First Watch


Beverage innovation comes from history

Thanks to a growing number of dedicated beverage producers, you can drink like an Egyptian, quaff like an ancient Roman or sip hot cocoa like an Aztec warrior. Some may call these marketing gimmicks, but both consumers and producers are enthralled by bibulous legends.


Social media watch: Much ado about a tweeting chicken

An Australian QSR has come up with a new way to generate buzz on social media—employ an animal.

Check out these three hot technology trends: multifunction devices, portability and wireless. We rounded up the latest and greatest hardware to show that gadgets aren’t just for geeks anymore.

While the ubiquitous “Employees must wash hands before returning to work” bathroom signs are great, the 12-unit Washington, D.C.-based Clyde’s wanted to step up their sanitation game. And so was born Clyde’s annual hand washing competition.

Il Fornaio hadn’t expanded its classic Italian concept for eight years. The economic downturn stalled growth, delayed further by a change in equity partners.

Here's the first tip: Don't be quick on the draw. Take your time and set a realistic time frame for making hires.

When it came to developing a summer LTO for Little Greek, the 14-unit Tampa, Florida-based franchisor, president Nick Vojnovic thought “shrimp.” “It’s healthy, quick-cooking and few of our competitors offer shrimp,” he notes.

Want to procrastinate, but still feel like you’re adding a feather to your industry cap? Check out these must-see documentaries that bring you inside some of the world’s most groundbreaking kitchens.

If John Merlino were a gymnast, his event would be the balance beam. At 42, the corporate executive chef and R&D director for Claim Jumper walks a fine line between tradition and trend.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported an 8 percent increase in cookbook sales in 2011, and the trend has continued.

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