February 13, 2013
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On the Front BurnerSponsored By
How are restaurants getting ready for new menu rules?
The Agriculture Department is expected to release the long-awaited final rules on restaurant menu labeling in April, after which restaurant chains will likely have between six and 12 months to comply, according to Healthy Dining founder Anita Jones-Mueller. Hot trends this year illustrate how eateries are making menus more nutritionally friendly, including adding more vegetables and whole grains and creating healthier kids' meals. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (2/13)
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Restaurant NewsSponsored By
Burger King brews up new coffee drinks
Burger King will add five new coffee drinks to the menu featuring a Latin American arabica blend from Starbucks-owned Seattle's Best. The new line will include lattes, a first for the quickservice chain. Rival McDonald's has turned its higher-margin McCafe coffee drinks into a growth driver with blended drinks that bring in customers during slower parts of the day. The Wall Street Journal (2/12), BurgerBusiness.com (2/12)
KFC charts a growth course to India's smaller cities
KFC has had a presence in India since parent Yum! Brands entered the market in the early 1990s, focusing on building brand recognition in big towns. This year, the chain is going farther afield with plans to add stores in smaller cities and towns, as part of a plan to reach $1 billion in sales and 1,000 restaurants by 2015. The Wall Street Journal (2/12)
Other News
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Leading Voices
NPD: Loyalty is key to growth in the 'new normal' marketplace
Cultivating customer loyalty is more important than ever as restaurant visits are expected to remain flat for the next few years, according to NPD Group. "The current new normal marketplace requires operators and their suppliers to develop or realign their marketing strategies to address the needs of today's consumer, like incentives that keep customers happy and deliver perceptions of value," said analyst Bonnie Riggs. PizzaMarketplace.com (2/12)
Dunkin' franchisee adds digital where possible
Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Ken Blum says digital message boards from Watchfire Signs at seven of his 13 shops in northeast Ohio have driven traffic and sales, but it's a trend he can't replicate at his other six stores because local ordinances in those towns prohibit digital signage. "We respect that most quaint little towns don't want to look like Las Vegas. But we can control our signs to pass some restrictions because the art isn't too flashy and it looks good." QSRWeb.com (2/8)
Olive Garden engages mobile users with maps and menus
Olive Garden is engaging mobile users with an invitation to call up a menu with its ad on the NBC 4 New York iPhone application. On the menu page, viewers can swipe through to call up nutritional information and view photo displays of the items. The ad also includes the ability to pull up a map with the location of the nearest Olive Garden marked. MobileCommerceDaily.com (2/11)
Culinary Spotlight
French fans tout the taste of horse meat
French consumers eat less horse meat than they used to, but it's still on some menus, and die-hard fans say the meat is tastier and healthier than beef and other alternatives. At Le Taxi Jaune, chef Otis Lebert serves horse steaks and cured horse sausage. Reuters (2/12)
City Grit offers culinary stage for up-and-coming chefs
Chefs who dream of breaking into the New York City dining scene now have an alternative to the James Beard House, a restaurant where guest chefs come and show off their most impressive meals. City Grit, which opened in 2011, lets visiting chefs prepare more modest -- but just as tasty -- meals to drum up press for their business. "I don’t feel like I could ever compete with the Beard House -- Julia Child cooked in that kitchen," said City Grit's founder, Sarah Simmons, "We think of ourselves as a concert hall for indie rocker chefs." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/11)
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Food for Thought
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