The Latest

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    Kendall Davis/Restaurant Dive

    Ghost restaurant calculator

    Thinking about developing a ghost kitchen business plan? Use this calculator to crunch the numbers and determine profitability.

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    Courtesy of Miso Robotics

    Wing Zone is the latest chain to bet big on Miso Robotics

    The chain, which has 100-plus stores in its development pipeline, will include robotic fryer Flippy 2 in all standard restaurant builds going forward. 

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    Permission granted by Amilinda
    Restaurant Revitalization Fund

    'A huge slap in the face': Milwaukee chef on losing his RRF grant

    Since he was a kid in Venezuela, Amilinda owner Greg Leon was surrounded by cooking. But the pandemic nearly took that away, as his restaurant was stripped of promised funds and his staffing took a hit. 

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    dapiki moto. (2020). "New Normal" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Unsplash.
    Restaurant Revitalization Fund

    By the numbers: The cost of 1 year without RRF

    We took a look at several market performance indicators over the past year to get a sense of how the absence of Restaurant Revitalization Fund impacted U.S. restaurants, and what operators are forecasting for the future. 

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    Permission granted by Max's Taphouse
    Restaurant Revitalization Fund

    What's the impact of the Senate's failure to pass RRF? The restaurant industry reacts.

    From independent operators to hospitality groups, most are disappointed and some are angry that there remains no federal aid to support struggling restaurants.

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    Permission granted by Dunkin'

    Inspire Brands teams with CloudKitchens, explores modular drive-thru units

    Nixing dining rooms via new ghost and small, takeout-only restaurant builds could save on labor and development costs, said Frank Inoa, VP of design and engineering innovation.

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    Thai Phi Le/Restaurant Dive

    The new faces of labor? Meet the robots of the National Restaurant Association Show

    As restaurants struggle to find labor, tech companies like Nala Robotics and Richtech are developing automated chefs and baristas to fill gaps.

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    YinYang via Getty Images
    Q&A

    Nextbite exec dishes on how operators can make virtual brands successful

    These concepts can optimize excess kitchen capacity and slow dayparts, but also poise operators to be nimble in emerging markets like Web3, says Chief Growth Officer Geoff Madding.

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    Retrieved from Starbucks on May 23, 2022

    Starbucks to exit Russia and help its workers find new jobs

    While the chain suspended operations at its 130 licensed locations in early March, it said Monday that it would no longer have a presence in Russia. 

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    Stefan Zaklin / Stringer / via Getty Images via Getty Images
    Restaurant Revitalization Fund

    RRF refill bill fails to pass Senate in major blow to restaurant industry

    While the vote wasn't a surprise, the inability to approve S. 4008 leaves the Restaurant Revitalization Fund empty and the nearly 200,000 applicants that didn't receive grants in the dark. 

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    Courtesy of Wow Bao

    Wow Bao launches virtual loyalty program through Paytronix

    Bao Bucks could grow revenue for partner restaurants and secure Wow Bao's customer base, which can now access its menu at over 600 host kitchens. 

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    Permission granted by Noodles & Company

    Noodles & Company gamifies mobile rewards to boost loyalty

    The chain saw a ninefold gain in click-through rates while generating $71 for every 100 emails it sent to app users via a loyalty promotion.

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    Spencer Platt / Staff via Getty Images

    McDonald's offloads Russian restaurants to licensee for undisclosed price

    Alexander Govor, who operated 25 units in Siberia, will run the locations under a new brand and retain McDonald's employees for at least two years.  

    Updated May 19, 2022
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    Courtesy of CashApp - Square

    SoundHound AI, Square launch tool to automate phone ordering

    SoundHound for Restaurants' voice assistant answers phone calls, take orders, accept modifications and send confirmations to complete payments.

  • How Wingstop is taking control of its poultry supply chain

    The company is considering joint ventures with suppliers, acquiring a poultry complex or building its own plant to secure more predictable food costs.

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    https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/group-happy-friends-having-breakfast-restaurant-1201677928By djile on Shutterstock.

    Study: Consumers tip more for dine-in than delivery or takeout

    As diners return to restaurants, guests tip 20% on average for dine-in service versus 15% for off-premise transactions, a Toast report finds. 

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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    Starbucks to cover travel for employees seeking abortion, gender-affirming care

    The policy applies to workers, as well as their dependents, who need to travel more than 100 miles to access these medical procedures. 

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    Permission granted by Brinker International

    Brinker CEO to retire in June

    KFC U.S. President and Chief Concept Officer Kevin Hochman will take over for Wyman Roberts, who has been with Brinker for 17 years. 

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    Permission granted by Uber Eats

    Uber Eats adds voice ordering, pilots autonomous delivery

    The food delivery provider rolled out several delivery products on Monday, as well as in-stadium ordering and vouchers for events.

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    Retrieved from Domino's Pizza, Inc. on May 16, 2022

    Domino's grants 'Stranger Things' fans 'mind-ordering' powers through new app

    An immersive mobile experience tied to the Netflix show’s return uses facial recognition and eye-tracking technology to help users order pizza.

    Updated May 17, 2022
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    McDonald's franchisees reportedly worried new grading system will hurt retention

    Operations PACE would mandate a further six to 10 visits by assessors and company representatives to every location, the chain's operators told CNBC.

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    Courtesy of Woworks

    Woworks acquires fast casual chains Barberitos, Zoup

    The parent company of Saladworks will grow to six brands and over 400 locations with these two purchases. 

    M&A
  • Chili's parent extends education benefits to employees' family members

    Brinker International's perk will allow one eligible family member of each worker who is management level or above to access tuition-free programs. 

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    Aneurin E Canham-Clyne/Restaurant Dive
    Starbucks employees form a union

    Why the NLRB's Starbucks complaint may only be symbolic union win

    Starbucks denies the complaint's hundreds of union-busting allegations. If the chain is found to have violated labor law, it could be years before the board can enforce consequences.

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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    Chipotle CFO doesn't rule out more food inflation despite pause

    Finance chief Jack Hartung said the chain has raised prices about 10% for the 12 months through Q1 compared to 2% in a typical year.