Powered by Lightning is a restaurant & bar consulting firm specializing in high-impact marketing and innovative events that attract new customers, strengthen customer loyalty, and immediately generate revenue.

Founder Donovan Friedman brings 14 years of successful marketing, entertainment and event planning experience with world-famous hotels such as the Four Seasons, W Hotel, Clift Hotel, Fairmont Hotel, Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, and Hotel Los Gatos. 

Friedman's marketing portfolio includes many of San Francisco and Silicon Valley's most prestigious restaurants such as Ozumo, La Mar, Foreign Cinema, 5A5, Plumed Horse, Hult's, Sino, Straits, Emporio Armani Cafe, Hubert Keller's Burger Bar, Teatro Zinzanni, Park Chalet, Sens, Crystal Jade, Yoshi's, Ana Mandara, Servino, Jones, Circa, and Carnelian by the Bay.

Powered by Lightning can electrify your business
with the following professional services:

Restaurant & Bar Design
Cuisine & Menu Development
Bar Program & Cocktail Menu Development

Brand Development
Website Development

Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Mobile Marketing
Online Advertising

Music Programming
Entertainment Programming

Event Concept Development & Planning
Event Production & Operations
Promotional Support

Donovan Friedman Bio

With a portfolio of over 600 produced events in the past 14 years, Donovan Friedman is the leading pioneer of San Francisco's "upscale nightlife" movement, bringing more innovative, more cultured, more refined, and more cosmopolitan spirit to San Francisco nightlife.  The Donovan parties are synonymous with class, elegance, sophistication, wealth, and fashion with a famous reputation for having "The most beautiful, most glamorous people in Northern California".
See pictures from Donovan’s most famous events

Donovan's event promotions business' website www.DonovanSF.com is one of the highest trafficked nightlife community websites in Northern California with over a 45,000 mailing list and enormous loyal following of the most upscale, A-List, jet-setting, foodie and fashion-forward crowd.  When people think of upscale events and fashion-forward culture in Northern California, they immediately think DonovanSF.com.

Donovan's promotional business has generated millions of dollars a year for the city of San Francisco's local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, nightclubs, salons, retail stores, public transportation, and local government.  Donovan events have been hosted at San Francisco's most reputable and most prestigious venues: San Francisco City Hall, Bentley Reserve, U.S. Old Mint, The Four Seasons, Top of the Mark, the Fairmont Hotel, The Mark Hopkins Hotel, the Clift Hotel, the W Hotel, Julia Morgan Ballroom (Merchant Exchange Building), Regency Ballroom, Payne Mansion, Archbishop's Mansion, Sport’s Club LA (San Francisco), San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, Terra, Ozumo, Foreign Cinema, La Mar, Emporio Armani Caffè, 5a5 Steak Lounge, Orson, Park Chalet, Crystal Jade, Teatro Zinzanni, Ana Mandara, Yoshi's, Shangai 1930, Le Colonial, Sens, Jones, Hubert Keller's Burger Bar, Circolo, Monte Cristo, Sutra, Circa, Eastside West, Butterfly, Servino Ristorante (Tiburon), etc.
See Pictures from Donovan's $250,000 production at San Francisco City Hall

Donovan has worked with world-famous fashion brands Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Calvin Klein, BCBG, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marciano, Macy's, Bebe, Kenneth Cole, Diesel, Ted Baker, Armani Exchange, Benetton, French Connection, Sephora, Bare Escentuals, Shu Uemura, Vidal Sasson, Miss Sixty/Energie, and fashion magazines Vogue, GQ, Details, 7X7, San Francisco, SOMA, 944, Chic Metropolitan, and BAYFashion.
See Video from Donovan's bebe 2012 Summer Collection Fashion Show at Yoshi's
See Video from Donovan's Marciano 2009 Winter Collection Fashion Show at W Hotel

Donovan is famous for producing the most elaborate annual theme party traditions in San Francisco such as The Masquerade Ball: A Venetian Carnival Affair, The Haunted Ball Halloween Party, The Mad Hatter's: Alice in Wonderland Party, Little Black Dress Party, Drink for Pink: Breast Cancer Fundraiser, White Sands Day Party, and his Grand New Years' Eve Black-Tie Gala. 
See Pictures from Donovan's Past Annual Theme Productions

In 2008, Donovan launched Donovan Silicon Valley with the commitment to bring the class & sophistication of Donovan’s San Francisco events to Silicon Valley.  Donovan Silicon Valley was an overnight success and has become the leading upscale nightlife promotions company of Silicon Valley, producing cocktail attire events in only the most affluent neighborhoods, such as downtown Saratoga at 2011 Michelin Star restaurant The Plumed Horse, downtown Los Gatos at Silicon Valley's most chic Hotel Los Gatos, 2011 Michelin Star restaurant Trevese, Hult's Restaurant, Katsu, South Bay's most prestigious Fairmont Hotel San Jose, and Santana Row's hippest, most popular restaurants Sino & Straits.
See Pictures from from Past Donovan Silicon Valley events

Donovan has also been a major contributor to charity organizations such as Global Green, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Guardsmen, City of Dreams, American Nicaraguan Foundation, Destination Foundation and Little Kids Rock.  Donovan provides promotional support to numerous other high profile San Francisco charity events such as Macy's "Passport", Global Green's "Gorgeous & Green" & The Junior League of San Francisco's Annual "Gala".
See Pictures from the Macy's Passport Fashion Show at Fort Mason

In 2014, Donovan launched Powered by Lightning, Inc., an event production and marketing consulting business for restaurants, bars, lounges, hotels, and other nightlife establishments.  Powered by Lighting has been hired to produce PR events for Audi (Stevens Creek), Clift Hotel, Payne Mansion Hotel, La Mar Restaurant, Hult’s Restaurant (Los Gatos), and Katsu Los Gatos.  For over 16 months, Donovan consulted for a $3,000,000+ funded restaurant and lounge project in Silicon Valley targeting the prestigious area of Santana Row.  Donovan was responsible for all market research for the project, including competitive market analysis, restaurant industry and food trends, cuisine and menu development with its executive chef, mixology trends, craft beer trends, bar program and cocktail menu development with its lead mixologist, and interior design.  Donovan developed the restaurant and lounge’s marketing and social media strategy.  This included brand development, website development and marketing collateral.  This also included music programming, live entertainment programming, happy hour strategy, nightlife strategy, private/corporate events strategy, and special public events. 

In 2015, Donovan launched ThemeDream Productions specializing in innovative, imaginative, and unforgettable dinner show experiences, combining fine cuisine by top chefs and craft cocktails by leading mixologists with immersive theatrical decor and spectacular live entertainment.  On Valentine's Day 2015, ThemeDream produced its first sold-out show "A NIGHT IN PARIS: A Romantic Dinner & French Cabaret Show" at the historical San Francisco landmark: The Julia Morgan Ballroom (Merchant Exchange Building) built in 1904.  On Halloween Weekend 2015, ThemeDream produced its second dinner show "HAUNTED DINNER: A Spooktacular Dinner Theatre Experience" at the historical San Francisco landmark: The Payne Mansion Hotel (built in 1881).  On New Year’s Eve 2015, ThemeDream returned to Payne Mansion Hotel to produce its third production “IMAGINE”, a “fairytale” themed black-tie gala with 11 fantasy themed areas filled with cirque performers and outlandish costumed actors.  It was the fastest selling and highest-priced New Year’s Eve event of San Francisco that sold out a week in advance.
Learn more about ThemeDream Productions

In 2016, Donovan is preparing to launch “The Art of Flavor” specializing in pop-up dinners, culinary based events, wine-tasting, mixology and craft beer focused events.  The Art of Flavor will showcase new up-and-coming chefs as well as San Francisco’s leading mixologists, local vintners and breweries incorporating unique, innovative event concepts to provide unprecedented customer experiences. 


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