The week in ideas, July 22, 2011

Taco Bell expanded on its charitable work with teens, sending them cross country to learn work skills. A New York chef pushes back against Meatless Mondays. A Texas couple goes Whataburger crazy. And Tim Zagat lays out the new rules of dining etiquette.

Whataburger slashes breakfast hours due to egg shortage

The burger chain has reduced daily breakfast hours while it sorts out supply issues resulting from the avian flu outbreak.

The chain says it has secured additional egg supply after an avian flu-induced shortage caused it to pare the hours during which egg-based breakfast items were served.

The disruption of the egg supply has come home to roost, but ingenuity in sourcing has kept operators from yanking eggs off menus.

Whataburger has a slam dunk with a Twitter post featuring an NBA star.

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.

Customers rate the best and worst quick-service restaurant chains for bathroom cleanliness in a recent Technomic survey.

The top three burger chains, all QSRs, own two-thirds of the category's sales.

A different sort of whopper figured large in recent restaurant news. But it's all true—we swear it!

So how to go about the critical matchmaking process? Slowly and methodically, according to franchising experts, who say moving too fast—letting emotion and greed trump diligence and patience—is the most common mistake made by both sides.

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