America’s picky eaters are overhauling the restaurant industry (Huffington Post)
In Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich's vision of the future, every restaurant could have "a different menu for every person.” Panera and others are bringing his vision closer to reality, making it easier for diners to order exactly to their preferences instead of picking from a rigid set of menu items like they did in the Dark Ages. That could either be a food utopia or a diner's nightmare. It just all depends on what kind of eater you are.

—Ron Ruggless



The Egg & I Restaurants announce key executive promotions (Business Wire)
Breakfast and lunch concept The Egg and I Restaurants has made some promotions as it builds its infrastructure. Jan Barnett, former director of marketing, has been named vice president of marketing. Robert Glen and Brandon Heinsohn, both former regional directors of operations, have been promoted to regional vice president roles. The Centennial, Colo.-based chain operates 90 restaurants in 19 states.

—Lisa Jennings

McDonald’s to give restaurants in China a makeover (China Real Time/The Wall Street Journal)
With new designs and a menu featuring more rice dishes, McDonald’s is signaling an attempt to look more Chinese.

—Marcella Veneziale



Altering how we taste our food (BBC)
Liquor company Diageo has found that taste and smell are not the only senses in play when appreciating whiskey. Sit in a grassy setting with birds chirping and whiskey tastes grassier; change the lighting to make it redder and the whiskey tastes sweeter. A relatively new discipline called "neurogastronomy" explores how all the senses affect how we taste food and drink.

—Bret Thorn

Jersey Mike’s raises $2.1M for 100 charities (Company website)
Jersey Mike’s Subs, the 750-unit sandwich chain, raised $2.1 million for more than 100 different local charities during March, its fourth annual “Month of Giving.” The effort also included the “Day of Giving” on March 26, when 100 percent of proceeds went to local partners. This year’s total far surpassed last year’s fundraiser, which netted $1.7 million for 86 charities. Since 2010, the Manasquan, N.J.-based brand has raised more than $10 million to charity.

—Mark Brandau