What can restaurants expect from government in 2024?

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Working Lunch: It promises to be an historic year politically, with plenty of pandering by candidates and action on a slew of issues, from service fees to credit-card processing charges. A week into the new year, government figures are already taking up a number of issues that could affect restaurants, from service fees to credit… read more

Understanding AI’s Real Impact on Restaurants

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By proactively mitigating certain risks, restaurants will tap into AI’s true value. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t what customers want. The restaurant industry finds itself at a crossroads, navigating a dynamic landscape fraught with supply chain disruptions, economic instability, labor scarcity, and evolving customer tastes, requiring unprecedented agility. Enter artificial intelligence (AI), whose meteoric rise was… read more

Restaurant employment topped pre-pandemic levels in November

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Overall restaurant employment surpassed pre-pandemic levels, but the extent of the industry’s recovery varies significantly by segment. Restaurant job growth was choppy in recent months, but the latest data suggests the industry finally returned to pre-pandemic employment levels in November. That was thought to be the case in September, before the preliminary data was revised… read more

6 trends that reshaped the restaurant industry in 2023

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New challenges emerged, especially downtown, while many operators looked back wistfully at bygone times, their hands held out for help on costs. After the upheaval of the pandemic, the year drawing to a close might’ve felt like a ho-hum stretch, a time for just chugging along in the warmth of normalcy. But the business continued… read more

Two Novolex Brands Garner Packaging Awards

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Two of Hartsville, South Carolina-based Novolex’s brands, Eco-Products and Vegware, have received awards for solutions in compostable packaging. Eco-Products and Vegware were each honored with the Foodservice Packaging Award for “Innovation in Manufacturing,” tying for first place. “We are extraordinarily proud of our brands for their tireless commitment to innovation, creating new products that redefine… read more

Simmons Recalls Chicken Bites Containing Plastic

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Consumers complained that clear, hard plastic was found under the breading. WASHINGTON — Simmons Prepared Foods Inc., a Van Buren, Arkansas, establishment, is recalling approximately 26,550 pounds of TGI Fridays boneless chicken bites products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically pieces of clear, hard plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and… read more

What’s impacting menus in the year ahead

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Lizzy Freier, director of menu research and insights for Technomic, digs into 2024’s top trends and predictions. Towards the end of every year, Technomic releases its annual predictions for the year ahead. Lizzy Freier, director of menu research and insights, worked with her team of researchers and analysts to compile Technomic’s report, “What’s in Store… read more

How Bar Louie is putting a culinary focus on lunch and dinner without losing its bar vibe

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As new VP of culinary, Joel Reynders is creating chef-driven entrees, sides and bar bites that cover every daypart. Joel Reynders was named VP of culinary and executive chef at Bar Louie just last May, and he hit the ground running. The 67-unit chain has long been a popular happy hour destination, but guests would… read more

Panera’s caffeinated lemonade blamed for another death, second lawsuit alleges

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The family of Florida man Dennis Brown filed a lawsuit when he suffered from a fatal cardiac arrest incident after drinking three Charged Lemonade drinks Panera Bread faces a second lawsuit following the death of Dennis Brown of Fleming Island, Fla. who suffered from a fatal cardiac arrest after he drank three caffeinated Charged Lemonade… read more

AI on the Menu: Using AI for Restaurant Operations

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To streamline back-office and kitchen operations, many restaurants are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) technologies National Restaurant Association: While customers may not see what takes place behind the scenes, they certainly experience the result. When it comes to success, the priority for staff is speed and efficiency without sacrificing quality. From managing inventory to ensuring… read more