From intimate dinners to full-scale parties, power lunches and presentations, private dining has become an integral part of the overall revenue stream in many restaurants. In fact, special events can have as much, if not more, sales and profit potential than the bar in making up for inconsistencies in main dining room traffic.

Keiko Ono Aoki, CEO of the Benihana of Tokyo chain, and Japanese Iron Chef Yuji Wakiya have partnered to launch KOA, a new "haute modern Chinese" noodle restaurant concept.

Fast-casual vegan restaurant chain Native Foods Cafe has opened the first of eight units planned for the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia market.

Taziki's has seen 17 years of growth and is in the midst of an expansion plan. We asked the CEO to provide us with some insight into the company's strategy and plans.

Starbucks is expanding its store formats in FY15 with the launch of an interactive, 15,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increased availability of the company's small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees.

Influx Cafe, a family-owned neighborhood eatery, recently opened its third unit in San Diego.

Multi-unit Houlihan's franchisee owner Dan Stevens, owner of Stevens Management and Consulting, has mixed his passions for the hotel and restaurant industries by bringing Houlihan's to a hotel setting.

In late July, Famous Brands Intl., parent of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, announced it is taking its new dual-brand concept to the Los Angeles market.