Best of San Diego

Let’s face it business travel can be tedious. Flight delays, mediocre dinners in the hotel lobby, stressful meetings and of course, more flying. So, the next time you’re packing your bags be sure to throw that Hawaiian shirt in with your business khakis and build some exploration time into your agenda, especially in the summer when it seems like everyone else on your flight is on holiday!

Downtown San Diego Gaslamp sign over moving traffic
Famous Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA.

This August business people from all over the world will descend on San Diego for the Global Business Travel Association annual conference.  I admit San Diego is not a tough assignment, but if you tread a straight path between your hotel and the convention center you risk missing the So Cal experience. It’s not difficult to find fun local activities, especially with the convention center sitting on the waterfront downtown. So, allow me to offer a few ideas for your next business trip in America’s Finest City.

  • Downtown San Diego is home to Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres. If you’re a baseball fan then this state of the art baseball experience is sure to impress. Catch a fly ball, or enjoy the game with a cold one and take in the atmosphere.
  • If you’re looking to experience a little Puerto Nuevo style seafood without actually crossing into Mexico, Rockin’ Baja Lobster has a location right downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter. Venturing just north of downtown there is another Rockin’ Baja in Old Town. A trip to Old Town will transport you back in time as it is the oldest settled area in San Diego. Here you’ll discover historic buildings dating back to 1820.
Rockin' Baja Lobster
Tacos from Rockin’ Baja Lobster.
  • Downtown is also home to one of the largest “Little Italy” neighborhoods in the country and is a thriving pedestrian market place with restaurants, shops, wineries and more. If you set out to explore this historic area, make time to grab a bite at Indigo Grill. With a fire pit patio, it’s the perfect place to enjoy “Modern Latin Cuisine.”
  • Another downtown favorite for “social dining” is Searsucker. There are plenty of small plates to share, grilled octopus…duck wings…mushroom crepes…yes, please!  If you’re in the mood for something heartier, the prime dry aged New York strip with Japanese sweet potato and shishito chimichurri will not disappoint.
Searsucker
Steak dish from Searsucker.
  • Balboa Park is in close proximity to downtown and this 1,200-acre urban oasis offers something for everyone. Museums, gardens, trails, theatre, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and of course, food! The award-winning Prado at Balboa Park in the House of Hospitality offers both indoor and outdoor dining.  A beautiful setting to taste the local San Diego brew with your lunch or dinner.
  • If you crave waterfront dining, Coronado Island is a quick 15-minute boat ride across the bay from the convention center ferry stop. Once you arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing, head to Il Fornaio and sample some of its award winning Italian cuisine. Il Fornaio’s dining room and patio provide a glorious front and center view of the beautiful San Diego skyline.
Il Fornaio
Pasta dish from Il Fornaio.
  • Another perfect vantage point for dining with a view is Coasterra, at the tip of Harbor Island just a short drive from the convention center. You will enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and city while feasting on modern Mexican cuisine.
  • Lastly if you can sneak away long enough to escape to La Jolla, a beautiful village offering ample dining options. Whisknladle is considered a “neighborhood gem” where inspired dishes featuring local ingredients change frequently to capture the freshest flavors of the season.  According to Edible San Diego, “the modern-rustic, indoor-outdoor dining room screams La Jolla chic.”
    • Across the way sister restaurant Catania features fresh, authentic, handcrafted Italian fare. Earning top accolades since opening, Catania’s perch on the top floor of the La Plaza Center offers stunning views of La Jolla and the Pacific beyond.
    • A La Jolla classic George’s at the Cove hosts three venues in one building. You can savor “California Modern” cuisine on the first level; on “Level2” you’ll be treated to an elevated cocktail experience featuring classic and innovative modern creations; and one level up is George’s Ocean Terrace, overlooking the Pacific, which Travel and Leisure named “one of the world’s hottest rooftop restaurants.”
Georges
Cocktails from George’s at the Cove.

I hope I’ve lured you away from ordering room service and provided ample opportunity to put on that Hawaiian shirt and own your San Diego experience!

Written by Janice McEachen.

Power Breakfasts and the Business Breakfast Movement

 

We’ve all heard it, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But, do restaurateurs know just how important? Business professionals often use breakfast meetings as ground zero for negotiating, meeting up with colleagues or interviews. What happens over a breakfast meeting is very important, and what is even more important is the food. Corporate employees are getting smart about mixing food and business. While the traditional meeting over lunch and dinner is always a solid move, business diners are taking full advantage of the opportunity to get up early and meet over bacon, eggs and coffee.

Deemed the “power breakfast,” the movement is gaining traction throughout the restaurant industry, and many restaurateurs are taking notice by opening the doors earlier and adjusting offerings to accommodate this guest. In fact, many restaurant brands have re-branded, fast-casual version of their signature restaurant style to attract younger and more time-crunched customers while still appealing to their long-time patrons. This renewed focus on capturing the early birds creates a new revenue stream of customers that otherwise may not have been captured.

Potbelly_Breakfast

So, how are restaurant brands approaching this change? Potbelly, once perceived as only a lunch and dinner brand, now offers business professionals a new breakfast section of their menu that takes the breakfast sandwich to an entirely new and mouthwatering level. Who knew you could order a delicious egg, sausage, and melted cheddar sandwich on top of a blueberry maple square bun while negotiating a high-level client deal?  Potbelly also provides corporate diners with the option to cater in breakfast for off-site meetings and events. Talk about power!

Diners are also paying careful attention to what they eat for breakfast as well.  The latest NRA State of the Industry study found that 7 in 10 diners would choose a restaurant where healthy food is available.  Millennials are also more likely to choose a restaurant with locally-sourced, or environmentally-friendly food items.

Bob Evans Breakfast

Another win in the power breakfast category is Bob Evans, where business diners can enjoy a variety of farm-fresh breakfast favorites and conduct an interview with prospective employees at the same time.  No matter the occasion, business diners can enjoy breakfast meals that includes the famous Farmer’s Choice Breakfast to the famous Pot Roast Hash.

“Business meetings allow people to savor great home-style breakfasts together, and at Bob Evans we’re serving more farm fresh fruits and vegetables than ever along with some fun new ways to enjoy them,” said a representative at Bob Evans. “It’s comfort with attitude for business diners: nothing short of simple, delicious, farm fresh, down to earth food done right! That’s the Bob Evans way.”

Whether it’s the road warrior looking for a quick breakfast bite with colleagues or the sales professional looking to engage with their prospects over pancakes, restaurants are stepping up the breakfast game in more ways than one in order to attract the everyday business professional.

 

 

 

 

New Dinova Restaurants: June 15, 2018.

 

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of June 15:

600 Kitchen & Bar. PS 2

 

600 Kitchen & Bar in Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant y Cantina

 

Eight Locations for Acapulco 

 

 Amali PS

 

Amali Located in New York, New York

 

Babalu Tapas & Tacos PS

 

Babalu Tapas & Tacos in Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

Benis Cubano. PS

 

Two Locations for Beni’s Cubano

 

 

Big Fish Grill .jpg PS

 

Big Fish in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

 

Big Fish River Front PS

 

Big Fish on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware

 

 

 

Central Tap House PS

 

Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

Centre Street Tap PS

 

Centre Street Tap House in Portage, Michigan

 

 

 

Chevys tex Mex PS

 

26 Locations for Chevys Fresh Mex

 

 

Cove Westlake Bistro PS

 

Cove Lakeside Bistro in Portage, Michigan

 

 

 Dick's Last Resort PS

Seven Additional Locations for Dick’s Last Resort

 

 

Eclectic Bistro & Bar PS

 

 Eclectic Bistro & Bar in Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

El Torito PS

 

39 Locations in El Torito 

 

 

El Torito Grill PS

 

Two Locations of El Torito Grill

 

 

 

Fieldstone's Grill PS

 

Fieldstone Grill in Portage, Michigan

 

Genki Noodles & Sushi PS

 

Two Locations of Genki Noodles & Sushi

 

 

Idler Riverboat & Dockside PS

 

Idler Riverboat & Dockside in South Haven, Michigan

 

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant y Cantina

 

Las Brisas in Laguna Beach, California

 

 

Lou Malnati's PS

 

53 Locations of Lou Malnati’s

 

 

Martell's PS

 

Martell’s in Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

 

McCray's Tavern PS

 

Three Locations of McCray’s Taverns

 

 

 

Mikimotos Asian Grill and Sushi Bar Ps

 

Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar in Wilmington, Delaware

 

 

Sinigual PS

 

Sinigual in New York City, New York

 

Sprinkle Road Tap House PS

 

Sprinkle Road Tap House in Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

Stevens' PS

 

Stevens’ in Gurnee, Illinois

 

 

 

TGI Friday's PS

 

25 Additional Locations of TGI Friday’s

 

 

The Wine Loft PS

 

The Wine Loft in Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

 

Tin Lizzy'z Cantina PS

 

14 Locations of Tin Lizzy’s Cantina

 

 

Tony Roma's PS

 

Two Additional Locations of Tony Roma’s

 

Trolly Square PS

 

Trolley Square Oyster House in Wilmington, Delaware

 

 

 

Washington Street Ale House PS

 

Washington Street Ale House in Wilmington, Delaware

 

 

Who Song & Larry Restaurant & Cantina PS

 

Who Song & Larry’s Restaurant & Cantina in Vancouver, Washington

 

 

Zaytinya's PS

 

Zaytinya in Frisco, Texas

 

 

Ziziki_s Restaurant PS

 

Additional Location of Ziziki’s Restaurant

 

 

Fatherhood and the Working Man

It’s almost Father’s Day, and we here at Dinova love to celebrate family! Recently, we caught up with our Chief Technology Officer, Danny Davis, who gave us some great perspective on what it means to be a working dad.

Danny 2

Question: Tell us a little about your family.

Answer: Being a working father isn’t always easy. When you’re an involved parent, making choices about how to spend your time is important. I have three children, ages 7, 9, and 11, and every minute I get to spend with them is a win in my book. As a father, making choices about work directly correlates with how I spend time with my kids. Understanding that these ages are fleeting and we can’t turn the clock back really drives my decision-making process.

Q: What makes it difficult to keep a work-life balance?

A: As an entrepreneur, it was difficult to turn my brain off from the worry and stress of running a business, but when it came time to join a successful company the choice was based on my family. As a dad, when I bring work home with me there are two things that suffer: time and emotion; and the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s not enough to just be home but I should be engaged. Kids know when parents aren’t engaged with them. Unplugging and looking up goes a long way with kids, because they are smart; and if they are anything like mine, they are also little lie detectors. You can’t fool them into thinking your present when you’re not.

When I was looking for a company to join, I didn’t consider any jobs that took me away from them for extended periods of time, or that required a constant need to take work home in the evenings and on weekends. Understandably, when you’re in the middle of a large project, there are times when you need to put in extra hours, but on the regular, it’s nice to be home.

Q: When you are dining for business – do you end up talking about kids?

A: When I am working, it’s very easy to talk about the fun and cute things the kids do that entertain my wife and me. This particularly happens during business meals. Any time you’re dining on official company business, there is always a relationship building portion of the meeting and that is where children come up. Exchanging “war stories” with other parents always turns into laughter, because kids are funny. Especially mine (no bias here).

Q: Has being a father affected the way you see employees or potential employees?

A: Having children has certainly changed how I see employee relationships. I believe relationships exist the same in all scenarios of life, whether its family dynamic, work or personal relationships; the way you treat other people should be the same, and you train your kids for what they’ll eventually need in the work place. You shouldn’t be a separate person from one place to the next, because that creates personal inconsistencies. It’s especially important when thinking about my daughters becoming adults and entering the workforce.

I’ve always felt I’ve treated everyone fairly, regardless of gender, color, religious views or other diversities that make society so unique and dynamic. Of course, there’s always more to learn, and in today’s world I find myself thinking things like “would my daughter feel this way about this” or “is this something she’d be interested in doing.” I know, one day my girls will grow up and tell me how they feel about their work experiences, and I hope they will always have a positive outlook and be able to handle difficult moments with grace.

Q: What advice would you give to working dads about work-life balance?

Think about what you remember about your parents. Is it what they did or how much money they made? Or, is it what they taught you, the time spent and bonding?

A: My advice to working dads goes back to my previous comment. Pay attention to how much real time you have with your children, and find those pockets of influence that are just you and them. No outside distractions. Those are the moments that not only they will cherish, but that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Danny 3

Special thanks to Danny Davis for sharing his life as a working dad with us!

Prep Before Your Vacation for a Stress-Free Comeback

Beach bum. Outdoor adventurer. Culture queen. Festival fanatic. Culinary tourist. Whatever your vacation persona may be, your goal is most likely the same as everyone else’s: to leave your job behind and lose yourself in another world for a few blissful days with amazing food, friends and family.

Ideally, you’ll come back refreshed to a job where you are recognized for your brilliance by coworkers who are eagerly awaiting your return – not because things are running off the rails, but because you’re da bomb. This is totally possible. You just have to think (in the vocabulary of those employed by The Walt Disney Company) like a ‘cast member’ and focus on two things: the task at hand and the follow up to that task.

Project manager using Gantt chart, tasks planning and scheduling, computer

If you’re not familiar, Disney incorporates the “three o’clock parade” idea into its customer service training. It’s predicated on the idea that cast members will no doubt be asked every day “What time is the three o’clock parade?”

Rather than simply feeding guests the obvious answer, cast members are trained to think beyond the basic information and anticipate follow-up questions, enabling them to provide a richer response, layered with insider details that enhance the guest experience.  When asked, cast members confirm the three o’clock start time, but then  add on “extras” — sharing the best time to line up for the parade, recommending a prime spot for viewing the entertainment, and maybe some other tidbit, like which dining venues can get them in and out in time for the start of the parade.

By taking this three o’clock parade approach into the corporate setting, you can prep three critical entities for your vacation, and you’ll not only increase your chances of truly leaving your office cares behind and unplugging for awhile, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for a less stressful return to business.

Three O’Clock Parade Entity 1: Your Boss

As soon as you have your vacation dates approved, start looking ahead at your major tasks or projects for that timeframe. Note all of the details – deadlines, deliverables, resources, dependencies, collaborators, etc. – in a document or spreadsheet to help you flesh out the full body of work you need to account for. Then working backward from the last day or two at the office before your vacation, lay out your plan for what you can realistically accomplish before you leave, what can be rescheduled for after your return, and what you’ll need to have coverage for while you’re gone.

Business investors discussing business matters sitting at table in office.

If you’re working on any time-sensitive projects, be sure to email a copy of your plan to your boss. Or better yet, take the initiative to schedule a coffee or breakfast meeting with them to sit down and go over your plan. Be prepared to address their top concern – namely, how will your absence impact this project – but then also be prepared with the answers to whatever next two questions naturally follow from that concern.

Three O’Clock Parade Entity 2: Your Back-up

The next person you need to prep is your back-up. Your back-up has his own job that he’s not going to just drop while you’re off having fun, so be clear about what you really need him to do. This can be done over a nice business lunch. Lay out all of the details on important projects, and provide access to the resources he’ll need in order to be prepared to act in your stead. Share that insider-level of information you’re keeping in your head so you’re not leaving him in the lurch.  Your back-up will appreciate it, and have everything he needs to respond to requests while you’re away.

Three O’Clock Parade Entity 3: Yourself

When you’re making sure you’ve taken care of what everyone else needs from you before you leave, don’t forget about what you can do to help yourself. Start by blocking off the last two hours the last day and the first two hours when you return for yourself. With those timeslots blocked, you’ve made time to deal with out of office reminders for email and voicemail, and can take care of any last-minute tasks that pop up.

Businesswoman typing corporate e-mail using laptop at office des

Set clear expectations about whether or not you’ll be reachable while you’re away, and, if you are reachable, by cell phone or email only? Under what circumstances? You might also leave a note on white board with your vacation dates, and send a team email or leave a printout of resources on your desk that you anticipate might curb those emergency “what’s our social media login” types of interruptions.

Create a new document on your computer, and dump all of your work worries, everything that’s on your mind, into it. Then shut it and leave it behind, knowing it’ll all be there when you get back.

And your last task: schedule a team lunch or happy hour for when you return so you can catch up, share stories, and recognize individuals for their work while you were gone.

 

Cool Summer Food Trends

It’s summer at last!  Don’t wait until you’re home on the weekend to celebrate the season.  If you find yourself on the road for business, fight the urge to order room service and go live it up.  Since it is such a short season, don’t bypass the opportunity for a seasonal experience because you’re away from home and perhaps traveling alone.  Make it a trip to remember by checking out the local food scene and indulging in the amazing cuisines that showcase the abundance of peak seasonal produce.

Bidwell
Bidwell

If your travels bring you to our nation’s capital, venture out to Union Market.  After you’ve perused the goods that 40 local artisans have on display, have a seat on the patio at Bidwell.  Much of the produce at this Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed restaurant is grown on their aeroponic rooftop, the definition of hyper-local food.  What could be more refreshing than a lemonade infused with basil and cucumber that was grown on site?  Sounds perfect with one of Chef Mooney’s lobster taco appetizers!

joy district dirnks
Joy District

“Handcrafted” and “modern” are defining terms on the beverage scene this summer.  Instead of classic soft drinks, bartenders are mixing it up by infusing sparkling soda with hibiscus or berries.  At the Kingside in Manhattan you can enjoy a rooftop experience while sipping on a lavender Collins or a Midtown Spritz, a vodka cocktail with elderflower, prosecco and mint.  If you don’t have an early meeting, Joy District in Chicago offers unique cocktails with a dance party rooftop experience!

Screenshot (2)
Table & Main

Take a stroll down Canton Street in Roswell, Ga., where you will find a variety of al fresco dining options.  Osteria Mattone offers a patio setting where you can dine underneath the large trees strung with white lights. The patio at Table & Main features a beautiful stone fireplace.  If you’re in the mood for seafood, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill is just a few steps away with plenty of patio seating.  If you’re able to venture outside the city, The Farmhouse at Serenbe is one of Atlanta’s original farm-to-table restaurants.  The chefs reimagine the menu each month with a focus on local seasonal ingredients, much of what is harvested from their own gardens.

Embrace every opportunity to enjoy the season, it won’t last long!

Author: Janice McEachen

New Dinova Restaurants: September 1, 2018.

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of September 1:

191 Knickerbocker PS

 

191 Knickerbocker in Brooklyn, New York

 

 

Babalu Tapas & Tacos PS

 

8 Additional Locations of Babalu Tapas & Tacos  

 

 

Bohemian House PS

 

Bohemian House in Chicago, Illinois

 

 

The Brockway Public House PS

 

Brockway Public House in Carmel, Indiana

 

 

Cabo PS

 

Cabo A Taste of Mexico in Rockville Centre, New York

 

 

Cibo e Beve PS

 

Cibo e Beve in Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

CRU Food and WIne Bar.jpg PS

 

12 Locations of CRÚ Food and Wine Bar

 

Cyclone Anaya's.jpg Ps

 

 

Six Locations of Cyclone Anaya’s

 

Dos Coyotes PS

 

Eight Location of Dos Coyotes Border Café

 

Enzo's Italian Fine Foods.jpg PS

 

 

Enzo’s Italian Fine Foods  in Stamford, Conneticut

 

 

Fields Good Chicken.jpg PS

 

Four Locations of Fields Good Chicken

 

 

Flyrite Chicken Sandwhich.jpg PS

 

Two Locations of Flyrite Chicken Sandwiches

 

 

 

Galaxy Tacos PS

 

Galaxy Tacos in La Jolla, California

 

Kuroshio Sushi.jpg PS

 

 

Kuroshio Midtown Sushi & Lounge in Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

Make Sandwhich.jpg PS

 

Make Sandwich in New York, New York

 

 

 

Melt Shop PS

 

Nine Locations of Melt Shop

 

 

 

Parrky's Smokehouse.jpg PS

 

Parky’s Smokehouse in  Lebanon, Indiana

 

 

Princi Italia.jpg Ps

 

Two Locations of  Princi Italia

 

 

 

Smoke E Yard.jpg PSTwo Locations Smokeyard BBQ and Chopshop

 

 

Sultana.jpg PS

Sultana in Menlo Park, California

 

 

 

TGI Fridays

 

74 Additional Locations TGI Friday’s

 

 

The Chocolate Sanctuary PS

 

The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee, Illinois

 

 

The Flat Iron Grill.jpg PS

 

The Flat Iron Grill in Issaquah, Washington

 

 

The Iron Duck Public HousePS

 

The Iron Duck Public House in North Bend, Washington

 

 

The Little Beet PS

 

Eight Locations for The Little Beet

 

 

The Little Beet Table PS

 

Two Locations for The Little Beet Table

 

Wrecking Bar Brewhub PS

 

 

Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Atlanta, Georgia

Yes, you need to start planning your office holiday party now.

So you’ve been tasked with planning the annual employee holiday party for your company. But that’s okay, you may think. After all, it’s only August, and I have still plenty of time. I’ll just put it at the end of my to-do list. Right?

Wrong. You are so, so wrong.

If you are reading this blog post now and haven’t done any prep work, you are already late in planning your office holiday party. Event spaces book up fast during the holiday season, restaurants are going to be slammed with catering orders, and employees need to know key dates for company-wide events well in advance so they can plan their schedules. The longer you wait to get started, the greater the chance that something is going to fall through the cracks. And with all of the employees who are planning to attend and judge every detail, it’s extremely important to put your best foot forward with this soiree.

Are you panicked yet? No need to worry – that’s why we’re here! Here are five steps that can make planning your holiday office party quick, easy and painless.

iStock-615082010.png

1. First, pick a theme. Are you thinking black tie affair, or a night out playing arcade games? The possibilities are practically endless, and some may be more fitting than others, depending on whether or not families and significant others will be invited to attend. Get the theme figured out right away so that you can put a check mark next to the basics such as time, date, location, and even things like decorations and color scheme. Be sure to involve a handful of other employees to pick the theme out, too – that way you’ll have backup in your choice. Once you have your direction, you can select a menu that coincides with the theme. We at Dinova have made this especially easy with our Holiday Dining Guide, which can help you find a restaurant for your event in just a few minutes. Our Dining Guide showcases to holiday hotspots in our most popular locations for the season of lights and focuses on their party offerings, from catering to private dining venues.

2. Make an agenda. An agenda will help ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you have assistance where needed. Start your agenda with the time of day in which you or a party-planning company will be setting everything up so that you won’t be sweating the details at the last minute (like figuring out when the decor can be hung). Be sure to note all important times as well, including when you want the CEO to speak, when you plan to have food served, and so forth.

3. Have a team by your side. We recommend assembling a party team within your company to help bring everything from concept to execution, but remember – it’s about quality, not quantity. You don’t need a representative from every department to help you with this – in fact, that’s probably a mistake as it would distract from employees’ actual jobs. Empower a small team of individuals and be sure to include people in human resources and marketing – that way you’ll have someone to talk corporate policy and someone to talk look and feel.

4. Announce the basics. There are some key details that many office party planners fail to realize are of the utmost importance to employees attending the holiday party. What is the dress code? Will alcohol be served, and will it be an open bar? Will there be dinner or appetizers, and what time will the food be offered? Establish the answers to these questions well in advance and be sure to inform your company so that they are prepared. It’s also important to remind your guests that at the end of the day, they are representing the company at a workplace event and are expected to be on their best behavior as they enjoy the soiree.

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5. Do something good. One portion of the holiday party that is often overlooked until the last minute is the fundraising aspect, yet our research shows that corporate social responsibility is very important to employees. Consider designating a charity to partner with for your party and keep it simple. Tried and true ideas include a toy drive, sponsoring a family for the season or donating food to a local shelter. Heck, you can even make the fundraising aspect the theme for your event, such as participating in a pre-party Santa 5k walk/run!

While you are definitely behind schedule if you haven’t started planning your office holiday party yet, it’s not the end of the world. Keep things simple, invite collaboration, and of course, remember that the event is supposed to be fun! Go ahead and get started – and get a jump on selecting your party’s location and food choices by using our Dinova Holiday Dining Guide to find the perfect restaurant to best suit your needs.

New Dinova Restaurants: August 15, 2018.

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of August 15:

Arami PS

 

Arami in Chicago, Illinois

 

Bowties PS

 

 

Bowties 2 Blue Jeans Catering  in Pflugerville, Texas 

 

Cafe Izmus PS

 

Two Locations of Café Izmir 

 

Cojo Catering.jpg PS

 

 

Cojo Catering in Round Rock, Texas

 

Entente.jpg PS

 

Entente in Chicago, Illinois

 

 Farm Burger.png PS

 

17 Locations of Farm Burger

 

 

Firefly Tapas PS

 

Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar in Las Vegas, Nevada 

 

 

Flagship Cruise.jpg PS

 

Flagship Cruises & Events in San Diego, California

 

Gregorio's Catering PS

 

 

Gregorio’s Catering in Austin, Texas

 

Heineken Pub 97.jpg PS

 

Heineken Pub 97 in Chicago, Illinois

 

 

Keegan's Irish Pub PS

 

Keegan’s Irish Pub in Roswell, Georgia

 

Millo's Sandwhiches PS

 

25 Locations of Milio’s Sandwiches

 

 

Pacifica Del Mar PS

 

Pacifica Del Mar in Del Mar, California

 

Potbelly.png PS

 

 

Two Locations of Potbelly Sandwiches

 

Ross+&+Hall.jpg PS

 

Ross & Hall Kitchen + Beer Garten in Dallas, Texas

 

Six Feet Under.png PS

 

 

Six Feet Under Pub & Fish in Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia

 

Souplantation.png PS

 

36 Locations of Souplantation

 

Sweet Tomatoes PS

 

 

61 locations of Sweet Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Dinova Restaurants: August 1, 2018.

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of August 1:

Boqueria.jpg PS

 

Six Locations of Boqueria

 

 

Chez Zee Bistro PS

 

Chez-Zee American Bistro in Austin, Texas 

 

 

Davantie noteca.jpg PS

 

Two Locations of Davanti Enoteca

 

 

Dinosaur BBQ.jpg PS

 

Seven Locations of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

 

Disotto

 

 

 

Disotto in Highwood, Illinois

 

 

El Naranjo

 

El Naranjo in Austin, Texas

 

 

 

famous Dave's BBQ PS

Six Locations of Famous Dave’s BBQ

 

 

 

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18 Locations of Francesca’s Restaurants

 

 

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Harvest House in Wilmington, Delaware

 

 

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Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

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28 Locations of Just Salad

 

 

Lokanta PS

 

Two Locations of Lokanta

 

 

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Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria and Wine Bar in Denver, Colorado

 

 

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Master Pizza in Pharma, Ohio

 

 

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Mitchell’s Ocean Club in Columbus, Ohio

 

 

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Two Locations of Poke-Poke

 

 

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Three Locations of Sakura Teppanyaki and Sushi

 

 

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26 Locations of Snooze: an AM Eatery

 

 

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Additional Location for Tap 42 Kitchen & Bar

 

 

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Five Locations for Tara Thai

 

 

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Terrazas at Hyde in Hollywood, Florida

 

 

 

TGI Fridays

 

 

Nine Additional Locations for   TGIFriday’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is today’s business diner? Our new study is chock-full of great insights

What do business diners look like?

The truth is, it’s hard to say. With Millennials soon to make up  the majority of the workforce and rapid shifts in corporate culture, a business diner could be the 25-year-old in a hoodie grabbing a bite at the airport, or a suited-up professional wining and dining clients at a steakhouse.

While we’ve been able to pinpoint common misconceptions about the business diner, we wanted to take it a step further. Business dining is a $77 billion business in the U.S. making it the third largest T&E category, but little formal research has been done to understand the habits and preferences of business diners — until now.

To help participating companies make the most of Dinova, we partnered with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) to conduct a detailed, first-of-its-kind survey of corporate card-holding professionals who travel for work. The result? Surprising insights into business travelers dining habits, technology use, and attitudes toward company expense policies.

As we dug into the research, we found some interesting facts that we weren’t expecting:

GenDifferencesDining

Generational differences in business dining

  • The longer the career, the larger the tab. Baby Boomers tend to look for upscale dining choices when they travel (79%), as opposed to most Millennials (51%) who opt for fast food.

 

  • Gen Xers are most likely to be part of a pack. About a third of Gen Xers said they typically had lunch or dinner with coworkers while on business. Millennials seem to prefer solo, on-the-go dining.
  • Millennials are less comfortable expensing extras. The majority (2 out of 3) said they hesitated to expense “extras” like coffee and snacks. That number was only 1 of 3 for Boomers, and 1 of 2 for Gen Xers.

 

How business diners use food & restaurant technology

 

  • Business diners have embraced mobile apps. The majority (63%) of diners we surveyed had dining-related apps on their mobile phones.
  • Yelp is the most popular app among business diners. 53% of business diners said they used the Yelp app. Others in the top 5 were TripAdvisor (50%), GrubHub (36%), OpenTable (34%), and Uber Eats (34%).
  • Different generations use dining technology differently. Millennials are more prone to use delivery apps (45% used Uber Eats), while Boomers are more likely to use review-oriented apps like Yelp (74%).

 

Business diners want to eat like a local, but want ‘tried and true’

 

  • Most diners seek out local flavors. 77% of business travelers said they preferred to “eat like a local,” and half (49%) researched foods that were unique to their destination.
  • Brand recognition is still important. 59% of business travelers find comfort in having “trusted brands” as available options when they travel.

PreferredDiningProgram

 

Many companies offer lenient dining policies, and reward programs are catching on

 

  • Per diems aren’t required. One in three (34%) of respondents said their company enforced a per diem. More common is encouragement to use guidelines instead (41%).

 

    • It’s not always cut and dry. Nearly a quarter of respondents (22%) said they have no formal dining policy at all.
    • Careful with the money. Even with this in mind, diners aren’t always comfortable asking for reimbursement on all items. 46% of respondents said they were concerned about appearing irresponsible for expensing things outside of policy.

 

  • Corporate dining policies are flexible, and sometimes non-existent. Only 1 in 3 professionals surveyed said their company enforces a per diem. Another 22% said their company had no formal dining policy at all.

 

 

For a more in-depth look at the study’s results, download the whitepaper here.

 

What did you find most surprising about the research? How will you use the findings to drive your business?

 

New Dinova Restaurants: July 15, 2018.

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of July 15:

 

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Akbar Restaurant in Edison, New Jersey

Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar

 

 

Additional Location for Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar

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Bar BiCi Italian Street Food in South Bend, Indiana

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Flix Brewhouse in Frisco, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin

 

 

Hacienda14 Locations for Hacienda Mexican Restaurants 

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Seven Locations for Holler & Dash

LaSenorita

 

 

Five Locations for La Senorita Mexican Restaurant

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Portofino in Atlanta, GA

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12 Additional Locations for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Dinova Restaurants: July 1, 2018.

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of July 1:

Brasserie Beck PS

 

Brasserie Beck in Washington, District of Columbia

 

 

Doc B's Fresh Kitchen PS

 

Two Additional Locations for Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen 

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Nine Locations of Famous Dave’s BBQ

 

 

Lock Kitchen 72 & Bar PS

 

Lock 72 Kitchen & Bar in Potomac, Maryland

 

Marcel's PS

 

Marcel’s in Washington, District of Columbia

 

 

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company PS

 

Additional Location for MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company

 

 

Mussel Bar & Grille PS

 

Two Locations for Mussel Bar & Grille

 

 

Musume PS

 

Musume in Dallas, Texas

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Siren by RW in Washington, District of Columbia

 

 

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Two Locations for The Local Pizzaiola

 

 

 

Three Dollar Cafe PS

 

Four Locations for Three Dollar Cafe

 

 

 

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Tommy Joe’s Bar & Grill in Bethesda, Maryland

 

Villain & Siant PS

 

Villain & Saint in Bethesda, Maryland

 

 

Which Wich PS

 

6 Additional Locations in Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

 

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Wildwood Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland