How to: Manage Restaurant Openings

When a new restaurant opens, it is a time for celebration. Like any kind of significant event, an opening takes preplanning. Restaurant chains that open a number of units each year have developed best practices for what could be called the countdown-to-opening period. While the key elements are similar — punch lists, marketing, training — the specific focus and timing can be quite different, depending on the chain’s corporate mission and brand promise.

Read more ...

Wollensky’s Grill Debuts in Chicago

High-end steakhouse operator Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) has introduced a new, more casual sister concept, Wollensky’s Grill. Positioned as a place for best-in-class shareable dining and interaction with a gastropub-style menu, Wollensky’s Grill is located on the lower level of the iconic Smith & Wollensky restaurant on the Chicago River.

Read more ...

Dunkin’ Donuts Goes Green

Dunkin’ Donuts has launched DD Green, a green building certification program to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants. In conjunction with the announcement, the company celebrated the grand opening of a DD Green-certified unit in Long Beach, Calif., in December.

Read more ...

They’ve Got Game: Millennials Flock to "Eatertainment" Restaurant/Game Concepts

When the retro-themed Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club opened last spring in Brooklyn, N.Y., it won over hipsters with regulation-sized courts, craft beer, trendy cocktails and food-truck dining. On another front, the bowling industry is undergoing an evolution, as smaller alleys close, giving way to larger, multi-entertainment venues. And bocce, once the province of elders from the old country, is gaining new cache at Millennials’ haunts.

Read more ...

Q&A with Keith Sirois, Chief Executive Officer, Big Boy Restaurants International

Big Boy is dead! Long live Big Boy! That seems to sum things up for the Warren, Mich.-based franchisor. It would appear, on one hand, that better days are behind the aging brand despite an attempt four years ago to rev sales with a new full-service prototype. 

Read more ...

A Call to Action: Contemporize Casual Dining

It’s a refrain repeated too often by casual industry observers: Casual dining is dying. Yes, some big-name brands in the segment are struggling. Full-service concepts that made Technomic’s 2014 list of the Top 500 Chain Restaurants (ranked by U.S. system-wide sales) posted sales growth of 2.4 percent in 2013, compared with the 3.8 percent growth recorded by limited-service concepts.

Read more ...

Current Issue

rdd March April cover