Yum! Brands plans to sell hundreds of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S. to franchisees and invest profits in opening new eateries in faster growing markets including China and India. "Older brands refranchise because return on invested capital becomes so important, and so mathematically, it makes sense for them to do so in mature markets and develop in places like China," restaurant consultant John Gordon said.
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Wendy's is taking a two-redheads approach to marketing. Dave Thomas' redheaded daughter appears in some spots "re-establishing the value of the brand" and an unnamed redheaded actress shows up in others as "more of a direct salesman," says Bob Holtcamp, Wendy's senior vice president of brand marketing.
Restaurants in California are encouraged to report cases of suspected food poisoning, but state Department of Public Health law doesn't require them to do so. Critics say eateries should have to notify health officials when patrons report suspected foodborne illnesses, but restaurants say such a rule wouldn't do much good since most calls come too late to determine the source of the contamination.
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Chipotle recently took a leap into nontraditional advertising with a video that ran during the Grammy Awards, but the chain shouldn't forget about the traditional billboards and radio ads that were key to launching the burrito chain's brand nationwide, writes 30-year advertising veteran Bernie Pitzel.
Apple's workers like to talk shop at lunch, but the chatter can be risky in a company town like Silicon Valley. That's why the company is building a 21,468-square-foot private off-site restaurant. "We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research, and whatever project they're engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations," said Dan Whisenhunt, director of real estate facilities at Apple.
The founders of Schmendricks don't sell their bagels from a brick-and-mortar store; instead, they lease space from a commercial kitchen, sell through online orders and weekend pop-up shops and spread the word via Twitter. Co-founder and venture capitalist Dan Scholnick has modeled the business after successful Silicon Valley start-ups. "It?s all about getting to market as quickly as possible, being really efficient with capital and using all the latest technology that?s available," he said.
Inked-up chefs are a dime a dozen, but recently more chefs seem to combine their career with the art on their skin. Carolynn Spence, executive chef at Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, sports a full arm of culinary illustrations: teaspoons and tablespoons adorn one hand, while a collection of vegetables dance up her arm.
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Does everybody have a food allergy these days? With so many sufferers, you're bound to deal with the problem one Pennsylvania operator faced: a diner who sent back a dish because he has an allergy, which he didn't make known to the server. What do you do? MonkeyDish's Advice Guy is on the case.
L.A.'s Water Grill used to be a place for older patrons to enjoy fine dining on white tablecloths in a quiet atmosphere, but all that has changed. The restaurant was overhauled to attract a younger crowd, offering cheaper menu items and craft beers and turning up the volume with pop music and flat screen TVs.
"We'll probably lose a portion of our base because we're not as quiet anymore," says Sam King, chief executive of King's Seafood Co., the parent of Water Grill. But "we have to compete."
Shifting culinary trends and perhaps the unfortunate name may go a long way toward explaining the demise of headcheese on many restaurant menus, but some Canadian chefs are working to bring back the former delicacy, which got its moniker from the fact that it's made from the meat found in a pig's head. "It?s really sumptuous meat," says chef Geoff Hopgood.