Ben Brown

Journalist

Benjamin Brown, MBA is a seasoned restaurant writer and consultant. Expert in F&B marketing, pricing, analytics, consumer insights and business development. Readers and hospitality professionals looking to grow their business, please contact Ben at Ben@lvfnb.com or follow him on Twitter @Foodie_Biz.

Ben Brown's Articles ›

Foodie Biz

Photos by Ben Brown and courtesy Farmer Boys and Fork & Salad Lunetta Expands with New, Higher-End Dining Concept Lunetta All Day has expanded beyond its fast-casual roots to Lunetta Dining Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

Cash and credit cards have long represented the overwhelming majority of customer-based restaurant transactions. And now, as the tech world continues to integrate into just about every industry out Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

photos by Ben Brown California Wine Festival Celebrates 15th Year in Santa Barbara The 15th annual California Wine Festival saw an array of wineries, breweries and food purveyors gathered amidst a Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

Food festivals have skyrocketed in popularity, often drawing thousands of guests and creating prime exposure opportunities for restaurants of all types. Any opportunity like this, of course, comes with Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Photos by Ben Brown The Dudes’ Goes Big in Santa Clarita  The Dudes’ Brewing Company has become a SoCal staple, taking its outlandishly creative and meticulously crafted beers from as far Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jul 1, 2018

Bottom Line

International expansion may seem like an impossible goal on the surface, but in reality isn’t that much different than domestic expansion. In some cases, international expansion can even be Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jul 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Photos by Ben Brown Glendale Hosts One of L.A.’s Greatest Food Festivals. Here’s How It Goes Down… Taste Walk Glendale is the ultimate package in food festivals. Not only are you Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jun 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

If you’re fortunate enough to have a patio or other outdoor seating area, you have massive potential to create a new dimension of your restaurant experience. In many areas, Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jun 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

photo courtesy Elixir G Elixir G expands to new flavor offerings Elixir G, the ginger syrup best known as a top shelf cocktail mix, has expanded to two new flavors. Elixir Read more ›

Ben Brown on May 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

The delivery business is booming. GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash and countless others that venture beyond compound words have taken a dining segment ruled by pizza and expanded it to every Read more ›

Ben Brown on May 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

Instagram has transformed photos as a means of communication, with food ranking high among Instagram’s content leaderboard. Many restaurants have upped their food presentation to make their product more Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2018

Product Review

Rogue Rogue has been brewing outstanding craft beers since 1988, and in recent years has been recognized for its farms producing the ingredients used in its brews. The company is Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Photos by Ben Brown Sea Change at Chez Melange: Fine Seafood in a Tight-Knit Community Sea Change is one of three restaurants housed in Redondo Beach’s Chez Melange, a quaint retreat Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

To franchise or not to franchise? That is the question that often signifies a very successful restaurant, so you deserve sincere congratulations for making it to the point of Read more ›

Ben Brown on Mar 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Photos courtesy CliQue Hospitality. Antony Sazerac, Head Mixologist for CliQue Hospitality, has masterminded cocktail programs in some of the country’s premiere bars and restaurants, such as Felt Bar & Lounge, Read more ›

Ben Brown on Mar 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Photos by Ben Brown Barrel House 101: Beer-Infused Wonder in Ventura Barrel House 101 is the exact kind of homey, fun-filled, hit-the-spot spot you’d hope to find in the not-so-sleepy beach Read more ›

Ben Brown on Feb 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

Beverages are by no means overlooked in the restaurant world, but at the same time may not always be utilized to their fullest potential. Simply put, a wider beverage Read more ›

Ben Brown on Feb 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Qdoba Launches New Campaign—United by Flavor Photos by Ben Brown Qdoba, the national fast-casual Mexican chain known for customized burritos, tacos, bowls and other favorites, has unveiled its new ‘United by Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jan 1, 2018

The Bottom Line

Not every menu item is going to be a best-seller. It’s reasonable to expect your signatures to outpace your lesser-known dishes, and for newer items to take a while Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jan 1, 2018

Foodie Biz

Downtown San Diego’s exploding Gaslamp District carries a distinct energy, spread through young partygoers and hip clientele that flock to the area’s restaurants, bars and nightclubs that transport San Read more ›

Ben Brown on Dec 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

The art of plating has gone hand-in-hand with the craft of cooking for ages, but presentation is more important as ever in the restaurant world. The reason why can Read more ›

Ben Brown on Dec 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Big food companies across the country have been hit hard by what can only be described as a serious loss of trust by their consumer base. Coca Cola, Kraft, Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival Wows with Spectacular Sips and Savors   Photos by Ben Brown Butternut squash soup with bacon marshmallows. Lobster rolls piled high with fresh seafood. Endless choices Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

An Epic Tour Through Huntington Beach’s Lot 579  Within Huntington Beach’s Pacific City shopping mall lives Lot 579, a chic food hall that houses a slew of delectable eateries and Read more ›

Ben Brown on Oct 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

National Donut Day. National Cheeseburger Day. National Tequila Day. National Chocolate-Covered Bacon Day. The list goes on. If you’re in the restaurant business, there’s an overwhelming chance that some Read more ›

Ben Brown on Oct 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Bite at the Beach: The Coolest Little Food Festival in the South BayThe 4th annual Bite at the Beach, hosted by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, showcased some Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Holiday prix fixe menus. Celebrity chef takeovers. Special pop-ups. Weekly, monthly and quarterly special menu pairing dinners. Each of these novelties present tremendous value in its own right, especially Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Farmer Boys Adds Portabella Mushrooms to MenuFarmer Boys has a new addition to its menu, adding a healthful and intriguing spin to its fresh fast-casual lineup. Portabella mushrooms are Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

It shouldn’t be much of a revelation that your servers, hostesses, chefs and bussers are your most valuable people. Yes, managers, GMs, owners and investors lead the business from Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Food costs increase. Rent increases. Labor increases. It’s safe to assume that, over time, your cost of doing business will inevitably go up. When this happens, you have two Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jul 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Fortune Cookie Divas Predict Grand Future for Designer DessertsFor Fortune Cookie Divas, the writing was on the wall for stylish, custom fortune cookies—or was it written on a thin Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jul 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Orange County Wine Festival Showcases Beautiful AtmosphereThe Orange County Wine Festival, which took place April 22, saw a festive crowd and a plethora of sips amidst a gorgeous setting Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jun 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Social media marketing is quite easy for establishing a strong base—just create your profile and post regularly. But to really get your message out to a broader audience, there’s Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jun 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

The 7th annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival brought together culinary celebrities, home cooks and foodie enthusiasts over a beautiful weekend, from March 24-26. Two days of grand Read more ›

Ben Brown on May 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Content marketing joins the ranks of digital, social media and influencer marketing—terms so often thrown around without too many people knowing how to actually use them as intended. Look Read more ›

Ben Brown on May 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Aarti Sequeira is living the foodie dream. The winner of Food Network Star season six, Sequeira went on to host her very own Food Network Show, Aarti Party, as Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Planned Parenthood LA Food Fare Celebrates 38th Successful Year2017 marked the 38th year of the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles [PPLA] Food Fare, and it was certainly one for the Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Food festivals, wine festivals and the like are a quintessential part of the culinary world. In the same way that music festivals elevate each artist in attendance, food festivals Read more ›

Ben Brown on Mar 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival Returns for 7th Year in MarchThe seventh annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival takes place March 24-26, 2017 in Palm Desert, CA. Read more ›

Ben Brown on Mar 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Thankfully [at least for businesses], deep discounting is on the decline. The Groupons of the world proved this method’s ineffectiveness—a 50+% discount will win the battle by getting people Read more ›

Ben Brown on Feb 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Umami Burger:Inside the Exploding Burger EmpireUmami Burger has taken the burger world by storm, and has become a household name in major cities across the country. This full-service chain Read more ›

Ben Brown on Feb 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

As restaurants grow increasingly creative with their menus, interiors, seating arrangements and overall business models, they’re also changing things up with the otherwise traditional place setting. The typical setup Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jan 1, 2017

Foodie Biz

Burger City Grill Expands with “Upscale In ‘n’ Out” StyleBurger City Grill, or BCG as it prefers, joins those looking to rise above traditional fast food and offer fresh, Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jan 1, 2017

The Bottom Line

Tipping is a special part of American hospitality culture. Most aren’t aware that the term ‘tip’ originated as an acronym: to insure promptness. Anyone who has ever dined in Read more ›

Ben Brown on Dec 1, 2016

Foodie Biz

Planned Parenthood Food Fare Returns to Santa MonicaPlanned Parenthood Los Angeles’ 38th annual Food Fare returns to Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 2, 2017. This culinary Read more ›

Ben Brown on Dec 1, 2016

Foodie Biz

Water Grill Opens in Costa MesaWater Grill, a fine dining establishment operated by King’s Seafood Company, has been serving for more than 30 years. The Costa Mesa location joins Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Expansion is a happy problem for most restaurateurs. You opened up shop and business is booming to the point where your four walls can no longer contain your success. Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

‘Homemade’ is a big industry buzzword, motivating eateries across the country to shift a lot more work to in-house production. On the surface, this should boost the brand. Homemade Read more ›

Ben Brown on Oct 1, 2016

Foodie Biz

Bone marrow custard with camel milk. Sea urchin ice cream. Frito BBQ casserole. Octopus prepared half a dozen ways. Seen as abstract and lofty by some, these kinds of Read more ›

Ben Brown on Oct 1, 2016

Foodie Biz

The Upper West: Highlighting Santa Monica’s Hidden NeighborhoodSanta Monica is saturated with beachside hotspots, but venture further inland to the area’s lesser-known district along Pico to find this gem Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

‘Real Food, Fake Food’ is a big hitter in foodservice transparency. In the same way that ‘Fast Food Nation’ exposed questionable practices from some of the world’s most prominent Read more ›

Ben Brown on Sep 1, 2016

Foodie Biz Restaurant Spotlight

Barton G, West LAThis place isn’t just a restaurant. It’s a show, an experience, an everlasting memory that shoots itself up into one’s shortlist of iconic meals they have Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Restaurants and food writers go together like peanut butter and jelly, or in the gourmet sense, foie gras terrine and fig jam. The exchange is simple: food writers visit Read more ›

Ben Brown on Aug 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

You’d think serving good food would be a no-brainer as any restaurant’s top priority. Sadly, this is not the case with a growing number of establishments. More and more Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jul 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Elixir G founder Bill Tocantins has traveled the world in search of ingredients to craft the perfect ‘liquid ginger.’ Since stumbling onto the idea for fresh ginger syrup nearly Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jun 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

More tables means more covers, which means more revenue. It seems like a no-brainer, but hindsight is 20-20 when many owners take a closer look at their restaurants and Read more ›

Ben Brown on May 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Bernard Lax is riding a big change in the spirits world. The founder of KIN White Whiskey, Lax revamped your typical ‘moonshine’ into a refined and adventurous product—helping reshape Read more ›

Ben Brown on Apr 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

The term ‘loss leader’ can be a bit misleading at the onset, steering restaurant professionals away due to its negative connotation. Look further into the art behind loss leaders, Read more ›

Ben Brown on Mar 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

You’re coming out of a movie and are excited for a late dinner, but plans are quickly thwarted. Every restaurant you approach is either putting its chairs atop the Read more ›

Ben Brown on Feb 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Revenue per customer is among the top key metrics restaurants use to gauge success. Generally, the more money each customer spends, the more the restaurant will profit. Restaurants employ Read more ›

Ben Brown on Jan 1, 2016

The Bottom Line

Consistency is the X-factor that separates a successful restaurant from its counterparts. Elite restaurants aren’t defined by expensive décor, trendy ingredients, celebrity chefs, or even great food. Elite restaurants Read more ›

Ben Brown on Dec 1, 2015

Finale Wines Deliver Elegant Sips of Classic Rock

“It’s not about how many cases we can sell. It’s about how many palates we can wow.We want to wow them,” ~Jonathan CainCo-owner - Finale Wines Jonathan Cain is Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 2, 2015

The Bottom Line

New cage laws in California have improved poultry farming from an ethical standpoint, but are also responsible for skyrocketing egg prices. Breakfast joints, understandably, have been hit hard by Read more ›

Ben Brown on Nov 1, 2015

The Bottom Line

The drought has swept through the media these past few months, grabbing the attention of avid news-watchers and politicians alike. Having mounted over the past several years, this weather Read more ›

Ben Brown on Oct 1, 2015