20 Nov 2020

Potbelly Launches Another Turnaround

The chain must figure out its competitive advantage—a soul search it failed at during its last revamp—and translate that to the online ordering world. "You put your brand in the bag," says Doug Roth, founder and president of Chicago-based restaurant consultancy Playground Hospitality. "You need to be able to figure out how to do that."

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24 Sep 2020

What will it take to make diners feel safe? Nearly 60% feel uneasy eating inside, so restaurants try sterilizing UV wands, tabletop air purifiers as winter looms.

Some restaurants are forgoing the headache of air quality investments and tent cities altogether and plan to ride out winter by focusing on carryout and delivery, said Doug Roth, president of restaurant consultancy Playground Hospitality.

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04 Sep 2020

Chicago Restaurant Owners Lobby City to Raise Indoor Dining Capacity Before Weather Cools

The Illinois Restaurant Association has been lobbying the city of Chicago to raise indoor dining capacity from 25% to 50%, but that may not be enough to help some owners.

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29 Jun 2020

Will America still go out to eat? One restaurateur’s moment of truth.

Since April, when 4 in 10 restaurants had closed their doors, some have reopened, propped up by a spray of federal dollars and, in some cases, rent reprieves from landlords, but they’re not yet on a firm footing.

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21 Jun 2020

Restaurant Red Flags: How To Know Where To Dine Might Not Be Fine

Americans are on pace to set a new record for spending on dining out this year. To prepare for the massive restaurant crowd, Founder and President of Playground Hospitality Doug Roth joined the WBBM Noon Business Hour to discuss the red flags that could signal an eatery may not be up to snuff.

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12 Jun 2020

Takeout gets a makeover: How COVID-19 is forcing restaurants to improve the to-go experience

Takeout pricing is even higher at some restaurants because of the additional costs of packaging and third-party delivery platforms

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