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Beverages

Financing

How Gong Cha plans to take its bubble tea brand across the U.S.

A Deeper Dive: This week’s podcast features Paul Reynish, CEO of the beverage chain, who talks about the company’s growth strategy.

Leadership

Gong Cha names Paul Reynish CEO

The former Five Guys and Dunkin’ executive will be based out of the bubble tea brand’s London headquarters.

Taste Tracker: Cool drinks debut at Applebee’s, Sonic and Caribou Coffee; Velvet Taco and Baja Fresh change up tacos; KFC tests nuggets; it’s a wrap for Arby’s; and more menu news of the week.

After the success of Dutch Bros, chains like Biggby Coffee and Tim Hortons have added energy drinks. Expect more of them as younger consumers in particular demand the beverage.

Licensed establishments can now allow patrons to draw their own beer, wine or mixed drinks, though with very specific stipulations.

Taste Tracker: Outback tosses up a salad; Cinnabon does chocolate; chill out with cool drinks at Joe & the Juice, Scooter’s and Mellow Mushroom; burgers, fish and pizza heat up menus.

In a push to expand its customer base and increase check averages, the chain is focusing on breakfast customization, plant-based choices and on-trend menu items.

Taste Tracker: Chicken in new guises at BWW, Slim Chickens and Toppers; Mooyah, Auntie Anne’s and Smashburger shake it up; refreshing thirst-quenchers for Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Charleys; and everything from cocktails to concretes to cookies make their debut.

Taste Tracker: Just Salad and Chicken Salad Chick refresh the salad bowl; cool sipping at Potbelly, Corner Bakery and PJ’s; IHOP has a Minions menu; Newk’s and Taco John’s celebrate barbecue; and more menu news of the week.

The chain partnered with Creamalicious to create Sweet Tea Ice Cream, a dessert mashup with notes of sugar cookie and lemon.

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