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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.”

Financing

How independent operators can keep pace with rapidly changing technology

The Bottom Line: The National Restaurant Association Show displayed some of the latest gadgets to improve efficiency and reach more customers. But can those that need it most afford it?

Financing

Howard Schultz puts some money into Starbucks

The Bottom Line: The interim CEO, who did away with company buybacks, has been buying up shares of the company’s stock and now owns 21.8 million shares directly or indirectly.

The Bottom Line: Margins were fine last fall as sales recovered. But high food costs on top of high labor costs have done them in. And some concepts are already feeling the pain.

The Bottom Line: Sales at restaurants and bars are now at a higher percentage of Americans’ food dollar than they’ve ever been. They can thank higher grocery prices for that.

The Bottom Line: The burger giant has flourished in international markets even as its U.S. growth slowed. But its $1.4 billion decision to pull out of the market demonstrates the risk of global expansion.

The Bottom Line: The drive-thru coffee chain’s sales were weak because of high gas prices and its more conservative pricing decisions. But it hurt the chain’s earnings and its reputation on Wall Street.

The Bottom Line: Quick-service restaurant executives say they’re seeing fewer visits from people with lower incomes and more visits from those with higher incomes. But that difference may not last for long.

The Bottom Line: The different stock price performances between Burger King’s parent company and its largest franchisee provide some lessons for large-scale franchisees.

The Bottom Line: Pizza chains are struggling to find enough drivers. They are increasingly turning to delivery services, which are not having the same problem.

The Bottom Line: The interim CEO suggested the company is already talking to candidates and said there is plenty of interest in the job. The position provides an opportunity rare in the restaurant business, but it comes with its own challenges.

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