Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lessons from a Local Diner

By Paige Russell

About 82 percent of Americans eat at restaurants at least once a week, but a new study shows that not all sit-down chains are healthier than fast food joints. Out of 31,000 menu items studied, 96 percent would exceed daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat. This is definitely not the case for Hogan's Diner of Orangeburg, NY though. Hogan's Diner has been in business for twenty one years and is still going strong. Fresh produce, great prices and a welcoming staff are what make this place feel like home.

Hogan's Diner, located at 17 Orangetown Shopping Center,  is not only a favorite diner of mine but a favorite diner for a lot of people. One thing that many of people may be unaware of is that Nick Hogan, the owner of Hogan's Diner, does a lot of charitable things for not only St. Thomas Aquinas College, but for surrounding colleges as well.

This semester in September, Nick came to St. Thomas Aquinas College and sat down with our Public Relations class. He was willing to put his trust in us and give us the opportunity to learn about Public Relations while using his Diner as a project. Nick wanted us to be able to taste the food that he is proud to serve to customers and wanted our truthful feedback on how we liked it. We as a class were also able to interview Nick Hogan. We received helpful information that we were able to use for our group projects and for self assignments.

Nick Hogan entered our classroom looking stern faced and tough and made us all a little nervous. The second he spoke to us, we all let out a sigh of relief when we realized that he is just a big teddy bear! He was open and willing to answer any questions that we had about his diner, how he became established and how he pleases his customers. Not only did he answer our questions, he gave us more information than we knew what to do with.

At the end of our first meeting with Nick, he graciously invited our entire class, including our professor, to visit his diner that coming Thursday and have anything that we wanted on the menu. We all wondered...what's the catch? Surly we will all have to pay for our meal. NOPE! All of our meals were on the house because Nick wanted us all to be able to experience the food that his diner offered so that we could truthfully write what we thought about our time there. Let me tell you, the food was amazing! Not one person in our class had a complaint about their food. Nick continues to keep in touch with our professor and answers any questions that we may have. We were also able to visit the diner and speak with him.

You see, our Public Relations class is not just sitting in the classroom with our noses in our textbooks, reading about what PR is. We went out and about in the real world doing real PR things for Hogan's Diner.

Our class is very grateful to Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to help us learn what Public Relations is really all about. If you didn't know who Nick Hogan was or about Hogan's Diner, you do now! Thanks for all of your cooperation Nick! Bon Appetit!

Paige Russell is a Junior at St. Thomas Aquinas College majoring is Communications with a minor in Public Relations.

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