Labor and Policy

  • An image of a redesigned Starbucks line.
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    Courtesy of Starbucks, Joshua Trujillo

    Starbucks’ stagnating traffic drives reinvention plan

    Transactions per store per day are down globally compared to last year, but Starbucks says retention is up and traffic is more concentrated in specific dayparts.

    By Feb. 3, 2023
  • The Michigan State Capitol on a winter day. A stone building with a dome.
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    Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

    Michigan court strikes down attempt to raise wage, eliminate tip credit

    The court case is another legal victory for the restaurant industry in its political battle to cap pay and preserve the tipped minimum wage.

    By Jan. 31, 2023
  • Explore the Trendline
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Workforce Challenges

    The recovering restaurant labor market is still unstable, marked by growing worker demand and a small talent pool, pressuring businesses to adapt their staffing strategies. 

    By Restaurant Dive staff
  • The Virginia state capitol
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Virginia introduces fast food labor council bill

    Like California’s controversial FAST Recovery Act, the bill would establish a commission to regulate restaurant working standards and wages. 

    By Jan. 27, 2023
  • An image of a man preparing a burrito at Chipotle
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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    Chipotle to add 15K workers before spring

    The chain is looking to boost restaurant staffing to support new openings, all while promoting many managers from the ranks of its hourly workforce.

    By Jan. 26, 2023
  • An image of several hands holding KFC products and a WGU pennant in front of a KFC.
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    Courtesy of KFC

    KFC offers tuition-free college to some workers

    The chain will offer the education perk to eligible employees through a partnership with Western Governors University starting in February.

    By Jan. 25, 2023
  • Two flags flown by fast food workers demonstrating in support of AB 257.
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    FAST Recovery Act referendum approved, opening political duel in California

    California’s secretary of state found restaurants’ challenge to the fast food council law has collected sufficient signatures, a political win for QSRs. 

    By Jan. 25, 2023
  • A round sign with the words Burger King on it.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Burger King franchisee to pay $60K to settle pregnant ex-worker’s harassment, retaliation claims

    As part of the settlement, North Georgia Foods entered a two-year consent decree and will notify the alleged harasser that he is not eligible for rehire.

    By Ryan Golden • Jan. 24, 2023
  • An image of a hand holding a Peet's Coffee cup
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    Courtesy of Peet's Coffee

    Peet’s union wins first election

    The union victory in Davis, California, is another score for organized labor in the cafe sector, which has seen a rash of campaigns in recent years.

    By Jan. 23, 2023
  • Robotic Arm
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    Permission granted by Remy Robotics
    Sponsored by Remy Robotics

    The solution to the labor shortage is not automation. It’s autonomy.

    Remy Robotics CEO Yegor Traiman proposes a comprehensive solution to the restaurant industry’s labor problem.

    Jan. 23, 2023
  • A cook ladles food into a styrofoam takeout container in New York
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    New York City’s ‘skip the stuff’ bill for foodware items goes to mayor’s desk

    The bill to prohibit foodservice establishments from automatically including plastic cutlery and other items is meant to cut down on waste. It’s the latest in the city’s recent laws banning certain single-use foodware.

    By Megan Quinn • Jan. 20, 2023
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    Study: Only 54% of QSR employees worked 90 days before quitting in 2022

    QSR workers are five times more likely to quit over miscommunications with management during their first 90 days than after, HourWork research finds. 

    By Jan. 20, 2023
  • A photograph of chefs in a kitchen.
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    sam edwards via Getty Images

    One Fair Wage slams NRA for linking training program to lobbying efforts

    OFW launched its own food safety training program on Wednesday as an alternative to the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program.

    By Jan. 19, 2023
  • An image of a Grubhub driver app and RapidSOS agent
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    Courtesy of Grubhub/RapidSOS

    Grubhub adds emergency assistance features to driver app

    Using the Grubhub for Drivers app, couriers will be able to connect to 911 centers or a RapidSOS agent to get assistance in difficult situations. 

    By Jan. 19, 2023
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    garett_mosher via Getty Images

    McDonald’s franchisee to pay $1.9M to settle claim that teen workers were sexually harassed

    The settlement is the latest EEOC agreement targeting alleged pervasive sexual harassment of teen workers in the fast food industry.

    By Laurel Kalser • Jan. 18, 2023
  • A photograph of a bartaco sign
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    Permission granted by Bartaco

    How Bartaco eliminated wait staff roles to boost wages

    Retooling employee responsibilities and adding tip pooling allows the chain to pay average hourly wages of $23, higher than the $17 industry average.

    By Jan. 18, 2023
  • The Starbucks logo hangs outside one of the company's cafes in Northwich on 3 July, 2008 in Northwich, England.
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    Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

    Starbucks’ corporate workers must return to office 3 days per week

    Interim-CEO Howard Schultz said low rates of office usage pushed the chain to make office work a requirement for employees living within commuting distance of its headquarters and regional offices.

    By Jan. 13, 2023
  • An exterior shot of a Red Robin restaurant, which is lit from inside, at night
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    The image by Cbraccialini is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Red Robin unveils comeback plan for sales, brand positioning

    The restaurant chain will focus on improving its basic operations, including labor practices and food quality, that have floundered in recent years.

    By Jan. 10, 2023
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    SEC fines ex-McDonald’s CEO $400K for false statements about his termination

    McDonald’s was also charged by the SEC for “shortcomings in its public disclosures related to Steve Easterbrook’s separation agreement,” but does not face financial consequences. 

    By Jan. 9, 2023
  • A man and woman looking at receipts inside a cafe
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    Ridofranz via Getty Images
    Deep Dive

    5 trends that will shape the restaurant industry in 2023

    Restaurants will experiment with dynamic menu pricing, cater to diners who are trading down and move away from ghost kitchens as inflation pressures the bottom line, experts predict.

    By , , Jan. 5, 2023
  • (L-R) Under the Battle of Lake Erie painting by William Henry Powell, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) talks with Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) at the U.S. Capitol on December 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Congress passes major changes to pregnancy accommodations

    President Biden signed the omnibus spending bill, which would require many employers to provide accommodations for employees with pregnancy- and childbirth-related limitations, on Dec. 29.

    By Ryan Golden • Updated Dec. 30, 2022
  • Gavin Newsom gives a speech.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    California court blocks AB 257 during referendum petition verification

    The council cannot operate until the law is approved by a referendum in November 2024, or unless California’s secretary of state finds the industry coalition backing the referendum lacks sufficient signatures.

    By Updated Jan. 17, 2023
  • Starbucks Workers United members on strike
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    Permission granted by Starbucks Workers United
    // Starbucks unionization efforts

    The major turning points in Starbucks’ battle with Starbucks Workers United

    The chain and the union have escalated their confrontation with store closures, firings, month-long strikes and a fight over transformative contract proposals.

    By Dec. 22, 2022
  • An image of a man sitting at a table inside a McDonald's
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    Courtesy of McDonald's

    McDonald’s security chief sues chain, CEO Chris Kempczinski for racial discrimination

    Michael Peaster, McDonald’s outgoing VP of global safety, security and intelligence, alleges the chain retaliated against him for contradicting Kempczinski during a meeting.

    By Dec. 20, 2022
  • McDonald's drive thru sign
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    McDonald’s franchisee to pay $100K to settle claim it discriminated against long-tenured employee with autism

    Two months after taking over the restaurant, the franchisee fired a grill cook who had 37 years in the role.

    By Emilie Shumway • Dec. 20, 2022
  • A table set with strike materials for Starbucks Workers United's Nov. 17 national strike.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks union turns up pressure with strikes, gift card boycott

    Starbucks Workers United is flexing its muscle with temporary walkouts and calls to enlist consumers and other unions in its fight with the coffee giant.

    By Dec. 19, 2022