There are plenty of ways for a restaurant or pub to expand its brand, but two innovative thinkers have come up with a way to connect with people around the country. Both Boston-based Himmel Hospitality Group and Deschutes Brewery, based in Bend, Oregon, are taking their brands on the road.
Millennials consider themselves a generation of foodies, which is why new entrepreneurs seem to be coming on line each month in the hospitality industry, offering fresh ideas and enthusiasm to take advantage of the cultural movement.
It was during a trip to Spain that a lightbulb went off in the head of fishing enthusiast Sean Barrett. There should be a restaurant-supported fishery, he thought, that allows local fishermen to sell directly to local chefs.
Instead of subscribing to the notion that the closest proximity dictates the highest supply quality, Spoonbar, a restaurant in Healdsburg, California, found a way to tap into a wider range of microclimates that span a 140-mile area from Southern Mendocino County, through all of Sonoma and into Marin County.
When Pete Pjetrovic was presented with the opportunity to join businessman and restaurateur Rocco Trotta in opening an elegant, classic American steakhouse at 72 Madison Avenue in New York City, he jumped at the chance.
While pursuing an MBA at Georgetown University, Konstantin Zvereff and Jag Bansal were given an assignment that focused on a growing restaurant chain, and they immediately saw that something seemed out of whack in the industry: The front-of-house staff had access to all kinds of helpful technology—from reservations to table management to orders—but the back of house was still using Excel spreadsheets and voicemails to manage orders and deliveries from suppliers.
It’s long been a practice to age wine and spirits for better flavor, but a recent trend has found many in the beer world experimenting with aging methods, coupled with an increased desire from consumers for barrel-aged brews.
One of the hippest trends in bar menus as of late has been the appearance of chef-inspired drinks—usually a craft beer—exclusive to a particular restaurant through a partnership with a beverage producer.
Nowadays, it’s not that unusual to see an iPad serving as a menu or ordering device, but back in 2011, when Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, co-founders of Stacked: Food Well Built, added iPads to their three Southern California restaurants, the idea was quite novel.
Like tech junkies the world over, at least one restaurant group was thrilled when Apple released its new smartwatch in April. The Apple Watch features many of the same apps and functions of a smartphone—only with the added convenience of always being at hand.
Aleks Stepanovich had worked in the restaurant industry for years—from server to manager to an operator—and saw firsthand the hassles that came from distributing tips fairly and reporting them accurately.
They may earn tips, but servers, bartenders, and valets can easily be overlooked in a customer’s dine-out experience. As a way to give back to hardworking people in the service industry, a company called IndiCard has created an exclusive service-industry membership program, which provides service-industry professionals special offers at bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
LangbaanPortland, OregonThai comfort food crafted with no open-flame cooking; only ovens and induction burners.Opened ∕ March 2014Annual Sales ∕ $1–$3 millionAverage Check ∕ $65 (without alcohol)Chef/Owner∕ Akkapong Earl NinsomThe Squeaky BeanDenverA pop culture–driven atmosphere grounded by a garden-inspired menu (produce is grown in the neighborhood) and creative cocktails defines The Squeaky Bean, where weekend bingo is a popular draw.
The 404 KitchenNashville, TennesseeHoused in a shipping container with an herb garden on its rooftop, The 404 Kitchen and Chef Matt Bolus give a modern interpretation to European cuisine.Opened ∕ October 2013Annual Sales ∕ $1.
GraffiatoRichmond, VirginiaChef de Cuisine Matthew Robinett delivers Italian-inspired small plates with a Southern flair, in this upscale take on casual, hip dining, housed in a historic building with massive windows lining the dining room—a legacy item from the early 20th- century furniture showroom that was the original tenant.