Operations

To order or not to order in the drive-thru lane

Pickup-only drive-thrus are faster, but Velvet Taco found it was losing guests who wanted to order from their cars. The chain has redesigned its drive-thrus to accommodate different types of users.

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Financing

Why MOD Pizza is not out of the woods yet

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual pizza chain was sold last week to Elite Restaurant Group. But few who’ve seen the finances believe the company can avoid closing large numbers of stores.

Workforce

Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.

Financing

Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.