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Research Predicts Labor Day Dining Trends

Food plays a central role in outdoor and vacation activities in the summer time, and new research by the National Restaurant Association shows that: 35 percent of consumers say they will dine out and/or use restaurant takeout or delivery for a picnic, cookout, or outdoor event this Labor Day weekendOne in five consumers (20 percent) ordered restaurant takeout or delivery for an outdoor dining occasion during the summer months66 percent went on a summer vacation or trip during which they visited a restaurant.

Rebrand Comes Up Trumps

Understanding its core clientele and its branding message has been essential to the success of Axiom Sushi in Dallas.This 220-seat restaurant opened last September as Fin Sushi Lounge in the Oak Lawn/Turtle Creek neighborhood.

Hooters Execs Leave En Masse For Twin Peaks

Executives are leaving Hooters en masse to join rival restaurant chain Twin Peaks.Less than three months after Addison, Texas-based Twin Peaks named former Hooters CEO Rick Akam as its COO, an investment group led by former Hooters executives has signed a series of development agreements.

Insider’s View on Managing Fast Casual, Casual

As president of the Bistro Group, which owns 31 T.G.I. Friday’s and five McAlister’s Delis, Jeff Ritson has unique insight into both the fast-casual and the casual dining categories. He says the economy has forced the two to change in ways that shave away some of their differences.

Restaurant Units Decline From 2010 Count

U.S. restaurant unit counts declined by 2 percent, or a loss of 9,450 restaurants, based on the most recent restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s Spring 2011 ReCount, which is a census of commercial restaurant locations in the United States compiled in the spring and fall each year, finds most of the total unit declines were independent restaurants, 8,650 of which closed in the census period.

Better Burgers Category Gets Even Better

Burger concepts are a dime a dozen these days, offering high-end burgers that diners can customize to suit their own preferences.Southfield, Michigan-based Bagger Dave’s is helping fuel the better-burger category but it’s offering several things that the other burger restaurants mostly aren’t: table service.

Why Matchbox’s Small Business is on Fire

Perry Smith understands how to grow a brand.Nearly ten years ago, four men sat down to talk about opening a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Smith, Drew Kim, and brothers Mark and Ty Neal had expansive ideas about brands – pizzas from custom-made ovens, upscale diners, hot dogs piled with nuclear green relish – but the mood in the capital was uncertain.

Management Style Turnaround Leads To Growing Company

Andy’s Burgers, Shakes & Fries is about to cross state lines.The Goldsboro, North Carolina-based casual dining company has 98 locations throughout its home state — 48 corporately owned and 50 franchised, and founder and president Kenney Moore says it’s time to grow even more.

Hotel Foodservice Industry Reinvents Itself

Few industries were hit as hard by the recession as the hotel foodservice market, which saw revenues bottom out in 2009 as consumers and businesses cut back on travel and travel-related expenditures such as foodservice and entertainment.

Mad Dogs Venture Out Into The Midday Sun

Mad Dogs go out in the midday sun, according to the 1931 poem by Noel Coward, and the modern day Mad Dogs British Pub is about to expand under the suns of many states.The San Antonio, Texas-based restaurant not only made it through the past two years intact but it’s done it well, with sales in 2010 standing at 10 percent higher than ’09 (which was flat) and it’s had four of its best months ever this year.

With Calif. Opening, Red Robin Aids Missing Children Nonprofit

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is weeks away from bringing its gourmet burgers to the Los Angeles-area in Lakewood. On Monday, July 25, at 11 a.m, Red Robin will open its newest Red Robin, located at 112 Lakewood Center Mall, at the Lakewood Center Mall next to Macy’s.

Tuscon Brings Lucky No. 3 for Brio in Arizona

BRIO Tuscan Grille, a BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group concept, opened its first Tucson, Arizona, location at the Tucson Mall, making it the third Arizona location for the concept.BRIO Tuscan Grille, an upscale affordable restaurant serving authentic northern Italian cuisine, currently has locations at San Tan Village in Gilbert and at Scottsdale Quarter, both in Arizona.

VooDoo BBQ Casts A Spell on the Carolinas

The spirit and flavor of New Orleans are moving beyond the Louisiana borders, thanks to VooDoo BBQ & Grill.The barbecue chain—which first opened its doors on St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras 2002—has signed a licensing agreement with Kerr Management to open eight new stores in the Carolinas, marking VooDoo’s first foray outside of Louisiana.

BJ's Goes for Three in Sin City

BJ's Restaurants announced the opening of its newest restaurant in Las Vegas on June 20, 2011. The new BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is the latest addition to the one million-square-foot Centennial Center in northwest Las Vegas.

25 Original Italian Pies Set to Open

According to CNN, regional European menu items, including Italian cuisine, are one of the Top 10 Food and Drink Trends for 2011.Recognizing the consumer's desire for a concept that offers a variety of fresh and delicious Italian fare, Big Game Brands, formerly Raving Brands, recently purchased New Orleans favorite The Original Italian Pie and announced plans to expand the concept throughout the Southeast.