Tag Archives: Nation’s Restaurant News

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: 8/10

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from August 6-10.

Drought Continues to Cause an Increase in Food Prices

From CNN Money, Read Full Story

Based on the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor (published every Thursday), most of the country is experiencing drought anywhere from abnormally dry to exceptionally dry.  Unfortunately, the areas hit the hardest are in the nation’s heartland, where most of the country’s farms are based.  According to CNN Money, the impact will continue to cause food prices to rise worldwide.

Newsweek Releases ‘101 Best Places to Eat in the Word’

From Huff Post Food, Read Full Story

Newsweek recently released their latest issue, which is dedicated to food and includes the “101 Best Places to Eat in the World.” Huff Post Food said the issue includes restaurant recommendations from “53 of the world’s most famous chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Anita Lo, Lidia Bastianich and more.”  However, the somewhat-seductive cover has caused controversy.  (Click Huff Post Food article and scroll down to view).

U.S. Cities Create Stronger Rules and Restrictions for Food Truck Owners

From Mobile Cuisine News, Read Full Story

Ever since food trucks had their boom in popularity and essentially became highly respected restaurants on wheels, it’s caused some tension with restaurants that say the food trucks are taking away their business.  Mobile Cuisine News said many cities are setting rules on where trucks can park and how long they are there.  Some cities have even proposed rules to require food trucks to install GPS systems that enable cities to track where a truck is, or that a truck must change locations every 45 minutes.

For many truck owners, the rules are frustrating.  One of their questions is “if two restaurants can open up next to each other, why are they being restricted on where they can park?” Especially when they are forking out sometimes $50,000 in start-up costs, then thousands of dollars after for maintenance and modifications.

Starbucks Teams Up with Square Inc. to Accept Payments

From Square, Read Full Story

On Wednesday August 8, Starbucks and Square announced their partnership to enhance Starbucks customers’ payment experience.  Square is a company that enables businesses to accept credit card payments on Android phones, iPhones and iPads with their free Square Card Reader.

In this collaboration, Starbucks will invest $25 million in Square Inc. and their chairman, president and CEO, Howard Shultz, will join Square’s board of directors.  Square also said starting Fall 2012, in addition to being able to make payments with the iPhone or Android on the card reader, customers will be able to use “Pay with Square,” a feature that will allow them to pay straight from their device.

Nation’s Restaurant News’ Special Report on Consumer Picks Released

From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Full Story

For the second year in a row, NRN released their “Consumer Picks,” a special feature that shares consumer’s opinions of 152 restaurant chains.  Through this survey, they came up with a few “top 5’s”–some of them being:



Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: December 16

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for the week of December 12 through December 16. 

Let’s Move! Breaks Jumping Jacks World Record
From Let’s Move Blog, Read Full Story

Back in October, we reported about Let’s Move attempting to break the world record of the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.  The record they had to beat was 20,000.  This week, First Lady Michelle Obama took to the Let’s Move blog to announce the good news–not only did they break the record, but by a large number!  The grand total was 300,265.  To read the full story, including a video from Mrs. Obama, visit the Let’s Move! Blog.

More Gluten-Free and Heart-Healthy Meals
From NY Daily News, Read Full Story

Image by Ariadna on MorgueFile.com

This year there’s been more awareness to food allergies and also to healthier menu items.  The NY Daily News reported there has been a 61 percent increase in gluten free menu items.  What’s more interesting is not all of the customers requested gluten-free menu items because of a medical condition.  Then also, according to the article, 73 percent of customers wanted to know menu nutritional content.  Read the full story on the NY Daily News site and take their poll regarding gluten-free menu items.

People Choose Restaurant Gift Cards
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Full Story

In a recent National Restaurant Association study,they reported approximately one of every five people will give the gift of a restaurant gift card this year.  Towards the end of 2011, we’ve read there will be an increase in restaurant sales–and this article’s estimate that people will on average spend $155.43 on gift cards will certainly help! Read the full story on the Nation’s Restaurant News site including more interesting survey results.

Image by Ronnie Bergeron on MorgueFile.com

Food Trends for 2012
From Huff Post Food, Read Full Story

Last year Central put together a list of foodservice trends for 2011.  Well more and more websites are posting their different trends for 2012, including this one from Huff Post Food, which takes a close look at specific food trends.  Some on the list include fast casual Asian, french dips, pretzels and more food trucks.  For a slide show on all trends, including pictures and explanations, visit Huff Post Food.

FoodBuzz’s “Today’s Top 9”
From FoodBuzz, Read Full Story

On the FoodBuzz website, they put together a list of the top nine recipes for the day, which were submitted to the site from website contributors.  Menu items include candy cane marshmallow pops, sweet potato pie oatmeal and mint cookies ‘n cream.  Take a look at all nine items including pictures and recipes on the FoodBuzz website.      


Foodservice Industry Resources

From schools to restaurants, it’s always great to have some resources to find the latest foodservice industry information.  Here are a few resources, along with their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Please comment below and share your favorites!

Nation’s Restaurant News








School Nutrition Association



Fed Up With Lunch




Mobile Food News




Energy Star




Smart Blog on Restaurants








Central’s Week in Brief: October 14, 2011

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more.  It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1.With the NBA commissioner cancelling the first two weeks of the basketball season due to the lockout, it’s not just the owners and teams feeling the effects.  Restaurants all over the country are struggling with the current situation and fear what could happen if the lockout doesn’t end soon.  For example, in Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard told WTHR between 10,000 and 15,000 people visit the downtown area 50 times per year for basketball.  One pub owner told them he’s already lost six employees.  Hopefully the lockout will end soon and the hospitality industry can get back to business as usual.

2. As a part of her Let’s Move! campaign, First Lady Michell Obama teamed up with  National Geographic Kids for the Let’s Jump! event.  The October 11 event kicked off an attempt to break a Guinness World Record®.  What record? The most people doing jumping jacks in a 24 hour period.  She started Let’s Jump! on the White House’s south lawn, along with 400 local children.  The goal was to exceed over 20,000 people from all over the world and those who participated had to record and document their jumping jacks then send it in for review.  It’s still unknown whether or not the record was broken, but we’ll be sure to share the information as it becomes available!

3. The holiday season is just around the corner, which means restaurants are gearing up for sales.  In this NRN article, they said the National Retail Foundation “projected that retail industry sales for the months of November and December will increase 2.8 percent.” While that is an increase, it doesn’t quite match up to last year’s 5.2 percent increase. However, as they mentioned in the article, improvement is improvement and some restaurants are already pushing out their LTOs (limited time offers) to be in the minds of consumers.

4. San Antonio’s J. Anthony’s Seafood Cafe had quite the interesting experience this week when they were robbed by three women, one of which whom got stuck in the drive-thru window while attempting to make her escape.  The incident happened around 1 a.m. on October 12.  The other two women have not yet been found.  Read more about this story at the KENS5 news website.

5. Sometimes restaurants create some real head-scratching policies.  Zagat picked out 10 of the most controversial restaurant policies then took a look at both the pros and cons in this article. Take a look at these 10 and let us know which ones you stand by and which ones you don’t!

Central’s Week in Brief: July 1

Welcome to July, everybody!

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1) There are new rules coming for debit card swipe fees.  Taking effect this Oct. 1, the Federal Reserve will put a cap on debit card swipe fees for merchants at 21 cents per transaction. These fees are paid by merchants each time customers use a debit card to pay.  The NRA (Nation’s Restaurant News) says they are disappointed and concerned the Federal Reserve’s cap rose as much as it did from the proposed rule, and put together this article about the new rule.

2) We’ve heard of some new ethnic foods becoming more popular in America’s fast casual market, the latest being Indian. This Nation’s Restaurant News article says, “full-service mom-and-pop operators have long dominated the landscape of Indian restaurants across America, but this new wave of chain concepts aims to offer the same flavors with limited-service speed and price points.”

3) The nation’s fifth largest fast food chain, Jack in the Box, is removing toys from their kids meals. The Huffington Post reports these changes have come amidst many towns in California who now require kid’s meals meet certain nutritional standards in order to be able to include toys.  Jack in the Box comments the decision wasn’t related to recent events and children nutrition advocates hope Jack in the Box’s actions will help their competitors move in this direction as well.

4) Soul Daddy, winner of NBC’s “Next Great Restaurant,” has closed their last location in Minneapolis’ Mall of America.  The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reports the restaurant was open for “barely two months.” One of the store’s managers, Josh Furman, told the Star Tribune he didn’t see it coming as “they were in process of adding new items to the menu and developing the concept more in line with Jamawn’s (founder) original soul-food concept.”


5) The holiday weekend is here! From July 2 through July 4, Burger King is having a special deal and will offer their Original Chicken Sandwich for $1.04. Nation’s Restaurant News says the typical price for the sandwich is $3.69.  Burger King isn’t the only one, take advantage of offers in your area and do a quick search to see what’s going on.


Central wishes you a fun and safe July Fourth weekend.

Central’s Week in Brief: June 24, 2011

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1) Keeping up to date with legislation pertaining to the restaurant industry can be hard.  This week, Nation’s Restaurant News posted this update which will inform you about the following five issues that could have an affect on your restaurant: Tip Credit, E-Verify, Corn-Based Ethanol Subsidies, Health Care Reform, Lending Regulations.

2) At the end of last year, we posted 10 foodservice trends for 2011.  To follow up to see how our list is comparing, this week Zagat posted “The 5 Hottest Dining Trends in 2011 So Far.” We’re pleased to see some of the trends such as food trucks and beer, are still on track and going strong!


3) We bid farewell to the food pyramid earlier this month when the government introduced MyPlate.  The USDA describes MyPlate as a “user-friendly visual” of the the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  This Food Safety News article covers the latest on MyPlate including some very helpful hints on how to stay on track.


4) Every Thursday in June we discuss how to use social media for your restaurant. To help encourage restaurants to become involved with social media, this recent article from The Social Graf reported on KN-CMR’s “The Faces of Social Media” study which found 38 million U.S. adults (18-20) said “they discover new products and brands or refer to social media before making purchase decisions.”







5) To curb obesity, school districts like the Central Nebraska School District are making changes.  This AP article, posted on the Daily Journal’s website, explains they have been “using a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.” This grant has helped them buy equipment, implement programs and train teachers and staff.  While they report 14 percent of the elementary school students are still obese, “three elementary schools have seen decreases in obesity ranging from 23 percent to 27 percent.”

Image from MorgueFile

Central’s Week in Brief: April 1, 2011

Image from MorgueFileEvery Friday Central will be bringing you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more.  It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

Here are this week’s 5 links:

1) Headed to Washington this month? Want some much needed kitchen garden inspiration from the first lady? Obama Foodorama has your solution!

2) Grub Street New York has 10 Reasons why Gwyneth Paltrow may want to make rumors of her food magazine become a reality.

3) The finale of Top Chef All-Star’s was this week. In case you missed it, comedian Max Silvestri will give you the run-down (along with his own always hilarious commentary) over at Eater .

4) Nation’s Restaurant News has the scoop on Denny’s new bacon campaign that includes a maple bacon sundae.  Here are the results from our Facebook reader poll on the porky treat.










5) To prepare for spring, Earth Day (coming up on April 22) and some delicious herb filled dishes, try this fun project from Whole Foods.

We want to know, what food stories were your favorite this week?

Image from MorgueFile

The Rising Cost of Food: Why Going Out is Still an Option

Image from MorgueFileHave you been out to dinner lately?  Went grocery shopping?  Chances are you’ve probably done both in the last month or so.  However, just in case you’ve been hibernating for the winter and weren’t aware, prices for everything under the warming spring sun have been on the rise.

Even though the economy is slowly inching back to normal, droughts, freezing and battles overseas have put a drain on every aspect of the food economy.   According to an article in the Boston Globe, The US Department of Agriculture has predicted that US food prices are expected to jump between 3 and 4 percent this year, about twice the general rate of inflation, after rising last year by the slowest rate since 1962.

These price hikes have led many grocery stores increase prices to the consumer which means huge hikes in the average family’s spending.  According to a 2009 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the same Boston Globe article, Americans spent more than $3,500 annually, or about $72 a week, on average in 2009 on groceries.  Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD told Reuters, “Right now, supermarket prices are rising faster than restaurant prices.”  He also added, “While Americans prepare 72 percent of their meals at home, they spend almost half of their food dollars in restaurants.”

This spending could be due to the fact that restaurants have a variety alternatives to take advantage of along with increasing prices.   One such choice, especially with larger chains, is to lock in prices on items that are likely to go up in price, whereas grocery stores have a much harder time negotiating.   Restaurants have also tried other tactics to keep business afloat during the down economy such as Applebee’s value based 2 for $20 menu that has allowed sales to grow by up to 17 percent according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Restaurant, Image from MorgueFileSmaller, more local businesses have also both felt the strain of the economy and found ways of working around it.  Ron and Eric of Rock Star Pizza say they’ve stopped using green peppers because the item has gone up by 600%.  Alternatively, Keith Reilly of O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant has begun looking for ingredients to use in dishes that will reduce costs and allow him to stay competitive.  However, even with small price boosts and item substitutions, both owners say business has actually increased.  Reilly says the improved traffic is “obviously not because of rising costs.  We have wonderful regulars and a great staff who produce a great product at a competitive price.”  Ron and Eric, feel their amplified business is due to the fact that “A lot of people are “Dining Down” saying that instead of going somewhere more expensive, “They can get the same dining experience for less at my Pizzeria.”

So while global food prices rose 25 percent last year and set a record last month, according to the United Nations in an article from Business Week, there are some good signs of more affordable opportunities.  During this time it’s most important to shop around both at the grocery and for restaurants.  So many eateries are making an attempt to make customers happy and keep prices down.  Look for lower cost alternatives to your favorite dishes and maybe you’ll even find an exciting new item or restaurant that might save you that extra dough!

What price increases have you noticed either in the stores or while out to eat?  Have you taken steps to cut costs on food?  Share your tips and experiences with us below!