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Rachel Taylor

Chili's Reinvests Big in Operations and Labor

One of the biggest factors driving Chili’s recent traffic boom is refined operations. That was a key component of the Brinker chain’s decision to slash 40 percent of its menu about a year ago.Guests recognize consistency and improvements.

Golden Corral’s New Prototype Propels Brand into the Future

In order to keep up with the growing competition and draw a younger crowd, Golden Corral is undergoing the company’s largest redesign yet as it aims to revamp the look and feel of its restaurants.When the 46-year-old company unveiled its refined, modern look last year the initial response was “overwhelmingly positive,” Golden Corral president and CEO Lance Trenary told FSR recently at the company’s Raleigh, North Carolina, headquarters.

The Old Spaghetti Factory Turns 50 in Style

In the restaurant industry, where concepts often burn out in less than a year, making it to five years—or even a decade—is a monumental feat. The Old Spaghetti Factory is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Hwy 55's Braille Menu Sparks a Movement

One person's decision to improve another person's life, no matter how small, can have a ripple effect they never saw coming. One act of kindness that is making waves across the restaurant industry began at a Hwy 55 restaurant in Huntington, West Virginia.

NYPD Closes Mario Batali Sexual Misconduct Investigations

On January 9, the New York Police Department closed its investigations into chef and restaurateur Mario Batali without filing charges, reported CNN.A law enforcement official told CNN one of the cases the NYPD’s Special Victims Division was investigating was still within the statute of limitations, however “the NYPD was not able to develop probable cause in either of the two cases.

Kona Grill Founder Marcus Jundt Takes Over as Sole CEO

Kona Grill is undergoing another major change at the beginning of 2019. The contemporary American grill and sushi bar’s co-chief executive officer, Steve Schussler, announced January 11 that he was resigning from his executive position and the company’s board of directors.

Emerging Chain Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Sold to Firm

J.H. Whitney Capital Partners announced January 8 it completed a transaction to acquire the majority interest in Charlotte-based Firebirds International, LLC. Financial details and terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the company said in a statement.

P. F. Chang’s Nears $700 Million Sale

Private equity firm TriArtisan Capital Advisors is in talks with Centerbridge Partners to acquire P.F. Chang’s for $700 million, according to a Bloomberg report.Centerbridge acquired the Asian chain in 2012 along with fast casual Pei Wei in a deal valued at $1.

Kona Grill Hit With Nasdaq Delisting Notification

Kona Grill’s road to becoming America’s best happy hour could face a roadblock. The Nasdaq Stock Market notified Kona Grill it failed to comply with market rules and could be delisted.On January 4, the Arizona-based company filed documents, which notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company received a deficiency notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Breaking Down Minimum Wage Hikes in 2019

The future of the federal minimum wage rate is always a means of debate. It remains $7.25 per hour, with no real clear path forward, although many pundits expect it to eventually rise. For now, though, 2019 brought minimum wage hikes in more than a dozen states and cities.

Fogo de Chão Names Barry McGowan New CEO

After 11 years leading Fogo de Chão, chief executive officer Larry Johnson is retiring from the position on December 31, the company announced. At the beginning of 2019, the Brazilian steakhouse’s current president, Barry McGowan, will move into the CEO role and join the board of directors.