6 stories you probably missed this week

Peter Romeo

Director of Digital Content

View more articles by Peter Romeo

Birthday business is down, at least for one of the traditional big-time beneficiaries, Chuck E. Cheese’s. Management cited an 11 percent drop in party bookings as the primary reason for a 2.1 percent drop in same store sales for the third quarter. A big part of the problem, said CEO Mike Magusiak, was competition from the silver screen. Parents spent 65 percent more on theater-run movies aimed at kids than they did during the comparable period of 2012, he explained to investors.  Chuck plans to fight back by airing commercials touting its birthday deals.

Two of the hottest costumes this Halloween were Paula Deen and Guy Fieri get-ups, according to Eater.com and other foodie-centric website that track such things.

Brennan’s might be killed before it’s reborn. Several creditors are trying to force the now-shuttered restaurant into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would almost certainly mean a liquidation of the landmark and all of its interior elements. Ralph Brennan, a highly successful restaurateur from another branch of the famous New Orleans culinary family, has indicated that he’s taken over the site with intentions of re-launching a restaurant there.

Kona Grill is testing a Sunday happy hour to build check averages.

San Franciscans would vote yea or nay on a soda tax if two local lawmakers have their way. Both have proposed a ballot initiative for a two-cent-an-ounce levy on sugared drinks. The proceeds would be used to fight obesity and otherwise promote health.

Wal-Mart has pledged to promote 25,000 employees into higher paying jobs during the fourth quarter. No, that news isn’t about restaurants, but that’s the point. Countless stories in recent days have portrayed foodservice as an industry where the convention is to under-pay and otherwise exploit the working poor. McDonald’s, the business’ counterpart to Wal-Mart, was slammed for directing employees to public assistance programs if their wages don’t cover the essentials of life. Wal-Mart was once portrayed as the Darth Vader of employers. Now it’s coming off like retailing’s Jimmy Stewart.
 

Today's top stories

1
As if we needed more disinformation in the age of fake news, along comes CKE Restaurants’ controversial new advertising campaign for its dual fast-food brands, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s . The spots, in...
2
You don’t know me!” That was the cry of vegetarians and vegans a few short years ago. Today, about 4% of consumers say they are vegetarian or vegan, a figure that is down from 9% in 2014, according...
3
Scott Redler has no trouble counting the reasons that Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers invested in digital menu boards. The chain’s chief operating officer says that in a growing company...
4
Two burger giants recently battled it out with an atypical weapon: cheesy sides. Technomic’s MenuSurf program found that a greater percentage of consumers say they’d visit Burger King for its Cheesy...
5
There are a few reasons that your pay rate may be lower than you think it should be: Your employer is taking the tip credit . The information on your stub is not presented clearly, or you are not...
6
In the face of high rent and a competitive real estate market, it’s a trend we’re likely to keep seeing from chains: shrinking footprints. But the idea of small stores isn’t new—beverage-focused...
7
Iced tea has become an American beverage staple, with 84% of restaurants offering it as a menu option. With this prevalence in the foodservice industry, are there still opportunities for growth and...
8
Fast-casual chain PizzaRev has been acquired by a venture capital firm helmed by a former McDonald’s CEO. Chicago-based Cleveland Avenue now owns a majority stake in the fast-casual brand, which has...
9
This year's NRA Show® was full of on-trend food, inspiring speakers and business-building education sessions—and it’s clear that operators couldn’t get enough. “We’re in our third year of record-...
10
Mike Greenberg, host of Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio and ESPN2, talked with Tom Ricketts, Chicago Cubs Executive Chairman, about leadership and how the Chicago Cubs overcame obstacles to win baseball’...