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Apr 10, 2015

Mom sneaks kids to Mickey D’s amid fast-food backlash, won’t tell Dad

LOS ANGELES, April 10 (Reuters) – Carolin Wood, an artist
and graduate student from Brooklyn’s trendy Greenpoint
neighborhood, has a secret that she keeps from her husband and
some foodie friends. Once a month, she takes her two young
children to McDonald’s for inexpensive breakfasts or ice cream.

“We call it our ‘sneaky meal’ because my husband thinks it’s
absolutely disgusting,” said Wood, 35. “He doesn’t want to know
anything about it.”

Apr 6, 2015

Starbucks expands college tuition benefit for workers

April 6 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp is expanding its
employee college tuition assistance program to cover the entire
cost of getting an online bachelor’s degree, the chief executive
of the coffee chain said on Monday.

The Seattle-based company, known for offering benefits such
as healthcare and stock options, launched the “Starbucks College
Achievement Plan” with Arizona State University in June 2014. It
previously limited the program to juniors and seniors seeking to
complete their degrees.

Apr 2, 2015

McDonald’s raising average worker wage to about $10 an hour

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to raise the average pay of about 90,000 U.S. workers to around $10 an hour, but the increase will not benefit workers at the vast majority of the restaurants, because they are operated by franchisees, who make their own wage decisions.

Workers groups said the move by McDonald’s, which is also adding benefits such as paid vacations, fell short of their goals. They planned a nationwide protest for Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and other retailers have introduced entry-level wage hikes in response to frequent worker protests calling for higher pay and better conditions.

Apr 1, 2015

McDonald’s Corp raising average worker wage to around $10

LOS ANGELES, April 1 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp
plans to raise the average pay of roughly 90,000 U.S. restaurant
workers to around $10 and to tack on benefits such as paid
vacations, the fast-food giant said on Wednesday.

The move from McDonald’s follows entry-level wage hikes by
Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other retailers and comes amid
frequent fast-food and retail worker protests calling for higher
pay and better working conditions.

Mar 31, 2015

Starbucks U.S. cafes debuting new smoothies, kale optional

LOS ANGELES, March 31 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp
and Danone SA on Tuesday will begin selling a smoothie
line at more than 4,300 U.S. Starbucks shops as part of a Greek
yogurt partnership that will also include yogurt parfaits and
ready-to-eat yogurt to be sold by grocers.

The rollout comes as Starbucks seeks to double food sales
and as Danone’s popular Dannon yogurt brand wrestles with
Chobani in the popular Greek yogurt category. The partners each
declined to give sales estimates.

Mar 26, 2015

White House crafts first-ever plan to fight superbugs

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The White House is due to issue an ambitious plan to slow the growing and deadly problem of antibiotic resistance over the next five years, one that requires massive investments and policy changes from a broad array of U.S. government health agencies, according to a copy of the report reviewed by Reuters.

The 60-page report is the first ever to tackle antibiotic resistance so broadly. It was compiled by a government task force led by the administration’s top officials for health, agriculture and defense.

Mar 20, 2015

Darden seeks property deals, Olive Garden turnaround

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it was looking for ways to “create value” from its real estate, as management installed after last year’s activist investor-led coup reported continued traffic declines at its flagship Olive Garden chain.

During their standoff with Darden, activist investors Barington Capital Group LP and Starboard Value LP called on the company to spin off its restaurants into a real estate investment trust, or REIT.

Mar 18, 2015

Starbucks brews up backlash with debate on U.S. race relations

LOS ANGELES, March 18 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp Chief
Executive Howard Schultz has deftly navigated thorny issues such
as gay marriage, gun control and Congressional gridlock, but his
move to weigh in on U.S. race relations has brewed up a social
media backlash.

The company kicked off the discussion when it published
full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers earlier this week with
the words “Shall We Overcome?” at center page and “RaceTogether”
and the Starbucks logo near the bottom.

Mar 18, 2015

Starbucks to debut delivery in Manhattan, Seattle this year

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will begin offering delivery in New York City and Seattle later this year, when it also plans to expand mobile order and pay services across the United States.

The new efforts, to be announced at Starbucks’ annual meeting on Wednesday, come as U.S. restaurant chains ranging from McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) turn to technology to increase sales, speed up service and connect with young, tech-savvy consumers.

Mar 18, 2015

Kraft issues big Mac & Cheese recall, metal pieces reported

By Ramkumar Iyer and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Kraft Foods Group Inc said on Monday it
was recalling about 242,000 cases of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
dinners, due to the risk that they may contain small pieces of
metal.

The recall comes at a time when Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese
products, a staple for generations of American children, face
increasing competition from smaller brands with more natural
ingredients.

    • 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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