A Shout out to Frank Bruni

Images Friday night we walked over to Joseph Leonard, sat at the
bar and had dinner.  Yes, we are
one of a group of investors in JL but my favorite thing about it is the vibe
and the bar.  It is great going
there, sitting at the bar, drinking, eating and chatting with Gabe.  It is our local home away from home.  BTW, JL opens for breakfast this week.


Frank Bruni sat down next to us at dinner last night.  Of course, after a few glasses of wine,
and Gabe introduced us, I couldn’t help but gush over his book and him.  I asked him what he was doing now. He
is still writing for the Times but not on a constant basis.  Couldn’t help but put my 2 cents in and
said he should write another book after all he is a brand.


The New York Times food column gave Bruni the platform to
become a brand.  As our world is
evolving through social networking, I see Bruni, if he chooses to embrace it,
as the first real generation of personal brands that are really not so much
connected through where he came from, The New York Times.  If he chooses, he could take himself
and grow his brand without having to be connected to the Times, or he could do
both ( if the Times lets him and they should).


Bruni can continue to write a food column on his own
personal blog, he can continue to write another book about his experiences
which based on the first book are not only interesting but he makes them fun to
read about, he could use Four Square as a way for people to follow him through
out his restaurant endeavors and Twitter to grow his audience.  People trust his experience.  Certainly there are many ad networks
that will continue to figure out how to make money on all 3 of those platforms,
they already have blogging down and Bruni could probably make a pretty good
income on the ads on his blog alone. 
Where that takes him, who knows. 
Food books, travel books, political books ( which he had an interest in
earlier in his career ), etc.  Maybe
first chapters released on his blog as the book industry is figuring out what
they will look like in 5 years. 


I saw Bruni in a question and answer forum with Ben
Leventhal at the Food and Wine weekend and was impressed.  He is a smart charismatic guy.  So, here’s a shout out to Frank Bruni,
take your brand, you, and show us what you can really do.  Be a early adapter of the brands that
are being built around people.  You
are a prime candidate. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. andrewparker

    This is a great idea, and I hope Bruni runs with it. I could picture a whole web service that revolves around his brand.Some features could be: – links to the latest in-depth reviews, with quality comment threads- short-and-sweet tweet reviews- 4Square checkins at restaurants- user gen reviews endorsed/promoted by Bruni – book signings schedule- chow.com-esque forums- video reviews or interviews with chefs- live chat sessions with Bruni.I’d love to see that service built, and if executed well could slice through existing foodie web services like a hot knife through butter.

  2. Randall Kane

    I truly agree. I think that if Frank pursued this (in addition to Andrew’s comments which are on the mark) he should attack from a different perspective. Like myfriend Jeff that started a very foodie centric website called http://www.alwayshungryny.com. That site looks differently at the food/restaurant review space and serves (pun intended) it up differently…honest, factual, and sort of in your face a bit. A brand like “Frank” can carry thy to another level. As an an example, he gave a very harsh review to Ago (now Locanda Verde) and it closed, because it should have. I know the owners thougt long and hard about the mistakes and made it better…dare I say great…with Locanda. As an aside, I had lunch at JL (with the friend Jeff I reference above) and it was good and a great atmosphere. Great blog by the way!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Glad you like JL. Agreed, Frank should take it to another level!

  3. howardlindzon

    Hi Joanne. wassup

  4. Banet

    Interesting idea, but I see a few challenges. The quality of Frank’s reviews, come in part, from two things he now lacks: 1) his anonymity, and 2) the NYTimes picking up the check for him to eat at an establishment 3 to 5 times with a party of 4.Oh yeah, plus the personal trainer and gym membership to work off all those calories. ;)Peterhttp://www.FlashlightWorthy…

    1. Gotham Gal

      All true….but he could easily do more than just eat out. The new NYTimescritic is far from anonymous.

      1. Banet

        True enough about Sifton (whose reviews, I’m happy to say, have not disappointed.)It would be interesting to see how Bruni could thread the needle between the offerings of Eater, Serious Eats, Yelp and Chowhound.

  5. Savory Cities

    Is anyone of Bruni’s stature using Foursquare? Seems like the stalking risk could be a problem.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Good question. I don’t know but to me, Four Square is more about yourpersonal network than Twitter.