Ever since the word “mixology” entered the bar and restaurant lexicon, beverages have started to move from sideshow to center stage. This trend shows no sign of slowing, with more restaurants adding show-stopping drinks, and more beverage-centric concepts emerging on the scene.
Hard cider plays into an almost overwhelming number of contemporary trends with its fresh connotations, unique flavors, gluten-free status, and low calorie and ABV levels when compared to other alcoholic options.
The sound of bubbly being uncorked is as closely linked with the winter holidays—from New Year’s to Valentine’s Day—as gift exchanges and sweet treats. But even with the long-held tradition of festive sipping, a restaurateur’s continued challenge is to get customers to think outside of the box with food pairings.
Greg Dunkling’s craft beer roots track back to the early 1980s, when, like many of the aspiring professionals he meets at the University of Vermont, he was a home brewer with dreams of one day making it big.
“The main thing is,” explains Sarah Marshall, “How do we make the food taste better?”Since becoming wine director at Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, early this year, Marshall has been in the process of adjusting the restaurant’s beer menu to better support the Mediterranean-style fare.
Whether operators are looking to stock up on the essentials, from footwear to tableware, or seeking out the next breakthrough technology, this bountiful collection brings together a variety of the best products introduced into the restaurant industry over the last 18 months.
There was a time when chipped ice was reserved for highbrow balls or haughty Hollywood sets featuring debutantes, mobsters, or the Victorian aristocracy. Now the craft cocktail movement and its populist overtones have brought the elevation of cocktail ice to a fever pitch.
Making history came with a welcomed price for Ava. In the six years since The Tampa Bay Times began using stars to rate restaurants, no establishment had garnered enough praise to warrant a four-star review.
Even for Green Flash Brewing Co. out of San Diego, a brewery that’s broadened its distribution territory from around a dozen states to all 50 in the past three years, tap takeovers remain a great way to captivate new customers, an engagement that benefits the restaurant hosting the tap takeover as much as it does the brewery.
What, pray tell, is a micro-chain? Fair question, with a fairly obvious answer: A micro-chain has fewer units than most chains. For the FSR ranking of Top 10 High-Performing Micros, we focused on chains with five to nine units in the U.
To identify the Top 10 regional chains, FSR started with brands that had at least 10 locations at the end of 2014, were located in a concentrated geographic area or region, and had systemwide sales that approached $100 million—and in three instances, topped the $200 million mark.
The average unit volume of the full-service chains in this year’s Top 10 list ranged from $8 million to nearly $15 million—impressive by any standard, but particularly noteworthy when viewed alongside other high performers in the industry.
Variety may be the spice of life, but it also appears to be the stimulator of growth. FSR’s list of Top 10 Fast-Growing, High-Performing Full-Service Chains includes a wide array of concepts that dramatically increased sales from 2013 to 2014.
This is the powerhouse list of groups that own and operate the industry’s highest-performing full-service chains. Ranked based on the group’s 2014 U.S. sales, each parent company owns at least two chains and more than 40 brands are represented in this who’s who of chain operators.