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Same-store sales for restaurants fell by 1% in April, marking the third straight month of decline, but at least one analyst says there’s reason for “cautious optimism.” Victor Fernandez of TDn2K, the parent company of Black Box Intelligence, said April’s numbers might have been stronger than they appear, and consumer confidence remains relatively strong while unemployment is still low. The big question looming over the industry: Will President Trump and Congress pass tax cuts anytime soon, and will the cuts be significant enough to make a difference?

Get more details about 1st quarter restaurant sales at


MealConnect App Helps Restaurants Reduce Food Waste

Food that you never use is wasted food, but only if you throw it away. The MealConnect app from Feeding America can help restaurant owners link up with local food banks and meal programs that serve people in need. The app, which was made possible by a $1 million grant from General Mills, is free to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer and allows operators to quickly make a difference in their community.

Read more about the MealConnect app at



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Recipe for Change: Teaching Pizza Skills to Prisoners

Life in Cook County Jail isn’t known for its perks, but at least you can get pizza delivered to your cell, thanks to Chef Bruno Abate. The owner of Tocco in Chicago created Recipe for Change, which teaches pizza-making skills to inmates, and other prisoners get the benefit of being able to order the artisan pies for delivery.

See how this program helps inmates improve their lives at



“Tasty Tunes” Promo Lets Customers Eat to the Beat

Music sets the mood for the food at Union, a restaurant in Pasadena, California. For its first Tasty Tunes promotion, Union offered three-course, prixe-fixe meals choreographed to songs delivered on wireless headphones. Ranging from Billy Joel and Marvin Gaye to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Prince, the music created an enhanced restaurant experience that eventually inspired customers to get up and dance, forming a conga line by the end of the evening.

Read more about this foot-tapping promo at



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