• Restaurants Adapt to Calorie Labeling Requirements

    7/11/13  |  By: Doug
    When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, certain provisions were slated to go into effect almost immediately. Regardless of one’s opinion of the legislation as a whole, Section 4205, requiring food chain establishments to post calorie information on standard menu items, has made an impact on business owners and customers alike. The National Restaurant Association took a survey of restaurant goers since implementation of Section 4205. While customers claim to put aside...
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  • What American Fast-Casual Restaurants are Doing Right

    9/27/13  |  By: Doug
    In the battle for market share, the fast-casual restaurants are shaking up the industry. According to a recent report by a major market research firm in the U.S., a few trends are emerging in the restaurant industry, and the fast-casual sector is taking good advantage of them. The fast-casual sector is taking market share away from both the casual dining and quick service restaurants (QSR). Fast-casual outlets are not necessarily an amalgam of the casual dining and QSR segments; they...
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  • Kid's Nutrition, the Next Big Trend For the Restaurant Industry?

    6/11/13  |  By: Doug
    First Lady Michelle Obama has made reducing childhood obesity a top priority. An important battle in that war centers on improving the nutrition in children's meals at restaurants. Savvy operators have been observing this trend over the last two years. Now, nearly all restaurants are becoming more and more aware that childhood nutrition is very much a hot button issue. Whether they do it in response to legislation or as a reaction to customer demand, restaurants of all types have begun to...
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  • Spicy Trends Keep Restaurant Menus Lively and Attractive

    7/3/13  |  By: Doug
    Innovation is an important aspect of the restaurant industry. Just as fashion buyers react to clothing trends, diners tend to respond positively to menu changes and updates. National restaurant chains spend considerable capital and effort on research and development to develop new items that either innovate or conform to an ongoing trend. Changing demographics and cultural shifts frequently underlie the development of new flavors. Food and menu researchers at major national chains are...
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  • CHILL Food and Wine Festival Helps Identify 5 Fall Food Trends

    12/08/14  |  By: Guest Author
    By Stephanie Callahan. Stephanie writes the Stephanie Eats Chicago blog (   http://www.chicagonow.com/stephanie-eats-chicago/ ) for Chicago Now. Despite Chicago’s bone-chilling temperatures this fall, my calendar reminded me that winter doesn’t actually start this year until December 21 st . That means that there is plenty of time left to savor all the great fall flavors that are still in season. The other week I attended LuxeHome’s...
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  • Unusual Restaurant Concept: Game Meats

    12/8/14  |  By: Guest Author
    By Peter Bella Peter Bella blogs for The Cooking Cop (http://www.chicagonow.com/cooking-cop/about/) on Chicago Now. Every few years or so, new restaurant concepts to themes become popular. So-called classic steakhouses, molecular gastronomy, ethnic fusions, or combo styles, like sushi and South American menu items. The popularity of Hot Dougs is proof that, if marketed properly, unusual restaurant concepts work. An exotic hot dog stand? There were long lines daily to get...
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  • Do Restaurants and Food Trucks have to Remain Competitos?

    9/29/14  |  By: Doug
    Restaurant owners that have been to Portland, Oregon in the past few years know that the city has embraced the concept of creating food cart areas in several parts of the downtown area. Although the readers of Saveur recently named Portland the best small domestic restaurant city in the US, we can surmise that a large number of eateries near the food cart areas have seen some of their business siphoned off by the upstart cart segment. Some restaurateurs fear that food trucks, with a...
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