NRA: Restaurant industry will see growing sales, tightening labor market | Read more about this story from the NRA | Tim Hortons eyes bigger US presence
February 18, 2016
Restaurant SmartBrief

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NRA: Restaurant industry will see growing sales, tightening labor market
Foodservice sales are expected to rise 5% to $782.7 billion this year, according to projections from the NRA. "Though the overall economy is trending in the right direction, the operating environment isn't without challenges going into 2016," said Senior Vice President of Research Hudson Riehle. "With overall tightening in some labor markets, we're seeing recruitment and retention making a comeback as a top challenge for restaurant operators." Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (2/17)
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Tim Hortons eyes bigger US presence
Tim Hortons
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Tim Hortons reported a same-store sales increase of 5.8% in the US during the fourth quarter of 2015. The brand, which operates about 650 locations in the US, has unveiled plans to open new locations in cities including Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. "We've done a good job laying the foundation for growth of Tim Hortons in the US. The potential for the brand there is huge," said Restaurant Brands International CEO Daniel Schwartz. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model)/Bloomberg (2/17)
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Millennials responding to Colonel-focused campaign, KFC marketing exec says
KFC has reported increased sales at its established stores for the last six consecutive quarters, which parent Yum Brands attributes at least in part to a new advertising push focused around Colonel Sanders. Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Hochman talks about how the brand is taking a new approach with adverting and the menu to appeal to millennial consumers. "The Colonel was the consummate chicken salesman. We're bringing back that over-the-top chicken salesman because millennials understand the joke," he said. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.)/The Associated Press (2/17)
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James Beard Foundation names semifinalists for 2016 awards
The James Beard Foundation has released the chosen semifinalists in 50 different categories for its 2016 awards. Among the nominees for the Best New Restaurant category are The Blanchard in Chicago, Shaya in New Orleans and Superiority Burger in New York City. Final nominees will be announced in March before the awards ceremony on May 2 in Chicago. FSR Magazine online (2/17), New York magazine (2/17)
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Union Square Hospitality Group teams with Delta to improve airline food
Union Square Hospitality Group's catering business is teaming with Delta Air Lines to offer in-flight meals based on menus from its restaurant concepts. The restaurant group already has experience with foodservice in non-standard locations, thanks to its Blue Smoke barbecue stand at New York's Citi Field. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (2/17)
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Webinar: How Pie Five Pizza Co. Grew From 11 to 80 Locations
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Restaurants boost morale with superior staff meals
A growing number of restaurants are placing more importance on staff meals, allowing more time for employees to dine together and encouraging cooks to show off their skills with menu-worth dishes. The practice helps employees bond and can be good for business. "If I take better care of the employees, they'll take better care of the customers," Teddy Suric, general manager of New York's '21' Club, said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/16)
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Are your employees having fun yet?
As companies look to foster growth through innovation, leaders need to morph from cost-cutting, productivity-stoking machines into something more flexible and more fun, argues Chip Bell. "This is not the heyday of the leader as circus clown; it is more the time of leader as circus ringmaster," Bell writes. (2/17)
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Every Time Your Tables Wobble, So Does Your Brand
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Culinary Spotlight
Chefs use bitter, sour flavors to make plates pop
Salty, sweet and savory flavors have always been the stars of restaurant menus, but chefs are using more bitter and sour flavors to punctuate flavors of different global cuisines. "Since the emergence of more global cuisine, we have seen more balance in flavors," said Jesse Gideon, chief operating officer at Atlanta-based Fresh to Order. "Bitter rounds out the whole palate. I can actually back off something salty and sweet by adding something bitter. That makes the salty and sweet stand out." QSR Magazine (2/2016)
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Movers & Shakers
Food for Thought
If you don't make things happen, then things will happen to you."
-- Robert Collier,
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