Peter Romeo's Reality Check

News and Peter Romeo’s views on the business behind the restaurant business
Peter Romeo
Director of Digital Content
Winsight Media

Peter Romeo is director of digital content of the foodservice group of Winsight Media, with responsibility for the content of Restaurant Business and FoodService Director magazines,, and the Restaurant Leadership Conference. The multi-media job caps a 34-year career as a business journalist, including 28 years as a chain-restaurant specialist for such information channels as Nation’s Restaurant News, QSR magazine, and the website of the National Restaurant Association. Romeo’s columns during an earlier stint at Restaurant Business earned him two Jesse H. Neal Awards, business publishing’s equivalent of the Pulitzers. He graduated from New York University in 1979 with honors in history and journalism, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He resides in the New York City suburb of Port Washington with his wife, Holly Klokis; four rescued greyhounds; and four ne’er-do-well, slightly nervous cats.

$5 breakfasts delivered from McDonald’s, Applebee’s bid for snackers, Bob Evans’ turkey trot.

Signs of piracy were particularly evident this week, along with the proof that other industries are scaling restaurants’ walls to pillage for opportunities.

A big burger chain tries the veggie market, a new tech advance, the other risky move by Joe’s Crab Shack and other surprises.

These cardinal sins have been reported, condemned and regretted again and again and again. Yet chances are that some knucklehead will commit them again.

McDonald’s told investors yesterday that its turnaround program is catching hold while other brands are lopping off stores that drag on their rebounds.

Examples abounded of officials falling short by their own admission on secondary skills, or of outside business factors eluding their control.

Players reporting Q3 results this week tried to position their declines in traffic—at dinner in particular—as really not that bad. But is that really the case?
Wall Street was thrown into a selling fit by news of the food poisonings, bidding down the value of Chipotle’s shares by 5 percent at one point.