PPAI Magazine September 2023

States With The Most (And Fewest) Fast-Food Restaurants Feast On These Fun Restaurant Facts • Benihana was founded by a professional wrestler who raised funds for the restaurant by running an ice cream truck. • The nation’s oldest fast-food chain is White Castle, founded in 1921. • Delmonico’s is the country’s first fine-dining restaurant, established in 1837. • Founded in 1826, Union Oyster House in Boston is the oldest American restaurant still in service. • Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz sells avocados from his backyard to Chipotle. • New York City is home to the world’s most Michelin-starred restaurants. • At nearly 70,000, California has more eating and drinking locations than anywhere else in the United States. Must Read | You’ll find the most fast-food places in: 1. Alabama 2. Nebraska 3. West Virginia 4. Oklahoma 5. Tennessee And the fewest in: 1. Vermont 2. New Jersey 3. New York 4. Mississippi 5. Connecticut Many fast-food restaurants, including Taco Bell and Whataburger, run full online stores that sell branded merchandise like T-shirts and tote bags. Promos For Budget-Minded Consumers Restaurant prices have now outpaced grocery prices, which hasn’t happened since mid-2021. According to the Department of Labor, the price of food at home is up 8.4% in the last 12 months, while the price of food away from home is up 8.8%. Consumers may still balk at the cost of eggs, bread and other staples, but they could be more inclined to cook at home rather than go out. One way to reach this crowd? Promotional campaigns that highlight restaurants’ BOGO deals, happy hour specials or loyalty offerings. Get Creative With National Food-Focused Observances From customized barbecue tools for National Grilling Month (July) to logoed mugs for National Coffee Day (September 29), restaurants can tap into a year’s worth of fun, food-focused events. Here are just a few ideas: January 4: National Spaghetti Day February: Great American Pies Month March 23: National Chip and Dip Day April: National Brunch Month May: National Salad Month June: National Soul Food Month July: National Ice Cream Month August 18: National Fajita Day September: National Honey Month October: National Chili Month November: National Fun With Fondue Month December 15: National Cupcake Day mountain beetle/ Jonathan Weiss/ Ken Wolter/ lucadp/ TongRoRo / chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com 64 • SEPTEMBER 2023 • PPAI