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.”


These are the restaurant stocks investors are betting against the most right now

Dutch Bros, Red Robin and Sweetgreen are the most “shorted” restaurant stocks, according to a Raymond James analyst, and more investors are betting against fast food.


Why large restaurant chains struggle to develop new concepts

The Bottom Line: With Chipotle developing yet another brand in Farmesa, it’s a good time to check on the track record of large brands creating new concepts. It’s not a good one.

The Bottom Line: Parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group spent two years trying to find a buyer before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the owner of Primanti Bros. It illustrates the difficulties of the acquisition market over that period.

The Bottom Line: Casey’s has become a force in the pizza business with a selection of innovative items, delivery and a popular loyalty program. But we investigated its claim to be a top-five pizza concept. It has a good argument.

The Bottom Line: After 3.5 years, restaurants recovered the jobs it lost during the pandemic. And its monthly job growth shows just how resilient the industry is.

The Bottom Line: The burger giant’s franchise charges have been below average despite the strength of its brand. But its premium comes in the leases its franchisees pay.

The Bottom Line: After a strong start to 2023, industry stocks have taken a hit more recently as Wall Street worries about the consumer and higher interest rates.

The Bottom Line: There is some evidence that higher-income consumers may be cutting back. Or maybe there was just some pent-up demand.

The Bottom Line: Subway and Burger King have staked their claims as value leaders in their respective segments. Recent events have highlighted the difficulties of that position.

The Bottom Line: Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari suggested a 60% chance of a soft landing with one more rate hike. But "meaningfully higher" rates are also possible.

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