While economic stress has taken its toll on the family restaurant industry, cheaper gas prices and improving employment are improving prospects. For the past several years casual dining has been losing customers to the booming fast casual industry, with families seeing an opportunity for quality meals at a lower price point than a sit-down restaurant, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Family restaurant growth averaged between a 2% decrease and a 1% increase in recent years, compared to the fine dining segment's growth of between 3% to 7% annually. The gap between the two has been narrowing in the past year, and more casual chains are once again setting their sights on expansion.
Chains with an emphasis on roadside locations have been doing particularly well, reported The Washington Post. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, IHOP and Denny's have seen rising sales, and IHOP is expected to open a new location every week in 2015, while Denny's launched a Millennial-targeted concept called The Den amid better performance.
Despite the warnings of Elon Musk, artificial intelligence is on its way. It's not a topic we've shied away from in the Food Institute Blog, either, but a few developments over the past few weeks have inspired me to once again dive into the technology of the future in hopes of determining how it will affect the food industry.read more
Now, more than ever, the issue of food waste is top of mind for the food industry. Despite retailers, foodservice operators and manufacturers trying to tackle it head on, many challenges lurk around the corner. Despite this, innovative and impactful approaches abound to tackle this complex concern.read more
With a background in both daily and weekly publications, Bryan has worked as a journalist since freelancing for his hometown paper in high school. He has since written both in print and online for min, The Times of Trenton and North Jersey Media Group, holding positions from stringer to editor. With a background as a news reporter, he has learned to seek out the focus behind the story, digging for the most important information.
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