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Bloomin’ Brands Reports Strengthening Sales Trends

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN) today reported results for the third quarter 2020 (“Q3 2020”) compared to the third quarter 2019 (“Q3 2019”).

Statement from David Deno, Chief Executive Officer

Our priorities remain unchanged as we are focused on taking care of our people and serving food in an environment that protects both team members and customers. Maintaining a motivated, well trained, and engaged employee base that is committed to providing a safe dining experience is critical to our long-term success. The decision not to furlough any employees during the pandemic reinforced this principle. This decision is paying off and has been a big part of our success in driving results throughout the pandemic...

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Oct 23 8:47 AM, General News



Burger King to Pilot Reusable Containers Through Partnership with Loop 

Burger King restaurants are continuing efforts to minimize environmental impact across the globe by testing a new reusable packaging model that will help cut down on packaging waste. The brand, as part of its Restaurant Brands for Good framework, has launched a partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot a closed-loop system with zero-waste packaging that can be safely cleaned and refilled to be reused, again and again.

Together with Loop, the trial will offer restaurant guests the option to conveniently reduce waste when ordering their favorite Burger King brand staples like...

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Oct 23 7:55 AM, General News


Wendy's Rolls Out New Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's is introducing a brand-new chicken sandwich that's crispier, juicier and packed with flavor.

"We can't wait for our fans to get their hands on the New Classic Chicken Sandwich which has the perfect crunch from breading and pickles paired with the juiciness and flavor of the fillet," said Carl Loredo, Chief Marketing Officer for The Wendy's Company. "The Classic joins what customers have already come to know and love in spice and taste from Wendy's via our Spicy Chicken and Pretzel Bacon Pub Chicken Sandwiches."

The new Classic Chicken Sandwich features...

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Oct 23 7:51 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: A Challenging Year for Chicken Tenders

2020 has been anything but a traditional year for the chicken industry and line run tenders are no exception...

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Oct 23 7:35 AM, Urner Barry


Chipotle Announces Third Quarter 2020 Results

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

Third quarter highlights, which incorporate the impact of COVID-19, year over year

  • Revenue increased 14.1% to $1.6 billion
  • Comparable restaurant sales increased 8.3%
  • Digital sales grew 202.5% and accounted for 48.8% of sales for the quarter
  • Restaurant level operating margin was 19.5%, a decrease of 1.3%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.82, net of a $0.94 after-tax impact from expenses related to...
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Oct 22 9:40 AM, General News


Survey: COVID Led to Surge in Off-Premise Dining, Other Operational Changes for Franchisees

The 2020 Restaurant Franchise Pulse survey, conducted by TD Bank, found that coronavirus lockdowns and unwillingness to eat out at restaurants led restaurant franchisees to pivot to a pick-up and delivery model.

Just shy of 75% of survey respondents prioritized off-premise dining with enhanced delivery and online or mobile ordering methods due to COVID-19. This led to a 19% jump in the percentage of sales linked to off-premise orders.

An interesting note was that although 86% of respondents had delivery...

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Oct 22 9:17 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: What’s Going On with Tom Breast Meat?

It’s safe to say that Thanksgiving and the whole bird centric activity which typically...

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Oct 22 8:11 AM, Urner Barry


PODCAST: I’ll Have What He’s Having - Jorge Azevedo on Plant Proteins

In this week’s episode of Market Digest Laura sits down with Jorge Azevedo, Chief Growth Officer at Planterra Foods. They discuss the growing popularity of flexitarian diets, plant protein at QSRs, bringing plant protein foods into the spotlight, and much more...

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Oct 21 11:10 AM, Urner Barry


Papa John’s Brings Back the Double Cheeseburger Pizza

Papa John's is bringing back the brand’s cult-favorite Double Cheeseburger Pizza for just $12. But Papa John’s isn’t stopping there. They’re turning the popular Double Cheeseburger Pizza, originally launched in 2015, into a Papadia for $6. To satisfy their biggest fans’ cravings, Papa John’s is treating their Papa Rewards members to a coveted sneak peek starting today at select locations.

The Double Cheeseburger Pizza and Double Cheeseburger Papadia feature a huge portion of seasoned beef, melty cheese, zesty pickles and signature burger sauce, all held together by...

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Oct 21 8:17 AM, General News


The Wendy's Company Names Kevin Vasconi Chief Information Officer

The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) announced the appointment of Kevin Vasconi, 59, as Chief Information Officer, effective today. He will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor and serve on Wendy's Senior Leadership Team.

Prior to joining Wendy's, Kevin served as Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer at Domino's Pizza, Inc., a role from which he retired earlier this month. In Kevin's eight years at Domino's, he served on the executive leadership team and was responsible for developing and leading all domestic and international technology capabilities. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2019 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications...

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Oct 19 9:52 AM, General News


P.F. Chang’s Launches To Go Concept In New York Market

As consumers across the country seek dining options to fit their changing habits, P.F. Chang’s is excited to announce the expansion of its P.F. Chang’s To Go concept now launching in New York.

Opening today at 240 W. 40th in New York City, the location marks the first of three P.F. Chang’s To Go openings in New York over the coming weeks. It follows three other openings in Chicago, which launched earlier in 2020.

These new restaurant additions will allow more guests to experience the P.F. Chang’s Asian favorites they know and love in a convenient format that provides a solution for online ordering, takeout, catering and delivery in areas that don’t have a P.F. Chang’s restaurant nearby...

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Oct 19 8:35 AM, General News


Del Taco Restaurants Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. reported fiscal third quarter 2020 financial results for the 12-week period ending September 8, 2020 and provided a business update.

Management Commentary

John D. Cappasola, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco, commented, “As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities related to COVID-19, I am proud of our actions to stabilize our business as demonstrated by our strong third quarter performance. Positive third quarter comparable restaurant sales for company-operated and franchised restaurants reflects our value-oriented QSR+ positioning, expanding off-premise convenience and use of innovation with the very successful launch of...

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Oct 19 7:46 AM, General News


US Foods Announces New Chief Supply Chain Officer

US Foods Holding Corp. announced that Bill Hancock will join the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, effective Nov. 9, 2020. Hancock will oversee all warehousing, transportation, and supply chain strategy and operations on behalf of the company, as well as safety, labor relations and continuous improvement. He will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pietro Satriano.

“Bill joins US Foods with extensive supply chain leadership experience,” said Pietro Satriano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Foods. “His proven track record of driving customer service, improving productivity, and...

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Oct 19 7:42 AM, General News


Jack in the Box Introduces Plant-Based Chicken Sandwich 

Jack in the Box and Raised & Rooted are announcing the exclusive debut of the Jack's Unchicken and Jack's Spicy Unchicken sandwiches at select locations in Monterey and Salinas, California, and Reno, Nevada. The sandwiches are the first-ever plant-based "unchicken" sandwiches introduced by a quick service restaurant. Raised & Rooted is Tyson Foods' brand of alternative protein products launched in 2019.

Made from pea protein isolate and Jack in the Box's traditional crispy breading, the Unchicken sandwiches deliver mouthwatering taste with a savory crunch and texture sure to rival the competition. The sandwiches are available in two varieties, regular and spicy, and will be available...

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Oct 16 9:25 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Pork Cutout Showing October Highs

With both heightened retail and export demand continuing into the Autumn months, along with labor constraints and limited cold storage stocks, the Urner Barry Pork Cutout has ascended to...

 

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Oct 16 8:24 AM, Urner Barry


Meatless Farm Launches New Plant-Based Breakfast Product in Canada

Meatless Farm announced it has partnered with Canada’s leading foodservice distributors, to bring a new meat-free product to Canada.

In addition to the existing product line of meat-free burgers, the company has introduced new plant-based breakfast sausage patties for the Canadian market. Both the burger and the breakfast sausage patty are available in a 36-pack case and will be introduced across the country through our Fresh Pro Sales broker team as foodservice distributors look to expand their product offerings.

Meatless Farm’s internal team of chefs and food scientists developed recipes that provide the market with high quality taste and texture in plant-based meat alternatives. The new recipe – a next-generation soy-free, completely pea-based mix – more closely resembles...

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Oct 15 8:26 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Nothing Average About Turkey Weights

This year being what it is, or has become as the case might be, there is not a protein offering on the street that has not had its traditional market world uprooted. Demand patterns have...

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Oct 15 8:26 AM, Urner Barry


DoorDash And Taco Bell Announce Nationwide Partnership

DoorDash and Taco Bell announced their new partnership across over 5,500 locations nationwide. In celebration of the partnership, starting October 15, registered DoorDash users can get 50 percent off Taco Bell’s biggest nachos box ever, the Nachos Party Pack, with a $0 delivery fee when they spend $15 or more. The deal is exclusively available on DoorDash beginning October 15 through October 24.

“We’re excited to team up with DoorDash to give our fans the ability to satisfy their cravings for Taco Bell more easily,” said Nikki Lawson, Taco Bell’s Chief Global Brand Officer. “Growing delivery has always been a priority for the brand and through this partnership...

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Oct 15 8:25 AM, General News


Sysco Launches Holiday Toolkit for Restaurateurs to Help Navigate COVID-19 Shopping Season

Sysco Corporation announced the launch of its Holiday Toolkit, to its Foodie Solutions platform. This is the latest tool for foodservice operators who have been forced to quickly pivot to shifting business requirements and trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Holiday Toolkit, provides simple ideas generating additional revenues and providing guests with restaurant-quality solutions for easy gift-giving and holiday meals including Unique takeout offerings, such as charcuterie and cheese boards with wine pairings; Take-and-make meal kits paired...

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Oct 14 11:07 AM, General News


Famous Dave's Continues to Gain Momentum Signing a 25-Unit Development Deal

Famous Dave's recently signed a 25-unit development agreement to grow the BBQ brand in select locations across the U.S. — adding to its 125 existing locations. The BBQ franchise is partnering with Bluestone Hospitality Group to open both Famous Dave's ghost kitchens and dual restaurant concepts with the group's Italian brand, Johnny Carino's.

Bluestone Hospitality Group, led by seasoned restaurateur Allan Gantes, franchises with brands including Burger King, On the Border, Popeye's and Hilton Hotels, and owns and manages brands like Johnny Carino's. The Gantes family started their relationship with Famous Dave's in 2005, recognizing the strong potential of the brand's consistently award-winning BBQ. Now, in 2020 the Gantes are pushing forward to...

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Oct 13 3:11 PM, General News


Jeannie Cho Joins QDOBA Mexican Eats as Chief Marketing Officer

QDOBA named Jeannie Cho Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Cho will lead QDOBA's marketing and brand strategy to unlock additional growth for the company.

"I am excited to have Jeannie – a seasoned food-industry marketing executive – as an integral member of the QDOBA team," said Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA. "She brings tremendous ability to elevate our brand position and purpose to achieve top line growth through her strategic and breakthrough thinking. I am confident that Jeannie's analytical and creative approach to marketing will lead to...

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Oct 13 9:45 AM, General News


Little Caesars and DoorDash Announce Marketplace Partnership

Little Caesars and DoorDash announced a major expansion of their exclusive partnership, extending the availability of Little Caesars delivery to the DoorDash app and website. Little Caesars delivery, already available directly through the Little Caesars app and website in the US and Canada, will now also be available on DoorDash's third-party delivery marketplace for the first time.

"Little Caesars is committed to providing quality, convenience and value to our customers, which is why earlier this year, we partnered with DoorDash to make fast and affordable Little Caesars delivery possible through the Little Caesars app and website," said Ed Gleich, senior vice president of innovation at Little Caesars. "Today, we're excited to expand our product availability to the DoorDash app so pizza lovers can have even more options for...

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Oct 13 8:18 AM, General News


Domino's Pizza Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Domino's Pizza, Inc. announced results for the third quarter. Global retail sales increased 14.4% in the third quarter, or 14.8% excluding foreign currency impact. U.S. same store sales grew 17.5% during the quarter versus the year-ago period and were positively impacted by customer ordering behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing the positive sales momentum in the Company's U.S. stores business. The international business also posted positive same store sales results, with growth of 6.2% during the quarter. The third quarter marked the 107th consecutive quarter of international same store sales growth and the 38th consecutive quarter of U.S. same store sales growth.

During the quarter, the Company reported 209 gross new stores and 83 net new stores, comprised of 44 net new U.S. stores and 39 net new international stores. The Company's net store growth reflects the closure of 126 stores, primarily in India. The number of temporary store closures in...

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Oct 12 8:53 AM, General News


Burger King CMO, Fernando Machado, Talks Plant-Based Burgers at the 2020 Urner Barry ECGPS

During our second day of packed content and industry leading insights at Urner Barry’s Executive Conference and Global Protein Summit, participants were fortunate to hear from Chief Marketing Officer, Fernando Machado of Restaurant Brands International, which operates popular quick service restaurant (QSR) brands like Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes. Leading with a presentation on how QSRs have navigated the global COVID-19 pandemic, Machado was asked to comment on how consumer demand behavior has shifted between the Impossible Whopper, traditional beef Whopper, and chicken sandwiches.

Reinforcing Burger King’s commitment to monitoring how consumers preferences evolve and shift, Machado affirmed, “Our demand for beef burgers is there and continues to grow. The traditional Whopper is still, by far...

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Oct 9 8:39 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings vs. “Boneless” Wings: An Opened Ended Debate

This year’s chicken market has been anything but predictable and despite their admirable performance, chicken wings are no exception...

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Oct 9 8:23 AM, Urner Barry


KFC Launches New Signature Sauce to Pair with Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that it is launching a new signature dipping sauce that's sure to make fried chicken fans rejoice. Introducing KFC Sauce, a signature sauce that is tangy and sweet, with a bit of smokiness specifically designed to pair with KFC's Extra Crispy Tenders.

"When we set out to create a new signature dipping sauce, we went right to the experts – our customers – to find out what made a sauce best-in-class for dipping," said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer, KFC U.S. "We went through 50 iterations, and their response to this recipe was overwhelming!"

Beginning October 12 in all KFC U.S. restaurants, fried chicken dipping fans can enjoy the new signature KFC Sauce along with...

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Oct 9 8:22 AM, General News


Zero Egg Cracks U.S. Plant-Based Foodservice Market 

As demand for alternatives to animal products is at an all-time high among omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike, Zero Egg, is cracking the U.S. market by boldly taking over the decades-old traditional World Egg Day on October 9 to introduce the a plant-based egg replacement that tastes, looks, and functions like an ordinary egg, but is entirely made with plants.

Now available to all U.S. foodservice operators and food manufacturers, Zero Egg offers two products, "EGG Basics," crafted to rival ordinary eggs in traditional egg entrees and breakfast dishes, and "BAKE Basics," developed for specialty baking. Both products come in powder form with high yields that offer...

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Oct 9 8:22 AM, General News


Plant-based Seafood Makers Find First Restaurant Partner in Veggie Grill

Gathered Foods, the makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood, has entered the restaurant landscape through a partnership with Veggie Grill, a 100% plant-based fast-casual eatery.

 Starting on October 7 through the end of the year, Veggie Grill will feature a limited-edition Tuna Melt on the menu featuring Good Catch’s Plant Based Tuna. Although it is the company’s first time in the restaurant realm, the company said it plans for a larger retail expansion in the coming months...

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Oct 8 9:45 AM, General News


Tripadvisor Launches Menu Connect for Restaurants to Manage Their Complete Online Presence

Tripadvisor has launched Menu Connect an online listings management solution that enables restaurants to easily publish, update and manage their menu and business information across an expansive network of sites. Menu Connect utilizes SinglePlatform's industry-leading technology that was acquired by Tripadvisor in December 2019. The launch expands the U.S. and Canada-based solution to restaurants all around the world.

Why Menu Management Matters

For restaurants, the accuracy of information online, particularly menu information, is crucial to attracting new diners. A recent study showed that 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent information posted online. However, updating menus all over the internet takes time that busy restaurateurs don't have, especially now as...

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Oct 8 8:22 AM, General News


Del Taco Introduces New Menu Items Featuring Cholula Hot Sauce 

Del Taco is introducing a slate of new menu items featuring Cholula Hot Sauce. Taking the main stage is the $1 Crispy Chicken Cholula Taco and the $5 Epic Cholula Crispy Chicken Burrito, which builds on Del Taco’s successful crispy chicken items launched earlier this year.

“We’ve received an incredible response and strong customer demand for our Crispy Chicken since introducing it to our permanent menu this summer. We want to build on that momentum by giving our fans even more crave-worthy flavor options, and what better way to do so than with an iconic hot sauce brand collaboration,” said Tim Hackbardt, Del Taco’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Cholula and tacos are made for each other, but it is amazing poured on just about everything else and that’s why we have it in a burrito, on loaded fries, and in

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Oct 8 8:22 AM, General News


Sysco Testing All-Electric Freightliner Truck

Sysco Corporation announced it is testing an all-electric Freightliner eCascadia from Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Sysco’s participation in this initiative is consistent with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and the Company’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

This initiative is a part of DTNA’s ongoing work to engage customers in its commercial electric vehicle development process by deploying trucks in real-world applications. Sysco aims to power more of its tractor fleet with alternative fuels, and deployment of electric trucks will play a significant role in achieving that objective.

“We are excited to partner with DTNA on this important work,” said Neil Russell, Sysco’s vice president of corporate affairs. “Collaborating with manufacturers to develop new truck models that can meet...

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Oct 7 9:35 AM, General News


Wingstop Releases Preliminary Fiscal Third Quarter 2020 Sales Results 

Wingstop Inc. released preliminary unaudited sales and unit development results for the fiscal third quarter 2020. The Company also announced that it will host a conference call and webcast to discuss its fiscal third quarter 2020 financial results on Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM EST.

Highlights for the fiscal third quarter 2020 as compared to the fiscal third quarter 2019:

  • 43 net new openings in fiscal third quarter 2020
  • Domestic same store sales increased 25.4%
  • Company-owned restaurant same store sales increased...
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Oct 7 9:23 AM, General News


Papa John’s Rob Lynch Joins Governing Committee for CEO Action for Racial Equity

Papa John’s is proud to share that President and CEO, Rob Lynch, has been announced on the governing committee of the newly launched “CEO Action for Racial Equity,” a fellowship that provides the opportunity for CEO Action signatories to advance racial equity through public policy.

Earlier this week, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion (CEO Action), the largest CEO‐driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, unveiled this social justice fellowship to advance racial equality and announced Lynch’s involvement.

“I am thrilled to be on the governing committee for CEO Action for Racial Equity,” said Rob Lynch, President and CEO of Papa John’s. “Together, with other influential voices in the business community, we will...

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Oct 7 8:21 AM, General News


QDOBA Introduces New Cholula Hot and Sweet Chicken 

QDOBA announced the addition of a new, limited-time menu offering: Cholula Hot & Sweet Chicken. Made every day in its kitchens with grilled in-house chicken tossed in a flavorful blend of Cholula Original Hot Sauce and sweet honey, Cholula Hot & Sweet Chicken adds sweet heat to what is sure to become your favorite QDOBA entrée.

"At QDOBA, our brand goal is to bring flavor to people's lives, and in Cholula, we've found another brand that shares that purpose," said CEO Keith Guilbault. "We strive to bring our guests the best Mexican flavors, with entrees freshly prepared every day, and the launch of Cholula Hot & Sweet Chicken underscores that goal while...

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Oct 7 8:21 AM, General News


Papa John's Appoints Ann Gugino as Chief Financial Officer

Papa John's International, Inc. announced the appointment of Ann Gugino as Chief Financial Officer, effective today. Steve Coke, who has been serving as interim principal financial and accounting officer, will continue in his role as Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategy.

Ms. Gugino joins the company from Target Corporation and brings over 20 years of financial management, planning and strategic expertise. As a key member of Papa John’s Executive Leadership Team, she will help build and implement the company’s long-term plans for profitable growth and shareholder value creation.

“After a careful search for a candidate whose values, passion and expertise align with Papa John’s core values and business needs, I’m thrilled to welcome Ann Gugino to our team. Ann is a proven leader and change agent, who brings deep experience in the consumer and retail sector, including...

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Oct 6 8:55 AM, General News


Research and Markets: Consumer Spending in QSRs and Growing Online Food Delivery

According to Research and Markets, the U.S. foodservice market is projected to witness a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period, 2020-2025.

Increased digitalization of food service is among the primary factors driving the market, as consumers find it comfortable to book prior and make payments online.

Fast food restaurants focusing on organic produce and healthy food are expected to be the focus of the market in the future. In the United States, the demand for organic food is rapidly rising. However, factors, like...

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Oct 6 8:22 AM, General News


TGI Fridays Reinvents Menu With Beyond Meat

TGI Fridays is partnering with Beyond Meat to build on its offerings and introduce new menu items featuring Beyond Beef. Known for its drinks, ribs and iconic potato skins, TGI Fridays is also leading the way for plant-based meat options, using Beyond Beef to create a proprietary chili recipe exclusive to its restaurant.

Fridays was one of the first casual dining restaurants to offer the Beyond Burger and is once again expanding the menu to introduce new dishes. Developed by TGI Fridays corporate chef, Beyond Chili is a warm, flavor-packed chili featuring Beyond Meat's plant-based ground meat, Beyond Beef. The plant-based meat options at Fridays don't end there — in addition to Beyond Chili, guests can now order...

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Oct 5 10:02 AM, General News


French Plant-Based Protein Maker Roquette Sees Short-Term COVID-19 Impact

The plant-based protein market has seen a slowdown in new product launches and lower sales in restaurants and cafeterias due to COVID-19 but benefited from more people cooking at home and trying new products, French manufacturer Roquette said.

The market for plant-based protein such as meat-free burgers has surged in the past few years, attracting major investment from global agrifood groups, including Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, and Nestle, hoping to capitalize on a trend towards healthy eating generally, including less red meat.

But lockdowns around the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have shaken the market, Jean-Philippe Azoulay, Head of Pea and New Proteins Business at French ingredient maker...

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Oct 1 9:23 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Holdings--In Tune With the Times

The most recent release of the USDA’s cold storage report helps to support the current standing of most major lines within the turkey complex while, at the same time, reflects...

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Oct 1 8:25 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Pork Cold Storage 2020 Update 

Cold Storage is a key metric that allows us to see the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had, and continues to have, on the pork market overall. The diminished production in Q2, due to...

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Oct 1 8:25 AM, Urner Barry


US Foods Publishes 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

US Foods Holding Corp. has published its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility report. This is the company’s first expanded CSR report, and it highlights the company’s 2019 progress across its three CSR pillars: people, planet and products.

“At US Foods, our CSR platform is built on our long-standing commitment to operating with the highest levels of integrity and a respect for the greater good,” said US Foods Chairman and CEO, Pietro Satriano. “We are proud of the progress represented in this report and the hard work of our associates who contributed to these efforts. We look forward to continuing to advance...

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Oct 1 8:22 AM, General News


Panera Bread Hires Lauren Cody as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer 

Panera Bread announced the appointment of Lauren Cody as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer. A dynamic leader with global experience, Cody comes to the brand with more than two decades of experience in the food service industry. Cody has extensive expertise in consumer and business insights, general management and strategy creation and execution at companies within the US and globally.

“It’s an exciting time at Panera and we are very pleased to have Lauren join us as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer, reporting directly to me,” said Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO. “Panera is a brand that puts our guests first, and with Lauren driving strategy at the helm of our Customer Care division, we are excited to continue...

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Oct 1 8:21 AM, General News


Papa John's Sustains Strong North America and International Comparable Sales in September

Papa John’s International, Inc. provided preliminary estimated comparable sales information for the month of September and the third quarter fiscal period. In light of the uncertainty related to the pandemic, the company has continued to provide this information on a monthly basis.

President & CEO Rob Lynch said, “Six consecutive months of double-digit comparable sales growth were made possible by the hard work of Papa John’s team members and franchisees during the global pandemic. We remain confident that our innovation pipeline, marketing and technology platforms, and strong operations will continue to...

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Sep 30 8:22 AM, General News


Boston Market Brings Back Fall Menu Items

With autumn well underway, Boston Market is bringing back seasonal items to the menu. Available for a limited time, guest favorites Chicken Marsala, Tuscan Chicken and Roasted Garlic & Herb Chicken return to Boston Market menus alongside Warm Apple Cobbler and all new Cilantro Lime Rice are now available at restaurants nationwide.

"This summer was unlike any other we've experienced in previous years, so we're getting back to what we know, love and appreciate this fall with familiar flavors that we hope can offer some much needed comfort and security", stated Randy Miller, President of Boston Market. "That is why we are so excited to be bring back...

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Sep 30 8:20 AM, General News


The Hartman Group's Shelley Balanko on Consumer Buying Trends in a Pandemic

During extraordinary times, insights into consumer behaviors become more vital than ever to businesses. The Hartman Group, a food culture consultancy, provides such trends, insights, and strategic counsels to professionals in the food and beverage industry. The company conducts its own primary research with expertise in areas including sustainability and the health and wellness consumer.

In 2012, the Hartman Group developed the Eating Occasions Compass, a database that documents the who, what, when, where, and why of eating occasions in the United States...

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Sep 29 9:36 AM, Urner Barry


Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q4 2020: The Challenge of Balancing Volatile Markets 

Moving through Q4 2020 and into 2021, the global poultry industry will operate in a volatile market context, with pressure coming from foodservice and wholesale markets. Possible new waves of Covid-19 will add to the market ups and downs, and the impact of a deep economic crisis will make markets more price-driven.

“Over the whole year, we expect a slight increase in global poultry production, mostly as a result of poultry expansion in China and Vietnam, where African swine fever has reduced pork availability, and also from expansion in the US. The rest of the world will be...

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Sep 29 8:23 AM, General News


Bojangles Expands Barbecue On Its Menu

Bojangles is throwing its hat in the barbecue ring just in time for National Pulled Pork Day on October 12. New to most markets, Bojangles is now serving its Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ.

“Born and raised in North Carolina, we at Bojangles know Southern home-cooking like the back of our hand, and these hands have been busy smoking up the best barbecue in town,” said Chef Marshall Scarborough. “Just one bite of our hickory, smoked, pulled-pork barbecue will have you wanting to call it barBOcue.”

Bojangles BBQ can be enjoyed as...

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Sep 29 8:22 AM, General News


China Declares War on Waste in Food Catering

Ongoing anti-food waste campaigns in China aim to reduce food loss in catering. Although China seems to have no immediate worries about food shortage, the coronavirus pandemic, the geopolitical turmoil, and the escalating trade tensions with leading exporters have the potential to restrict China’s access to edible oil and protein meals. China is highly dependent on these imports, often in the form of oilseeds, which are then domestically processed.

Based on Rabobank’s analysis, eliminating waste in food catering (including restaurants, group dining and food deliveries) could make up to 5% of the nation’s soybean imports (5m metric tons) and 6% of the palm oil imports (0.4m metric tons) unnecessary. In addition, 10m metric tons of feed grains, mostly corn, could also be ‘saved’ this way. As China’s corn is experiencing...

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Sep 29 8:22 AM, General News


Sysco Announces Launch of New Menu Concepts

Sysco Corporation announced the nationwide launch of ten exciting menu concepts exclusively for Sysco customers through the company’s Cutting Edge Solutions platform. These chef-tested and innovative products are being launched to help foodservice operators with on-trend dining options as they enter a new normal phase of restaurant dining amidst the global pandemic.

Designed to help Sysco’s customers stay ahead of their competition, Cutting Edge Solutions products are sourced from best-in-class suppliers at the forefront of innovation. Each offering meets important dining trends such as...

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Sep 28 8:43 AM, General News


Winter Is Coming: US Restaurant Reopening Faces Next Pandemic Challenge

While outdoor seating has helped mitigate revenue losses caused by restrictions on dine-in foodservice during the COVID-19 pandemic to an extent, restaurants face an uncertain fall and winter, with further layoffs expected across the hospitality industry as temperatures fall, outdoor dining becomes uncomfortable, and the threat of COVID-19 continues to loom.

How are foodservice operators adapting to the shifting market environment and what effect are these changes having on foodservice products? US Restaurant Reopening: COVID 19 Impact on Supplies, a new study from The Freedonia Group, analyzes the reopening of restaurants in the...

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Sep 28 8:25 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Dollar and Traffic Declines Ease in August as Consumers Gain Comfort in Dining Out

While August restaurant trends reflect an environment in which slightly less than 25% of restaurant units were under restrictions for on-premises dining during the course of the month, similar to June and July, the rate of traffic and dollar declines for the month eased slightly to  -10% and  -9%, respectively, compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group.

“As the summer progressed and mandated restrictions were lifted, an increasing number of consumers became more comfortable dining out based on the safety protocols restaurants put in place,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America...

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Sep 25 7:36 PM, General News


Consumers Itching for Night Out but Restaurants Limited with Winter Weather on the Horizon

As consumers grow weary of eating at home and ordering takeout or delivery, restaurants in some of the states hit the hardest by the coronavirus are beginning to allow indoor dining, providing a glimmer of hope for operators as they look for a return to normalcy.

At the same time, many restaurants are limited by occupancy regulations and lack of real estate for outdoor dining capabilities. Plus, the cooler weather will be less appealing in the coming weeks...

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Sep 24 8:11 AM, General News


FAT Brands Completes Acquisition of Johnny Rockets, Increases Securitization Facility to $80 Million

FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Johnny Rockets from an affiliate of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, Inc. for a purchase price of approximately $25 million. The transaction was funded with proceeds from an increase in the Company’s securitization facility. With the acquisition of Johnny Rockets, FAT Brands now franchises more than 700 restaurants around the globe in more than 30 countries with annual system-wide sales exceeding $700 million...

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Sep 22 8:18 AM, General News


Top Plant-based Protein Producers Make Expansion, Distribution Efforts

A pair of companies leading the way for the plant-based protein industry, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods both announced moves to boost their presence in the retail and foodservice landscape.

On Monday, Beyond Meat announced it will double the distribution of its Beyond Breakfast Sausage Patties. The company said the product will be available in additional Kroger, Super Target, Walmart, Publix and Harris Teeter stores by the end of the month.

“Following the initial release of our Beyond Breakfast Sausage Patties at retailers earlier this year, we heard an enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive response from consumers who asked for increased availability,” said Chuck Muth, Chief Growth Officer, Beyond Meat...

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Sep 21 9:51 AM, General News


Culver's Announces the Retirement of CEO and President Joe Koss

Culver Franchising System LLC announced today the retirement of CEO and President Joe Koss at the end of 2020.

After 23 years with this growing organization, to what is now nearly 770 restaurants, Koss made the decision to retire and spend more time with his family.

"Joe has positively impacted so many facets of our company in his time with us, especially his leadership through this unprecedented set of circumstances we've successfully navigated recently," said co-founder Craig Culver. "That said, we certainly know how important family is and fully support his decision to focus there..."

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Sep 21 8:25 AM, General News


The Whopper Is Now Free of Colors, Flavors and Preservatives From Artificial Sources

Today, Burger King® restaurants are proud to announce the Whopper® sandwich now features no colors, no flavors and no preservatives from artificial sources in all markets across the United States. It’s the Whopper® and nothing but the Whopper. The milestone is one of various efforts and substantial changes Burger King has made to its menu to promote real food and high-quality ingredients for its guests. In the U.S., 85% of the Burger King permanent food menu is now free of colors, flavors, and preservatives from artificial sources, and the brand is striving to achieve 100% by the beginning of next year...

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Sep 18 12:53 PM, General News


Papa John's Announces Plans For New Global Headquarters in Atlanta 

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced plans to open a new global headquarters in the Metro Atlanta, GA region, where menu innovation; marketing; customer experience; HR; diversity, equity and inclusion; communications; and development functions will be located. IT, supply chain, and legal teams will remain in the Louisville, KY headquarters. Papa John’s also maintains a headquarters office outside of London, UK, where its international operations are managed.

Papa John’s new headquarters in Metro Atlanta is a key element of a broader reorganization of corporate functions, reflecting the company’s ongoing transformation into a brand and culture that can effectively and efficiently deliver on the company’s purpose, values and strategic business priorities...

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Sep 18 9:23 AM, General News


Hormel Partners with Papa Murphy's Pizza to Launch New Plant-Based Pepperoni Style Topping

Hormel Foods, the makers of Hormel® Pepperoni, America's No. 1 selling pepperoni brand* and the maker of the Happy Little Plants® products, are introducing new Happy Little Plants® pepperoni style topping at select Papa Murphy's locations across the country.

"Chefs and restaurateurs are very aware of today's dynamic food landscape and consumers' desire to add more plant-based foods to their diets, and we are very excited to bring this great-tasting, plant-based option to our partners at Papa Murphy's," said Anthony Panichelli, foodservice pizza toppings brand manager at Hormel Foods...

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Sep 17 11:57 AM, General News


Sweet Earth Foods Launches Plant-Based Bacon Cheeseburger in Foodservice 

Sweet Earth Foods, a Nestlé brand and award-winning plant-based food innovator, announced the launch of their Plant-Based Triple Play, a fully plant-based bac'n cheezeburger to debut in foodservice.

The launch will debut at The University of Massachusetts Dining Program, which is the largest collegiate dining program in America and a recognized leader in campus food quality, nutrition, and innovation.

To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (September 18th), they'll feature the Sweet Earth Plant-Based Triple Play in their Amherst location's dining halls, take-away, through...

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Sep 17 7:28 AM, General News


Study Sheds Light on U.S. Consumer Preferences on Conventional and Alternative Protein Products 

In the past six months, players within the plant-based protein industry have been dazzled by the performance of their alternative burgers, patties, nuggets, and sausages. As reported by the Good Food Institute (GFI) overall plant-based product sales increased to a peak of... 

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Sep 16 9:40 AM, Urner Barry


Dunkin' Delivery with DoorDash Now Available at 3,500 Restaurants Nationwide

Dunkin' and DoorDash have teamed up to make delivery available at approximately 3,500 Dunkin' restaurants across the country, with further expansion planned over the coming months. To officially kick off the relationship, DoorDash is treating guests with a special offer. Starting September 15 through September 21, consumers that spend $10 or more on Dunkin' through DoorDash will be eligible for a free 25-count box of Munchkins and a $0 delivery fee.

According to Brandy Blackwell, Director of New Business, Delivery & Catering, for Dunkin' U.S., "Dunkin' guests know they can count on us to offer the most convenient ways to enjoy their favorite coffee and...

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Sep 16 8:17 AM, General News


Cracker Barrel Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2020 Results

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 ended July 31, 2020 and provided an update regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company's business.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Highlights

  • Dining room service gradually returned during the first two months of the quarter, and by the end of June, substantially all dining rooms were open at varying levels of reduced capacity.
  • Comparable store restaurant and retail sales both improved sequentially each month during the quarter. Comparable store restaurant sales decreased...
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Sep 16 8:17 AM, General News


PODCAST: Go With the Grain – Glenn Smith on Feed Ingredients

Glenn Smith, Director of Feed Ingredient Procurement at Wayne Farms, returns this week to Market Digest! Laura and Glenn discuss the increased demand for protein items as...

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Sep 15 11:26 AM, Urner Barry


100,000 Restaurants Closed Six Months into Pandemic

Six months following the first shutdown of restaurants for the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry is in limbo. According to a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 1 in 6 restaurants (representing nearly 100,000 restaurants) is closed either permanently or long-term; nearly 3 million employees are still out of work; and the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.

The survey, which asked restaurant operators about the six-month impact of the pandemic on their businesses, found that overwhelmingly, most restaurants are still struggling to survive and don't expect their position to improve over the next six months. The findings include...

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Sep 15 8:22 AM, General News


US Foods Fall Scoop Helps Restaurant Operators Stay On Point With Evolving Off-Premise Trends

US Foods Holding Corp. announced the launch of Fall Scoop 2020, titled “On Point With Off-Premise – Designed To Make It.” This special edition of Scoop features 14 products designed to address trends within off-premise dining such as labor-saving products perfect for DIY meal kits and products that will help ease diner safety and hygiene worries, including tamper-evident packaging and sanitation items.

“The restaurant environment has changed immensely with the surge in off-premise dining, and the ability for restaurant operators to adapt with creativity, labor savings and safety in mind is...

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Sep 15 8:22 AM, General News


White Castle Introduces the Crave Clutch

White Castle is once again disrupting how customers transport its famous Sliders. The restaurant is adding yet another unique container – the Crave Clutch – to its lineup of iconic packaging. The colorful clutch makes its debut in all White Castle restaurants and will be available for a limited time. It's the first new package since White Castle introduced the 100-count Crave Crate in 2004.

Holding 20 Sliders of any variety, the Crave Clutch sits nicely between the classic 10 Sack and the 30-Slider Crave Case, making it the perfect choice for family meals and small gatherings. That's especially helpful now as people spend more time at home or outdoors in response to...

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Sep 15 8:20 AM, General News


Sysco Introduces ‘Foodie Solutions’ to Help Customers Approach Foodservice During COVID-19 Pandemic

As foodservice operators continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and states begin to lift restrictions like indoor dining, Sysco has launched Foodie Solutions, a platform created to support foodservice operates during this time.

Through perspective from supporting restaurants and operators across the U.S. Sysco identified essential tools to help customers respond quickly to the changing environment and new trends that have developed during COVID-19 shutdowns.

“Foodie Solutions’ comprehensive suite of toolkits is designed to help operators drive traffic..."

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Sep 11 11:01 AM, General News


Foodservice Focus Shifts With No Tailgating, Spectators as Football Season Kicks Off

Most NFL fans won’t be firing up their grills in the parking lots or purchasing sandwiches while cheering their favorite teams this year.

At the same time, fans who typically head out to their favorite sports bar or restaurant to catch the game, may not have the opportunity or feel safe due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

Early in the pandemic, family deals and other large portioned offerings were popular among restaurants. Similar deals are being revived as favorite...

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Sep 11 9:03 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Q4 Wing and Tender Performance Dependent on Price and Seasonality

It is certainly a relief to have our daily lives slowly returning to something we might recognize as normal. There is no doubt that is the case for...

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Sep 11 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


White Castle Launches Craver Nation Loyalty Program 

White Castle has launched its first loyalty program, Craver Nation. The program will provide valuable discounts and special offers to customers based on their individual purchase history at White Castle restaurants. Members will receive a free combo meal with four Original Sliders, a small order of fries and a small soft drink when they sign up.

"No two customers are quite alike, which is why we're offering a personalized experience that's not based on points or the number of purchases, but instead on their individual preferences at White Castle," said Lisa Ingram, president and CEO of White Castle and fourth generation family member. "We're looking forward to providing these special offers and...

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Sep 11 8:21 AM, General News


Postmates Becomes Official On-Demand Food Delivery Partner of The NFL

The National Football League and Postmates, have entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement making Postmates the first official on-demand food delivery partner of the NFL. Postmates is also an official sponsor of NFL premier events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and Draft, to name a few.

"People across the country aren't just ready to order their favorite gameday foods, they are eagerly awaiting the return of football. While most fans won't be able to physically go to the game, this partnership with the NFL allows us to bring the gameday experience, and...

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Sep 11 8:21 AM, General News


Impossible Foods Launches Plant-Based Sausage in Hong Kong

Impossible Foods is rolling out Impossible Sausage Made From Plants in Hong Kong, the first international market for the award-winning, plant-based patty.

Impossible Sausage is the company’s first all-new product since the 2016 debut of Impossible Burger. California-based Impossible Foods launched Impossible Sausage to much fanfare at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Within six months, the patties have become available at more than 22,000 locations throughout the United States.

Starting today, Hong Kongers can buy Starbucks’ Maize Impossible Sandwich at...

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Sep 10 8:59 AM, General News


NotCo Closes $85 Million Series C Round and Announces U.S. Expansion

NotCo, a food-tech company in Latin America, has announced the closing of an $85 million Series C investment round, co-led by Future Positive. NotCo is a startup that utilizes proprietary technology that can match animal protein to its replacement among plant-based ingredients. NotCo has launched plant-based products including dairy, eggs, and meat. The company has launched NotMilk, NotBurger, NotIceCream, and NotMayo in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. In less than three years it has become a fast-growing food-tech company in Latin America.

The new funding comes as the company announces scaled up operations and marks plans for international expansion leading with an entry into the United States, a promising market for its portfolio of products of plant-based food. The company will evaluate both...

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Sep 10 8:44 AM, General News


McDonald's to Test Reusable Cup Model for Hot Beverages 

McDonald’s Corporation has announced a global partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to test a new reusable cup model for hot beverages. The initiative, which will first be trialed in 2021 across select McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, helps customers enjoy their favorite McDonald’s hot drink in a reusable cup, while cutting down on packaging waste. The model marks significant progress toward innovative circular packaging solutions that help protect the planet for communities today, and in the future.

This unique new partnership will conveniently allow customers to reduce waste by choosing a durable Loop-created cup, for a small deposit. The deposit can then be redeemed by returning the cup to participating McDonald’s UK restaurants in order to be...

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Sep 10 8:22 AM, General News


Planterra Foods Launches Plant-Based Offerings for Foodservice Operators 

At a time when foodservice operators are pivoting to counteract the world's health pandemic, menu innovation, and addressing consumer's evolving demands are more vital than ever. Innovative Colorado-based start-up Planterra Foods is answering the call and launching a line of OZO plant-based protein products for foodservice. The OZO foodservice line is now available in four plant-based offerings: burgers, ground, nuggets and breakfast sausage patties, catering to all dayparts.

The debut of OZO will elevate the protein possibilities that foodservice operators can feature on their menu to attract new customers and increase check averages. To support its partners during this recovery period and...

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Sep 10 8:21 AM, General News


The Impact Virtual School Will Have on Daytime Meals  

With the pandemic still uncontrolled, “back to school” is a lot more complex for parents these days. On top of the usual routine, many parents are now faced with figuring out childcare, financial burdens, and how to balance this with a full-time job. With kids at home, meal preparation will continue to be among their many demands, and parents will need help with finding convenient options.

The coronavirus pandemic also has many still working from home. Daytime meals and snacks that were often purchased at restaurants and convenience stores during the workday have now moved into the home. Going out to get food is now viewed as less convenient and too expensive since the refrigerator is so close. However, restaurants can be...

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Sep 9 9:45 AM, Urner Barry


Burger King Launches Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets in Germany 

Burger King has added plant-based chicken nuggets to the menu at locations in Germany. The nuggets were created by The Vegetarian Butcher, a Holland-based brand that was acquired by Unilever in 2018. Burger King stated that the launch was in reaction to the trend of a growing number of consumers looking for plant-based options when dining out.

Hugo Verkuil, CEO of The Vegetarian Butcher, said, "The nuggets are soft and meat-like on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside and offer a delicious vegetable-based alternative for...

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Sep 9 8:58 AM, Urner Barry


Industry Veteran Debbie Roberts Joins Panera As Chief Operations Officer

Panera Bread announced the appointment of Debbie Roberts as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer effective September 8. A well-known restaurant industry leader, Roberts brings nearly 30 years of restaurant experience and will be a collaborative leader for all Panera operations and operations support functions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Debbie to Panera and looking forward to her bringing her strong record of cross-functional partnership, results-driven engagement, and especially, her focus on people as the core of operational excellence,” said Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO. “As the brand continues to...

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Sep 9 8:17 AM, General News


Bojangles Names Monica Sauls as the Company’s First Chief People Officer

Bojangles, Inc. announced that leading human resources and change management strategist Monica Sauls will join the company as Chief People Officer, effective Sept. 15. In this newly defined position that goes beyond the traditional human resources role, Sauls will drive the company’s culture, developing current team members and attracting new talent to support the company’s growth.

Reporting directly to Bojangles CEO Jose Armario, Sauls will lead talent acquisition, talent development, employee relations, diversity and inclusion and culture stewardship. She is the first African American to serve on Bojangles’ senior leadership team in the company’s...

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Sep 9 8:17 AM, General News


Kentucky Fried Chicken Announces Partnership with DoorDash

Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that its world-famous fried chicken is now available for order and on-demand delivery through DoorDash. To celebrate the new partnership, KFC and DoorDash are offering fried chicken fans across the U.S. an irresistible deal: Beginning September 8, through Thursday, September 17, customers will receive 12 free chicken tenders with the purchase of select KFC bucket meals on orders placed through the DoorDash website or app with promo code KFC12.

To sweeten the deal, customers will also receive $0 delivery fees alongside their select bucket meal purchase, available from more than 3,000 KFC restaurant locations through September 17.

Since 1952, KFC has helped families enjoy a bucket of fried chicken practically anywhere, traveling easily while staying fresh and ready-to-eat. Some might even say...

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Sep 9 8:16 AM, General News


Impossible Foods Debuts in Canada as International Expansion Accelerates

Canada’s most reputable chefs are launching Impossible Foods’ flagship product at their restaurants from coast to coast.

In response to overwhelming demand, the Impossible Burger will become available later this year in a wide variety of additional restaurants and grocery stores nationwide -- but patrons of the country’s top restaurants can get an exclusive sneak peek for the next two weeks.

Starting today, Canadians can try the plant-based Impossible Burger in world-class restaurants by...

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Sep 8 9:46 AM, General News


Sami Siddiqui Appointed President of Popeyes Americas

Restaurant Brands International Inc. announced that Sami Siddiqui has been appointed President of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for the Americas.

Sami has most recently served as President of Asia-Pacific for RBI, leading the growth of Popeyes, Burger King and Tim Hortons throughout the region, including introducing the Popeyes brand in China and the Philippines.

Jose Cil, Chief Executive Officer of RBI commented, "I'm very proud to announce that Sami will be leading Popeyes through our exciting next phase of growth across the Americas. Popeyes is a brand with...

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Sep 8 9:38 AM, General News




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