The Latest

  • A diverse audience of smiling and laughing businesspeople are shown sitting in on a conference keynote. The right side of the speaker's back is visible to the camera.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Cecilie_Arcurs via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    9 restaurant industry events to attend in 2024

    The coming year is packed with conferences focused on hot-button restaurant issues ranging from franchise operations to generative artificial intelligence. 

  • A photograph of a Denny's sign over some trees.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Denny’s is still shrinking

    The chain's system has contracted 9% since 2017, and may shrink again in 2024 as the company forecasts comparable sales growth between 0% and 3%.

  • Jim Metevier, Mountain Mike's CEO, looks at the camera.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Mountain Mike's Pizza
    Image attribution tooltip

    Mountain Mike’s Pizza appoints longtime COO as CEO

    Jim Metevier, who has overseen the pizza brand's operations since 2018, will lead the chain as it looks to grow beyond its West Coast base.

  • An image of a storefront with Auntie Anne's and Jamba branding
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Focus Brands
    Image attribution tooltip

    Focus Brands renames itself GoTo Foods

    The name change is designed to highlight the value its brand portfolio, including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne’s, Carvel and Cinnabon, offers to consumers and franchisees.

  • A newly paved parking lot at a under construction fast food restaurant.
    Image attribution tooltip
    WendellandCarolyn via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    QSR franchised units to grow 2.2% in 2024, IFA says

    Despite ongoing labor pressure and high costs of doing business, the QSR industry will add over 4,300 units this year and become the second fastest-growing franchise industry, per the association.

  • A sign is posted in front of a McDonald's restaurant on April 28, 2022 in San Leandro, California.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan / Staff via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    McDonald’s employee had to pump breast milk in stockroom corner, lawsuit alleges

    The complaint is the latest against large-scale employers who allegedly violate the PUMP Act by failing to provide nursing employees reasonable time to express milk in a private, sanitary place.

  • Starbucks Workers United member
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Starbucks Workers United
    Image attribution tooltip
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks union organizes record 21 stores in 1 day

    The organizing blitz is likely intended to pressure the coffee chain, which says it wants to reach contracts at all organized stores this year, during negotiations. 

  • A mural in a Washington, D.C., Starbucks designed to highlight the chain's efforts at inclusive spatial design.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Starbucks
    Image attribution tooltip

    Starbucks opens first fully accessible store in DC

    The chain will begin adding inclusive design elements, like wide pedestrian pathways and power doors, to all new builds and remodels in the U.S.

  • Toast for Hotel Restaurants
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Toast
    Image attribution tooltip

    Toast to cut 550 employees

    The company’s CEO acknowledged during an earnings call that “we grew our team too quickly in some areas,” while reporting a presence in 106,000 locations as of the end of 2023.

  • tim Hortons drive thru only
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Tim Hortons
    Image attribution tooltip

    Restaurant Brands International targets 40K stores globally by 2028

    The Burger King and Tim Hortons owner plans to grow its global footprint by 9,000 stores by 2028, driven by international development and strengthened home-market performance.

  • A man holds a starbucks drink next to a phone with a Bank of America card onscreen.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Starbucks
    Image attribution tooltip

    Starbucks, Bank of America tie up loyalty programs

    Eligible Bank of America card holders can link their Starbucks rewards account to earn 2% cashback on qualifying purchases and one star for every $2 spent at the coffee chain. 

  • Wendy's is adding English muffin sandwiches to its breakfast menu on Aug. 22.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Wendy's
    Image attribution tooltip

    Wendy’s to spend $55M on breakfast ads

    The burger chain hopes the marketing push will boost North American sales in the daypart to $6,000 a week per restaurant.

  • A picture of Burger King signs.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Burger King, Popeyes lean into kiosks, remodels to spur speedy service

    Parent company Restaurant Brands International is focusing on improving speed and convenience as drivers of customer satisfaction.

  • Image attribution tooltip
    Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Shake Shack promotes Michael Kark to expanded global licensing role

    Kark, who has been with the chain for nearly 12 years, will focus on expanding its international footprint and partnering with more licensed operators.

  • An image of a next gen Dunkin' in Woodstock, Georgia.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Dunkin'
    Image attribution tooltip

    Roark rumored to be seeking Inspire Brands IPO

    With a potential valuation of $20 billion, an IPO for the parent company of Dunkin’ and Arby’s would be one of the biggest in the restaurant industry in over 20 years. 

  • Whataburger's incoming CMO, Scott Hudler
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Whataburger
    Image attribution tooltip

    Whataburger hires CMO

    Scott Hudler joins the chain effective Feb. 21 and has significant experience leading restaurant marketing at Torchy’s Tacos and Dunkin’.

  • An image of Burger King restaurant in a new design
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Burger King
    Image attribution tooltip

    How Burger King boosted franchisee profitability in 2023

    Following the franchisor’s hefty investments in marketing, remodels and redesigns, operators reported higher than expected profitability.

  • A Boston Market sign is shown.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Kate Tornone/Restaurant Dive
    Image attribution tooltip

    Boston Market owner Jay Pandya files for bankruptcy a second time

    Pandya originally filed for bankruptcy in December, but that case was dismissed after he failed to respond to court orders for more information. 

  • Sliders featuring Beyond Chicken in various preparations with a flag of the company logo in a bun sit on a counter.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Beyond Meat
    Image attribution tooltip
    Deep Dive

    Plant-based meat needs to beef up its messaging in 2024

    Between slumping sales and shifting consumer mindsets, 2023 proved difficult for the sector. Here’s what analysts and experts say the category can do to recalibrate.

  • El Pollo Loco's first LA Mex restaurants, which emphasize off-premise, opened in 2021.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of El Pollo Loco
    Image attribution tooltip

    El Pollo Loco appoints former Taco Bell exec as CEO

    Liz Williams, who served in various leadership positions at Taco Bell, including international president, will take over for interim CEO Maria Hollandsworth.

    Updated Feb. 13, 2024
  • Inspire Brands Alliance Kitchen
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Inspire Brands
    Image attribution tooltip

    Inspire Brands buys delivery tech firm Vromo

    The parent company of Dunkin’ and Buffalo Wild Wings bought the firm for an undisclosed sum, marking its first deal since its $11.3 billion Dunkin’ buy. 

    M&A
  • A photo of Franke bean-to-cup machines in a Family Express convenience store.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Franke Coffee
    Image attribution tooltip

    4 coffee trends for c-stores to watch

    Whether through new flavors, expanding creamer offerings or including more cold options, there are many ways for retailers to grow their java business throughout the day, experts say.

  • An image of a Taco Bell store.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Taco Bell
    Image attribution tooltip

    Flynn Group reportedly seeking $5B majority stake sale

    The country’s largest franchisee has about $4.5 billion in annual sales and grew much of its portfolio in recent years through various acquisitions. 

  • A steak meal with wine from Smokey Bones
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Smokey Bones
    Image attribution tooltip

    Smokey Bones revamps loyalty program

    Members now receive five points for every dollar spent compared to one point, accelerating the rate in which points are accrued. 

  • A Boston Market storefront is shown.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Kate Tornone/Restaurant Dive
    Image attribution tooltip

    Is Boston Market’s ambitious menu rotation actually happening?

    Restaurant Dive contacted 21% of the shrinking chain’s remaining stores to see if they had begun offering the first two international-inspired dishes announced in January. Here’s what we found.