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.
You can now walk into any fast casual pizza joint and ask for a pizza (not a slice) topped with whatever you want and receive it either at the register or within 5 minutes at your table.
Managing your restaurant digitally has plenty of advantages and with the rapidly changing workforce, it may even soon be necessary.
Local marketing, local sourcing, mobile technologies and customer service initiatives are all expected to move to the front burner in the New Year.
After years on the rise, gluten-free cuisine has fallen out of the top 10 list of the National Restaurant Association's annual survey.
A handful of businessmen and women have come up with new concepts specifically to solve restaurant operators' biggest problems.
The FDA will consider details throughout the next year, and will continue to solicit input on how to properly monitor these regulations.
The FDA's 395-page document includes menu labeling by the slice, not the whole pizza, a ruling applauded by the restaurant industry.
It has been estimated that about 20 percent of chefs, head cooks and cooks in the restaurant industry are undocumented immigrants.
Many restaurant operators believe a minimum wage increase is inevitable, and they are responding in a variety of ways.
OtherShip Foods offers 10- and 20-foot containers that use hydroponics technology to grow produce on site.
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.
Beverages, micro-local, crowdsourcing and increased competition from nontraditional foodservice outlets are all expected to shape the restaurant landscape in 2015.
The biggest opportunities to save come with packaging and waste initiatives.
Watch for menu trends at airport bars and lounges, Hollywood and convenience stores.
Restaurant operators are paying their employees more now than they were last year.
Union activism, food costs, data breaches and minimum wage debates are just part of the 'external factors' facing restaurant operators.
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.
Such technology decreases a customer's perceived wait time by up to 40 percent.
Selfies that include brand references are an implied testimonial, and brands are wise to tap into the trend.
Bo's Steak & Grill features a backyard barbecue theme, with country music, denim and red solo cups.