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February 1, 2013
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On the Front Burner 
  • Report: Restaurants see traffic, sales slow in December
    U.S. restaurants reported a slowdown in customer traffic and a softening of same-store sales growth in December, according to the National Restaurant Association's monthly Restaurant Performance Index. "Although restaurant operators reported softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels in December, they are cautiously optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Research and Knowledge Group. (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Restaurant News 
  • Dunkin' Donuts invites mobile interaction via Twitter, Instagram
    Dunkin' Donuts is engaging mobile users by inviting them to submit photos of subpar homemade sandwiches via Twitter and Instagram to have a chance at winning mobile gift cards. The campaign promotes Dunkin' Donuts line of bakery sandwiches. "By allowing our fans to send us photos of their sandwiches that 'just didn't cut it' through both Twitter and Instagram, we're opening up another stream of communication that is widely used and will provide us with an additional portal to entry," said Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement at Dunkin' Brands. (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Happy Hour 
Leading Voices 
  • How chain restaurant franchisees make it look easy
    The similar look and feel of chain restaurant locations from one town to the next make opening a new one seem easy. One suburban Cincinnati Quaker Steak & Lube franchisee's experience paints a truer picture of the work and worry that goes into getting a new chain restaurant up and running, from site selection to hiring to opening day, writes Slate's Rachael Larimore. Slate (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Guacamole and the recipe for premium pricing
    New York City's Mexican eateries may charge as much as $14 for a batch of guacamole, a staple made from relatively cheap ingredients and marked up to account for everything from the temperamental nature of avocados to the need to cover other overhead costs. Guests may remark on the price, but most don't mind paying, said El Toro Blanco chef Josh Capon. "Pretty much every customer starts with it. It's an easy sell." New York magazine (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Culinary Spotlight 
  • Ethnic foods, veggies top U.S. chefs' hot trend lists
    Ethnic flavors are heating up in 2013, higher-quality casual fare is on the rise, and game birds, new fish species and vegetables are landing on the center of the plate more often, said this group of top U.S. chefs. "I think our nation’s obsession with food and access to information through blogs and social media allows people to be more knowledgeable about different foods, techniques and cultures, so they’re more willing to dive in," said Birmingham, Ala., chef and restaurateur Chris Hastings. Forbes/Travel Guide blog (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Restaurants rethink the bread basket
    The free bread basket is going through some growing pains as restaurants look for ways to remain competitive while at the same time cutting costs. As some restaurants pinch pennies by eliminating the free bread basket, filling it a little less full, or charging customers for the service, others are adding artisanal breads that are made from scratch and served with gourmet dips and spreads. The Wall Street Journal (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Popular Ukrainian dish originated in France
    Chicken Kiev, the Ukrainian comfort food dish composed of a cutlet filled with butter, breaded and deep fried, wasn't created in the country's capital as its name would suggest, but was actually a recipe adapted from the French when Russian royalty sent their chefs to train in Paris. "The dish was made in Paris with veal," said Viacheslav Gribov, head chef at Kiev's Hotel Dnipro, "but in Moscow, it was made with chicken. At that time, chicken was more expensive and considered more of a delicacy." National Public Radio/The Salt blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Food for Thought 
A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."
--John Burroughs,
American naturalist and essayist

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