ITEX Adds 23 Restaurants As Expansion In Chicago Market Continues
Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX) is rapidly expanding in the Chicago market,
having registered the prestigious Ala Carte group of 23 restaurants
as well as retaining Karen Kelly to lead ITEX’s efforts to add
hospitality companies to the trading community.
was founded by Freddie Hoffman more than 30 years ago, and has
introduced an eclectic variety of unique restaurants and nightlife
hot spots to the Chicago area. Most of its locations offer catering
and private party spaces.
Entertainment gives ITEX a boost as it expands its offerings in the
Chicago area. In addition, new team member Karen Kelly has been
added. A graduate of Levy University in Chicago with majors in
hospitality and business, she has 15 years experience in the
hospitality industry. Karen is leading the ITEX expansion in the
states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, attracting quality
Entertainment,” said John McKendrick, Ala Carte Controller, “is
planning to conduct more than $200,000 in annual transactions with
ITEX members through its Chicago area restaurants, which include
Excalibur, Sam Houston’s Char House, Famous Freddie’s, Fin McCool’s,
Lion Head Pub, Chandler’s Chophouse and Moretti’s Ristorante and
“We are very
pleased to have Ala Carte Entertainment, one of the Chicago area’s
premier dining organizations, as our newest member,” asserted Steven
White, Chairman and CEO of ITEX. “Its entrepreneurial management
team understands the benefits of having small business patrons
frequenting their restaurants and utilizing the ITEX dollars
received for a variety of local services such as advertising and
“Karen Kelly is
providing additional value for us as she focuses member recruitment
on hospitality companies...a high demand request from our trading
members. We are really gaining traction in our Chicago office,
registering some great businesses and energizing our local trading
community,” added White.
Advertisers Barter Gift Certificates For Newspaper Advertising
Illinois-based newspapers, The Dispatch (in Moline) and
The Rock Island Argus located in the Mississippi River region
known as the Quad Cities, launched
www.DeliveringQC.com in February 2007. It is a customer
retention web site that developed into a major draw for advertisers.
The secret of its success? Telling advertisers, “Your money’s no
The site uses a
two-pronged approach that favors barter over cash, yet keeps
the newspaper comfortably in the black.
advertiser gives the web site three gift certificates each month
that are redeemable for its products or services. The site then
offers these vouchers for sale to anyone who visits the site’s
“Value Vault,” at half the face value of each certificate or
less...taking that sum as its fee.
Each month, the
paper sells $2,000 to $7,000 worth of gift certificates, estimates
John A. Newby, former circulation director for The Dispatch
and now publisher of The Times in Ottawa (IL). “Advertisers
love it, we get our money back and draw more readers to the site,”
the site, those same advertisers offer special coupons that can be
downloaded and printed only by those who subscribe to The
Dispatch or The Rock Island Argus. The advertisers also
receive promotion in the print edition and elsewhere on the DQC
Newby and the
site’s former manager and administrator, Zack Wenthe, spent an hour
a day for about two months just brainstorming the details of how the
site would work. They started by collecting pre-printed, paper-based
gift certificates from merchants, but having to mail them to
customers who bought them online quickly proved tedious.
In September, a
completely digital system was designed which customers could then
download and print. Each month, merchants receive a report that
lists the number of page views their part of the site received, as
well as the serial numbers of each gift certificate purchased.
according to Wenthe, is that the site’s approach appeals to
internet-wary small business advertisers. “Your major players get
it, they know how to track it,” he noted, “but local guys don’t want
to assume a lot of risk.” The benefit of this ad program is that
it’s performance based. “They’re only paying if we sell their gift
DQC is a
particularly effective tool for reaching the small-business
advertiser, says Newspaper Next's Stephen T. Gray, who has watched
the project evolve. “This removes one of the biggest obstacles to
advertising—having to take cash out of the business to pay for it.”
And what about
those gift certificates that don’t sell quite so well? The newspaper
company uses them as new subscriber and EZ Pay premiums, Newby says.
Previously, the papers were spending about $10 to $20 per subscriber
for premiums. Now the certificates generate about $150,000-$200,000
in revenue and savings on subscriber inducements, added Newby.
has been getting the traffic,” Newby admitted. Clearly dabbling in
barter is something guaranteed to make a newspaper’s accounts
department a little nervous. “But we have to be different. If we
keep doing the same thing we’ve always done, we’re dead.”
Americans Embracing Diversity In International Foods
be the kings and queens of hand-held foods—burgers, sandwiches,
pizza—but their tastes will be increasingly fed by more
international cuisines, according to new research from the Center
for Culinary Development (CCD).
the CCD’s most-recent “Culinary Trend Mapping” report (published
jointly with Packaged Facts), Americans are likely to move toward
seeking out and eating hand-held foods that have more of an ethnic
flair, in part as a reflection of a diversifying culture. The
trends, which include fare such as Indian dosas, Chinese baos and
Latin American empanadas, are starting to emerge in urban areas and
university cafeterias, says CCD trendologist Kara Nielsen.
food service centers cater to ethnically diverse people who
cross-pollinate,” Nielsen tells Marketing Daily. “As these young
people get out of college, they’ll be looking for these foods in
The more ethnic
foods, such as dosas and baos, are still considered an emerging
trend that could take some time to develop, perhaps as long as five
years, Nielsen says. But she notes that food trends are moving from
the ethnic fringe to the mainstream at an ever-increasing pace. “The
general American’s knowledge of food has increased exponentially,”
that’s likely to catch on more quickly is smaller versions of
familiar fare such as mini-hamburgers or sandwiches. But a coming
trend will pair those sandwiches with a more gourmet air, featuring
premium beef or lamb, Nielsen suggests. The smaller size also gives
diners the option of having more to sample, share and snack on, as
well as being kid-friendly.
predicts Mexican paletas, which are frozen pops made from fresh
fruit or vegetables, to be a growing category. Early adopters, such
as foodies, bloggers, and reporters are keen on their freshness and
unusual flavors. Nielsen notes that paleta chains and distributors
are already branching out beyond their traditional Latin
areas...into mainstream grocery stores.
In the nearer
term, Latin American-tinged empanadas can be found in mainstream
magazines and grocery stores, though Nielsen says she’s a bit
surprised the filled pastries are not found more often in
quick-service restaurants. (Taco Bell has an empanada product, but
it’s more akin to a hot apple pie than a savory sandwich.)
The area that
going to see the most growth the quickest will be in the form of
breakfast sandwiches. A flurry of activity started in 2003, with
Starbucks and Sonic Drive-Ins entering the day-part, and McDonald’s
introducing the McGriddle sandwich. Since then, other chains have
introduced their own hand-held breakfast sandwiches, and McDonald’s
has introduced a premium breakfast burrito offering, Nielsen says.
Microsoft Goes After Business-Minded Consumer
corner the financial services sector, Microsoft has forged another
distribution and ad sales partnership, this time with The Wall
increasingly becoming a centerpiece of Microsoft’s business
strategy. In October, its chief executive Steve Ballmer said
advertising would make up 25% of the company's total revenue within
a few years. The pronouncement came shortly after Microsoft paid $6
billion for advertising technology powerhouse aQuantive. “This deal
is a strong indicator that we're gaining significant traction with
our advertising platform,” aQuantive founder Brian McAndrews said.
aQuantive’s Atlas division, McAndrews and Microsoft plan to soon
provide advertisers with logs of all the sites where consumers
encounter their ads online so they can more effectively plan their
now serve as the exclusive third-party provider of contextual and
paid search advertising for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
of sites, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com,
MarketWatch.com, and AllThingsD.com, among others.
sites add an estimated 20 million unique visitors per month to the
extended Microsoft network, giving advertisers access to an
increasingly deep financial services vertical. In recent weeks and
month, Microsoft has reached similar deals with CNBC, MSN Money, and
financial information provider Edgar Online.
“We think we’ve
pretty much locked up the market for business-minded consumers,”
said Jon Tinter, general manager, strategy and business development
for Microsoft. Still, Tinter acknowledged that the deal is unlikely
to satisfy advertisers. “They’ll want more inventory,” he said.
“That’s their biggest demand, today.”
Since launching its adCenter hub last year, Microsoft has signed on
roughly 100,000 advertisers, and plans to offer advertising
throughout its entire product line. Firmly rooted in its history as
a technology company, Microsoft last summer also opened a research
center dedicated to online advertising.
International (OTCBB: ARTI) announced the launch of their new
television show, “Artfest Presents,” which premiered January 26,
2008. The show will initially be broadcast to approximately 20
million viewers, within 218 TV markets nationally, including the top
10 major independent TV markets.
block of programming introduces the world of art and the opportunity
to be a part-time or full-time art dealer with Artfest. The show
presents a montage of footage from the company’s historical files,
including member testimonials. In addition, viewers can enjoy series
featuring Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Jack Ingram, Reckless Kelly along
with interviews with artists such as Aubree Anna, live painting
segments and art collections.
Artfest CEO and Chairman, stated, “The collaboration with AMGTV
provides Artfest with an outlet to communicate its story and
direct-sales opportunity to art enthusiasts nationally through
educational and enriching artist documentaries, interviews, live art
showcases, and concert series.”
CEO of AMGTV, foresees a huge response from viewers. “I look forward
to having the Artfest Network affiliate on board. Their vision fits
in with our lifestyle programming, but also further diversifies our
current offerings. I anticipate that this will be a mutually
beneficial relationship for both companies.”
Work With Audio/Visual
Vendor On Barter
Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at
your facility that require the use of professional AV
services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee
costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV
services, here’s a much better alternative:
Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track
record) who will provide all of the AV services for your
hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of
Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of
$200,000, and this offer is available only in the
continental United States.
For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via
Attention Trade Exchange Owners:
If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of
meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for
AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial
cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade
dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact
Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.
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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates
Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility
many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any
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New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
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useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
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