March 2018 | Food Newsfeed
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March 2018

Can a Revitalized Outback Get Even Better in 2018?

Bloomin’ Brands CEO Liz Smith called the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 “an excellent finish” to the year for the company’s concepts, especially its flagship—Outback Steakhouse. While comparable same-store sales growth of 4.

Bringing Big-City to the Neighborhood

Even as a kid, Jason Smith loved going to restaurants. After a long car ride with his dad from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Raleigh, they’d stop to get something to eat. It was the excitement about the experience that first piqued Smith’s interest in the business.

In Tech Era, Why Service is More Important than Ever for Restaurants

In many businesses—perhaps best exemplified by Amazon—artificial intelligence and data analytics are driving the way to capture audience and boost revenue. And while these technological tools have their place in restaurants, some owners contend that old-fashioned customer service, getting to know your clientele and making them feel special, counteract the increased competition from prepared meals and at-home delivery services.

Shareable Tea Punch

Meet the growing demand for seasonable, shareable mocktails with this sublime blend of Red Diamond's Tropical Temptations Blackberry Tea and grenadine.

McDonald's Vet Joins Applebee's in Analytics Role

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar announced Steve Levigne has joined its growing executive team as vice president of insights and analytics. Representing the eyes, ears and heartbeat of the brand, Levigne will help ensure Applebee's remains guest-focused across all brand initiatives.

Crafting a Beverage Menu with a Sense of Place

I don’t know what I expected as a Kentuckian traveling in bourbon country, but I liked what I found in Chef Newman Miller, the co-owner and partner at the Harrison-Smith House restaurant in Bardstown, Kentucky and Maker’s Mark’s chef-in-residence at the Star Hill Provisions restaurant on the distillery’s property.

Del Frisco's Brilliant Marketing Strategy Starts at the Top

Editor’s note: This is the latest monthly column with Rom Krupp, the founder and CEO of Marketing Vitals, an analytics software helping restaurants of all shapes and sizes. You can read his column on Twin Peaks here, Abuelo's here, Kenny's Restaurant Group here, Sonny’s BBQ here, Boston's here, and Hopdoddy Burger Bar here.

Darden to Scale Back Olive Garden Promotions, Including Buy One, Take One Deal

Darden’s total sales lifted 13.3 percent to $2.13 billion in the third quarter, offering another positive chapter in what’s been a robust fiscal 2018 to date. But the report also arrived with Olive Garden news that will dismay some customers, and could have an adverse traffic effect in Q4 for the company, at least in the short term.

Chef Mike Isabella Denies Sexual Harassment Claims

Mike Isabella, a former “Top Chef” contestant who turned his stint on the reality TV show into an 11-location, $30 million restaurant empire in the nation’s capital, is the latest food industry figure accused of sexual harassment.

Darden Cuts Cord on Small Seafood Brand

Darden Restaurants is cutting the cord on Wildfish Seafood Grille, the small concept it purchased along with Eddie V’s for $59 million cash six years ago. The restaurant’s Scottsdale, Arizona, location closed over the weekend, and Darden spokesman Hunter Robinson told the Phoenix Business Journal that it will transition the two other units—in San Antonio and Newport Beach, California—into Eddie V’s in the coming months.

Editor's Letter: Killing It with Kismet

Talking with Kismet owners Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson during my first week at FSR was, well, kismet. I had just moved from Los Angeles, where one of the most dynamic food scenes in the country is constantly sending us new menus and chefs to watch.

Are Online Reviews Still Relevant for Restaurants?

Since Yelp’s inception in 2004, consumers have posted more than 24 million restaurant reviews on the platform. That figure doesn’t even include the mountain of reviews that appear on other sites: Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and OpenTable.