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September 24, 2012
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On the Front Burner 
  • What 1 restaurant company's numbers say about the economy
    Darden Restaurants reported a 5% rise in revenue in the most recent quarter, compared to the same period last year, and a detailed evaluation of the data offers a snapshot of the current economy, this story says. Sales were strong at high-end chain Capital Grille and more mixed at mid-priced chains Olive Garden and Red Lobster; additionally, labor costs declined as high unemployment made it easier for chains to attract talent. The Washington Post (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Restaurant News 
  • Hardee's parent puts off IPO plans
    CKE Restaurants likely won't launch an IPO this year, putting plans to go public on hold until after the presidential election. Rising health care and commodity costs are deterring investors this year, said Andrew Puzder, CEO of the company that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Bloomberg Businessweek (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Leading Voices 
  • Sodexo teams with app to help clients keep fit
    Sodexo has teamed with nutrition and fitness application MyFitnessPal, making the dishes it serves at 1,800 corporate campuses available on the app's database to help users make better choices, executive Bill Mitchell said. "[Sodexo has been] providing consumers with nutrition information for a number years on our café websites and signage, but we really wanted to make that information more actionable for consumers." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Social tools made just for the restaurant industry
    VenueLabs offers restaurant marketers a way to pull social media buzz from profiles on Yelp, Facebook and other sites. It's one of eight new tools that aim to help restaurants better navigate social media and make it work for them, writes The Karcher Group's Nate Riggs. (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • The greening of America's restaurants
    Michael Oshman founded The Green Restaurant Association in 1990, and has since signed 850 members and designated 450 of them as Certified Green Restaurants. "When I looked at the auto industry or aviation or refrigerators, I felt consumers have less ability to influence those directly. A restaurant has to be supersensitive to consumers. There's a manager on site, a real human being there you can talk to," Oshman said, explaining why he decided to focus his efforts on the restaurant industry. Wine Spectator (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Defining sustainability for the restaurant world
    When it comes to food, sustainability is a complex tree that can be divided into branches including organic, local, seasonal, green and ethical, writes toxicologist, chef and dietitian Suzy Badaracco. "Consumers are the last branch and while they fully support sustainability, they have a healthy distrust and want companies to 'prove it' and are confused by the many definitions put forth by media." (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Culinary Spotlight 
  • Domino's to debut pan pizza this week
    Domino's Pizza will jump into the $6.4 billion pan pizza category on Monday, with the rollout of its thicker-crust offering at the chain's nearly 5,000 U.S. stores. Pizza Hut leads in the pan pizza category, which accounts for about 20% of total U.S. pizza sales, according to Technomic. USA TODAY (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Celebrity chefs talk up new airport food options
    Airport food is slowly losing its bad reputation as new chef-driven offerings replace the stale burgers and other unappetizing fare of the past, say chefs Wolfgang Puck and Masaharu Morimoto in this video. Both have recently opened new eateries at Los Angeles International Airport. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by Restaurant SmartBrief readers in the past week.

McDonald's hopes cult sandwich will save Q4 sales (Advertising Age (tiered subscription model))
Big 3 pizza chains poised to grab a bigger slice (
McDonald's launches new global menu flavors (
Survey: Smaller burger chains rate higher (Los Angeles Times)
Dallas cuts restaurant inspections, diverts fees (The Dallas Morning News (free content))
Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Featured Content 

Food for Thought 
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking."
--William Butler Yeats,
Irish poet and playwright

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Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Restaurant General ManagerWashington Athletic ClubSeattle, WA
Director, Production and Food SafetyChop't Creative Salad CompanyWashington, DC
General ManagerFord's Fish ShackWashington, DC
Restaurant General Manager – Award-Winning Restaurant ChainConfidentialCharleston, SC
Accounting Manager Tom Douglas RestaurantsGreater Seattle Area, WA
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