Restaurant News Bites: Food Trucks, Moe’s, El Pollo Loco

Restaurant News Bites: Food Trucks, Moe's, El Pollo LocoMoe’s Southwestern Grill is holding their next Free Queso Day on Wednesday, July 20th. All guests between 11 am and 9 pm will receive a free 6 oz container of queso dip with no purchase required. Guests are also invited to enter to win $10,000 in Moe’s “Dance Your Queso Off” video contest through the website.

The iFranchise Consulting Group says that market factors are showing that now is a good time to be in the restaurant franchise business. Despite prevailing economy problems, restaurant franchises are surviving and even thriving around the country. Financing for new restaurant franchise growth is also increasing. Credit availability is being bolstered by rising sales and the abundance of quality labor for franchise restaurants.

New research compiled by the Technomic firm shows that food trucks are here to stay. 91% of consumers who were polled about the popular restaurant alternative said that they feel that the trend isn’t a passing fad. Unfortunately, food truck operators must still work to gain exposure among the public where only 1 in 5 people have actually seen one.

Fast food restaurants are rapidly working to move away from the traditional fast food interior style. Chains like Wendy’s and McDonald’s are updating to look more like fast casual chains like Panera Bread by installing better seating and more upscale decorating. Wendy’s has gone so far as completely demolishing some existing stores to test a new, inviting prototype.

If you want to run a restaurant staffed by happy, efficient workers you need to learn the fine art of restaurant scheduling. Finding the balance between giving workers too few and too many hours per week allows you to avoid burning out your best team members. Studying your peak hours and scheduling around them also helps keep dining room and kitchen staff fresh and on their toes.

El Pollo Loco is launching a new multi-media marketing campaign to build brand recognition. New television and radio commercials will premiere soon along with social media promotions and updated restaurant signage. The advertising campaign features the quality, natural ingredients that go into the food at El Pollo Loco.

McAlister’s Deli chain is giving away a free 32 oz cup of the restaurant’s signature iced tea to all guests on July 28th. Free Tea Day will highlight the company’s famous tea and introduce the drink to thousands of new customers. No purchase is necessary and guests can enter the Tea Town USA contest for a chance to win prizes.

Coney Island in Illinois may be a small hot dog eatery, but the restaurant serves up a big helping of nostalgia. The restaurant uses the same grill as it had in 1921 and the location has been open for over 90 years. The signature Coney Dog starts with a 100% pork hot dog, but is topped with beef sauce for a combination of both meats’ flavors.

Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que has opened a new restaurant location in Portland, Oregon. This is the second location in the state for the chain. Portland doesn’t have many restaurants that serve Southern style barbecue so the new restaurant is a welcome addition. The store celebrated its grand opening on July 18th.

White Castle is wrapping up its Cravers Hall of Fame contest and is asking fans to submit any last minute entries. Customers can submit their stories of adventure and efforts they’ve undertaken to get a White Castle Sliders fix. Winners will be honored at the Hall of Fame ceremony in October. Only 80 people are currently members of the Cravers Hall of Fame.