• Consumers Beg QSRs To Return Dropped Items To Menus
    "Change.org, a website started by two Stanford University students that calls itself 'the world’s largest social change platform,' has become a hotbed of agitation for food companies to bring back items they dropped during the pandemic" like McDonald's all-day breakfasts, according to The Wall Street Journal. The trend during a food- and comfort-obsessed time has "put some companies in a pickle. Those that discontinued less-popular or complicated items to simplify operations during the pandemic said they were able to cut down on supplies and the time it takes to train staff."
  • Restaurant-Goers Still Hyper-Focused On Cleanliness
    Almost a year into the pandemic, restaurant-goers have learned to live and adapt to their new conditions. But cleanliness and safety continue to be at the forefront of their concerns, and for the most part restaurants are succeeding in meeting those expectations, according to recent data from Black Box Guest Intelligence. “Instead of restaurants showing fatigue due to the length of the pandemic and safety practices slipping up, guests continue to be increasingly satisfied with what they see once they decide to dine out or order food for off-premise consumption,” per Nation’s Restaurant News.
  • H&M Faces Russian Probe Over Customs Duties
    H&M’s Russian division allegedly failed to report some license fees it paid to its Swedish parent between 1996 to 1999. The fees should have been listed in declarations when the goods were imported. Not doing so enabled the company to allegedly avoid paying customs duties totaling 3.1 billion rubles, or $42 million. The probe could result in jail sentences for senior executives -- or a fine of up to two times the $42 million that went unreported.
  • Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson Dead At 62
    Arne Sorenson, 62, Marriott International chief executive who led the company through a major expansion, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. The charismatic executive was the first non-family member to be CEO of the company. A new leader, expected to be appointed within two weeks. will take the reins during a critical time for the hotel giant. “Marriott has begun positioning itself for a rebound in leisure demand, adding resort hotels to its portfolio,” per Bloomberg.
  • Target Names New CMO
    Cara Sylvester has been promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer at Target Corp., the retailer announced Tuesday. Sylvester replaces Rick Gomez, who was appointed EVP and chief food and beverage officer. He succeeds Stephanie Lundquist, who is departing after 15 years with Target.  “At the core of Target’s success is the most talented team in retail,” chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “The changes we’re announcing create new opportunities for key leaders to bring their knowledge and experiences to different areas of the business.”
  • Red Lobster Seeks To Remove Stigma Of Opioid Addiction
    Businesses can play an important role in helping people overcome opioid addiction, Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup said during an online presentation hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The chain seeks to create awareness among its workers around the topic of opioid addiction, remove the stigma attached to seeking help, and offer free counseling to those who need it, he said.
  • Rite Aid Expands COVID-19 Testing, Vaccines
    Rite Aid says all of its more than 1,200 drive-thru locations are offering no-charge COVID-19 testing. Additionally, Rite Aid is participating in the federal retail pharmacy program, offering COVID-19 vaccines in five states and two jurisdictions. The company said it anticipates demand to exceed supply for the foreseeable future. As supply becomes more available, the company said it would grow the number of stores offering COVID-19 vaccines.
  • New Zealand, Closed To Tourists, Urges Residents To Step Up
    A recent Tourism New Zealand ad shows a a khaki-clad employee of the fictional Social Observation Squad rescuing wayward travelers from the clichés of Kiwi tourism. “Lower those arms nice and slow,” the officer bellows through a megaphone to a pair of travelers committing a “summit spread-eagle” photo opportunity at Coromandel Peak, which overlooks the South Island’s Lake Wanaka. “This lighthearted ad, intended for a domestic audience, went viral internationally last week for its tongue-in-cheek call to action: Stop posting unimaginative photos on social media, please — enough with the hot-tub shots and images of glossy beachside legs,” per The …
  • Popeyes Hoping For Success With New Fish Sandwich
    Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is hoping its new fish sandwich creates the same sort of viral success as its chicken sandwich, introduced 18 months ago. The Cajun Flounder Sandwich is a Cajun-seasoned fried filet, served on the same brioche bun with pickles that diners know from the Chicken Sandwich, along with Popeyes tartar sauce. “After seeing the response to our Chicken Sandwich in 2019, we are excited to deliver yet another delicious sandwich to our fans that is sure to reset industry standards,” says Popeyes' Sami Siddiqui.
  • Burger King Tests New Loyalty Program
    Burger King is trying out a new customer loyalty program called “Royal Perks” in Los Angeles, Long Island, Miami, New Jersey and New York City. The effort is part of a complete digital overhaul, according to the brand. “It feels like we’ve just accepted what brands have told us is possible with loyalty programs over the years, so as we started working on Royal Perks, it was easy: Let’s do what the others don’t,” said Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer of Burger King North America, in a statement. “To make sure we get it right, we’re testing, learning and solving …
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