July 2018 | Food Newsfeed
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July 2018

Squeezed by Labor, Texas Roadhouse Won't Change What it Stands For

Texas Roadhouse has battled labor inflation for some time now. That’s not an uncommon thread throughout the industry, especially as unemployment continues to drop and the market tightens. Brands have lifted prices, or turned to technology, like kiosks and tablets, to lessen the burden in many cases.

US Foods Buying SGA’s Food Group of Companies for $1.8B in Cash

US Foods announced July 30 it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire five operating companies collectively known as SGA’s Food Group of Companies for $1.8 billion in cash. Scottsdale, Arizona-based SGA’s Food Group of Companies generated combined 2017 net sales of $3.

The Reason Outback's Success Story has Staying Power

To peek into the nature of Outback’s shifting business, the word “discount” was mentioned 18 times during Monday’s second-quarter conference call. In this case, it was used to illustrate how the iconic steakhouse has redirected a strategy once featured without pause in casual dining.

Online Fraud is Growing for Restaurants. Here's How to Stop It

Our world becomes increasingly more digital by the day, and consumer expectations are shifting as a result. This opens up exciting new ways for brands to interact with customers. Full-service restaurants like TGI Fridays are seeing traction with their digital ordering apps, and grocery delivery services are now becoming the norm rather than the exception.

BJ's is Officially One of the Hottest Restaurants in America

The calendar might say one thing, but BJ’s Restaurants' struggles feel like they were ages ago. Since the third quarter of fiscal 2017, which ended October 3, 2017, the 200-unit chain has transformed from a brand on a six-quarter negative sales streak into one of the hottest concepts in casual dining.

Del Frisco's Taps Fresh Marketing Chief as 'New Era' Begins

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group has a new chief marketing officer to lead its growing portfolio. The company announced July 25 that Mia Meachem, formerly the marketing leader at Highland Park Village, is joining the company to direct Del Frisco’s overall marketing, innovation, and consumer engagement strategy.

Former Cheddar's CEO Named President of Maggiano’s

In a move to further “differentiate and perfect the guest experience at Maggiano’s,” Brinker International tapped industry vet Kelly C. Baltes as the next president of the 52-unit Italian chain.Baltes will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of Maggiano’s restaurants, including strategies and future growth of the brand, the parent company of Chili’s said in a release.

6 Ways to Mac ’n Cheese

Beyond what mom made, chefs are transforming this creamy, gooey dish into something imaginative. Here are a few thought-provoking mac ingredients crafting comforting, cheesy bites. 1. ChocolateMixing in international influence, chef and owner of Boston’s The Lower Depths, Brian Poe, creates depth through Taza: a Massachusetts-made chocolate with Mexican ingredients.

‘Cool’ Down Your Beverage Menu with Ice Wine

Made from late-harvest grapes that have frozen on the vine, ice wine is a sweeter, slightly thicker drink generally enjoyed with—or as—dessert. Known as eiswine in German, this sugary concoction requires patience and remains notoriously difficult for winemakers to perfect, which bumps up the cost.

A Longtime Caterer Returns to Her Restaurant Roots

While some chefs explode onto the dining scene fairly early in their careers, Chef Coleen Speaks’ emergence into the spotlight has been more of a slow burn. Speaks has been in the industry since she was 15 and over the years has cut her teeth at such noteworthy establishments as Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA Restaurant, Raleigh, North Carolina’s Bloomsbury Bistro, and Ashley Christensen’s Enoteca Vin.

The Refresh of Brio Tuscan Grille, Bravo Cucina Gets Underway

Following the $100 million sale of 110-unit Bravo Brio Restaurant Group to Spice Private Equity, a Swiss subsidiary of investment firm GP Investments, American restaurateur Bradley D. Blum and the Brazilian-based firm announced the formation of a new restaurant company, FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc.

Want to Serve Food Fast? Don't Hand-Label Prepared Foods

Millennials, one of the fastest growing consumer groups, often want their food fast, though not necessarily fast food.In fact, they eat more meals in restaurants and have purchased more prepared foods than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to analyst Bernstein, a global asset management firm, which recently pulled data from the U.

Butcher & Banker: A 'Steak-easy' with Architectural Currency

When restaurateur Alex Sgourdos approached consultant Michael Whiteman for advice on whether he should transform an underground bank vault into a restaurant, Whiteman’s answer was an absolute yes.What’s now known as Butcher & Banker was formerly a 1930s bank.

Darden Execs at Cheddar's, Seasons 52 Leave Company

Darden has been up front about its struggles with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. The casual chain, purchased for $780 million last April, was the only concept in Darden’s eight-brand portfolio to report negative same-store sales in the fourth quarter at negative 4.