rebecca kilbreathIt’s sunny today and the mountain of Midwestern snow that covered my yard is melting. Every day, more people I know are getting vaccinated against COVID-19. And, to top it off, I’m wrapping up one of my favorite features of the year — the fifth annual rd+d awards!

The improving weather, growing number of vaccinations and the ability to celebrate the industry’s successes feel like positive indicators after a tough year-long global pandemic that caused sickness, death and economic destruction that led to unprecedented tumult for the restaurant and hospitality industries. It’s not over, but I am starting to see the light at the end of this year-long tunnel.

Bars represent one segment of operators incredibly hard hit during the pandemic. Thomas Henry Strenk provides an update on this segment with insights, case studies and trends.

While I don’t have a crystal ball, I am lucky to have some experts to call on. On March 16, I’ll host a free webcast panel discussion on current best practices in designing for increased off-premises dining with Lauren Chipman of Chipman Design Architecture, Brian Kern of Oculus Inc. and Richard Elkins from Firehouse Subs. We’ll offer up some research, case studies and big-picture ideas for all segments. 

rd+d readers looking for actionable intel and insights right this minute can check out what fellow subscribers think about what’s happening with the original research that is peppered throughout the Buzz section. Check out for a deeper dive into each data point throughout the month of March.

But there’s more! Learn how to better specify outdoor furnishings, get insights from an expert on how to set up a drive-thru up for success, discover the latest in touchless bathroom tech, and get tips onhow to launch a delivery-only kitchen. 

Finally, be inspired by the incredible projects that are being celebrated in the fifth annual rd+d awards. Each one is on my list of restaurants to visit as soon as I can possibly get to these beautiful and functional spaces.