Deep Dive: Page 3

Industry insights from our journalists

  • Photo illustration of Joe Biden
    Image attribution tooltip
    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
  • ghost kitchen, delivery
    Image attribution tooltip
    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
  • Design image for ghost kitchen series from Restaurant Dive
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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
  • ghost kitchen profitability
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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
  • Image attribution tooltip
    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
  • Saval Foodservice employee unloads boxes for donations to laid off restaurant employees
    Image attribution tooltip
    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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    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
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    Recent PPP changes offer restaurants hope, but calls for industry aid continue

    The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act and streamlined loan forgiveness applications make the federal safety net easier for operators to use without penalty, but critics argue that key needs are still unaddressed. 

    Emma Liem Beckett • June 24, 2020
  • Customers at Founding Farmers in DC sit at outdoor dining tables days after the restaurant's windows sustained damage following local protests against systemic racism.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Farmers Restaurant Group

    DC restaurants: Reopening patios amid COVID-19, protests like juggling 'flaming knives'

    The District's restaurant scene is emblematic — perhaps in extremes — of the tumultuous environment that operators across the country are fighting to survive in.

    Emma Liem Beckett • June 11, 2020
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    John Hazard and Lisa Burdige

    Why QSRs must move past competitive sparring in the COVID-19 era

    After years of hijacking each other's campaigns and snarky social media posts, marketers in the category will need to find new tones and tactics as coronavirus upends their business model.

    Chris Kelly • May 22, 2020
  • Wing Zone delivery
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by WIng Zone

    Third-party vs. direct delivery: Debate reaches boiling point amid coronavirus

    There's no restaurant roadmap to survive dining room closures. But one thing is certain: pick the wrong off-premise game plan when the stakes are this high, and it could gut your bottom line.

    Emma Liem Beckett • May 7, 2020
  • Memo's restaurant in Everett, Washington, during the coronavirus pandemic
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    "The image" by Cindy Shebley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    More funding won't fix PPP, restaurant experts say

    The Paycheck Protection Program began accepting applications for its second round of funding Monday. But restaurants that already scored loans from the first round are afraid to cash in thanks to its vague and evolving stipulations.

    Emma Liem Beckett • Updated April 27, 2020
  • Beast restaurant in Portland, Oregon, which temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Beast Restaurant

    Independent restaurants grapple with layoffs, but fight to survive

    Establishments like Beast in Oregon and Agave Uptown in California talk about the devastating decisions to let employees go or furlough staff during coronavirus.

    Julie Littman • April 14, 2020
  • Chipotle hosts daily video chat during to deepend connections during pandemic
    Image attribution tooltip
    John Hazard/Restaurant Dive

    Brands recalibrate to community-building during quarantine

    Social distancing mandates upended in-person activations, leading brands like Chipotle to get creative with cultivating connections online. But can they sustain momentum once the pandemic subsides?

    Natalie Koltun • April 7, 2020
  • 5 things to know about the new coronavirus paid leave law

    A number of small businesses are "despondent," one source told HR Dive. But there's hope the federal government could soften the the law's impact.

    Ryan Golden • March 30, 2020
  • Image attribution tooltip
    The image by MIKI Yoshihito is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Coronavirus decimates restaurant profits, but financial safety nets exist

    Restaurants forced to close are left with few options to keep the lights on, but experts suggest negotiating with third parties to figure out where they can get a break is one place to start.

    Julie Littman • March 26, 2020
  • Breakfast from Unsplash
    Image attribution tooltip
    Park, Rachel. (2017). [Photograph]. Retrieved from

    2020 is the year of the breakfast wars

    Chains like Wendy's, McDonald's, Dunkin', Starbucks and Panera have expanded menu offerings for breakfast to capture growing demand for the daypart.

    Julie Littman • March 9, 2020
  • Will loyalty programs gain renewed value in a cookie-less era?

    Brands from Red Lobster to Sephora are revisiting their rewards strategies amid tighter ad-targeting restrictions and greater demands for data privacy.

    Shane Schick • March 5, 2020
  • How restaurants are taking control of delivery in 2020

    With doubts swirling over delivery's long-term profitability, this year will be marked by more restaurants renegotiating commission rates, developing branded online ordering and adding virtual kitchen options.

    Julie Littman • Jan. 31, 2020
  • 5 restaurant trends that will define 2020

    Analysts predict that ghost restaurants and lifestyle brand campaigns will continue to evolve and shape the market, but Gen Z's influence and interest in micro chains could disrupt the ecosystem.

    Julie Littman and Emma Liem Beckett • Jan. 6, 2020
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    Photo illustration by Michelle Rock/Grocery Dive; photographs via Getty Images

    From food halls to ghost kitchens, collaboration is on the menu for grocers and restaurants

    While both can siphon dollars from the other, the right partnerships could boost operational efficiencies, drive brand awareness and elevate food offerings.

    Jeff Wells • Nov. 21, 2019