Scott Hume

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Scott Hume

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How top independent operators manage a changing industry

Independents operators may be outpacing chains when it comes to sales growth, but the same challenges are stunting potential growth across the industry. Top operators are finding ways to combat these costs by focusing on the experience.


2018 Top 100 by the numbers

The top 100 independent restaurants brought in combined food and beverage revenue of $1.8 billion in 2017, with an average check of $72.48. Still, they vary greatly in size and price point. They even differ greatly in age, with No. 5 Old Ebbitt Grill open since 1856 and the newest Junior’s location open for less than a full year in 2017.

Flat sales were the new up for many of this year’s Top 100 Independents.

These 100 restaurants brought in combined food and beverage revenues of more than $1.8 billion in 2016, with an average check of $68.26.

Wages and workforce quality are the two most prevalent worries among the Top 100 operators. Here’s how they’re coping.

Operators share how they’re boosting sales and traffic.

In a year when indies were closing, these money makers fought against challenges and changes to stay alive.

Here are eight diverse fast-casual brands with fewer than eight locations, but with visions of going big.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote that “maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists,” and so it has been with the coming-of-age fast-casual restaurant segment.

The definition of a sandwich has broadened and globalized to Mexican cemitas, falafel in pita bread and more. Gathered here are 50 examples of how a sandwich can be defined by creative culinary minds.

It’s been about a year since Union Square Hospitality Group’s President and CEO Danny Meyer started implementing his no-tipping policy as a new mode of compensation.

The Top 100 is ranked by sales, but the list measures success. These operators never say they know a "secret" to success, but why do they perform so well?

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