Why so 'Mean'?

I’m so thrilled to be back covering restaurants, talking to operators and exercising my business, financial and political chops as the executive editor of Restaurant Business. This marks a return to the industry for me: Previously, I was editor-in-chief of Restaurants & Institutions, and before that I spent more than 15 years at consumer and custom publications—half of that time at Money magazine. Restaurant Business, to me, is the perfect marriage of those disciplines.

Turns out, one of the perks of the job (because they only let me borrow the premium parking space once a year) is that I get the keys to my own little corner of the website where I can share whatever I want in real time.

“Mean Cuisine” is the blog that will live in this space. This blog allows me to indulge my nerdy side—and bring you some useful information in the process. Working at R&I and Money, I had the great pleasure (call me crazy) of working on some of our data-rich yet wildly popular features: R&I’s Top 400 Chains ranking, its Consumers’ Choice in Chains ranking and Money’s Best Places to Live in America, to name a few. I fell in love with the numbers, and our readers fell in love with these stories—and the insights and benchmarking opportunities they provide, whether it’s measuring the success of a pizza concept against one’s peers or measuring the appeal of your hometown (and by extension the potential value of your home) against others across the nation.

Mean Cuisine is an opportunity to bring you that data and those benchmarks for the restaurant industry, from a new perspective. What will you find here? Think of it this way: If numbers and stats are the What, then this blog is the Why.

What do I mean? As you know, there is no shortage of data floating around about restaurants, diners and dayparts. (I’m an undercover nerd, so I love it!) I want “Mean Cuisine” to take the numbers a step further—to dig into the data and pick out the high points; to present to you the most interesting information, wrapped up in real-life accounts of diners, operators and experiences. Sometimes, it may just be a nugget of information—something important or surprising or fun. Other times, I will go deeper, offering examples of the real people and behaviors behind the numbers.

Thank you for allowing me to geek out a little bit—and I hope you’ll find something informational or inspiring behind the numbers. 


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