• Restaurant Industry in the U.S. Hits a Rough Patch

    8/23/13  |  By: Doug
    August has not been a kind month for the restaurant industry in the United States. From about 2011 until now, things were going very smoothly for American restaurants in terms of economic recovery, hiring, sales, and innovation. August of 2013, however, brought some unfortunate news that industry leaders are assimilating and planning to act upon. The Rise of Prepared Foods According to a recent study reported by NPD Group, a market research firm based in New York, prepared foods...
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  • Restaurant Industry Outperforms U.S. Economy in Sales and Jobs

    6/20/13  |  By: Doug
    May 2013 was another great month for the American restaurant industry in terms of sales and jobs. According to the Restaurant Industry Snapshot (RIS) published by Black Box Intelligence and People Report, same-store sales in May increased by 0.8 percent from the previous month. This marks the third month in a row that the RIS report is positive. The other good news came from the United States Department of Labor and its closely-watched jobs report. Although the number of jobs gained...
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  • Affordable Care Act Hits Restaurant Workers Hard

    11/6/13  |  By: Doug
    As the Affordable Healthcare Act, better known as Obamacare, takes full effect, many restaurant and fast food workers across the country are concerned. Chain restaurants and independent eateries are starting to cut the hours of their employees to avoid the staggering cost of offering health insurance to their employees. Once fully in effect, Obamacare requires that any employee working 30 hours to be offered health insurance (provided the business meets other criteria). In an industry...
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  • Chefs Protest Charcuterie Prohibition

    7/28/14  |  By: Doug
      In an undisclosed location, somewhere in the heart of Richmond, Virginia, a group of local chefs gathers regularly to discuss techniques, swap secrets and clandestinely create fine cured meat. This group of culinary mavericks finds it necessary to circumvent local regulations in order to produce their delicacies. These chefs are practitioners of charcuterie, the ancient art of home-processed meats. Many of the techniques involved in this craft have been outlawed for commercial...
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  • American Restaurant Industry Proves Resilient Amid Economic Downturn

    5/2/13  |  By: Doug
    The collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting Great Recession seem to be distant memories for the United States restaurant industry. Positive attitudes and encouraging forecasts appear to be the norm these days. The proof is in recent news reports: Top trade publications such as Fast Casual are commenting about the high level of enthusiasm at events such as the ProStart Invitational, where 350 culinary arts and management students from 43 states presented restaurant concepts and...
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  • Healthy Menus For Kids Continue their Growth

    1/22/14  |  By: Doug
    Most people in the restaurant industry know that trends come and go. According to the latest surveys from the National Restaurant Association, however, healthier meals are one trend that may stick. Nearly three fourths of people surveyed indicated they were seeking to eat healthier, and they are more likely to return to a restaurant that offers healthy options. More Nutritious Children’s Foods Children’s nutrition is particularly important to diners . In its 2013 survey,...
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  • U.S. Restaurant Sales Dip Moderately in February

    4/4/13  |  By: Doug
    February was a slower than expected month for many restaurant owners and operators in the United States. According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), a report that is closely watched by the American restaurant industry, the success of January 2013 did not carry over to the next month. Sales were softer and traffic was lighter in February. The RPI figures, which were released in late March, put the overall index at 99.9. Values under...
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  • McDonald's Promotes Its Nutritional Image

      From the numerous complaints from nutrition specialists concerned about high fat content and exorbitant calories to headlines about "pink slime" masquerading as meat, fast food chains have continually been under attack. McDonald’s, in a recent move to bolster its reputation, recently embarked on a campaign to improve the company's image. Lisa McComb, Director of Media Relations for McDonald’s, invited the public to voice its concerns about the quality and origins...
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  • Craft Beers Proving To Be More Than A Passing Trend

    5/22/13  |  By: Aimee Plesa
      " Aimee Plesa writes the blog Aim To Please Home Cooking  She is a personal chef, freelance food writer and stay at home mom who has over 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. The blog focuses on recipe sharing for foodies, but contains a little something for everyone who enjoys both food and drink." Craft beers, which were once looked upon by many as a passing trend, are apparently here to stay. While many other types of beverages have struggled to...
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  • Saturday Afternoon Regular

    4/24/14  |  By: Lisa W.
    I waited tables for a total of 8 years and I can honestly say that I got tremendous enjoyment out of my work life during that time. I even picked up a side job serving when I worked in an office full time because I enjoyed the industry so much. One situation occurred early in my serving career and it has stuck with me all these years later. I worked a double every Saturday. I wanted to maximize my earning so I could have enough money to spend later that night with my friends. I would...
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  • Fast Food Chains Battle for Your Dollar (or at least your 99 cents)

    5/14/13  |  By: Doug
    Yum Brands' Taco Bell management recently announced that they are considering a national roll-out of the "$1 Cravings" menu their stores in California and Missouri had been testing earlier this year. Taco Bell's focus on offering customers the most menu options for the lowest possible price reflects a focus on value menus that is affecting the entire fast food category of restaurants nationwide. With economic recovery still not reaching a vast majority of consumers, food budgets...
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  • Algae for dinner?

    1/7/14  |  By: Doug
    Now that the Christmas season has passed, get ready for a season full of promotions centered around the Winter Olympics in Sochi.   While not the first, certainly one of the most intriguing promotions announced so far comes from a manufacturer of energy products based on algae.   Yes, algae. The products’ manufacturer, ENERGYbits (link to www.energybits.com), is promoting its algae-filled supplements changing their twitter head to feature a different photo of their...
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