Yogurt tops list of fastest-growing breakfast menu items

Posted by in Food, Marketing & Trends


Restaurants are appealing to consumers’ increased desire over the past five years for more healthful food at breakfast, while also targeting their desire for slightly exotic tastes and food that travels well, according to menu research firm Datassential.

Analyzing the more than 7,000 menus in its MenuTrends platform, Datassential reported that yogurt is now on 36 percent more breakfast menus than it was in 2008. That’s followed by frittatas, which are on considerably fewer menus than yogurt, but up by 31 percent nonetheless, thanks toconcepts such as LYFE Kitchen, which offers a low-calorie egg white frittata with vegetables, sausage and cheese.

Oatmeal is in the No. 3 spot in terms of growth — up by 15 percent — and tied for fourth place are two Mexican-American specialties, huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos.

Rounding out the top 10 are breakfast sandwiches, followed by traditional breakfast items such as corned beef hash, pancakes, eggs Benedict, and ham and eggs.




[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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What’s ahead for the restaurant industry in 2013

Posted by in Marketing & Trends


NRN editors take a look at menu, marketing, finance, technology and other trends expected for the restaurant industry in 2013.


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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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NRA: Foodservice sales to hit record $660B in 2013

Posted by in Marketing & Trends, Restaurants

The U.S. foodservice industry is expected to post its fourth consecutive year of sales growth in 2013, with an estimated 3.8-percent increase in sales to $660.5 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, which will be released today.

The sales expansion expected next year from the United States’ more than 980,000 restaurants followed this year’s growth of 4.2 percent, the largest growth year following the recession-driven declines of 2008 and 2009. In inflation-adjusted terms, real sales growth in 2013 would total 0.8 percent, following 2012 inflation-adjusted growth of 1.3 percent.

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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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Restaurants divided on mobile payments platforms

Posted by in Innovations, Restaurants

Gartner Group researchers are forecasting the worldwide value of transactions concluded using mobile-payment technologies will nearly quadruple by 2016, but that the platforms businesses use to enable such payments will remain fragmented in the near term. That fragmentation is currently visible in the restaurant industry, where companies are adopting or testing a variety of mobile payment platforms, including Square, the Isis Mobile Wallet and MCX.

Gartner anticipates that the value of worldwide mobile payment transactions will rise by 61.9 percent this year, to $171 billion, and will average 42-percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016. “We are forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016,” Sandy Shen, the company’s research director, said in a statement earlier this year.

Lee Holman, lead retail analyst for technology research house and consultancy IHL Group of Franklin, Tenn., noted that though there may be some additional security skittishness on the part of consumers involved, the development path and growing use of mobile payments appears to be similar to those of bank ATMs, store self-check-out and in-business kiosks, all of which “started slow, grew steadily and continue strong today.”

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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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10 ways to steal market share

Posted by in Food, Management, Restaurants

With restaurant-traffic growth predictions at less than 1 percent each year through 2019, the industry is forced to find sales volume from within — meaning competition is as fierce as ever.

Restaurant brands that expect increased customer counts and rising sales will in fact be taking customers from competitors, whether through the introduction of new dayparts, craveable menu items or value-driven pricing. It is a zero-sum game.

“The market share battle is won one unit at a time, one market at a time and one daypart at a time,” said Wally Doolin, founder of restaurant industry market research firm Black Box Intelligence, and former restaurant chief executive. “You really have to get that granular to have an impact.”

Nation’s Restaurant News collected ten strategies restaurants are successfully using to steal market share and drive sales.

1. Building a more relevant menu: Taco Bell has cited its Doritos Locos tacos as successfully driving sales, and may be counting on its celebrity-chef driven Cantina Bell menu to entice customers of competitors, like Chipotle or Qdoba.

2. Making new marketing moves: Perhaps one of the most important tools used to defend or drive market share, marketing efforts have helped restaurant brands like Wendy’s, Smashburger, and first-time national advertisers like Panera and Chipotle maintain or build customer bases.

3. Upselling current customers: Pricing menu items at value levels to drive guest traffic is one way to get people through the door, but upselling items is the needed step to drive sales. At the casual-dining Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, the restaurant chain’s new Big Tavern burgers and Tavern Double line are priced close to fast-casual burger prices, but include an option to “style” the burger with add-ons for $1.

4. Driving sales from the curb: Once just an option at quick-service restaurant brands, the drive thru is gaining ground among new players as a way to attract on-the-go consumers. Fast-casual brands like Panera and Einstein Bros. Bagels, as well as family-dining chain Shoney’s On The Go are testing drive thru locations.


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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]

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Monin Gourmet Flavorings Celebrates 100 Years With Drink Of The Century Contest

Posted by in Press Releases

Monin Gourmet Flavorings, the world’s leading provider of premium syrups and flavoring products, has been celebrating its centennial anniversary with special events and promotions throughout 2012.

To celebrate with the barista and bartender community worldwide, Monin has launched the Drink of the Century competition.  The search is on for the best drink recipe!

Visit www.drinkofthecentury.com  to submit your recipe or browse the creations for new ideas and vote on your favorite.  The 20 recipes with the highest number of public votes will be tasted and judged by a 5-star jury comprised of the best baristas and bartenders from around the world.  The ultimate winner will receive an iPad and runners up are eligible for other prizes.

With over 200 flavoring products including premium Syrups, Sauces, Purees and Smoothie Mixes, Monin Gourmet Flavorings offers an exceptional variety of flavors for any type of beverage.  Let your imagination run wild with the recipes you can create with all these options!

Founded in 1912 in Bourges, France by entrepreneur Georges Monin and family-owned for three generations, Monin has built an international company renowned for its quality products, innovative marketing and exceptional customer service.

With a 100-year foundation of offering quality products and service, Monin is well-positioned to launch more new and innovative products for the beverage industry throughout the next century.  For more information on any Monin product or their special centennial events and promotions, call 800-966-5225 or visit www.monin.com or www.facebook.com/monin.official.


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What restaurants have food that consumers crave the most and where are they most likely to return? The survey results are in.

Posted by in Press Releases

Nation’s Restaurant News and WD Partners’ second annual Consumer Picks survey reveals how diners really feel about restaurant brands

The results of the 2012 Consumer Picks survey were unveiled in the August 6 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News. Consumers rated brands in ten areas including food quality, value, cleanliness, likelihood to return and, a new category, “craveability.”

Restaurants with the best “craveability” scores:

  • Cracker Barrel – midscale/family restaurant
  • Cheesecake Factory – casual dining restaurant
  • Marble Slab Creamery – snack brands
  • In-N-Out Burger – limited service restaurant

Highest rated in “likelihood to return”:

  • Cracker Barrel – midscale/family restaurant
  • Mellow Mushroom – casual dining restaurant
  • Rita’s Italian Ice – snack brands
  • Papa Murphy’s Take & Bake – limited service restaurant

“Because of the success of last year’s survey, we were encouraged to make this year’s review bigger and better,” said Dennis Lombardi, Executive Vice President of Foodservice Strategies at WD Partners. In its second year, the 2012 Consumer Picks survey has added 13 new restaurants and a new fine-dining category to give the restaurant industry more well-rounded insight into customer perspectives.

The survey canvassed more than 6,800 customers, to evaluate 152 restaurants in the limited-service, casual-, fine- and family-dining restaurant segments. Consumers were asked to evaluate brands they had visited at least once in the past six months to determine brand strengths and weaknesses relative to industry competitors.

Major findings point to the importance of differentiation, staying true to a core philosophy and delivering on the reputation for an exceptional experience.

The Consumer Picks results are further detailed in the August 6 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News, the restaurant industry’s most respected source of business intelligence, and at www.nrn.com/consumer-picks. Along with performance rankings, the NRN issue will include articles on the attributes that contribute to sales in each of the segments, with insights and commentary from NRN as well as WD Partners’ resident foodservice expert, Dennis Lombardi.

Note to editors: Additional information and videos of Dennis Lombardi, EVP Foodservice strategies at WD Partners, can be found at www.nrn.com/consumer-picks.

About WD Partners

WD Partners is a customer experience expert that helps global food and retail brands. Research conducted by WD Partners’ Insights group is part of the company’s integrated approach to enhancing shoppers’ experiences and brand performance. For more information, please visit www.wdpartners.com.

About Nation’s Restaurant News

For more than 40 years, Nation’s Restaurant News has been the #1 source of business intelligence for the restaurant industry. Today, offering information solutions for changing times, NRN is the media brand professionals trust to help them tackle the challenges facing the foodservice business. For operators, NRN provides a one-stop resource for the most industry coverage in whatever formats they prefer, whether print or digital, web-based or at events. For suppliers, NRN’s audience-rich portfolio of print, digital and live-event products provides the reach, access and flexibility needed to open doors and grow their businesses. For more information on NRN, visit www.nrn.com.

Available Topic Expert: For information on the listed expert, click appropriate link.

Dennis Lombardi


SOURCE WD Partners


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