Four Ways Changing Consumer Preferences Are Impacting Restaurants

Changing consumer preferences impact every facet of the economy but perhaps none quite so much as restaurants. Urbanization is seeing more consumers move to cities — as a result, restaurants are creating prototypes with smaller footprints and newer ways of dining (grocery delivery, kiosks, etc.) are stealing share from the

How Restaurant Chains Are Using Tech to Engineer Convenience Into the Dining Experience

As quick-service and full-service restaurants continue fighting for market share from fast-casual players, they are increasingly turning to tech, unveiling mobile order apps, bill-splitting technologies, and delivery to engineer more convenience into the dining experience (and add to their bottom lines in the process). Still, not all chains are on

Pizza and Healthy Foods Dominate the Fastest Growing Fast Casual Restaurants

In September 2017, Restaurant Business released its list of the top 25 Fastest Growing Fast Casual restaurant chains. The list was full of notable names, from sweetgreen to Blaze Pizza, and unveiled plenty of trends. The fast-casual segment’s growth hasn’t been as strong as in years past (more on that

U.S. Steakhouse Restaurant Sales: A Bright Spot In the Industry

Despite the recent struggles of some pockets of the restaurant industry, steakhouses have provided a bright spot in even the most dismal dining segments. While many Casual-Dining chains struggled, casual steakhouses came out on top. Fine-Dining chains (many of which are steakhouses) saw an uptick in sales, too. Steakhouses and

How Much Americans Spent at Restaurants So Far in 2017

How much Americans spend at restaurants has fluctuated over the years, but lately, the numbers have been increasingly positive. Historically, grocery stores have taken the largest share of this pie. But in May 2015, restaurant spend had surpassed grocery spend for the first time in recorded history. Those who had

Restaurant Food Commodities: Current Trends

Many restaurant chains have learned the importance of tracking food commodities the hard way, when disease or a shortage of a particular commodity have sent prices soaring. In 2013, for instance, Darden saw its food and beverage costs rise six percent (outpacing an increase in sales) in the wake of

How Restaurants Respond to Natural Disasters

As far as natural disasters go, Fall 2017 is off to a rough start. In August, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, stranding thousands in their homes, and leading to widespread flooding across densely populated areas like Houston. Just days later, the Category 5 Irma barreled toward Florida, leaving a

The Challenges Facing the Increasingly Crowded Pizza Segment

We’re currently seeing a whole host of pizza chains (from the household names like Domino’s and Pizza Hut to the rapidly-expanding fast-casual players) racing toward the same finish line. The sheer amount of pizza restaurants is a signal that some likely won’t finish the race, falling by the wayside as

Economic Factors Affecting the U.S. Restaurant Industry

A multitude of factors are currently affecting U.S. operators, from technological evolutions to shifts in dining behaviors. But some things never change: inflation, restaurant versus grocery prices, and consumer confidence will always have an impact on restaurant operators. Below, we delve into all of the above — plus highlight a

The Future of Foodservice Is Already Here

We’re currently in the midst of a fourth Industrial Revolution — one that’s bringing together digital, biological, and physical systems. What might have seemed Orwellian 25 years ago — sending a self-driving car to pick up a pizza, or wearing contact lenses that allow a maitre’d to immediately know your