February 2017

rb feb 2017 cover

In This Issue

February 2017

Making the modern menu: For a dish to succeed today, input must come from more than just the culinary team.

Also In This Issue: 
  • Finding a delivery partner
  • Inside the test kitchen
  • Flavors poised to pop
Digital Edition

turnstyle food hall

There’s no end in sight to the food hall trend, but as competition grows, new concepts have to go beyond the standard formula to show why they’re worth visiting.

even stevens pulled jackfruit sandwich square

To capitalize on Pinterst "miracle food" buzz, Even Stevens Sandwiches rolled out a Jackfruit Torta that fills two menu holes, says Culinary Director Brandon Price.

Cover Story

modern menu open

Having too many cooks in the kitchen isn’t always a bad thing.

woman reading menu

Making sure a dish is delicious and craveable is only a small part of the equation. Here’s a look at what menu-making teams need to consider today.


flavor slideshow

The under-the-radar ingredients emerging on menus this year.

In the Know

Right now, operators believe that food costs are up. “But if you work through the actual PPI numbers, they are flat over the last five years,” says Joe Pawlak, managing principal for Technomic...

predictive future glass ball

Research provides a long-range look at how customer behavior will likely change.

transform turn page square

These industry veterans are aiming for another hit with updates of what brought them success.

Best Practices

With the growing number of options available—and the pressure to add delivery mounting—preparation for a delivery partnership is key. That means asking questions. What are the partner’s standards for...

I’m in the fried chicken fast-food business. Should we add social security taxes when calculating our labor cost?

Yes. When calculating labor costs, you want to make sure you are including all applicable payroll taxes as well as employee benefits to get...

Where do you put comps at the restaurant on your profit and loss statement? Is it an expense?

In competitive environments, operators increasingly rely on promotions and comps to attract guests and increase sales. To be effective operationally, these comps need to...


This year, the National Restaurant Association is pushing for more transparency in music licensing so operators can create playlists without fear of having to pay up to $150,000 for a music-use...

A restaurant chain’s test kitchen has often been as much a status symbol as a well-equipped research lab. Far from the crowds, it’s a place to show off for focus groups and visitors to the corporate...

music notes staff

Operators sound off on the tricks to featuring the right tunes.


With an eye on its upcoming rebrand, Pei Wei debuted a stand-alone test kitchen in Scottsdale, Ariz., creating a platform for real-time feedback. The kitchen takes menu testing out of its...

singlethread restaurant

Billed as the "Biggest Opening of 2016" when it launched in December, SingleThread is a fine-dining concept dedicated to the details, from an in-depth surveillance system to condensationless water cups.

Menu Innovation

As many consumers look to spend with brands that support a cause, some restaurateurs are switching to wine on tap as an eco-friendly way to appeal to sustainably minded guests today. But the eco-...

Restaurants have been courting millennials for years, but now the attention is shifting to their kids. As the influential demographic moves into parenthood, these young moms and dads are spurring...

Quinoa has become restaurants’ go-to grain to answer the growing demand for gluten-free menu items. So much so that it’s putting a strain on production, supply and price, says Tom Kaplan, CEO of Hugo...

orange chicken

Asian fried chicken recipes reign supreme.


CEO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Beer Her charge: 550 full-service, casual burger restaurants, 85% of which are company-operated, and 17% of which are located in malls Prior posts CMO, EVP, Chief...

On competition "This has been an industry of fast followership. If I see one more tempura green bean, I’m going to die.” On the so-called better-burger upstarts “I’m not totally sold on the fast-...


You know what I don’t want to hear about any more? Sriracha. I’ll second that sentiment for salted caramel. Don’t get me wrong; both are solid ingredients that I enjoy tasting in restaurant dishes...

Restaurateurs warned that raising minimum wages by an unreasonable margin would bring cuts, streamlining and automation.