Many fast-food restaurant chains use discount promotions to reel in consumers still stinging from the recession. Yoshinoya America Inc. – a Japanese bowl fast-food concept with 1,759 locations in California, Las Vegas and around the world – has taken the opposite approach. Instead, it touts the use of fresh ingredients and its commitment to authentic Japanese meals to bring its customers back.

For thousands of people in Omaha, Neb., and beyond, a hot cup of coffee from Scooter’s Coffee is how the day gets started. As Director of New Business Development Todd Graeve explains, the company wants even more people to start their day with a cup from Scooter’s. Even though the Scooter’s brand competes against some of the most ubiquitous names in the industry, Graeve says the company expects to double in size to more than 200 stores nationwide within the next five years.

At Salty’s Seafood Grills, success is defined by offering world-class seafood, steaks, service and smiles. Through a combination of quality food, location and high-touch service, the Pacific Northwest restaurants have become regional landmarks.

First-time visitors to Razzoo’s Cajun Café may not know what to make of certain items on the casual-dining restaurant’s menu. The restaurant admits items such as “Rat Toes” – shrimp- and crab-stuffed jalapeños that are battered and fried – or its “Grilled Gator Tail” – alligator meat over jambalaya – might sound weird.

People like to be given a wide range of choices with their meals. But the restaurants of PizzaRev exceed customers’ expectations by offering more than 30 different pizza toppings for one affordable all-in price, Partner and co-CEO Irv Zuckerman says.

The Olive Tree Italian Family Restaurant was a concept inspired by the owner’s childhood home on the family olive grove and vineyards. Growing up with the freshest local ingredients and making their own olive oil and wine, Nick Hapsis  knew he wanted to share that kind of unique dining experience. He and his wife, Kaliopi, started on their venture of making his dream a reality.

No other burger chain can trace its existence back to one of Vail, Colo.’s top dining and event destinations. However, Larkburger isn’t like most burger chains. Created as a spinoff of its namesake burger made at Vail’s Larkspur Restaurant, Larkburger originated in 2005 and has grown by combining the best of fine dining and fast food.

At each of Francesca’s Restaurants Inc.’s locations, employees strive to remember customers’ names and preferences. That way, the restaurant has the feel of a private club, President Jeffery  I. Cohen says.

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