Why are These Italian Casual Dining Chains Underperforming Compared to the Rest of the Industry?

Why are These Italian Casual Dining Chains Underperforming Compared to the Rest of the Industry?

It's no secret that the traditional casual dining segment as a whole is struggling to compete as new innovative restaurant brands emerge, but there's one sector within this segment that continues to underperform. 

The Italian cuisine-focused brands like Bertucci's, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and Tony Roma's used to be fan-favorite restaurants where families and friends would gather together to enjoy signature Italian dishes.

Now these brands are seeing a slump not only in sales, but also in our Foodable Labs' RSMI scores.

In 2015, California Pizza Kitchen decided it was time to adapt.

The chain expanded its food and bar menu, which included incorporating seasonal ingredients and adding hand-crafted cocktails. The chain also started a complete store redesign with 20 pilot locations. Now customers can also watch their food as it’s prepared with the restaurant’s open kitchen concept.

But, the brand isn't going to stop adapting to today's new consumer. 

“CPK is resetting the stage for the next 30 years and we are calling this plan our ‘Next Chapter’,” said G.J. Hart, California Pizza Kitchen executive chairman and CEO in a press release. 

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Portland’s Burrasca Transitions from Food Cart to Brick and Mortar

Portland’s Burrasca Transitions from Food Cart to Brick and Mortar

By Kaitlin Ohlinger, Foodable Contributor

The food truck trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Now in it’s seventh consistent year of straight growth, this wildly popular- and fairly accessible, by food & beverage standards- model continues to attract new and talented faces year in and out. Many chefs and owners that start out the old fashioned way- without wheels- express occasional chagrin over food truck hype. A brick and mortar restaurant doesn’t have the luxury of driving away when they run out of something, or when something breaks. Those things have to be dealt with, with the looming threat of irritated diners on your premises. Few things are more frustrating then watching people swarm to the newest, most hyped food truck while you’re dealing with a broken dishwasher, a clogged ice machine, or a host of other incredibly mundane issues that food trucks get to opt out of.

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