Restaurants & Dining

Inflation puts high-end restaurant boom on the line: Diners flocked to restaurants like Darden Restaurants’ The Capital Grille in its fiscal Q4, but inflation-fueled down-trading could erode those gains.

Retail sales in May show a weakening demand for goods: Rising prices and interest rates are starting to have an impact on consumers’ willingness to spend.

Wonder shows there’s still venture capital money to be had: Marc Lore’s food delivery startup last month closed a $350 million funding round at a $3.5 billion valuation.

Starbucks’ next CEO will face a host of challenges: The company is looking outside its walls for a leader as it struggles with worker unionization and changing consumer behavior.

Restaurants turn to fees to boost their bottom line: Consumers are less likely to push back against fees and surcharges than if they see rising menu prices.

Wendy’s biggest shareholder wants to take the company private: As the fast-food chain struggles amid shrinking store traffic and sales growth, an influx of cash could help it better compete with McDonald’s.

Working with the restaurant delivery software provider lets Block build out its Square for Restaurants suite.

Uber and DoorDash are ending their gas subsidy programs: That’s despite the national average price for a gallon of gas setting a new record every day since May 10.

GoParrot helps restaurants set up and manage online ordering and payments and can strengthen the Square for Restaurants suite.

The US labor market is a tale of two halves: While retailers with a strong brick-and-mortar presence are intensifying their hiring efforts, startups are taking a more cautious approach to recruitment as VC funding dries up.

Uber Eats wants to make it easier for customers to order food: The food delivery platform is adding voice ordering, stadium partnerships, and autonomous delivery features to boost convenience.

McDonald’s chooses values over profit as it exits Russia: The fast-food chain’s decision to leave could force other retailers to follow suit.

Lockdowns in China and war in Ukraine lead to mixed results for QSRs: Starbucks and Yum Brands struggled outside the US, but McDonald’s and Burger King beat analyst expectations.

4/20 has gone mainstream: Increasingly, brands are seeing that tying into the marijuana-themed holiday has more benefits than drawbacks.

Labor-organizing momentum grows among retail workers: Many merchants struggle to find the right tone and messaging to respond to the movement.

Restaurants are experimenting with robots, but customers aren’t enthused: Labor crunches and high costs are pushing fast-food chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread to adopt automation front and back of house.

Panera’s new AI uses sensors, algorithms, and analytics to ensure coffee is optimally brewed: Restaurants are leaning into AI and automation, but will long-term effects lead to reduced hospitality and fewer customers?

Kroger looks to restaurants and retail partnerships to drive growth: As grocery margins shrink, the retailer enters the restaurant supply business and launches an ecommerce partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond.

Chipotle introduces a Roblox game and virtual restaurant: The simulation challenges players to roll burritos in the metaverse to earn “Burrito Bucks” that are redeemable for food at Chipotle locations.