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When I was about 8 years old, my mother finally left me alone in the kitchen to create something of my own devise. I couldn't use the stove, but I could use whatever was in the refrigerator for my first culinary masterpiece. I decided to make egg salad, using condiments and other items that required no cooking. I remember very vividly my selection of cherry juice (I was, only 8, afterall), hoping it would provide a little bit of sweetened flavor to my creation. Needless to say, it did not.

As I think back over the past four years of the fast casual segment, I am reminded of that story.

The choices we make – whether in the kitchen, in our lives or in our businesses - create the outcomes we desire – or lack thereof. My use of cherry juice didn't make the egg salad taste any better, but it did enable me to use my imagination in order to figure out why it didn't work and what would.

For restaurant operators, the past four years have fostered the same type of imaginative use to streamline operations and increase profitability. While not all decisions made created the desired outcome, even the missteps provided opportunities for growth.

Operators must often look at what they're creating – and if they have the right mix of best practices - to produce a brand that resonates at both the corporate and consumer level. If something isn't working, while that one aspect may be simple in its application, it can throw the entire brand off balance.

So, as we head into Spring – and into more optimistic times – what's in your egg salad?

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Latest posts by Valerie Killifer
Valerie Killifer
As the founder of P-O-P Content & Communications, Valerie Killifer brings her passion for creative thinking and relationship development to the forefront of her business. She spent 15 years as a professional journalist and continues to write about the brands, people and trends impacting the restaurant industry.
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