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Patricia Cobe

Senior Editor

Articles by
Patricia Cobe

Page 109

Menu mandate for attendees: Better but less costly food and deals, too

At the height of the recession, restaurateurs resorted to head-turning deals to drive traffic. Now that the economy is more or less in recovery, are consumers still seeking deep discounts, or are they more interested in a unique experience, an innovative menu or some other differentiating factor?

Innovators get a spotlight during the NRA Show

Five restaurateurs were recognized during the NRA's annual convention for brainstorming innovations that broke new ground in the business.

With childhood obesity so widespread—, restaurants are beginning to take on some of the responsibility by offering healthier kids’ menus.

The stars of the culinary world came out in force on Monday night, May 6, to attend the annual James Beard Awards ceremony and gala.

Chefs in other parts of the country are often envious of their peers cooking in the Napa Valley. After all, local foods and wines are superlative and bountiful and the climate, balmy. But even in this idyllic setting, spring can be a tease.

Every couple of months, the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Saladworks introduces a limited time “named” salad. The SpringFit ($6.99) is currently running until the end of May at all 106 locations. Here’s how it came to be.

If you’re balking at the wholesale price of 12-ounce center-cut steaks and extra-thick loin chops—and your customers are too—it’s time to rethink the protein portion of your menu. Meat is going to remain high through 2013, according to top economic indicators. “Wholesale prices are the same or up to 5 percent higher for beef and pork than last year,” says Bill Hahn, economist with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Four luminaries of the restaurant and food industries took the stage at a Culinary Institute of America event last week to share their culinary philosophies and formulas for success. The quartet—Rick Bayless, Cliff Pleau, Daniel Humm and Walter Robb—was there to be honored with a 2013 Augie Leadership Award, a CIA honor now in its seventh year.

Taco Bell is on a tear to grow from a $7-billion brand to a $14-billion category killer in the next 10 years, CEO Greg Creed told the audience at RLC.

Economists tend to bicker, but there was at least one source of agreement in their 2013 forecasts: food prices are going to increase 2 to 4 percent this year. With restaurant patrons still pinching pennies, raising menu prices may not be the best solution. So what are the alternatives?

When fusion was the trend of the moment, some chefs tried too hard to globalize menus. In too many kitchens, the result was confusion—on the plate and the palate.

San Diego-based Burger Lounge has gained a devoted following for its handcrafted grass-fed-beef burgers. But for the better burger chain’s limited time...

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