Launching a new dish that's destined for success starts with identifying the next hot product that fits best with your restaurant concept, advises consultant Denise Lee Yohn. "Think about your operational strengths and capabilities, as well as your brand personality and positioning. Your new product should leverage your competitive advantages," she writes.
A councilman in Montgomery County, Md., is considering proposing measures next year to encourage area eateries to serve healthier kids' meals and possibly regulate toy giveaways with meals. Restaurants around the country have been making strides when it comes to improving the nutritional value of their children's menus, largely at the request of parents, said NRA nutrition director Joy Dubost. "I think the consumer demand piece is an important part of this," she said.
A growing number of nonprofit groups have become franchisees of restaurant brands including Blimpie, Papa Murphy's and Auntie Anne's, using the eateries to raise funds for their causes. Some, including The Dale Rogers Training Center in Oklahoma City, also use the restaurants to carry out their job-training missions. "Making money is the icing on the cake. We thought this was a loss leader but a great opportunity to train employees," said the center's executive director Connie McGoodwin.
The grocery store landscape in Fort Collins, Colo., will become even more competitive next fall when Costco and Trader Joe’s join the 20 major stores, including eight supermarket chains, already located in the region. “Unless there’s a massive population increase, the pie isn’t getting much bigger... eventually someone is going to go away and the pie will get re-cut,” said Jon Springer, Supermarket News associate editor.
Twenty Kerr Drug stores will close as part of an acquisition deal with Walgreen completed Friday. Walgreen will continue to operate 56 of the acquired 76 stores and plans to transfer prescriptions from 16 of the closing stores to a nearby Walgreen location.