In this Tuesday, May 26, 2015 photo, chef David Barzelay works on finishing a lettuce "snack" at the Lazy Bear restaurant in San Francisco. Lazy Bear uses an increasingly popular ticketing system model for its "reservations" that asks diners to pay up front for their meals much the way theater patrons pay for their seats. The tickets cannot be refunded or changed, though they can be given to someone else, much as one could with tickets to a concert or a baseball game. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

“The main issue is trying to manage risk, trying to incentivize patrons to keep their reservations,” says Northwestern University microeconomic theorist Jeffrey Ely, noting that ticketing systems transfer all the risk to the diner. “These are things that have always been goals or needs of the restaurant market. The only reason they’re now manifesting themselves is that the technology is there to make it possible.”

While loaded with toppings, this pie from Hungry Howie's in Aurora — and many others like it — is sold with the promise of one of the chain's eight flavored crusts.

Rivaling Pizza Hut’s recent brand overhaul and addition of eight unique crust profiles, Howie’s offers eight crust varieties of its own: cajun, sesame, butter, butter cheese (we’re very curious as to the similarity to cheese whiz, here), garlic herb, ranch, onion and asiago cheese.

FILE - This Dec. 29, 2009 file photo shows a Big Mac sandwich in front of a drink at McDonald's in North Huntingdon, Pa.  McDonald’s on Monday. May 5, 2015 became the latest chain to announce that it’s teaming up with a service called Postmates to offer delivery as a pilot program in New York City, following similar announcements by Chipotle and Starbucks. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The world’s biggest burger chain said Monday that it was starting the test and teaming up with Postmates, a service that is also working with Chipotle and Starbucks. It’s the latest sign that fast-food chains are eager to figure out ways to feed customer demands for greater convenience.

In this Wednesday, April 8, 2015 photo, customers walk into Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Lake George, N.Y. The HoJo’s on the main strip of the Adirondack Mountain resort town of Lake George and another in Bangor, Maine, are the last two restaurants operating under the famous name.  (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

“We have one of the last orange roofs left,” said John LaRock, frying up breakfasts at the Lake George HoJo’s, which retains a time-capsule quality, from the pie man on the weather vane to menu items that include Hawaiian-baked ham.


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