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Restaurant Marketing 201: Holiday Best Practices & Pro Hacks to Maximize The Season

October 25, 2022 - 2:00pm
The last months of the year offer operators huge potential to drive additional sales, boost revenues, and attract new customers. Moderated by food and lifestyle writer Nevin Martell, this in-depth panel discussion with top-tier professionals from across the realms of marketing, PR, influencing, and the press will guide attendees through the new best practices, pro hacks, and proven techniques to ensure a successful holiday season. Panelists for this roundtable will include:
Tuesday, October 25, 2:00pm - 3:30pm 
$40 per person
Nevin Martell is a D.C.-area based food and travel writer, parenting essayist, recipe developer, and photographer who has been published by The Washington Post, New York Times, Saveur, Men's Journal, National Geographic, Fortune, Travel + Leisure, Runner’s World, Michelin Guide, Plate, and many other publications. He is the author of eight books, including Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America's Favorite Rural BakeryThe Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & DrinkIt’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for Kids, the travelogue-memoir Freak Show Without a Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations, and the small-press smash Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip. He has appeared on "The Frommer's Travel Show," "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," the "Chatter on Books" podcast, and elsewhere. Additionally, he is the co-founder of the highly successful New Kitchens On The Block event series and the internationally acclaimed Pay It Furloughed initiative. Find him on Instagram @nevinmartell, on Twitter @nevinmartell, and online at  
Cornelia Poku, content creator and freelance writer. I also love my day job as a full time communications professional. I started Black Girls Explore DC in 2018 because I wanted to connect with millennial women like myself who love spending time with family and friends over food and enjoy exploring the DC area. You can find me on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Rina Rapuano is less than a year into her career switch from journalism to in-house PR/marketing director for L'Ardente, a glam Italian restaurant in Capitol Crossing, and Unconventional Diner, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in Shaw. She started out as a newspaper editor and transitioned into food writing when she realized every meal description to friends ended with someone declaring, “You’re making me hungry.” While on staff at Washingtonian magazine’s dining section, she contributed to the Cheap Eats and 100 Very Best Restaurants packages, covered food trends and wrote a regular column. She later spent more than four years immersed in Washington, D.C.’s restaurant scene as the city editor for Zagat. As a freelancer, she wrote for USA Today’s GoEscape magazine, Food Network, Michelin and, among many others. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, her two children and her mother, plus her dog and cat. She can usually be found in the kitchen sneaking a cookie.
Doug Rashid has over twelve years experience as a public relations, marketing, brand and crisis communications strategist. Having worked with large corporations such as HMSHost, Maui Jim and Carringtion Farms to first time restaurateurs like fast-casual Cracked Eggery and Grazie Grazie. Rashid has a proven record of thinking outside the box in the hospitality space and bringing an anti-agency mentality. Rashid regularly engineers new ways to catch the public’s ever wandering eye. In 2012, Rashid successfully launched &pizza a “Chipotle Style” quick serve pizza place, working with the brand from the opening of one store to the influx of investment capital that allowed &pizza to open six stores (currently 36 locations). Rashid’s highlights include a small business roundtable with President Obama, a rare second visit from President Obama and then-VP Biden, hosting corporate culinary R & D tours with the likes of Perdue and DuPont and developing the media strategy behind such placements as Washington Post’s “Best Food Hack" and “Best Veggie Burger", Eater’s Fast-Casual of The Year Award, Washington City Paper’s Best Sandwiches, Washington Post’s Best Sandwiches in D.C and national media coverage for the Logan’s Sausage Kiss. 
Maru Valdes is a communications professional with nearly two decades of experience in a myriad of realms. Throughout her career, she has held several strategic communications roles at renowned international organizations as well as the private sector. She began her hospitality career by spearheading the communications efforts of ThinkFoodGroup (TFG), the company behind Chef José Andrés’ hospitality, education, and humanitarian endeavors.
Maru is the founder of MV Collective LLC, a small collective of marketing, branding, and public relations professionals headquartered in Washington, DC. She is a business partner at the renowned fast casual Colada Shop, chef Ryan Ratino's Michelin-starred Bresca, and the nationally acclaimed Latin American bar Serenata, at Union Market’s La Cosecha. She is a member of Maximo Mezcal’s Advisory Board, a premium and artisanal mezcal with headquarters in the nation’s capital; an active member of Les Dames D’Escoffier; and a member of the Smithsonian Institution American History Museum Kitchen Cabinet Advisory Board providing sound advice on food and wine-related exhibitions and educational events. Maru holds a BA in International Relations from the University of San Diego and a Masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown University School.
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