April 23, 2021
Restaurant SmartBrief
On the Front Burner
Drive-thrus boost digital sales at Chipotle
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Chipotle Mexican Grill saw digital sales increase 133.9% during the first quarter, with online orders accounting for just over half of its total transactions. Locations with drive-thru "Chipotlanes" drive 17% more digital sales than traditional stores, Chief Financial Officer John Hartung said.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (4/22),  Restaurant Business online (4/21) 
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Hive-to-Table, Pollinator-Inspired Recipes
Did you know? Hardworking honey bees are responsible for 1/3 of the foods we eat, including honey. Celebrate all they do by incorporating honey and your favorite bee-inspired recipes into your menus. For more on honey, bees, and for culinary inspiration, visit honey.com
Restaurant News
Taco Bell will test its plant-based Cravetarian Taco made with a pea and chickpea blend in place of meat at a single Tustin, Calif., store on April 29. The chain also plans to add other plant-based menu options made with Beyond Meat, which is a partner of Taco Bell parent company Yum Brands.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (4/21),  Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (4/21) 
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Recognizing innovation in foodservice
From the acceleration of trends that were already occurring to what consumers are looking for in the "new normal," hear what industry experts, from companies like Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle, have to say about the state of innovation in the foodservice industry.
Watch the discussion.
Leading Voices
How Chipotle is keeping up with digital growth
(Chipotle Mexican Grill)
The addition of dedicated makelines for digital orders has allowed Chipotle Mexican Grill to keep up with the rapid growth of its digital business, Chief Operating Officer Scott Boatwright said. About 10% of all digital orders include the chain's new quesadilla offering, which is available only to customers who order ahead.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (4/22) 
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As restaurants across the country reopen in some capacity, chefs are creating streamlined menus with dishes that minimize kitchen labor and are meant to be enjoyed in a shorter time frame. Chefs are also looking to local suppliers for ingredients, particularly seasonal produce.
Full Story: Food & Wine (4/21) 
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Leaders who see themselves as superior to their teams won't receive ideas or initiative from them, writes Wally Bock, who recommends a culture that fosters autonomy, safety and growth. "Work at using your behavior to influence the behavior and performance of others," he writes.
Full Story: Three Star Leadership (4/22) 
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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.
News that Chick-fil-A is partnering with robot company Kiwibot to test autonomous delivery in Santa Monica, Calif., was among this week's most-clicked food and beverage stories. Baking advice also proved to be popular this week, with readers showing interest in a yeasted scallion pancake recipe and an article on the benefits of doughs made with hot water.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (4/23) 
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Happy Hour
Culinary Spotlight
Lemon Kale Caesar joins Chick-fil-A salad lineup
Chick-fil-A has added Lemon Kale Caesar Salad to its menu as a limited-time offering. The salad is the first entree salad added to the menu in five years and features warm grilled chicken, romaine lettuce and kale served with a lemon Caesar vinaigrette dressing and lemon wedges for squeezing.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (4/22) 
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Chefs find new ways to cook with spice, quell the heat
More than 50% of consumers say they prefer spicy dishes, according to a survey by spice and herb producer Kalsec,‚Äč and restaurants are experimenting with ways to make foods fiery and offset the spice. Atlanta's Hampton & Hudson adds drops of jalapeno oil to its "I Wanna Get Jalapeno Business" cocktail, while San Francisco-area burger chain iniBurger brings balance to its spicy Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich with a cooling scoop of ice cream.
Full Story: Restaurant Hospitality online (4/21) 
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Movers & Shakers
You cannot improvise unless you know exactly what you're doing.
Christopher Walken,
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