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50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas

13. Birthday box

Chuck E. Cheese’s built a business on kids birthday parties, and now it’s bringing that home. Available through a third-party delivery company, the chain’s Pizza Party Packs include three large pizzas and a cake, plus decor and other supplies, for $124.99.

50 Great Ideas

45. Eco-friendlier outfits

As more brands make sustainability a pillar, it’s playing out beyond the menu. Walmart’s new employee vests, for example, are made partly from recycled plastic bottles.

California Pizza Kitchen is targeting families with catering packages specially designed for this group. It offers Dinner for 4 and Dinner for 6 options to ease ordering dinner for a family. The chain also offers a CPKids catering package that includes some of its classic pizzas and pastas for up to 12 diners.

To increase checks as well as play into consumers’ growing interest in CBD, The Bakery at Fat Rice in Chicago lists the option of adding CBD to cocktails and coffee drinks for an upcharge.

Farmhouse Tavern in Toronto has found a way to attract customers on typically slower Sundays while also reducing food waste with its F*** Mondays program. The concept runs eight hourly promotions every Sunday, reducing prices and discounting items until all of the food is gone. The restaurant can close with an empty refrigerator until it reopens midweek.

Golden Corral looked at how it retains high-potential workers who want a career with the brand. The chain adjusted its trainer and management education to teach them not just the tactical skills of running a restaurant, but also soft skills such as giving feedback and alerting a manager to a red flag, said John Aiken, senior director of learning and development, at the Restaurant Leadership Conference. One way the chain is doing this is by incorporating in-person classroom learning, bringing GMs to its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., for a week.

Burger King is aiming to win over coffee customers by creating repetitive guest patterns. The $5-per-month subscription program brings diners back on a regular basis, getting them into the store and increasing the potential that they’ll purchase something else in addition to coffee.

To deliver the same customizable experience that Naf Naf Grill offers guests for individual orders, the chain provides a setup guide and other tools with catering orders. The setup guide includes a layout map, indicating how the customer should organize proteins, toppings and more in the serving area. The chain also provides tent cards to place in front of each item on the build-your-own, buffet-style serving.

As consumers’ call for convenience continues, operators are finding ways to meet those demands. Chipotle is experimenting with Chipotlanes, or drive-thrus for mobile orders, while tech-forward Cava is similarly testing a drive-thru lane for orders placed online or via the chain’s app and scheduled for a select pickup time. Cava opened its first drive-thru in April and is expanding the test.

Emily Hanlin, executive director of food and nutrition services at Cobb County School District in Kennesaw, Ga., sends handwritten birthday cards to team members, which she says makes staff feel connected to the operation.

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