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50 Great Ideas

The top industry ideas we've spotted in the last year

50 Great Ideas

35. Explanation-free catering

Many options on the events menu at The Gray, one of Kimpton Hotel’s Chicago properties, are inspired by the in-hotel restaurant, Boleo. That includes empanadas. To make it easier and more frictionless...

50 Great Ideas

38. Tattooed promotions

When there is a new concept at the University of Connecticut, the dining team creates a temporary tattoo of the logo or name.

When convenience retailer Lou Perrine’s Gas & Groceries purchased a new site, its marketing leader Anthony Perrine went live on Facebook to show fans a “before” look that will be balanced wit...

If they’re going to dine in, consumers want an experience that transcends the food. The parent company behind tech-focused CaliBurger has built a “virtual playground” for its units, allowing diners to...

As IHOP expanded more into off-premise, it ran into a problem with its signature combo meals not traveling well—so the chain created a proprietary packaging system. The result: a multitiered container...

Matt Kritzer, a Jimmy John’s franchisee in Huntsville, Ala., has gone high-tech when it comes to safety compliance. His go-to tool: a wireless thermometer that reports every minute, allowing managers ...

Chicago’s Parlor Pizza wants to find ways to encourage its guests to stick around and order more food and drinks. One way it accomplishes that is by offering to charge guests’ phones. Specifically, th...

Today’s cocktail culture has ushered in a range of funky, nontraditional drinks on menus; imbibers don’t even always know what they are ordering. To set expectations and offer a point of reference, Wa...

Denver-based Mad Greens has a weather prediction service programmed into its ordering system to help forecast sales. The chain has found that when it’s too warm or rainy, sales go down. It’s helped th...

On Thursdays from 3-8 p.m., Cafe Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar in New Orleans welcomes dogs with a full menu of their own, while their owners can opt for a $5 cocktail called Dog Day Afternoon....

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