Carrots, beets and potatoes are still the most popular winter root vegetables, but more eccentric offerings are starting to show up on cold-weather restaurant menus. Celeriac, turnips and parsnips are helping break up the monotony of the winter root season with unfamiliar flavors and fun textures. Celeriac in particular is great because the whole plant, including the roots and leaves, can be used in different recipes. Another root showing up more on restaurant menus is taro, which is unfamiliar to many Americans but is used as a common accompaniment to meats in Asian cuisine.

Read the full article here: Winter Root Vegetables

News

2015 was a year filled with many restaurant marketing campaigns that drew headlines and online clicks. Perhaps the most successful marketing coup of 2015 was Burger King’s offer to McDonald’s to create a “Peace Burger” that combined parts of the Whopper and the Big Mac. McDonald’s wasn’t interested, but Burger King ended up partnering with Denny’s Krystal, Giraffas and Wayback Burgers to produce a Peace Day Burger that was given out in Atlanta on Sept. 21.

The other ad campaigns that drew the most headlines stirred up at least a little bit of controversy. Carl’s Jr. continued its tradition of racy burger ads featuring scantily clad models, which generated some blowback but also a lot of interest in the chain. While Carl’s Jr. was being intentionally provocative, Starbucks probably thought no drama would be caused by their minimalist red holiday cup design. They were incredibly wrong, and the simple red cups became a symbol of the alleged “War on Christmas” for some evangelicals. The scandal, while undoubtedly annoying to the chain, earned them a ton of free publicity. All press is good press, after all.

Read the full article here: 5 Memorable Marketing Moments of 2015

Commentary

Yum! Brands, the company behind KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has been running a philanthropic program called World Hunger Relief since 2007. The company announced that this program has raised $640 million to feed needy global citizens since its inception. Yum! also recently created a sister program called the Feed the World Ambassador Program that funds infrastructure improvements at schools where students receive food aid from World Hunger Relief. WHR is the largest private sector contributor to the UN’s World Food Programme.

Read the full article here: Yum! Raised $640 Million for World Hunger Relief

News

Although Christmas is a holiday traditionally spent at home, many Americans will have reasons to leave the house to eat this December 25th. Of course, those who don’t celebrate Christmas will appreciate having restaurant options open on the holiday, and even many of those who do celebrate Christmas won’t feel like cooking after opening presents. Restaurant News has done all of these people a great service by listing all the restaurant chains in america that will be open this Christmas.

Read the full article here: Restaurant Chains Open for Christmas 2015

News

The holiday season is a time for giving, both for private individuals and for businesses. QSR Magazine has a piece that explores how several restaurant chains make charity happen during the holiday season.

Some brands focus on a single cause to channel their contributions into. For example, Tropical Smoothie foundation donates all of their charitable funds to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Another great strategy is to help franchisees run fundraising campaigns and then let them donate the money to their local charity of choice. This is the route that Jersey Mike’s Subs takes with their Month of Giving.

Although taking the time to organize and implement charitable programs can be demanding, it has a high payoff if done well. If you’re able to choose organizations that resonate with your consumer base, it can generate goodwill among consumers and bring more people into your stores. More importantly, giving back is just the right thing to do, and it will make you feel great about your business.

Read the full article here: The How of Philanthropy

Commentary

Improvements in restaurant technology have focused for the most part on the front of the house, with reservation and payment systems benefitting from updated tech. Two MBA students from Georgetown noticed that supply ordering had not been updated in the same way, so they created a supply ordering platform called BlueCart that lets chefs and restaurant owners place all of their orders at the same time with one click. Now over 2,000 restaurants across the country use BlueCart for their orders.

Read the full article here: Ordering Made Simple

News

Normally, it can be kind of sad to read a bad review of a restaurant. Most restaurants are created and run by well-intentioned people who are just trying to serve people good food. Sometimes, though, a restaurant is so fantastically ill-conceived and willfully terrible that it just needs to be taken down a peg. The restaurants on this list are in the latter category, most of them charging usuriously expensive prices for terrible to mediocre food. It’s pretty fun to see a restaurant critic ripping in to a restaurant that deserves it.

Read the full article here: The Most Scathing Restaurant Reviews of 2015

News

The tradition of making a promise to yourself for the New Year may seem like a hokey one, but this time of the year can be a great time to evaluate how you’re doing and how you’d like to improve in the future. That’s just as true for your restaurant business as it is for you as a person.

Restaurant Hospitality collected New Year’s resolutions from chefs and restaurant owners. Some people made pragmatic business-focused resolutions like increasing their business’ online presence, trying to find new ways to reach out to guests, and taking the team out to other restaurants more frequently to get inspiration. Others had more touchy-feely resolutions like minimizing food waste, pairing up with local food banks and sticking more closely to the core values of their business.

More than anything else, the New Year is a an opportunity to gain some perspective on your business’ state of affairs. To figure out what your business’ resolution should be, try making a list of all the major mistakes you made and difficulties you faced last year, and try to pick the one you’d like to happen again the least. Try not to be like the majority of Americans who give up on their resolutions in the first couple of months!

Read the full article here: Chefs, Owners Reveal Their 2016 Resolutions

Commentary

Taps are traditionally reserved for beer at bars, but innovative businesses across the U.S. are putting everything from wine, pre-mixed cocktails, coffee and more on tap. The change in how taps are used isn’t limited to the drinks coming out of the tap either. Some places are using digital keg-measurement tools like iPourIt to allow customers to pour their own beer, much like they would at a self-service soda machine.

Read the full article here: Trending Taps

News

The Nevada Liquor Control Commission is taking a big step forward in the effort to modernize the licensing process. Bars and restaurants in the state can now renew their liquor licenses online, avoiding a trip to a government office. This provides valuable convenience for overworked business owners and gets rid of some of the red tape in the liquor licensing process. Nevada followed the lead of Omaha, Nebraska, which recently made the switch to online liquor license renewal payment.

Read the full article here: Nebraska Liquor Control Commission Offers Online Liquor License Renewals

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