The National Restaurant Association has released its report on the trends that will shape menus the most in 2012. The top trends include seafood and meat from local sources, healthier meal options for children, allergy conscious foods and sustainability as a main theme. As consumers are becoming more concerned about the ingredients in each dish, chefs are changing to accommodate them.
New information from Technomic shows that dining out for breakfast is on the rise. Breakfast sales generate about $42 billion in sales each year and this number is growing. Any restaurant that can provide a fast and convenient way to fuel up in the morning can join in on this growing trend and improve their profits.
A plan by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to roll out a new domain name system is being strongly opposed by the National Restaurant Association. If approved, the new plan could cost restaurants huge amounts of money as they would be forced to apply for and register new domain names in order to protect their trademarks and brands.
Cosi, Inc. has appointed Carin Stutz as their newest Chief Executive Officer. Stutz resigned her position as President of Global Business Development for Brinker International to take the position with Cosi. While at Brinker, she oversaw operations and franchise development for 240 Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants worldwide. She has also held executive positions with Applebee’s International, Wendy’s International, Sodexo and NutriSystem.
P.F. Chang’s is testing a new prototype in Irving, California. The restaurant in the Irving Spectrum Center was recently renovated to give it a unique look. The menu now focuses primarily on small plates and specialty Asian dishes and has a wider selection of wines, drinks and loose leafed brewed tea. The new store will serve as testing ground for new beverages and dishes which may see national rollouts.
Starbucks released a mobile payment program about a year ago which allows customers to pay for purchases with their smart phone. Since that release, over 26 million transactions have taken place in the 9,000 U.S. locations. Nearly $2.5 billion dollars were loaded onto the payment app for use during 2011.
Domino’s Pizza processed over 1 million orders in the week following Thanksgiving this year through its mobile and web ordering apps. The company has been accepting mobile and web orders for four years and generates about 30% of all orders.
Burger King is bringing the new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine to its restaurants around the country. The Freestyle offers over 100 unique drink combinations. Burger King will be the largest franchise system in America to offer the fountains in all company owned restaurants.