Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

O’nice. SO nice!

March23

Lo and Behold!

Great news for the bagel lovers  in Sofia. I found a fantastic little bagel place (thanks, Trayan!) right in the center of the city. O’nice offers the real thing – not the Dunkin Donuts crap, mistakenly called bagel. The place is small and very cozy, the food is divine: a great choice of bagels (more to come in two to three weeks), a tea selection that will satisfy the most pretentious of you out there, real good coffee (Vesko says) and smoothies! Also, as any self-respected place nowadays would, there is wireless Internet available.

Chris, the owner, is Irish and he would come by, say Hi and make sure everything is fine. They also offer frozen bagels to go – you could take one, six or a dozen – and you can make your own selection.

I know I’ll be there often! And I definitely recommend it!

And for those of you who want to experiment with food – here you can find an easy recipe for home-made bagels.

Enjoy!

P.S. Here it is, your random fact of the day: March 23rd is the international day of meteorology.

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Guess who’s back

March10

I am happy to report that nagging works and that the KFC Boxmaster is back by popular demand. I am waaaay far from thinking that this had much to do with it, but at least collective complaints brought a popular snack back on the menu. And, needless to say, everyone at the KFC where I went today was ordering the Boxmaster. 

It makes my day to see that some companies make mistakes, but are willing to listen to their customers and correct those mistakes in good time.

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DREK illustarted

February17

Most of us who have studied Marketing have heard of the DREK scale.

For those of you who haven’t – it is a pretty straightforward scale on which you can measure brands:

Differentiation

Relevance

Esteem

Knowledge

Basically – how different is your brand from the other brands/products in the category, how relevant is it to customers/consumers, how much your brand is respected and how many people know about it. The two really important ones are D and R – the others basically don’t matter. Cause if everyone knows about and respects your brand but never buys your products you’re kinda screwed, and vice versa: if very few people know and respect you, but since your stuff is significantly different and relevant to them, they buy it, you’re pretty much set.

My favorite place in Paris (which I highly recommend to everyone) Le Refuge des Fondus, situated on the picturesque Rue des Trois Freres definitely scores high points on the entire scale. It is relevant to anyone looking for a fun and unusual experience and is different from just about any restaurant you could find. Some of the most fun we have had in Paris was at Le Refuge des Fondus also known as the Baby Bottle Place.

The urban legend tells us that before at this place there was a store for baby stuff. And the new owners decided to retain a keepsake – the baby bottles in which today wine is served. Speaking of D – pray tell when was the last time you got wasted by drinking from a baby bottle??

This is the owner and the guy who runs the show:

fondu-place_owner

He makes a point never to smile; his seriousness is part of the game. He personally greets all of his customers at the door (it isn’t hard since the place is surprisingly tiny):

fondu-place

and then helps you with the seating arrangement. To make maximum use of the available space (and also for fun of course), all of the walls of the restaurant are lined with tables. And in order to sit on the side by the wall, one has to step on a chair, step across the table and then sit down. Which is super fun, especially the first time you do this. But it’s also a pain in the ass, because that’s also the way you get out, incl. to go to the bathroom. And trust me, after 2-3 baby bottles of wine … well, there are easier things to do than this little ritual. The whole place being one giant table most of the time results in some funny situations: you are literally sitting on the lap of the person beside you and more often than not it is someone that you’ve never met in your life. But some really cool conversations with complete strangers can be struck up at this place.

The food they serve is just fondue – two types: meat and cheese. And despite the fact that all of their clients cook their own meal, there are two very visible chefs in the appropriate white top hats. It’s still beyond me what they do there – perhaps some relatives who badly need employment? Dunno.

The most important part of the experience is, of course, the wine. It is very important that you know this is the worst possible wine you can find in France. But it only costs 1,50 or 2 euros a bottle. And, my God, is it a guarantee to have fun :

fondu-place_fun

One thing though: you have to drink. One night I took my cousin who was visiting Paris there for dinner. We had been at a party the night before, we were looking for something nice’n'greasy to eat and she definitely did not want to drink. So when she asked for a coke the owner pointed to the door and just said one word: Out! She tried to object, but it was pointless – she either ordered a [baby] bottle of wine or she had to leave without dinner. You have to play by the rules and that’s that. However, not only can you write on the walls, but you are encouraged to do so.

It is practically impossible to make a reservation and you normally end up waiting outside this place for a good hour, but nobody seems to mind, since they know they’re in for the experience of a lifetime.

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