Consumers' changing lifestyles fuel restaurant growth | Denny's new videos come with free "breakfast accessories" | Cracker Barrel to debut fast-casual Holler & Dash
 
 
February 22, 2016
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Consumers' changing lifestyles fuel restaurant growth
Restaurant and bar sales grew 8% last year compared to the previous year, more than twice the growth rate of overall retail sales, and eateries added 47,000 jobs in January, according to the Labor Department. Dining out is increasingly shifting from a special occasion to a routine event, as young people put off marriage and children longer and busy professionals let others do the cooking, analysts said. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/Tribune Media Services (2/19)
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Second Fry, First Choice
When guests upgrade their fry order, they want to know it's worth it. McCain® Redstone Canyon® Fries are made with a signature blend of savory seasonings, creating a striking plate presence and balanced flavor that makes guests take notice. Watch Our Video.
 
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Denny's new videos come with free "breakfast accessories"
Denny's Grand Slams shirt
(YouTube)
The latest videos in the Denny's "Grand Slams" series are part of a new social campaign that includes free hoodies, T-shirts and other "breakfast accessories." The videos mimic a home-shopping screen, and brand fans can request the freebies by texting item names and numbers. MediaPost Communications (2/18)
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Cracker Barrel to debut fast-casual Holler & Dash
Cracker Barrel will roll out a new fast-casual concept called Holler & Dash this spring, with the first unit set to open in Homewood, Ala. The new concept will maintain the company's signature Southern cuisine style while taking it to new urban audiences, said Holler & Dash COO Mike Chissler. CSP (2/19), The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (2/18)
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VEGETABLES TAKE CENTER STAGE
It's official. Vegetables have moved to the center of the plate. In the newest Technomic Operator Assessment, nearly half of respondents reported an increase in vegetable usage due to customer demand for healthier menu items. Read about more vegetable trends like this in the "Viva la Veggies" report here.
 
Leading Voices
Cutting food waste starts with knowing what you have
American restaurants, consumers and foodservice operations could feed 25 million more people annually if they cut food waste by about 15%, according to US government data. Tech solutions that allow for accurate measurement of ingredients may be key to helping eateries cut waste. "If you aren't accurately measuring what's coming in and what's being thrown out, you can't build a waste reduction strategy," said Laura Abshire, NRA's director of sustainability and policy. FoodSafetyNews.com (2/22)
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Food brands find ways to make mobile connections
Food retailers and packaged food brands have a large and growing array of mobile options to choose from, and they're working to tailor their mobile offerings to meet customers' needs, experts said at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show last month. Finding a balance between reaching customers where they are and not overwhelming them to the point that your message is lost is vital to mobile success, said Tim Burke, director of category leadership at Kraft Heinz. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (2/22)
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Culinary Spotlight
Chefs put regional spin on chilaquiles
Mexican chilaquiles are a popular dish in Washington, D.C., where chefs use a range of recipes from different regions of Mexico. At Oyamel, the egg-topped dish is served at brunch with salsa ranchera, chorizo, epazote oil and melted Chihuahua cheese. "This style is definitely going to root more toward Oaxaca, Puebla, Mexico City style," said chef Colin King. "Things are a little more rich. It's going to be a little more different than you see in the north. Vastly different than Yucatan." The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/16)
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Simple, vegetable-based dishes are the backbone of Calif. cuisine
Travis Lett's cookbook "Gjelina: Cooking From Venice, California" is a collection of recipes from the chef's relaxed but stylish Venice Beach restaurant. Lett builds his recipes around contrasting flavors and textures to create memorable, vegetable-centric dishes such as grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter and roasted cauliflower with garlic, parsley and vinegar. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (2/18)
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Food for Thought
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right."
-- Ashleigh Brilliant,
writer and cartoonist
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