February 11, 2013
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U.S. chains struggle with chicken shortage in Africa
An African restaurateur looking to expand his fledgling chain of KFC eateries has discovered three problems: local chicken farms can't meet demand, imports mean higher prices that can turn off customers, and countries including Nigeria and Kenya ban poultry imports. The situation illustrates the larger problem of rural farmers and food producers failing to keep up with the pace of middle-class growth, Drew Hinshaw writes. The Wall Street Journal (2/8)
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This simple, yet savory appetizer features a creamy Wisconsin Fontina Cheese mixture made with eggs, Dijon mustard and paprika. First, spread a thin layer of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil on top of toasted baguettes. Then, top with the Fontina Cheese mixture and a sprinkling of grated Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese. Bake until puffed and golden.
Get the recipe.
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Restaurant News
Zagat guide rates top restaurants for service
Zagat released a new guide Monday rating the top restaurants for service in 25 major cities, a tome that aims to take the guesswork out of picking an eatery that best caters to its guests. "Good servers will make you feel welcome -- even on your first visit to a restaurant -- and help ensure that a meal from start to finish goes off without a hitch," said co-chairman Tim Zagat. USA Today (2/10)
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CEO: How McDonald's U.K. stays up in a down economy
McDonald's stores in the U.K. are holding their own amid an economic downturn that's taking a toll on some of the chain's rivals, said U.K. chief executive Jill McDonald. For one thing, consumers are trading down from pricier casual dining options more often, she said, and for another, remodeled stores and upgraded menus are bringing in more customers. The chain plans to open about 20 new U.K. units this year. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (2/9)
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Target's arrival to drive Starbucks growth in Canada
Starbucks Canada will open more than 150 new cafes this year, many of them inside some of the 124 Target stores set to start debuting next month. The brand says it's winning over more Canadian coffee drinkers with its blonde roast, billed as "Starbucks coffee for Canadians who didn't think they like Starbucks coffee." Financial Post (Canada) (2/8)
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Leading Voices
How to craft a tagline that makes your brand stand out
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to choosing a brand's tagline, but there are strategies to follow starting with keeping it to seven or eight words that work with existing branding, writes consultant Denise Lee Yohn. "The selection of a tagline should be considered in concert with your brand name, elevator pitch, brand strategy, advertising concepts, and visual design elements." QSR Magazine (2/2013)
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Q-and-A: Muscle Maker Grill founder Rod Silva
Former supplement shop owner Rod Silva got the idea to start Muscle Maker Grill after customers kept asking him about the healthy lunches he brought from home. "I think people generally are looking for ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and will choose a healthy dining option over other choices if it is great-tasting, convenient and competitively priced," said Silva, CEO of the 64-unit chain. FastCasual.com (2/8)
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Starbucks goes social with snowstorm
Starbucks began planning Wednesday for real-time Snow Day-themed Twitter and Facebook ads to run as East Coast brand fans coped with the snowstorm that hit on Friday. "We always want to stay highly relevant to what's going on. We want to be a part of [consumers'] decisions as they get ready for the weekend in terms of their product needs, such as coffee," said spokeswoman Linda Mills. Adweek (2/8)
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Other News
Culinary Spotlight
Chipotle finds local source for tofu test
Seven San Francisco-area Chipotle restaurants will start selling a new vegan burrito made with locally-sourced tofu this week. The experiment has the potential to turn Oakland, Calif.-based Hodo Soy into a national player if the new dish takes off. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (2/8)
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Iowa festival celebrates love for bacon
Bacon brought together about 8,000 people at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. The perennially popular meat has gained an even higher profile as more chefs show off the meat's versatility in dishes including dessert, said Iowa Restaurant Association CEO Jessica Dunker. USA Today/The Associated Press (2/9)
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Hot Topics
Movers & Shakers
Food for Thought
If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.
Arthur Goldberg,
American statesman and jurist

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