Most Clicked Restaurant SmartBrief Stories

1. Obama unveils plan to raise overtime threshold

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

President Barack Obama officially unveiled a proposal to raise the wage threshold for overtime exemption from $23,660 to $50,440 per year. Supporters call the measure a win for the middle class, but business groups say it will have unintended consequences including lower productivity and less job creation. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (06/29) Politico (06/29)

2. Sysco calls off US Foods deal

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

Sysco is canceling its planned purchase of rival US Foods following a federal judge's decision to grant the Federal Trade Commission's request to block the deal, the company announced Monday. Sysco will be required to pay $300 million in penalties to US Foods, and the company will "continue to look for strategic acquisitions," Chief Executive Bill DeLaney said. USA Today (06/29) The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (06/29) The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (06/30)

3. Chick-fil-A wins high marks for customer satisfaction

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

Chick-fil-A earned the top score on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's Annual Restaurant Survey, voted the favorite among quickservice chains even as satisfaction with the category dipped 3.8%. Satisfaction was down across restaurant categories, as consumers who were focused largely on price during the recession and recovery are growing more demanding about service, the report said. MarketWatch (06/30) Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (06/30)

4. TGI Friday's targets millennials with social burger giveaway

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jul 02, 2015

TGI Friday's is handing out codes to burger buyers as part of a social media campaign aimed at wooing millennials. Post the codes to Twitter feeds, and the first friend to click gets a free burger. "We wanted to connect with younger guests to come and try Friday's and see that it's something different," said CEO Nick Shepherd. Bloomberg (07/01)

5. District judge sided with FTC in blocking Sysco, US Foods merger

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sided with the Federal Trade Commission when he moved to block the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods because it could interfere with competition and result in higher costs for consumers, he revealed in a public version of his opinion released Friday. "The proposed merger of the country's first and second largest broadline foodservice distributors is likely to cause the type of industry concentration that Congress sought to curb at the outset before it harmed competition," he wrote. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (06/27)

6. Chick-fil-A to expand NYC footprint

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

Chick-fil-A has unveiled plans to open a number of new locations in New York City in addition to the three-story flagship store announced in March. The chain is also plotting expansion in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Nevada and Michigan. BuzzFeed (06/26)

7. Panda Express plays with more adventurous flavors in test kitchen

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

Shifting consumer preferences and the need to keep menus fresh to keep customers interested have Panda Express looking for its next "orange chicken." Last year the company sold 67 million pounds of their most popular dish, which accounts for one-third of their total sales. Now, the company has test kitchen chefs experimenting with fermented black beans and fish sauce to appeal to consumers' expanding palates. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (06/27)

8. Burger King seeks to carry vegetarian options worldwide

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

Burger King is looking to take its Indian-inspired line of vegetarian products global, according to Burger King India CEO Raj Varman. The company began offering vegetarian items in India in 2014. "Looking at the response here, the global management is evaluating introducing some of these options going forward to other vegetarian-friendly markets like the U.K.," said Varman. Varman added that Burger King India would also begin offering delivery service in the near future. Business Standard (India) (06/28)

9. Sonny's BBQ seeks to revitalize brand image

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

Sonny's BBQ has launched a campaign to modernize its brand image. The 47-year-old brand will renovate the exterior of some of its stores, update its menu and offer new employee training programs. The chain has 115 locations in eight states. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (06/26)

10. New proposal would redefine who gets overtime

Restaurant SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

Under the Labor Department’s proposed revisions to federal overtime laws, about 5 million individuals would become eligible for overtime pay. Read more. Blank (07/01)

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