Restaurant News Bites: Outback Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Topper’s Pizza

Restaurant News BiteRestaurant News Bites: Outback Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Topper's Pizzas: KFC, Del Taco, O'Charley'sThe recent recession has lowered the revenues of most restaurants, but the number of meals Americans eat out each year remains unusually high. Research by LivingSocial shows that Americans ate an average of 250 meals out of the home last year, or about 4.8 meals per week. This including carry out and dining inside restaurants.

Darden Restaurants has joined with the Partnership for a Healthier America to create a healthier menu. The chain, which is the country’s largest in the full service industry, owns brands like Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Changes are already planned that include adding milk as a drink choice and including more fruit and vegetables as side items.

Outback Steakhouse won the top spot in the Best Steak Category yet again for the third year in a row. The 2011 National Chain Restaurants Survey by Zagat polls over 6,000 diners on their choices and preferences among the country’s biggest chains. The chain restaurant also placed highly in the Best Value category.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is adding new menu items as the weather gets cooler and fall begins. These new additions include special $5.99 lunch options. Each weekday will feature a different lunch special, including the Country House Salad, Chicken Pot Pie, Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes and Turkey N’ Dressing.

Topper’s Pizza chain is updating their logo and branding efforts to introduce more customers to their tasty pizza. An updated tagline of “Amazingly Delicious” to tell everyone the main focus of the family-owned company. The brand is over 25 years old and chose Greenbaum Marketing Communications to help with the rebranding.

Quiznos is focusing on new partnerships with other businesses to create co-branded locations in existing retail outlets. Their newest agreement will bring 40 new Quiznos locations into existing Champlain Farms’ convenience stores. 10 locations begin construction within the next month, while the rest will be built over the next 2 years.

Fazoli’s is continuing to create a new experience that will revolutionize the quick service industry. They’ve already improved and redeveloped their menu, and is working on a new interior design and improved service to match it. Guests will receive table side service usually found at a much more expensive restaurant.

The French cafe-inspired chain Mimi’s Cafe is committed to add new value items to their menu. The value offerings are part of a plan to entice customers effected by the recession to dine out more frequently. Guests can enjoy an $8 wine pour of three different wines, or get your lunch in under 15 minutes for less than $10.

Genghis Grill, America’s largest Mongolian grill restaurant chain, is bringing out a new protein option on the Khan’s Kitchen food bar. The Dr Pepper BBQ Chicken is marinated and covered in the chain’s signature BBQ sauce with the real flavor of Dr Pepper. Guests can combine this new chicken option with 70 other fresh ingredients.

Noodles & Company is continuing to expand in the state of Iowa with a new location opening in Ames later this week. The menu combines the best tastes from Asian, American and Mediterranean cuisines into fresh noodle dishes, salads and soups. This is the chain’s third location in Iowa, along with restaurants in Coralville and Davenport.