New Concepts

Subtlety: When Less Is More

I have had the pleasure of participating in the Ask the Experts booth at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show for three years now. Ask the Design Experts is a free 30-minute private consultation with leading front- and back-of-house designers and management consultants in cooperation with Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI).

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.

Portland City Grill Unveils Private Chef's Table

Private dining in Portland, Oregon, will reach new heights next month when Portland City Grill unveils its private Chef’s Table, 30 floors above the city streets.The room, which will accommodate up to 14 guests, is destined to be Portland’s premier location for events ranging from sealing business deals to celebrating anniversaries.

Great Balls on Tires: The Next LA Pop-Up Event

On Thursday, April 28 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Los Angeles-based bakery-bistro BreadBar Century City and chief gastronomy officer chef Noriyuki Sugi will host LA food truck, Great Balls on Tires, for the next installation of their monthly “Hatchi Truck Stop” series.

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.

Step One for Lease Two

Q: I was able to successfully negotiate a lease for my first location. What should I expect with my second lease? There is no standard lease agreement. Whether or not you have negotiated a lease before, you have to carefully review everything and can’t assume anything.

New-Age Franchising

The times are changing for many of the industries that fortified America’s capitalistic society. With banks trying to figure out how to thrive under new financial regulations, quick serves are facing a challenge to their classic business model: the franchise.

The Dirty Work

Some might say that the last three years have not been very, well, accommodating for the quick-service industry. With lenders and customers alike pulling their dollars off the table, the industry has been left to make due with the circumstances and struggle to stay afloat until the economic environment warms.

How to Out Smart the Credit Market

When banks wanted a third-party guarantee who didn’t have to sell their house to repay franchisee loans, Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco’s Pizza, stepped in with an unusual idea. As a result of the frozen credit market, Switzer developed Marco’s Assurance, which offers a $50,000 guarantee on franchisees’ loans.

The Art of Site Selection

Being in the right place at the right time is the key to success in any business. And as the nation finally begins to climb out of one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, a number of quick-service companies are advising their franchisees that, with soft real estate prices, lower construction costs, and increasing availability of capital loans from lending institutions, now is the right time to get growing again—as long as the sites are right.

Is Guaranteed Financing Possible?

It’s no secret that running a restaurant is a risky business. The fact that many restaurants will ultimately fail early in their existence is not lost on most entrepreneurs, and yet they carry on anyway in hopes that their restaurant dreams can be made true.

Fill Your Portfolio with Brands that Last

After an abundance of successful business ventures, David Lobel founded Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada.

New Restaurant Trend Really Pops with Diners

In 2007, Ludo Lefebvre did what no businessman should ever do: He made an important business decision out of fear.Faced with the opportunity to use millions of dollars in investments to open a restaurant, the Los Angeles–based celebrity chef balked at committing himself to 10–15 years sweating in the same kitchen.

Emeril Lagasse Goes Italian in Pennsylvania

Emeril Lagasse has announced plans to open his newest restaurant, Emeril’s Italian Table, at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.Scheduled to open in late spring, the restaurant will be the chef’s third restaurant at the casino and entertainment destination.