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. 

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Reaction to Wendy's dynamic pricing test reveals its risks

The Bottom Line: The burger chain mentioned last week that it would test the pricing strategy sometime next year. Consumers frustrated with prices reacted swiftly.


Why the Burgerim settlement exposes flaws in franchise oversight

The Bottom Line: The federal government allowed the chain’s founder to avoid major penalties by simply paying $1,000. What’s the point of regulation in the first place?


Why the Smashed Jack sparked record-smashing demand at Jack in the Box

Behind the Menu: The chain’s newest menu addition aims to break the mold on what a fast-food burger can be, and customers are buying in.


More from our partners