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


2012 drinks new product preview

Once upon a time it was the most popular drink in the Thirteen Colonies; now hard cider is making a comeback, thanks to many of the same factors fueling craft beer and classic cocktails.


A root for dessert

Come December, many a pastry chef crafts desserts around the fresh apples, pears, and citrus fruits in abundance. But Stephen Collucci, executive pastry chef at Colicchio & Sons in New York City, likes to go off the beaten track a bit.

The Northborough, Massachusetts-based Bertucci’s, founded in 1981, is currently celebrating its 30th birthday with a limited-time menu that revisits comfort food classics.

Although consumption of carbonated soft drinks fell last year and CSDs lost market share, the category is still effervescent.

“We looked at three elements: the carrier, the protein and the flavor enhancers,” Scott explains.

Hands-on dealmakers will discuss current restaurant-company valuations and the next wave of private-equity acquisitions during a keynote presentation at the 2012 Restaurant Leadership Conference.

Certain agricultural products are staples in your restaurant kitchen. Commodities like meat, nuts, dairy foods, potatoes and other types of produce show up regularly on your order list. Here’s a brief overview of how these ingredients are trending, gleaned from information provided by the commodity boards that serve the growers, ranchers and farmers of these products.

The current farm-to-fork mindset is changing the way restaurants buy produce.

Local, fresh and seasonal are the sourcing mantras at this 40-unit Northwest regional concept. So when the R&D team decided to revamp last year’s grilled salmon sandwich for this year’s fall LTO, they partnered with a new sustainable supplier to source the fish.

With over 3,000 varieties of pears grown worldwide, there is fruit available in almost every month of the year.