Restaurant Development & Design

September-October 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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Page 7 of 83

Editor's Letter T alking to people with a passion for their work is one of the great- est things about my job. And whether I'm getting the scoop on how weird and wonderful it is that there's a Dunkin' Donuts inside the Pentagon (check out our Q&A with Chris Burr, director of nontraditional develop- ment for Dunkin' Brands, on page 18) or marveling at the integration of tech- nology to create impossible standards of customer service (see Senior Contribut- ing Editor Dana Tanyeri's interview with Kyle Connaughton, chef-owner of Single Thread, on page 80), there's always something new to learn and there's always another story about pushing established boundaries. It's a theme that's come up again and again in recent weeks, through inter- actions with our readers and as our writ- ers delivered their stories for this issue. In this month's Reader's Choices (page 68), Deborah English reimagines what it means to be a grocery store by adding destination-worthy dining experi- ences. Hotel restaurants (page 40) are breaking past the boundaries of the hotel itself to become a worthwhile din- ing experience for locals (some hotels have to remember to save room for their overnight guests). I recently hosted a webcast on Green Restaurants ( that featured two in-depth case studies on chains that approach sustainabil- ity holistically. We'd done a webcast on green building before, but for our audience of professional developers and designers, it was important to push beyond what they might expect of us — and of themselves. Paula Owens, purchasing and sustainability manager for Ted's Montana Grill, gave us an over- view of the things the chain has done that one might expect (like building a LEED-certified restaurant along with numerous in-house efforts to reduce the chain's environmental impact) as well as the completely unexpected, such as the chain's bison restoration and advocacy efforts. Meanwhile, Shannon Allen, founder of USDA-certified Grown restaurants, another rd+d webcast speaker, shared her incredible story of going from an actress and songwriter to a restaurateur. Her young son's Type I diabetes diag- nosis upended the life she had with her NBA-star husband, Ray Allen. She told me in one of our off-air conversations that her quest to open an affordable organic fast-food chain took years, but as a songwriter, she saw Grown as a kind of love song — for her family and, ultimately, for the world. It's that kind of passion and poetry that drives each of us to push past the boundaries of what we be- lieve is possible. I hope this issue has a hand in inspiring readers to push their own boundaries. 6 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 REBECCA KILBREATH, Editor in Chief Pushing Boundaries

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