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Controlling Restaurant Food Costs. A short while ago we had a customer recover $12,000 in accidental vendor overcharges… on ketchup. As you can imagine, our customer, a large quick serve concept, was incredulous. The most exciting part of this revelation was that ketchup was only one of the hundreds of items in their vendor order guides and many had price variances. There were still a lot more savings left for our customer to recover. Read more at http://nrn.com

NRA: Rising traffic, falling gas prices fuel operator optimism. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index rose in October amid stronger traffic and growing optimism among operators, according to a report released Monday. The index was 102.8 in October, a 1.8-percent increase from September. It was the 20th straight month the index was above 100, signifying industry expansion. Read more at http://nrn.com

Per Se to Join Restaurants Charging in Advance. Will New Yorkers pay up front for restaurant meals? That’s the question posed by the announcement that Per Se (and its sister restaurant the French Laundry, in Napa Valley) will switch from taking conventional reservations to an advance-ticketing system in 2015. Read more at www.nytimes.com