Restaurant News Bites 3/29/13

As gasoline prices continue to rise, consumers have been reluctant to resume their usual habits of dining out. Increasing payroll taxes are also pinching the budgets of people who are working with limited income. Nearly 40% of surveyed consumers cite fuel and tax costs as the main reasons they’re eating out less.  Some chains, however, are managing to pull some growth during hard financial times.  Release of tax refunds may trigger a wave of sales for restaurants across the country.  [CNBC]

A restaurant icon has just celebrated its 125th birthday. The Bavarian Inn Restaurant in Michigan has been drawing visitors to the Frankenmuth area for over a century. The restaurant first opened in 1888 under the name of the Union House Hotel. A German immigrant known as Theodore Fischer opened the business as a boarding house providing accommodations and meals for lumberjacks working in the area. His family developed the company for over 62 years, at which time they sold it to the current owners. The restaurant currently employees well over 400 people and feeds 600,000 meals to hungry guests each year.  [Michigan Live]

An Alabama burger restaurant recently changed its name after receiving legal notice from another restaurant. The burger restaurant was previously known as Burger U, which was a bit too close for comfort for the Wings U franchise. The restaurant is now known as Tuscaloosa Burger after the owner decided to change the name rather than spend up to $75,000 in court battling the claim.  [The Crimson White]

Restaurant Shames No-Shows On Twitter [Huffington Post]

Celebrity chef Tom Kitchin blasts internet trolls who have been using his name to write false reviews [Daily Record]

Miami Restauranteur With The Midas Touch [CBS Miami]

Papa Murphy’s CEO talks life, business at WU [The Capital-Journal]

The 20 best athlete-owned restaurants [USA Today]