Deep Dive: Page 2

Industry insights from our journalists


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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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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    Getty

    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
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    "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
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    Samantha Liss, Healthcare Dive

    5 questions to ask before adopting a coronavirus vaccine policy

    While the EEOC all but confirmed employers may require proof that employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, incentives and education may be preferable to mandates.

    Ryan Golden • Dec. 22, 2020
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    Permission granted by Arby's

    Pandemic revs up drive-thru design innovations

    With drive-thru traffic increasing in the double-digits over the last two quarters, QSRs like Arby's, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Taco Bell have developed prototypes that better streamline the channel.

    Julie Littman • Nov. 19, 2020
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    Permission granted by //3877

    Designing with distance: How restaurants are evolving to meet pandemic needs

    Forced air blasted between bar seats. Chef's kitchens encased in glass cubes. Garage-style, floor-to-ceiling windows. Experts predict what could become dominant design assets across the industry.

    Emma Liem Beckett • Nov. 18, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Industry Dive/Restaurant Dive, data from Marc Nozell

    How Biden's policies on immigration, unions could impact restaurant operations

    The incoming administration is calling for doubling OSHA investigators and a restart package that could help business owners cover costs, such as plexiglass and PPE, to operate safely during the pandemic.

    Aman Kidwai • Nov. 12, 2020
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    "Ronny Emborg" by Lou Stejskal is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Will ghost kitchens define the restaurant industry's future?

    While investor interest booms and sales have the potential to outpace traditional models, questions linger about how much this emerging market could disrupt business in the long term. 

    Emma Liem Beckett • Nov. 9, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Restaurant Dive

    Independent restaurants go dark to keep the lights on

    The Independent Restaurant Coalition estimates that as many as 85% of mom-and-pop restaurants could close by the end of 2020. But some of them are finding new life in virtual brands and ghost kitchens. 

    Alicia Kelso • Oct. 26, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Restaurant Dive

    How ghost kitchens are helping major restaurants recoup lost revenue

    Chains like Famous Dave's and Brinker International were already moving toward delivery-only concepts pre-pandemic, allowing them to more quickly deploy and expand these concepts compared to other restaurants.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 19, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Restaurant Dive

    How to make ghost kitchens and virtual brands profitable

    Jumping into a ghost kitchen may seem like a way to recoup lost dining room sales during the pandemic, but operators need to consider food costs, labor, marketing and brand equity to help ensure a payoff.

    Julie Littman • Oct. 12, 2020
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    Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash

    Mapping the rise of ghost kitchens

    Are ghost kitchens really on their way to becoming a mainstream restaurant channel? And what risks come with the opportunity they promise? Restaurant Dive aims to answer these questions and more in a six-part article series. 

    Oct. 5, 2020
  • How the pandemic accelerated the US ghost kitchen market '5 years in 3 months'

    The COVID-19 crisis has restaurants "running to catch up" to delivery demand, but experts now see potential for permanent changes to business models as dark kitchens gain steam. 

    Alicia Kelso • Oct. 5, 2020
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    Permission granted by Cousins Subs

    How chains are automating the curbside experience

    Customers calling in for their food upon arrival have created logistical headaches for many chains new to curbside, and they are turning to geofencing and integrated alert systems to create a better experience.

    Julie Littman • Sept. 23, 2020
  • Sex, lies and the C-suite: How McDonald's clawback battle highlights need for strong misconduct policies

    Corporate ethics experts feel the chain isn’t doing enough to establish a zero-tolerance policy following news of ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook's inappropriate relationships with female employees.

    Emma Liem Beckett • Aug. 26, 2020
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    Permission granted by Saval Foodservice

    Food distributors, restaurants reinvent business models in a scramble to survive

    From wine bar to mini grocery store, from restaurant distribution to direct to consumer — food sector firms are pivoting operations to keep business flowing.

    Gary Wollenhaupt • Aug. 10, 2020
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    Doritos

    9 campaigns that show how mobile marketers pivoted in the pandemic during H1

    The year's best campaigns so far, including marketing by Chipotle and KFC, came in the wake of the pandemic's changes to the landscape as marketers rushed to meet consumers in digital channels.

    Chris Kelly, Chantal Tode and Peter Adams • July 16, 2020