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R&IEditorial Archives2004July 1 — Contents

July 1, 2004


Mass Customization
Addition of low-carb items has been only one of many shifts menus recently have undergone as chains’ fight to capture new diners.

Flavor in Every Language
From egg rolls to tandoori chicken, ethnic-influenced dishes are enlivening chain menus.

Four Stars: Burger Brainstorms
There always is a new way to transform the classic burger, as these four chains’ creations attest.

In the Spirit
Funky cocktails and a fun ambience are making chains’ bar scenes vibrant.


R&I’s 40th annual ranking of the Top 400 chains provides the industry with the deepest overview available of the multi-unit restaurant business.

Long-Term Leadership
Systemwide sales for this year’s Top 400 chains total approximately $218.1 billion, a 5% increase over the previous year’s. This year’s rankings include information on average unit volumes and average checks.

The Top 400 List

Top 400 Snapshots

The 400 at 40: A Retrospective
To mark the Top 400’s four decades as the industry’s oldest and best benchmarking tool, R&I pinpoints key milestones in the evolution of the chain-restaurant business.


A Step Ahead
Chains that produced the largest increases in sales and unit counts used every means available to expand their appeal and presence.

Chains at the Crossroads
These executives confront challenges or opportunities that will help determine next year’s rankings.

Designs on Expansion
A look at some of the latest thinking in chain restaurant interior and exterior designs.


The Costs of Success
The best sales-growth strategies can be undone by increases in food and labor costs, as many chains have learned. Many also have instituted changes in purchasing or staff utilization to minimize the negative impact of overhead inflation.

Train Schedule
Training costs are investments in improved profitability, leading chains to increase budgets for unit-management and crew education programs. Industry leaders share insights on what works best.


R&I Insider
Bob Evans acquires Mimi’s Cafe; armed forces personnel love chains; Taco Bell customers vie to be quoted; Houlihan’s adds Asian dishes; Jamba Juice gets philosophical; new concepts from familiar brands. Menu Focus sits down to breakfast. The Top 10 in food quality share what’s new.

Interface: Robert Egger
D.C. Central Kitchen’s Robert Egger speaks out on hunger in Interface.

10-Minute Manager
The 10-Minute Manager checks out what works in marketing to kids.


CEO Style

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