The Best Served Restaurant In America


The Best Served Restaurant In America – The Best Served Restaurant In America- Americans spend nearly half their family food budget on dining out. Total restaurant sales are projected to reach $863 billion this year, a year-over-year increase of 3%, at the more than 1 million U.S. restaurants, employing about 10% of the total U.S. workforce. Just over half (51%) of Americans’ outlays on food occurs in restaurants.

Restaurant spending in 2019 is forecast to be about 3% higher than in 2018, though customer satisfaction with dining out has dipped, according to the latest report on the restaurant industry from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). On a scale of 1 to 100, overall U.S. customer satisfaction with restaurants slipped from 79.5 to 78.9 year over year.

Foot traffic to restaurants is falling, according to ACSI, and restaurants are raising prices to offset the drop caused by the increasing availability of prepared food for sale in grocery and convenience stores. In such an environment, remaining profitable means providing outstanding service to the customers who do come through the door. According to a separate survey, in more bad news for restaurants, customers don’t want to eat there anymore.

Millennials continue to drive both food preferences and technological innovation. Plant-based burgers, fresh foods, local sourcing and ethnic food are all high on the list of what restaurant goers are looking for. Mobile apps that offer delivery service, along with dedicated pick-up or drive-thru areas, are just some examples of tech innovations that consumers like.

The researchers looked at two restaurant groupings: full-service restaurants and limited-service stores. Familiar names in the full-service group are Texas Roadhouse, Outback Steakhouse and Olive Garden. In the limited-service group are such stalwarts as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Starbucks.

The overall index score for limited-service restaurants fell by a point year over year to 79. This fast-food segment is stumbling according to ACSI: “Overall, the fast food customer experience shows some deterioration as major operators focus on technology and menu upgrades to meet changing consumer preferences. Fast food customers tend to be more price sensitive as well, and the industry sees a weakening of guest perceptions of value.”

Among the fast-food restaurants, Chick-fil-A remained the top performer with a score of 86, one point lower than a year ago. Panera Bread posted an index score of 81, unchanged year over year, to rank second, and four chains ranked third with scores of 80: Arby’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. Of the 18 fast-food chains included in this year’s survey, McDonald’s posted the lowest rating (69), unchanged from its 2018 score, which was also the lowest among all fast-food operators.

In the full-service group, the average index score was 81, unchanged year over year, and only two restaurant chains, Texas Roadhouse (83) and Cracker Barrel (82), topped that average. The other 12 chains in the group posted customer satisfaction index scores from 81 (Longhorn Steakhouse) to 77 (Applebee’s and Denny’s).

ACSI noted, “[Our] data show that for the full-service [restaurant] segment, diners who order food for delivery are far more satisfied (83) than those who dine in (79). As such, catering and delivery spaces are likely to become even more competitive.”

Only Cracker Barrel posted a higher score year over year, and that by just a single point. Four chains fell by a point (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGI Fridays and Applebee’s) year over year. The remaining eight chains posted identical scores in both the 2018 and 2019 reviews.

While the ratings for both full-service and fast-food restaurants may seem low, David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI, commented: “These are mature industries that have been doing what they’re doing for a long time and they’ve been successful. To have these scores from a service industry is proof that the two restaurant categories are good at what they do.” Some, however, are still doing better than others

Since 1991 the price of this restaurant has risen very fast


Since 1991 the price of this restaurant has risen very fast –  Menu prices in Canada rose 4.2 per cent last year, the largest one-year increase since the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) in 1991.

Rising labour costs driven by minimum-wage increases and a shortage of workers were the main drivers of menu-price inflation, according to Restaurants Canada’s 2019 Food Service Facts published last week. But a reliably solid demand for ready-to-eat meals is arguably what allows restaurateurs to pass on those extra costs to consumers.

Despite the steeper prices, annual sales grew by more than five per cent in 2018, the fifth consecutive year of growth exceeding five per cent. The industry is now approaching $90 billion in annual sales, up a whopping $4.3 billion since 2017.

Per capita spending at restaurants barely budged in 2018 — a year that saw cooling home prices and a volatile stock market. On a household basis, spending at restaurants has increased by more than $670 between 2010 and 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. The average household grocery bill, meanwhile, has increased by just over $200 over the same period.

But how are Canadians able to afford all that dining out and ordering in?

Often, they aren’t, according to Shannon Lee Simmons, a Toronto financial planner and author of Living Debt-Free. Food has become a major budget buster for many, she said.

Lee Simmons attributes the extra spending to three main factors. The first one is food delivery apps, which make paying for restaurant meals so easy that one barely even notices.

“It’s so easy to order food nowadays and you don’t even have to think about it or even swipe your card anymore,” she told Global News via email.

Delivery restaurants’ sales have grown by an eye-popping 44 per cent over 2017, according to Restaurants Canada’s report.

And Canadians also have so much more choice, when it comes to food delivery, compared to 10 years ago, Lee Simmons said.

But the other main reason why people are increasingly outsourcing food preparation is busy schedules, she added.

“Apps, prepared foods and delivery services are in such high demand because people feel they don’t have time to meal plan and cook,” she said.

This seems to be the case for the crowd aged 40-ish and under. Over 70 per cent of adults born between 1977 and 2000 reported eating a restaurant meal at least once a week — and saving time was the main reason why, Restaurants Canada reported based on research from Techonomic.

How to not blow your budget on restaurant food
If restaurant food is eating up far too much of your budget, Lee Simmons has two simple tips.

The first is to make it a little more inconvenient to use food delivery. Take food delivery apps off your phone and remove your credit card information from the sites that let you order in, she said. Just a little bit of extra friction can make a difference.

Second, if you have a packed schedule but want to cook more, you’re going to need a plan, she said.

The problem with meal planning though is that the internet is full of complicated, over-the-top advice that leads many to throw in the towel — or napkin — before even starting.

The key to meal planning on a crammed schedule is to keep it realistic, said Kate Etue, editor at Cool Mom Eats.

Etue, who has four children, advises sticking to simple meals that use a limited number of familiar ingredients. She also recommends using recipes as “inspiration” rather than something to be followed to the letter.

If your dish calls for a sprinkle of $8-a-bottle saffron, you can probably skip that, she said. Spices, after all, tend to be a major inflator of people’s grocery bills, she noted.

Cooking more than you need and eating leftovers is also a clear time-saver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat the same meal twice in a row.

“One day, it can be BBQ in the crockpot, the next night, you turn leftovers into tacos,” she said.

Etue said she usually plans for a week’s worth of meals on Monday — her quiet day — though she usually allows for one meal away from home. As she writes down the family’s menu, she also makes her grocery list. She then puts the meal plan on the fridge, so everyone knows what to expect.

Lee Simmons advises meal-plan beginners to start small.

“Try to cook two meals a week that will also provide leftovers for lunch the next day. That’s it,” she said. “Once this becomes habit, add in a third night and so on.”

Chef Made Burger For 30 Minutes


Chef Made Burger For 30 Minutes – Here is a distinct lack of chopping, smoke, sweating or swearing in the kitchen at Creator, a new burger restaurant in San Francisco. Instead, there is faint whirring and, if you really listen, the muffled sound of grinding and distant sizzling. It’s because the chefs here are not human.

Creator instead uses two family car-sized robots that can each churn out 120 burgers an hour. They do everything from grinding the meat and shaping the burgers to slicing tomatoes, grating cheese and dispensing mustard. Each burger can be customised with different sauces, cheeses and toppings, while an array of sensors monitor the beef as it’s precision grilled.

The robots themselves are controlled by a machine learning algorithm that uses the information from 11 thermal sensors in the cooking compartment to help ensure each patty of meat is cooked just as the customer ordered it.

The burger robot has some 350 sensors, 50 actuators and 20 computers, according to Alex Vardakostas, the engineer behind Creator. Every aspect, from the ‘topping modules’ that measure out the condiments and garnishes to the vibrating blade that slice the buns cleanly, is designed for precision.

Creator is one of a small but growing number of restaurants turning to robotics and artificial intelligence to create a new experience for consumers. While the combination of robots and cooking might conjure the prospect of tasteless mass-produced meals, these machines are actually making food to order.

Precision cooking

At Creator, a tablet-based ordering system gives options for how well-done the burger should be, as well as selecting cheese, sauce and toppings. A range of exotic options include charred onion jam, two types of salt, and Pacific fusion sauce with umeboshi plum and mole (a Mexican sauce made with chilli and chocolate). The menu certainly takes a ‘foodie’ approach rather than offering production-line burgers, but the burgers are priced for the mass market, at around $6 each. This is supposedly made possible by saving on labour costs.
Robotics enable us to do things the best way rather than the way they’ve always been done, optimizing beyond the constraints of by-hand operations,” says Vardakostas. “We use machine learning to improve the robot’s culinary precision on things like cooking beef more precisely than a line cook does.

And their approach appears to have been well received. Reviewers have raved about the fresh, full-flavour of the burgers and “consistent” quality, although some have bemoaned a lack of juiciness.

The other benefit is the speed. Fast food is getting faster.

Buns trundle along a glass-walled conveyor belt where sauces are squirted onto the bread, then tomatoes, onion and lettuce are freshly sliced on top.

Buns are sliced open and then trundle along a glass-walled conveyor belt where sauces are squirted onto the bread, then tomatoes, onion and lettuce are freshly sliced on top. At the far end, the meat is ground, shaped and grilled on both sides at once using induction plates in a miniature cooking enclosure.

It takes five minutes end to end, but as the robot can cook multiple burgers at once, a fresh meal can appear every 30 seconds when it is running at full speed.

Repeatable recipes

On the opposite side of the country, a new restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts is also using robots to do all the cooking. Spyce specialises in grain bowls, dishes which are quick-fried in a wok and served over rice, couscous or other cereals.

Ordering is done via a display screen and as with Creator, the robotics are part of the show: a row of inductively-heated woks is positioned under a conveyor belt which automatically delivers ingredients to each bowl for rapid cooking before toppings are added by a human chef.

The entire process is completed in just three minutes. Again, the emphasis is on quality food at affordable prices, enabled by the speed and personalisation provided by machines.

But some are using robots in an attempt to resurrect interest in traditional cuisine. In China, entrepreneur Li Zhiming found few restaurants serve traditional Hunanese food, even in his home province of Hunan. Dishes like stir-fried cumin beef call for many fresh ingredients and a complex cooking process, and good chefs are hard to find.

Li instead spent several years developing robots that could produce dishes using precise, repeatable recipes. Robotic hoppers dispense precisely-measured ingredients into a wok in sequence as they are stirred over a gas flame for precise lengths of time.

Li says instead of the usual staff of eight, his kitchen has three robots and two human ‘helpers’. He claims it will allow him to deliver Hunanese food to the same quality anywhere in the world.

Fast and fresh

Robot restaurants have novelty value, and watching a machine make your meal is part of the appeal. But Zume Pizza in California are working on the strictly practical application of robotics to fast food. Zume bakes pizza in vans en route to the customer, for the fastest, freshest pizza delivery possible. The company has steadily automated their pizza creation process with the addition of robot ‘co-workers’.

Zume’s doughbot stretches pizza dough in nine seconds, rather than the usual forty-five
Zume’s ‘doughbot’ stretches pizza dough in nine seconds, rather than the usual forty-five, robots ‘Pepe’ and ‘Giorgio’ dispense sauces, ‘Marta’ spreads the sauce and robot arms ‘Bruno’ and ‘Vincenzo’ move pizzas in and out of the oven. Machine vision algorithms, combined with temperature sensors help to ensure the pizza is cooked perfectly. Using machine learning to analyse ordering data, they are also able to forecast how many ingredients they need to carry in the delivery van each night, while other algorithms coordinate the cooking time with the delivery route.

In April, Zume announced plans to license their technology. If their business model works, then pizzas made by robots may become very much more widespread. Meanwhile its rival Little Caesar, one of America’s biggest pizza chains, recently patented their own pizza-making robot.

But this new wave of automation could also signal a seismic shift in the way the fast-food industry employs people.

“It makes sense to automate non-value adding jobs to enable staff to focus on providing great customer service,” says Steve Newton, an expert on the fast-food sector at payment processing firm Worldpay. A recent Worldpay survey found that only 6% of UK customers were satisfied with the pace and efficiency of service while 58% would prefer a self-service kiosk if it speeded up service.

That does not necessarily mean fewer staff, but having more of them in roles where they can directly help customers, so there is always someone there when you need them.

“Successful business will not be cutting staff where it is to the detriment of customer service,” says Newton.

Some chains are already introducing touch-screen ordering, which can provide faster service as well as cutting staffing requirements. Robotic kitchens could have a similar impact on the efficiency and number of people needed in restaurant kitchens. An estimated 3.8 million people work in fast-food outlets in the US, the majority in repetitive, unskilled tasks which could potentially be automated.

A human touch

Richard Skellett is a technology entrepreneur and founder of Digital Anthropology, a social enterprise business that campaigns for technology to work for people rather than replace them. Skellett is sceptical of claims that robots in restaurants can create as many jobs as they displace.

“Just what are the jobs they are creating?” Skellett asks. “And do they exist in the same number as the jobs the automation is replacing?

“Technology should augment people, not replace them, AI and bots should free up people to add value to an enterprise.”

Companies like Zume claim that this is what they are doing.

“Our goal is to have automation handle repetitive, dangerous and boring tasks so our employees can focus on work that’s more human,” says a spokesperson for Zume. She stresses that people will always be a key part of their business. “For example, a robot can’t tell you if a pizza actually tastes good.”

Zume have also garnered plenty of good reviews for their pizza.

Newton points out that customers value speed, convenience and personalisation. This is already driving consumers to use table-booking apps on their phones, touchscreen ordering and paying online, and it is likely to favour increasingly automated kitchens too. But it may also mean more staff out front to improve service – especially for customers who prefer to deal with people rather than machines.

Vardakostas also argues that freeing up staff from the kitchen allows them to focus on customer service. “The goal is not to be the most automated restaurant,” he said. “It’s to be the most human-centered restaurant.”

But robotic cooks are not just limited to the kitchens of quirky fast-food restaurants. British company Moley Robotics plans to put robotic chefs in domestic kitchens too. Moley’s design features a pair of mechanical arms with eerily human-like robot hands, created by Shadow Robot Company, which specialises in humanoid robots.

By recording the actions of a human chef using a sophisticated motion-capture system, they can teach the machine to recreate their creations. The robots can perform dexterous tasks like whisking eggs, slicing onions or frying bacon. Moley claims to have a library of hundreds of different meals that owners can download, but the device comes at a cost, with an estimated price tag of £10,000.

But while these robots are currently reproducing human recipes, artificial intelligence may soon also start to influence the menu itself. Researchers at MIT set a neural network loose on a database of pizza toppings in an effort to discover new winning combinations. The top suggestions were baked by a pizza chef. The best it came up with – an unlikely shrimp, jam and Italian sausage combo – was actually rated quite highly by those who tasted it.

It is much too early to say whether any of this first wave of robo-chefs will thrive in such a demanding and unpredictable environment as the kitchen, but if they do, it could mark a change in our relationship with cookery.

Much like other activities that were once a necessary part of life before they were taken over by a machine, such as woodworking or needlecraft, cooking too could be something people choose to do simply for the sheer pleasure of it.

Inventor of the First Fast Food Restaurant


Inventor of the First Fast Food Restaurant – You get out of school and head straight to soccer practice. Your dad picks you up after practice, and your stomach is grumbling. But you have to head directly to your sister’s piano recital instead of home. How can you satisfy your hunger? It looks like the drive-through at a fast food restaurant may be in your future.

Given the pace of today’s modern society, many of us are constantly on the go. When it comes to meal time, we often don’t have enough time to head home to prepare a meal. Instead, we look for the nearest fast food restaurant to grab a quick meal in between activities.

The world didn’t always move at such a fast pace, though. So does that mean fast food restaurants are a relatively-new invention? Not exactly! You might be surprised to learn how far back the history of fast food restaurants stretches.

Restaurants in some shape or form have been around for most of human history. Catering to travelers, inns and taverns served food to guests dating back to ancient Greece and Rome.

It was not until 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, that the fast food restaurant was born in the form of the first White Castle restaurant, founded by short-order cook Walter Anderson and former reporter Edgar W. “Billy” Ingram. Up until that time, hamburgers were mainly sold at fairs and from food carts, and most people considered them to be a low-quality food.

White Castle aimed to change America’s view of the hamburger. The first White Castle restaurant featured an open kitchen area where customers could see their food being prepared.

Fast food didn’t catch on immediately, but it did begin to slowly develop along with the popularity of the automobile. As Americans became more mobile, frequent traveling led to a desire for quicker food on the go.

The assembly-line system of food preparation we associate with modern fast food restaurants didn’t come about until the original McDonald’s got its start in the 1940s. Inspired by the efficiency of producing a limited number of menu items with a focus on quality, Ray Kroc The first McDonald’s franchise restaurant opened its doors in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955.

It wasn’t long before other popular fast food restaurants started popping up. Burger King and Taco Bell got started in the 1950s. Wendy’s first opened its doors in 1969.

One feature of modern fast food restaurants familiar to most children today is the drive-through window. The first restaurant to feature a drive-through with a two-way speaker system is considered to be In-N-Out Burger, a popular California franchise that opened in 1948.

Today, fast food restaurants are extremely common. In some populated areas, you may see them on every single street corner. Experts estimate the United States alone has over 300,000 fast food restaurants. The industry as a whole accounts for billions of dollars in sales worldwide each year.

Try It Out

Are you hungry yet? Dig into the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • How many fast food restaurants are near your house? Do a quick survey. Look at a map of your area and draw a circle that marks off an area around your house that extends for two miles in every direction. Ask an adult friend or family member to drive you around that area. How many fast food restaurants do you count? Depending upon where you live, this could be a very small or a very large number. If you live in a metropolitan area, you could easily restrict your search area to a few blocks rather than a few miles. For fun, categorize the fast food restaurants in your area by the type of food they serve.


  • Fast food restaurants often get a bad rap for serving food that’s unhealthy. But is all fast food unhealthy? You be the judge. Ask an adult friend or family member to take you on a field trip to a local fast food restaurant. Pay particular attention to their entire menu of food choices. If you can find a fast food restaurant that has a printed menu with nutritional information, even better! NOTE: You may have to ask a manager for this information. What percentage of menu items would you consider healthy? What healthy food choices could you make? Have fun learning more about fast food menu choices!


  • Up for a challenge? Design your own fast food restaurant! You’ve probably been to many different types of fast food restaurants in your life. What do you like about them? What do you dislike? If you could run your own fast food restaurant, what would it be like? What kind of food would you serve? What would be your specialty? Would you cater to kids with special meals and a play place? Or, would you cater to teens with free Internet access and tablet computers to play on? Let your imagination run wild. You never know when your dream fast food restaurant could become the reality of tomorrow!