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Jan 29, 2013

Employers encouraged by proposal to fix US immigration chaos

LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The first big
political push for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in more
than five years holds out some promise for
employers who have long complained that the current system is
broken and inhibits hiring.

From farmers who cannot find Americans to pick their crops
to technology firm who need more engineers from abroad, the
bipartisan plan from eight U.S. senators announced on Monday
offered solutions like a “workable” program for seasonal farm
labor and a commitment to “attracting and keeping the world’s
best and brightest.”

Jan 28, 2013

Veggie Grill raises $20 mln to build on healthy eating trend

LOS ANGELES, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Veggie Grill raised $20
million from current stakeholders and new investors to bolster
its expansion and capitalize on the growing popularity of
healthy dining options, the Santa Monica, California-based
restaurant company said on Monday.

It is the fourth round of equity funding for the vegetarian
restaurant chain, whose menu includes dishes such as the “All
Hail Kale” salad. The privately-held company declined to
disclose its valuation.

Jan 25, 2013

Starbucks stays hot in U.S., Asia; shares rise

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported stronger-than-expected sales in the United States and Asia despite economic uncertainty worldwide, offsetting unexpected costs including the bill for cleaning up after Superstorm Sandy.

Shares in the world’s biggest coffee chain rose 1.9 percent in after-hours trade on Thursday, even though the company’s first-quarter profit matched but did not exceed Wall Street estimates and it merely repeated its forecasts for the full year. Starbucks often tops profit expectations and raises forecasts.

Jan 23, 2013

McDonald’s says January restaurant sales will fall

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday forecast a decline in global restaurant sales for January, as it and other fast-food chains fight for customers who are spending cautiously during continued economic uncertainty.

The world’s biggest restaurant company by revenue also reported an unexpected rise in December sales at established U.S. outlets, which helped lift its fourth-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates.

Jan 23, 2013

China’s tainted chicken scare hit McDonald’s sales: CEO

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Scares over the safety of China’s chicken supply are taking a small bite out of McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales in that country, executives for the fast-food chain said on Wednesday.

Chinese authorities have cleared McDonald’s and KFC owner Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) of charges they had served chicken laced with excessive chemicals, but the iconic U.S. chains – long considered to serve safer and higher quality food than domestic chains – remain under fire from local media and consumers.

Jan 22, 2013

McDonald’s running low on quick fixes for U.S. sales

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is running out of quick-fix strategies for stemming declines in U.S. restaurant sales inflicted by tougher competition for customers who are pinching pennies in a weak economic recovery.

The world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue welcomed customers on Christmas Day and shifted the limited offering of its cult favorite McRib sandwich into December to avoid a big year-end decline in its U.S. restaurant business. But, it appears the company has exhausted its supply of such tactics.

Jan 17, 2013

Chipotle price increases possible in the middle of 2013

Jan 17 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc is
considering raising menu prices in the middle of this year to
offset rising food costs, an executive at the popular burrito
chain said at the ICR XChange investor conference on Thursday.

Late on Tuesday Chipotle forecast fourth-quarter profit
below Wall Street expectations. It blamed a faster-than-expected
rise in food costs during the latest quarter, when cost
pressures squeezed profitability.

Jan 16, 2013

Chipotle food costs bite amid rising competition

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Higher food costs and rising competition are biting burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which saw shares fall more than 5 percent on Wednesday following its late-night earnings warning.

Chipotle forecast fourth-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations. It blamed a faster-than-expected rise in food costs during the latest quarter, when cost pressures squeezed profitability. Still, the company said it expects food inflation to level off in 2013.

Jan 16, 2013

Cheesecake Factory pasta on list of caloric ‘food porn’

Jan 16 (Reuters) – A Cheesecake Factory pasta dish with more
than 3,000 calories – or more than a day and a half of the
recommended caloric intake for an average adult – is among the
headliners on this year’s Xtreme Eating list of the most
unhealthy dishes at U.S. chain restaurants.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a
consumer-focused nonprofit group that promotes healthier eating,
compiles an annual list of “food porn” to alert consumers to
menu items with eye-popping levels of calories, saturated fat,
sugar and/or sodium.

Jan 16, 2013

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to re-enter California in 2015

LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Dunkin’ Donuts will open
shops in Southern California in 2015, the popular coffee chain
said on Wednesday, marking its long-awaited return to the state
it left more than a decade ago.

Dunkin’ Donuts customers are fiercely loyal and have been
clamoring for it to re-enter California, which the company says
is the No. 1 state for grocery sales of the chain’s bagged

    • 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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