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Executive Insights

Dean Poll: A New York Restaurateur At The Center Of It All

Dean Poll determinedly runs a tight ship at the Boathouse, the famous fine-dining restaurant set amid the bucolic surroundings of New York’s Central Park.The iconic restaurant and banquet facility, which boasts outdoor dining along with unrivaled views of the lake in Central Park, has been the setting for myriad weddings big and small, has served as the backdrop for many a movie filmed on location in New York City, and has catered to the needs of locals and tourists alike looking to experience high-end dining in the most picturesque location the city has to offer.

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery: A Serious Business With a Cheeky Edge

Tilted Kilt is expanding and by the end of this summer, will have a total of 72 restaurants—10 of them in Chicago, making the Windy City the restaurant chain’s largest market.There are restaurants in 18 states and Ron Lynch, president of the company says he “can easily see 300 in the U.

Johnny Rockets Grows Up

The iconic Americana chain, known for its dancing staff, old-school ambiance, and juicy hamburgers and hand-dipped shakes, turned 25 on this week. To celebrate, had a chat with John Fuller, president and CEO, about the past, present, and future of the brand.

Double The Locations, Double The Success?

Galen Zamarra opened Mas (farmhouse) in the West Village in New York in 2004 and turned this high-end French Provençal eatery into a success. Seven years later, he faced a major decision that many chef/owners confront: Should he open a second restaurant and if he did, how could he maintain the quality of the first?Finally determining that the timing was right, Zamarra is opening Mas (la grillade) in the West Village this summer.

Selective Staffing at III Forks Steakhouse

Tommy Nevill interviewed 3,000 people for 50 available positions before III Forks Prime Steakhouse opened in Hallandale, Florida, in February 2010 but it was worth the work: 70 percent of employees from opening day are still with the restaurant.

LIVE: Purpose, Value Help Nick's to 25% Turnover

Nick Sarillo, owner of Crystal Lake, Illinois–based Nick’s Pizza & Pub, told Food News Media at the 2011 NRA Show in Chicago that an intense commitment to brand culture and values among his workers has helped build business and keep his employee turnover around 25 percent.

Nick Kokonas’ Next Big Thing

It is customary to buy tickets in advance for the opera, theater and sporting events. Now one Chicago restaurant is following suit by requiring its customers to prepay.Next restaurant opened earlier this month with a totally new concept.

Chef Melissa Trimmer Talks Dessert with RMGT*

Melissa Trimmer is the new executive pastry chef at C-House, the restaurant at Affinia Chicago hotel, which is owned by Top Chef master Marcus Samuelsson.Having worked in kitchens since she was 15, Trimmer has a world of experience.

Dawn Sweeney Gets Industry Back On Track

As soon as Dawn Sweeney joined the National Restaurant Association as president and CEO in October 2007, she was thrown into the fire and had to figure a way out.That fire was, of course, the recession.

All the World's a Stage at First & Hope

Timing is of the essence at First & Hope Supper Club in Los Angeles.This year-old restaurant, which opened April 15, 2010, caters largely to a crowd of theatergoers, so often needs to provide a fine-dining experience in just 45 minutes.

One CEO’s Big Plan for Global Seafood Trade

Last month, the Seafood Choices Alliance selected Steve Phillips, president and CEO of Phillips Foods, Inc., as a 2011 winner of its sixth annual Seafood Champions Award.Since the 1990s, Phillips has worked to establish a thriving blue swimming crab industry in Asia that is now on the path to sustainability.

Trust Her Instincts: An Interview with Ris Lacoste

To say Ris Lacoste trusts her gut is probably an understatement. In a career spanning continents, coasts, and all sorts of culinary tastes, Lacoste has lived by the simple rule of instinct.It’s certainly served her well.

Boy Wonder: Spike Mendelsohn

Spike Mendelsohn is a reality TV star. For those who watch Top Chef, he needs little introduction. After eight seasons, the Bravo hit series just wrapped an all-star version of its famous competition show where cheftestants are pitted against each other to earn industry respect, cash prizes, and, perhaps most importantly, national exposure.