3 trendlettes we’re watching in March

Restaurateurs are taking an inward look in March, examining what’s working and what’s not in their organizations and weeding out what they deem not worthy. Here are three ways business are being shaken up right now.

1. Pink slips

McDonald’s cut 60-plus jobs at headquarters and its CEO “retired” as of March 1. In January, Starbucks laid off a “relatively small number” of employees at its home base. And, despite promises made at the announcement of the merger with Burger King, Tim Hortons has since cut a few hundred positions.

2. Stepping up animal-welfare practices

Chipotle yanked pork from about a third of its stores after an animal-welfare audit of suppliers; Starbucks vowed to phase out eggs from caged chickens; and Panera swore off meat from pigs treated with antibiotics or raised on farms using gestation crates for pregnant sows.

3. Everyman’s ‘Cheers’

While most operators simply hope for repeat guests, Cheddar’s specifically strategizes to get customers back in the door as part of its model, said Chief Brand Officer Tom Koenigsberg at a conference in January. Cheddar’s and others, such as Not Your Average Joe’s and Simmzy’s, shill quality food and competitive pricing to encourage high frequency. 

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