A year-end review from the Brewers Association has found that the U.S. is now home to 4,144 breweries. This figure is the most in recorded history, topping the previous high of 4,131, which was set in 1873. The chief economist predicts that the number of breweries will continue to increase, given that more than two breweries now open every day on average in America. There are also many small communities that don’t yet contain a brewery, so there is still room for growth.

Read the full article here: U.S. Brewery Count Reaches All-Time High of 4,144

News

According to the M&C Allegra Foodservice’s Eating Out Panel, lunchtime alcoholic beverages are becoming more popular in the UK. Alcoholic drinks now make up 14 percent of lunchtime drink orders, up from 12 percent last year. This increase counters the overall decline in alcohol consumption in Great Britain. Analysts speculate that the increase in lunchtime drinking may be driven by an upsurge in interest in craft beer and hard cider.

Read the full article here: Boozy Lunches Make a Return

News

Just a few years ago, very few people thought about how the animals that made their food were treated. Meat was meat, and an egg was an egg, and nobody stopped to wonder what the lives of the cows, pigs, or chickens that created food were like.

Now things are dramatically different. Customers are passionate about the manner in which their food is produced, and are concerned about both the environmental and ethical ramifications of what they consume. Restaurants are scrambling to respond to customer demand for ethical food in a race to the top of sound food sourcing practices. Taco Bell made headlines recently with their commitment to switch to cage free eggs, and other fast food giants are not far behind.

Companies are beginning to realize that the way they are perceived from a moral standpoint has a serious effect on the bottom line. A  large portion of the American consumer base now cares strongly about animal rights, and they are voting with their dollars. Chains like Chipotle that have committed themselves to humane food sourcing have exploded in popularity, and other companies are following their lead.

Read the full article here: Opinion: The Egg Supply’s Cage-Free Future

Commentary

Upselling is one of the most powerful techniques restaurants can use to generate profits. Of course, no one likes the feeling of spending more than they intend to, so Restaurant Hospitality has a list of subtle ways to make customers buy more without feeling scammed. Some good techniques include offering personal menu suggestions, giving the options of dessert to go, making wine samples available, and listing the items you want to sell most last.

Read the full article here: 10 Powerful Upsell Techniques

News

IHOP and Applebee’s, full-service restaurant chains owned by DineEquity, are both taking soda off of their kid’s menus. The health advocacy nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest  (CSPI) praised DineEquity’s new policy, which was inspired by the nonprofit’s anti-sugary drink campaigns. CSPI nutrition expert Jessica Almy stated that the menu changes would help promote healthy eating habits in children. The changes are part of larger movement by restaurant chains to address consumer concerns about the health value of kid’s menu items.

Read the full article here: IHOP, Applebee’s Take Soda Off Children’s Menus

News