Submit comment or question
Note: All comments are displayed with user's screen name. If screen name is not present, user's full name will be used. Please go to My Account to update your screen name.
Comment Policy: Urner Barry has made the comment feature available to encourage further discussion of our news stories. Defamatory or offensive comments, or comments deemed not relevant to the story will be removed, and if necessary, Urner Barry may restrict the right of individual subscribers to offer comments. In all cases, comments represent opinions of the poster only, and do not represent fact, news, opinions or estimates put forward by Urner Barry.
Email Address is required.
Password is required.
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...
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...
Chipotle's Carne Asada is Back on the Menu
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced it is bringing back Carne Asada to restaurants across the U.S. for a limited time. The premium steak option will also return to the menu in Canada and make its debut in France, where it will become Chipotle's first new protein introduced in the European market.
Chipotle's Carne Asada is grilled fresh in small batches, seasoned with a blend of signature spices, hand cut into tender slices, and is finished with fresh squeezed lime and hand-chopped cilantro. The protein is officially approved for the Whole30® program and is compliant with Keto and Paleo diets...
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...
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...
U.S. Restaurant Drive-Thrus are Proving Their Value During the Pandemic and Beyond
Drive-thru restaurants have always been the ultimate in convenience and speed but during the pandemic, especially during the mandated dine-in closures, they were also a lifeline for the restaurants that had them, reports The NPD Group. Drive-thru restaurant visits increased by 26% in the April, May, and June quarter and represented 42% of all restaurant visits.
In July when more restaurants were reopened, drive-thru visits still increased by 13%, the highest visit increase among the service modes of on-premises, carry-out, and delivery, according to NPD’s daily tracking of U.S. consumers’ use of restaurants and...
QDOBA Tests Mexican Cauliflower Mash
QDOBA announced that it is testing Mexican Cauliflower Mash in 23 restaurants in Indianapolis and the surrounding area. QDOBA's Mexican Cauliflower Mash is a low-carb alternative to rice, made with cauliflower oven-roasted in-house and blended with fresh cilantro, pico de gallo and sour cream. This flavorful and keto-friendly option has 6 grams of carbs per 4 oz. serving.
"More than ever, guests are seeking low-carb options—whether cooking at home or ordering from...
Panera Accelerates Digital Commerce and Off Premise Offerings
Panera is making it easier to order food through Google Search, Google Maps and Google Assistant. As more people search for and order food online, the integration with Google's platforms expands Panera's off-premise capabilities and accessibility to meet the customer where they are. Available at participating bakery-cafes across the country, guests can easily order their Panera favorites through Google for contactless Curbside Pick-Up or Delivery with the touch of a button. For a limited time, guests who order Panera through Google will receive 20% off their first Delivery or Curbside Pick-Up order of $20 or more.
The ability to order directly on Google will allow Panera to further embrace the growing trend of mobile food ordering, where guests can easily place an order directly from their local bakery-cafe. Seamlessly integrated with contactless payments including...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Improve Into Single-Digits for the First Time Since March
In the week ending August 16, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains improved into the single-digits after 21 weeks of double-digit declines, reports The NPD Group.
Customer transactions were down 9% in week ending August 16 compared to year ago, a 35-point gain from the steepest decline of 44% in week ending April 12, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
QDOBA Promotes Eric Williams to Vice President of Franchise and License Operations
QDOBA announced the promotion of Eric Williams to vice president of franchise and license operations. In this role, Williams will directly support QDOBA franchisees in running their business and ensuring each location's overall success.
"I am proud to have Eric on my staff and look forward to many years of prosperity and growth for the QDOBA franchise and licensed businesses under his leadership," said Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA. "He brings...
Postmates And Panera Partner to Bring Panera Favorites Straight to Doorsteps
Postmates and Panera are teaming up to conveniently bring freshly prepared, wholesome soups, salads and sandwiches to customers at participating Panera locations nationwide. Whether customers are craving freshly baked bread, their morning coffee and pastry or a comforting bowl of mac and cheese, Postmates and Panera have them covered with contactless delivery. To celebrate this exciting partnership, Postmates and Panera have launched the "Food Mood" promotion featuring Postmates' first ever virtual "Food Mood" ring which will determine a surprise offer.
"At Panera, our goal is to make high quality, delicious food accessible for all. We are excited to partner with Postmates to provide a new level of convenience for customers and reach...
QDOBA Enhances Menu with New Signature Eats Entrees
QDOBA announced the introduction of its new Signature Eats menu that offers its guests unique chef-crafted flavor combinations, while also increasing convenience and flexibility. Now, in addition to the ability to create your own entreé through customizable options, QDOBA makes it easy to find your flavor through its set of Signature Eats recipes.
"Our new Signature Eats entrees are perfect for both first-time visitors and loyal fans," says Karin Silk, vice president of menu & off-premises at QDOBA. "The dishes feature curated combinations of our popular and freshly-prepared flavors. They are also...
Smashburger Announces Nationwide Launch of Fan-Favorite Colorado Burger
Smashburger is bringing back a fan-favorite menu item, announcing the return of its hometown burger. Launching today, the Colorado Burger is back by popular demand and available at all Smashburger locations nationwide for a limited time. In celebration of Smashburger's 13th anniversary and the restaurant's Colorado roots, Smashburger will host a single day promotion on Thursday, August 6, offering Smash fans who purchase any double or single Colorado Burger a second one for only 13 cents at participating restaurants.
As one of Smashburger's most beloved premium burger offerings, the Colorado Burger is made with Certified Angus Beef, and is topped with...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Remain Relatively Flat
U.S. major restaurant chain customer transactions were down 11% in the week ending July 26 versus year ago, reports The NPD Group. This is a modest improvement from the 12% decline versus year ago in the prior week, and a continuation of the relatively flat pattern seen over the last several weeks, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S.
Customer transactions at major quick service restaurant chains were down 11% in the week ending July 26 compared to a year ago and were flat from the prior week, week ending July 19. Full service restaurants improved slightly with customer transactions down...
Shake Shack Announces Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results
Shake Shack Inc. reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 24, 2020, a period that included 13 weeks.
Randy Garutti, Chief Executive Officer of Shake Shack, stated, “Throughout this difficult time, I remain incredibly proud of our team. They've continued to show up, to support each other, our guests, our communities and our suppliers. They’ve had an unwavering commitment to excellence and hospitality in the face of an incredibly challenging operating environment. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and...
U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Stalls with No Improvement in Transaction Declines in Six Weeks
COVID case surges across the country and the subsequent rollbacks in re-opening plans have stalled the U.S. restaurant industry’s recovery, reports The NPD Group. Major restaurant chain customer transaction declines have been between 11% and 14% versus a year ago since the second week of June compared to the steady improvement in declines from the last week in April through the second week in June.
In the week ending July 19, major restaurant chain total customer transactions are down 12% versus year ago, compared to 14% in the prior week, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing...
Chipotle Reports Second Quarter 2020 Results
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. reported financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2020.
Second quarter highlights, which incorporate the impact of COVID-19, year over year:
Chipotle Continues Accelerated Growth with 100th Chipotlane and 10,000 New Jobs
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will be celebrating the opening of its 100th Chipotlane, the brand's drive-thru digital order pick-up lane, later this month. The milestone restaurant is in the greater Columbus, Ohio area, where the concept was first introduced in 2018. The new restaurant, located at 7162 Longhorn Dr. in Sunbury, Ohio, will feature the brand's open design, eco-friendly materials, and premium placement for digital pick-up shelves.
Of Chipotle's 19 new restaurants that opened during the first quarter of 2020, 11 featured a Chipotlane, giving the concept a presence in 32 states. Chipotlanes are expected to be included in more than 60% of new Chipotle restaurants. Despite stay-at-home orders in recent months, Chipotle successfully navigated the first quarter with digital sales growing more than...
U.S. Quick Service Restaurant Chains Fuel Improvement in Customer Transaction Declines
Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 10% in the week ending July 5 compared to same period year ago, an improvement over last week’s decline of 14%, reports The NPD Group. All of the improvement in the week sources to major quick service restaurant chains (QSRs) where customer transaction declines improved by 4-points from the prior week’s decline of 13% versus year ago.
Full service restaurants (FSRs) continued to struggle in the week with customer transactions down 30% compared to year ago, a 5-point decline from the prior week, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
Chipotle to Test New Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice in Select Markets
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it will test Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice at 55 restaurants in Denver and throughout Wisconsin starting July 15. Chipotle's latest plant-based option is made with real, grilled cauliflower, seasoned with fresh-chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt, prepared fresh in-restaurant every day. As many brands look to limit menu offerings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chipotle is continuing to explore menu innovations that align with its Food with Integrity standards.
"To date, one out of three new menu item requests from Chipotle customers is for Cauliflower Rice," said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer. "We've answered the call from fans and created a better-for-you option that puts a delicious twist on our classic white rice recipe by using the same fresh cilantro and lime ingredients and...
Shake Shack Provides Business Update
Shake Shack Inc. provided a business update given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With gradual sales recovery progressing and a strong balance sheet, the Company has restarted new Shack development both domestically and internationally as it looks forward to long-term growth.
“As always, and especially during this recovery period, our priority remains the safety of our team and our communities. Amidst our gradual sales recovery, we've started to open new Shacks again and are looking to the significant growth opportunity that we believe lies ahead for Shake Shack. I am so proud of the resilience of our teams in the Shacks, the innovation across our operating model and our relentless efforts to continue to...
COVID-19 Case Spikes Continue to Hinder U.S. Restaurant Recovery in Week Ending June 28
The recovery of U.S. restaurant customer transactions has stalled for the second week in a row as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in a number of states, reports The NPD Group. For the week ending June 28, total customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains are down 14% versus the same week a year ago.
Last week, week ending June 21, total transactions were down 13% versus year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 72 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
The rise in COVID-19 case counts is causing local and state authorities to delay reopening, and in some cases, reinstating on-premise restaurant dining restrictions. In Texas, for example, restaurants may continue to...
Fast Casual Restaurant Market to Reach $209.1 Billion by 2027
According to Allied Market Research, the global fast casual restaurant market garnered $125.6 billion in 2019, and is estimated to reach $209.1 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.6% from 2021 to 2027.
Drivers, Restraints, and Opportunities:
Increase in popularity of fast casual restaurants, low entry barriers, and high profits resulting drive the growth of the global fast casual restaurant market. However, high cost compared to quick service restaurants hinders the market growth. On the other hand, early adoption of technologies and hygienic cooking environment are anticipated to offer...
After Two Months of Steady Improvements, Restaurant Recovery Hits a Bump as COVID-19 Cases Surge
Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 13% in the week ending June 21 versus the same week a year ago, which is slightly softer than the 12% decline in the previous week, reports The NPD Group. This is the first time since the week ending April 12 there has not been an improvement in the year-over-year trend. COVID-19 case surges in a number of states contributed to the backtrack in decline improvements. The current period also included Father’s Day, which unlike Mother’s Day, is more of a backyard BBQ occasion than a restaurant dining event.
With new COVID-19 cases suddenly surging across multiple states, some of the states that have been reporting the highest number of new cases experienced steeper declines in major restaurant chain customer transactions in week ending June 21. Arizona, with a well-publicized surge in cases, saw a 5-point decline in...
Shake Shack Plans to Expand in China
Shake Shack Inc. and licensee Maxim’s Caterers Limited announced an expanded partnership, with plans to open a minimum of 15 Shacks in South China by 2030, including locations in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Xiamen.
Together, Shake Shack and Maxim's Caterers Limited plan to operate 55 Shacks in mainland China by 2030. Maxim’s currently operates Shake Shack locations in Shanghai and Hong Kong, with Beijing and Macau in development with goals to open later in 2020. As a well-respected and proven operator in Asia, Maxim's has more than 60 years of experience in the food, beverage and retail sectors, and its diversified operations include...
Chipotle Announces Partnership with Grubhub to Expand Delivery Footprint
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it is partnering with Grubhub, the nation's leading pickup and delivery marketplace with the largest network of restaurant partners, to expand its delivery footprint in the U.S. Chipotle and Grubhub have established a fully-integrated partnership to provide efficient operations and a seamless diner experience, ensuring food arrives as fresh and fast as possible. Available now, customers can order from Chipotle locations through the Grubhub app or Grubhub.com.
Digital orders from Chipotle are customized via the brand's Digital Kitchens, which are comprised of a dedicated ingredient station and operated by a special team in nearly all Chipotle locations. Chipotle deliveries also feature a tamper evident packaging seal to help ensure food is untouched during delivery. Grubhub users will also...
Spikes in COVID-19 Cases in Open States are Not Yet Impacting Restaurant Recovery
The spikes in COVID-19 cases in states that have reopened restaurant dine-in services haven’t yet impacted the continuing improvement in major restaurant chain transaction declines as more states reopen, reports The NPD Group. Arizona, California, and Florida, three states that reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases, showed several points of improvement in restaurant chain customer transaction declines at full service restaurants — the restaurant segment most affected by dine-in closures — in week ending June 14 compared to the previous week, according to...
Chipotle Expands Digital Platform with Canadian App Launch and U.S. Ordering Enhancements
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a series of innovations to its digital platform to increase access and convenience for guests, including the introduction of the Chipotle app in Canada. Now guests in Canada can order their favorite Chipotle meals via Chipotle.ca or the Chipotle app, as well as through DoorDash and Uber Eats.
"Investing in our digital ecosystem in Canada will enhance the guest experience and position us well for future growth," said Anat Davidzon, Managing Director – Canada, Chipotle.
Chipotle is also introducing a series of enhancements to its mobile ordering capabilities including Pepper, its Concierge Bot on Facebook Messenger. Beginning June 22, customers can...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Continue to Soften, Down 14% in Week Ending June 7
U.S. major restaurant chain transactions were down 14% in the week ending June 7 versus the same week a year ago, a 29 point gain from the steepest decline during the COVID-19 pandemic of 43% in week ending April 12, reports The NPD Group. Sixty-nine percent of restaurant units are now in geographies that permit some level of on-premise dining and the number should increase to 74% in week ending June 14.
Major full service restaurant (FSRs) chains are still seeing the most improvement of restaurant segments as more dining rooms open and those already open increase capacity...
Restaurant Transaction Declines Continued to Improve in Week Ending May 31
Nearly three months have passed since most U.S. restaurant dine-in operations were ordered to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and this week more than 68% of all restaurant units are in states, counties, or municipalities where they are permitted to reopen their on-premise dining service. This does not mean all restaurants in those areas have reopened, but it is an indicator of loosening regulations.
With a growing number of restaurant dine-in services reopening, major restaurant chain customer transactions have been improving, reports The NPD Group. In the week ending May 31, U.S. restaurant chain transactions declined by 18% compared to same period year ago, a 3%...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transactions Down 18% Compared to Year Ago but Continue to Improve
With nearly 320,000 restaurant units in the U.S. now allowed to offer some level of on-premise dining, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains continued to improve in the week ending May 24, reports The NPD Group. Total major restaurant chain transactions declined by 18% in the week compared to same week year ago, a 25 point gain from the steepest decline during the COVID-19 pandemic of 43% in week ending April 12, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Major full service chain restaurant transactions declined by 42% versus same time year ago, a 7 point improvement from the prior week’s decline of...
FAT Brands Reports First Quarter 2020 Financial Results
FAT(Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc., reported fiscal first quarter 2020 financial results for the 13-week period ending March 29, 2020 and provided an update on the business as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andy Wiederhorn, President and CEO of FAT Brands, commented, “The first five months of 2020 have been unprecedented, and our mission has been steadfast - to guide our franchisees and their employees through these challenging times as safely as possible so they may best serve their communities and guests. As we are now moving into the re-opening phase in many locations both domestically and internationally, our operations teams have...
U.S. Restaurants Continue Slow Recovery in Week Ending May 17 as More States Reopen
Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 21% in the week ending May 17 compared to same period last year, a slight gain from last week’s 23% decline and the fifth consecutive week of improvement, reports The NPD Group. Major quick service chain restaurants, which represent the majority of restaurant transactions, improved transaction declines to 20% in the week compared to a 21% decline in the prior week from year ago, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Continued improvement in restaurant chain transaction declines was aided by adding 93,000 restaurant units in states where restrictions to on-premise dining were lifted from the week ending May 10 to the week ending May 17. These openings are more critical for...
Boston Market Names Randy Miller As President
Boston Market announced that Randy Miller has been named as President effective immediately. Eric Wyatt will transition to Chief Operating Officer, responsible for leading the brand's field leaders and restaurant teams.
A Boston Market veteran of more than 25 years, Miller has served in multiple positions throughout the Company. Most recently, he served as Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Boston Market, overseeing its legal team and playing an instrumental role in corporate strategy and the success of the brand. In his new role, Miller will work closely with Engage Brands, which recently assumed ownership of Boston Market, to lead the Company into its next chapter of growth...
Smashburger Introduces Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger
In time for the unofficial kickoff to summer, Smashburger invites guests to sink their teeth into its all-new Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger. To celebrate National Burger Day, Smashburger will offer a single day promotion on Thursday, May 28, giving foodies who purchase a Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger a second one for only $1.
Starting at $8.99, as one of Smashburger's most premium burger offerings ever introduced, the Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger is made with Certified Angus Beef patty and topped with brisket smoked for 10 hours, then layered with Applewood smoked bacon, smoked cheddar, pickles, and BBQ sauce on a brioche bun.
"As we head into a new season, we're excited to offer our guests another burger...
States Reopening and Mother’s Day Help to Continue Improvements in Restaurant Transaction Declines
U.S. restaurant chain transaction declines continued to improve for the fourth consecutive week in the week ending May 10 as more states reopened and America’s mothers were honored with a meal they didn’t need to cook. Large chain restaurant customer transactions were down 23% compared to a year ago, improving from a 26% decline the prior week, reports The NPD Group.
Large full service chain restaurants benefitted from a Mother’s Day lift, with transaction declines up 39% versus the prior week, although still down 58% compared to year ago. Transactions at large quick service chain restaurants declined by 21% in the week ending May 10 compared to year ago, versus...
US Foods Launches Restaurant Reopening Blueprint
US Foods Holding Corp. announced the launch of the company’s latest COVID-19 online operator resource, the US Foods Restaurant Reopening Blueprint. The Restaurant Reopening Blueprint provides operators with a how-to for putting key COVID-19 guidelines into practice as they plan reopening efforts.
The Restaurant Reopening Blueprint is informed by interviews with key stakeholders such as diners, restaurant staff and US Foods consultants and chefs. Interviews were also conducted with operators and diners in China to understand what learnings might be applicable for U.S. restaurant operations.
The guide provides recommendations for approaching regulatory requirements, principles for planning an effective reopening, best practices for approaching...
U.S. Foodservice Revenues to Decline 25% from 2019, But are Expected to Rebound by 2024
Although full-service restaurants have slowly been losing share of restaurant spending to less expensive and more convenient fast food and fast casual restaurants, they still made up the largest share of revenues from eating and drinking places in 2019, according to Food Carryout & Delivery, a recently published report market research firm Packaged Facts.
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation in 2020, foodservice revenues are forecast to decline more than 25% from 2019 as dine-in service shuts down amid decreased consumer spending on restaurants as people stay at home and cook more even as some states slowly begin reopening. Revenues will...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Improve for Three Consecutive Weeks
Lingering tailwinds from government relief payments and the lifting of dine-in restrictions in states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas helped to improve U.S. restaurant chain transaction declines in the week ending May 3, reports The NPD Group.
For the week ending May 3 total transactions were down 26% from year ago compared to a 32% decline the prior week and a decline of 43% the week ending April 12, the low point of the COVID-19 disruption, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
Shake Shack Announces First Quarter 2020 Financial Results
Shake Shack Inc. reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 25, 2020, a period that included 13 weeks.
Randy Garutti, Chief Executive Officer of Shake Shack, stated, “I've had the privilege of leading this company through many challenging and incredible moments, but I think we'd all agree that this has been an unprecedented test for our world, and for our teams. Our message across the company has been consistent—to lead with hope, while acting on reality, and to make the necessary...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Continue to Ease in Week Ending April 26
U.S. restaurant chain transactions showed improvement for the second week in a row in the week ending April 26 with total industry customer transactions down 32% compared to a 36% decline the prior week, reports The NPD Group.
Transactions at quick service restaurants were down 30% in week ending April 26 versus year ago, and full service restaurants improved slightly this week, declining 71% versus a 72% decline last week, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
Coronavirus Relief Checks Help Ease U.S. Restaurant Transaction Declines in Week Ending April 19
Likely buoyed by the coronavirus relief payments received from the government, consumers increased their restaurant transactions in the week ending April 19 relative to week ending April 12, easing the previous weeks’ declines, reports The NPD Group.
Although the industry is still at historic lows compared to year ago, restaurant customer transactions declined by 36% compared to a 43% decline the prior week, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
Chipotle Introduces New Lifestyle Bowls
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced five new Lifestyle Bowls inspired by wellness experts and the Chipotle Together Wellness Live-Streams to help fans get back on track with their health and fitness goals.
Chipotle partnered with YouGov to better understand how consumers food behavior and patterns have shifted during this unprecedented time of social distancing. The brands' joint study found over a third of Americans surveyed (35%) are struggling to maintain healthy lifestyles, and over four in ten (44%) aren't maintaining...
Chipotle Announces First Quarter 2020 Results
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. reported financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2020.
First quarter highlights, year over year:
Burger Chain Shake Shack to Return $10 Million Government Loan
Shake Shack Inc said it will return the small business loan it received from the U.S. government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
The company will immediately return the entire $10 million U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan as it was able to raise additional capital, CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer said in a blog post on Monday.
Last week, it raised about $150 million in an equity offering.
SBA, which is a key part of the government's $2.2 trillion aid package, is aimed at helping small companies...
U.S. Restaurant Transaction Declines May Have Bottomed Out in the Week Ending April 5
U.S. restaurant customer transactions declined by 41% in the week ending April 5 compared to year ago, following a 42% decline in the prior week ending March 29, which may indicate the industry is bottoming out, reports The NPD Group. The apparent “bottom” is likely due to the full effect of on-premise dining closures throughout the country and the industry’s collective ability to convert to off-premise modes, like carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru.
“The 41% decline in restaurant transactions is similar to last week and may indicate a bottom. We also need to be aware that further erosion could occur if consumers’ economic situations worsen,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “To date, many consumers have...
Restaurant Customer Transactions Declined by 42% in Week Ending March 29
The majority of U.S. restaurants are now impacted by mandated dine-in closures, reports The NPD Group. Restaurant customer transactions dropped by 42% in the week ending March 29 compared to same week year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
While steep transaction declines are being seen industry-wide, some restaurant models are better suited than others to retain existing off-premise business, like drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery. Quick service restaurants, which historically have more off-premise business, realized transaction declines of...
Shake Shack provided a business update today on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and steps the Company has taken to conserve cash and increase available liquidity to maximize financial flexibility until current market conditions stabilize.
“We are navigating through an unprecedented time that continues to evolve rapidly. Our message across the company has been to lead with hope, while acting on reality, and to make the necessary choices today to ensure our strength and growth continues for many years to come. We are taking the crucial steps to safeguard the health of our teams and communities, while we work to serve our guests to the best of our ability. In addition to our focus on the pre-ordering convenience of our Shack app and web channels, we are taking this moment to...
Technomic: Potential Economic Shock from Coronavirus Pandemic is Unprecedented
There is wide disagreement about whether COVID-19 will be an economic shock with a sharp recovery or if it will pull the economy into a sluggish recession. The previous worst quarter in U.S. history for GDP was Q2 2009, immediately after the economic crash. That quarter, the GDP dove by 3.9%, a fraction of the projections we are seeing as a result of COVID-19. The economic shock from this event is unprecedented.
Consumer spending on foodservice continues to drop. For the average consumer, Technomic research suggests that spending has declined by an estimated 45% from a typical week in February, with further planned reductions expected to come. Consumer demand is still present in the marketplace, but as the pandemic has heightened and concerns have grown, a new normal is setting in. Shelter-in-place and social distancing actions have resulted in...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Transactions Drop by 36% as Mandated Restaurant Dine-In Closures Take Effect
The mandated restaurant dine-in closures that took effect in most states beginning the week ending March 22 took a toll on U.S. restaurant transactions, reports The NPD Group. Total restaurant customer transactions declined by 36% in the week ending March 22 compared to same week year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Customer transactions at quick service restaurants, which represent the bulk of restaurant industry transactions and have more off-premise business than full service restaurants, decreased by...
Yum Brands Closing 7,000 Stores Globally Due to COVID-19
Yum Brands is closing 1,000 Pizza Hut Express outlets and at least 900 U.K. KFC stores in a group of 7,000 restaurant outlets the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said it is closing globally, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing and the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper.
As the parent company of those two brands, as well as the Mexican-American QSR, Taco Bell, and the fast casual brand it just closed the sale on this month, The Habit Burger Grill, Yum has approximately 50,000 outlets globally.
The SEC filing relayed that the cause for the closings was the current COVID-19 pandemic and...
U.S. Restaurant Customer Transactions Decline by 8% in Week Ending March 15
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the country, more people working from home, and social distancing guidance in place, U.S. restaurant customer transactions declined by 8% in the week ending March 15 compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group.
In the prior week ending March 8, the quick service restaurant chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions compared to year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides...
Chipotle Announces Partnership with Uber Eats to Expand Delivery Service
Chipotle Mexican Grill and Uber Eats have announced a national delivery partnership. For the first time, consumers can get the Chipotle delivered through the Uber Eats app and ubereats.com. This month, the Delivery Fee will be waived on any Chipotle order of $10 or more on the Uber Eats app and ubereats.com.
Given recent world events, Chipotle and Uber Eats are working together to make the delivery experience easier for guests. Uber Eats users can leave a note in the app for "no-contact" deliveries, which involve a driver leaving the food at the doorstep rather than an in-person exchange. Digital orders from Chipotle are customized via the brand's Delivery Kitchens, which are comprised of a dedicated ingredient station and operated by...
Yum! Brands Completes Acquisition of The Habit Restaurants
Yum! Brands, Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc., following the approval by The Habit Burger Grill stockholders. The transaction marks the addition of the first fast-casual concept to Yum! Brands’ portfolio of iconic global restaurant brands.
Yum! Brands acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Habit Burger Grill for $14 per share in cash or a total of approximately $375 million. Yum! Brands funded the transaction using cash on hand and available...
Quick Service Breakfast Wars Help Drive Transactions Up Despite Coronavirus
The 24/7 news cycle around the coronavirus (COVID-19) didn’t deter consumers from sampling an array of breakfast promotions offered by quick service restaurant (QSR) chains last week. The QSR chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions for the week ending March 8 compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group.
QSR chains, which represent the bulk of U.S. restaurant customer transactions, also grew transactions by 4% in the week ending March 8, the highest gain in...
Chipotle Offers Free Delivery Through March
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will offer Free Delivery starting March 15 through March 31 to make life easier for guests. Delivery orders are customized via Chipotle's Delivery Kitchen, which is comprised of a dedicated ingredient line operated by a special team. The Delivery Kitchen provides guests with the same great Chipotle experience whether they choose to dine in, order ahead and pick up, or have it delivered.
Chipotle has also introduced a new delivery tracker to provide step-by-step real-time updates, so you can follow your meal from the restaurant to your location. Prior to placing their orders, Chipotle customers can leave special instructions for delivery drivers in the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com to limit direct contact...
Chipotle Announces Changes to Its Board Composition
Impossible Foods Partners with The Halal Shack to Serve Halal Certified Cuisine
Impossible Foods has announced its latest national restaurant partner: The Halal Shack. With 8 locations in New York, California and Texas and 25 more locations in development nationally, The Halal Shack combines the best of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with a classic American spin for a delicious and unique dining experience. Impossible Burger meat will be available as a filling for any menu item, and can be added to Bowls, gyros, Wraps and Salads.
The Impossible Burger first became halal certified in 2018, and Halal Shack is the latest to benefit from this certification. The word “halal” derives from the Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted, as opposed to “haram” or prohibited. Halal meats are sourced and prepared in accordance with...
Shake Shack Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2019 Financial Results
Shake Shack Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 25, 2019, periods that included 13 and 52 weeks, respectively.
Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter 2019:
Foodservice Participates in Valentine’s Day with Tempting Offers
Whether consumers plan to dine out or stay in on Valentine’s Day, another record is expected to be set this year. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from the previous year’s record of $20.7 billion. Of that total, $4.3 billion is expected to be spent on an evening out.
Romantics looking to get ahead of the rush to book a reservation at a restaurant for Valentines’ Day should have done so before February 4th. According to data released by OpenTable, majority of diners wait until ten days or less in advance to reserve a table, despite this being...
U.S. Restaurant Customer Transactions Increased in January Compared to Year Ago
Customer transactions at U.S. restaurant chains were up in January, a benefit of milder weather compared to a year ago when extreme weather conditions, including a polar vortex and above average precipitation, hit many areas of the United States.
For the retail weeks ending January 6 through February 2, total restaurant transactions increased by 2% over same time last year and quick service restaurant (QSR) chains were the primary contributor to these gains, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides...
Chipotle Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
Fourth quarter highlights, year over year:
Boston Market Names Eric Wyatt as Chief Executive Officer
Boston Market has named Eric Wyatt as Chief Executive Officer as the "rotisserie everything experts" sets forth on a new growth phase. He succeeds Frances Allen, Boston Market's CEO since 2018, who is departing for a new venture.
Having served as the company's Chief Operating Officer, Wyatt will oversee a newly created "Office of CEO" that includes Chief Financial Officer Caryn Doyle and Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Randy Miller. Under Allen's leadership, this C-suite team has been instrumental in implementing a multi-faceted transformation plan designed to ensure...
From the Football Field to Foodservice, These Former NFL Players Now Own Restaurants
While many athletes dedicate their careers to the sport, some find other interests worth pursuing after their time on the field has come to an end. A common post-career passion for athletes is food, which should come as no surprise, since diet plays a vital role in preparation for game day. This interest in food has often led to retired players opening their own restaurants. The trend is seen across all different sports, but it appears football players are the most invested in the food business.
Andy Nelson, who played defensive backfield for the Baltimore Colts during the 1960s, is now known for his famous Maryland BBQ pit. The restaurant is full of football memorabilia and received a certificate of excellence in 2018 from TripAdvisor for...
Chipotle Innovates Lifestyle Bowls
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced today that it's rolling out a Supergreens salad mix nationally this week. Made of hand-cut romaine, antioxidant-rich baby kale and crisp baby spinach, Supergreens will replace the existing romaine-only salad base. This is Chipotle's second new menu item added in the last four months, following the successful launch of Carne Asada in September 2019. Chipotle has also made its grilled, Adobo chicken Whole30 compliant by switching the oil in its marinade, keeping the same great taste, but providing guests with specific dietary goals more options.
Chipotle was the first in the fast-casual industry to offer preconfigured, diet driven Lifestyle Bowls last year, which aided its digital sales growth to hit a $1B milestone recently. Statistics have shown that less than 25% of people stay committed to their new year's resolutions after 30 days, and...
NPD Group: Thanksgiving Week is Synonymous with Food but Not with Restaurant Transactions
Restaurant transactions for Thanksgiving week, the week ending December 1, were down 7% compared to same week last year (Thanksgiving was a week earlier in 2018), reports The NPD Group. Restaurant transactions declined by 8% for both the casual dining and quick service restaurant segments during Thanksgiving week, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Midscale/family dining restaurants, which offer sit down breakfasts, pies, and other desserts, realized an 18% increase in transactions during Thanksgiving week compared to same period year ago. Restaurant transactions for...
Elevation Burger Debuts Impossible Burger and Dairy-Free Daiya Cheddar Style Slices Nationwide
FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc., parent company of Elevation Burger, known for serving 100% organic, grass-fed, free-range beef burgers and fresh fries cooked in heart-healthy olive oil, is pleased to announce all domestic locations across America will now carry the plant-based Impossible™ Burger as well as dairy-free Daiya Cheddar Style Slices.
Elevation Burger’s nationwide launch of the Impossible Burger and dairy-free Daiya Cheddar Style Slices demonstrates the brand's commitment to serving customers of all dietary preferences. The Impossible™ Burger handles, cooks and tastes like ground beef — but is made entirely from plants — while each Daiya Cheddar Style Slice delivers the same incredible melt and slight sharpness as dairy-based cheese that pairs perfectly with...
Taco Del Mar Takes Beyond Meat Taco Chain-wide
Following a successful test earlier this year, Taco Del Mar has announced that it is rolling out its new Beyond Meat Taco across all locations starting December 3, 2019. The fast-casual restaurant chain is excited to introduce a delicious, new plant-based protein to its current vegetarian and vegan menu as a limited time offering with the possibility of extending product availability into the future.
Taco Del Mar guests can enjoy the new Beyond Meat Taco, which features plant-based Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles sautéed with medium chipotle salsa, diced onions and minced serrano peppers, topped with...
Shake Shack Begins Nationwide Delivery with Grubhub
Today Shake Shack will officially begin delivery nationwide with Grubhub, the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace. With more than 140 restaurants across the U.S. now available for delivery on Grubhub, diners can order their Shake Shack favorites with free delivery today through November 17th.
"As we begin our integrated partnership with Grubhub, we're focused on creating the best delivery experience for both our restaurant operators and our guests," stated Randy Garutti, chief executive officer of Shake Shack. "We're committed to being an accessible omnichannel business, giving our guests the chance to experience Shake Shack whenever they want it, with...
Chipotle Extends Carne Asada Into Early 2020
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will be extending its new menu addition, Carne Asada, through the end of the year and into the first quarter of 2020. Originally introduced as a limited time offer, this premium protein continues to exceed the brand's expectations and drive new customer acquisitions. Offering responsibly raised beef with no antibiotics or added hormones that meets its food with integrity standards can sometimes limit options for supply; however, Chipotle sourced additional premium cuts of steak to season with fresh squeezed lime and finish with hand-chopped cilantro and a blend of signature spices to satisfy customer cravings.
Known for its animal welfare standards, Chipotle understands the connection between how food is raised and prepared and how it tastes. It makes an extra effort to partner with farmers, ranchers, and...
FAT Brands Inc. Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results
FAT Brands Inc. today reported fiscal third quarter 2019 financial results for the 13-week period ending September 29, 2019.
Andy Wiederhorn, President and CEO of FAT Brands, commented, “We are pleased with our performance in the third quarter which included nearly 11% revenue growth and EBITDA growth of over 70%, as we continue to execute our brand acquisition strategy. During the quarter we successfully integrated our latest acquisition, Elevation Burger, which is now running at full synergies. We have built a considerable brand pipeline from which we will acquire synergistic brands to add to our unique platform.”
Wiederhorn continued, “We continue to pursue financing that will lower our cost of capital. To that end, we recently completed the initial closing of our Series B preferred offering...
Shake Shack Announces Third Quarter Financial Results
Shake Shack Inc. today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 25, 2019, a period that included 13 weeks.
Financial Highlights for the Third Quarter 2019 compared to the Third Quarter 2018:
TripAdvisor Reveals Diners' Favorite Restaurants with 2019 Travelers' Choice Awards
TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel platform, today announced the winners of its annual Travelers' Choice Awards for Restaurants. Based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, these restaurants were consistently given high ratings and praise by diners across the globe.
This year, the awards recognize 584 total restaurants globally and 75 U.S. restaurants in the categories of Fine Dining, Everyday Dining and Fast Casual. Award winners were determined by factoring in the quantity and quality of reviews, gathered over a 12-month period. Daniel in New York City has been awarded the top U.S. Fine Dining spot this year, reclaiming...
Chipotle Announces Third Quarter 2019 Results
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2019.
Third quarter highlights, year over year:
Cracker Barrel Acquires Maple Street Biscuit Company
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. announced it has acquired Maple Street Biscuit Company in an all-cash transaction for $36 million. Maple Street Biscuit Company was founded by Scott Moore and Gus Evans in Jacksonville, FL in 2012. It currently has 28 company-owned and five franchised fast casual locations across seven states. Maple Street Biscuit Company has targeted AUVs of $1.0+ million and targeted store-level EBITDA of 17%+ of net sales. The Company plans to convert its Holler & Dash Biscuit House units into Maple Street Biscuit Company locations in the coming months. Scott Moore will remain CEO of Maple Street Biscuit Company and will report directly to Sandra B. Cochran, President and CEO of Cracker Barrel.
“The breakfast and lunch-focused fast casual category is an attractive segment, and our experience with Holler & Dash has reinforced this belief. We have long admired Maple Street Biscuit Company with...
Chipotle Enhances Animal Welfare Standards in Canada and Europe
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it's signing the European Chicken Commitment, a venture that will apply even higher animal welfare standards to its entire European supply chain by 2026. Priding itself on serving food with integrity, Chipotle was an early participant in the U.S., supporting the Better Chicken Commitment since 2017 and has now extended this U.S. Broiler commitment to its operations in Canada as well.
Chipotle is committed to cultivating a better world, which means sourcing responsibly raised ingredients. For over 25 years, Chipotle has been an industry leader in exceptional animal welfare standards in the fast-casual space. As a brand started by a classically trained chef with a passion for real food, Chipotle has pioneered...
First Exports of UK Beef To the USA in 20 Years Underway
A Snapshot of Plant-Based Protein Growth Amid the Pandemic
Beyond Meat to Expand Walmart Distribution
Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q4 2020: The Challenge of Balancing Volatile Markets
Sysco Announces Launch of New Menu Concepts
URNER BARRY INDICES