Joan M. Lang

 Contact Joan

Articles by
Joan M. Lang

Page 1

Treating produce like meat

As consumers become increasingly interested in veg-centric dishes, chefs are coaxing more flavor out of produce with techniques typically applied to meat.


Customize it

Restaurants that provide what families want—speedy service, something kids will eat, healthy options to please parents and a willingness to customize—are gaining business as economic doldrums linger.

For TGI Fridays U.K., CEO Karen Forrester’s people-first strategy has paid off in more ways than one.

Juicing is powering up menus. The recession put a squeeze on sales of made-to-order juices, according to the 2014 Juice & Smoothie Bars in the U.S. report by Los Angeles market researcher IBISWorld. But increased consumer demand for healthy beverages and an expansion of juicing into concepts other than smoothie and juice bars are revitalizing the category, the report says.

Operators find ways to straddle the line of restaurant and retail to bring more business in-house.

By boosting its carryout, catering and grab-and-go efforts, Bob Evans aims to double off premise sales.

Barbara Lynch, chef and owner of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, credits a strong team for her success, but a bit of South Boston moxie doesn’t hurt.

We sent mystery shoppers into more than a dozen chains for a look at the operations through the customers’ eyes. Which chain topped our secret diners’ lists? The answer may surprise you.

It’s been done with hamburgers, with cocktails, with Mexican QSR. Take a familiar concept, one with a degree of built-in familiarity and consumer acceptance, and differentiate it—around the ingredients, the menu, the presentation, the service model. Make it unique and craveable, make it stand out from the competition; just don’t make it so strange that customers don’t know what to make of it.

Breakfast emerged as the humble champion starting with the 2007 economic downturn, and it hasn’t stopped yet.

As an entrant into the booming fast-casual segment, LYFE Kitchen brings some serious culinary cred to the table, but it’s also rapidly becoming a standard-bearer for a whole new definition of “health food.”

Established players in the fast-casual sector want to emulate QSRs in one critical area: stay-in-your-car convenience.

  • Page 1