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New restaurant equipment and back-of-the-house technology

This week’s head-spinning moments: Multi-spins

This week's most arresting restaurant developments seemed to come in groups, raising the risk of neck injury for the keen observer. Here's a painless review of the head-spinning moments you may have missed.


Steamers that do their job

Interest in healthier eating has boosted the use of steamers, but memories of water-related problems and dependability issues still dog the category. In response, manufacturers have come up with clever variations for generating steam and regulating temperature and pressure.

Customers raised on Starbucks expect to be able to order specialty coffees any place they patronize. The challenge for the restaurant operator is how to offer a range of coffee drinks without burdening a stretched-thin staff. Fortunately, there are a number of automatic or semi-automatic coffee machines that can virtually duplicate the coffeehouse experience.

MexiCali Burrito Co., a, family-owned taqueria in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was already well into catering when it signed up with Boston start-up Phoodeez (pronounced food-ies) to boost its corporate reach.

For operators looking to stake a claim in grab-and-go, boxed sandwiches in a cooler might not cut it anymore.

A union goes after a small restaurant chain, Tim Hortons franchisees head to court, Starbucks battles monsters, and two of the industry's best-known chefs draw spatulas—some of the business's most intense struggles have somehow dodged notice. Until now.

In a magazine issue packed with big ideas, it’s only fitting we pause and salute the real stinkers—the notions that were somehow greenlighted instead of prompting hushed comments about the originator seeming so normal otherwise.

Here’s how operators in cold climates ensure their rooftops reel in off-season sales.

The settlement with Simon Property Group would apparently allow some locations to shut down.

The industry has been hit with some bad PR—so now it’s time to get on the soapbox.

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