In a digital world, this old school branding niche has new currency at New Orleans restaurants

December 22, 2015
By: Ian McNulty, The New Orleans Advocate

Not all of those neatly bundled boxes and bags that people tote around town these days are full of Christmas gifts. Plenty are from restaurants, where lunch outings and holiday get-togethers are in full swing.

But while you might see the durable handle bags from Domenica or Compere Lapin or Desi Vega Steakhouse and think leftovers, for Matt Oertling they say something different.

“They’re walking billboards,” said Oertling, who supplies many New Orleans restaurants with these seemingly simple staples through the local firm Hamco. “Restaurateurs see them as ways to get their brands out there. The consumer, they’re getting ideas about where to eat.”

“These aren’t small details, they’re part of the way we share the character of this place,” said Kelly Fields, co-chef and partner at Willa Jean, the Besh Restaurant Group’s new bakery and cafe.