All Special Reports

Clean Plate Awards

2014 Clean Plate Awards

The panel of restaurant industry pros that judged this year’s Clean Plate Awards eat for a living.

Future 50: Emerging Brands

10 things growth chains know

With every class of up-and-coming concepts comes a fresh crop of common threads that tie them together.

Here are some additional great ideas the Restaurant Business editors saw while out and about in their home city of Chicago in the past year.

Meet the family dynasties leading restaurants into a new generation.

Winning dishes have showcased myriad notable trends, many of which continue to influence the industry today.

In compiling this roundup, we spotted several hotbeds of creativity in bar service and drink menus, chic decor on the cheap, sustainability solutions and hyperlocal marketing.

Chain restaurants faced another tough year in 2017. Still, well over half of the restaurant industry’s $536.8 billion came from the Top 500 chains, as ranked by Technomic.

From a 160-year-old classic to a music venue enjoying the success of a pop culture namesake, Washington, D.C., is home to six of the Top 100 Independents.

The top-performing independent steak restaurants of the year

The Sunshine State is home to eight of the Top 100 Independents; last year, the count was six. Three of the highest-grossing restaurants in Florida are on Disney properties.

The top-performing independent restaurants specializing in Italian cuisine of 2017.

While many of the Top 100 Independent restaurants on this years ranking are standalone spots, many operate within hotels, providing a built-in group of diners.

Five of the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the U.S. are in the nation’s capital, from one of America’s oldest places to talk politics to a newcomer owned by a consortium of family farms.

Even the top-grossing independent restaurants continue to struggle in the face of labor challenges—namely rising wages and attracting and retaining quality workers. Here’s how some are coping with their top concerns.

Of the 12 restaurants among the Top 100 Independents that are located in Chicagoland, nine are in the city and three are in the suburbs. Two of those suburban restaurants—and three in the city—are operated by Gibsons Restaurant Group.

What takes a notion from “that’s cool” to a smart, business-forward point of differentiation? We present 50 of the greatest on-trend ideas we’ve collected.

These 100 restaurants brought in combined food and beverage revenues of more than $1.8 billion in 2016, with an average check of $68.26.

Some of the biggest restaurant concepts are hotbeds for innovation, testing out ideas that will be a boon for operations of any size.

Read on to see what dishes made the cut for “best of the best” in 2015.

The Future 50 uncovers industry insights around where the hot upstarts are germinating and other commonalities.

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