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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.”


In a tough year for stocks, investors bet on big chains

The Bottom Line: The largest chains fared best in a tumultuous 2022 on Wall Street as recession fears and inflation led investors to flee for safety.


The year in charts

The Bottom Line: Costs soared, menu prices rose, but consumers kept spending. Here’s a look at the restaurant industry’s 2022 in a few key charts.

The Bottom Line: The late-night treat chain wants to be able to deliver warm cookies to 95% of the U.S. and has the unit economics to justify expansion. But it must first navigate a competitive cookie market.

The Bottom Line: Despite high prices, people are not cutting back on food spending. And restaurants remain a strong source for consumers’ dollars.

The Bottom Line: Fast Food Index shows prices at McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell and Chipotle by ZIP code. It shows a wide range of prices for the same product.

The Bottom Line: Consumer spending continues to grow this holiday season, but it’s slowing, and businesses are more cautious, large banks told investors this week.

The Bottom Line: The coffee chain’s parent company still believes the brand can work south of the Canadian border, but it first had to change.

The Bottom Line: Investment bankers initially pushed the healthy fast-casual franchise as a $1 billion brand. It never came close to that. And then the pandemic hit.

The Bottom Line: Other winners included Potbelly and third-party delivery, while Freshii, quick-service pizza and lower-income consumers were left out.

The Bottom Line: As customers returned to Starbucks, revenue from unspent gift cards did, too, providing the coffee giant with a weird and profitable source of funds.

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