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September 17, 2012
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On the Front Burner 
  • Survey: Restaurant franchisees see higher profits
    Restaurant franchisees saw a 5.8% rise in average profitability during the past year, and higher profitability comes with higher satisfaction among franchisees, according to a study from Franchise Business Review. "The brands on our list have maintained extremely high franchisee satisfaction, and, as a result, many have experienced double-digit growth right through the recession," said President Michelle Rowan. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Restaurant News 
  • San Diego sees mini-restaurant boom
    San Diego County has seen a 3% rise in the number of independent eateries opening in the past year, according to NPD Group, as post-recession rents remain low even as consumers start spending again. "There’s an optimism that things are better, but we all have to stay on top of our game. You really have to reinvent yourself to be successful and look for the wow factor," said restaurant owner Alessandro Minutella. San Diego Union-Tribune (9/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
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Leading Voices 
  • High fees keep eateries from adding live music
    Restaurants in Pittsburgh and other U.S. markets must pay high fees, sometimes $1,000 or more each year, to performers' rights organizations tasked with making sure songwriters get paid each time their works are performed. The fees make many eateries opt not to add live performances, a trend some performers say could be reversed if fees were lower and the organizations took a less threatening approach. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Free Wi-Fi in restaurants becomes the rule
    Starbucks started offering customers wireless Internet connectivity in 2008, and since then, free Wi-Fi has become the rule at most quickservice and fast-casual chains, says National Restaurant Association CIO Dave Matthews. Eateries that were initially reluctant for fear the perk would lead to table hogging found that patrons who stayed for the Wi-Fi spent more. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Aluminum cans and the latest in cool innovation
    Beverage brands and can makers have been working on several new innovations, most of them centering on making the drinks inside cool or indicating when they've reached a certain temperature. Brands including Coors Light and Mountain Dew have created cans using special inks from Chromatic Technologies that turn color when the beverage is chilled. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Panera, capitalism and enlightened self-interest
    Panera Bread was founded on the ideals of conscious capitalism and the belief that profit is a byproduct of delivering value to customers, employees, vendors, investors and the community, founder Ron Shaich said. In recent years, that philosophy has driven the chain's efforts to feed more of the hungry in markets where it operates with nonprofit community cafes. Forbes (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Culinary Spotlight 
  • Asian menus spice up Boston's late-night scene
    Diners in the mood for ramen at the Uni Sashimi Bar at Boston's Eliot Hotel are out of luck unless it's after 11 p.m. on the weekend. Like many area eateries, the restaurant has recently created a late-night Asian menu to feed growing demand among the after-hours crowd. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (9/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Hot Topics 

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

McDonald's ad begs consumers to give cheese a chance (Adweek)
Better burger chains spike the shakes (Reuters)
McDonald's menus to add calorie counts next week (Los Angeles Times)
7-Eleven revamps stores with a focus on food (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Are your tipped workers entitled to more? (SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage)
Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.

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Editor's Note 
  • Updated SmartBrief privacy policy
    SmartBrief has updated its privacy policy to better reflect the state of the digital world. View the updated policy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Food for Thought 
We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."
--Mary Catherine Bateson,
American writer and anthropologist

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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
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Accounting Manager Tom Douglas RestaurantsGreater Seattle Area, WA
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