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Author Archive | Molly Patterson

Teen Walks 10 Miles in the Snow to Interview for Minimum Wage Job

Jhaqueil Reagan at Papa Roux's

Photo Credit: AP/Indianapolis Star, Bill McCleery

Let’s face it, it’s tough this day in age to find hardworking teenagers. Doesn’t it seem like teens are more interested in money and materialistic things, but less motivated to work than ever before? Apparently it’s true!  According to a new study on the attitudes and values of high school seniors from the 1970s to now, there’s a growing gap between teens’ desire to work hard and own nice things.

Well, that’s not the case for Jhaqueil Reagan, an unemployed Indianapolis teen. This 18 year old boy walked nearly 10 miles in slush and snow to a minimum wage paying job interview at a thrift store, because he didn’t have enough cash for bus fare.  About half way through the journey he spotted restaurant owner, Art Bouvier who was laying rock salt on the sidewalk after an ice storm earlier that day. Jhaqueil approached Mr. Bouvier asking how far it was to 10th & Sherman. He said “Buddy that’s probably six, seven miles. You’d be better off on a bus especially in this weather.” Jhaqueil just replied, “Okay, thank you,” and kept walking.

Later, when Mr. Bouvier was driving with his wife, he spotted the boy still walking. Astonished, he pulled over and asked him if he needed a ride. Jhaqueil graciously got in the car and proceeded to tell the couple that he was going to a job interview, but didn’t have any money for bus fare. He had already walked 3 miles before seeing Mr. Bouvier.

Mr. Bouvier was shocked. He could not believe a teen was walking 10 miles through slush and snow to a minimum wage paying job interview. He told Jhaqueil that he would double his salary if he worked for him at his restaurant, Papa Roux instead. Jhaqueil accepted and started work the following week.

It’s not every day you find young workers with ambition and motivation like Jhaqueil. In fact, Jhaqueil’s story touched Mr. Bouvier so much that he took it to social media. He posted the story on his Facebook page. Not long after, the story had over 15K likes and 4K shares. Messages of support were pouring in from around the globe.

Fox 59 reported that Jhaqueil’s mother died two years ago and he was looking for a job to support his brothers and sisters. He had to drop out of high school and recently got his GED.

He also told WRTV-TV that he is looking for an apartment closer to his new workplace so he didn’t have to walk as far. However, he will have quite a bit of time to find an apartment because the IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation authority, provided him with a year’s supply of bus passes!

This is such a great story and the fact that Mr. Bouvier recognized Jhaqueil’s work ethic and dedication gives me butterflies. Papa Roux’s is extremely lucky to have Jhaqueil on their team.

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Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing Tool

Snapchat marketing for restaurantsSnapchat is a new way to share moments with friends, family, and, most recently, consumers. Snap a funny picture (or take a short video), add a caption, and send it to one or multiple people. They’ll receive it, giggle (hopefully), and then the snap is gone… forever. You can show the image or video for up to 10 seconds before it self-destructs.

It’s a pretty basic concept, but if executed correctly it could be a great marketing tool for restaurants. In fact, Taco Bell has become the first major brand to pursue the latest social media phenomenon.

In May, Taco Bell tweeted that fans should add them on Snapchat.

Picking up the conversation for Taco Bell meeting with Snapchat
See Taco Bell over at Snapchat.What was the secret announcement they so desperately wanted to share via Snapchat you ask? It was an announcement that Taco Bell was reintroducing the Beefy Crunch Burrito.

Taco Bell Snapchat's that beefy crunch burrito is making a come back!
According to Mashable
, Taco Bell’s Director of Social & Digital Marketing, Tressie Lieberman said the brand was blown away by the response it had gotten on Snapchat. “People are obsessed with Beefy Crunch Burrito so Snapchat seemed like the right platform to make the announcement,” she says. “Sharing that story on Snapchat is a fun way to connect with the fans that we are thrilled to have. It’s all about treating them like personal friends and not consumers.”

Yes, it is difficult to market a message when you only have 10 seconds, but brands need to get creative.

Here are 5 Ideas for Marketing with Snapchat

  1. Follow Taco Bell’s lead and use it to share exclusive sneak peeks – If you’re announcing a new menu item, chef, location, etc., SnapChat your fans so they’re the first to know!
  2. Showcase contests and promotions – Have a giveaway, concert, or benefit coming up soon? Create excitement, buzz about the event by snapping your fans!
  3. Share exclusive content – As with other social media sites, you can use Snapchat to improve your brand image, and engage customers by showing them what goes on behind the scenes. Remember, snaps are supposed to be funny and quirky!
  4. Release coupon codes and special offers – Send image-based offers to fans. In some instances, you can encourage fans to redeem these offers using screenshots saved on their mobile phones.
  5. Encourage customer-generated images – This is another way to build brand loyalty. Customer-generated images have the capacity to greatly improve brand advocacy. Invite guests to snap images of themselves at your restaurant(s), your events, or at home eating take-out. You can then engage with them about their experience.

Snapchatters are sharing over 200 million snaps every day, so the social media platform is really taking off, but there is one caveat.  Technically, the image/video could be screenshot before it disappears, meaning it can be re-shared without you intentionally wanting it to be.  However, as a brand, I’d hope that you weren’t sharing anything dirty on any social channel… especially as a restaurant (dirty + restaurant never seem to go together that well).

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Gmail Tabs… Don’t Panic!

Annoyed by the new Gmail tabs?  See how to organice them.

On May 29th, Google announced the roll-out of their new email tabs. In a nut shell, these tabs organize your Gmail inbox for you. There are 5 tabs, but only 3 are enabled automatically.


1. Primary Tab – Person-to-person conversations and messages that don’t appear in other tabs, e.g. emails from family, friends and acquaintances.

2. Social Tab – Messages from social networks, media sharing sites, online data services, and other social websites, e.g. notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, Linkedin, Yelp, YouTube, etc.

3. Promotions Tab – Deals, offers, and other marketing messages, e.g. emails from online retailers, restaurants, services, etc.

Need to be Enabled

4. Updates Tab – Personal, auto-generated updates including confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements, e.g. order confirmations, invoices, shipping confirmations, bank statements, etc.

5. Forums Tab  – Messages from online groups, message boards, and mailing lists.

Initially, I wanted to thank Google for rolling out the tabs, because it gave me one less thing in my life that I needed to organize. But after a few weeks of having the new inbox, I was less than pleased. I’d forget about the tabs and miss out on smokin’ deals and promotions at my favorite eCommerce sites, I was late to get back to social notifications, and I panicked when I couldn’t find the order confirmation for my Dad’s birthday present when it was simply hidden in my “Updates” tab.

Okay, so I might be a little dramatic, but the tabs really did cramp my style. So what did I do? I found this YouTube video that changed my Gmail life.

“They” say change is a good thing and perhaps “they” are right, but at least this video shows Gmail users everything they need to do in order to receive the emails they care most about in their primary tab. And if you like the new tab setup, GREAT! Google must have had you in mind when making this new design.

One more thing…

If you are a restaurateur and your restaurant has email marketing (I highly suggest it if you don’t), make sure you inform your readers how to easily find your emails and highlight the advantages of being on your restaurant’s email list.

For example, the advantage of being a Tundra VIP is that you will receive:

  • Exclusive deals & promotions
  • Industry news & trends
  • New product updates
  • And much, much more!

Show your customers the value of your email program and how to easily disable the tabs in their Gmail inbox to ensure they see your emails right away. Heck, if you’d like, just link to the video above like we did!

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Locking Blade NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations

At the end of June I released an article with a chart for Straight Blade NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations. Though this was a great idea (no need to thank me), I was missing one important piece of the NEMA puzzle – Locking Blade NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations!  So, here you are, our colorful and straightforward NEMA plug & receptacle configuration chart for Locking Blades. If you aren’t sure how to read the plug codes, check out the NEMA Nomenclature.

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 View a chart of NEMA Locking Blade Configurations

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NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations – Straight Blade

NEMA NomenclatureConfused about the massive amount of plug and receptacle connector combinations? No need to fear, I’ve got you covered!

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has assigned labels to the vast number of configurations.  The reason for so many different types is to prevent the wrong combinations of electrical systems from being plugged together, thus avoiding potentially dangerous situations. So, here you have it, our beautiful masterpiece of Straight Blade NEMA Plugs & Receptacle Configurations.

Click on image for larger view.

Here's an easy NEMA plugs & receptacle configurations chart.

Looking for Locking Blade NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations?  We’ve got a chart for that too!

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Amy’s Baking Company: What a Disaster

Amy's Baking Company
For any of you that aren’t up to date on Amy’s Baking Company, it’s basically the most amazing non-news story that’s happened in the last month. It’s highly entertaining and a bit unbelievable…

Situated in Scottsdale, AZ, there is a food service establishment so far down the tubes that even Gordon Ramsay’s show “Kitchen Nightmares” couldn’t save it. As a matter of fact, he quit working with the owners (Amy & Samy) because their business was so out of line.

As a result of the show, there was a viral uproar between Amy & Samy and the rest of the Internet. Let me break down the chain of events that lead to the social media meltdown.

  1. They ran through over 100 employees in one year.
  2. Waitstaff is treated incredibly poor. They aren’t trusted and don’t receive tips – the crazy owners do.
  3. The food is sub par, according to Gordon Ramsay (I trust him), and not completely made from scratch as stated by the owners.
  4. The customer is ALWAYS wrong – how’s that for best practice?
  5. Chef Amy can’t take criticism; thus, she has no idea how many unhappy customers leave her restaurant because the staff and Samy are terrified to tell her because of her backlash.
  6. Amy mentioned, “We have three little boys, but they’re trapped inside cat bodies. They’re cats.” …okay, that’s just strange.

Let’s just say they need a reality check.

After watching the show, I was completely baffled, but in the back of my mind I thought, this has to be staged, right? No one would treat Gordon Ramsay with such disrespect. Well, guess what? I was completely wrong. After the episode aired on national television, the Facebook page of Amy’s Bakery lit up with insults! Amy and Samy backlashed on all websites they felt were “bullying” them by other people posting bad reviews about them. Most of the posts and comments are too inappropriate to highlight here, but here are a few to give you an idea of how nutty these business owners actually are:

  • “To all of the Yelpers and Reddits: Bring it on … Come to arizona. you are weaker than my wife, and weaker than me. come to my business. say it to my face. man to man. my wife is a jewel in the desert. you are just trash. reddits and yelpers just working together to bring us down. pathetic.”

Historically, the couple has been using social media to slander customers and reviews but suddenly they claimed their social media accounts had been hacked… Yeah right!

Amy's Baking Company Facebook Screenshot

So what can we learn from this experience?

  2. DO NOT explain that God is on your side just to get away with slander.
  3. DO NOT call other people names.
  4. DO NOT explain that the other person is an idiot while misspelling your own words.
  5. DO NOT use erratic punctuation/grammar while calling the other person stupid.
  6. DO NOT describe your cats as “little boys in cat bodies” or “little people in cat suits” or “children, but actually cats, but really children” or “non-human children.”
  7. DO NOT refuse to stop arguing.
  8. DO NOT pretend you were hacked post social media backlash.
  9. DO NOT mistreat employees.
  10. DO NOT open a restaurant and say everything is fresh when it really isn’t.
  11. And above all, DO NOT disrespect Gordon Ramsay – come on people!

These were a given though,right?

The Washington Post named off a few of these DO NOTS and later said “They do everything short of comparing someone to Hitler.” It’s true!
They also created this awesome venn diagram of the meltdown:

How the melt down of Amy's Baking Company Looks From Our Point of View

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the episode, here is 43 minutes of laughter, OMGs, and “Are you serious” remarks. Make sure there isn’t something hard under your chin because it will definitely drop.

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Frozen Drink Dispenser Recipes from Bunn

I put this article off for almost a month because I couldn’t think of a fun, exciting way to present beverage dispensers. They are basic pieces of equipment with one purpose – dispensing refreshing and tasty beverages. But after digging and digging through search results I found this fun article from Bunn about their frozen drink dispensers. They share some great recipes to try this summer that will please a wide range of ages.

From milkshakes to margaritas check out Bunn’s frozen drink recipes below!


NOTE: Each recipe makes approximately 3 gallons and don’t forget to set the dispenser setting to “max” for thicker shakes.


  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 60 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 9 teaspoons of double strength vanilla

TIP: For root beer float – cut recipe in half and replace with root beer from 2 liter bottles.


  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 50 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 22 oz. chocolate syrup


  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 50 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 10 oz. strawberry syrup flavoring
  • 32 oz. frozen mashed strawberries. (We find it easier to allow the frozen strawberries to thaw in the bag and mash them by hand while still in the bag before adding to the machine.)

TIP: Add 4 sliced bananas to the recipe above for a Strawberry Banana flavor or substitute strawberries with a mashed version of your favorite fresh fruits and leave the strawberry syrup out. 

Chocolate Chip

  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 60 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 9 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 24 oz. mini chocolate chips

Kid-Friendly Frozen Drinks

Fruit & Hawaiian punch, orange & grape soda and root beer are classic frozen flavors kids have come to love. Basically, you can put anything into the machine that contains sugar. 2 liter bottles of soda work perfect but steer clear of diet and cola flavors because the carbonation tends to disappear quickly leaving the beverage a bit bland.

Pina ColadaAdult Frozen Drinks

Pre-mixed drinks such as daiquiris, mud slides, margaritas and pina coladas work great! The pre-mixed bottles sold at most grocery and liquor stores including product and alcohol are generally made to be added to a blender with ice. Substitute the ice for water and pour into the Ultra. Bunn has found that one bottle of mix; to one bottle of water (you can use the bottle the mix came in) will typically be the correct ratio.

Have any more delicious beverage dispenser recipes to share? Please comment below.

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Dreamstaurant: Baby Steps

Chef Hegsted has been hard at work with VP of Tundra Design Group, Jeff Katz, finalizing the design of his dream restaurant, Wood Smoke. Below is the initial blueprint released at the beginning of the May.

Wood Smoke Restaurant Design Dreamstaurant

Click on Image to Make Bigger

As you can imagine there are many specifics that go into designing a restaurant which can lead to a slow, drawn out process. Hegsted’s architect is working with the city of Spokane to make sure all building codes are in compliance and Katz is optimizing the space to fulfill all of Hegsted’s needs.

The blueprint above is not yet final, but a few things are certain; on the main floor, Hegsted will have a full bar, dining space, two restrooms and state-of-the-art kitchen where he’ll work his magic to deliver an exceptional dining experience. What this blueprint doesn’t indicate is the rooftop dining space. Hegsted’s restaurant will have the one and only rooftop bar in Spokane with an exceptional view of downtown and the Spokane River. The team is still deciding whether or not to put a bar on the roof and the number of tables needed.

P.S. Chef Hegsted is opening a second restaurant! “The Yards”, will be located next door to Wood Smoke and serve baked goods, breakfast and lunch.  More details to come!

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Photo Contest: Win a Metalfrio Beverage Cooler

HBC60 Metalfrio beverage coolerFrom May 17th – June 14th we’re running a photo contest on our Facebook page. The grand prize is a Metalfrio Beverage Cooler valued at $949.95 and this puppy is packed with features including auto defrost by thermostat cycle, an LED temperature display and a front facing ventilation grill at the base for built-in applications. But above all, the HBC60 Beverage Cooler keeps beer at temps below freezing – how cool is that?

You can pack in 51 12 oz. bottles or 48 12 oz. cans, it has a 115V electrical rating which is perfect for any residential or commercial space and its only 15”W x 23.3”D x 34.5”H.

So… it’s obvious this arctic beast is a desirable piece of equipment and you probably want one, am I right? If so, you should enter our kick ass photo contest. It’s easy peazy and fun! Just go to the Facebook Photo Contest App, like our page and submit a picture of yourself enjoying tasty beverages with family and/or friends.

TIP: The Digital Marketing Team at Tundra will be judging the contest and picking one of the top 5 photos with the most votes. (that’s right – there’s voting involved!) The marketing team is a bunch of goof balls and will most likely select a humorous photo.

You can submit a different photo and vote every 24 hours so don’t forget to share your submission and invite your pals to vote!

The winner will be selected and notified via email. How terrible would it be to win and not know about it? Make sure you enter an email you check frequently. The winner will have 7 days to respond before another submission will be selected.

What are you waiting for? Submit a goofy drinking picture before you forget! Who knows, the winner could be you!

Enter Now
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Should Social Media Be Used to Shame No-Shows?

Twitter No-ShowsHave you ever been so upset with no-show diners that you’ve wanted to shout your anger from the rooftop? Well, you’re not the only one. Some restaurants have started to slander no-show customers publicly through social media – using customers full names!

Have you heard of Red Medicine? It’s a hip Beverly Hills dining establishment serving Vietnamese cuisine, with a trendy twist. It’s an establishment that is tough to get into without a reservation and, even then, you may not be eating until 9:00PM (did I mention it’s trendy?). Recently, Red Medicine took a bold move and showed their anger for no-shows, all with the help of social media.

According to The Eater, who reached out to restaurant manager Noah Ellis about the daring posts, no-shows cost restaurants a lot of money and Ellis was at his wit’s end that weekend. He used Twitter as an outlet to express his frustrations.

Red Medicine Twitter No-Show

Ellis later explained that no-shows have always been a problem for restaurants, primarily because the situation becomes difficult when a restaurant is forced to overbook to ensure it stays filled:

“Invariably, the assholes who decide to no-show, or cancel 20 minutes before their reservation ruin restaurants for the people who make a reservation and do their best to honor it. Either restaurants are forced to overbook and make the guests (that actually showed up) wait, or they do what we do, turn away guests for some prime-time slots because they’re booked, and then have empty tables.” – Noah Ellis

He mentioned that they tried to go down the “no overbooking” route a year ago because they presumed that they would be able to recover from no-shows, but would inevitably ruin a few experiences along the way… especially when guests are waiting for more than half an hour for their table. Ellis said:

“I remember a handful of times where those guests who had to wait were celebrating something, or were a younger group who brought their parents from out of town to show them the restaurant; we felt terrible. So we made the conscious decision to eliminate the ghost tables and set our turn times to a realistic length for making reservations.”

“We tried taking a credit card with every reservation, but it hurt our business; there’s a contingent of people who just won’t put down a card, regardless of if they plan on coming or not. The ticketing systems are interesting, but we do most of our business a la carte, and I’m also not sure that we have the consistent demand to justify it. We could do walk-in only, but then if you’re celebrating a special occasion, having a meeting, or trying to have a nice night out, it sucks to not know when you’ll be able to get a table. There’s no winning.”

Ellis was at his boiling point and blew up on Twitter because he didn’t know what else to do, but what else is there to do?

According to The Evening Herald a similar situation came up with Ireland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef, Oliver Dunne. He publicly roasted customers who didn’t show-up for Mother’s Day on his Twitter account.  Need I mention that, that no-show ended up costing him over $1,300?  His tweet sounded something like this:

“To the 30 people who confirmed and no-showed today – well done. I’d say your mother is proud.”

Take a Side

With all of that said, what is your take on no-show diners – how should they be handled? Is it fair to publicly denounce them via social media?  What would be a better solution?

Time to sound off!

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