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April 20, 2011
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On the Front Burner 
 
  • California woman drops her legal beef with Taco Bell
    The California woman who sued Taco Bell alleging that the company's claims about its beef were misleading voluntarily dropped her lawsuit on Tuesday, and the company says it has no plans to change either its recipe or its advertising. The Yum! Brands chain mitigated what could have been a public relations disaster with a national ad campaign telling its side, and it plans to debut a follow-up campaign today that plays off the lawsuit and aims to reassure consumers about the quality of its food. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/20), Reuters (4/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Restaurant News 
 
  • Thousands of job seekers turn out for McDonald's hiring day
    Managers at a Cincinnati McDonald's had interviewed 100 job prospects by 10 a.m. Tuesday and had 25 more waiting in the wings. The chain's highly publicized push to hire 50,000 workers in one day brought out thousands of job seekers. Industry watchers say the event and its attendant media blitz was more about changing the chain's reputation for creating "McJobs" than it was about filling positions that are typically open this time of year. USA TODAY/The Associated Press (4/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3 entrepreneurs who got their start at the Golden Arches: McDonald's Day of Hiring this week brought back memories for three people who started at the chain before going on to become successful franchisees for other companies. "I was young and naive, but McDonald's taught me so much. I wouldn't be as successful as I was if I didn't have that grounding," said 54-year-old Hungry Howie's Pizza franchisee Bob Wilson. BusinessNewsDaily.com (4/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How BBI built on its strengths as a family business
    Beautiful Brands International began as a dream of husband-and-wife team David and Camille Rutkauskas, who expanded Health Deli started by David and his dad in 1987 into a global franchisor whose concepts include FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe, Blazing Onion Burger Co. and Camille's Sidewalk Cafe. Hiring several family members has helped keep things running smoothly because these employees -- and their core strengths -- are known quantities, David Rutkauskas says. QSR Magazine (4/2011) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Newk's Express Cafe signs deals for 24 new stores
    Four experienced franchisees have signed on to open 24 Newk's Express Cafe units since the beginning of the year, with plans to bring the concept, created by the founders of McAlister's Deli, to seven new markets. The fast-casual concept's menu focuses on fresh salads, made-to-order pizzas and soups from scratch. QSRMagazine.com (4/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Research shows Why Clean Matters
New research from Technomic, Inc. confirms what leading chefs know — clean tableware is a #1 factor affecting guests' experience. Sparkling clean glasses and spotless silverware keep diners coming back for more. See more at Why Clean Matters!
Innovations & Ideas 
  • Cups pose a challenge to Starbucks' recycling programs
    Despite aggressive marketing and promotions such as its upcoming Earth Day beverage giveaway to customers who bring in their own cups, Starbucks hasn't seen much growth in the percentage of coffee and tea served in reusable cups. The chain is lagging behind in another eco-friendly goal: to have all stores outfitted with front-of-store cup recycling bins by 2015. To date, only 5% of locations boast the bins. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (4/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Leading Voices 
 
Menu Trends 
  • Pastry chefs chime in on the perfect Royal Wedding cake
    In anticipation of the Royal Wedding, three Washington, D.C., pastry chefs shared their ideas of the perfect cakes for the occasion. Mallory Staley of 1789 restaurant envisions an elegant seven-tiered affair bedecked with blue satin ribbons and pearls, and Maris Justusson of AGAINN has added a traditional bride's fruitcake and a chocolate biscuit cake for the prince to the restaurant's menu as a fundraiser for the royal couple's chosen charities. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Restaurants (4/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chefs egg-speriments go way beyond Easter dinner
    Chefs are coming up with a seemingly endless supply of ways to use eggs to top dishes from pizza and pastas to salads and grilled cheese sandwiches. "An egg is somewhat neutral in flavor. It takes on flavor characteristics of the things that it's paired with," said Frank McClelland of L'Espalier in Boston, who uses eggs from his own farm and stores them with truffles. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (4/19), The Boston Globe (free registration) (4/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

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Interested in learning more about advertising in Restaurant SmartBrief? Contact Chris Warne at (212) 450-7970 or cwarne@smartbrief.com.  

SmartPulse 
  • QSR magazine's annual survey of quickservice chefs and culinary innovators revealed these trends. Which trend will you be following most closely?
    Going Local  26.53%
    Back to Basics  22.45%
    Nutrition  17.35%
    Street Food  10.20%
    Breakfast  7.14%
    Ethnic Fare  7.14%
    Kids' Meals  4.08%
    Beverages  4.08%
    Other  1.02%
  • Restaurants put the focus on local sourcing: More than a quarter of respondents to last week's SmartPulse poll cited "going local" as the trend they plan to follow most closely this year. In Chicago, sourcing local ingredients has become such a hot trend that chefs and restaurateurs now see it as a requirement when opening new eateries, according to one article.
  • SmartBrief reached out to D.C. pastry chefs to find out what kind of cake they would serve at the Royal Wedding. Which option gets your vote?
    See more description of each option at SmartBlog on Restaurants.
7 tiers, white fondant with royal blue ribbon, cascading pearls and fresh tulips
Fruit cake for the princess and a chocolate biscuit cake for the prince
White chocolate genoise/jasmine mousse/orange gelee and dark chocolate mousse, hazelnut cream, whiskey soaked sponge cake

Restaurant General ManagerKFCTucson, AZ

Featured Content 
 

Food for Thought 
It helps the restaurant run smoothly because every guest at every table is ordering the same course at the same time, sharing expectations and rhythms."
--Bruce Buschel, owner of Southfork Kitchen,
as published on The New York Times' You're the Boss blog

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