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Joann Whitcher

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Joann Whitcher

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Are you using cartoon characters to market not-so-healthy meals to kids? The First Lady would like you to stop.

What happens when your guest feedback programs insist your customers love you, but your restaurant is empty? That was Terry Smith’s dilemma when he was brought on board as consultant for Texas Steakhouse in 2008.

While standard practice in other industries—hotels and airlines use it constantly—yield management models are still fairly new to the restaurant sector.

Mobile loyalty programs are popping up faster than dandelions in springtime, even though just over one third of consumers (36 percent) say they participate in a restaurant-based loyalty program, according to a Technomic Market Intelligence Report on loyalty marketing. However, notes the report, 80 percent agree they would sign up if the restaurant they visit most often offered a program.

The restaurant industry’s shift to mobile technology was reflected on the show floor of this year’s NRA conference, with exhibitors showcasing the latest apps for everything from customer loyalty programs to systems for online ordering, labor scheduling, payments, and guest entertainment.

The restaurant industry’s shift to mobile technology was reflected on the show floor of this year’s NRA conference, with exhibitors showcasing the latest apps for everything from customer loyalty programs to systems for online ordering, labor scheduling, payments, and guest entertainment.

According to an old maxim, you shouldn’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. That may or may not be true, but this can be said with complete certainty: Don’t walk the floor at the National Restaurant Show on a full stomach.

Catering offers a big opportunity for fast-casual and quick-service restaurants, but the effort to exploit it is often an afterthought.

MexiCali Burrito Co., a, family-owned taqueria in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was already well into catering when it signed up with Boston start-up Phoodeez (pronounced food-ies) to boost its corporate reach.

In February, Zoës Kitchen joined the growing ranks of fast casuals offering a smartphone app. Free for download on iTunes and Google Play, the LIFE...

We asked some of today’s top mixologists to name their favorite tech tools behind the bar, with the direction that it didn’t have to be electronic.

This past October, during the height of the season, chef Barton Seaver, a National Geographic fellow and leading advocate for sustainable fishing practices, purchased what he thought was Maryland blue crab from one of his favorite seafood suppliers.