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Home2 Suites By Hilton Opens In Rapid City

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2017-04-18 05:33
BOX ELDER, SD––Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton's (NYSE: HLT) All Suites portfolio, announced today its newest property, Home2 Suites ...

Alliance Hospitality Opens Delta By Marriott Chicago North Shore

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2017-04-18 05:20
GLENVIEW, IL–-Alliance Hospitality has officially opened the Delta by Marriott Chicago North Shore hotel, located in Glenview, IL. The property is ...

NewcrestImage Names Kevin Ruhman As Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2017-04-18 05:07
NewcrestImage continues its plans for growth with the addition of hospitality veteran Kevin Ruhman as Vice President of Sales and Marketing ...

VW aims to meet tough China green car quotas with big EV push

AutoNews - Tue, 2017-04-18 04:32
VW Group aims to meet tough quotas in China for selling more green cars on its own and will not resort to purchasing credits from competitors.
Categories: Latest News

McDonald's, fast-food chains find antibiotic-free beef, pork hard to deliver

Topix - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:38

Cattle munch on hay in 2016 at Slagel Family Farm in Fairbury, Ill., where cattle are raised without hormones. Ensuring that cattle or swine are reaised without antibiotics is more complicated than with chicken, McDonald's says.

Categories: Today's Food News

Posbank DCR™, a Supercompact All-in-One POS Terminal, Wins the Red Dot...

PR Web - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:30

The DCR™, Posbank’s latest all-in-one POS terminal, offers supercompact size yet powerful performance.

(PRWeb April 06, 2017)

Read the full story at

It's A Grind to Bring Neighborhood Coffee House Vibe to New...

PR Web - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:30

Established Coffee Brand Unveils Enhanced Development Plan Focused on West Coast Franchise Growth

(PRWeb April 06, 2017)

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Social Joey Announces GOOGLE+ PAGES API Integration

PR Web - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:30

Tennessee startup, Social Joey adds Google+ Pages API integration to their social media content platform. The company plans to continue their focus on multi-location and franchise markets, by further...

(PRWeb April 06, 2017)

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Coverall Survey Finds 40% of Americans View Startup Costs as Main...

PR Web - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:30

Entrepreneurs can utilize upcoming tax refunds to help kick-start their professional ambitions

(PRWeb April 06, 2017)

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Mighty Introduces the M-Pak Lube System

PR Web - Tue, 2017-04-18 03:30

Durable Rack System for Storing and Efficiently Dispensing Automotive Lubricants to Help Automotive Service Centers Better Manage the Proliferation of Motor Oil Viscosity Grades and Other Lubricants

(PRWeb April 05, 2017)

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Post Malone Had 10,000 Popeye's Biscuits Delivered to Coachella

Topix - Mon, 2017-04-17 23:07

This is hard to admit, but I'm starting to like Post Malone. First, his Quavo collab " Congratulations " wormed its way into my heart.

Categories: Today's Food News

Horror hit a Splita arrives on home video, along with fast food a Foundera

Topix - Mon, 2017-04-17 20:51

There is little of note on DVD this week. James McAvoy gives an all-out performance in M. Night Shyamalan's "Split." It is another preposterous horror premise by the director.

Categories: Today's Food News

Restaurant sales slow again in March

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-04-17 20:42

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

Restaurant sales rose 2.8 percent in March, according to federal data, slowing for the second straight month as the industry faces its weakest environment in more than three years.

The result was a slowdown from the 3.7 percent growth in February, and was the lowest since December. Yet, outside of a 6-percent growth rate during the weather-aided month of January, sales since December have been at their lowest rates since 2013.

That was the year the federal government ended a two-year reduced Social Security tax rate. And gas prices were still near record highs.

This is federal data. It is not to be confused with sales indexes, like Black Box and MillerPulse, that track same-store sales — which measures sales changes at existing locations. Thus, the 2.8 percent figure represents total industry growth, including new locations. 

And 2.8 percent is historically low. Since 2009, restaurants averaged 4.8 percent sales growth. But take out the ugly 2009 recession year, and that average increases to 5.5 percent. 

Before December, when restaurant sales grew at a paltry 2.5 percent, industry sales grew lower than 2.8 percent only five months.

The numbers are the clearest suggestion of a slowdown in the restaurant industry, as consumers shift their spending toward other areas.

Overall retail sales increased 5.5 percent. While consumers have slowed their spending at traditional retailers like Kohl’s and Target, they’re spending more at online merchants. 

The bigger question is whether this is a temporary blip, or a long-term trend. In general, industry sales go through cycles, as issues such as the economy, tax policy, inflation, weather and gas prices influence consumer decisions.

Restaurant industry same-store sales have been weak for the past year, and total industry sales growth has been weakening in the process.

Some of that blame, as we’ve written here before, goes to grocery stores. Lower grocery prices appear to be taking some demand away from restaurants. Grocers’ prices fell by 0.9 percent in March, while restaurant prices increased 2.4 percent, according to federal data. 

Overall, grocery store sales increased 3.4 percent in March.

At the same time, however, it’s possible the industry has hit a saturation point, making growth more difficult to come by. By all accounts, the economy should be pointing toward more growth in the restaurant industry, and not less.

But years of aggressive development and new concept creation and the entry of new competitors have filled the industry with locations — faster, it appears, than consumers are willing to fill those locations with their business. 

Jonathan Maze, Nation’s Restaurant News senior financial editor, does not directly own stock or interest in a restaurant company.

Contact Jonathan Maze at

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

Successful wine lists focus on the customer

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-04-17 20:33

David Flaherty has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and is the marketing director for the Washington State Wine Commission. This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of Nation’s Restaurant News.

Beverage sales are one of the most lucrative revenue-generators for any restaurant.

A well-managed wine program in particular can mean the difference between financial success and failure. Like driving a fine-tuned Ferrari, mastering the wine list is a skill that takes years to develop and decades to master. For those who can present a wine selection that is accessible, adjusts to guests’ desires, mirrors what the chef is doing on the plate and meets financial goals, success means job stability.

Many wine programs may seem esoteric or daunting at first glance, but good ones offer value to patrons and excitement for the staff, and create a consistent and reliable revenue source

“In general terms, 30 percent of the business could, and should, come from alcohol. The high margins can generate significant bottom-line dollars,” said Colin Thoreen, wine director at Ai Fiori in New York City. “If you consider larger wine programs that draw over $1 million a year, and that have a cost of 30 percent, they are dropping $700,000 to the bottom line.”

Thoreen has been running the wine program with nearly 1,500 selections for five years. His advice? “Once you have a solid idea of the mission statement, stick with it and find wines that fit your goals instead of allowing distributors to push their agenda on you.”

Understanding your clientele is essential. Are they locals? Tourists? Business people dining on expense accounts? That information, along with your goals, need to be rolled up in offerings that also pair beautifully with the food.

“If your list does not fit your cuisine, or is managed by someone who doesn't have insight into what people want to drink in that particular establishment, you’re losing opportunities to sell,” said Amanda Reed, beverage director at Heartwood Provisions in Seattle.

Reed diligently watches which wines sell and what type of selections her guests are asking for, and that informs her buying.

“I've observed wine directors and sommeliers that create lists that reflect their personal tastes, but not necessarily their guests’ tastes,” Reed said. “It's important to keep the list well rounded, so there is something for everyone. And I’m fortunate to work in a place that is a little more experimental as far as food and concept go, so people come in craving an adventure. That gives me some flexibility when it comes to off-the-beaten-path selections.”

Smart wine pricing is both a science and an art.

“The industry, in general, has a three-time markup on wines,” Thoreen said. “But additionally, I make sure there are ‘Easter eggs’ in every single section of the wine list that are just above cost, as this rewards the wine-savvy who appreciate and/or understand wine. And for a bottle of wine meant to impress, I may price those at an even higher markup.

“For wines or regions that I personally love, those are some of my lowest markups, as I want people to take a chance on them,” he added.

For the by-the-glass offerings, where much of the volume happens, great care needs to be taken with pricing.

“Most wines by the glass are priced in line with the bottle cost,” Reed said. “So a $10 bottle at cost will be offered for $10 a glass.”

However, if a wine Reed wants to sell by the glass costs more than $20, she’ll decrease the markup percentage to help it move.

Thoreen agreed that operators need to pay attention to the math when offering wines by the glass.

“This category should make up at least 20 percent of your overall wines sales and run a cost of or below 23 percent,” he said. “You will not have a successful program, and ultimately business, if you can’t achieve this.”

Negotiating with distributors is also a needed skill, for there are often deals to be had by buying in larger quantity or guaranteeing the wine will be featured on the by-the-glass list for a set period of time. 

Reed has found the most success on her by-the-glass wine sales by listing the grape variety next to the wine to help customers understand their options.

Thoreen said it’s important to remember that the wine list is not about you. 

“I think the biggest surprise for most, and one that is often overlooked, is the need to get out of your own way,” he said. “It’s not about your personal preferences; it’s about what the clients are demanding, and the sustainability of the business.” 

Reed agreed.

“Don't splurge on wines that don't move,” she said. “Even if they are iconic and fun to represent on your list, they don't always have a place in your restaurant.”

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a successful wine director will ensure their staff is well versed in the layout of the list and its focus.

“Train, train, train,” Thoreen said. “Training your staff is the lynchpin of a successful program, and getting them excited is so important. Clients appreciate staff that are confident in what they are selling, so I encourage monthly classes that give them a foundation of wine and spirits to pull from.”

David Flaherty has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. He is a certified cicerone and a former operations manager and beer and spirits director for Hearth restaurant and the Terroir wine bars in New York City. He is currently marketing director for the Washington State Wine Commission and writes about wine, beer and spirits in his blog, Grapes and Grains

NRF releases new ads shooting down border adjustment tax

Store Front Talk Back - Mon, 2017-04-17 19:35
NRF releases new ads shooting down border adjustment tax jacquelinerose55 Mon, 04/17/2017 - 19:35

Shoney’s reports credit card breach at 37 locations

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-04-17 19:17

Shoney’s has been hit with a credit card breach involving 37 restaurants since December, the company acknowledged late last week. 

In a release, Best American Hospitality Corp., the Atlanta-based company that operates Shoney’s, said the data breach started in December and was contained in March. The security blog Krebs on Security first reported the incident.

Shoney’s did not respond to a request for comment. 

The 37 affected locations are across the South, many of them in Tennessee, with a few in South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Missouri, Florida and Arkansas. All of the affected locations are corporate locations.

The incident is only the latest in a string of security breaches involving restaurants, which appear to be a popular target for credit card hackers. Wendy’s and Arby’s were also recently victims of data breaches. 

“Many restaurant owners set up firewall as a basic security measure and believe their networks will be sufficiently protected,” John Christly, global chief information security officer for security services provider Netsurion, said in a statement.

Shoney’s said it launched an investigation after receiving a report that some payment card numbers that were used at restaurants it operates had been stolen. The company contacted Kroll Cyber Security LLC, a cyber security investigation firm.

Kroll found that malware was installed remotely on the point-of-sale equipment that processed payment cards. The malware searched for data, including the cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code, read from the magnetic stripe of the card as it was being routed through the infected computer. 

The initial data breach occurred on Dec. 27, and the malware was contained on March 6.

A list of the infected websites can be found on the company’s website

Shoney’s operated 143 total locations as of the end of 2015, according to the company’s 2016 franchise disclosure document. Shoney’s restaurants have an average $1.3 million in annual sales.

Contact Jonathan Maze at

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

KFC launches Zinger chicken sandwich in U.S.

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-04-17 19:03

KFC is launching its Zinger sandwich, popular in more than 120 countries, to its more than 4,300 U.S. locations, starting April 24.

First introduced in Trinidad & Tobago in 1984, the sandwich is made with a marinated chicken breast double-breaded in the chain’s Extra Crispy Breading with a proprietary spice blend that includes cayenne pepper and other chiles. It will be available as a “$5 Fill Up” with potato wedges, a cookie and a drink. 

Corporate chef Bob Das indicated it would be the first of other sandwiches likely to be introduced following the “re-colonelization” of the brand which started three years ago that included $80 million in kitchen upgrades that would allow for rapid sandwich production.

“Our biggest challenge was making sure our back-of-house restaurants were situated right,” Das said, adding that the recolonelization also involved focusing on founder Colonel Sanders’ philosophy of “doing it the hard way.”

“That was his way of making sure: You do it the right way, do it the hard way,” Das said.

The sandwich had been tested in various U.S. markets, including Norfolk, Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Cincinnati.

The new sandwich was announced at a food truck parked near Union Square in New York City, where free sandwiches were handed out to the public, by staff wearing T-shirts that said “70+ years of nothing but chicken.”

KFC’s newly appointed president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman said the T-shirts were just made for the event and wouldn’t be part of the extensive marketing initiative that will accompany the launch, including a new colonel tied to the Zinger who will be named on Friday.

“I’m guessing it’ll be the most recognized colonel,” Hochman said. “The people internally that we talk about it to, they light up, like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it’s…’” he said without revealing the new colonel’s identity.

He did say, however, that the colonel would be launched with a “crazy” publicity stunt.

“I’ve been doing marketing for over 20 years. I’ve never been a part of … how big this thing could be,” he said.

Hochman added that the Zinger was a step up, quality-wise, form previous “freezer-to-fryer” chicken sandwiches like KFC’s Doublicious.

“That was not our most proud offering,” he said. “We’re at our best when we’re hand-breading chicken with our back-of-the-house cooks like we do with our Original Recipe and Extra Crispy and our chicken tenders. We know that will be a superior value and superior taste,” he said.

He added that KFC needed to enter the chicken sandwich market, which he said now accounts for 40 percent of all chicken servings in the country, compared to on-the-bone chicken, which is 18 percent. He noted that the big burger chains sell nearly two billion sandwiches each year in the United States.

Those chains have continued to up their offerings.

In March, Burger King replaced its Tendercrisp chicken sandwich with the new Crispy Chicken sandwich that it says is juicier and crispier than its previous offering.

This month Wendy’s introduced a limited-time grilled chicken sandwich topped with fresh mozzarella, balsamic-marinated diced tomatoes, basil pesto and spring mix on a garlic brioche bun for $5.29, and Krystal on Monday introduced a Country-Fried Chick — a batter-fried chicken patty topped with country gravy on a slider. It’s $1.39.

At the higher end, The Habit Burger Grill made its Golden Fried Chicken Sandwich, originally introduced as a limited-time offer in October, a permanent addition to the menu. The sandwich is made with breast in seasoned flour and buttermilk topped with spicy red pepper sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles on a soft toasted bun for $6.50

Contact Bret Thorn at

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Employment pressure builds

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-04-17 17:37

In this ongoing in-depth investigation, NRN looks at how the current political environment could affect immigration and what it means for restaurant operators.

Today’s debate over immigration is being waged against a backdrop of intense employment pressure in the restaurant industry.

“This is an extraordinarily difficult time to get staffed and stay staffed, both in the hourly and the management ranks,” said Bob Rycroft, managing director at TDn2K, the Dallas-based industry analytics firm, which publishes Black Box Intelligence and People Report.

“Unemployment is at a very low point, and most everybody who wants a job has got a job,” he said. “And wages are creeping up, which ought to portend better results for the restaurant industry than it has.” 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 jobs in February, according to monthly unemployment figures. The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percent, to 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in March.

Victor Fernandez, TDn2K’s executive director of insights and knowledge, said the People Report Workforce Index found that recruiting qualified candidates at both the hourly and management levels continues to be a substantial hurdle for operators, with little relief on the horizon.

“Both hourly and management turnover continue to rise, and are at 10-year highs across the industry’s segments,” Fernandez said. “Median hiring rates are above 100 percent for all restaurant industry segments. This means that for every employment position in their restaurants, most companies on average have hired one or more people to fill it at some point during the last 12 months.”

The National Restaurant Association reported in February that 14.4 million people are employed in foodservice. The industry adds about 170,000 workers a year.

“The good old days are gone, in terms of abundant labor,” said Wally Doolin, TDn2K founder and chairman, at the Best Practices conference in January.

The restaurant industry has the youngest workforce of any sector in the economy, according to the NRA, “and the steady decline in labor force participation among 16-to-24-year-olds presented additional challenges in recent years.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of 16-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. labor force will decline by 2.8 million people between 2014 and 2024.

“The shrinking availability of individuals in that age cohort will have serious implications for the restaurant industry, as 16-to-24-year-olds currently represent about four in 10 restaurant workers,” the NRA said in February.

Contact Ron Ruggless at

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Here’s What You Must Do When Expanding Your Business

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-04-17 17:30

It’s finally happened. You have worked day and night to reach this moment.

Your business has grown to the point where you need to expand. You are ready to scale. However, it is important to make sure you scale your business the right way. The last thing you want is to grow too fast. It’s a mistake many companies make.

The key to expanding your business is making sure you are taking the right steps. You must make sure that you have the right people on your team. You have to ensure that your new office space fits your company. You must also make sure that you have adequate funding to take your enterprise to the next level. This post will give you some advice that you can follow as you continue to grow your business.

Expanding Your Business Hire The Right People

As your team continues to grow, you will need to make sure that you’re adding the right people. This is important because you want your team to work as a cohesive unit with “no drama.” In addition to making sure each candidate is qualified, there is something that is even more important: soft skills.

Soft skills are are skills that are unrelated to the actual function of the job being performed. They are focused on people, not on tasks. They are those intangible skills that are almost impossible to measure. Soft skills can include:

Employees with an effective set of soft skills can contribute greatly to your organization. If you can avoid it, don’t hire people who do not know how to “play well with others.” You want to make sure that your team’s morale is as high as it can be.

Make Sure You Move Into The Right Office

If you are growing your business, chances are you will need to move into a different office space. As you expand, you need a facility that can provide for your company’s needs.

However this issue isn’t just moving into a bigger space. The issue is moving into the right space. This is especially true if you are moving from a home office to a commercial space and you plan to have employees who are not working remotely. There are many different things you must keep in mind when you’re moving offices.

If you’re growing, but still small, you might consider using a co-working space. This lowers your overhead costs while giving you a workspace for yourself and your employees. If you’re moving into an actual office, it is important that you create the atmosphere that works for your business. This is very important because you don’t want to create an uncomfortable work environment for you and your team.

Get Your Funding On Point

As your business continues to grow, it is possible that you will need additional funding to ensure that the transition runs smoothly. If you are able to obtain the funding you need without amassing a lot of debt, that can greatly benefit your business. Of course you might need to seek business loans as well. There are plenty of ways to gain funding.

Since you are earning more business, it might be tempting to believe that you are not in need of funding. In some cases, that might be true. However, it is best to seek financial advice so you can determine whether or not to consider additional funding for your business.

Final Thoughts

Building a successful business can be quite a challenge. However, when you reach the point where you need to expand your business operations, it can be exciting. While you are going through your expansion, you need to make decisions that help you protect your business. The tips in this article can help you ensure that you are heading in the right direction.

Opening Doors Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Here’s What You Must Do When Expanding Your Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Why one man is spending millions to get Musk to break ties with Trump

AutoNews - Mon, 2017-04-17 16:52
What started out as Doug Derwin's personal political protest has now morphed into a full-on public campaign to force Musk to sever all ties with President Trump.
Categories: Latest News