The changing face of Pittsburgh's restaurant scene
White tablecloths are out and fast-casual and casual eateries are in in Pittsburgh, Pa., where restaurateurs are finding success with less-expensive, more flexible business models that cater to consumers' changing tastes and newly frugal ways. Some are finding success specializing in specific items, like hot dog shop Franktuary, which launched in 2010 as a food truck and recently opened its third brick-and-mortar location. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
How Marco's Pizza plans to become No. 4
Marco's Pizza has an ambitious plan to grow through franchising that borrows a strategy from Subway's playbook, said CEO Jack Butorac. The Ohio-based company's team of 55 representatives actively seek out franchisees around the country. Last year franchisees opened 61 new locations, and 104 are planned so far for 2013, and the company's goal is to become the country's fourth-largest pizza chain. PizzaMarketplace.com
Restaurants explore options to avoid price hikes
Restaurants are increasingly squeezed as gas prices rise and last year's drought pushes food prices 4% higher this year, but many restaurateurs say they'll try everything else before they raise menu prices this year. "You always look at stuff, but you don’t want to change your prices all the time," said Clint Case, whose Mugshots Bar & Grill hasn't raised prices in two years. The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.)
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British chefs are hot for smoky flavor
From smoking guns to aerated boxes and cans, British chefs are employing many tools to add a subtle smoky flavor to everything from butter and broth to vegetables and fudge.
"We never picked up our cultural identity after the Second World War, when smoking food was massive, although in those days it was mainly used as a preservative," said David Wykes, chef-owner of Verveine. "It wasn't realized there's more to it than that -- smoked food tastes so much more alive, less one-dimensional. It has more edge." The Independent (London)
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