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Feb 9, 2015

McDonald’s January sales dragged down by China, Japan

Feb 9 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp on Monday reported
a steeper-than-expected drop in January sales at established
restaurants and pinned a big portion of the blame on the
after-effects of food safety scandals in China and Japan.

The world’s biggest fast-food chain said worldwide sales at
restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent in January.
Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were expecting a 1.2 percent
drop.

Feb 5, 2015

Dunkin’ Brands sales beat but CEO cautious on gas prices

Feb 5 (Reuters) – Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc reported
better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by U.S. demand for
sandwiches and its newly launched dark roast coffee, though its
CEO expressed caution about whether lower gas prices will help
demand.

Gasoline prices have plunged 43 percent since June,
according to U.S. government data, leaving Americans with more
money for discretionary spending at Dunkin’, whose coffee and
doughnut shops mainly compete with fast-food rival McDonald’s
Corp.

Feb 4, 2015

California says will appeal ruling making foie gras legal

LOS ANGELES, Feb 4 (Reuters) – California’s attorney general
on Wednesday filed notice that her office will appeal a federal
judge’s decision that overturned the state’s two-year ban on
sales of foie gras, a delicacy made from fatty duck and geese
liver.

California outlawed foie gras sales and production in 2004,
but the ban did not take effect until 2012. Proponents of the
ban say forced feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their
livers amounts to animal cruelty.

Feb 4, 2015

Yum’s China sales fall less than expected, shares rise

Feb 4 (Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc, owner of KFC and
Pizza Hut, said on Wednesday that sales at established
restaurants in its biggest market China fell less than feared in
the fourth quarter as it fights to recover from a food scandal
involving a minor supplier, and its shares jumped 2.1 percent.

Same-restaurant sales in China, Yum’s No. 1 market for
revenue and profit, fell 16 percent for the quarter that ended
Dec. 27 on continued fallout from allegations that a former
supplier used expired meat.

Feb 4, 2015

Starbucks’ U.S. shops turn to coconuts as non-dairy demand soars

Feb 4 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said on Wednesday
that its 12,123 U.S. shops would begin offering coconut milk on
Feb. 17, as it seeks to keep pace with soaring demand for
non-dairy and non-soy milk alternatives.

Starbucks began offering soy milk in 1997. Consumer tastes
have since evolved, driving strong demand for other non-dairy
alternatives made from products such as coconuts, hemp, rice,
almonds and other nuts.

Feb 3, 2015

Chipotle restaurant sales growth slows, shares fall

Feb 3 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Tuesday reported sales growth at established restaurants slowed
in the fourth quarter and slightly missed Wall Street’s
estimate, sending shares down more than 6 percent in after-hours
trade.

The fast-growing burrito chain known for antibiotic-free
meats and organic produce when available is the envy of the
restaurant industry. Its stock trades at a rich valuation and is
harshly punished when it fails to exceed Wall Street’s lofty
expectations.

Jan 30, 2015

Burger chain Shake Shack sizzles in market debut

By Amrutha Gayathri and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Shares of trendy hamburger chain Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N: Quote, Profile, Research) soared as much as 150 percent in their first day of trading on Friday, valuing a company with only 63 restaurants at nearly $2 billion.

The sizzling debut follows the successful listing two months ago of Habit Restaurants Inc (HABT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), highlighting strong appetite for shares of companies serving up premium burgers. Other hot fast-casual restaurant debuts have been followed by stock swoons, including Noodles & Co (NDLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and sandwich maker Potbelly Corp (PBPB.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

Jan 30, 2015

McDonald’s franchisees to new CEO: back-to-basics, fast

LOS ANGELES, Jan 30 (Reuters) – McDonald’s franchisees have
a fast order for the fast food giant’s new CEO – get back to
basics. In interviews franchisees and advisors to restaurant
owners say they hope the new chief will clean up a huge menu to
focus on burgers and fries.

McDonald’s on Wednesday announced that Chief Brand Officer
Steve Easterbrook would replace Don Thompson as chief executive
after he had held the post just two and a half years.

Jan 29, 2015

Shake Shack IPO prices far above expected range

By Lisa Baertlein and Avik Das

(Reuters) – Growth-hungry investors snapped up shares offered by Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), setting the stage for a sizzling debut for the New York-based burger chain when its stock starts trading on Friday.

Shares of the company, which has won a cult following for its rich milkshakes and hormone- and antibiotic-free burgers, priced at $21 each, an underwriter said, valuing the chain that started as a hotdog cart in a park at about $745 million.

Jan 29, 2015

Shake Shack IPO is hot but can it match Chipotle?

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Growth-hungry investors are lining up for
shares of burger chain Shake Shack, which plans to
price its initial public offering after the U.S. stock market
closes on Thursday.

The IPO market lately has been particularly fruitful for
so-called fast-casual chains such as Shake Shack rival Habit
Restaurants Inc and others that hope to replicate the
red-hot growth of burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc
.

    • 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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