This year started with a relatively small limited-service restaurant company going public, garnering a valuation of more than $1 billion, and ended with an industry-rattling move from a full-service company ending the practice of tipping servers. And all of that was accomplished by one restaurateur, Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer.
In between those opening and closing acts, restaurant operators faced challenges surrounding the workforce, disruption in delivery services and changing consumer demands around ingredient transparency and sourcing. The industry saw success stories in dealmakers’ continued appetite for and investment in emerging brands; all-day breakfast offerings meeting long-time customer cravings; and the widespread embrace of digital tools matching consumer demands.
At the end of the year many people and businesses take time to reflect, and NRN is no different. In 2015 we were able to reap the benefits of four new team members hired between the end of 2014 and July, adding yet more talent to the largest content team in B-to-B foodservice media. The team broke news on the largest chains, including TGI Fridays, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Taco Bell, and active emerging brands including Uncle Maddio’s, Mendocino Farms, Modmarket and Honeygrow.
NRN reached more than 1 million page views each month in 2015, making us the most visited website among all our competitors. We also drove engagement with our audience through Twitter and Facebook chats, surveys and voting for the most prestigious award in foodservice, Operator of the Year. We introduced responsive e-newsletters and mobile news alerts to better meet our audience’s increasing need for information on various mobile platforms.
Our brand positioning solidified in 2015: We don’t just cover the foodservice industry, we help shape it; we don’t just chase click-throughs, we earn them; we don’t just talk to our audience, we listen.
From magazines ready for a long plane ride to mobile apps ready for a quick scan, the restaurant industry’s senior leaders power their businesses with NRN. Celebrating the milestone of its 50th anniversary in 2016, Nation’s Restaurant News is not just as relevant and influential as ever, it is essential.
None of this can be accomplished without our talented team, a team of which I am extremely privileged to be a part. This wonderful mix of people has taken NRN to new heights using a wide range of skill sets, various viewpoints and authentic approaches to work and life. We are many, but we are singular in our mission to provide the best information restaurant businesses need to succeed.
From all of us to all of you, have a celebratory and safe holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year. We’ll see you in 2016.