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50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas

In today’s hypercompetitive restaurant industry, the slightest edge can make a difference. The ideas collected here range from small tweaks such as dedicated gum-disposal slips to transformational changes such as solar-powered restaurants. But each one has the potential to make a positive impact for operators.

50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas 2019

Each of this year's 50 Great Ideas has the potential to make a positive impact for operators.

When CaliBurger introduced robotics into its back of house, it repositioned both staffer tasks and training. Tasks that staff don’t love doing—scrapping on the grill, working the fryer, etc.—are being automated, and jobs are being repositioned to “chef tech” roles, with training programs in place for how to run automated equipment.

Known for its french fries served with a wide range of toppings, Hopdoddy Burger Bar serves up its loaded fries in large metal bowls. Not only do the large bowls make for easy sharing, but they also make it easy for the kitchen to top and toss the fries.

The foodservice director at Coppell Middle School in North Coppell, Texas, boosts morale by writing a personalized weekly message to staff, expressing gratitude for their work.

To increase efficiency, Firehouse Subs’ new prototype kitchen is 25% smaller than the original, and that means smaller equipment. New custom-designed sandwich steamers have drawers that can be stacked to save space and steam more subs at once.

Every week, Woodhull Public House in Yarmouth, Maine, offers a new taco, allowing customers to be the official tasters and decide if the item will join the menu permanently.

An optional surcharge on customers’ bills at Daisies in Chicago helps pay for workers’ health insurance, adding up to about $100 a month per employee. The restaurant pays the rest, which helps recruit and retain talented employees.

In a package targeted at part-time employees, Chipotle announced it will award crew members bonuses of up to a month’s pay over the course of a year. The quarterly bonus program, which awards bonuses equal to a week’s pay to staff on teams that meet certain sales, cash flow and throughput targets, is designed to help attract and retain top workers.

Sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s has a lingo that not only helps staffers but also makes loyal guests feel like insiders. Diners can ask for “CPR” for cherry pepper relish, “light juice” for light oil and vinegar or for their sub to be “gutted” if they don’t want all the bread.

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