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Feb 3, 2015

Chipotle restaurant sales growth slows, shares fall

Feb 3 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Tuesday reported sales growth at established restaurants slowed
in the fourth quarter and slightly missed Wall Street’s
estimate, sending shares down more than 6 percent in after-hours
trade.

The fast-growing burrito chain known for antibiotic-free
meats and organic produce when available is the envy of the
restaurant industry. Its stock trades at a rich valuation and is
harshly punished when it fails to exceed Wall Street’s lofty
expectations.

Jan 30, 2015

Burger chain Shake Shack sizzles in market debut

By Amrutha Gayathri and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Shares of trendy hamburger chain Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N: Quote, Profile, Research) soared as much as 150 percent in their first day of trading on Friday, valuing a company with only 63 restaurants at nearly $2 billion.

The sizzling debut follows the successful listing two months ago of Habit Restaurants Inc (HABT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), highlighting strong appetite for shares of companies serving up premium burgers. Other hot fast-casual restaurant debuts have been followed by stock swoons, including Noodles & Co (NDLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and sandwich maker Potbelly Corp (PBPB.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

Jan 30, 2015

McDonald’s franchisees to new CEO: back-to-basics, fast

LOS ANGELES, Jan 30 (Reuters) – McDonald’s franchisees have
a fast order for the fast food giant’s new CEO – get back to
basics. In interviews franchisees and advisors to restaurant
owners say they hope the new chief will clean up a huge menu to
focus on burgers and fries.

McDonald’s on Wednesday announced that Chief Brand Officer
Steve Easterbrook would replace Don Thompson as chief executive
after he had held the post just two and a half years.

Jan 29, 2015

Shake Shack IPO prices far above expected range

By Lisa Baertlein and Avik Das

(Reuters) – Growth-hungry investors snapped up shares offered by Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), setting the stage for a sizzling debut for the New York-based burger chain when its stock starts trading on Friday.

Shares of the company, which has won a cult following for its rich milkshakes and hormone- and antibiotic-free burgers, priced at $21 each, an underwriter said, valuing the chain that started as a hotdog cart in a park at about $745 million.

Jan 29, 2015

Shake Shack IPO is hot but can it match Chipotle?

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Growth-hungry investors are lining up for
shares of burger chain Shake Shack, which plans to
price its initial public offering after the U.S. stock market
closes on Thursday.

The IPO market lately has been particularly fruitful for
so-called fast-casual chains such as Shake Shack rival Habit
Restaurants Inc and others that hope to replicate the
red-hot growth of burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc
.

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
markets.

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.

    • 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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