Charlie Hopper


I’m a principal at Young & Laramore.

For over two and a half decades, I’ve been dissecting, debating and creating restaurant marketing.

Possible points of interest:

• My book, Selling Eating: Restaurant Marketing Beyond the Word Delicious, sells pretty well on Amazon as an ebook or book-book. In the foreword, Russ Klein, former worldwide CMO of Burger King, said, “I almost felt like Hopper had been a voyeur, watching what I’ve encountered in my career over all these years… It’s the kind of book you want to read and re-read.”

• In 2014, DataSource listed this very blog at #4 in ”Top 8 Restaurant Marketing Blogs.”

• In 2014 I spoke about restaurant marketing to the National Restaurant Association’s MEG (Marketing Executive Group) in Atlanta—about 150 people who paid attention and laughed at the places I intended for them to laugh and not in other places. In 2010 I spoke at the National Restaurant Association show itself, in Chicago, to a large room full of people. Recently I also spoke to a hotel ballroom full of attentive Penn Station East Coast Subs franchisees, who rated me the best speaker they saw all weekend. Want me to speak to your group?

• I serve as a restaurant marketing source in publications as varied as Nation’s Restaurant News, Adweek, and The Wall Street Journal, and enjoy being a guest on restaurant marketing podcasts.

• Every issue of Food & Drink since Summer 2011 features a column of mine.

• For The A.V. Club, entertainment section of The Onion, I write about fictional food and restaurants.

• Among my favorite achievements are (a) that someone once called a client of mine to say they had to pull their car over because they were laughing so hard at a radio spot I wrote they were afraid they were going to wreck; (b) I wrote some of the original trayliners for McDonald’s infamous McDLTs, pointing out how the hot stays hot and the cool stays cool; and (c) six different CEOs and CMOs credited our Steak ’n Shake campaign as the main engine of growth as the chain went from 150 restaurants to over 500 while we were handling everything—from TV ads to chili pepper bottle labels. A quote about our campaign from Nation’s Restaurant News I always liked: “They respect the intelligence of consumers. They set Steak ’n Shake apart from the competition without resorting to gimmicks or stale jokes….”

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