January 15, 2021
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On the Front Burner
The pandemic drove many of 2020's restaurant and food trends, and the National Restaurant Association expects some of those trends to continue this year, according to a report released this week. Restaurants streamlined menus, put the focus on off-premises dining, created new family and bundled meal options, and started selling groceries and alcohol to-go to boost sales.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (1/14),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (1/14) 
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Restaurant News
Sweetgreen puts a lighter spin on the crispy chicken trend
(Sweetgreen)
Sweetgreen is putting its own stamp on the crispy chicken craze with the launch of the limited-time Crispy Chicken Salad. The salad will be made with crispy rice and chicken that is blackened rather than fried, and Sweetgreen will team up with health-focused social media influencers to promote the dish.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (1/14) 
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Leading Voices
Restaurant Week launched in 1992 as a way to give New York City's eateries a boost during traditionally slow times, and in the years since the tradition has spread to markets across the country. This year, the pandemic has cities and restaurants rethinking the event, with some opting out, others rescheduling and some still unsure about what to do.
Full Story: National Public Radio (1/14) 
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Chef Niven Patel encourages creativity among the cooks in his kitchen at Miami's Mamey, where he prioritizes the pursuit of delicious food over strict adherence to recipes. "At the end of the day, it's all about the soul and the ingredients and how you want to cook," said Patel, who shares his recipe for peri peri chicken that centers around steamed lemons and a blend of spices that can be adjusted to taste.
Full Story: Miami Herald (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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How to help your team all year, not just January
(Pixabay)
The new year doesn't wipe away ongoing challenges, so leaders must continue to be resilient, compassionate, consistent and encouraging to help employees be inspired and motivated, Julie Winkle Giulioni advises. "Leaders who train their eyes to find and celebrate the positive inspire the same in those around them," she writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/14) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
The launch of a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans this week with $284 billion earmarked for restaurants and other small businesses topped this week's Top 10 list. Flynn Restaurant Group's deal to acquire 196 Wendy's units and 925 Pizza Hut restaurants from NPC International also made this week's most-read list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (1/15) 
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Happy Hour
Culinary Spotlight
How the composed salad came into its own in the US
(Pixabay)
Takes on the Nicoise salad that break from its French roots have drawn the ire of some traditionalists, but riffs on the dish and other composed salads have become a mainstay in the US, Jon Bonne writes. He credits the rise of simple California cooking, consumers' growing interest in wellness and the success of salad chain Sweetgreen with elevating the composed salad in America.
Full Story: TASTE (1/14) 
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Chef Mashama Bailey and restaurateur John Morisano tell the story of their unique partnership in the Savannah, Ga., restaurant The Grey in their book "Black, White, and the Grey," and end each chapter with a recipe. The salted honey chess pie is a unique take on a classic Southern dessert and reflects what Bailey calls the "bittersweet journey" of building the restaurant.
Full Story: Eater (1/12) 
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News from the National Restaurant Association
Payroll Protection Program loans are back. The application process is streamlined for smaller loans and expenses covered are tax-deductible. Full story.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
Movers & Shakers
Wisdom isn't about accumulating more facts; it's about understanding big truths in a deeper way.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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