Lisa's Feed
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.”

Sep 8, 2014

Record California walnut crop seen, analyst “alarmed” at water use

Sept 8 (Reuters) – California is forecast to produce a
record walnut crop this year despite the state’s severe drought,
and one analyst says some alarming water use practices have
contributed to the robust yields.

Almost all of the walnuts grown in the United States come
from California, where the 2014 crop is expected to be 545,000
tons, 11 percent bigger than last year’s, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics
Service. It also appears to be high quality.

Sep 5, 2014

Starbucks plans new store designs – upscale in Seattle, speedy in New York

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday announced two new types of stores aimed at capturing the growing demand for upscale reserve coffee and a separate test of an “express” store in Manhattan offering speedy service in a city where a “New York minute” is more like a nanosecond.

The moves from the world’s biggest coffee chain come as it faces growing competition from high-end craft coffee sellers such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle Coffee and Intelligentsia, as well as from fast-food chains ranging from McDonald’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Dunkin Donuts (DNKN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to newcomer Chick-fil-A.

Sep 4, 2014

U.S. fast-food workers arrested in protests for wage hike

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Sept 4 (Reuters) – U.S. fast-food
workers staged protests in some 150 cities on Thursday in a
fight for higher pay, and organizers said dozens were arrested
from Manhattan’s Times Square to Las Vegas.

About 400 protesters clogged Times Square during morning rush
hour in the latest of ongoing actions aimed at raising their
wage to $15 an hour.

Sep 3, 2014

Perdue Foods says its chicken hatcheries now antibiotic-free

Sept 3 (Reuters) – Perdue Foods said on Wednesday it has
stopped using antibiotics at its chicken hatcheries, completing
a five-year effort supported by consumer and health groups
seeking to curb the unnecessary use of antibiotics in meat

The move comes amid growing concern among public health
experts worldwide about the link between excessive antibiotic
use in animal agriculture and human infections from
antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or so-called superbugs that do
not respond to conventional medical treatment.

Sep 2, 2014

Darden board nominees cede more ground to activist investor Starboard

Sept 2 (Reuters) – Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants Inc
, in a concession to one of its largest shareholders,
Starboard Value LP, on Tuesday announced a revised slate of
director nominees that includes four new candidates, four
incumbents and four open spots for Starboard picks.

Analysts were divided on whether the move would satisfy
Starboard, an activist investor which for months has lobbied for
major change at the underperforming company, and prevent it from
seizing control of the entire 12-member board.

    • 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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