After two years of falling sales, the restaurant industry pinned their hopes to 2011. Despite optimistic forecasts in the first months of the year, it has shaped up to be another lackluster sales season. Foot traffic declined over the year and the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index sank as well.
P.F. Chang’s was America’s first truly national Chinese food chain. It was the idea set in motion by the founder, Philip Chiang. Chiang grew up in Japan and in San Francisco. The two countries and their cuisines inspired him to help his mother run the famous Mandarin restaurant she started. He was asked by the owner of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to start the P.F. Chang brand.
Despite the sour outlook for restaurants in other parts of the country, dining in New York City is remaining constant. The city is known for their fine dining and many travelers are still making a stop for a bite to eat. Over 23,000 restaurants are packed into the five neighborhoods that make up the Big Apple.
The limited time Waves of Flavor menu is now debuting at Hurricane Grill & Wings. Only available until January, this new menu offers exciting sauce, entree and dessert additions. The Boss Sauce combines garlic, Parmesan cheese and herbs. The Island Pork Sliders and Crispy Chicken Sliders are new as well.
Zpizza is celebrating National Pizza Month with the release of their Pure Pepperoni. The pepperoni took over two years to perfect and is free from MSG, nitrites and preservatives. All 100 locations now offer the improved pizza topping. Fans can enter to win prizes in the “Pure Pepperoni Design Your Dream Pizza” contest through the end of the month.
Del Taco teamed up with the Hugh Jackman movie “Real Steel” for an exciting promotion. Macho-sized drink cups offer codes and Microsoft tags to ensure a new winner every 15 minutes. Gift cards, video game consoles and movie tickets are all part of the prizes being offered. Kids’ meals come with special collector’s cards for the movie.
Fans of traditional holiday flavors like pumpkin pie and eggnog will be glad to hear that Jack in the Box is bringing back their holiday themed Real Ice Cream Shakes. Both flavors were very popular last holiday season. Both are topped with real whipped cream and a cherry and come in two sizes, 16 oz. and 24 oz.
Granite City Food & Brewery is growing their small chain of 26 restaurants with a new opening in Troy, Michigan. The restaurant will use a prototype model and will serve the greater Detroit area. The grand opening is planned for February 2012. The chain has been planning the expansion since before the recession began.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop added a location in Scottsdale, Arizona as well recently. The chain is based in Las Vegas, so expansion in Arizona was a natural choice. The new location will serve the classic Bobbie, complete with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, as well as a full menu of subs and salads.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is continuing to growth rapidly in their home state of Texas. The new restaurant in Spring opens just in time for the celebration of the chain’s 70th birthday. John and Becky Dutch are the franchisees who opened it. The barbecue restaurant is their first franchise business and has put the chain closer to the goal of 200 restaurants by the end of 2011.