Darren Tristano

Darren Tristano is President of Technomic Inc. Since 1993, he has led the development of Technomic’s Information Services division and directed multiple aspects of the firm’s operations.

The Evolving Definition of Healthy

The last two years have seen a transformation in America’s opinion of what is considered healthy eating. Consumers will start applying the new definition of healthy in earnest as the holidays end and New Year’s resolutions kick in. Evidence from our most recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shared below indicates exactly how healthy eating […]

The Future of Food Tech

When looking toward the future of tech in the food industry, it’s easy to imagine that robots will soon take our orders, we’ll pay for meals through voice or face recognition, and that most deliveries will be ferried to customers via drones. But this ignores real-world barriers, including regulation and shifts in public interest. Operators […]

Compete Globally by Getting to Know the Local Consumer

With the recent downturn in restaurant traffic in the U.S., some operators are looking for creative ways to reenergize their business. Of these operators, those with an international presence would do well to know the changing wants and needs of restaurant goers abroad. Diners in Europe only purchase 22% of their meals away-from-home, while those […]

Are We Facing a Restaurant Recession?

The Top 500 restaurant market is in a slump right now. With the lead dining brands’ same-store sales visibly lagging this past second quarter, some analysts and reporters are even using the phrase “restaurant recession.” At reporting chains, year-over-year same-store sales only increased half of a percentage point in quarter two, the slowest growth seen […]

Brand Image Strongly Influences Brand Performance

Free burritos, transparent food safety improvements, loyalty incentives — none of these attractive initiatives seem to be able to resuscitate Chipotle’s tanking sales. Since the fast-casual chain’s E.coli and norovirus problems last fall, Chipotle has reported three straight quarters of double-digit same-store sales declines. In its second-quarter financial results released last month, Chipotle announced that […]

How to Appeal to Generation Z

One of the biggest challenges facing restaurant brands today is how to capture the attention of Generation Z diners and how to keep them coming back. Restaurant chains want to build brand loyalty with Gen Z and create lifelong customers. This column will provide a sketch of Gen Z using insights from our recently updated […]

5 Ways Expanding Dayparts Can Help Boost Sales

Consumers are growing more flexible in terms of when and how they seek and consume food and beverage, as demonstrated by the rise of snacking, small plates, all-day breakfast and on-demand delivery. Restaurants keeping a pulse on the foodservice industry are likely already expanding their dayparts in an effort to maximize their sales. Here are […]

Survival of Full Service: How the Segment Needs to Fight for Growth

In last month’s Foodservice Digest column, we discussed the growth of limited-service chains in 2015 — fast-casual chains in particular. The foodservice landscape has shifted in favor of LSRs, and full-service chains are losing market share as a result. While FSR legacy brands are particularly struggling to recoup losses, a handful of notable FSR chains […]

Top 500 Results Are In: LSRs Win Big

Results from our recently released 2016 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report reveal a powerful story of sales growth and comebacks at many leading restaurant chains. Total Top 500 sales grew 5.0%, up from 4.2% growth in 2014 and 3.5% growth in 2013. The limited-service segment drove much of this success, charting a 5.5% sales increase […]

Should Chipotle Bet On Better Burgers?

On Wednesday, Chipotle confirmed that it may add a better-burger concept to its portfolio. The new addition would stand alongside Chipotle’s other fast-casual spinoffs, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Local, setting the stage for growth beyond Mexican food. Despite its recent health-related setback, Chipotle continues to be a very successful company thanks largely to […]