Archive for February, 2013

Cowboy capital of the World

Biker Bar Austinimage imageWriting a book is interesting enough on it’s own but in cowboy country you are treated to great sunrises, strange bar seats along with your memories. Bandera, claims the title above and the bar stools are part of the gig. The black and white photo is from the first international Fridays, Birmingham, England. Magic Mike pours while Tim Thwaites Whitbread Chairman – Retail and I observe.

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What do these three tags have in common? Discussion tomorrow.



TOMORROW: These are reminder tags for customer service. MPH is Mariano’s in Dallas, reminder to ‘make people happy’, OMG is Friday’s UK’s, that while serving millions of guest a year that each one counts thus ‘one memorable guest. The granddaddy is the plus,  – minus – zero – theory I used at Friday’s. So what’s the big deal? In spite of the huge return on effort, it is the exception to find and receive exceptional customer service. I have seen the excellent results of these three reminders but for each one of these three I have seen thousands that are just empty reminders. One of the biggest mysteries of business is WHY? We address this question in Triceptive. 

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image imageimageimageimageWOW….what a project! 

I have daughters that cross the spectrum from the Boomer, X and Y generations. In fact, I have grandchildren who are smack dab in the middle of the Y generation. I have managed large numbers of people from each of these generations. I have read everything I can get my hands on and listened carefully to business leaders and past associates views.  Most importantly I have talked to representatives of each generation. Finally, I have finished writing my thoughts and advice on this topic. Don’t you just love book teases!!!!


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Danny the Geeks

imageimageimageimageimageimageAfter a flood of mail about  my geek status I received one from our associate in Philly. He said  in Philly I would be known as Danny the Geeks. That brought up the whole topic of ‘where did nicknames come from? In the writing crew here at the ranch, we have Casper (the ghost writer – born on Halloween), Stroke of Genius (books graphics artist and slightly wounded), Arenaceous (Sandy’s email – means sandy soil-love of my life), and now Danny the Geeks (originator of the term ‘Techno-Geezer”). To get the full story on nicknames click on this link:




  • imageimageimage“When excellence becomes difficult, which it always is, there are those that take an easier route it’s called MEDIOCRITY!” – Daniel. R. Scoggin




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A problem for governments and businesses alike is non-productive work, or busy work. Sweat is often confused with productivity. A cluttered desk, long hours, even dedication can be confused with results. We devote a major focus in the book to process vs results. Today my research yielded a startling new example of process (non-productive work)  robbing a business of productivity and therefore the ability fairly care for employees and customers alike. I have no way of putting a full measure to how much human effort is consumed in process that  is of no real value. Waste profits no one!



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imageimageimageMY CROWD

I think I’ve mentioned before that I love technology! So you can imagine when George Barton, casually mention, that I could make my own mobile scan block, how long it took me to get right on it! My new cards with my QR code are on their way! If you want to quickly go in a circle, scan the QR above and it will route you right back here. There are some funny lines that would describe that rotation but I’ll pass!

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Fork in the Road

imageimageWe all regularly find ourselves at major decision points. How we make these decisions is critical to our future, college, marriage, a new job. or life style change in general. Look beyond the windshield. Usually all you see are the bugs, your current problems. Look down the road, ask yourself, ‘what do I want my life to look like in 10 years or more?’ Get a fix on your long term goal, the answer to the question will  then be clear.

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Restaurant History



The restaurant business in the late 60’s and early 70’s was a creative explosion of concepts and the industry as a whole. Most of the chains and industry segments of today came from that period. I started to use Pioneers as an adjective but it really was more like the Wild West.




My book is not about restaurants or the industry’s history. I will deal with that exciting subject in a second book. This book is about principle driven decision making, in both business and  personal life. My visit in Dallas reminded me of a point of principle.. Mariano has successfully grown his business and gotten better at  MPH (making people happy) every year. He has stuck to his founding principles.

During this Wild West era there were the creators and the collectors, the founders and the companies that bought them out. The failure rate of the acquisitions was  high and the performance of the survivors lack luster and missing innovation. The question is WHY, I will address this in my book, AND,  the WHY applies universally to business.

Fellow Pioneer

imageOur trip to Casper’s, to finish the book, has taken us through Dallas.  Pictured above is my friend and fellow industry pioneer, Mariano Martinez. I visited one of his many, Dallas, area restaurants and was not surprised that everything was as it should be, EXCELLENT. One of his many claims to fame is that he invented the frozen margarita machine and that his original machine is proudly on permanent display in the Smithsonian.

From my books point of view, however, the BIG DEAL is he gets it!! He is a master at customer satisfaction.

Mariano’s credo simply:  MPH!            MAKE – PEOPLE – HAPPY!

He has captured the essence of success……Simple just not easy!

For you history buffs, in 1971, Mariano opened his first restaurant in the Greenville ave shopping center where we soon opened the first  Friday’s prototype.  We were neighbors and for him before we opened……… PESTS, just ask him.