Jordan Melnick

Jordan Melnick is <em>QSR</em>'s online exclusives reporter.
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Who’s Working in Your Kitchen?

Recent crackdowns signal to restaurant operators that the government is ready to end illegal hiring.

Recent government crackdowns on Chipotle and Pei Wei that forced both concepts to at least temporarily close locations have reminded restaurant operators that the government is taking illegal immigration very seriously.

The two incidents, in which illegal immigrants were found to be in each quick serve’s employ, came almost two years after the Obama administration decided to rein in the employers who hired illegal immigrants rather than go after the employees themselves, which had been the primary strategy up to that point.

New Restaurant Trend Really Pops with Diners

In 2007, Ludo Lefebvre did what no businessman should ever do: He made an important business decision out of fear.

Faced with the opportunity to use millions of dollars in investments to open a restaurant, the Los Angeles–based celebrity chef balked at committing himself to 10–15 years sweating in the same kitchen. Instead, he launched LudoBites, a series of temporary eateries that appear in different spaces around Los Angeles for a finite period of time—a few days here, a few weeks there—and then disappear after making Lefebvre heaps of money.

Operators Unafraid of Gas Prices—For Now

As the conflict in Libya and tragedy in Japan spike prices at the pump, are your balance sheets safe?

Despite surging gas prices in the face of global disaster and conflict, restaurant operators across the U.S. are trying to stay focused on other challenges—even though gas prices have a slew of direct and indirect impacts on the restaurant business.

Coupons on TV?

Interactive television, or iTV, might not be the next big thing in restaurant advertising. But with TV technology continuing to evolve and incorporate greater interactivity, it might be the next big thing after the next big thing—especially considering that the technology seems uniquely suited to restaurants.

Are Mascots Outdated?

Are Ronald, Jack, Wendy, and the King right for marketing in the 21st century?

More than a decade into the 21st century, it is safe to say we are living in a brave new world. Television, perhaps the pièce de résistance of last century, has given way to computers and, in turn, desktop computers and laptops may soon give way to tablets and smartphones.

FDA Overhaul Finally Passes

The lame duck session did have its victories, and the new food safety act is the biggest.

After a long and tortuous legislative journey, the FDA Modernization Act, a fundamental recalibration of the nation’s food safety system, has finally passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on January 4.

Are Today's Delivery Cars Obsolete?

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It wasn’t so long ago that restaurants kept their books with paper and pencil, advertised mainly in print and on television, and offered coupons that existed in actual tangible newspapers. But advances in various technologies, from POS monitors to the Internet to mobile devices, have changed all of that.

Restaurants are finding the pace of technological change both dizzying and promising. One burgeoning innovation that may further change the way restaurants do business, particularly when it comes to delivery and the mobile food business, is the electric vehicle (ev).

The 7 Trends of 2011

You can’t afford to miss these expert predictions.

Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry remains about as difficult as ever.

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