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Louisville Originals

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Jeff Cavanaugh

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Louisville Originals

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:51 am

I was just looking at the Louisville Originals web site, as I was thinking about a gift for some friends and considered a LO gift card.

Maybe it's just me, but the list of participating restaurants seems a bit...tired. Stagnant. While there are a handful of beloved local places that are gems, it doesn't look like any new places have been added in years, and most of the list is kinda unremarkable. It seems odd - and sad - that a city with so many great restaurants doesn't have a more robust program like this.

Are LO's requirements for joining unreasonable? Or do they just not do a good job of recruiting/marketing themselves to potential restaurant partners?
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Robin Garr

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:11 pm

I don't know for sure, but I think the driving force behind LO was the owner of Baxter Station (R.I.P.), and when it imploded, LO lost its spark. :(
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Jessica H

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Jessica H » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:14 pm

Jeff, as a group, Louisville Originals completely agrees with you that a city with so many great restaurants should have a more robust program like this. We are an organization completely run by volunteer members, so the strength of our group lies in the hands of its members to participate in events, and to serve on the Board. I am the current President of the Louisville Originals Board.

We have been plagued by a couple of gaps in our Board positions, and it has caused some stagnation within the group. But we have been actively working to correct these problems over the past few months, and have some great plans for the near future in order to make our group more robust once again! We also lost members as restaurants have closed, and we are going to start an active membership drive soon in the hopes to get some new restaurants involved. We have also recently teamed up with APRON, in an effort to help restaurant industry workers in need of financial aid.

The membership requirements are actually very simple (and listed on our website), and we can easily prove to restaurants how beneficial the program is to them. However, sometimes restaurants don't want to take the time to meet with us to learn the benefits. I recommend telling managers at your favorite locals that they should become a member. In comparison to other cities with similar programs, such as Nashville, St. Louis, Cincinatti, Birmingham, and others, despite our recent issues, LO still has a much higher success and customer response rate.

Also, to answer Robin's comments, Andrew from Baxter Station had not been involved with LO for several years before his restaurant closed. We have had several Presidents since him, and had great success with the program since he stopped participating. He was not the driving force behind the program, and we are aware of when and what caused the actual issues that Jeff commented on. We are actively seeking to correct them.
Jessica Haskell
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Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe
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http://www.sweetsurrenderdessertcafe.com
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Jeff Cavanaugh

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:12 pm

That's good to hear, Jessica. Thanks for responding.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:02 pm

Jeff Cavanaugh wrote:That's good to hear, Jessica. Thanks for responding.

Agreed. Thanks for the details, Jessica, and best wishes in powering LO back up again. Please let me know if HotBytes can help.
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Mike L

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Mike L » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:17 pm

Jessica,

I've been in Louisville Originals for several years.

When I consider going out to eat, whether or not a restaurant is in LO makes a big impact. Literally, I've gotten to the end of the month and had the internal discussion, "If I go to [restaurant] it will be $10 more, let's go to Comeback Inn instead and use the reward."

I also miss those gift certificate sales you used to have, where you could buy a $25 gift certificate to, say, Uptown Cafe, for $17. Or whatever the amount was. It was a nice reward for frequent customers and it got me to eat at places in LO even more.

I'm glad to hear you're looking to start expanding to new places again. That would give me an excuse to try some places I might not otherwise.
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Re: Louisville Originals

by Jessica H » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:02 pm

Mike,

We still sell the discounted gift certificates each quarter! Are you not receiving the newsletter that sends out the information with dates for the sales? If not, we can definitely get that problem fixed. Our website also lists the next sale date near the top. The next sale is on July 7th!

I'm so glad to hear that Louisville Originals members are part of your decision when choosing a restaurant! Supporting locals is what we are all about. We want to get more local restaurants involved again.
Jessica Haskell
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Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe
502.899.2008
http://www.sweetsurrenderdessertcafe.com
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Re: Louisville Originals

by Jessica H » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:20 pm

This article addresses come of the new happenings at Louisville Originals! Thought people might like to see it.

http://insiderlouisville.com/lifestyle_culture/dining/louisville-original
Jessica Haskell
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Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe
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http://www.sweetsurrenderdessertcafe.com
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Mike L

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Re: Louisville Originals

by Mike L » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:17 pm

I was looking at the Louisville Originals website today and noticed that the list of restaurants seems even smaller than when we discussed it in this thread a year ago. Does LO plan to add new restaurants anytime soon?

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