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Could higher minimum wages help casual dining?

This post is part of the On the Margin blog. Originally posted by Nation’s Restaurant News

Casual dining is still struggling, and that’s especially true for the bar-and-grill segment that dominated the sector for so long, as the 4.1-percent decline in same-store sales at Chili’s last quarter demonstrated.

Could higher minimum wages change [...]

6 Things You Never Knew Impacted Your Restaurant Order

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to deciding on your meal when you are dining out. Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab conducted a study on what factors play a role in your restaurant order. These 6 reasons will surprise you, and even make you wonder what other stimuli impact [...]

Does it pay to buy used equipment?

Buying used commercial foodservice equipment can save you a bundle in the short term. But is it a good investment? Tackle these 10 questions from the National Restaurant Association before deciding whether to buy new or used.

1. What are your equipment requirements? Start by determining your operation’s needs, recommends Joseph Carbonara, editor-in-chief [...]

Are Smartphones Ruining the Restaurant Experience?

Your smartphone is the scourge of restaurants. Customers snapping photos of food and dawdling on Facebook at meals have slowed down table service by an hour over the last 10 years, as an anonymous post on Craigslist’s “rants & raves” section recently alleged. The writer claimed that his restaurant, located in Manhattan’s Midtown [...]

Last Minute Easter Ideas for Restaurants

One of the busiest weekends for restaurants is rapidly approaching – are you prepared? In this article from The Central Blog, written by Emily Rollins, learn about how you can make the most of Easter this year.

Easter brunch is an extremely popular option for families not wanting to cook a meal [...]

Know Your Food Costs

Nicole Reed, Communications Manager, MenuMaxÂ

In a recent article on nrn.com a MillerPulse survey, which tracks operator sales and sentiment, showed “an increase in guest traffic for all segments and dayparts in April, but hinted at reduced consumer spending as more value-focused purchases led to an average check decline.” With food costs [...]

Give your menu a makeover with these easy tips

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist, MenuMax.com

Spelt risotto or buckwheat pasta, anyone?

According to the recent research results conducted by the NPD group, more and more consumers are looking for quality of ingredients as well as flavorful, and nutritionally rich menu options.

With the economy putting a damper on the foodservice industry, especially on [...]

A line check can make your next shift more profitable

This article from Food Buyer’s Network gives great advice about the importance of performing line checks at the beginning of each restaurant shift. Following a simple checklist to guide your inspection, you can anticipate kitchen or front-of-house issues before they pop up in the middle of your shift and slow you down.

Read [...]

Understanding total cost of ownership of restaurant equipment

We found a great article from Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine that outlines how restaurant operators calculate the total cost of owning their equipment packages and how they can make necessary adjustments. The article deeply analyzes the day-to-day operations of three successful restaurant chains. It also gives links to valuable resources for helping [...]

Diners make healthier choices when given calorie information

A new study by Yale University found that diners consumed about 250 calories fewer when they viewed both the calorie counts of possible menu items and a reminder of  recommended daily calorie intake. Researchers compared this group to diners who viewed no calorie count and to diners who saw calorie counts but [...]

Restaurants trade food for services

Struggling to pay the bills each month, some restaurant operators have reverted to the barter system to keep afloat. Well, not exactly. In trade exchanges, restaurants enter into a round-robin exchange wherein many businesses trade services for “credits,” which can then be used to pay for other services. Â

Read how trade [...]

Technology enhances restaurants’ customer service

While nothing can replace good old-fashioned service with a smile, many restaurants have enhanced their customers’ experience by using a wide range of technologies. Before coming to your store, customers might check their e-mail or Twitter account to see your specials. One chain uses a load-as-you-go card to track diners’ selections through different [...]

More restaurant menu trends coming in 2010

Due to the popularity of our previous posts on experts’ predictions for next year’s restaurant menus, we bring you five more trends expected to pop up in 2010. This time, the crystal ball belongs to industry researchers at Mintel.

Their big five predictions are:

Return to Simplicity Artisan-inspired touches Retail-restaurant connection Healthier menus [...]

Unique Flavors Hold the Key to Attracting New Diners

A new survey of restaurant diners showed that 42 percent would be more likely to visit an unfamiliar restaurant if it offered unique flavors. This was especially true of men aged 25-34. What constitutes a “unique flavor,” according to the survey? Spices, marinades, and sauces with garlic, smoky barbecue and pepper are suggested. [...]

New Strategies to Keep Catering Afloat

Chances are, your catering business has fewer holiday bookings than it did in years past. Whether you run the catering arm of a small restaurant or a university dining program, you probably will not have as many full-service parties this year. But, like the caterers in this article suggest, you can recoup some [...]