Category Archives: food

Olive Garden Is Evidence Of A Huge Problem In The Economy…

Struggling are Olive Garden and Red Lobster, which are largely geared toward middle-class customers, who have been squeezed during the recession and slow recovery. Families with young children cut back on restaurant spending during the downturn, and they haven’t come back, according to a recent survey by restaurant research firm NPD Group.

Same-store sales, a measure of performance at restaurants open a year or more, dropped 3.5 percent at Olive Garden and 5.6 percent at Red Lobster over the quarter. At Long Horn Steak House, Darden’s middle-of-the-road steak chain, same-store sales rose 2.4 percent, but traffic — the measure of how many people are actually coming through the door — dropped over the quarter.

On the other hand, at Darden’s Capital Grille, where most dinner entrees fetch more than $40 each, same-store sales increased 4 percent over the quarter. That makes sense, too: Over the past few years, the kinds of people who can afford a fancy dinner have seen their incomes grow, even as everybody else’s incomes have stayed flat.


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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in business, food, trends


SOYLENT the new super food.

Rob Rinehart is a Software Engineer by profession, experimentally discovered a new way of eating, intended to supply all of human body’s daily nutritional needs.


Read all about it here

How I Stopped Eating Food

And if you like to try SOYLENT you can buy here


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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in food


Chipotle Mexican Grill knows how to do food business

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s assembly-line business model of slinging burritos and carnitas had a banner day on Wall Street. As the much of the market saw increased volatility Friday, Chipotle saw record highs, boosted by much better-than-expected earnings.

Much of the company’s solid growth came from its ability to quickly serve long lines of hungry customers during peak rush hours, a concept known as throughput, said Stephen Anderson, a restaurant analyst with Miller Tabak & Co. The efficiency at which customers move through Chipotle lines during busy hours seems to be increasing, he said.

Check out the CNBC video

What separates Chipotle from peers?
Over the last five years, Chipotle’s stock has surged an incredible 1,030% as the company has become one of the largest restaurants by market capitalization in the market. The reasons for its success during this period are plentiful, but they can be traced back to three core explanations.

1. Chipotle was one of the first fast-casual restaurants and really formed the business model for the segment, which is growing three to five times faster than any other segment in the restaurant industry in any given quarter.

2. Product Innovation: Chipotle continues to add new foods to its menu, and it has successfully grown beyond Mexican food into Asian food. It is now bringing its fast-casual business model to the pizza industry. Thus, Chipotle’s growth has never been an issue.

3. Organic and healthy focus: Many thought healthy consumption was a fad, but it has proven to be a long-term lifestyle that Chipotle’s peers are now racing to satisfy. Chipotle saw this trend coming, and it has positioned its menus to meet this need.

Is Chipotle still the BEST?

Fast Casual Versus Fast Food

One trend that you might want to take notice of is the shift from quick-service (fast food) and casual dining restaurants to fast casual restaurants.

For proof, consider a recent quote from Bonnie Briggs, an NPD restaurant industry analyst:

“Overall, restaurant customers are trading down, foregoing some of their visits to full service places while increasing the number of visits made to fast casual restaurants. Fast casual concepts are capturing market traffic share by meeting consumers’ expectations, while midscale and casual dining places continue to lose share.”

Fast casual vs. fast food

Fast food is the same thing as quick-service. The name has been changed to “quick-service restaurants” due to the negative connotation associated with the phrase “fast food.”


According to the NPD Group (a global information company), the foodservice industry still hasn’t recovered from the recession. Still, the fast casual dining space has performed well. In 2013, fast casual restaurant visits increased 8% versus 2012. If that’s not impressive enough, spending at fast casual restaurants jumped 10% over 2012. Comparatively, total spending at all restaurants improved just 2%.

The reason for the superior performance has to do with better service than fast food restaurants and more affordability than casual dining restaurants. Food served at fast casual restaurants is believed to be fresher than what you find at fast food restaurants.

The chart below shows the difference between fast food foot traffic and fast casual foot traffic since 2009 — all numbers are year over year:

Year Fast Food Traffic Fast Casual Traffic
2009 Down 3% Up 4%
2010 Down 1% Up 6%
2011 Flat Up 6%
2012 Up 1% Up 9%
2013 Flat Up 8%

As you can see, the fast casual space is growing at a decent clip. Also, keep in mind that the average check size is higher at fast casual restaurants than at fast food restaurants: $7.40 vs. $5.30. The average check at full-service restaurants is $13.66, but that doesn’t mean much without increased traffic.

Part of the reason for growth in the fast casual space is increased unit growth. For instance, fast casual units grew 6% to 16,215 in 2013. This might make the numbers above seem skewed, but only restaurants that are bullish about their futures will add more locations. Restaurant chains that are struggling will close locations to free up cash flow to pay off debt or reinvest that capital into better-performing locations.

Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill are the top performers in the space, but is one a better option than the other?

More details here

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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in business, food, trends


pollo tropical

Pollo Tropical (lit. Tropical Chicken in English) is a restaurant chain specializing in the cuisine of the Caribbean.

The restaurant chain is best known for its marinated and grilled chicken served with black beans and rice.

The unique restaurant concept is known for its fresh, never frozen, open flame grilled chicken, marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices, as well as authentic “made from scratch” side dishes.

El Pollo Loco 

is a similar grilled chicken franchise based on mexican cuisine,

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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in food, trends


Coke and Pepsi contain tiny traces of alcohol

Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain minute traces of alcohol, scientific research published in France has revealed.The revelation will cause concern among those who chose the carbonated soft drink for religious, health or safety reasons.According to tests carried out by the Paris-based National Institute of Consumption INC more than half of leading colas contain the traces of alcohol.

via Coke and Pepsi contain tiny traces of alcohol, reveals French research | Mail Online.

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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in food


The Secret Document That Transformed China’s Economy With Private Property and Competition

“In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property. “Back then, even one straw belonged to the group,” says Yen Jingchang (pictured above), who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. “No one owned anything.”

via CARPE DIEM: The Secret Document That Transformed China’s Economy With Private Property and Competition.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in economy, food, think


Blogger jailed over critical restaurant review

After visiting a Taichung beef noodle restaurant in July 2008, where she had dried noodles and side dishes, Liu wrote that the restaurant served food that was too salty, the place was unsanitary because there were cockroaches and that the owner was a “bully” because he let customers park their cars haphazardly, leading to traffic jams.

The restaurant’s owner, surnamed Yang, learned about Liu’s blog post from a regular customer, and filed charges against her, accusing her of defamation.

The Taichung District Court ruled that Liu’s criticism of the restaurant exceeded reasonable bounds and sentenced her to 30 days in detention, a ruling that Liu appealed.

The High Court found that Liu’s criticism about cockroaches in the restaurant to be a narration of facts, not intentional slander.

However, the judge also ruled that Liu should not have criticized all the restaurant’s food as too salty because she only had one dish on her single visit.

via Blogger jailed over critical restaurant review – Taipei Times.

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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in food, think

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