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Complete NRA Show Coverage

A rundown of the sights, sounds, and eats at the 2013 NRA Show.

National Restaurant Association Show attendees walk the expansive floor.
National Restaurant Association / restaurantdotorg

Click on the headlines below to catch up on QSR’s coverage from the floor of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show).

Recapping the NRA Show

As the lights went out on the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show) in Chicago on Tuesday, there was plenty to consider about the future of the industry.

2010 in Review

Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson

1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors

Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors, for $3.3 billion in September. —BC

2. The Food Truck Obsession

Add Hours to the Day

One of the first things I would suggest someone in the restaurant business do is ready, aim, fire. You absolutely have to know where you want to go before you begin anything. People often make the mistake of starting out without a specific plan of what they’d like to accomplish by the end of the day. Then they feel guilty that they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted.

One on One with Jim Skinner

Since taking over the burger giant, which now has 32,000 restaurants worldwide, CEO Jim Skinner has restructured McDonald’s, redesigned the restaurants, and revolutionized the menu. Aside from the addition of premium coffee offerings, McDonald’s menu also features healthier choices such as Fruit & Walnut Salads and Chicken Wraps. Skinner also earns high marks for offering better value and improved marketing.

His winning strategy, christened the Plan to Win, focused all team members’ attention on improving service, food, and ambience and not necessarily on opening new stores.

How to Make a Brand Icon

How did you set out to create an industry icon?

The idea for creating Jack wasn’t necessarily that we were going to create an icon. It really comes from the fact that he was a character, and it was really more the public that established that he was an icon. We created him back in 1995 to reinvent the brand and kick off where we were going with the brand 15 years ago.

2010 Chef Survey

QSR asks the industry’s leading culinarians to weigh in on what’s hot and what’s not in menu trends. Their answers may surprise you.

While the old adage says there’s nothing new under the sun, the new decade brings fresh takes on traditional menu items while ethnic, vegan, and local ingredients make farther inroads into the quick-serve culinary scene.

Expert Hiring Advice

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Q: It was a headache hiring for my first store, now I’m worried about hiring a new staff for my second unit. How can I ensure they’re authorized to work?

Site Selection

There’s a treasure trove of information located in the existing location via the customers. The key to successfully finding your next site is mimicking the success you have in your first site. You want to look at the customer base in general—who the customer is and who the customer isn’t. Sometimes finding out who the customer isn’t is almost as important as knowing who the customer is.