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Tag Archives: Nations Restaurant News

Analyst optimistic about restaurant growth

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

Improved sales expected in next round of restaurant earnings

Analyst: Chains still face higher commodity prices and shaky consumer confidence

October 6, 2010

Mark Brandau

While commodity price inflation looms on the horizon and the Consumer Confidence Index has retreated to its lowest level since February, Morgan Keegan analysts Robert Derrington, Destin Tompkins and Joe Drake think recent improving same-store sales at 15 of the restaurant companies the firm tracks should continue this quarter and into 2011.

Read the rest of the article here:

P.F. Chang’s plans price hike as traffic improves – Nation’s Restaurant News

By Ron  Ruggless

Taco Bell founder dies

From Restaurant News Breaking News:

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2010) Glen W. Bell Jr., founder of Taco Bell, the world’s largest fast-food Mexican chain, passed away at his home Sunday after a long illness. He was 86.

Bell first began selling tacos in 1951, when he wanted to expand the menus at his Bell’s Drive-In hamburger stands. Those first tacos, made with ground beef, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese and chili sauce and served in crispy shells, would ultimately become his signature product years later at Taco Bell, which now boasts 5,600 U.S. locations.

“The entire Taco Bell family of franchisees and employees are deeply saddened by the loss of the founder of Taco Bell,” said Greg Creed, president and chief concept officer of Taco Bell, now a division of Yum! Brands Inc. “Glen Bell was a visionary and innovator in the restaurant industry, as well as a dedicated family man. His innovative business acumen started out of humble beginnings and created one of the nation’s largest restaurant chains in Taco Bell.”

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Ed. note: I hear that co-founder Miguel Taco is doing well.

More positive financial news for restaurants in 2010

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

Restaurant industry sees signs of light

by Sarah Lockyer

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2010) Two recent surveys forecast a slightly sunnier picture for the year ahead among both consumers and franchise business leaders, providing a glimpse of clearer skies for the restaurant industry.

Last week, a key consumer barometer, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, showed its second straight gain in two months, with the consumer outlook for the months ahead reaching a two-year high.

The Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said the index rose in December to 52.9, from 50.6 in November. The index is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, and readings above 90 indicate a stable economy and above 100 indicate economic growth. Tracking consumer confidence is key for many restaurant operators, as consumer sentiment is tied so closely to consumer spending, which drives the engine of the restaurant industry.

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Famed NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green auctions its contents

Tavern on the Green prepares for auction By Elissa  Elan


Restaurant operators somewhat optimistic according to NRN

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

“Restaurant operators’ outlook improves

by Paul Frumpkin

WASHINGTON (Nov. 30, 2009) While customer traffic remained sluggish during the month of October, restaurateurs tended to be more hopeful about their prospects for the future, according to the latest monthly operator survey from the National Restaurant Association.

The NRA’s Restaurant Performance Index, or RPI, posted its first gain in three months, registering 98.0 for the month, an increase of 0.5 percent over its September level of 97.5. Based on a 100-point scale, the RPI is a monthly composite that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. foodservice industry by monitoring sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures.

Despite the uptick, though, the index remained below the 100 mark Ñ which reflects contraction of key industry indicators — for the 24th consecutive month”.

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From Nations Restaurant News – Catering at-home parties a boon for restaurants

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Catering at-home parties a boon for restaurants

By Mark Brandau

CHICAGO (Aug. 17, 2009)

 While the recession has taken a considerable toll on restaurant-based private parties and business catering for corporate lunches or meetings — sandwich chain Così said catering sales plummeted 27.5 percent decline in its last quarter — the restaurant industry has a $33.3 billion opportunity to grow consumer catering sales, Technomic found.

Technomic principal Melissa Wilson said the Chicago-based research firm was surprised that the potential for providing catered food to consumers’ homes was this large. As the recession continues to drive people to their homes for entertainment, she said, restaurants need to follow them there.

“This is where your customers are,” Wilson said. “They used to use restaurants as social venues, but now they’re entertaining at home. They’ve told us they plan to continue doing so because they’re enjoying socializing with friends at each other’s homes. In fact, 40 percent of consumers say they expect to entertain at home more often over the coming year.”

Read the rest of the article here:

This is definitely something that can help restaurants, especially independent restaurants with loyal customer bases. Several restaurants in my area have formed separate catering companies that serve the home market. At least one of them tries to serve different dayparts, doing breakfasts and lunches with special menu items. This restaurant is open for dinner only, so this allows them to help avoid either cannibalizing their current business or interfering with their in-restaurant operations by not diverting kitchen attention from in-dining room guests. They maximize their kitchen real estate by producing more sales per sq. foot. It’s a win-win all around.