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ALLETE Clean Energy's Diamond Spring Wind Project Will Provide Renewable Energy to Corporations

Allete Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), announced today a power sales agreement with Smithfield Foods, Inc. for the remaining output of the Diamond Spring wind site ALLETE Clean Energy will build, own and operate in Oklahoma.

The Smithfield agreement follows an earlier announcement of power sale agreements with two large Fortune 500 companies, Walmart and Starbucks. Walmart has agreed to purchase 175 megawatts for 15 years, Smithfield will purchase 75 megawatts for 12 years, and Starbucks will purchase 50 megawatts for 15 years. The approximately 300-megawatt Diamond Spring site, which is ALLETE Clean Energy’s first project to sell wind power to corporate customers, is now fully contracted with the Smithfield agreement...

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Jun 14 9:00 AM, General News

While Restaurant Delivery gets All the Buzz, Digital Orders Overall Grow by Double-Digits

The growing access to foodservice delivery has garnered lots of attention from the marketplace and media, but while delivery grabs the spotlight, digital restaurant orders overall steadily grow by double-digits, reports The NPD Group. Restaurant digital orders, which are defined by meals or snacks ordered via mobile app, internet, or text message, have grown by 23 percent over the past four years and now represent 3.1 billion visits and $26.8 billion dollars. NPD forecasts digital orders to continue to grow by double-digits through 2020 with growth across all service modes including delivery, on premises, and carryout, according to NPD’s Delivering Digital Convenience report.

Although convenience is understandably the top reason consumers choose digital ordering, other top reasons include: no waiting; the ability to order, pay, and have it ready; ordering at my “own” pace; and earning rewards/feeling valued. In addition to these reasons...

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Jun 14 7:52 AM, General News

Consumer Disloyalty is the New Normal

Assume the people you consider to be the most loyal customers on the planet are, in fact, disloyal. Because 92% of the time, you’ll be right. New Nielsen findings demonstrate that just 8% of consumers consider themselves to be firmly committed loyalists.

Yet the marketing tactics and investments rarely reflect these realities. A whopping 46% of consumers tell us they are more likely to try new brands than they were five years ago; a clear signal to a trend we should expect to intensify. Yet we see few signs that adjustments have been made to marketing initiatives or innovation pipelines to match these numbers.

The implications of not dramatically rethinking campaigns that focus on winning or retaining loyal customers are meaningful. The drag effect of consumer demand for choice and...


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Jun 13 11:40 AM, General News

Tyson Foods Unveils Alternative Protein Products and New Raised & Rooted Brand

As part of efforts to expand its protein offerings, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NSYE: TSN) today introduced the company’s first plant-based and blended products, along with its new Raised & Rooted® brand. The initiative makes Tyson Foods the largest U.S. meat producer to enter the growing alternative protein segment with its own products.

TheRaised & Rooted brand was created to provide great-tasting plant-based and blended foods that are rooted in how people eat today. The initial products under this new brand, which will launch with several major retail customers this year, include plant-based nuggets as well as blended burgers made with a combination of beef and plants. In addition, the company’s existing Aidells® brand has launched Aidells Whole Blends™ sausage and meatballs, made with chicken and plant-based ingredients.

Tyson Foods expects to introduce additional alternative protein products through multiple customers and sales channels. This includes...

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Jun 13 9:27 AM, General News

Chili's Partners Exclusively with DoorDash

Chili's® Grill & Bar, a leader in the casual dining industry, is also leading the category in off-premise innovation. To build on that momentum, starting today, Brinker International, Inc., the parent company of Chili's and Maggiano's Little Italy®, has entered into an exclusive agreement with DoorDash, the nation's largest on-demand destination for door-to-door delivery, that brings delivery of Chili's favorites to Guests from more than 1,000 participating restaurants nationwide.

"We chose DoorDash as an exclusive partner because they have a leading market share in areas where Chili's restaurants are located and have a fast growing delivery platform," said Wyman Roberts, chief executive officer of Brinker and president of Chili's. "While we tested delivery with several partners, DoorDash integrated seamlessly into our operations, demonstrated the ability to drive incremental sales and provided...

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Jun 11 9:45 AM, General News

Technomic: Students’ Foodservice Demands Grow Both On and Off Campus

Delivery, technology and health trends are changing the foodservice landscape and younger generations are leading this charge. Technomic’s 2019 College & University Consumer Trend Report explores this segment in depth, providing actionable recommendations for operators and suppliers to get ahead of the challenges and competition.

“Students have high expectations from their foodservice experiences both on and off campus. Delivery, convenience and menu innovation are all top priorities for college and university students,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “On top of this, they will choose companies that support causes they care about such as...

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Jun 10 10:16 AM, General News

Hard Rock International Debuts its Most Extensive Menu Innovation

Hard Rock International is announcing its most extensive menu innovation in the company's history with more than 20 new offerings debuting in locations around the world on Friday, June 14, 2019. The legendary restaurant's new menu puts the spotlight on its lineup of all-new, award-winning Steak Burgers, headlined by the world's first edible 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger™ that will benefit Action Against Hunger.

Steak Burgers aren't the only items making their debut on Hard Rock's new menu, which also includes Instagram-worthy Boozy Milkshakes, Sliders and Shareables that encourage adventure and exploration, allowing fans to curate their most flavorful playlist. The global launch of the new menu coincides with...

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Jun 6 2:05 PM, General News

Tim Hortons Announces Agreement to Launch in Thailand

Tim Hortons announced today that it has entered into an exclusive master franchise and development agreement to develop the Tim Hortons brand in Thailand with WeEat Company, part of the Wattanavekin family group of companies.

"We are very excited to grow the Tims brand in Thailand as part of our broader global growth strategy," said Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo. "Thailand has a thriving coffee market and our partner has a deep understanding of the Thai market, which we believe will position us well for success in the country."

Tim Hortons believes that it can replicate in Thailand its recent successes in other international markets by featuring a strong core hot and cold beverage platform, a localized food menu and prominent Canadian branding in the restaurant design to celebrate the brand's Canadian heritage...

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Jun 6 9:11 AM, General News Restaurant Delivery Report's published results of their 2019 Restaurant Delivery Survey focuses on the growing trend of restaurant delivery and summarizes input gathered from nearly 1,000 independent restaurant owners and operators regarding their experiences with self-delivery and third-party service providers, and their insights regarding restaurant delivery.

Survey Results:

Restaurant delivery has become available in most independent restaurants, with 57% of operators offering some form of delivery. Moreover, 16% of the operators without delivery plan to add the service within a year. Of operators who offered delivery, 31% used only third-party services, 12% operated in-house delivery services, and 14% relied on...

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Jun 5 2:53 PM, General News

Cracker Barrel Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Results

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: CBRL) today reported its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 ended May 3, 2019.

Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Highlights

  • Comparable store restaurant sales growth of 1.3% and traffic of -1.8% outperformed the casual dining industry.
  • Earnings per diluted share were $2.09, a 3.0% increase compared to $2.03 in the prior year third quarter.
  • The Company announced its Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend to $1.30 per share on...
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Jun 5 9:24 AM, General News

QDOBA Mexican Eats Names San Diego “Home” with New Brand Headquarters

QDOBA Mexican Eats®, a leading Mexican fast-casual chain, is choosing to stay and invest in San Diego by opening its new headquarters in the AMP&RSAND office complex. Named “QDOBA Flavor Central,” the headquarters will also serve as a hub for the culinary team to create and test menu innovations.

“The QDOBA team is excited to call ‘America’s Finest City’ our official home,” said Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA Mexican Eats. “During the search for our new office, we knew we wanted to stay in San Diego and diligently sought out a space that reflects our collaboration-centric culture. The AMP&RSAND is a perfect fit.”

Formerly occupied by The San Diego Union-Tribune, QDOBA’s new headquarters is located at 350 Camino De La Reina. The office features exposed brick, concrete pillars and...

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Jun 4 11:35 AM, General News

Mintel Announces Five U.S. Flavor and Ingredient Trends 

Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, announced from IFT19 the flavor and ingredient trends that are influencing the foodservice and packaged food and drink categories in 2019 and beyond. The five new trends link the relationship between consumer behavior and food and drink to dishes on restaurant menus and products on store shelves, and explain the significant momentum that has led to this moment.

Seeking out ingredients that provide sustenance for healthy eating is top of mind for Americans. However, consumers today are also looking beyond the balanced diet. Flavors that tap into relaxation and support a healthy gut are satisfying consumers that are looking for ingredients that will feed the mind, body, and soul...

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Jun 4 10:32 AM, General News

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Reports Results for the Fiscal First Quarter Ended April 21, 2019

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., (NASDAQ:RRGB) last week reported financial results for the quarter ended April 21, 2019.

First Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights Compared to First Quarter 2018

  • GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.05 compared to $0.34;
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.19 compared to $0.69 (see Schedule I);
    Total revenues were $409.9 million, a decrease of 2.8%;
  • Off-premise sales increased 20.6%, now comprising 11.6% of total food and beverage sales, including catering;
  • Comparable restaurant revenue decreased 3.3% (using...
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Jun 3 12:11 PM, General News

Popeyes Announces Agreement to Launch the Brand in Spain

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. ("Popeyes") today announced an exciting new agreement to open Popeyes restaurants in Spain with the aim of becoming the market leader.

"We have an ambitious long-term goal for RBI of reaching 40,000 restaurants over the next 8 to 10 years. Today, we're excited to share big news from Europe where we have announced ambitious plans for one of our iconic brands – Popeyes – in Spain," said Josh Kobza, Chief Operating Officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI"), parent company of Popeyes. "We believe we have the best tasting chicken, biscuits and side items and that Popeyes can become Spain's number one choice for chicken as we develop...

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May 31 10:26 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Fell Sharply in April

As a result of softer readings in both the current situation and forward-looking indicators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in April. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.1 in April, down 1.8 percent from a level of 101.9 in March.

April’s RPI decline was the result of broad-based softening in both the current situation and expectations indicators. Although same-store sales readings were slightly positive in April, customer traffic turned negative. In addition, restaurant operators are less optimistic about both sales growth and the overall economy...

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May 31 8:45 AM, General News

Indulgent Snack Food is Making a Comeback by Walking the Line Between Health and Enjoyment

U.S. consumers are giving themselves permission to enjoy indulgent snacks, reports The NPD Group. Their permission to enjoy savory and sweet snacks is the result of the wellness-driven acknowledgement that balance is the key. Brands are supporting their consumers’ quest for balance by offering snacks that walk the line between health and indulgence, like portion-control packs, thinner versions, or nutrient-enhanced savory and sweet snacks, finds NPD’s recently released Future of Snacking report.

“The role of snack food is changing in different ways in reaction to Americans’ desire for balance, portable snack foods, and holistic wellness,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “It’s no longer about depriving yourself of...

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May 30 8:22 AM, General News

McDonald's Workers Walk Out

Hundreds of workers at McDonald's Corp. restaurants walked off the job on Thursday to protest what they described as low pay, unsafe workplaces and sexual harassment.

The walkouts prompted operators to close 10 restaurants in St. Louis, and workers picketed outside McDonald's in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The day's events are among the most visible disruptions to the chain's operations in the years since unions have sought to organize McDonald's workers.

Several hundred workers from restaurants in 13 cities left their posts during the breakfast and lunch rushes...

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May 24 9:10 AM, General News

Taco Bell Embarks On Next Chapter of Global Growth

Taco Bell, the world's largest Mexican-inspired restaurant chain, is continuing its major global expansion with the signing of its largest master franchise agreement in India, as well as unveiling new international markets for the brand.

The Master Franchise Agreement, signed with franchise partner Burman Hospitality Private Limited (BHPL) of India, commits to developing 600 restaurants on the sub-continent in the next 10 years. Upon completion of the 600 restaurants, the brand expects to contribute over 20,000 jobs to India's economy...

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May 23 3:51 PM, General News

Restaurants Face Challenges Tapping into the Summer Labor Pool

According to the National Restaurant Association, summer employment is defined as the average number of eating and drinking place jobs in June, July, and August. Generally, the United States restaurant industry begins to ramp up its seasonal hiring in April, and peaks in June, July, and August. Restaurants are expected to add 515,000 jobs this summer season. Summer is typically the busiest season for restaurants in many parts of the United States, and the increased consumer traffic leads to additional employment opportunities at all levels of a foodservice operation. Roughly one in six food and drinking establishments operate on a seasonal basis, many being during the summer. The seasonal businesses that do all of their hiring for the summer months are responsible for the bulk of additional jobs.

Although the restaurant industry will add more than half a million jobs for the seventh consecutive summer, hiring will be somewhat cut back in 2019, with the projected increase of...

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May 23 12:30 PM, Urner Barry

Technomic: Canadians’ Routines and Habits Present Challenges for Emerging Bakery and Coffee Cafes

In the 2019 Canadian Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report, Technomic found that many coffee cafe customers stick to the same restaurant brand and, oftentimes, the same cafe location, due to their coffee preferences and demands for convenience. On the other hand, bakery-cafe customers are open to mixing up the brands they visit, challenging these operators to build up loyal customer bases.

“For emerging coffee cafes, the challenge is in getting consumers to break from their routines and try something new,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “While specials and limited-time offers can help draw in new visitors, whether these guests habitually return will ultimately come down to value, convenience and, in many cases, coffee.”

Key takeaways from the report include...

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May 23 8:14 AM, General News

Guests can Now Order P.F. Chang's with Uber Eats Across the U.S.

Enjoying P.F. Chang's menu of made-from-scratch favorites just got even easier. Now, guests across the U.S. can order P.F. Chang's using their Uber Eats app.

"Uber Eats is one of the fastest growing off-premise delivery companies in the U.S.," said Tana Davila, P.F. Chang's senior vice president. "We are excited to partner with them and make our food even more accessible to current and new customers."

Uber Eats is fully integrated throughout P.F. Chang's restaurant point-of-sale system, ensuring seamless order placement and timely delivery of orders from the entire made-from-scratch menu in restaurants across the country. P.F. Chang's will continue to offer...

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May 22 3:00 PM, General News

Restaurant Food Costs: What does ASF Mean for Protein Prices in the US?

Rabobank expects food costs in the US to increase in the second half of the year, as protein prices are impacted by stronger export demand following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Pork and chicken prices will be the most impacted. Beef will be the last to see increases materialize, but QSR patty prices are expected to be the most vulnerable component. If a trade agreement with China were to be brokered, price increases would be faster and steeper.

Restaurants Should Expect Rising Protein Prices

For the past two years, restaurants have been favored by a relatively benign food cost environment, which helped compensate for rising costs in other areas (labor, real estate). We expect this situation to change (for proteins) towards the second half of the year and...

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May 22 9:12 AM, General News

National Restaurant Association President & CEO Announces Retirement

After 12 years successfully leading one of Washington’s largest and most influential trade associations, advancing and protecting all aspects of the restaurant and foodservice industry, National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation President & CEO Dawn Sweeney announced last week that she will step down when her current contract ends at the end of 2019. Until then, she will continue to lead the Association and Foundation, gain Board approval for the 2020-2024 strategic plan, and assist Board leadership in the search for a new CEO.

“Serving and leading the restaurant industry during this historic timeframe, when foodservice has grown to an $863 billion business employing over 15 million professionals, has been the most fulfilling experience of my career,” said Dawn Sweeney. “We have accomplished much together, including...

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May 21 1:40 PM, General News

Little Caesars And Impossible Foods Team Up For Impossible Supreme Pizza

Little Caesars, the pizza chain celebrated for meat-centric products including a pizza wrapped in three feet of bacon, has teamed up with Impossible Foods to offer a plant-based sausage on the new Impossible™ Supreme pizza.

The Impossible Supreme is a large pizza topped with sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes, covered with mozzarella and Muenster cheese, and loaded with a generous portion of seasoned Impossible™ Sausage made from plants, caramelized onions, mushrooms and green peppers.

Impossible Supreme Pizza is now available exclusively in three Little Caesars test markets in Florida, New Mexico and Washington state...

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May 21 1:40 PM, General News

Nathan’s Famous Names James Walker Senior Vice President, Restaurants

Nathan’s Famous announced today that it has hired James Walker, CFE, as the company’s Senior Vice President, Restaurants. Walker comes to Nathan’s Famous from Subway where he was Vice President, North America, overseeing all franchised restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.

“We are excited to have James on board to lead our all-important restaurant division,” said Eric Gatoff, CEO of Nathan’s Famous. “While our success over the last decade has largely come from our product licensing and foodservice businesses, Nathan’s started as a restaurant company in 1916. James’ skill set includes extensive experience in restaurant operations, franchising and product development. Adding someone as accomplished and innovative as James demonstrates our continued commitment to...

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May 21 10:02 AM, General News

Sparboe Companies Announces the Sale of its New Hampton, Iowa Plant to Deb El Food Products

Sparboe Companies is pleased to announce the sale of its New Hampton, Iowa plant to Deb El Food Products. Deb El will continue to operate the New Hampton plant, which produces liquid, frozen and dried egg products. Sparboe’s shell egg division, Sparboe Farms, will continue to operate their shell egg facilities in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado and is not part of the sales agreement.

Beth Schnell, Sparboe CEO says of the agreement “We would like to thank all of our employees in New Hampton for the years of dedication and hard work and wish them the best under new leadership. We are pleased to have partnered with another family owned company in this transaction and look forward to Deb El’s success in New Hampton. Proudly celebrating our 65th anniversary, Sparboe will continue to focus on...

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May 17 8:40 AM, General News

Consumer Pent-Up Demand for Restaurants Remains Elevated

The trend line of restaurant sales was positive during the first four months of 2019, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Eating and drinking place sales totaled $61.5 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, which represented the fourth consecutive monthly gain after a sluggish second half of 2018.

To be sure, there appears to be more room for growth in the months ahead, according to a national survey conducted May 9-12 by ORC International for the National Restaurant Association. When asked about their current restaurant usage, a significant proportion of the American public say they would like to be patronizing restaurants more often. Forty-two percent of all adults say they are not eating on the premises of restaurants as frequently as they would like, while 48 percent say...

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May 17 8:25 AM, General News

Which Rules the Roost When it Comes to Restaurant Orders: Burgers or Chicken Sandwiches?

Burgers have been a top item ordered at U.S. restaurants for decades but chicken sandwiches have come on strong over the last several years. There are more chicken sandwich restaurant concepts and chicken sandwiches are appearing on more menus. So have burgers been knocked off their perch by chicken sandwiches? “No,” says The NPD Group, which daily tracks U.S. consumers use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets. Burgers still rule the roost and are the top sandwich ordered overall.

By the numbers, the average number of times a customer purchased a burger at a restaurant over the 12-month period ending February 2019 was 14.7 times and the customer purchase frequency of chicken sandwiches was 8.7, according to NPD’s receipt harvesting service, Checkout, which tracks...

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May 16 8:22 AM, General News

Slower Tax Refunds and Weather Affect April Retail Sales but Fundamentals 'Remain Positive'

Retail sales were down 0.2 percent in April seasonally adjusted from March but up 5.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Slower tax refunds and weather may have been key factors impacting April’s numbers, but the fundamentals remain positive, particularly in long-term comparisons,” NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz said, citing flooding in the middle of the country and blizzards and extreme temperature swings elsewhere along with a soft housing market that impacted sales of furniture, appliances and building materials. “Despite there being a lot of...

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May 16 8:20 AM, General News

NRA: Foodservice Jobs Continue to Rally as Middle-Class Opportunities Expand

The National Restaurant Association recently reported on the state of employment in their industry, with some surprising results.

The key takeaways from their reports were that while the restaurant industry remains one of the most popular for Americans entering the workforce, there’s also great growth as the field experiences an increase in middle-class job creation. Unsurprisingly, restaurant employees have a high rate of turnover between the high seasonality and large population of student workers.

One in three American adults got their first job in...

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May 10 11:13 AM, Urner Barry

The Wendy's Company Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

"We delivered strong earnings growth in the first quarter and are proud of our continued progress to build an even stronger foundation for the Wendy's brand," President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "We are executing on our plan to accelerate same-restaurant sales in North America and drive global restaurant expansion, fueled by a healthy restaurant economic model. Our relentless focus on bringing every element of The Wendy's Way to life by providing food our customers love, friendly service, value, and an inviting atmosphere will continue to drive growth in the future...

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May 9 8:19 AM, General News

Canadians Choose Restaurants Based Upon the Best Online Reviews According to New Survey

A new Google survey of 1000 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65+ explores the things that lead to restaurant selection with some interesting results. Canada is enjoying a culinary renaissance, and has become world-renowned for being the epicenter of a food revolution.

There has never been a more exciting time than now, to get out and experience the cornucopia of restaurants in any given urban area. As a result, restaurant owners find themselves in a highly competitive market, vying for customers' patronage.

There are several contributing factors that lead Canadians to choose one restaurant over another. However, regardless of demographics, the most important factor seems to be based upon the best online reviews...


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May 8 8:23 AM, General News

Del Taco Restaurants Reports Fiscal First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc., (NASDAQ: TACO), the second largest Mexican-American quick service restaurant chain by units in the United States, today reported fiscal first quarter 2019 financial results for the 12-week period ending March 26, 2019. Del Taco also reaffirmed its previously announced guidance for fiscal year 2019.

Fiscal First Quarter 2019 Highlights

  • System-wide comparable restaurant sales decreased 0.1%;
  • Company-operated comparable restaurant sales decreased 0.6%. Company-operated comparable restaurant sales were comprised of average check growth of 4.9%, including nearly 1% of menu mix growth, offset by a transaction decline of 5.5%;
  • Franchised comparable restaurant sales grew...
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May 7 3:19 PM, General News

US Foods Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Earnings 

US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD),one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, today announced results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Highlights

  • Total case volume increased 1.4%; independent restaurant case volume increased 5.5%
  • Net sales increased 3.6% to $6.0 billion
  • Gross profit increased 6.0% to $1,052 million
  • Income before income taxes increased $28 million to $91 million
  • Net income increased $4 million to $71 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.6% to...
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May 7 11:54 AM, General News

Postmates and Pei Wei Launch On-Demand Delivery with Free Delivery

Postmates and Pei Wei Asian Kitchen, the leading fresh, Asian fast-casual restaurant, announced that they have partnered to bring Pei Wei's delicious Asian cuisine direct to the customer's doorstep. To celebrate, the companies are providing customers with free delivery. From the new, customizable Bento Boxes to its fresh, house-made Cauliflower Rice, every dish is made to order with quality ingredients, like house-chopped veggies and grass-fed flank steak. Now, you can have any of these delicious offerings delivered right to your door with no delivery fee.

"We are thrilled to add Pei Wei Asian Kitchen to our already long list of partners," said Dan Mosher, SVP, Merchant Lead at Postmates. "Our goal is to provide our customers with the most choices of any delivery platform, giving them the ability to...

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May 6 3:25 PM, General News

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RUTH) today reported unaudited financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

Highlights for the first quarter of 2019 were as follows:

  • Restaurant sales in the first quarter of 2019 increased 2.4% to $113.0 million compared to $110.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. Average unit weekly sales were $111.4 thousand in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 1.1% compared to $110.3 thousand in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Net income in the first quarter of 2019 was $13.9 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to net income of $13.6 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2018...
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May 6 8:51 AM, General News

Shake Shack Announces First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Shake Shack Inc. (“Shake Shack” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SHAK) today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 27, 2019, a period that included 13 weeks.

Financial Highlights for the First Quarter 2019 compared to the First Quarter 2018:

  • Total revenue increased 33.8% to $132.6 million.
  • Shack sales increased 33.8% to $128.6 million.
  • Same-Shack sales increased 3.6%.
  • Shack system-wide sales increased 33.5% to $195.2 million.
  • Operating income was $5.2 million, or 3.9% of total revenue, which included the impact of costs associated with Project Concrete and other one-time items totaling $0.5 million, resulting in a decrease of 20.8%.
  • Shack-level operating profit...
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May 3 9:44 AM, General News

The Cheesecake Factory Reports Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2019

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ: CAKE) today reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which ended on April 2, 2019.

Total revenues were $599.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to $584.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. Net income and diluted net income per share were $27.0 million and $0.60, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

Excluding the after-tax impact of the $1.5 million loss on the Company’s minority investments, net income and diluted net income per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 would have been $28.1 million and $0.62, respectively. Please see the Company’s reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures at the end of this release...

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May 2 11:40 AM, General News

The State of Millennial Dining

If you are wondering what attracts millennial customers to your restaurants, perhaps the No. 1 answer is the ability to provide an experience, new National Restaurant Association research finds.

According to the Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report, millennial customers, aged 21 to 38 years old, said they would like restaurants to serve technology that improves the dining experience, offer more environmentally sustainable items, and create easier opportunities to order takeout and delivery.

Regarding the general dining experience, the report found millennials were willing to pay more to get more. Here are a few of the topline findings...

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May 2 10:33 AM, General News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins (BR), today reported results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2019.

"While we are still in the early innings of the implementation of our Blueprint for Growth, Dunkin' U.S. delivered a strong first quarter, including 5.5 percent systemwide sales growth and a 2.4 percent increase in comparable store sales, which was the largest quarterly comparable store sales increase in four years. This solid performance, across both morning and afternoon, was driven by consistent, compelling national value promotions and continued beverage sales momentum. In particular, the relaunch of our highly successful...

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May 2 10:28 AM, General News

Dine Brands Global Reports First Quarter Results 

Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2019.

“Dine Brands delivered another impressive quarter. Our performance and momentum reflect the continued improvement in our core business. We delivered double-digit growth in several key metrics. The implementation of multi-pronged strategies at Applebee’s and IHOP have produced positive results. Both brands reported positive comparable sales growth for the first quarter, lapping over positive sales results for the first quarter of 2018,” said Steve Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of Dine Brands Global, Inc...

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May 2 9:14 AM, General News

Yum! Brands Reports First Quarter Results 

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today reported results for the first-quarter ended March 31, 2019. Worldwide system sales excluding foreign currency translation grew 8%, with 7% net-new units and 4% same-store sales growth. First-quarter GAAP EPS was $0.83, a decrease of (35)%. First-quarter EPS excluding Special Items was $0.82, a decrease of (8)%.

Greg Creed Comments

Greg Creed, CEO, said, “The third and final year of our transformation is underway and I’m thrilled with the progress towards our commitment to becoming a more focused, more franchised, and more efficient growth company. First-quarter results were a solid start to the year, reflecting particular strength at the KFC division and Taco Bell U.S. With this quarter, we have a healthy foundation to...

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May 2 9:07 AM, General News

Sonic Drive-In Says Aloha with New King's Hawaiian Clubs

SONIC® Drive-In adds a taste of Hawaii to its menu this month with the all-new KING’S HAWAIIAN® Clubs. Complete with island flair, SONIC transforms its Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich and SONIC Burger to create the irresistible KING’S HAWAIIAN Chicken Club and KING’S HAWAIIAN Burger Club.

Guests can choose between the KING’S HAWAIIAN Chicken Club made with 100-percent all white meat crispy chicken or the KING’S HAWAIIAN Burger Club made with a savory 100-percent pure beef patty, both piled high with fresh lettuce, ripe tomato, crunchy bacon, and natural Swiss cheese layered on the iconic KING’S HAWAIIAN Bun. Starting at just...

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May 1 2:11 PM, General News

UB Executive Conference: Deli is Driving Force Behind Grocery Perimeter Growth For Good Reasons

Sarah Schmansky is Vice President of Nielsen’s Fresh and H&W Growth and Strategy Teams, and a much-anticipated presenter at this year’s Executive Conference. The focus of her presentation was centered around the evolution of retail foodservice, with deli being a major component of that.

Nielsen data shows that in-store growth is coming from the perimeter of the store. Schmansky says “Deli is driving that growth.” And for good reason. Consumers are increasingly valuing their time and their health and wellness, and the deli foodservice component often checks both of those boxes.

Additionally, healthy growth is seen at the meat case and elsewhere in the perimeter. Deli is main driver of total fresh department growth. Deli foodservice, specifically, holds the dominant share...

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May 1 8:56 AM, Urner Barry

TripAdvisor: Where Mom Really Wants to Dine on Mother's Day 

TripAdvisor®, one of the world's largest restaurant sites, today announced how mom really wants to dine on Mother's Day. A survey of over 7,900 U.S. participants1 revealed telling results: Her idea of a great Mother's Day dining experience may not be what you think.

Mother Knows Best:

  • 70% of family members believe they anticipate their mom's Mother's Day dining preferences "extremely" or "very" well, while only 46% of moms...
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May 1 8:24 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Posted a Solid Gain in March

Buoyed by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a healthy gain in March. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.9 in March, up 0.9 percent from February’s level of 101.0.

Growth in the RPI was driven by the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators, which both registered solid improvements in March. Looking forward, roughly one-half of restaurant operators expect to see stronger sales volumes in six months. However, their outlook for...

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May 1 8:23 AM, General News

Wendy's Releases New Chicken Lineup 

Wendy's recently released the Made to Crave menu – a sandwich line dedicated to unlocking a whole new world of flavors. Now, Wendy's Made to Crave menu is bringing you a new chicken lineup guaranteed to satisfy those craveable taste buds. Introducing three new chicken sandwiches to Wendy's chicken menu: Avocado BLT, S'Awesome Bacon Chicken and Barbecue Chicken.

Made to Crave Chicken sandwiches takes Wendy's core menu that much further, driving more flavor variety to your go-to chicken sandwiches while never sacrificing quality. The best part? The Made to Crave Chicken lineup features each of Wendy's different fillets. We're talking the lightly breaded and specially seasoned homestyle, grilled and for when you want to raise the temperature a bit – spicy. Each sandwich is made with...

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Apr 30 2:01 PM, General News

McDonald's Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

McDonald's Corporation today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

"We started the year strong with our 15th consecutive quarter of positive global comparable sales, reflecting continued broad-based momentum across each of our global segments," said McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. "We remain focused on running better restaurants and elevating the experience for our customers by providing convenience on their terms through delivery, Experience of the Future, and our evolving digital channels."

First quarter highlights...

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Apr 30 9:22 AM, General News

Dunkin' Introduces Two New Breakfast Bowls 

In our busy, on-the-go lives, it's not always easy to make better decisions while eating on the run. That's why Dunkin' is continuing to introduce new, delicious menu items to help guests power through the day, including its new Dunkin' Bowls which are now available at participating locations nationwide for a limited time. The new lineup includes an Egg White Bowl that provides guests another easy way to be a little better and joins other better-for-you Dunkin' products like the popular Power Breakfast Sandwich.

Available today at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide, guests can choose from two new Dunkin' Bowls to pair with their favorite Dunkin' beverages...

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Apr 30 8:22 AM, General News

Domino’s Delivers Real-Time Pizza Location

Domino’s Pizza is creating transparency in the store-to-consumer supply chain.

The pizza chain is piloting a test of GPS-enabled delivery driver tracking in 27 corporate stores in Phoenix, Arizona. Customers who order from one of these stores can track the location of their order and driver via a map from the order confirmation page on the Domino’s site or the Domino's app.

Customers receive an estimated delivery time and can opt into SMS text notifications that let them know when their order is about two minutes away. The tracking feature also provides optional navigation and one-touch customer callback capabilities to delivery drivers. In addition, store managers have a driver-tracking screen that will show where all of their drivers are out on the road...

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Apr 29 3:03 PM, General News

Panera Bread Appoints Niren Chaudhary as CEO

Panera Bread ("Panera" or "the Company") today announced that it has appointed Niren Chaudhary as President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Blaine Hurst who is retiring from his current role as CEO of Panera effective May 23, 2019. Hurst will remain on the Board of Panera and become Vice Chairman, and will work alongside Chaudhary after he joins the Company in early May to help ensure a smooth transition into his new role.

Chaudhary joins Panera from Krispy Kreme, where he has been the Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme International since 2017. Previously Chaudhary spent 23 years with Yum! Brands in a variety of executive positions. He has more than 25 years of international corporate leadership experience in the food retail and hospitality industry, and brings broad experience in...

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Apr 29 11:58 AM, General News

Restaurant Brands International Inc. Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX/NYSE: QSR, TSX: QSP) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

Jose Cil, Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI") commented, "At BURGER KING® and POPEYES®, we saw strong system-wide sales growth driven by net restaurant growth, reflecting the strength of our brands and business model around the world. Underlying fundamentals at TIM HORTONS® remain strong and we are excited about our first three restaurants in China. Overall, we are confident in the long-term growth prospects for each of our three iconic brands, and remain focused on providing a great guest experience while driving franchisee profitability...

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Apr 29 9:56 AM, General News

Starbucks Reports Q2 Fiscal 2019 Results

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today reported financial results for its 13-week fiscal second quarter ended March 31, 2019. GAAP results in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018 include items which are excluded from non-GAAP results. Please refer to the reconciliation of GAAP measures to non-GAAP measures at the end of this release for more information.

“Starbucks delivered another quarter of solid operating results, demonstrating that our ‘Growth at Scale’ agenda is working,” said Kevin Johnson, president and ceo. “We are especially pleased with our comparable store sales growth in our two lead markets, the U.S. and China, where we are also continuing to drive strong new store development with industry-leading returns. With solid first-half financial results, we are on track to deliver on our full-year commitments...

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Apr 26 10:03 AM, General News

Church's Chicken Offers New Spicy Tenders LTO

Fried chicken with a spicy kick that's not only hot, but flavorful too, is a Church's Chicken® tradition that's been going strong for 66 years and counting. It started with guests squeezing the juice of a jalapeño pepper over the brand's hand-battered fried chicken, but it hasn't stopped there. Today, Church's menu still prominently features jalapeño peppers, but also includes the brand's one-of-a-kind Spicy Chicken recipe made from a signature blend of red pepper, cracked black pepper, chipotle, and habanero peppers, in addition to jalapeño peppers. The bold, Texas-inspired heat and savory flavor is a big fan favorite with guests, but what many don't know is that there's a Church's menu "secret" for...

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Apr 26 2:11 AM, General News

Subway Restaurants Open the Club Doors to its New Collection

While a club sandwich traditionally features bacon, turkey and lettuce, Subway® Restaurants is once again proving its new innovative approach to the classic sandwich is far from traditional. The NEW! Club Collection turns the rules upside down by modernizing these iconic sandwiches with a kick of spicy jalapeños, delicious steak and creamy guacamole.

These crave-worthy, chef-inspired recipes for the Club sandwiches are...

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Apr 25 2:18 PM, General News

Little Caesars Brings Back Pizza Creation Especially for Meat Lovers

Little Caesars, the home of HOT-N-READY® pizza, is bringing back its mouthwatering meat masterpiece, the 5 Meat Feast. This pizza is loaded with pepperoni, bacon, sausage, beef and ham* for only $9 plus applicable tax at participating U.S. locations. Starting April 25, the 5 Meat Feast is available for a limited time.

"Our research shows that people want more meat, so we designed this pizza to satisfy America's cravings," said Ed Gleich, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Little Caesars. "And, at $9, the pizza stays true to our brand's commitment to value."

The 5 Meat Feast is available alongside other Little Caesars options including the $5 HOT-N-READY classic pizza and EXTRAMOSTBESTEST® pizzas. Customers can walk in and have a hot, fresh 5 Meat Feast ready and waiting for them between...

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Apr 25 2:17 PM, General News

Foodservice Operators Seek Ways to Compete in 2019 Business Environment

According to the National Restaurant Association’s new State of the Industry report, operators, though generally optimistic about business conditions, say they must increase foot traffic, while keeping loyal customers content and attracting new customers at the same time.

The research indicates this year’s business environment is increasingly competitive, thus operators are seeking solutions to ensure success.

The good news, the report states, is that the majority of consumers eating out at restaurants are satisfied with their dining experiences. More than eight in 10 adult customers, or 85 percent, say they are satisfied with the service, food quality and...

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Apr 25 9:31 AM, General News

Chipotle Announces First Quarter 2019 Results

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today reported financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

First quarter highlights, year over year:

  • Revenue increased 13.9% to $1.3 billion
  • Comparable restaurant sales increased 9.9%, net of 30 bps from loyalty deferral, and included 5.8% of comparable restaurant transaction growth and 2% in mix contribution
  • Digital sales grew 100.7% and accounted for 15.7% of sales for the quarter
  • Restaurant level operating margin was 21.0%, an increase from...
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Apr 25 9:01 AM, General News

Global Mobile Food Vehicle Market Expected to Expand 

The global mobile food vehicles market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast from 2018 to 2026.

Mobile food vending industry has grown considerably over the last few years, becoming a multi-billion industry globally. The rapid growth experienced by the mobile food vending industry, especially food trucks is majorly attributed to consumer's desire and appreciation for quick, quality, and fresh local food along with a sustainable business option for food vendors.

In addition, to help food vendors expand economic opportunities, mobile food vehicles are also seen as an option for enriching communities by improving access to goods and producing food otherwise not readily available through merchants. Economic uncertainties and strong competition in...

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Apr 25 8:19 AM, General News

Papa John's International Opens Its 2000th Restaurant Outside North America

Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) continues to expand its global presence, recently opening its 2000th restaurant outside North America. The milestone restaurant opened in Moscow, Russia. Russia, with more than 200 restaurants, is one of the company’s fastest growing markets.

Papa John’s international business has been growing rapidly since the company took its pizza to the world by opening a restaurant in Mexico City in 1998. A decade later, Papa John’s marked another milestone with the company’s 500th international restaurant opening in Turkey in 2008, followed by the celebration of the 1000th restaurant opening in 2013.

Just over five years later, with a concerted focus on ramping up global development, the number of international restaurants has...

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Apr 24 11:58 AM, General News

Domino's Pizza Announces First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, announced results for the first quarter, comprised of healthy growth in global retail sales and earnings per share. Global retail sales increased 4.6% in the first quarter, or 8.5% without the negative impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates. U.S. same store sales grew 3.9% during the quarter versus the year-ago period, continuing the positive sales momentum in the Company's U.S. business.

The international division also posted positive results, with same store sales growth of 1.8% during the quarter. The first quarter marked the 101st consecutive quarter of international same store sales growth and the 32nd consecutive quarter of U.S. same store sales growth. The Company had first quarter global net store growth of 200 stores, comprised of...


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Apr 24 9:45 AM, General News

Technomic: Restaurants Brace for Increased Competition as Emerging Channels Continue to Expand

While usage of emerging channels is still low overall compared to traditional foodservice segments, strong appeal among younger consumers and continued nationwide expansion by these channels means increased competition for restaurants moving forward. Technomic's 2019 Emerging Channels Consumer Trend Report explores primary and secondary emerging channels, and covers the unique challenges and opportunities that each channel faces.

"Restaurant operators will have to pick and choose how to compete as variety and uniqueness are currently competitive advantages for emerging channels...

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Apr 24 9:39 AM, General News

White Castle Announces New Limited Time Menu 

White Castle, America's first fast-food hamburger chain, today announced the addition of its new BBQ bash lineup featuring the BBQ Brisket Slider, 99¢ BBQ Original Slider, and, for the first time since White Castle became the first fast-food chain to offer the Impossible™ Slider, a spin on the iconic slider made from plants – the BBQ Impossible Slider. Joining the new BBQ lineup are White Castle's fan-favorite Fried Pickles and a line of Summer Smoothies to keep Cravers cool. The new menu items are available at most White Castle restaurants for a limited time or while supplies last.

White Castle's new BBQ bash lineup includes the BBQ Brisket Slider, with smoked and sliced brisket, the BBQ Impossible Slider, featuring the tastier, beefier Impossible patty, and ...

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Apr 23 2:12 PM, General News

Postmates is Now in More than 3,500 Cities

Postmates, the leader in delivering anything you want on-demand, announced today that is has launched a thousand more cities in the U.S. bringing the current total to more than 3,500 across all 50 states. Postmates now serves more than 70 percent of U.S. households. To celebrate, Postmates is joining forces with Subway to launch a nationwide promotion, offering $5 off any sandwich.*

Starting today, customers within the newly added cities can order from their favorite restaurants or merchants and have their order brought to their door in minutes. From trending local eateries to a run for your favorite ice cream, Postmates helps people get anything delivered on-demand.

"We want to enable anyone to have anything delivered on demand and this latest expansion allows us to deliver on that promise across all 50 states in the US ...

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Apr 23 11:29 AM, General News

U.S. Fast Casual Restaurant Chains Still Growing in Units and Customer Visits

Fast casual restaurant chains have been growing both in units and customer visits for the last decade, finds The NPD Group. The number of fast casual chain restaurants rose by 1 percent to 25,312 total units, based on NPD’s Fall 2018 ReCount® restaurant census, which includes restaurants open as of September 30, 2018. In the year ending February 2019 compared to year ago, fast casual customers increased their visits by 3 percent while the total quick service restaurant category, under which the fast casual category falls, were up 1 percent and total U.S. foodservice traffic remained flat, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research.

The top five city metro areas with the most fast casual chain units based on the Fall 2018 ReCount are in rank order ...

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Apr 23 10:22 AM, General News

Habit Burger Grill Named Best Regional Fast Food in USA Today’s 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Since 1969, The Habit Burger Grill (Nasdaq:HABT) has been winning the hearts and stomachs of burger lovers time and time again. Now as the company celebrates its 50th anniversary, The Habit Burger Grill is once again recognized for its flavorful chargrilled burgers, handcrafted sandwiches and fresh salads as the 2019 USA Today 10Best “Regional Fast Food” award winner.

“At The Habit, we strive to deliver high quality taste in each bite of every menu item every day, and our fans have shown their appreciation with this award,” said Russ Bendel, Chief Executive Officer at The Habit. “Being voted as the 2019 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice winner is a humbling honor for our company.”

The Habit has also received honors as the “Best Tasting Burger in America” from a leading consumer magazine. Earlier this year, Thrillist called out The Habit as the ...

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Apr 22 2:01 PM, General News

Survey Finds Nearly Half of U.S. Diners have Tried a New Restaurant Because of Social Media Posts

MGH, a full-service restaurant marketing agency, today announced the results of a study that examined how influential a brand's social media marketing can be when it comes to driving restaurant trial and customer loyalty.

The survey determined that nearly half (45%) of U.S. diners said they've tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post made by the establishment itself, while 21% claimed posts could be a deterrent. Further, 22% said a restaurant's social post enticed them to return.

Results from the study demonstrated that positive restaurant-to-consumer social media engagement often leads to ...

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Apr 18 8:22 AM, General News

NRA Examines State of the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant businesses are growing despite some operational challenges, such as workforce development issues, demand for increased technology, and serving Millennials, according to new National Restaurant Association research.

The 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, a comprehensive look at trends and sales projections for the industry, culled and analyzed economic data, along with responses to surveys sent to restaurant operators and consumers.

Hudson Riehle, Association Senior Vice President of Research & Knowledge, shared takeaways from the report, discussed how he expects business to perform throughout 2019 ...

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Apr 16 9:50 AM, General News

Tech Trends Driving Changes in Restaurants, Report Says

Gen Z and millennial expert Jason Dorsey says people refer to Gen Z and millennials as “tech savvy.” But that’s not necessarily true, says Dorsey. He says they’re actually “tech dependent” -- and that’s a different thing altogether.

That may be how they engage with restaurants too. From baby boomers to Gen Xers, generational attitudes toward restaurant technology notably differ, according to National Restaurant Association research delivered in a recent webinar.

  • When asked if restaurant technology -- which can include everything from smartphone apps to tableside tablets and order kiosks -- increases convenience, 60 percent of all ...
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Apr 16 9:45 AM, General News

State of the Restaurant Industry

What's the outlook for restaurants in 2019? The National Restaurant Association's 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report provides the details.


Five key trends shaping the restaurant industry in 2019

  • A competitive business environment.

While restaurant operators generally are optimistic about business conditions, they don't expect a letdown in competitive pressures in 2019. In addition, rising labor costs and ...

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Apr 8 1:47 PM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Edged Lower in February

As a result of softer readings in the current situation indicators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a modest decline in February. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.0 in February, down slightly from a level of
101.2 in January.

While restaurant operators continued to report positive same-store sales in February, customer traffic turned negative for the first time in five months. Although 50 percent of operators expect their sales to be higher in six months ...

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Apr 1 2:05 PM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Declined in January

Due in large part to softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in January.
The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.2 in January, down 0.4 percent from a level of 101.6 in December.

Although a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales in January, the readings were somewhat softer than the stronger results in November and December. Looking forward, nearly one-half of operators expect ...

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Mar 6 10:19 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Remained Relatively Steady in December

With restaurant operators continuing to report positive sales and traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) was essentially unchanged in December. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.6 in December, down slightly from a level of 101.8 in November. The RPI continued to be supported by positive readings in the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators, which both came in similar to their November levels. Looking ahead, although restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, their outlook for the overall economy remains uncertain. The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a neutral level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are ...

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Feb 1 9:29 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Posted a Moderate Increase in November

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate increase in November The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.8 in November, up 0.5 percent from a level of 101.2 in October.

Growth in the RPI was buoyed by the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators, which both improved for the second consecutive month. Looking forward, restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the coming months, while their plans for capital expenditures also ... 

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Jan 3 10:01 AM, General News

Virtual Reality Offers a Far-Out Future for Restaurants

What if you could create a restaurant experience in virtual reality and then apply what you learn to a real-life restaurant? Jinsoo An is trying to do just that.

An, the founder and CEO of startup company Project Nourished, is experimenting with using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to try to alter a consumer’s eating and drinking experience.

He explained his theory in detail at our recent Restaurant Innovation Summit, held Nov. 7-8 in Dallas.

An has had a fascination with the restaurant experience from the time he first learned about American food by...


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Nov 29 11:30 AM, General News

National Restaurant Association Says 1 in 10 Americans Plan to Spend Thanksgiving at a Restaurant

Restaurateurs, be prepared Nov. 22, because a number of consumers will supplement their traditional holiday meals with restaurant-prepared foods, the National Restaurant Association’s the most recent research states.

Almost one in 10 (9 percent) adults plan to eat their Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. In addition, 4 percent of those planning a holiday meal at home intend to purchase it from a restaurant.

Among the adults who told us they plan to visit a restaurant this Thanksgiving, 31 percent said they would go to the same restaurant they traditionally go to on the holiday.

Another 30 percent said they restaurant they will go to is one they only...

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Nov 20 9:27 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Dipped Amid Softer Sales in September

Due in large part to softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s
Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in September. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.1 in September, down 0.9 percent from a level of 102.0 in August.

The RPI’s September decline was primarily the result of a pullback in the current situation indicators, as both same-store sales and customer traffic eased off their positive August levels. Looking forward...

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Nov 1 8:12 AM, General News

The Survey Says: Gen Zs, Millennials like Working for Industry

Millennial and Gen Z members say the foodservice industry offers good employment opportunities and effective training in various skills, according to new research by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The Foundation partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics, to release a report detailing how both generations view the industry and how to interest them in future job and career opportunities.

The research looked at responses from more than 1,600 respondents and found the following...

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Oct 30 9:27 AM, General News

Chains Ramp Up Efforts To Create Healthy Kids’ Meals

Families have always enjoyed dining out together at restaurants, and now they’re looking to operators to provide them with more balanced dining choices. To meet that request, chefs and restaurateurs are ramping up efforts to create more better-for-you, great-tasting foods they all will love.

“Many restaurants are working to update their menus so kids are satisfied with the choices available to them," says Jeff Clark, the National Restaurant Association’s director of sustainability and nutrition. "Today, more kids' menus feature foods made from fresh ingredients that are prepared creatively, healthfully, and are a lot of fun to eat.”

Clark adds that restaurateurs know their adult clients want nutritious items for their kids and that they must cater to that demand or risk losing business. To succeed, they, their chefs and suppliers are working on dishes children and their parents can love equally.

The following are four examples of national chains offering better-for-you options on their menus...

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Oct 26 8:00 AM, General News

Restaurants Up the Ante on Healthier Menu Options

Consumers are telling restaurateurs they’re looking for menu items lower in calories, more nutritious and, in some cases, smaller sized, and restaurateurs are listening.

Earlier this year, the National Restaurant Association released its annual What’s Hot Culinary Survey of more than 1,000 U.S. chefs and restaurateurs. The research found that eight in 10 operators said customers pay more attention to nutritional content than they did two years ago. The survey also discovered 71 percent of consumers said availability of healthy menu choices made it more likely they’d choose one restaurant over another. As a result, restaurateurs planned to add more of those options to their menus. For example...

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Oct 17 8:14 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Posted a Healthy Gain in August

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a healthy gain in August. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.0 in August, up 1.0 percent from a level of 101.1 in July.

The RPI’s August increase was bolstered by broad-based gains in the current situation indicators, which rebounded from softness in July. Restaurant operators reported a net increase in same-store sales for the 10th consecutive month, with customer traffic also turning positive in August. Although the forward-looking indicators anticipate continued growth in the coming months, their recent trends have been somewhat ...

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Sep 28 11:00 AM, Urner Barry

Restaurant Performance Index Posted a Moderate Gain in June

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate improvement in June. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.6 in June, up 0.5 percent from a level of 101.2 in May.

June’s RPI was buoyed by stronger same-store sales, with a majority of restaurant operators reporting higher sales for the first time in three months. Although operators reported mixed customer traffic results in June, it was an improvement over traffic declines in the previous two months. On the flip side, expectations...

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Jul 31 10:11 AM, General News

Restaurant Performance Index Edged Lower in May

As a result of a somewhat dampened outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the months ahead, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a modest decline in May. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.2 in May, down slightly from April’s level of 101.3.

The RPI’s current situation indicators continued along the trend established in recent months, with positive same-store sales being offset by a decline in customer traffic levels. Meanwhile, restaurant operators are somewhat less optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, while their outlook for the overall economy was downgraded to its weakest level in nearly a year...

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Jul 2 4:30 AM, General News


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