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May 16, 2013

New York Attorney General probing fast-food pay practices

May 16 (Reuters) – The New York attorney general’s office on
Thursday said it was investigating allegations that fast-food
operators in the state are underpaying workers in violation of
labor laws.

The announcement came on the heels of a survey of 500 New
York City fast-food employees at chains such as McDonald’s Corp
, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza.

May 10, 2013

Fast-food workers in Detroit walk off job, disrupt business

By Steve Neavling and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Hundreds of fast-food employees in Detroit walked off the job on Friday, temporarily shuttering a handful of outlets as part of a growing U.S. worker movement that is demanding higher wages for flipping burgers and operating fryers.

The protests in the Motor City – which is struggling to recover from the hollowing out of its auto manufacturing sector – marked an expansion in organized actions by fast-food workers from ubiquitous chains owned by McDonald’s Corp, Burger King Worldwide and KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Inc.

May 8, 2013

McDonald’s and Wendy’s battle each other, economy

May 8 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp, Wendy’s Co
and other U.S. restaurants are battling for the
attention of frugal diners with coupons, limited time offers and
other promotions – a fight that could intensify if the costs of
beef, chicken and other key ingredients remain less pricey than

An expected sharp spike in food prices from last summer’s
historic drought has failed to arrive, giving restaurant
operators “more ammunition to play the promotional and value
game if they want to,” said Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo.

Apr 29, 2013

Herbalife says results will prove Ackman wrong

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Herbalife Ltd posted surprisingly strong quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit forecast on Monday, putting pressure on high-profile investor Bill Ackman, who is betting against the nutritional products company.

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital has a $1 billion bet against the “multi-level marketer” whose weight loss products are sold through a network of independent individuals. In recent months Ackman has called the Los Angeles-based company “a pyramid scheme” and predicted that its shares will eventually be worthless.

Apr 19, 2013

McDonald’s sees no restaurant rebound in April

April 19 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp on Friday threw
cold water on hopes that its restaurant sales would accelerate,
warning that global sales at established restaurants would be
slightly lower in April.

The forecast sent shares of the world’s biggest fast-food
chain down 1.8 percent to $100.10 in morning trading.

Apr 17, 2013

In strawberry fields, U.S. immigration reform holds sweet promise

, April 16 (Reuters) – California farm worker
Antonia Espinoza would likely be throwing in the towel and
heading back to her native Mexico to see her children, if not
for the work of eight U.S. senators in Washington.

The bipartisan group of senators unveiled on Tuesday their
proposal for immigration reform that would remove the threat of
deportation for millions of undocumented workers and open a door
for them to one day become U.S. citizens.

Apr 12, 2013

Starbucks to cut grocery coffee prices, join Kraft and Smucker

April 12 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp on Friday said
it would cut grocery list prices on its namesake and Seattle’s
Best packaged coffee by 10 percent or more on May 10, as coffee
costs fall and it fights for more sales through supermarkets and
other retailers.

Competition in the coffee grocery aisle is intense and
Starbucks’ move follows price reductions by rival packaged
coffee sellers earlier this year.

Apr 11, 2013

Burger King stock up on profit view, CEO going to Heinz

By Lisa Baertlein and Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast a slightly higher quarterly profit on Thursday than Wall Street expected, even though spending among fast-food diners remains weak.

The hamburger chain, which has a long history of ownership and management changes, also said Chief Executive Bernardo Hees will leave to take over at H.J. Heinz Co (HNZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 11, 2013

China bird flu threatens KFC parent’s winning streak

April 11 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc, the biggest
foreign fast-food chain operator in China, is in danger of
breaking its 11-year streak of double-digit profit growth as it
scrambles to deal with food scares and bird flu in its most
lucrative market.

The U.S.-listed firm, the world’s largest restaurant company
by number of outlets, said in a filing Wednesday that the latest
deadly avian flu outbreak would have a “significant, negative
impact” on sales at KFC stores in China in April.

Apr 10, 2013

Yum says bird flu hits China April sales; March down

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – KFC parent Yum Brands Inc warned that a new bird flu outbreak in China badly hit restaurant sales there this month, even as the company also reported a sharper-than-expected slide in March sales in the country caused by the lingering impact of a separate food safety scare.

“Within the past week, publicity associated with Avian flu in China has had a significant, negative impact on KFC sales,” the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

    • 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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