How your restaurant sales and profits compare to competitors' and what you can do to improve financial performance


Catching a break

Seafood is in high demand by Americans—total consumption rose by 45 million pounds in 2009 over 2008, states the National Fisheries Institute.


Snapshot: Black IPAs

Hopheads are turning to beer's new dark side.

It used to be that spring and summer menus had the monopoly on fresh fruits and vegetables—especially in restaurants north of the sunbelt.

When the first Europeans landed in America, the natives they encountered relied on three staple crops—corn, beans and squash—along with wild berries, fruits and other plants. Fishing and hunting filled out their meals.

Specialty coffee purveyors keep raising the bar in terms of quality and innovation.

Running a cash flow positive restaurant is challenging even in the best of times.

Flank steak is one of the most difficult thin meats to evaluate since it’s all muscle.

It’s a tough time for meat lovers. Top quality beef is scarcer and very expensive and cash-strapped customers are trading down from steak and chops to burgers.

Picture a busy intersection capped with four different, well-known restaurant chains. Ask any consumer which one they want to go to, and the answer will probably be, “Whichever has the shortest line.”

Although chicken and turkey costs are trending slightly upward, they are still better buys than red meat.