Restaurant News Bites: Restaurant Trends, Zagat Fast Food SurveyLeading your restaurant or restaurant chain into the new world of social media advertising requires an understanding of the new trends as they develop. Some of the newest trends to emerge include customer experience management, the integration of mobile technology and engaging employees to increase job satisfaction.  Continue reading . . .

Zagat has released the 2011 results for their annual National Fast Food Restaurant Survey. Over 6,000 diners voted for their favorites among 103 different chains. Subway won in the Mega Chains category for brands with over 5,000 locations. Starbucks topped the Quick Refreshment chart and Chick-fil-a received the highest overall rating for the Large Chain category.

Wingstop is focusing on rapid expansion again with three new development agreements. The agreements will bring 15 new locations to Atlanta and the surrounding area. 11 of those restaurants will be under the management of Tomahawk Brands. The first of the new locations will open in the beginning of 2012.

Boston Market has completed their renovations to a number of restaurants in Atlanta. The stores in Stone Mountain, Marietta, Roswell and Duluth were among those updated. Everything from employee training to menu items and new silverware were added. The changes were part of a larger renovation plan.

The parent company of brands like IHOP and Applebee’s, DineEquity, announced the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer recently. Tom Emrey is joining the company later this week after years with the Universal Studios Home Entertainment company. He also brings experience from his time as a senior financial executive with Nestle USA.

The founders of VooDoo BBQ were college roommates who joined together 5 years after graduation to open their visionary chain. The unique brand was launched in 2002 and grew slowly at first. The chain still has just 12 locations all in Louisiana, but new interest has led to recent franchise agreements that will bring VooDoo BBQ into new regions.

Sedona Taphouse, an upscale brewhouse chain focusing on a menu of more than 500 craft beers, has developed plans for a new location. The next restaurant for the chain will open in Richmond, Virginia. The calm and classy interior appeals to women as much as men, making this niche restaurant stand out from other brew pubs and bars.

Baskin-Robbins’ Flavor of the Month for September is designed to appeal to breakfast lovers. The French Toast ice cream features a base of french toast flavored ice cream. Small chunks of maple syrup flavored bread pudding are added for a chewy surprise. The flavor will only be available until the end of the month.

Dunkin’ Donuts is bringing back some old favorite flavors and releasing new ones just in time for the beginning of Fall. Customers can enjoy a cup of hot or iced spiced Apple Cider with a new Pumpkin Muffin. In pre-packaged coffee, a pumpkin flavor will become available to match the returning Pumpkin Latte.