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


The 10 biggest deals of 2017

High prices and big deals marked a huge year for acquisitions.


Shake Shack set to speed up growth in 2018

The chain plans to open between 32 and 35 new domestic units in the next year.

The franchisee will offer up to 50% off food purchases throughout the month.

The vegan fast-casual chain plans to double its units.

What to do with leftover wine is one of the few downsides of wine-by-the-glass programs.

Building a winning wine list may be the beverage director’s hardest job.

Red, white or rose—any wine can be “green."

Energy saving may not be “an overly sexy conversation to have at eight in the morning,” acknowledged OSI Restaurant Partners’ vice president of procurement, Kristin Brooks. But a standing-room-only audience showed up at that hour during the Restaurant Leadership Conference to hear the Outback Steakhouse parent’s experiences in cutting utility costs.

There would seem no way possible 2012 could be as withering a year in commodity prices as 2011, and the New Year kicked off with positive news: Congress allowed its 30-year-old subsidies for corn-based ethanol to expire. Ethanol will still be produced, but commodity forecasters expect that in the long run, corn-based fuel production will take up less and less of the corn crop, meaning less competition and better prices for food uses.

By the numbers, for restaurants looking for affordable real estate, 2012 ought to be the best of times. In the retail sector, vacancy rates are still high, by historical standards, and rents are still low.

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