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
Subway ’s sales and marketing difficulties haven’t turned off customers, with the chain bested only by Chick-fil-A in a new consumer rating of 19 restaurant chains by the overall experience they...
2
The attorney general of New York filed a lawsuit today against Domino’s and three of its franchisees for allegedly using the chain’s POS system to undercalculate employees’ wages. The alleged...
3
As no-tipping models gain traction in restaurants across the country, it’s a movement that’s borne out to be part trial and error and part trial by fire, as evidenced by some pioneers dropping their...
4
Attendance at this year’s NRA Show in Chicago substantially surpassed 2015 numbers, with a 7 percent increase in the number of exhibitors as well (2,200). “This year’s Show was high energy and...
5
After a session-filled morning and armed with a license to lunch, I had one mission: to make a meal out of the many samples on the NRA Show floor. With the show's abundance of riches, it was a fairly...
6
Technology should help operators work smarter, not harder—but are you using all of the apps, tools and gadgets at your fingertips to their full potential? According to The Restaurant Technology...
7
Five Bar Rescue chefs spilled the beans on their experiences with helping operators escape failure and find success during Monday’s Bar Rescue Chef Panel. Here’s a look at some of their secrets to...
8
History was made on Monday, May 23, at the NRA Show 2016 when the show’s first-ever crowdsourced session was held. The event, “Reality Gets Real,” which was presented by Sysco, featured trailblazers...
9
Before the kick-off to this year's NRA Show, we caught up with Joe Kadow, 2016 chairman of board of directors of the National Restaurant Association, for his take on how the current election cycle...
10
Dawn Sweeney, NRA president and CEO, led a pointed discussion with three change agents who are upending industry conventions today, pulling out key insights that were thought-provoking, inspiring and...