Lisa's Feed
Jul 18, 2013

Analysis: Chipotle under attack by noodles and clones

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is one of the restaurant industry’s hottest stocks, but fickle diners and an ever-expanding selection of entrepreneurial eateries threaten to make it harder for the upscale burrito seller to keep delivering the explosive growth investors savor.

After two decades without significant direct challenges in the “fast-casual” category, Chipotle is bumping up against a bevy of new rivals that also sell $10 meals made right before diners’ eyes in the open assembly-line kitchens it popularized.

Jul 18, 2013

Chipotle restaurant sales accelerate, shares jump

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday reported a higher quarterly profit after sales at established restaurants rose due to more visits by diners, sending the stock more than 4 percent higher.

The fast-growing burrito seller also said it had no plans to raise prices for the rest of the year, disappointing some investors, who had hoped for an additional boost to sales and profits.

Jul 16, 2013

World Chef: Silk Road travels inspire LA’s Hinoki & the Bird

LOS ANGELES, July 16 (Reuters) – The exotic, earthy aroma
from smoking sheets of smoldering hinoki wood hovering over
exquisite black cod is the first hint that diners at celebrated
chef David Myers’ newest restaurant are in for a culinary
adventure.

Hinoki & the Bird, the Japanophile chef’s Silk Road-inspired
restaurant, borrows heavily from the travels of Myers and
Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi, who left banking a decade ago and
worked her way up from the kitchen’s lowest rungs to her
current, globe-trotting career.

Jul 10, 2013

Yum China sales recovering from food safety, bird flu concerns

July 10 (Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on
Wednesday reported a smaller than expected decline in June sales
at established restaurants in China, showing signs of recovery
after sales were drastically hit by a food safety scare and a
bird flu outbreak.

The company posted an estimated 10 percent drop in June
sales – a smaller decline than in May when sales began to
moderate. June results from China, the company’s most important
business unit, will be recorded in the current third quarter.

Jul 10, 2013

Yum China sales declines moderate, rebounding from bird flu scare

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported a smaller than expected decline in June sales at established restaurants in China, showing signs of recovery after sales were drastically hit by the country’s bird flu outbreak.

The company posted an estimated 10 percent drop in June sales – a smaller decline than in May when sales began to moderate. June results from China, the company’s most important business unit, will be recorded in the current third quarter.

Jul 9, 2013

Kroger to buy Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion, shares rise

By Lisa Baertlein and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – Kroger Co (KR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it would buy regional grocer Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc (HTSI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a $2.5 billion deal, the latest in a string of grocery industry consolidations.

Shares of both companies rose, outpacing gains in the broader market.

The deal, approved by the boards of both companies on Monday night, will boost Kroger’s presence in the U.S. southeast. Competitors there include privately held Publix and discounter Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. food retailer.

Jul 3, 2013

Obamacare implementation delay no boon for hiring

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – The Obama administration’s decision to delay a key provision of the healthcare law, by giving employers an extra year to offer insurance coverage, is not expected to significantly impact 2014 hiring since many big businees were prepared for the change.

Smaller businesses, which have been among the most vocal critics of the law, say they are still coming to terms with the system’s cost and complexity and need the extra time simply to make Obamacare work.

Jul 2, 2013

Missouri governor veto of farmland bills could hamper Smithfield sale to China

By Lisa Baertlein and P.J. Huffstutter

(Reuters) – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed two bills on Tuesday that would have would have cleared the way for foreign ownership of farmland and potentially eliminated obstacles to Smithfield Foods Inc’s planned $4.7 billion purchase by a Chinese company.

Missouri and at least seven other U.S. states including Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin, have often-overlooked laws that prohibit foreign ownership of agricultural land.

Jul 2, 2013

Consumer group outs ‘Worst Restaurant Meal in America’

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Calories: 1,320. Trans fats: 33 grams. Sodium: 3,700 milligrams. All that pushed Long John Silver’s “Big Catch” fish platter to win the “Worst Restaurant Meal in America” distinction Tuesday by a U.S. nutrition advocacy group.

The artery-clogging trans fat tally alone is “astonishing” in the dish of fried fish, cornmeal hush puppies and onion rings, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The American Heart Association’s recommended limit is less than 2 grams daily and trans fat has been banned by some cities and states and abandoned by many U.S. food makers.

Jun 10, 2013

Missouri legislation may help Chinese Smithfield buy

By Lisa Baertlein and P.J. Huffstutter

(Reuters) – Last-minute legislative maneuvers in Missouri may remove one potential legal obstacle to Shuanghui International Holdings’ proposed $4.7 billion purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc (SFD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which would be China’s largest purchase to date of a U.S. company.

Smithfield’s lawyers and officials with the state Attorney General’s office are monitoring a pair of bills that could open the door for non-U.S. businesses to own up to a total of 1 percent of the state’s agricultural lands – or about 300,000 acres of farmland, an area the size of New York City.

    • 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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