Costa Coffee has been voted the best coffee chain by customers who rate its friendly staff and tidy stores more highly than its main rivals.Costa beat Caffè Nero into second place and Starbucks and Coffee Republic, in third and fourth respectively, to the title, as a result of consultancy firm him!’s Coffee Chain Customer Tracking Programme. This asks customers to rate their experience, after visiting a particular branch, on topics such as quality of drinks, choice of food, time spent queuing, atmosphere and overall value for money.Costa scored 9 out of 10 for friendliness of staff, and cleanliness of counters and tables, which helped it take the top spot from the previous year’s winner, Caffè Nero.Will Vernon, Costa’s head of operational skills and brand standards, said he was delighted to have been voted best coffee chain of the year. “We pride ourselves on our customer service and the welcoming store experience we offer our customers.”He said all Costa stores were accredited to strict brand standards and were frequently audited, focusing specifically on coffee excellence, cleanliness and store environment. “Costa relaunched a new service excellence programme last year and had a big push specifically on speed of service, so it is fantastic to receive this kind of recognition from our customers this year,” added Vernon. him! aims to repeat the study in 2009, which is designed to identify sales and profit opportunities for retailers and suppliers.
Cavendish is also out of the tour after injuring his shoulder in the collision. Peter Sagan says he accepts but doesn’t agree with the decision to disqualify him from the Tour de France.The world champion has been kicked out of the rest of the race after his crash with Mark Cavendish on the fourth stage.His team had appealed against the decision. Photo © Pixabay
Officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports say Ghana should be reinstated by the International Olympic Committee latest by March end.This is because the Ministry is working hard to ensure that the much talked about Sports bill is brought before Parliament to be passed into Law.Ghana was last month suspended from the IOC for perceived undue government interference in the affairs of the Ghana Olympic Committee.Meanwhile, Spokesperson of the Sports Ministry, Akwasi Sarpong has told Joy Sports the Attorney General’s office has been instructed to make changes to the existing Legislative Instrument (LI) before Parliament considers its passage into law.That is to make the law compliant with the IOC’s regulations.Source: Joy News/Ghana
Submitted by the Thurston County ChamberThink about this: Thurston County, the government entity, has over 15 different departments. Each one has a representative that is in charge of purchasing the goods and services that individual department needs; from office supplies to janitorial services; landscaping contractors to toilet paper.Those government buyers have to follow protocol when they purchase those goods and services, and businesses that excel at connecting with those buyers and understanding their individual buying and bidding procedures have tapped into a phenomenal way to expand their market and grow their businesses.Government procurement processes can be confusing, which often results in missed opportunities for local firms. In partnership with the Thurston EDC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), we’ve revamped a long time event: South Sound Showcase: Procurement Expo 2014, formerly known as the Business Showcase, that continues to be successful & grow with many new vendors, excellent leads and more opportunities to grow your business.Purchasers’ Row will provide local organizations with an opportunity to network and learn how to do business with local government buyers,” said Stephanie Scott of Washington PTAC. Purchasing representatives from local government and large businesses will staff information booths. Showcase attendees have the opportunity to stop at each booth making new contacts, networking with current customers, and learning more about the products and services these agencies need and want. The line-up of government buyers who have already agreed to attend includes: the City of Olympia, the City of Tumwater, the City of Lacey, LOTT, Intercity Transit, Port of Olympia, and Thurston County.The Thurston Economic Development Council’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides local firms with an opportunity to expand business and contracting opportunities with federal, state, and local governments. It has proven to be a valuable and powerful program to open these markets for employers in our community.Returning from 2013, we will publish a South Sound Showcase Procurement Directory that includes contact information for each business that has a booth at Showcase. This is a valuable marketing opportunity for businesses because it sits on the purchaser’s desk for the rest of the year.South Sound Showcase: Procurement Expo 2014 is on Tuesday, October 7 at Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion in Lacey. To purchase a booth, contact: Alisha Blain, Events Coordinator at the Chamber at 360.357.3362 or [email protected] Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
William Spawr3585423%49%$226,897 HOFMANS UNDECIDED ON MELATONIN’S NEXT RACE Melatonin, who won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap as the lightweight under 115 pounds, was doing well Thursday morning at The Great Race Place but trainer David Hofmans said he had no specific race in mind for the gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy.“The horse looks great and he goes back to the track tomorrow, but I don’t know where he’ll run next,” said Hofmans. “I’ll know more in the next four or five days.”Melatonin won the mile and a quarter Big ‘Cap virtually wire-to-wire, romping home by 4 ¼ lengths at 16-1.After the race, Hofmans credited Talamo and his agent, Scotty McClellan, for entering.“They were insistent that we go,” Hofmans said. “Joe was convinced after his last race. He said the horse loves this track and wants to run farther. I was convinced he was a miler.”The Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, to be run at a mile and a quarter on June 25, could be a race under consideration for the Big ‘Cap champ. Jerry Hollendorfer12319121515%37%$1,226,771 Peter Eurton8213211116%55%$964,977 Doug O’Neill15824212215%42%$1,234,793 Santiago Gonzalez24343313018%43%$1,741,741 David Lopez13822101816%36%$656,651 Victor Espinoza76119614%34%$814,655 George Papaprodromou4484618%41%$234,680 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Drayden Van Dyke1371315219%36%$845,817 John Sadler75129616%36%$765,379 Edwin Maldonado15027151518%38%$943,550 Tyler Baze22823343410%40%$1,272,766 Joseph Talamo20123232511%35%$1,764,949 Philip D’Amato12225212220%56%$1,381,655 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS FINISH LINES: Champion Songbird, prepping for the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 9, worked four furlongs Wednesday in 48 seconds flat, breezing. Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, termed the move “beautiful.” Songbird’s fractional times were 24.60 and 36.40, with a five furlong gallop out time of 1:00.60 . . . Doug O’Neill has champion Nyquist scheduled to work a mile tomorrow for the April 2 Florida Derby, while Richard Mandella plans to breeze three-time champion Beholder at 7:45 a.m. . . . Barbara Kelly, owner and breeder of the California stallion Fullbridled and a longtime member of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, passed away last Friday. Fullbridled, a 15-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, stands at Daehling Ranch. His top runners include multiple stakes-placed Wonforgus and Full Dancer, winner of 13 races at $256,165. Services for Ms. Kelly will be at 12 noon Saturday at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills . . . Tom Quigley’s guests this weekend will be Jonathon Kinchen, 2015 NHC Tournament champion, and Ruben Mendez, Santa Anita Wagering Ambassador, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . In today’s third race, jockey Flavien Prat rides Midnight Swinger for trainer Mark Glatt. If the horse wins, it would be poetry in motion (Prat-Glatt: get it?). Richard Baltas9617141318%46%$1,145,059 Mark Glatt7598612%31%$406,825 Fernando Perez1491416209%34%$775,169 Kristin Mulhall4496320%41%$364,955 Martin Garcia11317111115%35%$984,949 (Current Through Sunday, March 13) SMOOVE IT MAKES FIRST START SANS SUPER MARIORecords are made to be broken and one will go by the boards Saturday when, after all 22 career starts, Smoove It will have another rider other than Mario Gutierrez. The 2012 Kentucky Derby winner aboard I’ll Have Another rides at Oaklawn Park Saturday, so Doug O’Neill has engaged Flavien Prat to pilot Smoove It in the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for older fillies and mares in the Golden State Series going about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.“Mario’s out of town, but the horse continues to do well,” O’Neill said of Smoove It, a five-year-old California-bred Square Eddie Mare owned by Reddam Racing.Super Mario has won four times aboard Smoove It.“It’s a short field and she’s going from a Grade II last time (the Buena Vista at a mile on a ‘good’ turf course Feb. 20) to a Cal-bred race,” O’Neill said.“Not that this is an easy race by any means, but she’s doing well. I give her a chance.”The Irish O’Brien, race two of 11: Demonica, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1; Nite Delite, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1; Smoove It, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Qiaona, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; and Velvet Mesquite, Kent Desormeaux, 4-5. Martin Pedroza83119713%33%$311,110 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won PLANS FOR MELATONIN’S NEXT RACE ON HOLDGRADE I OPPORTUNITY AWAITS TARIS SATURDAYNEW FACE ABOARD SMOOVE IT IS FLAVIEN PRATTURKISH-BRED HORSE SCORES AT SANTA ANITACHAMPS NYQUIST, BEHOLDER WORK TOMORROW SEVENTH SENSE PROVES HE’S NO TURKEYA racing rarity, if not a first at Santa Anita, occurred when Seventh Sense captured Saturday’s fifth race by two-and-a-quarter lengths under Kent Desormeaux for Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains the three-year-old son of City Zip for owner Arif Kurtel.Seventh Sense was bred in Turkey and believed to be the first horse bred there to win at The Great Race Place.“He’s a full brother to Reneesgotzip,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “I met the owner one time last year. He came here looking to buy Jenny Craig’s place (in Rancho Santa Fe), and he had a filly that was a full sister to Shared Belief that didn’t make it to the races.“I don’t know what happened to her, but the owner’s got a lot of horses in Turkey.“Seventh Sense is a very nice horse. He might have needed his first race. He had been working at Los Al and we couldn’t get him as fit as we do when they work here, so he came up a little short first out. But blinkers really focused him and put him right out on the lead.”Seventh Sense led all the way going 6 ½ furlongs, paying $17 to win. Mike Smith851181413%39%$1,546,415 Vladimir Cerin4295521%45%$324,934 Peter Miller11212111711%36%$572,010 TARIS EYES FIRST GRADE I WIN IN SANTA MARGARITATaris seeks her first Grade I victory when she runs in Saturday’s $500,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, a race trainer Simon Callaghan has been pointing to unequivocally since winning the Grade II La Canada Stakes by 5 ¼ lengths on Jan. 16.“She couldn’t be training any better,” Callaghan said of the five-year-old Flatter mare owned by John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. “She’s got a good post. She relaxed well in the La Canada and I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s going.”Taris drew the outside post in a field of seven older fillies and mares going a mile and an eighth. The Kentucky-bred bay has won seven of 11 starts and been out of the money only once, earning $807,700.The Santa Margarita: Living The Life, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Tara’s Tango, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Penwith, Mike Smith, 5-2; $10,000 supplemental nominee Lavender Chrissie, Victor Espinoza, 10-1; Moyo Honey, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; All Star Bub, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; and Taris, Gary Stevens, 8-5. Rafael Bejarano23254422323%51%$2,262,112 Flavien Prat22338393417%50%$2,336,771 Steven Miyadi551012918%56%$337,317 Mario Gutierrez16920302212%43%$1,233,884 Gary Stevens58129821%50%$1,449,548 Bob Baffert8818141320%51%$1,399,060 Kent Desormeaux9816231816%58%$1,415,805 Agapito Delgadillo871110813%33%$323,622
Long story short, our NFL picks have come through with more winners than losers this season, way more in straight-up fashion (153-86-2) and just enough against the spread (128-107-5) to buy one last round for Week 17:Chiefs 33, Raiders 20: An eighth straight Raiders season ends in defeat, and it’s the 19 time in 24 seasons since (temporarily) moving back to Oakland. Line: Raiders +13 1/2Rams 24, 49ers 20: Beat L.A.? Three Decembers in a row at the Coliseum is one too many to ask. Line: 49ers …
Introducing Disqus commenting Tags:#community#Features#web Related Posts seamus condron Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… More sharing optionsIn the example below, you’ll notice that there are now sharing options available to you in the post preview. For our main channel stories, we’re including the latest share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and our newest addition, StumbleUpon. For our six additional content channels, we’ll be experiementing with new share buttons from popular tech sites including Reddit and Hacker News. On the bottom of each story, you have additional sharing choices available including email, print, and additional ShareThis options. We’ll be constantly monitoring the performance of each service and adjust the buttons based on what our community interacts with the most. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… This is huge. After getting by for a long time on Movable Type’s native commenting, we’re thrilled to be launching Disqus site-wide today. In the short few weeks that Disqus has been running in beta on some of our content channels, the increase in conversation has been evident. The even better news is that since we’re running the VIP version of Disqus, we have an arsenal of tools that will make the experience even better, including rich analytics and insights that will help us better understand how you consume and interact with our stories. We’ll also have the ability to really pimp the aesthetics. What you’re seeing now is a fairly out-of-the-box Disqus implementation, but in the coming weeks you’ll start noticing very cool tweaks and hacks. In the meantime, we encourage you to take full advantage by logging in with your Disqus account or through one of the many authentication options including Twitter, Facebook and OpenID. Beginning in 2011, we’re going to begin showcasing our most active community members in all kinds of fun ways. So while you’ll still be able to comment anonymously, having a commenting identity (complete with a snazzy avatar) will definitely have its advantages. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting More cowbell coming!While everyone here is excited about today’s launch of new features, what you’re seeing is only phase one. We’d love your feedback on this round of enhancements, and if you’ve got suggestions for future ones, please leave them in the comments. A big thank you to our tech team for making this all happen! 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market As you sit down for another glorious day of tech news and analysis from ReadWriteWeb, you may have noticed that we’ve given our homepage and other aspects of the site a spiffy new upgrade. For many weeks we’ve been thinking of (and coding) better ways to deliver our content to you, as well as a better way to engage and discuss that content. We’re please to officially debut those improvements today! We’ve written this handy overview of what you see.Better optimization for timely and popular storiesWhether a story is hot off the wire or just plain hot, you’ll know it with our special new “Top Story”, “Breaking” and ‘Featured” badges.New story capsulesRight below the first story on the RWW homepage, you’ll see a much-improved visual capsule featuring some of our newest and most popular stories. Sharp!
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… curt hopkins Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Students love a bargain. Survey respondents said they often buy previous editions of a textbook (16% did this for their current class ) or international versions (18% did this at least once).Piracy is pervasive. More than 40% of survey respondents said they bought a textbook from a pirate website, or know others who have. In addition, many respondents reported copying their friends’ textbooks. Some learning tools have high value. Print study guides, Campus Learning Management Systems — such as Blackboard and WebCT — and diagnostic self-tests held high value for survey respondents.Some learning tools have low value. Online tutoring, audio study guides and “clickers” used in the classroom by instructors held low value for survey respondents.The 12% who did favor e-textbooks — “mostly males, and often MBA-seeking or distance learners” — said they valued the “lower cost, convenience and portability.”Textbook photo by Nina Scaletti | other sources: ResourceBlog A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#E-Books#E-Learning#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Over the past half-year, we have written extensively about e-books and e-readers. We’ve discussed the merits of e-books over paper books. We’ve covered Kindle e-books outselling hardcover best-sellers and their strength over the holiday season. We’ve even included the growth of e-readers and e-books in one of our Top Trends of 2010 posts. But, as ReadWriteWeb editor Richard MacManus discussed in “5 Ways that Paper Books are Better than E-Books,” everything from price to packaging to, most importantly, the feel of physical books may keep them on the shelves for a long time to come. Now, in a study called “Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education,” another round in the debate has been settled on the side of paper. 75% of student preferred old-fashioned, paper-and-board textbooks over electronic versions.The surveying entity, the Book Industry Study Group, announced the results yesterday. The 75% who preferred paper textbooks cited “a fondness for print’s look and feel, as well as its permanence and ability to be resold.” Additional findings:
The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Digital Marketing Jobs in the Government Sector Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Related Posts Tags:#accessibility#chipotle#content#content distribution#reach#tech#technology Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry As far as disruptive business innovation goes, apps may feel outdated. Yet Chipotle just made headlines by launching an improved app and digital back end — plus, the fast-casual burrito purveyor is now offering delivery through a partnership with DoorDash. Its digital sales have grown 33 percent in one quarter and now constitute 10.3 percent of the company’s sales.What matters at the end of the day is convenience for the consumer, and that’s why Chipotle has had success with its tech-first strategy. The more accessible a product is, the more likely it is to be consumed. But this isn’t just about burrito delivery.The Right Technology Can Supercharge Content Distribution, TooOf course, a tech-dependent growth approach only works if the app or other digital portal you’re using actually delivers a convenient and pleasant user experience to your customers. When companies get it right, it becomes one of the most powerful approaches to accelerating a business.In a content-centered world, it’s all too easy to lose sight of delivery strategies. Chris Bray, founder and CEO of co-creation studio Bray Innovation Group, contends that content’s ubiquity will soon force businesses’ focus to shift to tech implementation and delivery: “The next five to 10 years, at the enterprise level, will be less about content — it’s everywhere — and more about companies seeking out the technologies that allow them to compete more effectively in this new era of media.” In other words, it’s not just about what you put out there, but how you deliver it and to whom.Many working in the content field aren’t yet making the most of what today’s technology has to offer. Cision surveyed 425 marketing and communications professionals and found that almost 75 percent feel their communications programs lag behind the capabilities of modern tech and data.Given this mismatch, using technology to effectively distribute your content can make a big difference in growth and brand prestige. Keep the following points in mind as you move forward in your distribution initiatives.1. Buy today’s technology.It’s common to get caught up in the hype of new technology and over-adopt, particularly because you want a future-proof tech strategy.Too often, buying tomorrow’s technology promises more problems than positives. Complex cutting-edge technology requires constant management and debugging, which creates additional cognitive overhead for your staff. A tried-and-true technology that works well today is preferable to a shiny new tech toy that might add value tomorrow.2. Re-create content for this digital era.Classic content platforms like blogs are still useful, but in a world with roughly 80 million blog posts being published every month (and that’s just on WordPress), it’s critical to implement other options to compete for attention.For example, turn your blogs into videos to repurpose content and engage customers through multiple channels. Tools such as Lumen5 and Content Samurai, for example, can help you turn a blog post into a YouTube video. Your readers-turned-viewers will appreciate good choices in music, transitions, visuals, and other features, all of which will make your message stand out much more than a traditional blog post.3. Measure your true reach.It’s vital to know whether your content distribution is actually making a difference to your business. Vanity metrics like share of voice and total mentions seem promising, but they don’t provide a real indicator of business success — like actual conversions.Instead, track measurements that directly or indirectly relate to company revenues. These can include any data points that show how consumption of one piece of content led to a purchase decision, an act of customer loyalty (like signing up for a rewards program), or even a reduction in customer complaints.A smart distribution strategy will get content in front of your audience’s eyes and ears more quickly and easily. This gives your content its best shot at adding value for your customers, enhancing your company’s public image, and building brand advocacy. By embracing a tech-first distribution strategy, you can align your company for increased revenue and long-term growth.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley boss Dyche: Heaton like a family memberby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley boss Sean Dyche says there’s no hard feelings over Tom Heaton’s move to Aston Villa.The move raised a few eyebrows with the 33-year-old ending last season as Burnley’s No.1.His departure saw Bailey Peacock-Farrell drafted in from Leeds to bolster the goalkeeping ranks with Nick Pope playing every minute in the Premier League so far this campaign.“I treat all these players like they’re my own family members, I try and be as good with my guidance as I would be with my own children,” Dyche told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.“I think it’s important, they become important to you over time, Tom is certainly one of those. I don’t do favourites, apart from Tripps (Kieran Trippier), everybody knows that!“He was my first signing, an important signing, but he’s a top fella on and off the pitch, I like him as a person and professional.“There will always be a business decision here though, every pound is a prisoner, that’s just the way it is.“Behind that, we have got very good goalkeepers. I believe in Nick Pope, quite obviously, I believe in Joe Hart and young Bailey has joined the group and done very well so far.“There is a method to the planning of it, but there often comes a time when a deal gets done here.“With Tom, it worked on every level, and on the one that’s hard to find, an emotional level, because I can shake Tom by the hand, look him in the face, he’s happy, I’m happy, and there’s no thinking on who’s won, everyone has won.”