News & Trends

In Asia's upscale restaurants, smaller is better because the simplicity allows focus on the craft, chefs say when aiming for a ratio of close to 1:1, customers to employees

By Amy Ma

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-01-06

New Jersey's restaurant association is against proposed changes to 1947 BYO/liquor license law that limits licenses to one per 3,000 residents - except for grandfathered eateries

By Lisa Fleisher

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-01-05

Opinion: Zagat's ratings for fast food, chain eateries created by those who reported making about 11 visits a month; Wendy's, Panera, In-N-Out, Starbucks take top marks

By Greg Pollowitz

National Review Online 2010-08-17

As former customers pack PB&J, number of restaurants operating nationwide dropped this year for first time in more than a decade; almost all that closed were independently owned

By Sharon Bernstein

Los Angeles Times 2010-08-21

Chefs in Philadelphia restaurants switch kitchens to cook for competitors this summer

By Howard Gensler

Philadelphia Daily News 2010-06-24

High-end restaurateurs find customers increasingly picky about what they want, and don't want on their plates

By Janny Hu

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-05-06

Growing number of national chain restaurants add chicken wings to menu, driving prices up

By Matthew Daneman

USA Today 2010-02-28

Restaurateurs embrace menu psychology to coax diners into spending more

By Sarah Kershaw

The New York Times 2009-12-22

To triumph over recession, Panera focused on 90 percent of society still employed

By Sean Gregory

Time magazine 2009-12-23

Dwindling supplies take local seafood off menus in San Francisco

By Katherine Ellison

The New York Times 2009-12-11

Green cuisine ideas can get lost at high-volume restaurants

With business models built on sustainable food, hype can get ahead of execution. Even when intentions are good, is it possible for a high-volume restaurant to practice everything it preaches - and turn a profit and serve customers what they want? Small family farms don't have quantity or consistency of huge national suppliers, usually can't compete on price, even at height of growing season. Though diners say they want to 'eat green,' many want tomatoes on burgers in December.

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-12-07

A waiter's how-to guide from a budding restaurateur's perspective

Restaurant entrepreneur and author compiles 'modest' list of dos and don'ts for servers at seafood restaurant he's building and starting. Among them: Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong; tables should be level without anyone asking; never say 'I don't know' to any question without following with, 'I'll find out;' never refuse to substitute one vegetable for another.

By Bruce Buschel

The New York Times 2009-10-29

Tweeting is cheap, sweet solution for eateries

Twitter becomes powerful, low-budget marketing tool for restaurants. Chefs, owners use 140 characters - or less - to check on customers' cilantro preferences, to assemble focus groups and to alert them to specials. Service makes experience intimate, memorable, by engaging customers, says industry observer.

By Devra J. First

The Boston Globe 2009-06-29

Reframe sustainability from the people's point of view

Reframe sustainability from the people's point of view

Barton Seaver, chef and evangelist for sustainable seafood, argues for compromise, common sense, saying that everyone acts in his own economic interest. Acknowledging that sustainability is about people, not fish, is first step toward finding solutions. With oysters, for example, 'eating a farm-raised Chesapeake oyster supports generations of watermen and supports the most productive marine ecosystem in the world.'

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-05-13

Fast food chases low price, high volume

In teeth of a recession, fast-food eateries slashing prices in shift from higher profit margins to lower-price, higher-volume sales. That means more 99-cent meals and promotional giveaways. Industry insiders claim value and quality can coexist, but question whether "99 cents and quality" can meet on a bun.

By Jerry Hirsch

Los Angeles Times 2009-04-29

No pork, no Dunkin' for restaurateur, court finds

A Chicago-area operator of a Dunkin' Donuts store told to give up his franchise because of his religious objections to serving breakfast sandwiches with bacon, ham or sausage. Company accommodated restaurateur's Muslim dietary tenets for 20 years but reversed itself. Federal court ruled that withdrawing franchise was not discriminatory. And: Pork ban is only one tenet of halal food (click 'See also').

By Ahmeet Sachdev

Chicago Tribune 2009-04-01

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Casual sit-down restaurants in survival mode

Recession, proliferation pushes casual sit-down restaurants into survival mode - renegotiating loans, cutting staff, offering bargain items, closing poor performers. So far, many companies closing are small, with one to three sites, but thousands more closures expected, says analyst. Parent group of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, announce better-than-expected outlook; fast-food outlets thrive by offering full meals for less than $5.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2009-04-04

Texas musicians remember BBQ master with big heart

Texas musicians remember BBQ master with big heart

Texas singer-songwriters, including Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Tom T. Hall, remember C.B. 'Stubb' Stubblefield, a chef and BBQ restaurateur known as much for his big heart as for his brisket. The African-American Stubb befriended musicians and his BBQ joint became a late-night gathering place for musicians to play and eat.

By Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2009-03-20

Essay: Choking incident shows need for staff safety training

Essay: Choking incident shows need for staff safety training

Portion of life-saving poster by Alex Holden, a Brooklyn artist.

Learning Heimlich maneuver should be mandatory for restaurant staff, writes famed cookbook author who was saved at her own party from choking on Persian shish kebab with pomegranate sauce. The knight? Tom Colicchio, who owns Craft restaurants and is judge on TV show 'Top Chef.' And: Brooklyn artist transforms eyesore of life-saving poster into aesthetic statement (click 'See also').

By Joan Nathan

The New York Times 2009-02-04

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Downturn leaves servers with dirty tables to clean

Growing number of restaurants eliminate busboy positions to cut costs. In many states, loophole allows restaurants to pay servers who earn tips less than minimum wage. Busboys stock ice bins, roll silverware into napkins, refill water glasses and deliver bread to tables; some servers have quit jobs over change.

By Janet Adamy

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-01-27

Hungry inaugural crowds a restaurant dream - if there's food

Inauguration a welcome boost to lackluster season for restaurants, but the question is - where do you store 3,000 pounds of chicken wings, 3 1/2 tons of french fries and everything else for serving when Monday's a holiday and roads are closed on Tuesday? And: Where to eat during the week (click 'See also').

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-01-14

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For restaurant chains, oatmeal is hot

Old-fashioned oatmeal gets makeover as Starbucks, Jamba Juice add high-profit item to menus. Chains aim for upscale breakfast offerings of steel-cut oats with fresh fruit. Breakfast foods are bright spot for restaurant industry, though hot cereal sales at supermarkets have been flat. Recipe: Baked oatmeal, Wisconsin-style (click 'See also').

By Janet Adamy

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-12-18

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Nutrition counts for Philly restaurants in 2010

Philadelphia mayor signs strong menu labeling law that requires most chain restaurants to display calorie, fat, other nutrition information starting in 2010. Most of city's cheesesteak joints are stand-alone shops or small chains and won't be subject to law.

By Maryclaire Dale

The Associated Press; International Herald Tribune 2008-12-18

Chefs expand reach of bacon from breakfast to dessert

When Vosges Haut-Chocolate in Chicago introduced a chocolate bar studded with applewood bacon last year, the sweet-swine concoction was novel. Now, it's popular with chefs across nation. Among the treats: bacon ice cream, maple bacon cupcakes, banana bread pudding with bacon brittle.

By Maria Hunt

The Christian Science Monitor 2008-12-03

Chapter 11 for nation's biggest chicken producer

Pilgrim's Pride seeks protection of bankruptcy court after battling year of volatile feed, fuel costs, low poultry prices, and drop in demand from restaurants. And: Tyson, Perdue, Sanderson, Wayne are other big poultry players (click 'See also').

By Miriam Marcus 2008-12-01

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Opinion: Our right to know nutrition information

Obesity is a public health disaster and is threatening our children. About half of Americans' food budget is spent at restaurants. If we can force oil companies to tell us octane level of fuel for our cars, surely we can demand that fast-food and restaurant chains tell us what we're putting into our bodies.

By Harold Goldstein and Eric Schlosser

Los Angeles Times 2008-08-05

Fast-food id

Reveling in post-modern gluttony, CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., goes for the bloat and gloats about it. The attitude disarms the food police and allows diners a feel-good aspect about getting fat and the chance to strike a blow against political correctness. The strategy is making money, and copycatting is rampant.

By Joe Keohane

Portfolio 2008-02-01

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Beef for a buck?

Fast-food outlets lure cash-strapped customers and teens with expanded dollar menus. Some even include the double cheeseburger, usually a more expensive, marquee choice. Even the non-burger places - including Taco Bell - are jumping in. The Sammies, at Quizno's, are one of the rare cheap choices that also are less than 300 calories.

By Lauren Shepherd

The Associated Press; Union-Tribune (CA) 2008-02-12

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Beyond cod

Tom Aikens, chef and restaurateur, spent most of a year learning fish. Now, at his new fish and chips place in London, he looks to raise awareness about overfished species, like North Sea cod and Mediterranean bluefin tuna, and to expand diners' palates with fish that are sustainably and legally caught.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2008-01-15

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Out of the cubicle

Out of the cubicle

(Scott Adams/Dilbert/USF, Inc.)

"Dilbert" creator, now a pointy-haired boss at a restaurant near San Francisco, is trusting and appreciative and full of off-the-wall ideas about how to turn around the business. But employees say he is dramatically clueless about the the restaurant industry, and they worry: Will they soon be wearing short-sleeved white shirts and ties that point up?

By Brad Stone

The New York Times 2007-11-11

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Shock and foie gras

Xanthan gum and agar-agar, usually low on the list of ingredients in processed foods and often at home in petri dishes, has nudged flour and cornstarch aside in a few intrepid chefs' kitchens. Chemistry, they say, as they tie foie gras into a knot, is another word for recipe.

By Kenneth Chang

The New York Times 2007-11-06

Up and away

Increase in corn price and less of it because of biofuel needs have hiked prices of commercial vegetables, food grains, oil bearing crops, milk, eggs, chicken and beef; restaurants raise prices and cut costs, but '08 earnings could slip, analysts say.

The Associated Press 2007-11-02

Generational playdate

Entrepreneur, seeing inspiration in her native England, re-creates in her Wisconsin town a combination of indoor children's playground and coffee house/sandwich shop featuring wireless internet access.

By Randy Hanson

Hudson Star-Observer (WI) 2007-09-28

Your score:

To determine your environmental footprint of those restaurant dinners and other lifestyle choices, play this game from American Public Media.

By Christopher Kennedy, Michael Skoler and others

American Public Media and Realtime Associates, Inc. 2007-09-19

Local, extreme:

Local, extreme:

For chefs with the ripe stuff, now's the season for them to luxuriate in too many juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, zesty peppers and tender zucchini, and then serve up food that's as local as the the farmers' market.

By Beth D'Addono

Philadelphia Daily News 2007-08-23

Opinion: Illegals

Bush administration deserves credit for pushing immigration reform, but enforcement-only plan for handling illegal immigrants could create potentially devastating consequences for farmers at harvest season.

The editors

Denver Post 2007-08-14

Recalls: raw oysters

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters harvested from an area of the southern tip of Hood Canal in Washington after an outbreak of illness caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. Oysters from the area were distributed to California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, New York, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Canada), Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Food and Drug Administration

Biodegradable future:

Entrepreneurs find booming business in selling biodegradable and compostable cups, bowls and flatware made of sugar cane and corn plastic to local restaurants, but find they must educate restaurateurs on plastics problems first.

By Joanna Hartman

Sierra Sun; Nevada Appeal

Ad attack

Humane Society targets Wendy's for its egg-buying choices, comparing it unfavorably to Burger King, which is phasing in cage-free policy; company responds that its interests are focused on welfare of chickens and pigs, the meat of which they buy in larger quantities.

By Monique Curet and Tracy Turner

The Columbus Dispatch

Fish in decline:

Overfishing, poaching and pollution have depleted worldwide fish stocks to 10 percent of normal; for every pound of shrimp harvested, 10 pounds are discarded, along with turtles and dolphins, conservationists report.

By Eviana Hartman

Washington Post

See also 

Wheat increase:

With ethanol craze and escalating corn prices taking all the attention, worldwide drought has gone almost unnoticed, but it is driving wheat prices up; breadmakers are paying more for flour and weak dollar makes U.S. wheat attractive.

By Jeff Cox


New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

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Diet rich in high-fat, low-nutrient junk food and meals made outside the home, plus parents' extra hours of work are combining to shorten and widen our children in comparison to others in developed countries around the world, study suggests.

By Paul Krugman

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Not pretending:

Lead singer Chrissie Hynde, of the Pretenders, plans to open a vegetarian restaurant in hometown of Akron; she's calling it VegeTerranean.

Associated Press

Smoke signal:

Study shows that secondhand smoke sends carcinogen markers surging in urine of waiters and bartenders, even after brief exposure; research likely will strengthen anti-smoking efforts across nation in bars and restaurants.

HealthDay News;

Restaurateur fined:

'Positive' and 'selfless' Sioux Falls restaurateur avoids jail sentence after judge determines he was helping illegal immigrants, not exploiting them, by hiring them to work in his Iowa restaurant, Inca Mexican.

By Josh Verges

Argus Leader (IA)

Closer look:

Lax food safety standards in China push General Mills, Kellogg and other companies to increase scrutiny on ingredients, including apple juice, ascorbic acid and xanthan gum, and point up growing dependence of U.S. on new, untamed economic giant that offers vast quantities at lowest prices.

By Nelson D. Schwartz

The New York Times (may require subscription)

OPINION-Tuna trouble

Responding to demand from affluent countries, tuna, along with sharks and other ocean-dwelling species, have been rapaciously overfished by aggressive industrial fleets (Japan is a chief offender) for decades, but will new global discipline save the Atlantic bluefin from extinction?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

China blow:

FDA issues alert, requires testing on shrimp, catfish and its relative basa, eel, and dace, related to carp imported from China because of recurrent contamination from carcinogens and antibiotics; country supplies one-fifth of imported seafood and made $1.9 billion in 2006.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Startup help:

Kitchen incubator in San Francisco helps women with big dreams and few resources to start their own food businesses, linking them to planners, marketers and food retailers, and sometimes giving them step away from poverty.

By Laura Novak

The New York Times (may require subscription)


Ralph Stayer, Johnsonville Sausage Company founder, who popularized bratwurst.

Associated Press; The New York Times 0000-00-00

Too few tuna:

Overfished, now scarce, expensive and in demand in U.S. and Russia, South Korea and China, tuna slips from sushi menus in Japan, causing national panic and in-depth reports on nightly news; country frets about global tuna superpower status.

By Martin Fackler

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Idea infringement?

Citing intellectual property, New York restaurateur and chef of Pearl Oyster Bar sues former employee for remarkable similarities in look and feel of a new place, Ed's Lobster Bar.

By Pete Wells

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Climate zero or hero?

According to new measure of environmental stewardship, ConAgra and Sara Lee are stuck, but Danon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Stonyfield are striving; food production companies, with large transportation and packaging responsibilities face particular challenges.

By Anna Cynar

Utne Reader 2007-03-04

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Suit limitation:

Families of children sickened from e.coli after eating McDonald's hamburgers told they can sue only in rural Missouri counties where restaurants are situated, and not in Kansas City, court rules; stores are independent franchisees, company says.

By David A. Lieb

Associated Press; Houston Chronicle


Hamburger giant works with translation service to create a series of nutrition icons for calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium that work with or without language, worldwide; company will allow free use of new symbols to food and restaurant industry.

QSR Magazine

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For the benefit:

Wolfgang Puck and other culinary luminaries converge in northeast Ohio, serve up heaping portions of lobster, beef, lamb chops and wine in a biennial benefit to fight cancer - hopes were to raise $2 million.

By Lisa Abraham

Akron Beacon-Journal