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Now, blame for food litigation is at the executive level, and criminal charges are common.
While restaurant operators continue to maintain food safety practices, health inspection records are finding their way onto very public domains.
A handful of chains are doing gluten-free right.
Gluten-free adoption had to jump the availability and affordability hurdles, and most recently figured out flavor.
Heartland Payments' SmartLink unveiled a new food safety monitoring system at the National Restaurant Association Show last month. The system monitors cooler temperatures and alerts operators of any temperature discrepancies or compliance issues. It helps prevent food loss and streamline operations, according to Jim Ealy.
Litigation attorneys are coming after restaurant chains with increased expertise and sophistication; it would be wise to hire an outside food safety consultant.
The company is currently working to synchronize its animal welfare program and policies throughout all of its global markets.
REAL, which stands for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership, uses a flexible points-based system similar to LEED to recognize restaurants that serve healthy, sustainable food.
Gluten-free has proven to be no passing trend; operators can either watch it continue to grow or join in and truly offer something for everyone.
Pizza Hut will continue to grow its lower-investment/higher-returns Delco Lite footprint, which is significantly smaller than its traditional restaurant.
Conservative estimates see gluten-free at $8 billion in consumer food purchases alone in 2013.
Gas prices are on a slight upswing.
There are now several mobile apps restaurants can use to communicate their allergy-friendly menus to consumers.
A new generation of restaurateurs is taking family recipes and running with them, shaping one of the hottest trends in casual/fast-casual dining — the 100 percent scratch-made menu, for here or to go. (I wrote about what specifically defines "made...
Joe Elliot, Chuck E. Cheese's vice president of Research and Development, talks about the company's contamination-free process as it launches its gluten-free pizza and cupcakes nationwide.
Gluten-free diets have moved into the mainstream, but without standards, it's hard to know whether current labels are fact or hype.
Online services that offer guidance to diners with food allergies, gluten intolerance, or just watching what they eat are now available anywhere.
Until there is more education about food sensitivities, the onus remains on the consumer to make sure their meal is safe.
Companies that offer restaurant liability insurance have begun expanding policies to cover claims related to gluten reactions as well as food poisoning and allergic reactions.
Gluten free can be one of the best places for restaurants to shine, or just the opposite.