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

Consumers should pay the price for delivery, but will they?

The Bottom Line: Third-party services are pushing back against restaurants that charge higher prices. But that practice is unlikely to end anytime soon, leaving the ultimate decision up to consumers.

Financing

Fast-food franchises need value, but at what cost?

The Bottom Line: A big coupon drop by Subway gives customers some huge value. That’s a potential problem at a brand with profitability challenges.

The Bottom Line: Franchisee valuations are “plummeting,” according to the head of the chain’s independent franchisee association. The company has not been able to get many new franchisees into the system. But the market is just different now.

The Bottom Line: Ike’s Love & Sandwiches has grown to 100 locations. And a surprisingly big part of its growth strategy involves closed Subway restaurants.

The Bottom Line: Consumers could easily shift into value mode as they start repaying student loans and run out of pandemic cash. But that doesn’t mean you should start slashing prices.

The Bottom Line: The 22-year-old private equity firm has been involved in many of the industry’s biggest deals, especially in recent years. And Subway isn’t even the biggest.

The Bottom Line: The lengthy sale process and the apparent deal terms in Roark Capital’s winning bid reveal just how difficult a turnaround the sandwich giant is.

The Bottom Line: Veggie Grill, O’Charley’s, Burger King, Boston Market, Steak n Shake and others have been closing doors this year as they work through various challenges.

The Bottom Line: The activist investor, who shook up Darden and helped get Papa Johns back on its feet, may be just what the doctor ordered for one of the most overlooked restaurant companies on Wall Street.

The Bottom Line: Roark Capital reportedly has the inside track at buying Subway. But it also owns Jimmy John’s. Can the two chains coexist under the same owner?

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