State of the Union puts minimum wage, 30-hour work week, joint employer issues in the spotlight

It's been a busy week in Washington. From the State of the Union address to the Supreme Court to more on the minimum wage, here's a round-up of hot public policy topics for restaurants.

Why operators need to know about patent trolls

Patent trolls could cost restaurants money and slow innovation. Here's what operators need to know about patent trolls.

Best practices for developing, deploying a mobile app for your brand

Your app is an extension of your brand, and an app with sub-par design or functionality can do serious damage to that brand.

Natural gas and pizza stocks show mixed results

Cheese, wheat and gasoline and diesel fuel prices continued to fall last week while natural gas once again saw mixed results across the country.

How restaurants are using gamification to increase engagement in loyalty apps

Restaurants are discovering the power of leveraging apps, loyalty programs and games to engage customers and drive traffic.

New Year's resolution: Start the year with a great plan for your business

If you’re one of those people who have great intentions but lack follow through, writing a good business plan is the first major test of your commitment.

Gas and wheat prices continue to fall

Gas prices have fallen even further and are down more than $1 from a year ago.

How one independent pizzeria survived growing pains

Getting noticed is a challenge, you have to offer something truly great and differentiate yourself in several ways, says CEO of Louisville-based Loui Loui's.

Pizza Inn Holdings Inc. hopes investors will RAVE about new name

Pizza Inn Holdings Inc., the parent company of Pie Five Pizza Co. and Pizza Inn, has announced that it is changing its name to RAVE Restaurant Group Inc., reflecting the company's transition to a multi-brand group.

Strong growth ahead in 2015, predicts the IFA, but threats are looming

While the economic forecast is strong, headwinds caused by the NRLB's joint employer ruling, minimum wage hikes and ACA implementation could curtail QSR franchise growth in 2015.

Building genuine customer engagement in an Instagram world

Instead of exhausting yourself trying to change customer behavior, take the necessary steps to minimize the distractions cell phones can present.

How to manage rising food costs

Look into markets that sell seconds or items that are discounted because of overruns.

Independent pizzerias leverage local ingredients, marketing to compete with big chains

For independent operators, it's important to understand futures and have a good relationship with distributors and manufacturers to best manage food costs.

What to consider when implementing a restaurant kiosk

A majority -- 88 percent -- of restaurant patrons indicate a preference for self-service technology at their table, while 12 percent indicated a preference for a kiosk upon arrival.

Gas, cheese, wheat prices all fall to close out the year

Gas prices have fallen 50 cents in the past month and are more than $1 lower than they were this time last year.

How to choose the best rewards for your loyalty program

It's important to set the minimum purchase amount at a reasonable level so customers don’t get frustrated that they are never earning punches and thus feel like it’s not worth trying.

Christmas arrives at the gas pump

Fuel experiences its longest streak of declining prices on record, according to AAA.

Executive round table: Pizza industry leaders make their 2015 predictions

Themes for 2015 include customization, freshness and mobile ordering/payments.

Debunking McDonald's service time criticism

Customers and investors prefer innovation and quality over short wait times.

Is your restaurant green?

Even though going green may cost more than conventional items, consumers are willing to pay more for the opportunity; for them it is not an indulgence but a necessity.

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