New restaurant equipment and back-of-the-house technology

Restaurant chains paint rosier picture of labor and staffing

Midway through 3Q earnings, it appears wage inflation is still a challenge, but restaurants are fully staffed, turnover is low and efforts to optimize efficiency are paying off.


Outback sales fall against 'softer backdrop'

The chain saw a marked slowdown after Labor Day and is planning to ease up on price increases to give consumers a break.

The Chicago-based sandwich chain reported same-store sales up 8%, driven by traffic. That momentum is expected to continue into Q4.

Moves into high-population-growth states are driving revenue growth that company officials say will help the Chicago-based chain manage through ebbs and flows of consumer behavior.

The salad chain expects to open as many as nine of its Infinite Kitchen locations in 2024 while two to four existing units will be retrofitted with the robotic make lines. More are planned for 2025.

The move will help offset some of the $8 million per quarter the chain is spending on better food and staffing.

Blaze Pizza is preparing for a brand relaunch, but the concept must first solve some fundamental problems laid bare by the pandemic. CEO Beto Guajardo outlines his strategy for profitability.

The chain said business is returning to its pre-pandemic rhythms: "It feels like a relatively normal year."

He will stay on as consultant through Dec. 28 as the company searches for a replacement. COO Maria Hollandsworth will take leadership in the interim.

The fast-casual chain is streamlining operations as its parent company plans to go public. This is the latest step.

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