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Jan 23, 2015

McDonald’s says rough ride to continue into 2015

Jan 23 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp warned on Friday
that business will be weak in the first half of 2015 and it is
cutting its annual construction budget to the lowest in more
than five years as it opens fewer restaurants in struggling

The world’s largest fast-food chain, with more than 36,000
restaurants around the globe, just finished one of its toughest
years in decades.

Jan 22, 2015

Starbucks Americas traffic ticks up in holiday qtr, new COO named

Jan 22 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp on Thursday said
traffic to its Americas-region stores perked up during the
holiday quarter, easing investor jitters about slower growth and
boosting shares over 4 percent in after-hours trading.

The world’s biggest coffee chain also announced that
director Kevin Johnson would become Starbucks president and
chief operating officer, effective March 1, replacing long-time
executive Troy Alstead, who said he is taking an extended
sabbatical to spend time with his family.

Jan 22, 2015

Former McDonald’s workers in Virginia file civil rights lawsuit

Jan 22 (Reuters) – Former McDonald’s Corp workers in
Virginia filed a civil rights lawsuit Thursday against the
world’s largest fast-food chain and owner of restaurants where
they worked in the latest bid to hold it legally responsible for
the actions of its franchisees.

Nine African-American and one Hispanic worker claimed they
were subjected to “rampant racial and sexual harassment” by
supervisors at three restaurants run by McDonald’s franchisee
Michael Simon, who operates as Soweva Co.

Jan 9, 2015

End to California foie gras ban sends chefs, activists scrambling

LOS ANGELES, Jan 8 (Reuters) – As chefs in California
hurried to stock their kitchens with newly legal foie gras,
animal rights activists on Thursday protested a federal judge’s
decision overturning the state’s two-year ban on sales of the
fatty liver of ducks and geese.

Chefs said they were scrambling to line up shipments from
outside California while activists picketed restaurants in Los
Angeles and San Francisco that planned to serve the French
delicacy prized for its creamy texture and rich taste.

Jan 8, 2015

Federal judge makes foie gras sales legal in California

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a controversial California law that banned the production and sale of foie gras, a culinary delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.

While some California chefs rushed to return foie gras to menus, animal rights activists said the state’s hard-fought foie gras battle was far from over.

Jan 6, 2015

Yogurt maker Chobani says may tap turnaround expert to replace founder as CEO

By Lisa Baertlein and Ankush Sharma

(Reuters) – Greek yogurt maker Chobani, which is recovering from a product recall, on Monday said it will name a new chief executive to replace its founder and may appoint its acting president, a turnaround expert from private equity firm TPG which lent the company $750 million last year.

Chobani plans to name a new chief executive in the first half of 2015 and among the candidates to replace company founder Hamdi Ulukaya as CEO is interim president and chief operating officer Kevin Burns, a senior partner at Texas-based TPG with a reputation as a turnaround expert with experience in manufacturing.

Dec 17, 2014

How the NLRB may expand responsibility for labor violations

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to rule soon on if, and how,
companies can be held responsible for labor violations carried
out by their contractors or franchisees – a move that could have
far-reaching implications for businesses.

If the five-member board decides to broaden the theory known
as “joint employer,” industry groups say it will harm businesses
and could potentially set in motion a number of legal battles.

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. West Coast port backups delay apparel, bobbleheads, french fries

LOS ANGELES, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Crippling cargo backups at
U.S. West Coast ports stretched into a third month amid industry
reports on Thursday of prolonged shipment delays for goods
ranging from yoga apparel and rice to NBA bobblehead
collectibles and frozen french fries.

The congestion crisis has been most pronounced at the twin
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two busiest
cargo hubs, where marine officials reported 11 ships anchored on
Thursday waiting for berths to open.

Dec 10, 2014

McDonald’s to slim down U.S. menus, ingredient lists

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in January will cut eight food items and reduce the number of so-called Extra Value Meals on its U.S. menus in a bid to speed up service and bolster sales, Mike Andres, the company’s U.S. president, said on Wednesday.

The world’s biggest fast-food chain, which hasn’t had a monthly gain in sales at established U.S. restaurants since October 2013, also will start shortening its food ingredient lists as consumers demand simpler, more natural food.

Dec 8, 2014

McDonald’s warns that weak sales will hit fourth-quarter profit

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp on Monday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in global sales at established restaurants in November, hurt by weakness in the United States and Asia, and warned that such results would “significantly pressure” margins in the current quarter.

November marked the sixth straight month of worldwide same-restaurant sales declines at McDonald’s, which is battling changing consumer tastes, tough U.S. competition, the after-effects of a supplier scandal in Asia and economic and political turmoil in Europe.

    • About Lisa

      "Lisa writes about restaurants and grocery stores. She is based in Los Angeles and previously has covered computer software, Internet companies, video games, prescription drugs and municipal bonds."
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