Dunkin' Donuts grew by 280 units last year, and a simplified menu has improved service and trimmed labor costs, marketing chief Tony Weisman said. The chain is also appealing to younger consumers with a $2 snack menu, a breakfast value menu and a push to remove artificial ingredients.
Kroger's deal to sell its Simple Truth products via Chinese online retailer Alibaba highlights the company's commitment to finding international partners to work with, Randy Hofbauer writes. This outreach for partnerships is helping Kroger find new markets that can offer sustainable growth, even where it doesn't have physical stores, he writes.
Hershey Chief Financial Officer Patricia Little will retire next spring, and the company has launched a search for her replacement. The new hire will face a changing market, including consumer preferences for healthier snacking, plus rising costs due to shipping and wages, analysts at Wells Fargo and Berenberg, Gossler & Co. said.
Big-box retailer Meijer is preparing to open the first location of its Bridge Street Market concept later this month in Grand Rapids, Mich. The 37,000-square-foot prototype store is focused on fresh and prepared foods, emphasizing local brands and deli and bakery items while also carrying Meijer brands.
Students at five schools in an Arizona district will receive free breakfasts and lunches this school year through the Community Eligibility Provision. One school has a salad bar cart and a varied menu of healthy options, including teriyaki dippers with brown rice and toasted turkey melt sandwiches.
Hormel Foods will sell its pork-processing plant in Fremont, Neb., to WholeStone Farms, a new company representing about 220 hog farmers and pork producers, for an undisclosed amount. The move signals Hormel's departure from the hog-slaughtering business after more than 100 years.
The Paris-Brest pastry has become widely popular at more than than just French bakeries, with both classic and unconventional versions popping up across the US. The circle of cream puffs with hazelnut custard filling and crunchy toppings was said to have been created in 1910 by a pastry chef to promote a bicycle race between the cities of Brest and Paris.
Kimbal Musk will open his second Chicago restaurant, a farm-to-table concept called Next Door American Eatery, next year. Musk, the brother of tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, also has a Chicago nonprofit that works with public schools to create Learning Garden, and he opened The Kitchen American Bistro in the city four years ago.
Subway is still the largest US quickserve chain with 25,908 restaurants, all of them franchises. McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Pizza Hut round out the top five.
A growing number of high-end eateries are eschewing long-held "ladies first" service policies in favor of more gender-neutral styles. "If eliminating 'classic' parts of service can make it even more comfortable for our guests, then that means we've done what we can for right now," said Meredith Rush, general manager of Tied House in Chicago.
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