8 Local SEO Tips to Grow Your Restaurant

8 Local SEO Tips to Grow Your Restaurant

Do you have a local restaurant that you want to market online? Using a variety of marketing tactics, you can help draw in more customers without spending much money. The following tips can help any restaurant get the word out about their grand opening, their daily specials, or recent dining area renovations. These tips can also ensure that restaurant owners always connect with their target audience.

  1. Build a Real Website

It may not seem necessary since you can use social media to advertise your business, but let me assure you, it is. When you rely on social media, you’re building your business on rented land – and when you build a website, that’s your own piece of the internet. You never know when Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms will change practices or close your page down for some random (and possibly false) violation. When you have a website, you’re ensuring your customers can find you – and you can link to all your social media and directory listings there.

  1. Get a Google My Business Listing

Search for your restaurant in Google, and I can just about guarantee you’ll find a listing. If you’re so new you don’t have a listing yet, go create one. If you haven’t already claimed it or created it, you need to do it right now. I’ll wait.

Edit your listing to make sure all the information is correct. Information that Google has in your listing comes from third party sources, and though they work to verify it, it may not always be valid. Periodically check your listing to ensure it’s current and up to date.

Use the Google My Business Posts feature to share daily specials or other promotions you have going on.

  1. Claim Your Business Listings in Directories Around the Internet

Claiming your listings, as well as removing duplicate listings in directories lets the search engines know they can be more confident about the information they have about your business. When you claim your listings and edit them, make sure you keep the information consistent across all of them in terms of name, address, and phone number.

There are tons of local directories out there, but many are specific to restaurants. Take some time to see if you’re listed on any or all of these sites:

Each of these listings will build a backlink to your website, which helps improve your ranking over time.

  1. Use Schema

Schema, along with other microdata is a way to turn your website content into a content that the search engine robots can better understand.

Search engines are constantly trying to learn more about your business, such as the type of food you serve, your contact information, your hours of operation, what’s on your menu, the reviews from customers, your blog posts, and so on.

By taking the time to learn schema and code your website appropriately, or pay a web designer to do it for you, you are making the search engines job easier. Therefore, there is the potential for your website to rank higher when someone in your local area searches for your restaurant.

You can use schema to format your address. Before you add schema, an address looks something like this:

<address>
1234 Main Street
Somewhere, CA 12345-6789
phone: (123) 123-4567
fax: (123)123-7890
</address>

With schema, it looks more like this:

<address itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>1234 Main Street</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Somewhere</span>, <span itemprop=”addressRegion”>CA</span> <span itemprop=”postalCode”>12345-6789</span>
phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>(123) 123-4567</span>
fax: <span itemprop=”faxNumber”>(123) 123-7890</span>
</address>

But, that’s not all schema can do for your restaurant’s website. You can also use it to:

  • Code your menu into your website – more on that in the next section.
  • Tell search engines whether or not you accept reservations.
  • Tell search engines what kinds of payment you accept, as well as the currencies you accept.
  • Tell search engines the hours of operation.
  • Tell search engines at your price range.

This is what your listing would look like if you included ratings, pricing, and hours schema in your website.

See all the things you can do with a schema for your restaurant and what codes to use here.

  1. Add Your Menu Everywhere You Can

I cannot stress enough the importance of using schema if you’re going to include your menu on your website. Yes, it’s easy to throw a PDF of your existing menu on your website for people to download, and it works – but it doesn’t help your SEO.

It can be a pain to put all the code in, especially if you have a large or complex menu. And it can be difficult to keep up to date if you change your menu often. But, that’s the easiest way to get your menu directly in the search engine results – which may help your ranking depending on what people search for to find your restaurant in the listings. Even if it doesn’t directly improve your rankings, it will improve the user experience for people who want to learn more about your restaurant and what it has to offer.

If you include your menu on your website without schema, or on third-party websites like the ones I listed above, Google will pull this information in. That’s okay, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the data will be correct or consistent. It’s better for your user experience if the listings are consistent and current.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided to go check out a restaurant I’ve never tried before based on something I saw on their menu online, only to go and discover they don’t serve the dish anymore. It’s disappointing, and while I generally find something else to try, it still upsets me a bit. If I had known it wasn’t an option, I probably would have gone to my second choice restaurant instead.

Include your menu on Facebook, and links to it on your other social platforms. You can also use SinglePlatform to handle your menu in multiple places at once – like Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, and Trip Advisor.

  1. Encourage Patrons to Review Your Restaurant

Wherever they review you, other people who find your listing can see it, so it can help you. But, reviews in Google will do the most for your SEO. Even if there’s a bad review, that’s better than no review at all. You can take the time to reply to a bad review to smooth things over with the reviewer, which lets anyone who views it in the future know that you’re paying attention and taking steps to improve.

  1. Incentivize Guests to Check in on Social Media

Offer something small for free, like a basket of rolls, or free cheese dip with your chips and salsa, to people who check into your restaurant on social media platforms like Foursquare, Swarm, Yelp, and Facebook. Put up a sign on the door that tells customers what they’ll get if they check in, and advertise it on your social channels, too.

This boosts your social signals, which is important to growing your organic reach on Facebook especially. When you check in, your friends see where you are. If they’ve not tried the restaurant before, they may be more inclined now that they have your recommendation.

  1. Get Active on Social Media

Social media activity doesn’t directly influence your search engine ranking. If it did, simply creating a Facebook profile would help you rank better. Instead, the activity – sharing links to your website with their audience, and thereby increasing your traffic.

Use social media to share daily specials, share photos of your food, get ideas for new menu items from your loyal customers, and so on. Twitter is great for food trucks that are constantly moving from one place to another.

Rankings Won’t Improve Overnight

Local SEO takes time and effort. Making one small change, or claiming your listing on Google My Business won’t make much of a difference right away. And if you don’t have good food and service, there’s not much point in focusing on SEO – because you want what’s out there on your business to be a positive buzz. Sure, you’re not going to be able to keep 100% of your customers happy 100% of the time, but focusing so much on SEO that you’ve forgotten about the restaurant itself can’t be a good thing.

If you need help with your restaurant SEO, get in touch with me and we’ll come up with a plan to help you blaze ahead of your competition.

Contributor
SEO virtuoso and CEO at Sachs Marketing Group. Always focused on being of service to business owners, to help better position them in the eyes of their audiences.
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SEO virtuoso and CEO at Sachs Marketing Group. Always focused on being of service to business owners, to help better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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8 Ways Your Company Can Save Money By Hiring Remote Worker

8 Ways Your Company Can Save Money By Hiring Remote Worker

Whether you’re a veteran or simply a new business owner, one thing is certain – overhead costs are a big pain in the @&&. So it’s a good thing that modern technology has helped today’s businesses cut down on costs.

You save a lot of money by not paying for office space, construction costs, electricity bill, rental fee, food expenses, and other expenses. You can simply hire your employees and have them work at home. It’s also a big benefit to the employee since they don’t have to worry about gas expenses or commuting expenses. They also work in the comfort of their own homes and they can set their own schedules as well. It’s a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

But if you’re still not convinced then take a look at these reasons that explain why hiring remotely can save you a lot of money.

1 Lower Operating Costs for Your Business

You don’t have to worry about renting office space, paying electric bills, paying water bills,  buying office supplies, providing for snacks, office repairs, buying hardware, fixing to plumb, and all those other expenses since most (if not all) of your workers are now working at home.

Based on a poll from Global Workplace Analytics, it was discovered that businesses and companies who allow their employees to work at home have reduced expenses and reduced company overheads of approximately $11,000 annually.

2 Your Remote Workers are More Productive

Working at home has a lot of perks. The most obvious perk would be that of time and travel expenses. Home workers don’t need to travel to the office which saves them a lot of time, they also don’t have to experience the stress of being caught in a traffic jam during rush hour.

Asides from the traffic, home workers have fewer distractions and they can devote 100% of their time and energy on work. Home workers have flexible work schedules that they can even take care of their children, cook their own food, and watch television. This flexible work schedule makes them more productive and it helps them produce high-quality outputs.

According to Tiny Pulse, about 91% of home workers state that they get more work done when they are working remotely.

3 Employee Turnover Will Be Reduced

A lot of employees are being replaced yearly. It’s costly to train new employees and it takes a lot of time and investment to make them as effective as the old ones.  You can convince your current employees to stick around by making them work at home.

According to the Global Workplace Analytics, about two-thirds of employees would switch their current jobs if they could ease the burden of commuting and deal with traffic. By relieving your employees the burden of traffic, you are also ensuring that they would stick around and work for you.

4 You will have more productive and efficient meetings

Payroll has reported that over 40% of office professionals see impromptu meetings as a major distraction in the workplace.

You don’t have to worry about impromptu meetings that hinder you from doing your work. Most impromptu meetings have little value to add and they are often used to kill time in the workplace. It’s even more annoying when people chat and goof around while waiting for the other workers to come to the meeting. You lose at least an hour of your work time in these meetings, an hour that you could have spent working on that project.

You can have more efficient and productive meetings if you have a lot of remote workers. Why? Because meetings have to planned and scheduled in advance which gives you and your employees more time to prepare for the meeting. So no more on the spot brainstorming or fooling around, you can now have meetings that help and improve your employees work rather than hindering it.

5 Your Workers Can Work Even on Sick Days

People in the office often take the whole day off when they call in sick. This would set back your profits and you’ll be at a loss. Remote workers, on the other hand, don’t have this problem.

Your remote workers can work from bed (if possible) when they’re sick. If they can’t work when sick it’s still okay since they have flexible work schedules that make it easy for them to catch up with work.

6 It’s Faster and Easier to Hire Remote Workers

Office employees undergo a very long and tedious hiring process. They undergo interviews, handle paperwork, background checks, and they have to be sorted out by the HR department. It would take a few days at best to hire a new employee.

Hiring a remote worker, on the other hand, can simply be done within a 24 hour period. There’s no bureaucracy that will slow you down.  However this comes at the cost of security and quality, you have to do the background checks yourself and make sure that they are up to par with your company’s standards.

7 You Don’t Need to Rely on Local Talent, You Have the World to Choose From

If your company is located in a big and thriving city. It’s very likely that your employees are also living in the city as well. The cost of living is high and you have to pay them a much higher rate.

However, you can pay remote workers much less since you don’t have to adhere to industry standards. You can pay someone a lower rate but with equal talent, whose living in a rural area and they’d still be happy about it. You can even completely outsource the work and hire workers from across the world.

8 You Can Work Remotely as Well

What’s so great about having all your workers work remotely? Well, it means that you don’t have to go to the office anymore! You’re basically working remotely as well. That means that you don’t have to worry about commuting/ driving, rush hour, and other daily work expenses. You now have more time to spend with your family and you can probably work while traveling the world.

And, here are 3 ways to build trust in remote teams

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

How to Maximize Your Digital Marketing Budget in 2019

How to Maximize your Digital Marketing Budget in 2019

Many businesses don’t really regard themselves as digital companies, because they may offer “analog” consumer products and services. After all, they’re not selling high-tech products and software programs. Common small businesses include restaurants, arts, and crafts sales, and plumbing services. So since these are traditional businesses, often they employ traditional marketing strategies—and that’s a mistake. Instead, digital marketing must be at the forefront of any sensible marketing strategy these days.

It’s true that many of these old-school marketing departments have now added more modern online marketing elements like mobile marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and website operations. Yet often the focus is on traditional marketing methods like print ads and retail store promos. The digital marketing teams receive a far smaller share of the marketing budget.

If you’re running your own business, you have to increase the budget for digital marketing. In fact, the bulk of your marketing budget should probably go to digital marketing instead. Your digital marketing team should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts, leading the charge in promoting your brand and gathering data about your customers.

If you’re not convinced, here are some facts that should change your mind:

  • The vast majority of your customers are online. In the US, about 89% of the people use the Internet. Among the Internet users, 77% go online every day, 43% are online several times a day, and a staggering 26% are online almost constantly. The percentage of the constantly connected jumps to 39% for the 18 to 29 age bracket.
  • According to expert consumer marketers, the most effective marketing tactics include digital marketing techniques like social media, email newsletters, videos, mobile apps, website articles, and blogs. Online marketing is quite versatile, as it can also include webinars, webcasts, online presentations, white papers, infographics, and case studies.
  • With so many digital channels, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the message stays consistent throughout. Every platform should have the same information regarding your business, such as your location and your contact information. Your prices and promos should also appear the same for each channel. Your offline channels must also fall in line with your online promos, though this can be a challenge when you’re prone to quick reactive promotions.
  • The speed of digital marketing is significantly faster compared the traditional offline channels. This is in terms of fulfilling consumer demand for information. Direct mail and even telephone channels can’t compare to having all the information readily available on your website. You can also chat with your consumers and respond quickly via forum posts and emails.
  • The analytic tools for online marketing are also superior as you’re able to really track your marketing ROI. These tools can track how each digital marketing method is actually contributing to your bottom line. You can find out which methods are increasing your brand visibility, increasing your website visitors, and boosting your sales.

The basic truth is that all business these days are digital. You may offer traditional services like food products and plumbing services, yet marketing today must be online.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

100 Best Coworking Spaces in Los Angeles

100 Best Coworking Spaces to Work in Los Angeles

Coworking spaces these days are all about well-designed, health-conscious zones styled to look more like a members’ lounge than a meeting room. It’s no wonder freelancers, creatives and startups are turning to coworking spaces as an alternative to the traditional office. The communal environment and the amazing amenities are definite perks, but mainly for the sheer beauty of the spaces themselves.

We have compiled a complete list of the best coworking spaces in Los Angeles for you to work – HERE

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Read on … How is Coworking Great For The Los Angeles Tech Scene

 

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Changing Careers: How to Find the Right Career to Switch To in 2019

Changing Careers: How to Find the Right Career to Switch To in 2019

It’s very common for people to think about switching careers. We think about working in a field we are excited about, in contrast to the dull industry we currently find ourselves. But often this sort of job dissatisfaction changes with your mood. So how do you know if you should change career in the first place? Which career should you choose next? To help you make an informed decision, here are some steps you need to take:

Is It Time to Change Careers?

Sometimes thinking about changing your career is just a passing thought. But you may want to seriously consider your career options right now if you find yourself agreeing to these statements:

  • You’re only staying in your current job because it pays well, or it gives you a prestigious title.
  • You actually hate the thought of waking up the next day to go to work.
  • You feel blah and unenthusiastic about your tasks.
  • When you succeed or fail at a project, it doesn’t really matter to you.

All these point out to a deep dissatisfaction with your current career path. When you’re with certain people, tasks, or workplaces, it’s normal. But when you simply don’t care about your industry anymore and about your place in it, or when the culture of your particular industry no longer suits you, then it’s probably time to take your career musings more seriously.

Which Career Will Be Right for You?

Now that you know that you don’t like your current career anymore, what do you like instead? This can be an overwhelming step because it feels like a wide-open quandary. How exactly do you narrow down your options?

The first step is to identify what gets you excited. There must be something that gets you going. What are you passionate about? What topics make you care? Knowing what motivates you can then help you identify the industries and jobs that can bring back the passion you’ve lost.

The next step is to do research on your motivations. Now you find those industries and jobs that will make you feel excited again. Internet searches are easy to do, and your research can then give you quick facts. You’ll know about possible jobs in other industries, expected salaries, the culture to expect, how all these can mesh with your career goals.

After your online research, go to job fairs and other career networking opportunities. Find out about job openings, and ask questions about the industry and the work.

Pursuing Your New Career

Once you’ve identified the new career you want to try out, be serious about starting the process. Go active on LinkedIn. Reach out to local businesses. Find mentors. Attend various industry events to widen your network.

You may find that your new career won’t require you to go back to school for the next 4 years. You may need some new training, but such programs may only take a few months instead of a few years. After that, you may be ready and you may find yourself looking forward to going to work instead!

Check out these 50 hottest startups to work for right now.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

Mental health in the workplace is a touchy subject even though it shouldn’t be. If you’re quite clueless about the basics, here are six things that you should know about it.

How many years has it been since the World Health Organization declared that mental health problems are classified as serious illnesses? It has been a while, for sure, but it can’t be denied that the diseases under this category still carry a stigma. People who are diagnosed with such are still treated with doubt and suspicion as if their health problem is not as bad as other ailments.

While there have certainly been some improvements over the past decade when it comes to treating mental illness, we’re far from handling it properly. A lot of people are working hard to change this but if not everyone is willing to make an effort, we’ll still have to wait a long time for things to change.

Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s no secret that the workplace can be the most nerve-racking places for people with mental illness. They can be too competitive, too alienating, too unwelcoming. Because of this, a lot of talent and potential are wasted.

If you don’t want your workplace to experience the same thing, you should work on educating your people about mental health. Handling these diseases properly start from understanding the condition and their sufferers better, so it’s always a good idea to start there.

As there’s just so much to learn about this problem, it’s best to start small. We won’t talk about the technicalities of mental health as that might prove to be too complicated for some. Here are six of the most basic things that you should know about mental health, however:

1. Mental illness is present in every workplace

One of the most important things that everyone should know about mental health issues is that they come in different forms. They do not manifest in the same way in every sufferer because there are so many different mental health problems that plague the general populace. This is why even if it doesn’t look like it, it’s highly likely that you have an employee or co-w0rker that is suffering from one right now.

Mental illness has a lot of faces so it’s not the easiest thing to detect. However, it is said that 1 out of 5 Americans is diagnosed with a mental illness yearly. Because it’s just like physical health where you get sick from time to time, people can also get a mental illness on occasions.

What you should note, however, is that 1 in 25 of them suffer from a severe case. Most people won’t be able to tell even if they’re working desk neighbors is one of them. As some mental illnesses are not always debilitating, most sufferers pass off like their normal selves even if they’re not 100% there.

However, just like physical ailments, it can be just as costly to businesses. Some experts estimate that mental illnesses cause losses that amount to a staggering $193.2 billion in earnings yearly so it’s important for enterprises to address the issue head-on.

2. Employees with mental illnesses are protected by the law

There are a few things that employers should and shouldn’t do with their employees that are diagnosed with mental health conditions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers should:

  • provide the necessary accommodations for employees with mental health conditions; and
  • not fire, force them to stop working or deny promotions based on mental health.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness also says that employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when dealing with a mental health crisis. While the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes sure that health insurance policies provide similar coverage to mental health conditions just like they do with physical health conditions.

3. Talking about mental health in the workplace would be beneficial for everyone

Mental health concerns are always some of the biggest elephants in the room, especially in workplaces. This is why creating spaces to talk about them would be a good idea for employers. This will help you educate your team about the issue at hand.

It can also be a positive thing for your employees who are suffering from a mental illness. Activities of this kind will provide support to your team members which is exactly what they need during such tough times.

With the help of the right organizations and experts, you can create a friendlier working environment for those who are struggling with their mental health condition. Open conversations between the employee and management is also a great thing to have.

4. Employees have access to assistance programs

It’s not common knowledge that there are employee assistance programs (EAP) for mental health issues. These are usually available in the form of hotlines for employees to call whenever they need support for their mental health condition.

The best part? The sessions are kept confidential. Employers will not be informed so you can be confident that their condition will not have an effect on their employment.

5. Mental health conditions are mostly treatable

As mentioned above, some mental illnesses can come and go just like physical ailments. Not a lot of people know this for a fact so it’s important to spread the word.

Even severe cases of chronic mental illnesses are largely treatable. With the right resources and ample support, it can certainly be done.

6. Employers and colleagues can make a huge difference in one’s struggle with their mental health condition

Employers can certainly take the right measures in supporting their employees with mental illnesses. For one, they can educate their employers about mental health and even train them how to react to emergencies. Corporate seminars on this topic are offered by various institutions so there won’t be a problem in finding resources for such.

With the right information, colleagues can then provide good support for those with mental health conditions. As they spend a third of their days together, colleagues tend to develop a certain bond and mutual trust. They can then use this to provide excellent support to each other in times of crisis. So if a workplace is well-versed in mental health issues, it won’t be difficult for them to provide support to a co-worker that is struggling with one.

Mental health shouldn’t stay as a touchy subject in workplaces if you want your business to progress. As there are tons of ways how to handle this topic, employers should make an effort to address this pressing concern.

Check out these mental health apps

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.