Before you help patrons ring in the New Year, take a moment to consider what restaurateurs chose as the top business stories of the past one. Here are our most-read stories of 2013.
1. The Future 50
In three of the past four years—including this one—a yogurt concept has topped our annual ranking of the fastest growing small chains in America. In a way it's not surprising. This new generation of yogurt shops touches many of-the-moment trends: healthy, snackable, customizable, open and colorful designs. On the other hand, it is amazing we haven't reached peak yogurt yet.
2. The 2013 Restaurant Growth Index
If there is one thing to take away from the 2013 Restaurant Growth Index it's this: competition is more intense than ever.
3. 2013 Social Media 50: Winning Strategies
This year, we looked for chains that had shown strong growth in their social media following in 2012. Get ready for a deep dive into some winning social media strategies.
4. 50 Great Ideas
We've selected the top 50 great ideas from around the restaurant industry that will inspire and offer a taste of what's to come in the year ahead.
5. Do it like Disney
"Whatever you do, do it well," said Walt Disney, and for anybody who has visited a Disney property it's obvious one of the things they do—and do well—is customer service.
6. Advice Guy on profit-based manager bonuses
Is there a standard for giving manager bonuses based on profit?
7. Always room for dessert
Here's what customers are craving and how chefs and dessert makers are delivering the goods.
8. Flavors of Southeast Asia
Kimchi. Pho. Banh Mi. Udon. Bibimbap. A decade ago, these dishes were foreign to the majority of people in the U.S. Today however, these items are not only familiar, but favored.
9. Early forecast for 2014: Eh.
In an early assessment of what restaurants can expect for 2014, Technomic is forecasting a slight uptick in sales for limited-service outlets and bars, but no change for the nation's full-service establishments.
10. The Obamacare pop quiz
In a matter of months, restaurateurs will need to notify employees of their new health insurance options under the Affordable Health Care act. Operators need to learn their obligations and options now to contend with one of the greatest challenges ever faced by the industry. Take the pop quiz and check your answers.