Having been to Alaska on three occasions, I couldn’t help noticing that the beautiful glaciers have receded more with each time I visited, which is impacting wildlife, oceans and the overall environment.
Buoyed by positive same-store sales and customer traffic results, the Washington, D.C.-based National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose in November. The RPI, a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry, stood at 99.9 in November, up 0.5 percent from October. However, November marked the second consecutive month in which the RPI stood below 100.
In its “Breakfast Consumer Trend Report,” Chicago-based research firm Technomic notes that coffee is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ breakfast purchasing decisions. Thirty-three percent of consumers who drink coffee at breakfast say they are loyal to a coffee brand or restaurant that serves their preferred coffee, which is an increase from 25 percent who reported loyalty in 2009, it states.
As restaurant operators continue to recover from the effects of the recession, fast-casual restaurants have received positive marks from analysts. According to Chicago-based Technomic Inc.’s 2011 Top Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report, the foodservice segment outpaced the rest of the restaurant industry in 2010, with the top 100 chains growing 6 percent to nearly $18.9 billion. The total units grew 3.9 percent, which was slower than last year, but faster than other dining segments, according to the report.
Carrollton, Texas-based T.G.I. Friday’s developed a new Buy Your Friend A Beer Facebook application to complement its Better with Brew menu. By “liking” the Friday’s fan page and placing an order through the custom tab, Facebook users 21 years and older can buy their Facebook friends as many as five beers. Recipients receive an electronic gift card to redeem in the restaurant. Purchase price is set at $5, regardless of the recipient’s regional location, and is redeemable for any beer of choice, including a selection of regional craft beers; non-alcohol beverage or food item at any local T.G.I. Friday’s.
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.