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

Crumbl may be the next frozen yogurt, or the next Krispy Kreme

The Bottom Line: With word that the chain’s unit volumes took a nosedive last year, its future, and that of its operators, depends on what the brand does next.

Financing

High restaurant menu prices mean high customer expectations

The Bottom Line: Diners are paying high prices to eat out at all kinds of restaurants these days. And they’re picking winners and losers.

The Bottom Line: As thriving fast-food sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s ponders a potential $8 billion sale, it’s worth comparing the brand to a long-vanquished rival: Quiznos. The difference is unit economics.

The Bottom Line: McDonald’s purchase of its Israeli market, following Burger King’s acquisition of Carrols, shows brands are more willing now to take over some restaurants.

The Bottom Line: Customers are opting to stay home rather than dine out. With costs still elevated, brands will have to think differently to get them back.

The Bottom Line: It’s not certain yet how the $20 wage will impact chain restaurants. But one thing is clear: Most of the companies affected are small businesses that are already facing profit challenges.

The Bottom Line: The restaurant industry has a traffic problem and consumers are fretting about prices. But the $20 fast-food wage in California makes it difficult to market any kind of value.

The Bottom Line: Led by Sweetgreen and Cava, fast-casual restaurants outperformed other sectors. Wall Street rewarded them.

The Bottom Line: The venerable Japanese steakhouse chain fetched a modest multiple in its sale to The One Group. But that’s where values have fallen these days.

The Bottom Line: Krispy Kreme gets a massive win with its McDonald's doughnut deal. But the payoff is less certain, and a long way off, for the fast-food restaurant chain.

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