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    Scott Olson via Getty Images
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    Activist investor pursues board seats at Shake Shack

    Engaged Capital, which owns 6.6% of Shake Shack, is looking to reshape the company’s board and operations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • A photograph of two drive-thru menu boards at Captain D's.
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    Permission granted by Captain D's
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    Captain D’s leans into flexible prototypes, pushes toward 1K units

    The 540-unit seafood QSR offers four store models, one of which includes a double drive-thru and another that offers drive-thru and pickup only.

  • A photo of Starbucks workers participating in a strike in Nottingham, Maryland, Nov. 17, 2022
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    Permission granted by Aleah Bacetti
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    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks union faces 3 decertification petitions in New York

    The petitions are unlikely to result in elections to remove the union from the stores, but Starbucks’ hardball tactics may be working. 

    Updated May 12, 2023
  • A promotional image for TGI Friday's loyalty revamp.
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    Courtesy of TGI Fridays
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    TGI Fridays raises cost of most loyalty perks

    The changes did not impact the points accumulation scheme, which remains one rewards point per one dollar spent.

  • Wendy's ghost kitchen
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    Permission granted by Wendy's
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    Wendy’s will shut down remaining US Reef units

    The closures are slated for this quarter and come less than two years after Wendy’s said it would build 700 Reef units in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

  • A picture of someone scanning a QR code at a restaurant.
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    Retrieved from ChatFood on May 10, 2023
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    Deliverect acquires ChatFood, offers dine-in ordering

    Deliverect will roll out new products in the coming months so restaurants can offer ordering via social media and QR codes for dine-in guests.

    M&A
  • Wendy's drive-thru only restaurant UK
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    Permission granted by Wendy's
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    Wendy’s to test Google’s drive-thru chatbot in Ohio

    The tool, called Wendy’s FreshAI, can understand customization requests, respond to common customer questions and offer upsell suggestions. 

    Updated May 10, 2023
  • Actor Ben Affleck, wearing a blue plaid shirt and dark coat, stands center frame in front of a Dunkin' cash register.
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    Permission granted by Dunkin'
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    Q&A

    Dunkin’s CMO on bringing the brand’s vision into focus — and those buzzy Ben Affleck ads

    Jill McVicar Nelson detailed a “fewer, bigger, better” ethos that is helping to balance brand and performance marketing at a transitional point for QSRs.

  • BurgerFi franchisee in Alpharetta, Georgia
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    Permission granted by BurgerFi
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    BurgerFi CEO to retire

    Ian Baines will step down in June and consult for the company for a year, and COO John Iannucci will oversee the company on an interim basis.

  • A photograph of Denny's SVP and COO Alex Williams
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    Courtesy of Denny's
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    Denny’s appoints COO

    Alex Williams, who has decades of experience at brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Outback Steakhouse, joins the brand as it works to improve back-of-house efficiency and management turnover. 

  • An image of sweetgreen's automated kitchen in Naperville, Illinois
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    Courtesy of Sweetgreen
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    Sweetgreen will unveil first automated kitchen this week

    The chain’s Infinite Kitchen, part of ongoing efforts to improve profitability, opened its first location in Naperville, Illinois, on Wednesday.

    Updated May 10, 2023
  • An image of an Amazon Echo device using Uber Eats
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    Courtesy of Uber Eats
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    Uber Eats expands voice order tracking with Amazon Alexa

    The food delivery aggregator initially added voice integrations with Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri last year.

  • The exterior of a Rock N' Roll Sushi
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    Permission granted by Rock N' Roll Sushi
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    How Rock N’ Roll Sushi plans to grow from 62 to 250 units in 5 years

    The Asian concept, which originated in the Southeast, is pursuing growth in states like Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

  • An image of a Cava with a mobile order pickup
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    Julie Littman/Restaurant Dive
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    Cava hires El Pollo Loco vet as chief experience officer

    Andrew Rebhun, who led El Pollo Loco’s digital transformation, will be responsible for Cava’s digital, marketing, creative and communications teams.

  • A selection of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's food with new branding
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    Courtesy of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
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    Major CKE franchisee goes bankrupt, shutters 39 stores

    Summit Restaurant Holdings, which operates around 106 Hardee’s locations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday.

  • An image of a Sweetgreen restaurant with a drive-thru
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    Courtesy of Sweetgreen
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    Sweetgreen CMO poached by delivery startup Wonder

    Daniel Shlossman is leaving Sweetgreen after five years to head Wonder’s marketing efforts as it winds down its delivery van operations.

  • A photograph of a standalone Chipotle around dusk.
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    Courtesy of Chipotle
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    Inside Chipotle’s record-breaking Twitter promotion

    A National Burrito Day giveaway earned the brand its second-highest digital sales day of all time and its highest one-day volume on social media.

  • A portrait photo of Corey Horsch, the new CFO at Salad and Go
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    Courtesy of Salad and Go
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    Salad and Go hires Corey Horsch as CFO

    Horsch, who previously worked at Gordon Ramsay North America and Sonic Drive-In, will help lead Salad and Go’s expansion.

  • An image promoting renovations and redesigns of existing CKE Restaurants.
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    Courtesy of CKE Restaurants
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    CKE partners with 3 drive-thru AI firms

    The parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. said tests of Presto, Valyant and OpenCity’s drive-thru AI tools helped improve labor efficiency.

  • McDonald's drive thru sign
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    DOL says it discovered 10-year-olds working at Louisville McDonald’s

    “We are seeing an increase in federal child labor violations,” a DOL district director said.

  • An image of one of Wienerschntizel's new ghost kitchen units.
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    Courtesy of Wienerschnitzel
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    Wienerschnitzel tests new markets with ghost kitchens

    Three new ghost kitchens will help gauge brand reception in markets like Georgia, which is over 500 miles from the nearest Wienerschnitzel store. 

  • Brinker International launched its second virtual brand, Maggiano's Italian Classics, in 2021.
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    Retrieved from Maggiano's Italian Classics on August 18, 2021
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    Brinker to phase out Maggiano’s Italian Classics virtual brand

    The brand lasted fewer than two years at the restaurant company, which is looking to to free up labor and time to focus on in-restaurant operations. 

  • Ruth's Chris Steak House glass storefront
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    Thai Phi Le/Restaurant Dive
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    Darden to buy Ruth’s Hospitality Group for $715M

    This deal is likely the largest restaurant acquisition in the U.S. so far this year, as other transactions have involved small chains or companies that didn’t disclose financial terms. 

    M&A
  • An image of a Chick-fil-A customer scanning her rewards program at the drive-thru
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    Retrieved from Chick-fil-A on March 17, 2023
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    Chick-fil-A’s geofencing pilot reduced wait times

    The chain found that 100 restaurants trimmed average wait times by one to two minutes using this technology. 

  • A delivery robot crosses a busy street.
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    Carlos Osorio/AP

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    Deep Dive

    Why delivery robots face a regulatory ‘nightmare’

    Laws for sidewalk-roaming bots have taken hold across states. But variances in each bill complicate the industry's expansion plans.