Analysts: Restaurant sales rise as tax refunds catch up

Posted by in Marketing & Trends, Restaurants

With the federal government beginning to catch up on delayed income tax refunds, consumers are likely loosening the purse strings that have choked restaurant sales in January and February, research analysts say.

Piper Jaffray analysts issued an industry note this week citing that tax refund activity through March 15 was higher than comparable weeks in the prior year.

“We believe retailers serving lower- to middle-income consumers that were weighed down by delayed federal income tax refunds in late January and the first half of February have likely seen an improvement in sales trends in recent weeks,” the report said.

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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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What a minimum wage hike could cost restaurants

Posted by in Management, Restaurants

Restaurant brands’ response to President Obama’s call for a raise in the federal minimum wage thus far has been muted, but industry watchers said the proposal would likely cause labor pains for foodservice companies if it becomes law.

In his Feb. 12 State of the Union address, President Obama suggested the federal rate move from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour. The federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 in 2009, while the federal tipped minimum wage for servers has remained at $2.13 since 1991. Currently, 19 states have their minimum wages set at both federal levels, while the remaining 31 states and District of Columbia are a patchwork of their own minimum rates, including 10 states that tie their minimum wages to inflation, as the president has proposed for the federal rates.

Several public restaurant companies have reported earnings since the president’s address, but leaders of those companies did not directly comment on the proposal during their conference calls and instead voiced concerns over other macroeconomic challenges.

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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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Rewards temper risks for restaurants opening in New York

Posted by in Food, Restaurants

Pie Face, Fatburger, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Chipotle Mexican Grill discuss the challenges and benefits of operating restaurants in Manhattan

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Survey: Restaurant workforce challenges continue in 1Q

Posted by in Food

The People Report Workforce Index showed the biggest dip since the fourth quarter of 2011

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How Facebook’s Graph Search could affect restaurants

Posted by in Marketing & Trends, Restaurants

Operators, marketers debate whether the new search feature could overtake Yelp.

 

 

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Restaurants gear up for Super Bowl with bundled meals

Posted by in Food, Marketing & Trends, Restaurants

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While Papa John’s is once again having a major pizza giveaway as the official restaurant sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLVII, other restaurant chains are not stuck on the bench. Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Chipotle and Dickey’s are all leveraging bundled meals and combos to help boost sales leading up to the big game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens on Feb. 3.

The three major chains in the Yum! Brands Inc. portfolio have advertised combo deals for sports fans all January. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell once again are marketing their Big Dinner Box and Taco 12 Pack, respectively, and this year sibling brand KFC has made a bigger play for sports-viewing business with the Gameday Bucket.

The $19.99 limited-time offer combines eight pieces of chicken, eight Hot Wings and 10 Original Recipe Bites, and KFC is supporting the Gameday Bucket with its marketing campaign to become the official sponsor of “couchgating.”

“When having people over to watch the big game, we know that people only get one shot at impressing their friends and family,” Jason Marker, KFC’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “That’s why KFC is coming to the rescue with the Gameday Bucket. It’s food worthy of the game.”

 

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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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Can restaurants crack the superfood code?

Posted by in Food, Restaurants

According to everyone from nutritionists to weightlifters to life extension fanatics to hypochondriacs, superfoods are the best things people can put into their bodies. But taste and texture issues make it difficult for restaurants to feature superfoods as ingredients. A handful of independents have been working on a solution, but now 100-unit First Watch is taking a crack at selling superfood-based items in a casual dining setting.

 

 


[ Reposted with permission from Restaurant Hospitality ]

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