Potbelly Restaurant Goes “Belly-Up” on Napkins

Potbelly Restaurant

One of my favorite restaurants to grab lunch from is Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop, otherwise as Potbelly. Since I’m not a fan of the drive-thru, I usually order from inside and then eat from inside my car. Something I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve gone into my local restaurant in New Lenox is the lack of napkins.

I’ve noticed this because after I get my food, I typically grab a few napkins to throw inside my bag. At my local restaurant, the napkin containers used to be on every dine-in table, making them easy to find. A few visits ago, I noticed they were no longer there. When I turned around to see if they were anywhere on the front-counter near the cash register, they were not. I finally found one napkin container, over by the pop machine and somewhat hidden behind the straws and lids.

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Starbucks “You Are Here” No More

Starbucks You Are Here Mug Collection

My near complete personal collection of Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs. A few mugs were either accidentally left in storage or are at the office.

As a coffee mug collector (or hoarder), I took a liking to the Starbucks “You Are Here” series of mugs that the company has for just about every city and/or state. Collecting such mugs while traveling over the years had become a semi-integral part of those trips.

That is why I was disappointed when I learned that Starbucks is retiring the “You Are Here” series. In place will be a new series of city and/or state themed mugs entitled “Been There.”

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You Will Not Be Disappointed

Muller Car Dealership, You Will Not Be Disappointed

One of the side discussions my boss and I often partake in at work are dissecting examples of good business and bad business in the outside world.

An example of bad business we have discussed on a few occasions are the Muller car dealership radio commercials, which have various Honda, Acura and Subaru dealerships throughout Chicagoland.

The signature ending for their commercials is recited by the owner Mike Muller, who says “you will not be disappointed.” To my boss’s point, “you will not be disappointed” is an awful way to end a sales pitch. So while a customer may not be disappointed, what kind of positive emotion might that person feel after doing business there? There is nothing inspiring about “you will not be disappointed.”

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GoDaddy Hell: Protected Registration

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is well known for their edgy commercials. In the last ten years, they’ve created a brand that portrays a company that is cool and customer friendly. It’s no wonder that when any individual, especially a small business owner, is thinking about starting a website for the first time, he or she is most likely going to think of GoDaddy.

Among many web designers and developers, myself included, GoDaddy is a malicious company that intentionally deceives and confuses their customers.

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Blackhawks President John McDonough Discusses Business Philosophy and Workplace Environment

John McDonough, Blackhawks President

When John McDonough was hired to be the new president of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007, I had never heard of him. All of a sudden, there was a tremendous amount of hype for this individual that many in the Chicago media crowned as a marketing genius due to his 24 yeas of work with the Chicago Cubs. Since then, while I had obviously been aware of who he is and that of his reputation, I never had the opportunity to learn more about him.

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Observations on the NBA’s Christmas Jerseys

Christmas 2013 Bulls NBA Jersey

Photo courtesy of UniWatch.com.

The uniforms worn by NBA teams playing on Christmas Day this year have unofficially been unveiled. According to the Uni Watch, this style uniform will also be used for this season’s NBA All-Star Game.

They resemble what a poor knockoff NBA style practice uniform might look like or what a team might wear at the junior college level (no offense to junior college basketball players or to anyone who makes knockoff NBA merchandise).

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Office Max, Office Depot Merger: One Less Source of Confusion

Office Depot and Office Max Logos

With news that Office Max is merging with Office Depot, I can only selfishly hope that means the end for one of the two brands.

I could never tell the two businesses apart. I can think of several locations where either an Office Max or an Office Depot exists, but I couldn’t tell you which store is which to save my life. I previously wrote about my annoyance concerning this in November, 2009.

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Mobile Musings: Phone and OS brand naming

Concerning Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services division, The Verge has a short but interesting tidbit about soon-to-be outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s last attempt at naming the upcoming Windows Phone devices.

Working around the marketing department at my day job, I’ve seen plenty of good and bad examples when it comes to naming an entire product line (and/or system) and individual products. There has to be an attempt at some form of consistency and consideration for long-term product growth, both of which are easy aspects to neglect.

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Examining the Sad State of Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Nook Display

The resignation of William Lynch as CEO is a big blow to Barnes & Noble. If not for the sake of his day-to-day and/or long-term presence, then at least for the sake of morale.

His appointment as CEO in 2009 and his plan to build-up the company’s digital infrastructure was rightfully acclaimed as forward thinking — the only logical phase for the company to pursue. Manufacturing a line of e-readers and tablets would provide the means for the selling of digital content for years to come. This could have allowed the company to better absorb losses coming from its brick and mortar stores and/or phase them out completely. The goal was to become a viable alternative to the likes of Amazon.

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How Soon Before We Have Early Bird Thanksgiving Day Sales?

Perhaps, this particular entry would have been better served if posted just before or maybe the day after Thanksgiving. I did touch upon the Black Friday madness in a post last week, but I think this one further addresses the point of how ridiculous Black Friday madness may potentially become.

This year for example, the local Walmart stores had select items on sale beginning at 10 p.m — on Thanksgiving night!  How soon before the stores start upping the ante by hosting “early bird” Thanksgiving Day sales that morning or afternoon? Why wait!

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