Restaurant Rewind

`Those who don’t know their history are destined to relive it', to riff on the words of a famed philosopher. For anyone in the restaurant business, that oft-quoted saying may be more of a heartening promise than a dire admonition. The industry’s past is packed with tales of scoundrels and heroes, big thinkers and pinheads, colossal successes and dismal failures, breakthrough moves and self-inflicted destruction. Few soap operas pack as much color and drama. Yet those yellowed snapshots provide insights relevant to the challenges of today. Join Peter Romeo, a 41-year veteran of the business with a penchant for restaurant history, as he explores those pivotal moments from the past. 


Where to look for the next killer menu trend

Reality Check: The pace of menu development has increased markedly this summer. Where are all the new ideas going to come from? We have some suggestions.


Will $30 replace $15 as the target for minimum-wage increases?

Restaurant Rewind: A proposal to require $30 an hour for some foodservice employees is already scheduled for consideration by Los Angeles County officials next month. Is it a fluke or an omen? The past provides some clues.

Restaurant Rewind: Some of the biggest chains in the restaurant business are targeting small burgs as their next avenues of growth. That strategy is far from new for the pioneer of the soft-serve market.

Restaurant Rewind: The brand is currently slogging through a challenging chapter. How did it land in such straits after such a hyped beginning?

Restaurant Rewind: Calling the wrestler-turned-playboy a free spirit is like saying Michael Jordan could shoot.

Restaurant Rewind: In Part II of our two-part special report on the godfather of casual dining, we look at how the serial entrepreneur walked away from one of the biggest jobs in the business to start all over.

Restaurant Rewind: He was as much of a god to the business as Ray Kroc, though a lot more recently. Here's why the industry should not forget such an inspirational, successful and fascinating character.

Restaurant Rewind: His touch is evident throughout the business, from putting a sparkler in a guest's birthday cake to proving themed restaurants would appeal even to an upscale clientele.

Restaurant Rewind: Mickey Mantle, Boog Powell and Stan Musial proved time and again they could sock a baseball. Turns out they weren't too bad at filling dining rooms, either.

Restaurant Rewind: The heyday of initial stock offerings were the 1990s, seen by some as casual dining's coming out party. Here's what we can learn from those days.

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