Roark sells Corner Bakery Cafe to Boston Market parent | McDonald's to bring back McRib nationwide in Dec. | Starbucks gears up for growth in 2021
October 30, 2020
Restaurant SmartBrief
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On the Front Burner
Boston Market owner Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands has acquired Corner Bakery Cafe from Roark Capital for an undisclosed amount. The fast-casual Corner Bakery chain was founded in Chicago in 1991 and ended last year with 175 restaurants.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (10/29) 
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Plant-Forward, Clean Ingredient Menu Inspiration
From plant-based meat alternatives to dairy-free thickener for soups and sauces, California walnuts offer meal ideas from breakfast through dinner. In a 2019 survey, 73% of consumers said they would purchase a menu item with walnuts. Learn more.
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Restaurant News
McDonald's to bring back McRib nationwide in Dec.
(McDonald's)
McDonald's restaurants nationwide will put the limited-time McRib sandwich on the menu on Dec. 2, the biggest rollout of the cult favorite since 2012. The pork sandwich, which launched in 1982, comes back every year but typically on a smaller scale, and the chain has created a locator app to help fans find it.
Full Story: CNBC (10/30) 
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Starbucks gears up for growth in 2021
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Starbucks customers are buying more during fewer trips and, while traffic is still down compared to last year, people are coming back and the company expects to recover and return to growth mode next year. The coffee giant plans to open 1,100 net new global locations in 2021, including more smaller format stores and to-go units.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/29),  BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/29) 
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Taco Bell parent Yum Brands reported a record $4 billion in digital sales in the third quarter, leading to same-store sales results for the period that were better than expected. Taco Bell's drive-thru windows served 30 million more cars than in the same period last year, and streamlining the menu helped shave 17 seconds off drive-thru wait times.
Full Story: Reuters (10/29),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (10/29) 
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Easily elevate any dish
Made with select cuts of meat and flame-broiled to perfection, there's a Cooked Perfect® meatball to top off every plate. Download our infographic.
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Leading Voices
Sustaining growth through the pandemic and beyond takes a mix of short-term and long-term planning, writes Andy Wiederhorn, CEO of FAT Brands, which oversees nine banners including Fatburger and Johnny Rockets. The company has continued to open new units this year, with a focus on wooing existing fans and giving back to the community.
Full Story: QSR magazine (10/2020) 
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Certain tactics, such as opening lines of communication and encouraging self-care, can help companies address mental health issues many people are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: Fast Company online (10/27) 
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What oil are you cooking with?
In these times, consumers still expect tasty, healthy and environmentally friendly ingredients. Find out which type of oil meets all of these expectations, while also being versatile and cost-efficient.
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
Panera Bread's launch of flatbread pizzas designed to hold up during delivery attracted SmartBrief readers this week, as did a story about a heated table from Japan that could help Chicago's eateries keep outdoor dining alive. Reports from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and other sources that consumers are stocking pantries again as COVID-19 cases rise topped this week's Top 10 list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (10/30) 
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Happy Hour
Culinary Spotlight
Chef Diep Tran created her fried shrimp turmeric-dill po'boy as a nod to the Vietcajun cuisine that's prevalent near the Gulf Coast. She demonstrates how she uses shrimp heads and tails to make a flavorful shrimp butter and then fries the shrimp in a homemade tapioca flour.
Full Story: Robb Report (10/29) 
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Technique is key to perfecting wok cooking
(Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images)
Wok hei is the method of Cantonese cooking that uses a wok's high heat to quickly sear food while unleashing aroma. The best method is tossing the wok instead of stirring to keep things from burning, advises Danny Yip, co-founder of Hong Kong restaurant The Chairman.
Full Story: CNN (10/28) 
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News from the National Restaurant Association
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants club members get an invite and a meal kit so they can "virtually" join the chefs' table for dinner. Full story.
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