For the first time in four years, the restaurant industry will experience real growth, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2011 Forecast.
Although the business climate seems to be improving, relief appears to be a ways off for foodservice operators.
The gastro-pub continues to gain momentum as a conceptual trend by combining gourmet, chef-driven foods in a pubby, bar-focused space.
CPK, LongHorn Steakhouse, P.F. Chang's, Pizza Inn and Wendy's/Arby's all reported operating updates this past week.
Indianpolis-based Vanco, a commercial foodservice equipment service agency, is under new ownership.
While the majority of the foodservice industry took its lumps during the U.S. recession, the fast-casual segment remained resilient. In fact, the segment enjoyed a 4.5 percent increase in sales in 2009, according to Technomic, a Chicago-based market research firm. While the segment did benefit from consumers trading down, its success was also due to operators' willingness to continue to develop their menu mix to meet consumers' ever-evolving tastes. Take, for example, Camille's Sidewalk Café.
A group of seasoned foodservice professionals have joined forces to join Culinary Equipment Group, a multiple-line manufacturers' rep group.
Owners since 1984, the Brooks family has sold its ownership of Hooters.
Domino's, CPK, The Cheesecake Factory, Energy Kitchen and Greenz all announced expansion news.
Qdoba Mexican Grill promoted a pair in its restaurant operations department and an other in the area of franchise development.
In a January 2011 Board of Directors Meeting, the National Restaurant Association introduced three new officers.
In an attempt to drive shareholder value, according to a company release, Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEN), is exploring strategic alternatives for Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc., including a sale of the brand. A quick-service sandwich chain, Arby's operates nearly 3,700 restaurants. In contrast, Wendy's operates 6,500 restaurants in more than 20 companies.
According to Technomic's Generational Consumer Trend Report, the Millennial generation, aged 18 to 33, rivals the Baby Boomer generation in size. As a result, restaurant chains are adjusting their tactics to make their foodservice operations more appealing to this sizable demographic.
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