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FOOD POWER • THE SECRET INGREDIENT FOR STAYING POPULAR & PROFITABLE • FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage strengths, create concepts, refine menus and identify opportunities to increase revenue and capitalize on the changes in todayÂ’s dining out patterns.

Starting the New Year with an Attitude of Gratitude
I am filled with gratitude for the FoodPower team that shares my passion and is committed to our growth – a growth that I could not accomplish alone.  I am awed by and value the immeasurable trust our clients and strategic alliances have put in FoodPower to help them meet the challenges of the day.  I am grateful that I still love and am fascinated by the restaurant business and the people that make up this incredible industry!  I am looking forward to this coming year as I see so much opportunity for us to do things a little bit better, to take hospitality up several notches and to understand and build on the truth that our industry affects the entire country.
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."      —Margaret Mead  
FoodPower’s New Year’s resolution is to not only be among that small group, but to be a leader – within the restaurant industry and beyond.
This has been a challenging year – no doubt about it – but what I have noticed is how much nicer folks are to each other.  I have had unbelievable experiences with hospitality from restaurants, hotels, airlines and just plain “nice” people. I have had experiences in just the last few months that defy all odds and previous conversations about poor service. I feel certain that a whole new sense of appreciation has hit – random acts of kindness are everywhere.

In this newsletter, I will stray a bit from the food industry and focus on some of the other folks who demonstrated great hospitality to make my life a little better in 2009.

One of my most memorable stories of the year is of flying with JetBlue.  Are you ready for this? They held the plane for me. Yup. No kidding. I was late to the gate at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. As I raced with my boarding pass to the check-in, I knew I was in trouble, but I kept going with driver’s license in hand – threw my shoes and computer into the bin and just as I did so – a man said, “Marshall? Phyllis Marshall?” I nodded, confused. “Hey, they’re holding the plane for you. Let’s go,” he added. 

So through the waiting room we ran… when another gal joined us.  “Marshall? Hurry up – they’re waiting.” And as I headed down the tarmac, the pilot slid open the cockpit window, leaned out and said, “Phyllis Marshall, did you forget to set your alarm clock?” 

And with that, I entered the plane to smiling faces that had saved me the front seat.  Needless to say, I am a fan and will fly JetBlue whenever I can.  Let’s see…San Francisco, Nashville, Seattle and Ohio are all on the horizon!


I love this Japanese Specialty Store in Costa Mesa, Marukai! In addition to enjoying the happy energy of the place, I go there often for pure, unadulterated rice vinegar, beautiful produce and fish. Recently, I stood in a fairly long line of unsmiling folks and spied an elderly lady at the end of the line in high-heeled shoes holding only one item.  I motioned to her to go ahead of me.   Next thing I knew, we were sharing cooking stories and I had found a new neighbor and friend.

Random acts of kindness are what can turn this world around.

A friend shared an idea with me that I’d love us all to try: the next time you’re driving through In-N-Out Burger (or your favorite drive-thru), pay the tab for the car behind you! Who knows? You could start an epidemic!

Westin New Orleans, LA
During one of my visits to New Orleans this year, I was staying at the Westin Hotel on Canal Street when I misplaced my camera.  When I realized it was gone, I phoned the concierge who had helped me during my stay.  She said she would inquire and call me back.  Within an hour she called to say it had been found and added that they had looked at the pictures trying to find out who it belonged to.  They had to laugh at all the pictures of food. Definitely mine! 

I had heard about a restaurant called The Counter from friends and decided to schedule a client meeting there to scope it out. After all, it is the home of the custom built burger!  As I approached the door, it swung open unexpectedly and the hostess stuck her head out and said, “Welcome. How can I help you?”

I was stunned and blurted out, ”I have come to build a burger.”

”Well, you have come to the right place. Let me find you a nice table…”

I love that. Not a hint of the “do you have a reservation?” attitude or having her nose in the book! Needless to say, I have now joined the “Counter Culture.”

A place of hospitality
My friend Bill Marvin, best known as “The Restaurant Doctor,” calls what I have noticed this past year and describe above in this newsletter, "the ripple effect," and the true understanding of it, "the missing link.”  He has challenged us all to rethink restaurants by creating the Hospitality Foundation Program to be held in Granville, Ohio in April 2010.  I am honored to be invited to participate as a project designer, along with Michael Gerber, considered the world’s #1 small business guru and renowned author of The E-Myth books series.  The seminar will be here before you know it, so I will keep you posted on all the details in upcoming newsletters.

We are ready at FoodPower to go the extra mile and help you do the same.

If you would like to chat about your own concerns and hurdles, I’m here for you. Feel free to contact me at or at 949.646.3206.  You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.
To the power of food!
Phyllis Ann

Established in 1982, Orange County-based FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage their strengths. By working hand-in-hand with restaurant management and staff, FoodPower can help create concepts, refine menus, and identify opportunities to increase food sales and capitalize on the changes in today’s dining out patterns to strengthen brands.

2463 Irvine Avenue E1 | Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.646.3206 | |

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