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50 Great Ideas

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

50 Great Ideas

30. Iconic expectations

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...

50 Great Ideas

29. Wearable incremental sales drivers

Desserts are on the menu at Xoco, Rick Bayless’ counter-service spot in Chicago, but customers don’t always think to order them when they order meals. Once they sit down, there’s no way to know they c...

More and more restaurants are eliminating plastic straws. To educate its customers about sustainability, Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner, N.Y., puts a flyer on every table saying “Skip the straw and sav...

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...

The Veggie Grill chain has developed a tech stack that includes computer modeling to improve service time. Its first restaurant in Chicago, where it launched the program, has monitors that allow for o...

On one of the walls at Magpies Softserve ice cream shop in Los Angeles hangs a jumbo roll of butcher paper listing the day’s specials. The low-tech board is easy to update, with a staffer simply rippi...

Holiday Inn is bringing back its chocolate milk and cookies happy hour, luring in excited kids—and their parents’ dough. The hotel chain is working closely with its supplier to reinstate the promotion...

The director of dining services at Purdue University sends a weekly Friday Follow-up email to connect with staff on all levels. It outlines what happened that week and what is coming up as well as pra...

The Pilot Flying J convenience store chain has potential hires meet with “role champions,” employees who excel in the position. The champions talk with applicants about expectations and demands and pr...

At University of Michigan, the kitchen staff prepares salads and other perishables in the walk-in wearing parkas and hats supplied for them, then stacks the food on rolling carts to deliver to the din...

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