A letter to Santa's elves

I have requests for the restaurant industry, which just slogged through one of its chilliest years. We’re not talking weather here.

2016 Top 500 restaurant chains

More than half of the restaurant industry’s $491 billion in sales come from the Top 500 chains. And these giants grew at a modestly stronger rate, both in terms of sales and store counts, than the industry overall. Restaurant Business focused on the leading 250 performers to identify trends for our first-ever special report delivering lessons from Technomic’s annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. This special package includes lessons for all operators from the largest chains by segment, menu category and more.

Kitchen recasts are accounting for a large part of chains’ capex budgets for 2017. The aim of the moment is to boost throughput and capitalize on off-premise demand.

The top and fastest-growing chains don’t always align with average total menu items in their sectors.

Applebee's is ready with financial rescues for franchisees, Buffalo Wild Wings is testing off-premise-only stores, Bravo Brio has a new concept it's weighing, Dunkin' is shrinking the menu as a cure-all, and Potbelly was given a bitter pill to swallow by the city of Chicago.

No reason was given for the departure of Aylwin Lewis.

The sandwich shop is recasting its kitchens to boost throughput and capitalize on off-premise demand

Buffalo Wild Wings sale could unleash other go-private deals, so here are five that could happen.

Privet Fund, which is pushing for a sale, kicked off a proxy fight with a slate of board candidates.

This week’s most memorable developments weren’t exactly high points in the industry’s efforts to improve its image and demonstrate a social commitment.

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