Kevin Hardy

Order’s Up

More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff competitive field.

Roll of the Dice

Forget the classic buffet of stale, day-old fare once prevalent in America’s casinos. The dining landscape in these establishments is now just as competitive and diverse as the world beyond blackjack tables and slots. In casinos, excess is everywhere. People expect an array of choices for gambling, entertainment, and, of course, food. That’s why several quick-service operators are investing in the space.

The Digital Revolution

Acquiring new restaurant technology can be a tricky business. Because of ever-decreasing prices, an operator may not want to be the first to buy a new application or software system. Plus, no one wants to invest in untested equipment, regardless of its technological prowess.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

It might seem like quick-serve concepts and hospitals are headed for an epic breakup, as some brands have come under fire for their presence in places meant to heal. The American Hospital Association labeled unhealthy foods “environmental inconsistencies,” whether they’re served out of vending machines, cafeterias, or franchised units in hospital food courts.

Holding It Together

Grab-and-go items, once a staple of nontraditional spaces like college campuses and airports, have gone mainstream.

Today, operations ranging from convenience stores to standalone quick-service restaurants are adding prepackaged items like fresh carrots with ranch dip, pre-made chicken wraps, or yogurt parfaits. And they’re doing so for a good reason: Every day, 28 million Americans eat a grab-and-go snack, according to data from consumer market research firm The NPD Group.

Out of the Ashes

While bankruptcy has its pitfalls, restaurant companies are increasingly finding that it also provides an opportunity for a fresh start.
Quick service chains file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to save brand legacy.
Friendly's CEO John Maguire says the company has streamlined the menu, initiated store upgrades, and rolled out an employee training program since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011.

Once slandered as the “B word,” bankruptcy is finding new life as an opportunity for new beginnings. Blue-chip brands like Eddie Bauer, Delta Air Lines, and the Chicago Cubs are among the list of house-hold business names that have filed for bankruptcy in modern times, times in which even city governments—the most notable being Detroit—have looked to bankruptcy to solve fiscal woes. Those once-bankrupt American institutions, along with more than 1 million personal bankruptcies each year, suggest that the “B word” may have has lost at least some of its bite.

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