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Kathleen Squires

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Kathleen Squires

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The Restaurant Business staff’s Clean Plate picks showcase several notable trends, including a love of comfort foods.

Industry experts name their favorite meals of the year.

Sous vide and other old-school methods impart flavor and peace of mind.

Read on to see which award-winning dishes made this year’s distinguished panel literally clean their plates in 2016.

Recently, concepts such as IHOP and Original Pancake House are taking cues from the coffee cafes and the move into premium coffee by QSRs like Chick-fil-A.

Cantina was designed as part of a growth plan geared toward capturing millennial consumers. It was important for Taco Bell to win back this audience.

Mixologists are experimenting with tea as a flavoring element in cocktails, in the form of tea tinctures, bitters, syrups and other infused spirits.

Blending vegetables into traditionally fruit-forward beverages has proven to be a winning sales strategy at juice bars, smoothie chains and restaurants.

For operators, nonalcoholic pairings are a way to boost the check. For guests, it’s a less costly alternative to wine, beer or cocktails, and is inclusive.

Although sales of mass-market sodas have slipped, interest in craft sodas made with natural sweeteners or global and local flavors is rising.

Many restaurateurs have been expanding their businesses remotely via catering, but to be successful, you must have the proper equipment.

The ongoing drought in California and usage restrictions are forcing operators to examine how much water is coming out of the faucet and look for ways to slow the flow.