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May 18, 2015

SEIU to ask FTC to probe alleged abusive practices by franchisors

LOS ANGELES, May 18 (Reuters) – The Service Employees
International Union, backer of a three-year campaign to improve
the plight of low-wage retail and fast-food workers, on Monday
said it would petition the Federal Trade Commission to
investigate alleged abusive practices by major franchisors,
including McDonald’s Corp and 7-Eleven Inc.

In its petition, reviewed by Reuters and expected to be
filed with the FTC on Monday morning, SEIU outlined six U.S.
franchisor practices it said appeared endemic and “particularly
harmful.”

May 8, 2015

Starbucks moves Ethos water bottling out of drought-hit California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday said it would stop sourcing water for its Ethos Water brand in California, which is in the fourth year of a serious drought that has prompted the governor to order the state’s first-ever mandatory water use cuts of 25 percent.

Beginning in May and over the next six months, Starbucks said it plans to move production to its Pennsylvania supplier.

May 6, 2015

Whole Foods eyes new retail concept as sales growth cools

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Whole Foods Market Inc (WFM.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday said same-store sales growth cooled in the latest quarter and announced plans to debut a new chain of smaller, more value-focused shops next year.

The company, which dominates the natural and organic grocery category, faces increasing competition from specialty and mainstream retailers. Whole Foods executives said the new stores will be designed for influential and tech-savvy millennial shoppers.

May 6, 2015

Whole Foods same-store sales growth cools, shares plunge

LOS ANGELES, May 6 (Reuters) – Whole Foods Market Inc
on Wednesday said same-store sales growth cooled in the
latest quarter, even as it cut prices further and rolled out its
first national advertising campaign.

Same-store sales, a closely watched performance gauge for
retailers, rose 3.6 percent for the second quarter ended April
12 from a year earlier. That was slower than the 4.5 percent
growth in the first quarter and less than the 5.3 percent gain
expected by analysts polled by Consensus Metrix.

May 6, 2015

McDonald’s Southern California restaurants testing kale

LOS ANGELES, May 6 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp,
which is testing a variety of new food products as part of a
major turnaround effort, on Wednesday said nine southern
California restaurants are trying out breakfast bowls made with
what is becoming a state dietary staple: kale.

One of the breakfast bowls is made with turkey sausage, egg
white, kale and spinach and the other includes chorizo and egg.
Both are priced around $4, McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb
told Reuters.

May 4, 2015

McDonald’s CEO turnaround plan’s missing link: customers

May 4 (Reuters) – McDonald’s new chief executive’s
turnaround plan for the fast-food chain included specific
financial fixes, but left investors and analysts craving a clear
strategy to win back diners and boost sales.

Steve Easterbrook, CEO of the Golden Arches since just March
1, said on Monday McDonald’s Corp would restructure into
four operating divisions, squeeze out about $300 million in
annual cost savings and sell 3,500 restaurants to franchisees.

May 4, 2015

McDonald’s reset to change structure, cut costs, boost franchises

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) new chief executive officer said on Monday he would reorganize business units, sell restaurants to franchisees and cut costs in a bid to turn the fast-food chain into a “modern, progressive burger company.”

The anticipated video announcement by CEO Steve Easterbrook left investors hungry for specific details on how the world’s biggest restaurant chain would try to improve consumer perceptions of food quality and slow service.

May 4, 2015

McDonald’s CEO releases turnaround plan, stock dips

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) new chief executive officer on Monday laid out a turnaround plan that includes reorganizing the company’s operating units, selling more restaurants to franchisees and cutting costs.

Investors gave it a cool reception, sending shares down 1.4 percent to $96.45 in premarket trading.

May 3, 2015

McDonald’s faces ‘show me’ moment with new CEO strategy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook is set to unveil his plan on Monday to revive growth as the world’s largest hamburger chain struggles to win back consumers and investors.

He’ll be aiming to persuade people such as Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments, which bought McDonald’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares on the cheap more than a decade ago and eventually held more than 7 million shares as the company spiffed up its restaurants, improved service and expanded its menus with things like fancy coffee, salads and wrap sandwiches.

Apr 29, 2015

McDonald’s tests custom burger program with drive-thru option

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), working to revive sales in an era of mounting fast-food competition, is testing “TasteCrafted,” a more modest version of a new custom sandwich program that will cost franchisees less to install and can be offered through drive-thru windows, an analyst said on Wednesday.

Word of the test, apparently a tweaked version of the McDonald’s “Create Your Taste” customization project, lands just before new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook is scheduled to unveil his corporate turnaround plan on May 4.

    • 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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