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50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas

21. Coaster-led convos

When guests are seated at Granite City Food & Brewery, each diner gets a coaster printed with an icebreaker such as “What’s the worst lie you ever told your mother?” that the server must ask the guests to answer. It’s one of several things servers have to do under the concept’s new image, designed to be more “fun.”

50 Great Ideas

27. 4-day work week

Shake Shack was testing a four-day work week in Las Vegas locations as part of a recruitment and retention strategy.

Fast casual B.Good is playing to consumer interest in delivery, especially in busy urban markets, with delivery hot spots in office settings that serve as a common pickup spot for lunch orders. The first one launched in July in Jersey City, N.J.

Former Chili’s COO Kelli Valade starts conversations with line employees by asking them about their tattoos. It establishes an instant rapport, she says, and serves as a good conversation starter between hourlies and corporate officers.

To build business during its slower dinners hours, fast-casual chain Fresh & Co. in New York City is testing Fresh & Co. After Dark, an exclusive delivery dinner menu that customers can’t get in stores. The curated, scaled-down menu includes composed salads prepped for delivery as well as entrees, a few desserts and small plates.

Around Valentine’s Day, Corner Bakery Cafe created shareable cards highlighting certain menu items. The cards, with messages such as “I Ham Yours” and “Avacadon’t Ever Leave Me,” were shared across multiple social media platforms. “We really drove guest engagement via social during this time,” said CMO Donna Josephson during the National Restaurant Association Show.

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.

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.

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