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Nicole Duncan

Get the Most Out of Your Lease Agreement

Location, location, location. Whether a restaurant is opening store No. 1 or 51, finding the right spot is one of the first steps toward success. But beyond finding that magical location at the corner of Main and Main, restaurants must also perform their due diligence—possibly with the help of an attorney—to secure the terms, conditions, and, yes, rent that will put the operation in good standing from the very start.

Pineapples and Other Pizza Controversies

Pasta? Prolific. Chicken Parm? Popular. Gelato? Perfetto.But still, it’s not pizza.Of the many Italian dishes that Americans have incorporated into stateside cuisine, none is as beloved—and omnipresent—as the humble pizza pie.

How Maggiano’s Wins Casual Italian

Chili’s may have stolen the spotlight during Brinker International’s quarterly earnings call this week, but Maggiano’s consistent performance illustrates why so-called Americanized basics still win in the Italian category.

How Smart Operators Avoid Employee Turnover

High turnover has long been a perennial—and quite costly—challenge for restaurants. According to TDn2K, restaurants lose about $2,000 whenever a front- and back-of-house employee leaves. This figure skyrockets to roughly $14,000 for managers.

Taking the Pulse of the Italian Restaurant Icons

When it comes to the Italian category, three major chains dominate the headlines. Ranging from family-friendly casual all the way to upscale, these restaurants boast wider reach than independents, but with that size comes less dexterity.

Labor Costs Bite Cheesecake Factory's Sales

The Cheesecake Factory’s second-quarter earnings may have been disappointing, but the market’s reaction was far more dramatic—to the point that it experienced the worst single-day trading plunge since 1999 on August 1.

Oprah Bets Big on True Food Kitchen

If ever a single individual could usher in the next wave in dining—or fitness or reading or philosophy—it would almost certainly be Oprah Winfrey. News broke Wednesday that Winfrey would be investing an undisclosed sum in health-focused chain True Food Kitchen.

Top 100 Independents: Millennial Mayhem

Blame it on social media and reality TV, or the nostalgia-obsessed millennials who take the lion’s share of the working population. Visually stunning, over-the-top dishes with a dash of throwback have captured consumer hearts.

Iron Chef Jose Garces' Restaurant Group Declares Bankruptcy

Chef Jose Garces’ has filed for bankruptcy and will sell the 13 remaining restaurants in his portfolio, which once numbered as large as 30.The move could either grant the chef more time in repaying debts or to reduce the amount owed under bankruptcy protection law.

Chicago's 16” on Center Serves Up Sound Bites to Remember

For 16” on Center, the best dining experiences are multi-layered. Boasting a number of restaurants and event venues around Chicago, the hospitality group is invested in its community—the very name refers to a construction mark that yields the strongest build.

4 Satisfying Beer and Brunch Pairings

While brunch has never been a teetotaling occasion, new consumer research from Mintel suggests it’s getting even boozier. Some 40 percent of urban millennials want to see more drink specials at brunch; that includes old standbys like Bloody Marys and mimosas, as well as relative newcomer beer. 

IHOP's Innovative To-Go Packaging Kicks Off New Era

For IHOP, its plans and hopes for the future of the brand might be contained in a plain, yet streamlined, little box. As unremarkable as it may sound, the company’s new to-go carrier embodies two of its most robust initiatives: take-out/delivery and combination meals.