Pizza concept wins high-profile investors | Report: Restaurant operators have a positive outlook for economy | Panera's Rube Goldberg spot shows daily cycle of goodness
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March 4, 2013
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On the Front Burner
Pizza concept wins high-profile investors
Fledgling fast-casual concept Blaze Pizza has attracted $3 million in new funding from celebrity investors including Maria Shriver, "Alien vs. Predator" producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. "There continues to be strength in the fast-casual segment," said strategist Todd Hooper. "You're getting good food in a nice environment, but you don't have to tip." San Francisco Chronicle (3/1)
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Restaurant News
Report: Restaurant operators have a positive outlook for economy
Restaurant operators' optimism hit a five-month high in January, as eateries forecast growth in same-store sales, capital spending and the overall economy, according to the National Restaurant Association's monthly performance index. About 30% of operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, compared to 17% the month before. QSRMagazine.com (3/3)
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Panera's Rube Goldberg spot shows daily cycle of goodness
A new Panera ad uses a Rube Goldberg-like contraption to illustrate the daily cycle of organic food making and charitable giving of leftovers. The commercial shows a baker laying out fresh dough, triggering a ball to trip icons for the sun rising and falling, chickens eating antibiotic-free feed and a sign unfurling to proclaim the daily food giveaway to the homeless. Adweek (3/1)
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Other News
10 ways to inspire creativity in your staff.
Fostering creative business practices isn't as hard as it seems and can lead to smart solutions. Use these ten techniques to help inspire and encourage creativity in your staff. Read the article and learn 10 ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Leading VoicesSponsored By
Film explores widespread U.S. hunger problem
The new documentary "A Place at the Table" explores the widespread and growing issue of food insecurity in America with stories of family budgets that don't stretch to cover enough food and children whose educations suffer because they're hungry. The film addresses how hunger and obesity often affect the same segments of the population. "I think it’s really important to think about hunger and obesity as opposite sides of the same coin," Bill Shore, CEO and founder of Share Our Strength, said in the film. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (3/4)
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Taco Bell and Twitter crowdsource concert video for SXSW
A Taco Bell initiative for a South by Southwest event at the Hype Hotel will use fans' video footage of Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat! for a "rockumentary," writes Karlene Lukovitz. The footage is being collected in partnership with Twitter and its six-second video format Vine as an expansion of Taco Bell's "Feed the Beat" program, which provides food for up-and-coming bands. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (3/1)
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Loyal fans keep older chains alive
Nostalgia and childhood memories are the likely factors that keep some once-hot restaurant chains including Rax Roast Beef, Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips and Ponderosa Steakhouse going, NPD Group's Bonnie Riggs said. "People grew up with them, so they’re very loyal to them. That’s the staying power for these concepts." The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (3/3)
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Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

Culinary SpotlightSponsored By
Seattle chefs get creative with brunch
A growing number of Seattle's restaurants are opening their doors for brunch, with menus that reflect the same chef-driven creativity that graces the dinner menu, writes Nancy Leson. "It’s good for dinner business to create something new, to draw more attention to Dinette," said chef Melissa Nyffeler, whose brunch menu includes a frittata made with organic dandelion greens and Scotch eggs wrapped in hormone-free sausage. The Seattle Times (3/1)
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Kosher foodies explore new cultures
Kosher food enthusiast Eddie Fox founded the Beverlywood Supper Club 17 months ago to give Jewish foodies who keep kosher a way to broaden their culinary horizons. The group has found ways to create kosher versions of Indian, Korean, Cuban, Vietnamese, regional Southern and Japanese meals. "For me food is an avenue to a person's heart -- it helps you get to know who they are," Fox said. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/2)
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Transformational Journeys: Modern Business Planning
Harvard Business Review explores why CFO's and their finance organizations must adapt to the changing landscape of their markets and how big data, organizational collaboration, and new cloud-based planning and analysis technologies are driving successful change.
Click here to access the report.

Hot Topics
Movers & ShakersSponsored By
How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Food for Thought
The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favor."
-- William Hazlitt,
British writer and philosopher
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