FSR's Top 11 Stories of 2017 | Food Newsfeed
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FSR's Top 11 Stories of 2017

December 21, 2017

A Year in Review

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Walk-On's
A Year in Review
Sure, we could list our favorite stories, but who are we to judge? Here are the top 11 most-read stories of the year on foodnewsfeed.com.
Sizzling plate of Mexican food at Abuelo's.

The Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains

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Abuelo's
The Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains

Performance and potential earned restaurants a spot among this year’s FSR 50. We also kept the list to brands with 50 or fewer units. In other words: These are the restaurants we’d put money on to take the nation by storm. We broke it down by sales, AUV, and more. Concepts range from classic brands from the 1960s to chains just getting started.

Read the full story here.

10 of America's Most Legendary College Restaurants

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flickr: Philip Chang
10 of America's Most Legendary College Restaurants

My college days mostly consisted of eating mashed potatoes with soy sauce (this was actually a staple at my school) in the dining hall, or just trying to pay for pizza when I couldn’t afford shampoo. That doesn’t mean college students around the country suffered like I did. In fact, we broke down the top 10 most iconic college eateries, a story that clearly struck a chord with people. Some memories—and rivalries—never die.

Read the full story here.

40 Restaurant Stars on the Rise

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DONNELLY MARKS
40 Restaurant Stars on the Rise

Always an in-house favorite each year, FSR once again identified 40 up-and-comers ready to define new expectations for the industry. We spanned the spectrum this time, featuring everyone from a teenage prodigy to chefs leading James Beard Award-winning kitchens. Shameless plug: March 1, expect to see a whole new list hit the press. Pictured is Esther Choi.

Read the full story here.

Texas Roadhouse is Producing Results, Not Excuses

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flickr: Jeremy Brooks
Texas Roadhouse is Producing Results, Not Excuses

This has been a wild and very interesting year for casual dining. Here’s something about Texas Roadhouse. I get this question from people all the time: Who’s doing the worst? (Why they ask that first might explain humanity a bit.) But then people usually ask me who’s doing well. When I say Texas Roadhouse, pretty much everyone, from my father in law to that guy I just met at the county fair, nods. People have positive reactions to the brand. And that’s what its brass is courting. They keep the model simple, effective, and exactly how everyone wants it. Don’t overcomplicate the process, especially when that process is a successful one.

Read the full story here.

The Top 100 Independent Restaurants in America

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Commander's Palace
The Top 100 Independent Restaurants in America

This is another annual favorite of the FSR staff. This year, we broke it up by centuries. We looked at the top 100 independents from the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s. I always enjoy chatting with operators from cities I didn’t know were in America, learning how they survive for decades without the brand value some of these bigger guys enjoy. Or, in many cases, how they build institutions as recognizable as the markets themselves. Take New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace (pictured above) for example. The restaurant has its own paint color for sale in stores. If that’s not making it, I don’t know what is.

Read the full story here.

11 of the Coolest NRA Show Finds

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Libbey
11 of the Coolest NRA Show Finds

For anyone who has walked the floor at the National Restaurant Association’s annual show, you understand how easy it can be to get lost. Or to eat a hot dog, grilled cheese, some kind of sliced beef, ice cream, fried chicken, cheese … I can keep going … before getting back to your booth. I did my best this year to recap the 11 products that really caught my eye. Ever had cold brew ice cream? You should. Pictured is Libbey's Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tasting glass.

Read the full story here.

A Michigan Restaurant Group is Out to Give History New Life

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JOHN ROE
A Michigan Restaurant Group is Out to Give History New Life

Curt Catallo and Ann Stevenson, the husband/wife duo behind Union Joints, are attracted to buildings that have served one purpose and are prime to serve another. Here’s their story about taking these venues and during them into some of the top restaurants in Michigan.

Read the full story here.

The 'Best Sports Bar in America' is Ready for Primetime

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Walk-On's
The 'Best Sports Bar in America' is Ready for Primetime

If you haven’t heard of Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar by now, the day is coming. The sports-themed restaurant, once named America’s best by ESPN, has major expansion plans for the future. We’re talking more than 100 commitments in the pipeline with 13 states in sight. It’s a concept started by literal walk-ons of the LSU basketball team, and its menu goes Cajun to family fare to everything in between. Duck & Andouille Gumbo, anybody?

Read the full story here.

How Cameron Mitchell’s Ethnical Approach Fuels a Restaurant Empire

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CHRIS CASELLA
How Cameron Mitchell’s Ethnical Approach Fuels a Restaurant Empire

Cameron Mitchell describes his group’s hospitality as a triangular relationship: “We take care of our people; our people take care of our guests; our guests will take care of our company.” The Columbus, Ohio, restaurant mogul took some time to chat with FSR about his philosophy: a people-first model that’s fueling a $250 million dining empire.

Read the full story here.

 Applebee's Quesadilla Burger is part burger, part quesadilla. This original burger creation comes piled high with Jack cheese, signature Mexi-ranch sauce, crispy bacon, fresh pico and shredded lettuce in a crisp, warm Cheddar quesadilla.

Courting Millennials was a Mistake Applebee’s Couldn’t Afford

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Applebee's
Courting Millennials was a Mistake Applebee’s Couldn’t Afford

I truly believe, even though the numbers are still rough, that Applebee’s is on the right track. The new leadership appears to understand where Applebee’s went wrong and how it needs to get back. Will it work? Can Applebee’s return to its value-based and Middle-America core? I don’t know. I’m not sure any of us do. But it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how the nation’s largest casual dining chain revamps its operation. I’m a believer in the positive direction. Let’s see how it unfolds.

Read the full story here.

What's in store for beer in 2018?

6 Craft Beer Trends to Watch in 2018

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Brewers Association
6 Craft Beer Trends to Watch in 2018

As our beer writer said, “Let’s gaze into our crystal growler and see what trends are fermenting for 2018.” That’s more puns than my brain is capable of producing.

Read the full story here.