Biography

Jonathan Maze

Editor-in-Chief

 Contact Jonathan

Restaurant Business 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.”

Articles by
Jonathan Maze

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Financing

Reassessing McDonald's tech deals from 2019

The Bottom Line: The fast-food giant’s decision to end its drive-thru AI test with IBM is the latest pullback away from a pair of technology acquisitions it made five years ago.

Technology

McDonald's is ending its drive-thru AI test

The Chicago-based fast-food giant is ending its partnership with IBM on automated order-taking without an expansion. But McDonald’s still believes AI drive-thrus are in its future.

SouthRock Capital, which had also operated Starbucks and Subway units, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in Texas to protect its rights to the casual-dining restaurant chain.

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.

It was a tough year for the pizza business, as the average brand reported flat sales in 2023, according to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. Here’s a look at the largest chains in the U.S. based on 2023 system sales.

Papa Johns is bringing back its Cheesy Burger Pizza, after Pizza Hut created its Cheeseburger Melt, as major fast-food chains face challenges with their value reputation.

Stock in the food-and-games chain, which also owns Main Event, plunged early Thursday following a weak sales report.

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."

Menu price inflation slowed at fast-food restaurants last month. But prices throughout the industry continue to increase faster than at supermarkets.

A Deeper Dive: This week's episode of the podcast features James Walker, CEO of Frisch's Restaurants, to talk about the state of the restaurant industry.

The coffee shop chain is joining a growing number of fast-food restaurant chains pushing bundled deals to get customers to come in more often.

The Bottom Line: Limited-service restaurants have not cut jobs in California, despite the $20 fast-food wage. But that doesn't mean it hasn't had an impact.

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