with the amount of facts written per page and it often gave me the feeling as if the simple facts were unnecessarily extended over many pages. It’s my habit to sometimes go back and re-read something which I came across little while ago in order to memorize. In this book I had to go back through several pages to find out the stuff other than doing a quick scan through 1-2 pages like how it happens with other books.
The theme of the book “Natural foods” is quite appropriate to the modern society. But in the same time, in internet we all come across hundreds of blog articles related to this field. It’s a plus point that all the important facts were found in this book in concise manner. However, being an avid reader especially on healthy diet and related topics I hardly found anything new and unique in this book.
As for a recipe book, recipes were too less and not even half of the book was of recipes. I loved the way how the recipes were written with step wise direction and notes. Explanations were quite practical and guidance was proper. But the recipes lacked one good feature, which is the mentioning of the level of expertise needed. The recipes would have looked perfect with the expertise level given first and also it might have been a nice way to categorize and order the recipes in the book with ascending pattern of the level.
The book starts with lengthy explanations, not that I’m complaining. All the topics and the chapters prior to the recipes were well written and quite insightful but comparatively the ending of the book is quite abrupt and unexpected.
Considering all plus and minus points I have mentioned above, I would rate the book 3 stars but would recommend it to anyone who is ready to switch into a healthy diet and is eager to learn how and why.
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Jun 17, 2013Karen Mclaren rated it 4 of 5 stars

The truth of the matter is really this – we are what we eat! Yep, it sounds like a worn-out cliché, but it actually is true. And we are truly seeing the damaging impact that overly-processed, packaged, high fat, high sodium, pesticide- and chemical-laden foods are having upon our bodies and our society….just look at the soaring rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It is time for us to take a long, hard look at what we’re feeding ourselves, and make a positive, healthy change; not only…more

May 23, 2013Charles Franklin rated it 3 of 5 stars

As a person who has been making the transition toward a more natural diet, I was naturally drawn to this book. Overall, I would say that it was a helpful book at inspiring readers to eat more natural. I liked the personal Introduction that discussed the author’s motivation for writing the book as well. It set the tone of a book as a regular guy who has learned a few things about nutrition. After reading so many books from “experts”, this was a nice little break. I also agree wholeheartedly with…more

Aug 02, 2013Valerie Lewis rated it 4 of 5 stars

This book was great for learning more about the way food can be used for a healthier body. This book talked about food that’s great for anything from the brain to skin to burning fat and getting good cholesterol. It includes meals that can help you get started to eating natural and explains why natural eating is good for you. The only issue I had was on the recipes. They all looked like they were meant for head chefs to make instead of a mom cooking for her family or a student trying to eat bett…more

Gluten Free cookbook Author Chef Michael Bennett produces another Neo-Tropical cookbook

GLUTEN FREE COOKBOOKS FROM MIAMI CHEF

MICHAEL BENNETT

Miami, SOUTH BEACH, Fla.–(The Professional Image, Inc.)—Chef Michael Bennett has wined and dined across the Caribbean in gourmet restaurants and hotels stationed on unique tropical destinations around the world to gather recipes for his latest cookbooks.

Today, Bennett maintains a remarkable 50-pound weight loss while continuing to enjoy the absolute best in exotic tropical recipes, coupled with an active lifestyle.

“Gourmet, Gluten Free and Healthy are no longer mutually exclusive,” said Chef Michael Bennett. “I use only the finest, freshest tropical ingredients I can find to create some of the healthiest Gluten Free gourmet recipes comparable to five-star resort menu offered in the best Caribbean restaurants.”

        Chef Bennett believes that you should never have to sacrifice quality, taste, enjoyment, or satisfaction when attempting to lose 10, 50 or even 150 pounds.

Chef Bennett’s vision is simple: you deserve the best and you, too, can enjoy gourmet foods and lose and maintain a healthy weight – complimented by regular exercise. Chef Michael features delicious and healthy gourmet gluten free recipes that he developed from seven of the Caribbean’s top resort locales. His recipes have namesakes like: Antillean (Haiti-French) and Dominican (Spanish), St. Barts, Martinique (French), Blue Mountain (Jamaica-English), Belize (Central American) and St. Croix (an Island governed by 7 different countries).
Chef Bennett’s inaugural signature use of these restaurant proven recipes was at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and, his three generations of menu (circa 2009-2012) exemplified authentic, healthy gluten free tropical fare. After returning from his four year journey across the Caribbean, Chef Michael Bennett used only the finest and locally available quality ingredients that reflected his recipe pursuit in the Caribbean. Chef Michael first embarked offering a lighter fare for patrons who expect the best – outstanding taste and exquisite presentation – using All-Natural Seafood. His dishes soon featured gluten free as the predominate footing in future seasonal menus that eventually evolved into an entirely separate bill of fare for the restaurant.
Bennett’s recipe development namesake unify into two cookbooks: All-Natural SURF Cuisine; May, 2014 and a Gluten Free FLAVOR QUEST; July, 2014 that are being published by The Professional Image, Inc. Bennett debuts these published recipe memoirs as part of a series of healthy gourmet tropical cookbooks. Bennett intends to launch another healthy gourmet recipe cookbook later this summer earmarked “Interview with a Mango”. His groundwork and signature recipe assertion will introduce a fresh audience of Mango devotees to healthy gluten free mango recipes.

SPECIFICS:
All-Natural SURF CUISINE (ISBN: 9781495105982) features 160 page, 100 plus Gluten free Seafood recipes and 40 + Full color pictures are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.
A Gluten Free FLAVOR Quest (ISBN: 9781495117619) features 170 page, 125 plus gluten free recipes with over 50 Full color pictures that include pantry busting chapters in spice and marinade combinations, salads, and one just on sauces – that will astonish – paired with any food you would normally serve for dinner in your home tonight.

 

BEGINNING OF A CAREER:
From the time when chef Michael Bennett directed South Beach’s Epicure Gourmet Market’s healthy Spa-Cuisine menu expansion (circa, 1989-95), he has always wanted to revisit the console of utilization only the best locally-harvested ingredients to procreate superlative healthy All Natural, Gluten Free, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cookery with his culinary consultancies in America and in the Caribbean.
This commenced stemming from a family history where Chef Michael Bennett’s father suffered from massive heart problems. Thirty years ago his family decided to get away from beef-related dinner table but the choices in the 1970’s were limited to chicken, turkey or frozen seafood from the north. Air transportation wasn’t as advanced as today so the only seafood they ever had on the dinner table was what they caught themselves. This is how Chef Michael fostered his love and matured his knowledge of Tropical seafood.

 

CHEF Michael Bennett – SUBSTANTIVE:
Michael Bennett is a well-known award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose customers have been the Who’s Who of Media and Sports personalities. He earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for the 26 year-local culinary force Left Bank restaurant. Under his auspices he brought “Best of” (Zagat Survey), Four Stars (AAA) and Four Diamonds (Mobil) to the long-standing three star rating. He also holds culinary affiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularly lectures on Gluten Free and Natural “Caribb-ican” cuisine.

 

Author’s Avail:
Chef and Author Michael Bennett, an acclaimed South Florida chef has made a name for himself by mixing culinary traditions from diverse parts of the World.

 

  • CONTACT

Press Only: Rebba Pusckor
The Professional Image, Inc.
the.foodbrat@gmail.com

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural SEAFOOD cookbook.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

 

 

   Image       +      Image         =        Image

 

Miami, Fl. – May, 2014 ~ Chef Michael Bennett has pursued a healthier lifestyle after he turned 40 and these books echo recipes that have helped him achieve his goals.

 

                There are so many All-Natural and Gluten Free cookbooks that get released every year, adding to the already formidable collections in bookstores, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. After you read the subtitle; “a Study in Natural Seafood Cookery” and, leap through the pages of All-Natural SURF CUISINE you will see this one is just what your healthy dining regime needs.

                All-Natural SURF CUISINE features 100 plus recipes are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.

                Here’s a look at common sources of each type of dietary fat. Be aware that many foods contain different kinds of fat and varying levels.

      Some truths should be taken at their true values. As an example some people will say that butter contains unsaturated fats, but it is largely made up of saturated fat. Canola oil is highly monounsaturated but it also contains small amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fat.

Type of fat

Recommendation

 

Total fat

This includes all types of dietary fat. Limit total fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to about 44 to 78 grams of total fat a day.

Polyunsaturated fat

While no specific amount is recommended, the guidelines recommend eating foods rich in this healthy fat while staying within your total fat allowance.

Omega-3 fatty acids

While no specific amount is recommended, the guidelines recommend eating foods rich in this healthy fat while staying within your total fat allowance.

Saturated fat

Limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories.

Cholesterol

Less than 300 milligrams a day. Less than 200 milligrams a day if you’re at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tips for choosing foods with the best types of dietary fat

So now that you know which types of dietary fat are healthy or unhealthy, and how much to include, how do you adjust your diet to meet dietary guidelines?

First, focus on reducing foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Here are some tips to help you make over the fat in your diet:

  • Read food labels and look for the amount of trans fat listed. It’s best to avoid foods that contain trans fat and those that have been partially hydrogenated.
  • Prepare fish, such as salmon and mackerel, instead of meat at least twice a week to get a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Limit sizes to 4 ounces of cooked seafood a serving, and bake or broil seafood instead of frying.
  • Use liquid vegetable oil instead of solid fats.
  • Use olive oil in salad dressings and marinades.
  • Select milk and dairy products that are low in fat.

 

 

Beginning of a Career

                From the time when chef Michael Bennett directed South Beach’s Epicure Gourmet Market’s healthy Spa-Cuisine menu expansion (circa, 1989-95), he has always wanted to revisit the console of utilization only the best locally-harvested ingredients to procreate a superlative All Natural, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of an “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cuisine with his culinary consultancies.

                This was all imitated from a family history where Chef Michael Bennett’s father suffered from massive heart problems. Thirty years ago his Family decided to get away from beef-related dinner table but the choices in the 1970’s were limited to chicken, turkey or frozen seafood from the north. Air transportation wasn’t as advanced as today so the only seafood they ever had on the dinner table was what they caught themselves.  This is how Chef Michael fostered his love and matured his knowledgeable of locally-caught seafood.

Chef Substantive:

                Michael Bennett is a well-known award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose customers have been the Who’s Who of Media and Sports personalities. He earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for the 26 year-local culinary force Left Bank restaurant. Under his auspices he brought “Best of” (Zagat Survey), Four Stars (AAA) and Four Diamonds (Mobil) to the long-standing three star rating. He also holds culinary affiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularly lectures on Gluten Free and Natural “Caribb-ican” cuisine.

 

Michael’s Author’s avail

            Like his first cookbook, “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” a GLUTEN-FREE cookery guide  and, his fourth and fifth cookbooks “Natural Recipes that will Change your Life” and “Natural Know-how Cookbook”,  All-Natural SURF CUISINE also features 100 plus recipes, more than 30 Full-color recipe.

                Chef and Author Michael Bennett, an acclaimed South Florida chef has made a name for himself by mixing culinary traditions from diverse parts of the World.

CONTACT
Press Only: Rebba Pusckor

The Professional Image, Inc.
the.foodbrat@gmail.com

 

 

Another great review of In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks Gluten free cookbook.

Another great review of In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks Gluten free cookbook..

 

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback.

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback..

 

New all-Natural Surf Cuisine Cookbook from Chef Michael Bennett. His sixth published cookbook since 2009.

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback.

Chef Michael Bennett creates All-Natural SURF CUISINE from his previously released Amazon Ebooks on All-Natural cooking.

Miami, Fl. – December, 2013 ~ Chef Michael Bennett has pursued a healthier lifestyle after he turned 40 and these books echo recipes that have helped him achieve his goals.

 Image      Image       Image  

                There are so many All-Natural and Gluten Free cookbooks that get released every year, adding to the already formidable collections in bookstores, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. After you read the subtitle; “a Study in Natural Seafood Cookery” and, leap through the pages of All-Natural SURF CUISINE you will see this one is just what your healthy dining regime needs.

                All-Natural SURF CUISINE will be release January 2014 and features 100 plus recipes that are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.

               

                From the time when chef Michael Bennett directed South Beach’s Epicure Gourmet Market’s healthy Spa-Cuisine menu expansion (circa, 1989-95), he has always wanted to revisit the console of utilization only the best locally-harvested ingredients to procreate a superlative All Natural, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of an “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cuisine with his culinary consultancies.

                This was all initiated because of a family history where Chef Michael Bennett’s father suffered from massive heart problems. Thirty years ago his Family decided to get away from beef-related dinner table but, the recipe choices in the 1970’s were limited to chicken, turkey or frozen seafood from the northern USA. Air transportation wasn’t as advanced as today so the only seafood that ever made it to the dinner table was what they caught themselves.  This is how Chef Michael fostered his love and matured his knowledgeable of locally-caught Florida and Caribbean seafood.

 

 Chef Substantive:

                Michael Bennett is a well-known award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose customers have been the Who’s Who of Media and Sports personalities. He earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for the 26 year-local culinary force Left Bank restaurant. Under his auspices he brought “Best of” (Zagat Survey), Four Stars (AAA) and Four Diamonds (Mobil) to the long-standing three star rating. He also holds culinary affiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularly lectures on Gluten Free and Natural “Caribb-ican” cuisine.

Many in the Foodservice industry have this lifestyle inclination. It is simply in one’s blood.

  • Author and Restaurateur, Michael Bennett has opened and operated several successful restaurants in both the United States and the Caribbean all-the-while continually writing and publishing cookbooks.
  • Some cookbook reviewers have thought that Chef Michael Bennett’s innovative ideals have helped revolutionize and shape the public’s reflections on, and about chefs. He has encouraged Miami Foodies to use Social Media and our locally available South Florida tropical foods to promote what our Caribbean neighbors have to offer the hesitant home cook. “That is his gig, a monster of culinary facts”, says people know him.

 

Michael’s Author’s avail

            Like his first cookbook, “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” a GLUTEN-FREE cookery guide  and, his fourth and fifth cookbooks “Natural Recipes that will Change your Life, Vol. 1 and 2“,  All-Natural SURF CUISINE also features 100 plus recipes, more than 30 Full-color recipe pictures and an intriguing re-account on how he pursues his goal of cooking healthier.

                Chef and Author Michael Bennett, an acclaimed South Florida chef has made a name for himself by mixing culinary traditions from diverse parts of the World.

CONTACT
Press Only: Rebba Pusckor

The Professional Image, Inc.
Phone 954.404.0815, or the.foodbrat@gmail.com

 

 

How to P.R. Your Restaurant

As a colleague once told me, “Publicity plants the seed, promotion fertilizes the seed, advertising ripens the crops and personal selling harvests the crop.”

Like most restaurant owners, you likely have developed a marketing plan involving promotion, advertising, and selling. Yet you shouldn’t leave out planting the all-important seed of publicity.

Publicity, or the act of capturing the interest of the public through media channels, can keep Your operation on the minds of customers and industry leaders. It can create a new brand, build on past branding efforts, or boost sales. If your goal is to develop a restaurant chain or to sell your small chain to a large corporation, publicity can help you gain the attention of potential franchisees or buyers.

If you are too busy to undertake an extensive media relations program, the answer might be to hire a public relations firm that specializes in publicity. But hiring a PR agency can be uncharted territory for many executives and entrepreneurs. How do you find the right firm? As many of your colleagues probably can tell you, working with a publicist or public relations firm can be a dream come true or a nightmare.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

The success of your media relations program hinges on finding an agency you trust, feel comfortable working with, and will get you results. Here how to get the best PR experience.

Be clear about how publicity works and how it differs from other marketing strategies. The messages you communicate through advertising and promotions tend to be direct and simple, in order to reach consumers quickly and effectively.

Publicity, on the other hand, is a more subtle approach. You want to gain the attention of the media, so you have to tailor your messages to their needs. The reward is that a mention in the press legitimizes your business far more than advertising. After all, in the eyes of the consumer, anyone can buy ad space, but not every business is so successful that it is newsworthy.

Stories about your restaurant or franchise operation will center on angles that make you different from your competitors, not your basic marketing messages. If you expect articles to simply praise your business or tout the ingredients in your food, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Nothing turns off reporters and editors more than a hard sell. A publicist should be able to help you identify story angles that will hook the media.

With publicity, you’re building public awareness and credibility, and that takes time. You might want that Wall Street Journal feature story right now, but it can be years in the making. Just because your operation is doing well doesn’t mean you’ll be splashed on the cover of Business Week; many entrepreneurs are doing well and have interesting stories to tell. To gain credibility nationally, you first have to build a foundation of stories locally, regionally, and in the trades.

For instance, one client of ours, a large regional pizza restaurant franchise, wanted a higher profile on a national level. We landed a Wall Street Journal feature after two years of hard work. That sounds like a long time, but in the interim, we placed powerful stories in major newspapers and in the trades, which helped the client gain experience in media relations and get comfortable with interviews. When the WSJ reporter called, the client was ready.

Realistically, you can expect local coverage within six weeks, in the trades within four to six months, and in national publications in about 16 to 32 months. Remember, PR is an investment, not a guarantee.

Interview the candidates. You have to know what you want the firm to accomplish -—and telling them that you want them “to get us some ink” isn’t enough. You have to know who you want to reach, which means you must know your audience. If its industry leaders, then ask the firm how it stories in trade publications or about its track record with national business magazines. If it’s local publicity you’re after, talk with the firm about its relationships with either the city’s restaurant reporters or business editors. Tell them which regional publications your customers read, and gauge their reaction to see if they’re comfortable working with those publications.

As a restaurateur, you may be interested in promoting either yourself or one of your chefs as a television personality. But on-air cooking is not necessarily a natural talent; it’s more like singing, dancing, and selling, all at the same time while paying attention camera placement.

If you have such aspirations, ask firm if they have experience in spokesperson training. You may even want see a tape of performances they have coached. Like other kinds of publicity, becoming a celebrity chef takes time. Before you start swapping jokes and trading recipes with Katie Couric and Al Roker, you’ll have to develop a reel of performances on local television programs. Find out if the agency can help you.

Let’s see some proof. You’ll want to see the firm’s successes for past and current clients in the way of newspapers clips and printed feature articles from trade publications. Also, don’t hesitate to ask to review samples of press releases, fact sheets, and other written materials. Remember to check for clear writing and creative approaches that were used to generate press coverage.

And here’s a secret to be sure the firm really has those wonderful relationships with the media that it brags about. Request a list of reporters and producers the firm works with on a regular basis. Call them and ask what they think about the firm.

“Who will be working on my account?” Many larger agencies will bring in senior staff—the “big guns” — with years of impressive experience to close the business, and then turn your work over to a struggling junior associate.

An inexperienced account executive might be a real go-getter and a quick study, and you could be launching an impressive career. On the other hand, some neophytes are intimidated by making cold calls to producers, editors, and reporters. The campaign could be compromised, and you may find yourself doing your own media relations work.

Look for an agency that promises senior-level involvement at the beginning and throughout the life of your working relationship. At the very least, make sure the junior associates have a safety net, and that the firm’s principals are always there to guide them if difficulties and problems arise.

Find out how many accounts your account executive is responsible for and how long he or she has been with the firm. From the response, you often can gauge how important your business will be to the agency.

Be sure the chemistry is good between you and your contact. If you’re going to be irritating each other, it will be a painful experience for both. Depending upon the intensity of the publicity campaign, you may have frequent contact with the account executive, and you’ll talk to him or her at least once a week.

And after you hire the firm, keep in mind the following.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

It’s a partnership. Working with a PR firm or publicist is not like working with other consulting firms or consultants, because you’re a participant in the activities, not just an observer. You will need to be available to provide interviews to reporters that your publicist has arranged, as well as be accessible to your publicist when the media is on deadline.

It will be your responsibility to keep the process from coming to a screeching halt by giving approval press materials in a timely manner, and well within the firm’s deadline for getting them distributed. Take a more active interest in the media and news organizations, and think about what will spur their interest and what’s important to them. You will be able to give ideas to the PR firm, who will turn them into publicity.

How do you know they’re doing a good job? The simplest way is to count the clips. Are you getting more news stories and TV appearances than you were getting before you hired the agency? Are you getting more hits on your Web site than before campaign? Are reporters and producers calling? If so, the firm is doing its job.

At this stage, you may be looking for return on your investment, but putting a dollar amount on it will be difficult. To gauge how publicity has affected your business, you can compare sales from last year, but you can judge success only if you have changed nothing else during that time. In other words, promotions, advertising, menu changes, and the like all have an effect on sales. If you’ve kept everything else consistent, you’ll be able to track the efficacy of your publicity campaign.

How to pump up your PR

There was a time when a good reputation and word of mouth alone were sufficient to create and maintain a successful restaurant. But those days are long gone. More than ever, positive public awareness is vital to a restaurant’s success. The best way to achieve that awareness is through a public relations campaign.

Effective restaurant public relations efforts that generate favorable exposure through newspapers, magazines, TV stations, radio stations and the Internet promise a wider reach than word of mouth alone. And the public often puts more stock in articles about your restaurant than in advertisements. A carefully crafted restaurant public relations campaign will raise both media and consumer awareness of your business. Simply put, working with the media can help start and sustain a buzz about your restaurant.

So what exactly is restaurant public relations, and why is it the best route for to create positive awareness? People often confuse PR with advertising, but two are dramatically different. Simply put, advertising involves ads while involves news. Both are designed elevate interest in a product or service. Both use the same media: print, radio, television, billboards and the Internet. You may have heard the saying, “Advertising you pay for, but public relations you pray for.” Though the adage is old, the sentiment is especially true today.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

PR Builds Credibility

Public relations helps form a favorable public opinion through the implied endorsement of unbiased industry authorities (namely print and broadcast media outlets). Which holds more weight: an advertisement about a new restaurant opening or a positive article about the hottest new eatery in town?

The late entertainer Will Rogers once said, “All I know is just what I read in the papers.” PR generates news coverage, and news coverage builds credibility. People believe what they read in newspapers and magazines, what they hear on the radio and what they see on television. But people often are skeptical of what they see in an advertisement, because everyone knows it’s easy to toot your own horn.

Because they are so costly, advertisements also do not give you ample room to personalize the story of your restaurant. A public relations campaign does. By generating multiple story angles designed to reach different media outlets—such as business journals, foodservice and hospitality trade publications, daily and weekly newspapers, city and regional magazines, regional dining and entertainment publications and major national magazines—you increase the chances of having stories about your restaurant published and aired. Each of these stories tells the public what your restaurant is all about.

Take, for example, a high-end Middle Eastern restaurant, Leila, that was opening in West Palm Beach, FL. To encourage a broad base of media coverage, Leila’s public relations firm wrote and distributed a series of press releases focusing on such story angles as the integral role the restaurant is playing in the revitalization of the surrounding historic district, the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine and a profile of Leila’s owner.

The PR firm also created story angles detailing the cultural elements of the restaurant, including the true and often-misunderstood art of belly dancing, the Arabic tradition of smoking the arguileh (water pipe) and the Middle Eastern custom of mezze (which involves sharing generous portions of appetizers among family and friends).

The press releases helped generate stories in local and regional newspapers and magazines, creating a buzz leading up to the grand opening and beyond. In fact, a month before the restaurant even opened, it was booked solid with private parties because meeting planners had read about it.

Cost-Effective Marketing

While advertising is an important part of any marketing program, a strategic PR plan has the potential to make a subtle yet profound impact. A positive mention in a prominent publication, for example, builds credibility, positions the company as an industry leader and generates awareness. Furthermore, a well-placed story can reap benefits for an extended period using a fundamental PR strategy: placing a story in one publication and moving it up the ladder to another magazine or newspaper, or transferring it to another medium such as radio or television.

Consumers often clip articles they read about a restaurant they would like to try or a destination they would like to visit. Also, a copy of the publication containing your article can be distributed to customers and other contacts. This is another way to “touch” customers and prospects and keep them informed about special accomplishments and up-to-date on both you and your company.

If a newspaper or magazine in your area is noteworthy, you can cite “as seen in” on all printed advertising, e-mail signatures and point-of-purchase marketing when an article mentions your restaurant. “As seen in the Boston Globe” can give you tremendous credibility and set you apart from your competition in a significant way.

Of course, one PR opportunity often leads to another. For example, assignment editors and reporters at TV and radio stations read the local and regional newspapers and magazines and sometimes get story ideas from published articles they read. Similarly, editors and reporters at newspapers and magazines sometimes get ideas from stories they hear on the radio or see on TV. The ultimate goal of a restaurant public relations campaign is to get you noticed and to attract guests into your location. A flattering article in the local newspaper or regional magazine creates a celebrity status for the person or place profiled. This truely seperates you from your competition.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

Why Hire an Expert?

Some people think they can write a press release, send it to the media and watch the publicity from published and broadcast stories pour in. If that were true, then public relations firms wouldn’t exist. Effective PR is an art that involves writing well-crafted press releases with story angles that interest the media, not self-serving marketing verbiage. There is nothing more irritating to reporters than receiving poorly written press releases with no newsworthy angles.

A restaurant public relations firm, you by creating targeted publicity materials and allowing you to focus on your core business.

When choosing a public relations firm, you should seek an agency that understands your business well and is connected with the media that are important to you. To find such a firm, you can conduct an Internet search, ask for referrals and loof for companies that are generating favorable press for their clients. Chances are great that the restaurant companies that you read about in trade publications are represented by an effective restaurant public relations firm.

It’s also extremely important to make sure any firm has a genuine interest in your background and future potential. they can’t get excited about you do, it will be harder for them to get the media excited enough to write about you.

Remember, the goal of a restaurant public relations campaign is to create and maintain a buzz about your restaurant, build your credibility, position you in the marketplace and stretch your marketing dollars. Lots of media outlets are within your reach if you have a well-crafted plan and the right restaurant public relations partner to execute it.

Are your web pages designed to look good on a smart phone or tablet?

New visitors land on your home page in a variety of ways, such as a Google search, or through your Yelp profile. Perhaps a friend mentioned your restaurant on Facebook or your Groupon promotion included a link to your website. No matter where they come from, the bottom line is this: Visitors who land at your website are qualified prospects, ready to decide whether they will try your restaurant.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

Is your restaurant website ready to convert visitors to customers? The following are four ways to improve your chances.

1. Optimize your website for mobile users.

We’ve officially entered the era of smart phones and tablets. These mobile devices are being used for browsing the web more than ever before.

Restaurant owners should pay particularly close attention to their mobile website because it’s more likely than ever that potential guests are out and about and checking their smart phones for places to eat. Your restaurant website needs to be ready to catch them.

Start by ensuring your website doesn’t depend on Flash, since it isn’t supported on the most popular devices like iPhones and iPads. HTML is the standard for web design and it’s accessible on all mobile devices.

Ideally, your website design will scale and adapt to fit any mobile device. All of the information should be easily accessible in the smaller touch-screen format. The goal is to ensure that all of your pages, online menus and even photos can be easily viewed on a smart phone or tablet. Web designers use techniques like “Responsive Web Design” to achieve this.

2. Provide online food menus, not PDFs.

A lot of restaurant websites provide menus that are only available as a PDF download. This is a mistake for several reasons.

First, your menu should be the core element of your restaurant website. Asking visitors to download a file to their computers only serves as a roadblock, not an easy pathway to what they want (a quick glance at your menu).

PDF files can be bulky and slow to download. This can be especially problematic for any mobile users who are on slow connections.

Showcase your online menu as part of your restaurant website itself. Visitors should be able to click and instantly browse your menu just as they would any other page on your website.

Like your print menus, your online menus should include short descriptions and pricing. But you can take your online menus to the next level by adding photos and social sharing buttons, which would allow visitors to share links to their favorite items on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

3. Don’t forget to include contact info.

This sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many restaurant websites fail to do this. Display your contact information prominently on your restaurant website.

No matter which page your visitor is reading, your contact info should be waiting for them when they’re ready to make that call to book a reservation. So make sure your contact info is visible near the top of all pages on your website.

It’s also a good idea to include your operating hours and an embedded Google map of your location. Both make it that much easier for new visitors to find you.

Bonus tip: Be sure to include your phone number and street address in plain text—in other words, not as part of an image. Most mobile devices will automatically convert your phone number to a link, allowing visitors on smart phones to instantly call you. They’ll do the same for maps, linking them to the maps app on the mobile device. Pretty cool, huh?

4. Curate your best reviews.

Reviews from Yelp, Citysearch, Zagat and Urbanspoon can make or break a restaurant. Luckily, you have a tool to help you capitalize on good reviews: your website!

Clip the best quotes from the positive comments you receive on those sites and showcase them. Remember, visitors to your website are qualified prospects to become customers. A little positive social proof could provide the push they need to get them into your restaurant.

You can devote a special section of your website to your reviews. This might include quotes from positive writeups in newspapers and magazines as well.

Another idea is to include a blog on your website. This is your “voice” as the restaurant owner, where you can express your own opinions (be nice!), stories, inspiration and more. Your blog serves as another place new visitors can get to know you and establish a connection on a personal level, which adds even more incentive for them to become your customers.

The web is yours to win. Your next customers are already online and searching for new places to eat out. By optimizing your website design to attract customers, your restaurant can thrive both online and off.

FoodBrats.com only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

How to Get Great PR

Garnering great press for your business is a powerful marketing strategy and as such, journalists should be on your radar as a target market. Now, instead of abusing them with buy (press releases) messages, how about starting by building some know, like and trust before you ever ask for the order – that’s just good marketing.

The absolute best way to do this is to become a resource to a select group of journalists that report on your industry or businesses in your community. As a resource your primary job is to help them do their job better by sending along industry information, adding to stories they write and commenting on potential resources and angles they might consider – nothing to do with selling your business or story.

If you do this I can almost guarantee you will start getting calls to provide quotes in stories as a reliable source.

Here’s how to make the job of journalist relationship building easier.

Use Google Alerts and Google Reader to track every story, blog post and mention your target list of journalists create and scan them in five minutes from one location (or, even have them sent to your email inbox as they happen in real time.)

Then you can visit your Reader page, see if anything from one of your journalists pops up and go make a relevant comment on their blog, drop an industry study in mail or suggest a follow-up angle to their story through a hand-written note. This entire process should take just minutes a day and can even be delegated once it’s up and running.

Some tech notes:

* Google AlertsUse quotes around full names to get best results – “bill smith”
* Check the RSS version to have it sent to Google Reader

* Google ReaderCreate a folder in Google Reader just for your PR efforts so that you can store the results of your RSS alerts in one handy place
* Get in the habit of checking and responding at least several times a week.

Book Review of In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks

by Chef Michael Bennett, The Food Brat
review by Maralyn D. Hill

Chef Bennett’s book starts out with a long title: In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks, Orchestrating Florida’s Caribbean Pantry into a Modern Metropolitan Cuisine. The rest is intriguing, well organized, and easy to follow with delicious recipes.

Among the hundreds of cookbooks I’ve read, including ones I’ve co-authored, this gets high marks for being useful, interesting, and cutting edge. A story with recipes always piques my interest and Chef Bennett weaves you through Caribbean history and customs and how they contributed and blended into South Florida culture.

This book challenged me personally, as it is QR Code Enabled. I had not seen that applied to a book before, so I downloaded a QR Code Reader to my iPhone (it would be available for any smart phone) to test it out. When there is a less well-known ingredient, there is a QR code as to where to find it. The same is true for some “how to” videos. You can walk away knowing the answers.

To include so many delicious and appealing gluten-free recipes is a true find for those who must eliminate gluten. For the rest of us, they represent tasty and easy solutions to a variety of healthy meals.

Let me cover the organization of this book, as it is extraordinary. It starts with an overview, recipe highlights, and a brief early history of the Caribbean. Recipes move forward to starters or appetizers, spices and marinades, and a little more story telling.

As the section on Florida’s Fusion Cuisine, Floribbean, begins, it includes salads, new and different approaches, followed by sauces. Naturally, The Food Brat author shares numerous signature dishes, and brings in the importance of seafood, poultry and meats, finishing up with veggies and starches.

The index is complete and thorough. Yet, I almost forgot to mention the importance of the tip boxes throughout the book, with substitutes, pairings, and the like.

This book was revised and updated to provide a totally gluten-free alternative that everyone can enjoy. I know I did and would certainly recommend it. I was going to test out all of the QR links. However, after my daughter went though the book, she asked for it. That is a testimonial in itself, as she doesn’t usually want any of my cookbooks. She is an excellent cook without recipes, but these, she wanted.

You can follow Chef Michael on his blog at http://www.FoodBrats.com. You can also purchase several books he has written, there or on Amazon. The ISBN for this one is 9780615297781. Chef Michael has been featured in The New York Times, Ocean Drive Magazine, National Culinary Review, Zagat Review (“Best of”), as well as many local outlets. He has appeared on television shows, including “The Today Show—South Florida.” He was featured in the Miami New Times Magazine as one of South Florida’s pivotal figures in the use of exotic tropical food.