Curry Up Now maps growth strategy with new funding

Fast-casual Indian chain Curry Up Now won venture capital funding this month from Liquid 2 Ventures, a firm that includes former NFL star Joe Montana. The nine-unit California-based chain began as a food truck in 2009, and it will use the new funding to accelerate growth plans. Read the Restaurant Business online story here

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December sends US hospitality year out on upswing

December saw growth in all three principal performance metrics for US hotels, STR reports. Occupancy bumped up only 0.6%, while average daily rate increased 2% and revenue per available room 2.6%. Read the Hotel News Now story here

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5 Versatile Uses of Granite in Modern Construction

Numerous components used in construction today are natural materials mined from the Earth. Sure, science has given rise to a wide range of synthetic alternatives over the centuries. Most of them have their places in the building and other industries, but only a handful have been able to withstand the test of time and truly prove their value. In the end, people keep returning to the very materials created by natural means because they’re the ones virtually guaranteed to survive the elements.

Granite happens to be one of those popular organic alternatives. Formed by cooling lava, this type of rock has been used for millennia to build some of the most breathtaking structures known to man. Available in numerous colors and patterns, it’s also commonly used in various aspects of modern-day construction.

1) Flooring

From museums and other public arenas to high-end homes, granite is a popular material for flooring. Two basic finishes are used for granite floors: polished and honed. While the latter is glossy and typically used for low-traffic areas, the latter has less sheen and is often recommended for floors subjected to high traffic levels. Either way, granite flooring can last a lifetime and doesn’t crumble under pressure like some other materials can.

2) Countertops

Though granite is inherently a strong material, it can be sealed to add greater strength and durability. After being sealed, it provides a non-porous surface that’s impervious to dents, dings, scratches, stains, and germs. This makes it perfect for kitchen and bathroom countertops. They can be used continually without succumbing to time and damage. As long as they’re resealed from time to time, all they need is a thorough wipe-down with warm soapy water or antibacterial spray after each use to retain their luster and beauty.

3) Staircases

Due to its durability, beauty, and longevity, granite is a wonderful material for staircases. It’ll hold up well to decades of traffic and other types of abuse. While polished and honed granite is typically used for indoor staircases, flamed and brushed varieties are more suitable for outdoor use. Brushed granite, in particular, offers a bit of a rougher surface, so it’s less slippery during wet or icy weather.

4) Fireplaces

Yet another reason homeowners often consult with a Granite Company is for fireplace surrounds. As mentioned, this type of rock doesn’t succumb to scratches or stains, so firewood, fireplace tools, and constant use won’t phase it. Granite won’t be damaged by heat and flying embers, either. Whether being placed around a gas or wood fireplace, granite can easily hold up to the demands placed on it.

5) Exterior Walls

Granite has been used for exterior cladding for millennia. Smooth slabs give buildings a modern, refined look whereas rough blocks offer a more rustic appeal. Slabs tend to need occasional refinishing and resealing, but both options provide beautiful, long-lasting exterior finishes for homes and other structures. Though veneers resembling the appearance of granite are available, they don’t offer the same levels of longevity and durability as the real element.

All Things Considered

Granite is the medium from which numerous age-old structures have been fashioned. Georgia’s Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore and portions of the Great Pyramids are only a few past examples. From globally recognized monuments to household architectural elements, this stone is a strong, attractive material that’s suitable for several applications. It’s available in a wide range of colors, so it melds well with virtually any interior decor or outdoor design scheme. Whether covering your home’s exterior or renovating the bathroom, consider making granite part of the picture.


Posted in Vendor News |
Restaurant chains aim to compete with new fast-casual formats

Several casual dining chains have created fast-casual concepts in an effort to stay competitive, including sibling chains Applebee’s and IHOP. Outback Steakhouse and Cheesecake Factory are also experimenting with spinoff fast-casual formats. Read the CNBC story here

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Why the Pie Hole is betting on more than restaurants

The Pie Hole launched as a fast-casual concept in Southern California in 2011, selling coffee and pies baked in a central commissary, and the chain has grown in multiple channels including catering and online sales. Read the Restaurant Business online story here

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Small Luxury Hotels envelops 5 more hotels around the world

Small Luxury Hotels of the World has added five new properties to its portfolio, including Barcelona’s The Wittmore and Montenegro’s Villa Geba. Susafa in Sicily, Italy; Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, New York; and Angkor Village Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, also are now Small Luxury Hotels. Read the TravelPulse story here

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Gap abandons plan to spin off Old Navy

Gap says it has examined a plan to spin off Old Navy and has decided the idea no longer makes economic sense. Read the Agence France-Presse story here

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Chopt acquires Dos Toros, forms new holding company

Chopt Creative Salad Co. has bought Dos Toros Taqueria for an undisclosed amount in a deal backed by private-equity firm L Catterton. Read the Restaurant Business online story here

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Fresh Kitchen to grow with $4.1M investment

Fresh Kitchen, the Tampa-based restaurant chain known for its focus on fast service and healthy foods, has raised millions of dollars to continue to grow its footprint throughout Florida. Read The Business Journals story here

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5 Tips for Hiring the Right Covered Deck Contractors

Having a covered deck to your home gives you the chance to socialize, eat, and relax with your family and guests. It helps minimizes your exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays and allows your deck to be functional regardless of the season and climate. The deck roof also offers protection to your deck from extreme weather, such as heat and rain, which makes your deck easier to maintain and can last longer.

While a covered deck does transform your outdoor space into a cozy and luxurious area that you can enjoy throughout the year, you do need the help from professional to build one that fits your preference. This read gives you five simple tips for hiring the best covered deck contractors that are right for you.

Set your budget

 Before hiring a covered deck builder, homeowners need to set their budget to get an idea of the  money they can afford to pay for the deck contractors. They need to survey the market and find out the competitive rates for quality work. They need to make sure that their budget is not too low to avoid getting shoddy work.

Get recommendations from friends or research online

 The easiest way to look for reputable covered deck contractors is to ask family, friends, neighbors, and workmates for recommendations. Homeowners can also do a quick search online to look for the best-covered deck contractors that are operating near their house.

Do your research

 Once the homeowners are set on a particular deck builder company, they need to dig deeper into the background of the company. Some of the factors that they need to verify are the company’s credentials, years of experience, work quality, and cost.

Many deck builders nowadays have an official website that allows their prospect to learn more about their backgrounds and skim through their past projects. Homeowners can also head over to the company’s website’s testimonial or review page to get an idea of its reputation and quality of work. Moreover, the companies would usually place their contact number and address on their website. So homeowners can try to visit or contact the company directly for inquiries or clarification.

Be sure to stay away from contractors that offer a price that is too good to be true, lack relevant license or permit, requires payment up-front, or being too pushy.

Prepare a solid plan

 While the deck contractors can offer their advice or propose design plans, homeowners should have an idea of what kind of design they want. They should develop a layout draft, come up with unique features that they want in their covered deck, as well as determining the materials, and finish that they prefer for the deck. Their plan, however, should be within the scope of their budget.

Review the contract

 After the homeowners have chosen the best covered deck contractors that fit their needs, the next thing that they need to do is to sign the contract. But before signing the contract, they should review the agreement thoroughly and obtain the necessary documentation, which includes:

  • A copy of the insurance details
  • A copy of the contractor’ license details
  • Deadline for the project completion
  • Pricing breakdown

The liabilities and responsibilities of both the contractors and homeowners should be laid out in the contract in a straightforward manner.

A covered deck at your home adds functionality and versatility to your home’s outdoor space. But you need to seek the help of experts to build one that is both durable and stunning. When hiring covered deck contractors, you should consider your budget, prepare a solid layout, do the necessary research, and study the contractors’ reputation and credentials.

Posted in Vendor News |