Rita's Ice

So who is your customer anyway?

The answer will tell you everything from what should be on your menu to what your marketing plan should look like. We tag along as four restaurants do the research.

Your new place is all set to open but there’s one hitch and it’s a big one: you can’t get a full liquor license. That’s not stopping some creative operators.

Say “rhubarb” and most people automatically think “strawberries and pie.” Not at these restaurants. As the rhubarb season comes to an end, their menus are showcasing the versatility of this colorful vegetable in savory dishes, drinks, and more.

A hurricane is disruptive whenever it hits, but as the full force of Irene swept the East coast over the weekend—the most lucrative days for restaurants—industry folks had to instantly come up with their own disaster plans. And they had to let their customers know pretty quickly. Alerts sent out through Facebook, Twitter, texts and blogs ranged from the serious to the quirky.

The holiday of Cinco de Mayo may draw its origins from Mexican culture, but it has firmly established its roots in the American restaurant scene. Operators across the country are gearing up for the fiesta on May 5 with celebratory food, drink and other activities.

Given all the fanfare surrounding the mixology movement, cocktail lists are garnering as much attention as food menus, making the bartender as important a hire as the chef.

Traffic at the Fuku fried-chicken concept in New York City was so heavy during Week One that the tiny store had to shut for two days to readjust to the demand.

The chain may look to jumpstart sales with new craft beverages.

Dairy Queen comprises more than half of the frozen desserts menu category's sales, which as a whole grew just 1.5%, to $6.3 billion.

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