Chains aim to boost traffic with pay-upfront passes

Au Bon Pain is the latest brand to unveil an endless pass of sorts.

Growth Continues In "Better Burger" Restaurant Category

CHICAGO (August 1, 2012 - PR Newswire)—The limited-service burger segment is the largest menu segment by revenue in the restaurant industry. It is driven...

Ruby Tuesday’s narrowly averted cheese-biscuit apocalypse demonstrates how social media’s role is evolving from marketing to operations. The chain has spent several years working through a major brand refresh, migrating from a down-home bar-and-grill to a more upscale-casual concept. To that end, the company decided to phase out the free cheddar biscuits given to diners, testing the new program in one area where the biscuits went AWOL. The reaction was telling: customers had a fit, sharing their displeasure through social media.

The life cycle of a restaurant might better be measured in dog years. The accepted wisdom says something like 90 percent of eateries close in the first year of operation; and around three-fourths of the survivors won’t make it past year five. So actually, maybe mouse years is more accurate.

Former Smashburger CEO Dave Prokupek joined the fast-casual chain’s board of directors as part of the deal, which the chain says will help fuel the concept’s expansion plans.

The chain is leaning into the social media platform more than ever before.

The fast-casual chain has appointed co-founder Tom Ryan to the post.

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.

Consumers between the ages of 21 and 34 are transforming the alcoholic beverage market at restaurants and bars. The new On-Premise Intelligence Report from Technomic and the Beverage Marketing Corp. shows how.

If you’re waiting for consumers to return to their free-spending ways, make sure you’ve found a comfortable seat—it’s going to be a while.

  • Page 5