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Industry News

Taco Bell, Jersey Mike’s feed firefighters, evacuees in Calif.

Wildfires raging in California have destroyed chain restaurants including KFC, McDonald’s and Jack in the Box units, according to news reports. Other eateries have been forced to close, and some including Taco Bell and Jersey Mike’s franchisees have been feeding evacuees, firefighters and volunteers. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

Industry News

U.S. Hotel Construction Pipeline Continues Modest Growth

In the third quarter of 2018, the total U.S. hotel construction pipeline reached 5,376 projects and a combined 650,576 rooms—up 7 percent from last year, according to analysts at Lodging Econometrics. In 2017, the third quarter pipeline stood at 5,011 projects and 608,837 rooms. The total pipeline has been growing modestly over the past two years and is expected to continue its ascent at least into the first quarter of 2019. (Lodging)

Industry News

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors veterans, offers career assistance

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is developing programs to assist veterans seeking careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. (National Restaurant Association)

Industry News

For the best kiosk customer experience, don’t remove the human touch

As eateries clamor to add new tech features, self-serve kiosks and tabletop tablets are popping up in more restaurants, from quickserve to fine dining. Kiosks offer many benefits and opportunities, but the technology also presents hurdles and questions. (SmartBrief)

Industry News

US Veterans at Subway relay the gifts the Armed Forces give business

While the images called to mind every Veterans Day typically revolve around uniformed soldiers who are in or near battle situations, it’s important to remember that the nation’s veterans are well represented across every business category, including QSR. In fact, turns out the “military way” just happens to also be a great way to learn the rigors and rough-and-tumble of QSR management, according to leadership at sandwich chain, Subway. (QSRweb)

Industry News

Seattle may soon have overabundance of hotels

SEATTLE — When it officially opens in December, the Hyatt Regency at Eighth Avenue and Howell Street will be both the largest hotel in Washington state and among the most closely watched. With its 1,260 rooms, conference facilities, and proximity to the planned expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, the Hyatt is key to Seattle’s ambitions to play in the big leagues of the convention business and bid for massive corporate events only a handful of American cities can currently handle. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)

Industry News

Sustainable seafood is the catch of the day

Today’s consumers, sophisticated about what they eat and where it comes from, are setting the table for restaurateurs to serve more sustainable seafood, industry experts say. “The tide is turning,” says Jack Crouch, senior commercial manager for the Marine Stewardship Council, a sustainable fisheries nongovernmental organization (NGO). (National Restaurant Association)

Industry News

Restaurants woo diners with trips down memory lane

Nostalgia is taking the restaurant world by storm and eateries are drawing inspiration from television shows to childhood favorite foods, such as cookie dough and cereal. At Alinea in Chicago, chef Grant Achatz incorporates the smell of burning oak leaves into the fall menu to conjure memories of his Midwestern childhood. (Chicago Tribune)

Industry News

Starbucks sales surge in fourth quarter on strength in the U.S., but profit shrinks

After reporting record fourth-quarter sales Thursday, Starbucks executives seemed confident that they had weathered a tumultuous year and put in place a clear, long-term plan focused on streamlined operations, returning cash to shareholders and growing in the U.S. and China. “While we still have work to do, these results provide encouraging evidence that our plan is working,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said on the company’s conference call with financial analysts. (Seattle Times)

Industry News

Yum Brands shares jump as $1 nacho fries, pickle fried chicken draw more diners to Taco Bell and KFC

Strong sales at KFC and Taco Bell more than made up for continued weakness at Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut has been trying to turn itself around in the U.S. by ramping up its value offerings and marketing heavily during football games. (CNBC)

Industry News

DENNY’S MOVES TO REFRANCHISE

Denny’s plans to franchise more than 100 company-operated units in the next 18 months, as it transitions to become an almost entirely franchisee-owned brand, the family-dining chain announced this week in a call with analysts. The company will move from being 90% franchise-owned to 95% to 97% franchised and will consolidate its market area of corporate units from 21 states down to eight states, executives said. (Restaurant Business)

Industry News

Starbucks aims to create reusable-cup habit with holiday push

As Starbucks begins its holiday sales push a week earlier than normal, the company plans to offer a 50-cent discount on drinks served in seasonal reusable cups after 2 p.m. during the next two months. The coffee company usually gives customers 10 cents off a drink if they bring their own cup. (Seattle Times)

Industry News

Luxury Hotels Bring in More Celebrity Chefs in Guest Gigs

Culinary experiences have become an integral part of modern culture and, in high-end travel, intimate access to world-renowned chefs can set a luxury hotel stay apart. Luxury hospitality operators have become enchanted with chef residences as a way to introduce new culinary concepts, celebrate openings and, of course, stir up media coverage. (Skift)

Industry News

What Inspires National Restaurant Association CEO Dawn Sweeney

Dawn Sweeney’s earliest jobs were picking berries on a family farm and delivering newspapers, and as an adult she carved out a career at professional associations before taking the helm at the National Restaurant Association 11 years ago. She talks about leadership, role models and the people who inspire her. (QSR)

Industry News

Panera is set to hit $2 billion in digital sales by the end of this year

Panera Bread is slated to pass $2 billion in digital sales this year, double that of last year. Digital sales, which include online, mobile and kiosk orders, account for about 33 percent of the company’s sales. (CNBC)