Deep Dive: Page 2

Industry insights from our journalists

  • Blaze Pizza
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Blaze Pizza

    Franchisees are flocking to fast casuals to grow. Here’s why.

    As the segment shows greater resiliency compared to casual dining, restaurant operators are making deals for expansion, taking advantage of a real estate surplus and rebounding traffic.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 25, 2021
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    Megan Rapinoe appeared in an ad Subway uploaded to YouTube on July 21, 2021.

    Can QSRs meet marketing's new imperatives without alienating franchisees?

    National brand building is often in conflict with the needs of local operators — a dichotomy that has only become more apparent in the past 18 months.

    Chris Kelly • Oct. 12, 2021
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    Permission granted by MrBeast Burger/Virtual Dining Concepts

    How host kitchens are propelling virtual brands forward

    Despite the rapid expansion, many experts question whether delivery-only concepts have long-term sustainability.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 11, 2021
  • A look at Wow Bao's dark kitchen operation
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    Permission granted by Wow Bao

    Want to expand through host kitchens? Here's what you need to know.

    Brands should keep in mind how they plan to maintain consistency in food quality and the customer experience.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 7, 2021
  • Mighty Quinn's began selling Otto's Tacos out of its kitchen in late 2020.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Otto's Tacos

    Recipe for revenue: Why restaurants are becoming host kitchens

    Restaurants are leveraging unused kitchen capacity to facilitate the delivery of other brands and rake in extra cash.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 4, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Bakers Square

    Why restaurant M&A activity is spiking after pandemic lull

    As diner demand helps restaurant sales recover, buyers are jumping back into the game amid low interest rates and as financing becomes more widely available.

    Julie Littman • July 21, 2021
  • H-E-B food hall
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of H-E-B

    Food halls, ghost kitchens and the future of in-store restaurants

    Rather than shying away from offering fresh meals and in-store dining due to lingering safety concerns and elevated at-home cooking trends, grocers are leaning into restaurants like never before.

    Jeff Wells • May 24, 2021
  • Custom header for labor shortage series at Restaurant Dive May 2021
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    Permission granted by Chipotle/ Design by Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Retention is key to solving the restaurant industry's labor crisis

    As many restaurants struggle to bring on employees, others have had success with keeping their workers by creating a positive company culture, boosting benefits and offering clear paths for career growth. 

    Julie Littman • May 18, 2021
  • Taco Bell mobile store
    Image attribution tooltip
    Retrieved from Taco Bell on August 20, 2020

    Yum ramps up transformation with new tech deals. How will they impact marketing?

    Broader trends in the QSR category and changing media consumption habits could herald a bigger focus on performance marketing, experts suggest.

    Peter Adams • May 17, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Photo illustration by Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive; photograph by Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Help wanted: How chains are adjusting hiring tactics to boost staffing

    Amid an ongoing labor shortage, major restaurant brands are experimenting with mass hiring events, bonuses, pay raises and streamlined application processes to attract much-needed employees.

    Julie Littman • May 11, 2021
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    Joe Raedle via Getty Images

    How the labor shortage is shifting restaurant strategy

    Diners are returning in droves as COVID-19 dining room restrictions ease, but staff are hard to come by, creating a difficult balancing act for operators trying to recoup lost revenue.

    May 11, 2021
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    Chris Hondros via Getty Images

    Up from the ashes: Restaurant CFOs prepare for boom

    Profit-hungry restaurant CFOs blindsided by the pandemic get ready for robust economic growth, offering lessons for leaders in less-stressed industries.

    Jim Tyson • May 10, 2021
  • Custom header for labor shortage series at Restaurant Dive May 2021
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Now hiring: How the labor shortage is squeezing full-service restaurants

    Foodservice workers burnt out by the segment's recent instability are leaving for other industries or living on high unemployment benefits, sparking a staffing crisis as dining rooms open.

    Julie Littman • May 4, 2021
  • Miami city profile pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Miami 1 year later: Sunshine, loose restrictions spark restaurant real estate frenzy

    The city's balmy climate and open space — combined with the local government's relatively loose COVID-19 limits — insulated its dining scene from the level of revenue disruption suffered by markets like New York City.

    Emma Liem Beckett • March 26, 2021
  • DC city profile pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Washington, DC, 1 year later: Restaurants hammered by protests, insurrection and inauguration restrictions

    While other major restaurant cities struggled to survive pandemic restrictions, District operators also had to contend with government-mandated curfews amid widespread protests and the fallout of the Capitol riot. 

    Emma Liem Beckett • March 24, 2021
  • Chicago skyline 2 city profiles
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Chicago 1 year later: Winter froze restaurant sales amid strict restrictions

    Brutally cold weather is a staple of life in Illinois' restaurant capital, but the coronavirus forced many operators into hibernation, risking the future of one of the most impactful industries in the region.

    Julie Littman • March 22, 2021
  • LA city profile pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Los Angeles 1 year later: Restaurants feel abandoned amid 'random' restrictions

    California's aggressive response to the COVID-19 outbreak — including two rounds of months-long outdoor dining bans — put pressure on LA restaurants' bottom lines despite state and county aid.

    Emma Liem Beckett • March 19, 2021
  • Wings and curly fries offered from Brinker International's It's Just Wings virtual brand
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Brinker International

    For restaurant chains, marketing virtual brands poses equal challenge and opportunity

    Third-party apps, where most virtual brands live, offer marketers access to consumer data they don't otherwise have — an increasing priority as the data privacy landscape tightens.

    Chris Kelly • March 19, 2021
  • New York city profile pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    New York City 1 year later: Restaurants faced a 'one-two punch'

    Restaurants in the Big Apple dealt with constantly shifting dining room regulations and a tough winter climate on top of declining sales related to the pandemic.

    Julie Littman • March 17, 2021
  • Seattle profile pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    Seattle 1 year later: Many restaurants are 'just holding water'

    During the pandemic, downtown eateries are struggling to stay in business with no office workers to serve, while neighborhood spots find ways to appeal to the work-from-home crowd.

    Julie Littman and Thai Phi Le • March 15, 2021
  • City profile series header image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Adeline Kon/Restaurant Dive

    1 year later: How the pandemic impacted 6 major restaurant cities

    In this series, Restaurant Dive explores how Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Washington, D.C., were impacted by local dining room restrictions, COVID-19 cases, weather and restaurant support programs.

    Restaurant Dive staff • March 15, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Lowe's

    Brands get back together with experiential marketing in time for Valentine's Day

    Dunkin' and White Castle are among the brands offering in-person experiences designed to be memorable and safe. But are consumers ready?

    Aaron Baar • Feb. 11, 2021
  • QR code restaurant
    Image attribution tooltip
    Albert Hu. (2020). [Photograph]. Retrieved from Unsplash.

    How restaurants are bringing tech to the table in 2021

    Much of the industry's in-store tech investments have gone toward contactless payment solutions or tableside, but operators are also experimenting with cutting-edge air filtration to make diners comfortable.

    Emma Liem Beckett • Jan. 28, 2021
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    After pandemic slump, M&A will accelerate in 2021

    From distressed deals to buyouts, transaction activity will be diverse as more buyers anticipate high returns on investment when the industry recovers after the pandemic.

    Julie Littman • Jan. 21, 2021
  • Diners at Soothr in New York City October 2020.
    Image attribution tooltip
    "Soothr" by Eden, Janine and Jim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    6 restaurant trends that will shape 2021

    Managing virtual brands and stabilizing labor forces could be challenging in the new year, but curbside, drive-thru and ghost kitchens hold strong growth potential, analysts say.

    Emma Liem Beckett and Julie Littman • Jan. 4, 2021