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The Secret Ingredient for Staying Popular & Profitable | FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage strengths, create concepts, refine menus & identify opportunities to increase revenue & capatalize on the changes in today's dining out patterns.
 
I love restaurants with a sense of fun, where the food is fabulous, the creativity is in every silo of the biz, and the experience is memorable!  I have had the great fortune to work with amazing chefs and restaurateurs that are not only able to achieve this feat, but also deliver it day in and day out.
 
In this photo I am with Chef Kelly Mullarney, one of the creators of Bruxie in Old Towne Orange, a few short miles from the FoodPower offices!  This unique concept has taken a waffle and used it as the basis for sweet and savory gourmet sandwiches that are little bites of heaven...and what he has done to create good service is what makes this a 10!
 
BRUXIE - Orange, CA - Get ready to experience a whole new take on the authentic Belgium Waffle! This concept is known for its "BOLD FOLD" -- every item on the menu starts with a light, crisp, yeasty waffle that is not sweet. Then, Bruxie adds either savory and sweet "fillings" to create a gourmet waffle sandwich! Favorites are Buttermilk Chicken & Waffles, Braised Beef Short Ribs, S'mores, and Nutella & Banana! Paired with a float made with Old-Fashioned Cane Sugar sodas and Real Milwaukee Custard for the ultimate experience!

It is one of my new favorites, and whether you drop by for breakfast, lunch or a midday snack, there is a line around the block! Part of what makes it all work so well is the great hospitality that extends to the line as friendly staff mingle with and answer questions for the waiting guests!  Two new locations are coming soon!

SODA STEVE'S - Tulsa, OK - This concept, created by Chef/Operator/Culinary Tourist, Steve Pool, has a tagline that says it all: Food on a Mission. This comes from the mission trips Steve and his wife Lezli have taken with his kids to South Africa, Vietnam and Costa Rica where small eateries are called "Sodas."  Everything about the restaurant is fun, each detail in the decor speaks to mission trips, awesome experiences, with a lot of bathtub storytelling.  The food definitely follows the fun -- especially Tulsa's best Cheese Fries, Texas Toothpicks, Jumbo Fudge Nachos amazing, and, stealing the show: frosty mugs of homemade Root Beer on draft!  This Root Beer is like none other -- it is thick, rich and chewy - definitely memorable! 

If you want to go to this lively and very unique joint, you'll need to plan a visit to the popular Fin & Feather Family Resort west of Lake TenKiller between April 1st and November 27th (the restaurant is only open seasonally).  Everything about Soda Steve's put a smile on my face!
 
CAFE HON - Baltimore, MD - This restaurant created by Chef Denise Whiting is really located in "Bawlmer, Murlin" (there are no t's or d's in the vocabulary in this area). Named "HON" after Bawlmer's favorite term of endearment, the theatrical style of this fun and funky 50's neighborhood Cafe play up the good ole' days when Elvis reigned, beehive hairdo's and rhinestone glasses were the rage.  Yes. There is a 30-foot pink flamingo at the door that prepares you for the hot pink and leopard details of the interior, which include a wonderful old fashioned soda fountain! You'll be hard pressed to find more amazing cinnamon buns -- Hon Buns -- and more incredible bread pudding. Don't miss D.W.'s Dill Salad Dressing and the comfort foods that keep the locals coming back.  And who knows when Elvis will show up.

The experience, topped by the sheer fact that everyone calls you "Hon," is enough to keep a smile plastered on your face!
 
The Dunes Restaurant - Nags Head, NC - This popular family owned legend created 28 years ago by Roxie & Rufus Pritchard underwent a MakeOver led by our team at FoodPower with the help of VanRooy Design. While creating a new look both on the exterior and interior, we promoted their great food & spirits by adding the RBar, focusing on the favorite local dishes of the region and adding a giant wall map of the Outer Banks, lovingly called OBX by the locals.  The map is for the famillies that flock to the OBX in the summer to visit the miles of beaches and learn about the rich history of the Civil War, the Lost Colony, Blackbeard, and the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk where the Dunes is located.  As they gather at the map -- what they may not know is that they are being educated and a bit of culture is seeping in. 
 
Now, the National Restaurant Association did much research on what guests looked for when traveling to restaurants on vacation, and topping the list:  culture, education, and memorable experiences!  Now, The Dunes provides all three!