chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 01:45 PM
The restaurant business remains tough, and so it didn't take long for Darden to say "uncle" to an activist investor who believed that the best path for the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains was to spin them off into a separate company while clustering its faster-growing startup concepts in another.
Darden met Barington Capital Group halfway on Thursday by declaring that it will jettison Red Lobster and take other steps. It'll hold a tax-free spinoff of the seafood brand to shareholders or it might sell Red Lobster in a move aimed at boosting lagging shareholder value and profitability.
"As consumer demand dynamics have changed, Red Lobster's priorities and operating support requirements have come to differ meaningfully from those of Darden's other brands," the company said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 09:18 AM
Target hit by credit card breach of as many as 40 million customers that started on Black Friday.
Whole Foods stops selling Chobani in favor of non-GMO yogurts.
Chipotle joins fast-casual pizza race.
A&E suspends patriarch Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay remarks.
Allstate launches new online game to help avoid holiday mayhem.
AstraZeneca buys out Bristol-Myers Squibb in diabetes joint-venture.
Bayer buys cancer-drug partner Algeta for $2.9 billion.
Boeing loses out to Saab in providing fighter jets for Brazil and taps likely CEO successor.
Chevrolet sees a top US marketer leave.
Christie's finalizes appraisal of Detroit Institute of Arts collection.
Daimler gets stake in Aston Martin with engine supply deal.
Darden spins out Red Lobster amid shareholder pressure.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 12:48 PM
Back in October, McDonald's named Amazon's Atif Rafiq its first chief digital officer as the space has become critical to the struggling burger chain's success. And now the latest effort—a mobile app—is being tested at select locations across the US.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the simplistic app—which already has a live version in the UK—offers up coupons to consumers that specify what they want to eat. New deals pop up every six weeks, and it also includes a restaurant locator and menu listing.
McDonald's is playing catch-up with competitors like Five Guys and Chipotle, which already attract a younger crowd than McDonald's does and already have apps available that allow for mobile odering—something the McD app doesn't have. "It's premature to speculate on the future of the McD App," Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman, said in an email to the Tribune.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 06:21 PM
The average American household will spend $44 on candy for Halloween this year, a total aggregated spend of more than $2 billion. And the top chocolate brands—Snickers, M&M's, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups—won't be the only brands to benefit.
This year brings the usual bonanza of contests and antics from a broad swath of brands eager to show their playful—and spooky—sides.
From Google's witchy animation to FedEx's Zombie Survival Kit, here are a few that caught our eye:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 09:23 AM
Apple sees profits fall despite higher sales of iPhones and offers disappointing holiday forecast.
Red Bull is subject to big wrongful-death suit.
Sears considers spinning off Lands End unit.
Air Serbia launches in Europe.
Boeing considers non-union plant for 777x.
Burger King may rescue corporate cousin Heinz after McDonalds ketchup snub.
Consumer Reports drops Toyota Camry from its recommended list over crash test.
GM lifts Opel marketing in Russia.
Google amends EU antitrust proposals as it looks to triple number of Glass testers and prepares to launch smartwatch.
Guess signs first Indian model, Priyanka Chopra, as new brand ambassador.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2013 09:33 AM
Twitter seeks $1.4 billion in biggest web IPO since Facebook and hires NBC vet as news chief.
Microsoft shares jump 5 percent on positive earnings.
Instagram rolls out in-stream ads as Facebook seeks boost in mobile revenues.
AT&T leans on less-lucrative tablets.
Apple sees Carl Icahn raise his stake in company and demand $150-billion buyback, while its VP of product design goes to Tesla.
BMW unveils 2 series coupes.
Boeing gets $21 billion in plane orders from China, report says.
BP ramps up drilling again.
Chipotle backs "Food for Thought" content area on Huffington Post.
Chobani touts quality in new campaign after recall.
Coca-Cola Femsa says new tax in Mexico would hurt jobs.
Dunkin' Donuts rolls out enhanced loyalty program.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 08:04 PM
Panera may be getting caught in a strange sort of pincers: It now offers too many menu items for its staff to serve efficiently. But its biggest new competition may be coming from Starbucks that wants to emulate Panera by greatly expanding its own menu.
For now, the bigger problem for the St. Louis-based chain is what to do about comparable-store sales that rose by only 1.7 percent during the third quarter, short of the company's expectations. Overall revenues grew by 8 percent, but CEO Ron Shaich predicted flattened sales in the fourth quarter.
Shaich identified the comp-sales problem in part as stemming from "operational friction, including capacity and throughput constraints." Translation: Panera outlets tend to have either too many menu items, or they're too complex, or there aren't enough staffers to handle the demands of preparing the food as well as the customer flow. Or all of the above.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 01:36 PM
Changes are coming to Chipotle, but management assures that it will all be worth it
The bottom line is that Chipotle CEO Steve Ells believes that the restaurant's formula of serving high-quality food at a quick pace, with natural ingredients and an overall better-for-you persona, will continue to be enough to help Chipotle out-pace growth by fast-casual rivals—and any other factor that comes its way.
But there will be adjustments for Chipotle along the way, Ells made clear in the company's latest conference call. And they will include a price increase of 3 to 5 percent next year for the first time in about four years. General food-ingredients inflation will play a role, Ells said, but so will completing Chipotle's efforts to weed out all GMO ingredients from its food-supply chain. (It doesn't choose to tackle GMO content in high-fructose corn syrup in popular soft drinks at this point.)
"What it will depend on is what happens with general ingredient inflation between now and then and what it costs us to remove GMOs from the rest of our igredients," Ells told analysts, adding: "We already have—and had for a long time—spent more money on our ingredients as a percentage of sales than our competitors or [any company] for which we have the records. And so we have high food costs, and that's not something that troubles us too much as long as we are able to [have] really high sales volumes in our restaurants."Continue reading...