Friday, September 2, 2016

Americans Are On Board for River Cruising



While only a small portion of the population has boarded a ship to cruise along rivers in the United States, Europe or Asia, consumer interest in river cruising is growing exponentially. According to a new AAA survey, 14 percent of Americans have enjoyed a river cruise, but approximately four in 10 would consider river cruising for an upcoming vacation. Following this trend, AAA’s river cruise bookings have increased more than 16 percent in just the last year.

Despite the perception that river cruising appeals primarily to older generations, millennials respond more strongly to several key attributes of river cruising than members of Generation X and Baby Boomers. The younger generation is less likely to have taken a river cruise vacation (11 percent), but they are more likely to consider one for an upcoming vacation (42 percent internationally; 45 percent domestically) than either Generation X or Baby Boomers....

Read the entire article courtesy of AAA:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Newer Steakhouse Designs Up the Sizzle



The deep, dark and clubby confines of the steakhouse increasingly are being refreshed with brighter, lighter and airier designs to broaden their appeal.

The deep, dark and clubby confines of the steakhouse increasingly are being refreshed with brighter, lighter and airier designs to broaden their appeal.

In multi-unit steakhouse chains as varied as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Black Angus Steakhouse, new units have been freshened with versatile dining areas that emphasizing customer comfort, open kitchen views to promote transparency and remodeled bars to highlight the high-margin beverage programs.

The new designs are being introduced with the same attention to detail as found in a perfectly grilled porterhouse.

“The landscape of the diner and the upscale diner is changing,” said Mark Mednansky, CEO of Southlake, Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, in a recent earnings call. Some 10 to 15 years ago, he said, “You were building white tablecloth steakhouses, you were building restaurants that were frankly male dominated....


Read the entire article courtesy of Nation's Restaurant News

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stores Try New Ways To Woo Flu Business



Kroger is linking flu shots to a cause-related campaign to fight hunger, and RiteAid is throwing in a digital vaccine overview, as retailers line up to make the same-old, same-old influenza season a little spicier for shoppers.

As ever, of course, while many people intend to get the annual vaccination, it often comes down to how easy it is to get. A new poll from CVS shows that 34% of people who have ever received a flu shot made the decision based on convenience, and that more would do so if it were easier to get the whole family immunized at the same time. (Two out five people in its survey say it took multiple trips to get the whole gang inoculated.)

Retailers, of course, rely on revenue from shots, with CVS reporting that some 46% of Americans say everyone in their family over six months of age gets an annual shot, and 59% say they either get the vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year....

Read the entire article courtesy of Media Post:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Early Holiday Survey Finds Retailers Bullish



Although it’s only August and the pendulum has plenty of time to swing in the other direction, retailers are feeling optimistic about the upcoming holiday season.

That’s according to a report by Fung Global Retail & Technology and First Insight, in which more than 60% of those surveyed said they believe that holiday sales will increase compared to last year, and about 25% expect sales to increase 5% to 10%.
    
Almost three-quarters of the survey respondents said they are optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, and about a third said they are extremely optimistic....

Read the entire article courtesy of CSA:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Will Novelty Foods Fix the Fast Food Slump?



Grilled hot dogs.  Mac ‘n Cheetos.  Beefy Frito burritos. Chicken rings. Hot dog-crusted pizza. The revival of old cult favorites like clear soda and chicken fries.

And now – the “Whopperrito.”

Yup, this burger/burrito hybrid goes national today following successful test debuts in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

What gives? Why are the fast food chains putting so many weird – if not repulsive - food gimmicks on their menus? “It’s about generating traffic,” says Darren Tristano, president of Technomic Inc., a food service research firm.

There’s been a pullback in the industry, you see. A slump. And everyone’s feeling it – from Shake Shack (SHAK) to Starbucks (SBUX) to McDonald’s (MCD).

“Things were going really well at the start of the year when all the economic indicators that would correlate to positive restaurant conditions were in a good place – gas prices were low, confidence was up, housing was settled - and then in April, the switch turned off even though the indicators were still in place.”...

Read the rest of the article courtesy of Fox Business:

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