Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

Executive round table: Fast casual segment leaders make their 2015 predictions

Local marketing, local sourcing, mobile technologies and customer service initiatives are all expected to move to the front burner in the New Year.

The chefs have spoken: Menu trend predictions for 2015

After years on the rise, gluten-free cuisine has fallen out of the top 10 list of the National Restaurant Association's annual survey.

Startups prove the future of foodservice is bright

A handful of businessmen and women have come up with new concepts specifically to solve restaurant operators' biggest problems.

FAQ's about the FDA's final menu regulations

The FDA will consider details throughout the next year, and will continue to solicit input on how to properly monitor these regulations.

The wait is over: FDA issues final menu labeling regulations

The FDA's 395-page document includes menu labeling by the slice, not the whole pizza, a ruling applauded by the restaurant industry.

Restaurant organizations apprehensive about Obama's executive action on immigration

It has been estimated that about 20 percent of chefs, head cooks and cooks in the restaurant industry are undocumented immigrants.

Minimum wage: how restaurants are responding to the 'inevitable'

Many restaurant operators believe a minimum wage increase is inevitable, and they are responding in a variety of ways.

Startup aims to help restaurants clear hyperlocal produce hurdles

OtherShip Foods offers 10- and 20-foot containers that use hydroponics technology to grow produce on site.

Restaurants beefing up offerings despite rising protein costs

Operators are so undeterred by rising protein costs that menu mentions of protein across the board have risen 67 percent in the last five years.

Prognostication: 2015 menu trends

Beverages, micro-local, crowdsourcing and increased competition from nontraditional foodservice outlets are all expected to shape the restaurant landscape in 2015.

Panera, Chipotle set sustainability standards by starting small, thinking big

The biggest opportunities to save come with packaging and waste initiatives.

Industry trends: Consumers will spend more for transparency, authenticity, safety

Watch for menu trends at airport bars and lounges, Hollywood and convenience stores.

Fast-paced technology changes highlighted in annual Fast Casual State of the Industry report

Restaurant operators are paying their employees more now than they were last year.

Firehouse CEO: Restaurant industry dealing with unprecedented headwinds

Union activism, food costs, data breaches and minimum wage debates are just part of the 'external factors' facing restaurant operators.

Panasonic bets on growth of drive-thru digital menu boards

Because of the heavy traffic volume at the drive-thru, Panasonic's Jeff Pinc said the industry is in the beginning stages of wide adoption of outdoor digital displays.

A confluence of factors pushing digital signage into the mainstream [infographic]

Such technology decreases a customer's perceived wait time by up to 40 percent.

Restaurants tap into the selfie trend

Selfies that include brand references are an implied testimonial, and brands are wise to tap into the trend.

Homestyle Dining leverages smaller footprint to create 'plush fast casual' steak concept

Bo's Steak & Grill features a backyard barbecue theme, with country music, denim and red solo cups.

McDonald's ruling holds franchisors accountable for franchise employee allegations

The National Restaurant Association claims the decision will impede job creation and create 'big business.'

Turning social media likes into restaurant traffic

Offer customers something, like a discount or a recipe, in return for their like.

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