August 14, 2012 |
It's not looking good for the restaurant industry, which struggled through a slow spring season and will likely see flat traffic for the next two years. Mild weather over the winter drove more diners to eat out, leading optimistic analysts to predict that the industry was recovering after being slammed in the recession. But those hopes were dashed as the year went on and restaurant visits rose a paltry 1% in the spring, according to research from the NPD Group. Analyst Bonnie Riggs cited consumers' “continuing cost-consciousness, still relatively high unemployment and economic uncertainty” as reasons for the industry's disappointing performance.
July 31, 2012 |
Chick-fil-A executives and brothers Dan and Donald Cathy run one of the most controversial fast-food chains around. Doing so makes them some of the richest men in the country. The privately held Atlanta company is valued at $4.5 billion, according to research firm PrivCo . Don "Bubba" Cathy and Dan Cathy -- he of anti-gay-marriage fame -- each own a third. According to PrivCo, that means the Cathys, sons of Chick-fil-A founder Samuel Truett Cathy, are worth $1.5 billion apiece.
June 22, 2012 |
Darden Restaurants Inc.'s efforts to spruce up Olive Garden's lagging sales, including national promotions and cost cuts, were “less effective than anticipated,” the company said while announcing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Friday. Similar tactics were also uninspiring at Darden's seafood chain, Red Lobster. After a brief respite during the spring, Italian brand Olive Garden returned to its pattern of poor same-store sales, which tumbled 1.8% over the quarter ended May 27 compared with a year earlier, while customer traffic fell 7.5% in May. Red Lobster's same-store sales slid 3.9% over the quarter and customer traffic in May slumped 7.8% With sales of $904 million, Olive Garden is Darden's largest chain.
June 10, 2012 |
It's going to be a "hell" of a summer. Chef Gordon Ramsay has one, two, three prime-time shows on Fox this season. "MasterChef" and "Hell's Kitchen" will dominate the network's prime-time programming on Mondays and Tuesday. A third show - "Hotel Hell," which features the famously furious chef darkening the doorway of hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts in need of a makeover - will be unveiled later in the summer. It all raises the question, though: Can you have too much Gordon Ramsay?
June 6, 2012 |
The roughly 20 million workers involved up and down the American food chain make up a sixth of the country's entire workforce -- a fifth if you exclude public employees. But they're not treated especially well, according to a new report. The Food Chain Workers Alliance interviewed some 700 workers and employers in food production, processing, distribution, retail and service sectors for its study. That includes employees at farms, slaughterhouses, warehouses, grocery stores, restaurants and more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 2012 |
A restaurant workers' group and a Los Angeles community clinic have launched a unique cooperative to provide health coverage to a group of people excluded from federal healthcare reform — illegal immigrants. The pilot program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, offers preventive and primary care to low-wage, uninsured workers in the restaurant industry. Legal immigrants and other restaurant workers who don't meet the criteria or cannot afford coverage under the healthcare law are also eligible.
April 29, 2012 |
Water Grill, with its attentive servers, white tablecloths and hushed formality, was long a stalwart of L.A.'s old-guard restaurant scene. But to the young professionals who have streamed into its downtown neighborhood, all that pomp - and closing times as early as 9 p.m. - were just a bit too grandpa. To attract those budding foodies, Water Grill recently completed a $1.5-million makeover. The decor is more casual, the menu less expensive and filled with craft brews favored by the hipster crowd.
April 16, 2012 |
If you are looking for work, your best odds of landing a job may be in the restaurant industry. In the 12 months ending in March, employment in eating and drinking establishments grew by 3.2%, more than double the 1.5% growth in total U.S. employment for that same period, according to a monthly report from the National Restaurant Assn. Eating and drinking places added 103,100 jobs in the first three months of the year, following a gain of 101,400 jobs in the last three months of 2011, according to the report.
January 25, 2012 |
Offering restaurant workers good pay, benefits and career mobility might boost short-term costs for owners, but generous management policies help dining establishments save big in the long run, according to new research. The restaurant industry is a notoriously difficult place to work. Wages tend to be lower than those of any other occupation. Nine of 10 people on staff don't get sick days, paid vacation or health insurance. Advancing up the ladder tends to be a rare occurrence. The tough conditions are evident in worker productivity and retention, according to the research from Cornell University and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.