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Water. It's the lifeblood of most any restaurant. As such, it becomes one of a restaurant's most expensive line items and the cost shows no signs of receding.

Dan Parsley

Long hours, hot kitchens, refrigeration, and a constant need for clean and balanced air flow, make restaurants notoriously greedy energy guzzlers. Dan Parsley, chief operating officer of Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Consulting, a Houston-based franchised consulting company, helps restaurants and other commercial enterprises pinpoint their facilities' weak spots and implement strategies for boosting efficiency and reducing costs.

Lynette McKee

What is the key to successful growth? Some will say selling franchisees, some will say you have to select the right site, and others will say making sure all of the timelines are met for the transition from construction to opening and operating the business. All are correct, because every step of the process is critical to having a successfully run business that maintains itself for the long term.

Wow Bao self-serve kiosks

The year is 1912. Do you know where your lunch is? If you live in New York City, there is a good chance that it's behind small glass doors at the Horn & Hardart Automat. You will insert coins in the slot and retrieve a sandwich or a piece of pie and carry it to a table to eat. Technology at its best, a century ago.

Which Wich

Owner Engagement, Communication, Tech Solutions Pave the Way for Smoother Openings

Houston-based Fuddruckers recently made its European debut with a store in Varese, Italy. The fast-casual restaurant is the first of 10 planned through a new franchise partnership with Italian-based Vinum et Alia.

Modmarket, a rapidly growing fast-casual concept offering "farm-fresh food for the modern lifestyle" in late February opened its seventh location, in the heart of Denver's popular 16th Street outdoor pedestrian mall.

Houston-based Perry's Steakhouse & Grille has opened its first unit outside of Texas, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill.