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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.


One of our all-time favorites and a "best in show" is Ruby's Diner.  Fortunately for FoodPower, Ruby's is local and founder, friend and colleague Doug Cavanaugh has shared with us his challenges and growth steps over the years. 

True to FoodPower's Brand Building Puzzle, the heart and soul of Ruby's is Doug and, of course, his Mother Ruby. It was 30 years ago, Doug named his first 40's diner, on the pier in Newport Beach, after her. 

And true to the power of his consistent 40's diner brand, the bright red and white color scheme, family-friendly concept and good food has grown amazingly with more than 30 operations in seven states.

In my last meeting with Doug, he revealed his next project, which is a new concept for the millenials, to fill the void for the only generation that Ruby's often loses as a customer.

A strong brand like Ruby's allows for some fun, flexibility and a bit of variety because of how powerful, memorable, popular and profitable it is.

This is a brand that adapts to its local community and speaks to its target demographic. One example is the Ruby's in
San Juan Capistrano, CA, which features a Super Chief train theme with vintage trains on a track above the heads of diners, all to echo the community's central train station.

This is not a unique instance, also in Orange County, CA, the Ruby's near the old El Toro Air base is an "Aero Diner" with vintage planes flying overhead, and the diner's Huntington Beach location embodies an entire Surf City theme!
While many old diners are dying, Ruby's success can be attributed to its flexibility. It can be full-service, fast-casual and a drive-through concept - sometimes in combination - as the demographics and space allow.
In the midst of countless designer burger places popping up, Ruby's Diner continues to hold its own. For the past 30 years, Ruby's burgers have found their place between the gourmet burgers and the sub-par fast food options.

But burgers are only one of Ruby's focuses. This is a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week - and we in the biz know that this is the hardest to operate.

For breakfast, Ruby's focuses on delicious Cinnamon Roll French Toast and other American Classics with a twist - and yes, they even serve a Breakfast Burger! For lunch and dinner, if you're not a "burger person," they offer incredible salads and special-lifestyle burgers. Ruby's was the early adopter of the Turkey Burger and Vegetarian Burger, and even serves low-calorie options and gluten-free buns!

I can't overlook the 21 handmade-to-order milkshakes - and a special shake every month - each so rich and irresistible that they allowed him to successfully open a Ruby's Shake Shack in Newport Beach, CA.

The space is comfortable, clean, affordable and friendly, and the Ruby's experience is only heightened by the consistent, tasty food.

Ruby's Diner knows how to market itself! The striking brand image alone is enough for you to stop and look when you drive by, but once inside, you are bombarded with "four walls marketing" that is very strong. On your first visit, you are given the opportunity to join a club -- an eClub if you would like to recieve emails with coupons, special offers, new items; a Jitterbug Club for Seniors, and a kids club for the little ones!

The beautiful thing about Ruby's is that it really supports the community it is in - with local fundraisers and large-scale events. You feel like your neighborhood Ruby's is the only one that exists -- at all 30 locations!

The photo above shows one of my favorite marketing tools Ruby's utilizes! They have multiple vehicles that are used for special events -- all in theme with the 40's concept, never straying from the brand!

For years, I have been coaching restaurant and foodservice leaders to add power to their brand in every silo of their business - to add clarity to their concept and GROW for it!  This work is helpful to anyone who wants to start a food-focused business or feels their current operation is missing some key ingredients to success!  Before you launch a major marketing initiative, let's get all of the pieces of your food business puzzle organically linked to create a clear, seamless operation so sales and the Ca-Ching Ca-Ching of happy guests spending money is heard loud and clear and the Yelp comments are 5 Stars. 
Our trademarked puzzle helps restaurateurs tell their story and create unique, memorable guest connections at every key point in the dining experience.  
Did you know?
  • 80% of the dining-out decisions are made by women? What are you doing to appeal to a female demographic? 
  • Men are into the Macro and Women into the Micro? Are you focused on the details of the dining experience? 
  • It has been proven -- success is in the DETAILS!
How FoodPower Can Help YOUR Restaurant
  • Are you an established eatery that has seen your numbers slip?
  • Are you a start-up looking to hit a home run from day one?
  • A single-unit that wants to add a second location?
  • Strong culinarily but weak in operations?
  • Is there a line for lunch but "crickets in the dining room" at dinner?
The above scenarios (and many more) are extremely common in our business.  The good news is, most of them are "fixable." 
This is where FoodPower comes in...
There are many elements that directly relate to profitability and growth.  In most instances, these elements are clear to the objective, experienced eye, but nearly impossible to see for the owner/operator who sees them eight days a week. 
FoodPower finds your profit centers, quickly and objectively, so you can maximize your strengths.  What's more, we can coach you as to how to sort out your specific issues in a way that brings your costs down and your profit up!  We are talking about TRUE, QUANTIFIABLE CHANGE that captures your profits and minimizes your losses.  Our rates are surprisingly affordable and, with the vast majority of our clients, we pay for our services many times over. 

We are ready at FoodPower to go the extra mile and inspire you do the same.
Feel free to contact us at or at 949.646.3206.  You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
To the power of food!
Phyllis Ann

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