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.”

Financing

Beverage chains are taking off as consumers shift their drink preferences

The Bottom Line: Some of the fastest-growing chains in the U.S. push drinks, even as sales at traditional concepts lag in growing delivery and takeout business. How can traditional restaurants get in on the action?

Financing

Red Lobster gives private equity another black eye

The Bottom Line: The role a giant sale-leaseback had in the bankruptcy filing of the seafood chain has drawn more criticism of the investment firms' financial engineering. The criticism is well-earned.

The Bottom Line: Giving customers meal options they can afford will be key to generating traffic this year. But make sure those offers can generate a profit.

The Bottom Line: The seafood chain’s bankruptcy declaration was not surprising after months of closures and Endless Shrimp recriminations. But that doesn’t make it any less notable.

The Bottom Line: With more customers opting to eat at home, rather than at restaurants, more fast-food chains will start pushing value this summer.

The Bottom Line: With McDonald’s planning a $5 value meal of its own, more brands are already jumping onto the bandwagon. But not everybody will pay $5.

The Bottom Line: Howard Schultz needed just one bad quarter to make public his displeasure with the coffee shop chain. But the stage was set for that two years ago.

The Bottom Line: The salad chain’s stock rose 34% on Friday after sales and profitability were better than expected. The company’s shares are above its IPO price for the first time in two years.

The Bottom Line: Burger King is spending $550 million to get more of its restaurants remodeled, not counting its own upgraded restaurants. More brands should do this.

The Bottom Line: The coffee shop chain lost momentum quickly in November. That was too fast to be explained by consumer reaction over the prices of its beverages.

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