February 19, 2013
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Study: Diners respond to color-coded calorie counts
Using red, green and yellow symbols to help restaurant patrons gauge calorie counts may have more influence on their choices than the actual numbers, and the system appears to be especially effective with consumers who are the least health conscious, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Reuters (2/18)
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Restaurant News
Hackers hijack Burger King's Twitter feed
Burger King's Twitter feed was hijacked Monday, and hackers switched out the chain's logo for McDonald's golden arches and sent malicious tweets. Twitter shut down the page at Burger King's request after about an hour, and McDonald's hastened to assure its rival that it wasn't behind the deed. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (2/18)
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Domino's tests open-kitchen concept
Domino's Pizza has unveiled a new store prototype in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Seattle that includes an open kitchen so takeout customers can watch the pizza being made. "We’re putting these great handmade pizzas up front and center and it’s really kind of the old pizzeria tradition," said CEO Patrick Doyle. AnnArbor.com (Mich.) (2/14)
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Will Africa be the next hot spot for restaurant chains?
Cinnabon overcame training obstacles, supply chain issues and a revolution to get its first store in Libya opened last year, and parent Focus Brands International is moving forward with plans to expand in Africa to markets including Kenya, Uganda, and Botswana. The chain and others say Africa may be the next hot global market, despite a lack of incentives and stable infrastructure. QSR Magazine (2/2013)
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Other News
Your Take
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Leading Voices
How to keep guests coming back in the slow season
Restaurants can boost their chances of surviving the slow season by taking steps to promote customer loyalty and repeat visits, writes Empathica's chief customer officer Gary Edwards. His tips include focusing on being the best in a few key areas and forging emotional connections by creating a memorable experience in addition to selling great food. FastCasual.com (2/18)
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What's new with wine?
Wine sales growth slowed last year as brewers devised new beer brands to pull drinkers from the grape to the hops. Still, wine sales rose 1.5%, and a growing number of retailers from high-end shops to Walgreen's are putting wine on the shelf. Celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore are working with wineries and putting their names on the label. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (2/19)
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Increase performance by building community, says Chick-fil-A exec
The pursuit of excellence is not the sole goal of a savvy business leader, says Mark Miller, a vice president at Chick-fil-A and author of "The Secret of Teams." Building community is a key skill for any successful leader, writes Dan Rockwell, and good leaders celebrate progress without expecting perfection. Leadership Freak blog (2/18)
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Culinary Spotlight
Madrid Fusion sheds light on the future of culinary innovation
The Madrid Fusion summit held last month gave new insights into culinary innovation and the direction that food preparation will take in the future. Highlights from this year's summit include a new cheese made from phytoplankton and a small "balloon" of dried herb paste that added whimsy and flavor to a dish from chef Elena Arzak. The Wall Street Journal (2/15)
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Movers & Shakers
Food for Thought
The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms."
-- William O. Douglas,
U.S. Supreme Court justice
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Lead Editor:  Patricia Smith
Publisher, Food & Beverage:  Chris Warne
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