Showing posts from March, 2010

Not a Whale Tale: Epilogue

The restaurant that was caught serving illegal Sei whale meat will be closing its doors in apology. I’m not surprised that “The Hump” in Santa Monica will be closing. I’ve heard that they’ve been a ghost town since they were caught, even during Happy Hour. The Hump has also been plagued by protestors, which hasn’t been good for business either. So, it’s not surprising that they’re closing their doors. In a statement posted on The Hump’s website, they hope that their closing “will help bring awareness to the detrimental effect that illegal whaling has on the preservation of our ocean ecosystems and species. Closing the restaurant is a self-imposed punishment on top of the fine that will be meted out by the court. The owner of The Hump also will be taking additional action to save endangered species.” What’s sad is that they’re saying all of the right things now after they got caught. What if they didn’t get caught? Would the owner of The Hump make a substantial contribution to a chari

Not a Whale Tale

Whales have been in the news lately, a Killer Whale trainer dies at Sea World in Orlando and a trendy sushi restaurant in LA is caught serving whale meat. The Hump in Santa Monica is being investigated for illegally serving Sei whale, which is endangered. A few people have asked me what I thought about serving whale meat? Besides being illegal in many places in the world, the taste in my opinion is HORRIBLE ; I did try piece of whale meat while visiting Japan in 2001. The taste was very gamey, after all it’s a huge wild animal. I didn’t like it at all and even said I would donate money to save the whales when I got home, I did by the way make a donation. I remember it was on the expensive side too, 6 slices for about $15 (retail), I can imagine it would be doubled or tripled in a restaurant. In my opinion, there’s so much legal exotic seafood out there, it depends on a chef’s skill and experience. The term “sushi chef” is used too often in my opinion. A chef is someone who can create

Lessons from Toyota

I’ve been enjoying the late night jokes about Toyota and adding in my own on social media. With my experience in branding and working for one of the best known brands worldwide, I know the importance of branding, marketing, and PR. Toyota did damage to their brand and created a PR nightmare. From what I know about their situation, rather than fixing the problem right away, they waited. Not sure what they were waiting for, but they waited. If the reports are true, they waited many years and saved millions of dollars at the time. My guess is that they thought it would go away. I am glad that they took the blame for the safety issues, but it seems that the “fix” they have may not be the answer. I’ve seen this many times in the restaurant industry. For example, many people who like to cook think they can set-up or run a restaurant kitchen. They prepare food a certain way and since they haven’t gotten sick, then it’s OK. The health department gives the restaurant a list of items to fix to