Year in review


The restaurant industry’s biggest winners in 2021

See why steak chains, college athletes and labor unions had a good year.


Top menu trends of 2021

As America emerged from pandemic restrictions, some 2020 food and drink trends strengthened while new ones gained ground.

The industry continued to consolidate in 2021, while restaurants returned to the public markets with surprising eagerness.

The year’s biggest story was an unprecedented lack of workers that left operators closing services, reducing hours and dramatically increasing pay.

A few of these executives jumped on our radar after making a splash in 2021, while others are laying the groundwork for intriguing innovations in the years ahead.

The pandemic pushed operators to unveil a flurry of new prototypes in 2021, codifying the changes in consumer behavior brought on by the crisis in updated designs.

Politics, poorly considered comparisons, bad texts and poorly conceived relief plans: The biggest restaurant blunders of 2021.

What we got right and wrong about tech going into 2021, plus the developments we didn’t see coming.

A look back reveals which restaurant chains struck out, and which ones knocked it out of the park.

Restaurants are realizing they need to pay as much attention to technology as they traditionally have to such success factors as food and operations. Here are the developments that demanded that focus in the past year.

  • Page 5