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Oct 8, 2014

Yum China sales recovery could take up to nine months -CEO

Oct 8 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc said on Wednesday
it expects China sales to bounce back strongly in 2015, but
cautioned that it likely faces a bumpy, multi-month recovery
from a recent supplier scandal that scared away diners in its
most important market.

Sales at established KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in China
should improve during the current fourth quarter, but will still
be down year-over-year and batter 2014 earnings, Yum executives
said on a conference call with analysts.

Oct 7, 2014

Yum cuts 2014 profit forecast after food scare cuts China sales

Oct 7 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc, operator of KFC
and other restaurant chains, on Tuesday lowered its 2014
earnings forecast after same-store sales fell 14 percent in
China in the third quarter due to a food safety scare.

Sales in China, Yum’s No. 1 market for revenue and profit,
are expected to fall again in the fourth quarter at established
restaurants on continued fallout from allegations that a former
supplier used expired meat.

Sep 30, 2014

U.S. restaurant patrons support minimum wage hike -survey

LOS ANGELES, Sept 30 (Reuters) – While the U.S. restaurant
industry fights national and state efforts to increase the
minimum wage, a new survey released on Tuesday showed that 83
percent of restaurant patrons support raising it and adjusting
it annually for inflation.

The results come as two years of union-backed protests by
fast-food workers have put a spotlight on the plight of the
working poor and helped fuel a debate about the federal minimum
wage, which has been $7.25 since 2009.

Sep 26, 2014

Proxy advisers turn up heat in Darden Restaurants board brawl

By Lisa Baertlein and Ross Kerber

(Reuters) – Advisory firms Glass, Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) each have recommended that Darden Restaurants Inc investors back Starboard Value LP’s 12-director slate, which would oust the embattled company’s full board.

In an unusual move late on Thursday, smaller firm Egan-Jones Proxy Services temporarily withdrew its recommendation that shareholders vote for the eight director nominees put up by Darden, which is leaving spots open for Starboard candidates.

Sep 25, 2014

Glass Lewis, ISS back Starboard in Darden board battle

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Advisory firms Glass, Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) each have recommended that Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) investors back Starboard Value LP’s 12-director slate, which would oust the embattled company’s full board.

Smaller firm Egan-Jones Proxy Services recommended voting for the eight director nominees put up by Darden, which is leaving spots open for Starboard candidates.

Sep 23, 2014

Starbucks buying full control of Japan unit for $914 million

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday said it plans to buy the remaining 60.5 percent share of Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd (2712.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that it does not already own in a two-step deal valued at about $913.5 million.

Starbucks Japan has operated as a joint venture between Starbucks and its partner Sazaby League since 1995.

Sep 16, 2014

Pioneering L.A. chef Roy Choi on improving food in inner cities

LOS ANGELES, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Los Angeles chef Roy Choi
sparked a nationwide food movement with his Kogi BBQ food trucks
that peddle short rib tacos, kimchi quesadillas and other
Korean/Mexican mash-ups and turned Americans’ view of the “roach
coach” on its head.

Choi, 44, spent his youth wandering and eating his way
through L.A.’s ethnic neighborhoods. Classical training at the
Culinary Institute of America in New York ended a streak of
partying and gambling. Success came quickly, with stints in
kitchens from New York’s celebrated Le Bernardin to the Beverly
Hilton in Los Angeles.

Sep 12, 2014

Darden posts loss amid growing pressure from investor Starboard

By Lisa Baertlein and Ramkumar Iyer

(Reuters) – Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday reported a quarterly loss, but its results were overshadowed by activist investor Starboard Value LP’s release of its revised plan to boost Darden’s profit and stock price.

Starboard, one of Darden’s largest investors with an 8.8 percent stake, late on Thursday unveiled a 294-slide proposal that included plans to sell Darden’s real estate, franchise its restaurants, spin off The Capital Grille, Yard House and other chains and fix the flagship Olive Garden chain.

Sep 9, 2014

McDonald’s August same-store sales fall across regions

Sept 9 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp on Tuesday
reported declining sales at established restaurants across all
regions in August, the fifth monthly drop since CEO Don Thompson
took the helm in July 2012, and warned a China supplier scandal
would cut into profits.

The company, which has been battling internal missteps,
competition and shifting consumer tastes, said the supplier
issue that crushed sales in China and Japan would reduce
third-quarter profit by 15 to 20 cents per share.

Sep 8, 2014

Starbucks goes coconuts in latest nondairy milk test

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mooo-ve over milk, Starbucks Corp is testing coconut milk in stores in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Oregon as alternatives to traditional dairy products grow more popular.

A Starbucks spokeswoman declined to say how many stores were offering coconut milk. She added that the coffee chain is not testing almond milk, a popular nondairy option, at this time due to the “critically important safety of our customers with nut allergies.”

    • 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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