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The Power 20 - 2019

The Power 20 - 2019

Chipotle’s New Guard

Chipotle founder Steve Ells set the pace for the build-it-yourself movement in fast casuals. 

The Power 20 - 2019

Steve Easterbrook

“We’ll be the better burger company,” said Easterbrook to a group of reporters at an event in 2017 to highlight some of McDonald’s new technology strategies.

Timing, they say, is everything.So it’s little coincidence that Pizza Hut—in its first year as the NFL’s official pizza chain—expanded its beer-delivery test to five more states just ahead of the Super Bowl.  

More and more diners are looking for alcohol-free craft beverages beyond soda and lemonade while dining out.

In 2018, the fast-food business was all about cheap food.

Breakfast’s cachet has grown exponentially in recent years. But enticing consumers to have cocktails with the morning meal … on a weekday? That’s relatively uncharted territory for chains, even among the growing number of trend-forward breakfast and lunch-only concepts. That’s except for Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, the Denver-based chain with a full roster of morning cocktails that’s boosting check averages and fueling repeat visits. Ten percent to 12% of all diners order alcohol, and a quarter of the average check comes from beverage, Birzon says. The chain even features sparkling wine on tap for a range of twists on mimosas. “We are an experiential dining establishment,” Birzon says. “The energy, the vibrancy, the time out from everyday life: That’s what sets us apart.”

When Barber opened Blue Hill at Stone Barns in 2004, the menu was inspired by the farm where the restaurant was located, in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. The farm evolved into the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, becoming not only a source of produce, dairy products, grains and other homegrown ingredients but also a nonprofit educational resource for farmers, chefs and the public.

Never mind the high standards he set for American cuisine with his cooking at Trio, Charlie Trotter’s, The French Laundry and his own Alinea. Achatz’s creativity in the kitchen undoubtedly kicked fine dining up a notch (sorry, Emeril).

Menus would be far less of a battleground between business and social interests if it weren’t for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the vocal advocacy group that’s weighed in on virtually every health-related menu issue of the past 25 years.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants’ not-so-secret weapon for growth has been its wine club—a group of more than 250,000 people that represent a key core of the chain’s business and a major competitive advantage that makes it unique in the restaurant space.

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