Why I Love Dinova Independents

Shrimp 'N Grits

Working with independent restaurateurs and their beautiful restaurants in the Dinova Marketplace is very rewarding. Corporations, restaurateurs and Dinova folk pool talent, passion and teamwork that prosper restaurants, save corporations money, and provide business travelers amazing regional dining experiences while on the road for work, I have a special fondness and respect for the restaurant owners and operators with whom I work because they are always experimenting with their art, they work hard and respect the numbers.

As a kid, I once took a test that said people who like what I like I become chefs (among a handful of other things, like police officers, but that’s a different tale). I do not recall what the similarities were, but I am confident that at the top of the list was a love of the artistry in things. For a year or so of college I was an art major, but, alas the inspiration to create art was not a driving force but experiencing art lights my heart on fire. In my work at Dinova, every day and especially on Fridays, I get to witness an amazing regalia of beautiful dishes on parade as restaurateurs display their wares on social media. Spectacular colors and shapes, and my mind’s recollection of delicious meats, seafood, fruit and veggies are an epicurean adventure. I can smell the glory from my computer.

You can’t luck your way to success in the restaurant business. It requires hard work, hustle, an incredible chemistry of personalities working together with strengths and weaknesses to pull off the brilliant (imagine perfect French Fries). I admire work. There is dignity in work. Work is fun (for the most part). My dad was an entrepreneur and a hard worker. He would come home after work, run from his car into the house, change into his work clothes whooping it up with “Ha-Haas” and “Hee-Hees!” I can hear his footsteps in my head—it makes me smile. Then he would run out outside, day after day, year after year to work on his passions (cars, burning things and such). Work is good. I respect the work that goes into the restaurant business.

Clearly numbers are important in measuring success for any business. Dinova restaurant owners and operators want to be able to measure their success with Dinova companies. Even though I’m not a numbers gal, I respect numbers.  For ten years I had the good fortune to work with a top compensation survey company, selling compensation survey data to technology companies so they could attract and retain top talent. I learned how valuable numbers are in seeing reality. Numbers can uncover fascinating stories about growth, appropriate targets, what’s working and what isn’t. Numbers at Dinova restaurants indicate higher transactions, weekday business and growth as more and more business travelers become aware of and choose to dine at Dinova restaurants. That’s what we want to see.

Dinova is built on an uncomplicated business model. Companies direct their employees to use specific restaurants when using a corporate credit card on the job. This would include admins and meeting managers ordering for office events and executive dinners, as well as business travelers on the road for work. Since dining is part of the overall work and travel experience that helps motivate and retain top talent, companies have a strong incentive to promote Dinova restaurants in their travel programs. Plus, it saves them money.  As companies pour more of their dining spend in to Dinova restaurants, restaurants see this profitable expense-account diner segment of their overall market grow. Everybody wins.

New Dinova Restaurants: June 15, 2018.

The Fork

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of June 15:

600 Kitchen & Bar. PS 2

600 Kitchen & Bar in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant y Cantina

Eight Locations for Acapulco 

 Amali PS

Amali Located in New York, New York

Babalu Tapas & Tacos PS

Babalu Tapas & Tacosin Atlanta, Georgia

Benis Cubano. PS

Two Locations forBeni’s Cubano

Big Fish Grill .jpg PS

Big Fishin Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

Big Fish River Front PS

Big Fish on the Riverfrontin Wilmington, Delaware

Central Tap House PS

Central City Tap Housein Kalamazoo, Michigan


Centre Street Tap PS

Centre Street Tap Housein Portage, Michigan

Chevys tex Mex PS

26 Locations for Chevys Fresh Mex

Cove Westlake Bistro PS

Cove Lakeside Bistro in Portage, Michigan

 Dick's Last Resort PS

Seven Additional Locations for Dick’s Last Resort

Eclectic Bistro & Bar PS

 Eclectic Bistro & Bar in Atlanta, Georgia

El Torito PS

39 Locations in

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Best of San Diego

The Fork

Let’s face it business travel can be tedious. Flight delays, mediocre dinners in the hotel lobby, stressful meetings and of course, more flying. So, the next time you’re packing your bags be sure to throw that Hawaiian shirt in with your business khakis and build some exploration time into your agenda, especially in the summer when it seems like everyone else on your flight is on holiday!

Downtown San Diego Gaslamp sign over moving traffic Famous Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA.

This August business people from all over the world will descend on San Diego for the Global Business Travel Association annual conference.  I admit San Diego is not a tough assignment, but if you tread a straight path between your hotel and the convention center you risk missing the So Cal experience. It’s not difficult to find fun local activities, especially with the convention center sitting on the waterfront downtown. So, allow me to offer a…

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New Dinova Restaurants: June 1, 2018.

The Fork

Twice a month at Dinova, we take a moment to celebrate all of the restaurants across the US who have joined our marketplace. If any of these new restaurants fulfill your taste buds, plan your next business dining experience there through our Dinova search.  Here are the new members to the Dinova team as of June 1:

Arooga_s Grille House & Sports Bar

Additional Location for Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar

Big Mama_s & Papa_s Pizzeria

Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeriain Burbank, California

Delia_s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza

Two Locations for Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza

Diamond of Hamilton

Diamond’s of Hamilton in Hamilton, New Jersey

Diamond_s of Pennington

Diamond’s of Penningtonin Pennington, New Jersey

Doc B_s Fresh Kitchen

Additional Location for Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen

East Hampton Sandwich Co

Additional Location for East Hampton Sandwich Co.

El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar

El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Barin Carrollton, Texas


Greek Islands Cuisine

Greek Islands Cuisine  in Irvine, California

Hale & Hearty Soups

25 Locations for Hale & Hearty Soups

il Villaggio

Il Villaggioin Carlstadt, New Jersey


Inakayain New York, NY

Segovia Meson


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Forks Out! It’s Dinova’s Ultimate Steakhouse Dinner FAQ

The Fork

Everyone knows that when you bring a client to a high-end, contemporary setting to pair a rich Merlot with a prime strip, you mean business. As a staple in the business dining experience, the American steakhouse is a tried and true tradition in the Dinova Marketplace.

Recently we’ve added the delectable Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse to the Dinova Marketplace and we couldn’t be more excited. Del Frisco’s stays true to time-honored principles – like chef-driven cuisine, impeccable wines and exceptional hospitality – to give you an experience like no other.

We know that not everyone is a red-blooded carnivore who knows the ins and outs of ordering steak, yet at some point in your career it’s likely you will be at a steakhouse for a quintessential special occasion at work. So in honor of the addition of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, we’ve consulted with the experts to compile the…

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