Restaurant News Bites: Quiznos, Darden, Emeril

Restaurant News Bites: Quiznos, Darden, EmerilQuiznos has introduced a new sandwich, the Chicken Bacon Dipper. The sandwich comes with cheese dipping sauce that features Mexican spices and green chiles. It will only be available for a limited time and costs $5.19 for a small sandwich.

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of favorite chains like Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, has weathered some serious hurdles with many of their brands. Recent challenges included dropping share prices and inflating food prices. Despite these issues, the company reported a 13% rise in their fourth quarter earnings last year.

Emeril Lagasse, best known for his show on Food Network, has plans to open a new restaurant at the Sands Casino Resort in Pennsylvania. The restaurant will be called Emeril’s Italian Table and will be his third restaurant. Despite his love of Italian cooking, this is his first Italian themed restaurant. The menu will feature a wide variety of pizzas, pastas and classic Italian entrees.

Each day more countries are moving to ban imported foods from Japan as detectably radioactivity levels rise in testing. Taiwan and South Korea were the two most recent to join the ban. Most countries have selective bans that only target foods coming from or produced in the prefectures most affected by the radiation leaks.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has negatively impacted the Louisiana seafood  market according to the results of a new survey of diners. Fifty percent of customers who visit New Orleans area restaurants have an unfavorable view towards local seafood due to the possibility of oil contamination. However, views towards the area and other Louisiana cuisine options have not dropped.

The Briar Group, a restaurant company that is responsible for chains like the Green Briar and the Lenox, has settled in a privacy case concerning their failure to protect the credit and debit card information of thousands of diners. They agreed to pay $110,000 in fines and reparations. The security failure was mainly caused by the practice of allowing employees to share usernames and passwords in the restaurants’ point-of-sale systems.

Gino Marchetti launched his first fast food restaurant at the height of his football career in 1959, and his chain currently encompasses over 400 locations. It was sold to Marriott International in 1982, but now Marchetti has opened a new Gino’s location near his hometown of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. A Baltimore location is also planned.

UFood Restaurant Group is partnering with Mindshare Technologies to develop a new customer satisfaction system that captures feedback in real time. This will allow the chain to respond much faster to both praise and complaints. UFood Grills are found in airports around the country, and focus on serving fresh salads, healthy entrees and other nutritious foods. They are currently expanding into new military base outlets.

The Cracker Barrel Exclusive Music program is set to grow by one with the upcoming addition of Jason Michael Carroll. With his first new album since 2009, the singer is proud to partner with the chain because he first started his music career while serving at a Cracker Barrel location in North Carolina. His new single, “Numbers”, is already debuting through country music channels around the country.

Del Taco, the popular taco and burrito fast food chain, is expanding in Colorado with new locations opening in Colorado Springs. The town is now home to three Del Taco locations. Colorado fans of the 40 year old chain will also be happy to hear that a fourth location is planned to open in August.