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3 trendlettes we’re watching in April

Operators are looking beyond their front door to bring in dollars during April. Whether it’s relying on another industry’s drawing power to boost traffic or reaching outside their four walls for sales, they’re finding ways beyond the mainstay space to help the business. Here are three ways operators are upping the bottom line right now.

1. Licensing levels up

What was once a side biz is becoming big business for many chains: Focus Brands promoted Kat Cole from head of Cinnabon to group president to expand licensing and e-commerce, and Johnny Rockets At Home line and McD’s McCafé  both have hit grocery shelves.

2. A reel draw

With Hollywood cranking out sequels to box-office hits such as “The Avengers,” “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars” this year, movie theaters will likely draw more viewers, boosting patronage in traffic-starved malls and creating promotional opportunities, said Red Robin’s Chief Concept Officer Denny Post during an analyst call in February.

3. Around the corner

Some operators are looking just down the block to open experimental spots and capture spillover traffic. Chicago’s Longman & Eagle debuted OSB (Off Site Bar) adjacent to its flagship. And Chef Andy Ricker opened Pok Pok NY in Brooklyn, Whiskey Soda Lounge next door and then Pok Pok Phat Thai a few doors down. 

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