Sam Smith

Articles by
Sam Smith

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The 11 worst restaurant-related ideas of 2012... so far

We’ve seen a lot of great ideas so far this year: McDonald’s idea to ban gestation crates. Chefs organizing against fracking. A restaurant security guard using a sword to hold back a robber!

The everything guide to fake meat

A good overview piece with video of one of the newest and most interesting imitation chicken production processes.One of the more envelope-pushing concepts:...

If you weren’t scared of Obamacare before going into an NRA session on healthcare reform, you were terrified when you left.

These days, franchisors are relying on franchisees more and more to sustain a brand’s growth. Franchisees carry a lot of power in this new order.

Customers are armed with more information about your business practices, and they are acting on their values. If you share their values, great; if you don’t, look out.

In the late 1990s a group of Pacific Northwest wheat farmers took stock of a bitter reality. They were shipping product to far off, overseas commodity markets, where they had no control over falling prices.

The industry—in line with the economy—is experiencing a very uninspiring recovery. But a recovery nonetheless.

There are different approaches to take with your promotional videos collected on branded YouTube channels. You can simply show off your TV commercials. You can interview guests. If you’ve got big bucks, you could produce your own high-concept entertainment (see McDonald’s Bite Size Video Project). But a tactic open to every concept is the behind-the-scenes video, and as a way to extend your brand and connect with the customer it is still one of the best. Here are five who do it the right way. Click the restaruant name to see for yourself.

Operators are being asked more and more often if their menu contains GMOs, e.g. genetically modified organisms, e.g. Frankenfood. In the March issue of the...

A very cool idea this week from a startup service that both helps customers eat less and feeds the needy. McDonald’s Australia has an idea to surprise would-be Hamburglars. And in New York City the unthinkable happens: Chinese takeout… changes. It’s the first sign of the apocalypse in this installment of The Week in Ideas.

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.

A drive-thru attendant’s job is fairly simple: take orders, make change, pour drinks, double check orders, be the face of the brand for an instant. Now cell phone cameras are adding another responsibility: straight man for the amateur prankster.

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