(Blogger’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, yesterday’s blog, A Girl and The Fig Fix, was not broadcast through Constant Contact, our email delivery system. The blog will appear again today. We will resume our regular blog schedule tomorrow.)
Last week, Joael wrote the following: Good one on positioning your restaurant’s name.
Does the spelling also matter? What if your restaurant name coincides with a 5 star hotel in another country which is quite famous?
This problem occurs more than we think. Driving across country one will find duplicate names in many locales for restaurants that are owned by totally different individuals. And, more often than not, nothing happens when two or more restaurants are identically christened. But, that is the outcome when the establishments are small. The problem arises when one of the two same name places becomes successful, expands and the roll out crosses the country like Dave’s Famous Barbecue. If there happened to be another Dave’s in St. Paul, Minnesota when the roll-out Dave began his rib march across the mid-west, little Dave could have been in trouble and found himself in court.
In the case of the large hotel in another country, I wouldn’t think they were too concerned about you making a mark on their reputation, unless of course you decided to open a hotel. And, for many that is a very obtainable dream. Good luck with the restaurant -hotel name. Don’t take my advice to court though; you may want to consult a lawyer if you have major moniker concerns.
Last week a fellow restaurateur who also manufactures products and writes cook books took the plunge to other depths and opened her retail store in Sonoma. It was a Gelato evening and on the way back from Tony Spumoni I decided to drive by the space that only days before had windows boasting paper rather than product. When I saw the lights on, the windows sparkling with product and an army of product placement people scurrying around to meet the opening deadline the next morning I had to stop. I knew that the last thing Sondra Bernstein from thegirlandthefig conglomerate, (two restaurants, multi-product line, a cookbook, and now, a retail store and rental cottages,) wanted to do was to give anyone a tour. But, selfish as it may seem I needed the fix. I wanted to feel the adrenaline flow through the space. I had to get a whiff of the freshly opened produce boxes. I just had to look around and see what everyone else would have the opportunity to admire- the next day.
I wanted to be a part, albeit only for a nano second in the life of an opening, of the stress, tension, sheer exhaustion and jubilation that filled the 1500 square foot or so of retail cafe that serves as the welcoming station for Les Petites Maisons, Sondra’s bastion of a handful of adorably charming cottages. And, throughout the quick tour, I got just enough of that emotion. The staff was pumped. The store looked great. The product mix seemed perfect, and Sondra’s taste level sparkled- the space was filled with bits of culinary wonderment and accessories to please that casual weekend shopper or a guest looking for something to bring as a hostess gift.
The difference though, similar to the gelato from Tony Spumoni’s, is that after 15 minutes, I knew it was time to exit. I didn’t want to bother the proprietor any longer, and I didn’t want to once again start to feel the continual urge to check the heat, look at the food case, turn up the music, turn down the lights, do a register read, look at the balance of the check book, or wonder what tomorrow would bring.
If you want to spend an enjoyable weekend in Sonoma, and relax while still being close to the action, check out lespetitesmaisons.