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4 megatrends that emerged at chain restaurants’ big idea exchange

With more than 1,000 executives in attendance, some surprising trends could be gleaned from the presentations and casual conversations. Here are four that might have turned a keen listener’s head.


How long-running restaurant concepts stay viable

A brand’s maturity doesn’t have to equate to obsolescence, according to several of the industry’s oldest brands. At the Restaurant Leadership Conference, they and several middle-aged chains explained how they do it.

Taco Bell, Burger King, Carl's Jr., White Castle and others are offering more vegetarian items, but vegetarians aren’t necessarily the target.

Consumers are enticed by LTOs and interesting menu items, but that’s not the whole story.

The industry now knows what a pile of frozen pizzas were doing inside a Little Caesars, and just how far In-N-Out intends to grow beyond its California roots.

After a successful test, the company is introducing the plant-based burger to all of its 377 locations.

The company has delivery available at nearly 300 locations.

What's that slider doing on a fine dining menu?Have you noticed all those fine-dining restaurants with chicken pot pie on the menu? Oh, it’s not the humble...

Burger chains among the 2016 Top 500 ranking together earned $75.5 billion in sales, and about 45% of those sales are McDonald’s.

In research conducted from late January to mid-February, our staff monitored the two leading social-media channels for restaurants right now, Twitter and Facebook, counting followers and fans, how often consumers discussed the brand and the efforts of operators to foster that give-and-take.

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