Monthly Archives: January 2013

What makes a Diner Great?

In some circles, I am known as Diner Bob because of my passion to seek out and enjoy great diner’s around the country.  It stems from my growing up in New Jersey, the capital of Diners in America in my opinion, and living in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts for 30 years. Worcester is the home of the Worcester Lunch Car Company which produced more than 600 Diners between 1906 and 1957.

Nautilus Diner

Nautilus Diner, Madison, NJ

I had the opportunity to eat breakfast a few times at one of my all time favorites this past week in Madison, New Jersey. The Nautilus has been around since as long as I can remember. I grew up only a few miles away. It hasn’t changed much over the years. There are pictures on the walls of how it used to be and it is hard to tell the difference. I think that is the first rule in being a great Diner, consistency. This applies to any service organization. The second rule is a great product – in the case of the Nautilus, it is great food. Over the course of a few days, I had the opportunity to eat breakfast at the Nautilus a number of times. At each occasion, my party was seated promptly, tended to immediately and quickly served our orders exactly as ordered. All Diner’s across America can take a lesson here; provide consistent service, cook great food, have wait staff that are there to serve providing quick, attentive and accurate service and you just might have a successful business.  It isn’t complicated, but it is rare to find.

And you needn’t take my word for it, this past Sunday we were honored to enjoy breakfast with Governor Chris Christy (look closely) sitting just a few tables away.  As it turns out, this large man (in size and stature) who lives a few miles, New Jersey frequents the Nautilus. A great compliment to any Diner!

My hat is off to the Nautilus in Madison, New Jersey.  Setting a great example! Long live the American Diner!

Posted in Customer Service, Diners, Passion. Tagged with .

People Tracking with RFID

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) was thought to be a transportation and logistics tool for managing inventory of packages, especially high value products like Gillette razor blades or Pfizer packages of Viagra. Although not in every store just yet, RFID is hitting it big when it comes to tracking people. 

Sometimes called spy chips, these tiny devices are connected to a particular package or person. They might be thought of as electronic bar codes. A court just upheld the legality of using RFID tags as an electronic badge for students of a Texas High School that wants to use RFID tags to manage the security of students.

Disney World plans to begin using RFID tags installed in bracelets this spring. These wrist bands (MyMagic+ bracelets) will be used for park admission, room keys, charge cards and FastPass’s (used to make reservations on popular attractions). This will replace the plastic “Card to the Kingdom” which resort guests use today as park access, room access and charge cards. The RFID scanners (pictured here) will be located everywhere and will track each individual as we move through the parks. All information gathered will feed a comprehensive logistics application to better monitor crowd levels, queue lines, and store activity. Although not specifically disclosed, the RFID bracelets will also be able to track the use of restrooms, front desks, concierge, buses, boats, monorail, automobile, room use, resort amenities such as spas, exercise facilities, lobby’s, bars, restaurants and walkways. 

Fortunately, Disney guests will of course be able to accessorize the MyMagic+ Bracelets with charms and Mouse paraphernalia. Thank Goodness! So Mickey Mouse has become our Big Brother.

Posted in Customer Service, geodata, mapping statistics, Technology.

Seed Money

Seed Money

There is a very nice wooden box on my desk that contains hundreds of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The coins look like money but are really made of paper. These coins were my gift for being one of the 1,100 backers of this project on
The paper coins can be planted. Each coin contains seeds to grow a colorful flower or herb or vegetable. Yes, these coins are called “Seed Money”. The Seed Money is hand-illustrated and engraved on thick custom papers and each is embedded with seeds. Buy them in rolls just like real coins. 

You can secretly plant them in different places you travel or give them away as tokens of appreciation or give an entire roll of Seed Money away as a gift for someone special. Here is what you can get:

  • Pennies: flower mix (Don’t worry, nothing invasive!)
  • Nickels: hearty greens mix (such as kale, chard & spinach)
  • Dimes: herb mix (such as thyme, dill, oregano, parsley & basil)
  • Quarters: salad mix (lettuce, carrot & tomato)

 And if you are really taken with the concept, you can design your own Seed Money (Minimum order is 10,000 coins)!

You can visit our office to receive your own Seed Money coin or reach out to Leafcutter Designs. They are located in Berkeley, California. Find them on the web at

Posted in Marketing, Nature.

Calendar 20-20

Here is an opening for a conversation. Calendar 20-20 is the name we have given to a new calendar project we are working on at TRI this month. We have used the calendar in Outlook for more than a decade and we have used the Google calendar for almost as long. These calendars are only moderately adequate. Here is a short requirements list of things we feel are missing from our Outlook or Google calendar. We intend to fix that problem.

  • Associate calendar entries to a project
  • Associate calendar entries to a client, associate or contact
  • Associate calendar entries to an employee or group member
  • Associate calendar entries to a task
  • Permit drag and drop editing
  • Grouping calendar entries by task within project, within client or contact within employee
  • Manage projects better by allowing all the tasks associated with a project to be rescheduled or cancelled as the project changes state
  • Prioritizing calendar entries
  • Adding comments to calendar entries
  • Add activities or requirements to calendar entries
  • Allow clients to see and/or manage calendar entries specific to them on the web
  • Allow employees to see and/or manage calendar entries specific to them on the web
  • Allow supervisors to review calendar entries for all employees
  • and clients Although Calendar 20-20 will replace the need to use the Outlook calendar, for those who wish, Calendar 20-20 can be downloaded and overlaid on top of an Outlook calendar.
  • Print or display calendars in special report formats
    • Listings by task by date
    • Listings by client and include tasks and dates
    • Listing by employee and include clients, tasks and dates
    • Daily task list for employees and supervisors
    • Special Monthly or Weekly calendars with avatars depicting employees, projects, clients and tasks
  • Interactive day view that allows a supervisor or employee to better manage a client

If you agree that we need to bring calendaring into the new millennium, please drop us a line and let us know what we are missing. How can a calendar be improved to help YOU in your business? Let us know!

Posted in Scheduling, Services, Technology. Tagged with .