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Executive Insights

FSR 50: Top 10 Family-Dining Chains

Family dining—typically defined by check averages below $12 and with very limited or no alcohol service—faces an all-out battle for relevancy amid sharpening competition and shifting consumer-dining habits.

IFMA Awards Coveted Gold Plate to John Metz, Jr.

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) named John C. Metz, Jr., CEO, executive chef, and co-founder of Sterling Hospitality, the winner of its coveted Gold Plate award.  In its 59th year, IFMA’s Gold & Silver Plate awards recognize leading foodservice operators who have contributed to the advancement of their individual segments and to the foodservice industry as a whole.

Casual Dining Makeover

“How do you go from $113 per head at Morton’s Steak House to $18 per head at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill?” That’s the question Christopher J. Artinian—who became president and CEO of Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill last summer after serving in the same capacity at Morton’s Restaurant Group—hears frequently.

Leaders Learn from One Another

Gender inequality has rarely been a personal soapbox for me—I grew up with four brothers and learned early on to ignore the odds and just assert myself.But sometimes statistics give me pause. A newscast last month noted the national gap in gender pay is roughly 23 percent; so I went digging for details.

7 Innovations of Highly Imaginative Restaurants

Long before any foodservice trend goes mainstream, visionary chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists are crafting unique offerings to entice, energize, and entertain American diners. At the point of inception, foodservice trends often gain traction at fine-dining establishments or in authentic ethnic eateries—environments where convention is more easily challenged and imagination can flourish independent of systemized operations.

Al Fresco Dining’s Allure

Dining at its finest is found in dramatic outdoor settings that simply cannot be replicated within the confines of a walled and roofed structure. Even the most opulent interior design fails to achieve the splendor of a desert sunset, and no amount of indoor originality can compare to the liberating rooftop view of a cityscape or the simple pleasures of dining alongside a gently lapping river.

Women's Foodservice Forum Meets with White House Staff

On February 20th,  the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) brought more than 30 women executives from the foodservice industry to the White House to forge a strategic alliance between key business leaders and the White House.

Expanding with Partners

The cliché that too many cooks may spoil the soup ironically doesn’t always apply to restaurant operations. A lot of cooks—and in this business those cooks can be restaurant operators, investors, or indeed the chefs—can make the restaurant run more smoothly, have greater financial backing, and lead to expansion.

Jazzing Up New Orleans

Ralph Brennan personifies fine food and New Orleans charm, easily qualifying him as the perfect ambassador for The Big Easy. As one of America’s leading restaurateurs, Brennan heads The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, which boasts such well-received New Orleans concepts as Red Fish Grill, Ralph’s on the Park, Heritage Grill, café b, Café NOMA, and Ralph Brennan Catering & Events.

Sally Smith Riding High At Buffalo Wild Wings

Sally SmithTitle: President and chief executiveAge:54Concept, headquarters location: Buffalo Wild Wings, Minneapolis, MNNumber of Units: More than 840 restaurantsHometown: Grand Forks, North DakotaEducation: University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting.

Bleu Restaurant Eschews Hotel Link

Bleu Restaurant & Lounge is inside the Westin Hotel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, but is not a part of it.And making that point to consumers has been a huge part of the marketing for this 11-month old restaurant.

Bar 145 To Franchise

Franchising is on the horizon for an Ohio gastropub.Bar 145 opened in Toledo in May 2011 and will open its second corporate store this fall. The first franchise location will likely open around 18 months after that.

Women's Foodservice Forum Kicks Off

The Women's Foodservice Forum's (WFF) annual Exective Summit kicked off last night, starting with a panel discussion with industry insiders Jean Birch, president of IHOP Restaurants; John Buckles, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Ventura Foods; and Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby's Restaurant Group.