Most Clicked Restaurant SmartBrief Stories


1. KFC hopes Southern food, Colonel Sanders can spark a turnaround

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

KFC is hoping to win back its U.S. chicken crown from Chick-fil-A with a packaging, decor and uniform overhaul, a nostalgic campaign that features the return of Colonel Sanders, and the addition of Southern-style items on its menu. Colonel Sanders is "much more than a mascot," said Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Hochman. "He was literally the greatest chicken salesman in the world." The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/25)


2. Taco Bell to 86 artificial ingredients in most menu items

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

Taco Bell will take artificial colors and flavors, trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup out of 95% of the menu by the end of the year, and will cut other artificial additives and preservatives where possible over the next few years, CEO Brian Niccol said Tuesday. "People just assume that in order to do this, things have to become more expensive. That's a myth," he said. Bloomberg (05/26)


3. Making the leap from manager to owner

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Pam Leseman was about to lose her job managing three Subway stores in 2004, as the franchisee got ready to sell. Instead of looking for another one, she opted to buy her first Pita Pit franchise. She advises others looking to make a similar change to embrace the challenge, be ready to move fast and be prepared for the new responsibilities that come with business ownership. QSR Magazine (05/2015)


4. How 50-year-old Huddle House is changing with the times

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 29, 2015

Huddle House began remodeling its restaurants three years ago, and as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year, those revamped locations have seen sales surge, said Chief Marketing Officer Alison Delaney. "The remodels also re-energize the staff. They are proud of where they work, and that is reflected in how they take care of the guest," she said. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (05/29)


5. Burger King makes its way back to 2nd place

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Burger King ranked as the second-biggest burger chain in the U.S. last year, retaking the spot after falling to third behind Wendy's in 2013, according to Technomic. McDonald's led with U.S. sales of $35.4 billion, while Burger King and Wendy's booked $8.64 billion and $8.51 billion respectively. Bloomberg (05/26) Business Insider (05/26)


6. McDonald's to tweak burger prep, end monthly reports

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 28, 2015

McDonald's will toast its burger buns longer and change the way it sears the beef patties to serve up warmer, juicier burgers, CEO Steve Easterbrook said at a conference Wednesday. The chain will also stop reporting monthly sales figures, he said. Peoria Journal Star (Ill.) (05/27)


7. Sources: Jimmy John's gets ready to go public

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Sandwich chain Jimmy John's has begun talking with investment banks with the goal of going public, in an initial public stock offering that would value the company at about $2 billion, sources said. The chain was founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and has grown into a franchisor with about 2,000 restaurants. Business Insider (05/26)


8. L.A. union leaders push for minimum-wage exemption

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 29, 2015

Labor leaders argued this week that a Los Angeles law approved by the City Council earlier this month to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour shouldn't apply to businesses that employ union workers because the parties should be free to negotiate their own deals. The move surprised supporters and detractors alike, and business leaders said the move may be a membership-boosting tactic. "It's insane hypocrisy. The unions have put forth an agenda that they themselves don't have to comply with," said restaurant owner George Abou-Daoud. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (05/27) Time.com (05/27) Breitbart.com (05/27)


9. First Watch buys The Egg & I

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 28, 2015

First Watch Restaurants has acquired Centennial, Colo.-based The Egg & I Restaurants, which operates 114 eateries in 20 states. Florida-based First Watch will continue to operate The Egg & I eateries as a separate brand and will also move forward with plans to open First Watch branded restaurants in Colorado. American City Business Journals (05/27)


10. Pizza Hut pledges to cut artificial ingredients

Restaurant SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Pizza Hut will eliminate artificial flavors and colors from the pizza it sells in the U.S. by the end of July, the company said Tuesday, following a similar announcement by sibling Taco Bell. About 60% of Pizza Hut's 13,595 restaurants are in the U.S. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (05/26)




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