Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dirt and dish from the RLC

Here’s some of the gossip from the RLC. It’s bad journalism (no attribution or verification of most points), but some interesting reading:

ITEM: The U.S. Department of Commerce is bringing representatives from 13 American restaurant chains to India to interest local operators there in developing the concepts.

ITEM: If Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel makes good on his promise to legalize truck restaurants in Chicago, look for one of the city’s most respected operators to hit the streets with a bao or dumpling concept.

ITEM: Mark Levy of Levy Restaurants fame is expected to make a splash in Chicago’s already-crowded steakhouse market with his entry, Chicago. It’s going into the downtown space formerly occupied by Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. Michael Jordon’s namesake beef house is also returning to the Windy City. Game on.

ITEM: Among the upstarts snagging attention from concept scouts was Los Angeles’ Veggie Grill. Ditto for Texas’ Twin Peaks and Phoenix’s Wildflower Bread Co.

ITEM: Chain restaurateurs were griping incessantly a few months ago about not being able to calculate an ROI on social media. Now benchmarking research is pouring into the marketplace (including from Restaurant Business; see our Social Media 50 report on starting tomorrow). I hope to do a roundup on the other sources in this space sometime next week.

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