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Special Reports

Special Reports

The Future 50

This year’s class of America’s up-and-coming chains faces an uncertain future. But as the coronavirus hit, these small and innovative concepts were characteristically quick to adapt, repacking menu items into meal kits, creating pop-up drive-thrus and more. Here’s a look at how they got here, and where they plan to go next.

Here are some key milestones from the last 100 years.

The eruption of World War II brought shortages of food, equipment and labor—precisely as demand for meals prepared outside the home soared to 60 million meals per day, triple the prewar level. Some es...

The decade kicked off with an industrywide promotional campaign that would live on for years and whose tagline would ultimately be “borrowed” by the city of Chicago for its tourism promotion efforts: “We’re Glad You’re Here.”

The National Restaurant Association undertook a program to polish the industry’s image.

A look back at Day One of the Association and its constituency.

Innovators that dared to challenge the norm had a major impact on operations.

Government issues have been as much a part of restaurants as forks and spoons.

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