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The Bottom Line

Jonathan Maze The Bottom Line

Restaurant Business Executive Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Maze is a longtime industry journalist who writes about restaurant finance, mergers and acquisitions and the economy, with a particular focus on quick-service restaurants. He writes daily about the factors influencing the operating environment, including labor and food costs and various industry trends such as technology and delivery.

Jonathan has been widely quoted in media publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post and has appeared on CNBC, Yahoo Finance and NPR. He writes a weekly finance-focused newsletter for Restaurant Business, The Bottom Line, and is the host of the weekly podcast “A Deeper Dive.”


Despite a host of concerns, restaurant franchisees remain optimistic

The Bottom Line: Margins took a hit last year and inflation remains a concern. But a new survey says most franchise operators are optimistic. Here’s why.


Domino's CEO bets on himself

The Bottom Line: CEO Russell Weiner bought more than $1 million in stock earlier this month. But reversing the stock price’s recent slump will take a lot more.

The Bottom Line: The fast-food burger chain’s former top U.S. corporate relations officer said, “cry me a river” in a now-deleted tweet about McDonald’s franchisees. It didn’t go over well, either with them or his new employer, Grubhub.

The Bottom Line: Robert Zarco, who now works with McDonald's franchisees, argues that a potential redefinition of the joint employer standard could reduce the level of control franchisors exert over operators.

The Bottom Line: Despite rising prices and concerns about inflation, third-party delivery remains on the upswing at quick-service restaurants. But drive-thru demand is shifting back to normal.

The Bottom Line: The filing by Burger King franchisee Meridian is the fourth major Chapter 11 this year. Other companies are facing problems, too, as margins dwindle.

The Bottom Line: Reports suggest the fast-food sandwich giant is targeting investment firms, and Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital are among the apparent suitors.

The Bottom Line: The end of the company's Reef Kitchens deal and the cutback in its restaurant count projections highlights the chain's difficulties keeping up with its larger, fast-food rivals.

The Bottom Line: Sardar Biglari in his letter to shareholders boasted of the cash that Western Sizzlin has generated for Biglari Holdings. His comparison leaves much to be desired.

The Bottom Line: The importance of franchisee cash flow is undeniable to the success of any franchise. That’s why investors should demand more data from franchised restaurant brands.

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