Tuesday, February 5, 2013

'Breakout 50' restaurant ideas: How many do we have?


Nation's Restaurant News named its 50 "breakout brands" for 2013, concepts the folks there predict will do best this year. This is some good reading for those interested in what's happening across America in this segment of the dining world. Some highlights:

* Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q continues to win kudos for its "innovative networking with the farm community, devotion to high-quality food and a state-of-the-art inventory and personnel-management system." (We have this one.)

* Pure Taqueria just closed its Matthews location: Apparently that one didn't have what the company's Chris Sedgwick told NRN was the key: "good execution with the right partners.”

* Meatheads' originators "are fans of Sun Tzu’s 'The Art of War,' a military treatise from about 500 B.C. that they encourage their managers to read." No, this isn't from the guys at our 5Church, and we don't have a Meatheads.

* "Despite its short-shirted female servers, Brick House isn’t another Hooters or Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, (its chief executive) said — and its restaurants do have a smattering of male servers." Later in the piece, we discover patrons can purchase a 100-ounce “Beer Bong.”

* There's Cheeseboy, the Melt and Melt, and we don't have any of these grilled cheese specialties.

Top concepts? Healthy menus, burgers, pizzas, Mediterranean grills (we have a Zoe's) and upscale bar/wine/taverns. Creative ones: sandwiches made with waffle as the bread (Bruxie), wraps using Italian tortilla-like flatbreads (Piada) and a juice place with Starbucks' power behind it (Evolution Fresh). Should be an interesting year.