Calif. judge dismisses Happy Meal lawsuit | Wendy's debuts "Now That's Better" slogan | Popeyes to open 20 Indianapolis eateries
April 5, 2012
Restaurant SmartBrief
On the Front Burner
Calif. judge dismisses Happy Meal lawsuit
A state court judge in San Francisco dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit against McDonald's by a consumer group seeking to stop the chain from giving away toys with its children's Happy Meals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Sacramento mother of two.
Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (4/4),  Reuters (4/4) 
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You Can?t Build Tomorrow?s Restaurant on Yesterday?s Network
The restaurant business is changing, from internal systems to customer devices. Comcast Business offers a network built for the restaurant of tomorrow. With Internet speeds up to 150 Mbps delivered through a business-grade router, restaurants get speed and coverage, plus the control to manage customer connectivity. Learn more.
Restaurant News
Sentinel Capital Partners acquires Huddle House
Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired Atlanta-based Huddle House, which has 376 franchised locations and 17 corporate units, for an undisclosed amount. New York-based Sentinel has several other restaurant investments, including stakes in franchisees of Taco Bell, Church's Chicken and Pizza Hut.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Atlanta (4/4) 
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Wendy's debuts "Now That's Better" slogan
Wendy's has replaced its 3-year-old "You Know When It's Real" tagline with "Now That's Better," starting with a new TV spot that began airing this week. "We are creating an original campaign that ties all the elements together with a unique look, tone and feel. So when consumers see it, they will say that that?s Wendy?s advertising," President and CEO Emil Brolick said last month. (4/4) 
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Other News
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Your Take
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Leading Voices
The best new U.S. chefs come from unexpected places
Food & Wine Magazine released its list of the top new chefs in the country, and surprisingly many are not from the foodie capitals of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Several chefs, including Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger from Nashville, Tenn., and Blaine Wetzel from Lummi Island, Wash., are proving that serving up platefuls of mouthwatering cuisine isn't dependent on a market's population.
Reuters (4/4) 
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Consumers at all income levels cut back on dining out
Cash-strapped consumers and wealthy families alike are cutting back on dining out and eating more meals at home -- only the reasons vary, according to NPD Group. Less wealthy consumers said they've cut back because they can't afford to dine out as often, while the more affluent cited dietary and health concerns as their top reasons for eating more meals at home.
Convenience Store News (4/4) 
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How mobile-loyalty programs can boost business
More than half of consumers are more likely to choose restaurants that offer customer loyalty programs, and consumers prefer mobile programs over paper punch cards, recent research shows. Perka CEO Alan Chung explains five ways mobile loyalty programs can boost an eatery's business. (4/4) 
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Has catering to foodie children gone too far?
Time food critic Josh Ozersky takes issue with recent stories detailing the rise of childhood food snobbery, and suggests a better way to cater to foodie passions among the younger set is to get them cooking. Recent projects by Food Network Magazine and PBS are doing just that, he writes, and cookbook authors Rachael Ray and Rozanne Gold have written cookbooks for children in the past few years. (4/4) 
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Culinary Spotlight
British cuisine influences new Easter brunch menus
A slew of Easter brunch menus at U.S. restaurants illustrate how some Philadelphia-area chefs are using simple seasonings and a lighter touch to take the cuisine from stuffy to hip. At the Whip Tavern, chef Wyatt Lash has turned bubble and squeak, a traditional side dish, into a pan-seared pancake served with Scottish salmon and a dill hollandaise sauce.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (4/4) 
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Food for Thought
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
E.B. White,
American writer
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