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Oct 17, 2013

Chipotle profits get a boost from increased traffic

Oct 17 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Thursday said better-than-expected sales at established
restaurants boosted quarterly profits and signaled it may raise
prices in the middle of 2014 to offset higher food costs,
sending shares up 7.7 percent.

The fast-growing burrito chain has been reluctant to
increase menu prices despite higher costs for ingredients such
as California avocados and salsa. Executives said they first
want to secure ample supplies of natural meats and switch to
cooking oil and tortillas that do not contain genetically
modified organisms (GMOs).

Oct 9, 2013

KFC parent Yum warns of delay in China sales recovery

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday warned that it will take longer than expected for its China restaurant sales to rebound, delaying a recovery in the market that accounts for more than half of the company’s overall operating profit.

Shares fell 7.5 percent as investors digested the news, which came after months of Yum executives reassuring investors that China restaurant sales would return to growth in the fourth quarter.

Oct 9, 2013

Yum CEO says KFC China needs more time to recover

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc’s (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief executive said on Wednesday the company still must fully convince diners in its top market of China that food at its KFC restaurants is safe, following a pair of safety scares, and predicted 2014 would be a “strong bounce back year.”

Shares in Yum tumbled 7.8 percent to $65.75 on the New York Stock exchange on Wednesday.

Oct 8, 2013

Yum warns its China sales unlikely to rise in fourth quarter

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday warned that sales at established restaurants in China, its top market, are unlikely to rebound in the fourth quarter, as it had expected, and its shares fell almost 7 percent in extended trading.

Yum operates more restaurants in China than any other U.S. brand and said it remains confident in its business in the world’s fastest-growing major economy that accounts for more than half of the company’s overall operating profit.

Oct 8, 2013

Starbucks founder urges CEOs to push for end to federal shutdown

Oct 7 (Reuters) – Howard Schultz, Starbucks Corp’s
outspoken CEO, on Monday urged fellow business leaders to
ratchet up the pressure on U.S. political leaders to end the
stalemate that has partially shut down the federal government
since last week.

“This weekend I heard from several business leaders who
shared their concern about our relative silence and impact in
urging the political leadership to act on behalf of the
citizenry,” Schultz wrote in a letter posted on the company’s
website. “It is our responsibility to address the crisis of
confidence that is needlessly being set in motion.”

Sep 26, 2013

Want fruit with your burger? McDonald’s expands anti-obesity push

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Hold the fries, pass the salad. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday said it would offer healthy options as part of its popular value meals, letting customers choose a side salad, fruit or vegetables instead of french fries.

The announcement by the world’s largest fast-food chain comes as more companies respond to government and consumer pressure to address the global obesity epidemic.

Sep 20, 2013

Darden profit flops, squeezed by U.S. economy and rivals

Sept 20 (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc reported
dismal quarterly results on Friday as the casual dining
restaurant sector that includes its Olive Garden and Red Lobster
chains turned in its weakest sales at established restaurants in
more than three years.

Shares in Darden slid 5.5 percent to $46.61 in midday
trading after analysts said the company’s lowered restaurant
sales forecast for the full fiscal year appeared too rosy amid
intensifying discounting by Darden’s key rivals.

Sep 18, 2013

Starbucks asks U.S. customers to leave guns at home

Sept 17 (Reuters) – Coffee chain Starbucks Corp has
asked U.S. customers to leave their guns at home after being
dragged into an increasingly fractious debate over U.S. gun
rights in the wake of multiple mass shootings.

While many U.S. restaurant chains and retailers do not allow
firearms on their properties, Starbucks’ policy had been to
default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations in
many U.S. states that allow people to bring guns into stores.

Sep 18, 2013

Starbucks changes course, asks U.S. patrons to leave guns at home

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Howard Schultz requested on Tuesday that the coffee chain’s customers leave their firearms at home, shifting company policy amid an increasingly fractious debate over U.S. gun rights in the wake of multiple mass shootings.

The request is being made in part because more people have been bringing guns into Starbucks over the last six months, prompting confusion and dismay among some patrons and employees, Schultz told Reuters in an interview.

Sep 10, 2013

Europe buoys McDonald’s in August, but worries linger

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a bigger-than-expected 1.9 percent increase in global sales at established restaurants in August, after a revival in France helped drive solid results in Europe, its top market.

Although the results from the world’s biggest fast-food chain soundly beat the average estimate of a 0.3 percent increase from 16 analysts polled by Consensus Metrix, McDonald’s shares rose only slightly in morning trading on Tuesday.

    • 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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