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Jonathan Maze

Editor-in-Chief

Articles by
Jonathan Maze

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Marketing

Domino’s and Netflix will let you order pizza ‘with your mind’

The pizza chain has a new mind ordering app, an immersive experience designed to mimic Hawkins, Ind., in 1986, the location of the show “Stranger Things.” The app uses facial recognition and eye movements to let customers order pizzas.

Financing

McDonald's says it is selling its Russia business

The burger giant is exiting the market after 32 years, saying ownership of restaurants there is "no longer tenable." It is the company's first exit of a major market in its history.

While consumers have been flocking to chicken concepts, burgers remain a major draw and chains serving them have thrived since the pandemic, according to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

A record 1,700 stores changed hands last year. High valuations and a difficult operating environment are leading many franchisees to sell their restaurants. But some say culture problems, low morale and constant disputes are playing a major role.

The Bottom Line: The drive-thru coffee chain’s sales were weak because of high gas prices and its more conservative pricing decisions. But it hurt the chain’s earnings and its reputation on Wall Street.

The company’s labor issues have improved, but food costs have risen 17% over the past year, thanks to high beef costs. It says pricing alone won’t fix the problem.

The doughnut chain said that its attention-getting doughnuts, such as one stuffed with a Twix bar, and more locations can generate sales without major price hikes.

The drive-thru beverage chain’s stock price plunged 30% Wednesday after the company said sales declined in April due to rising gas prices and profits thinned because of higher dairy costs.

The Bottom Line: Quick-service restaurant executives say they’re seeing fewer visits from people with lower incomes and more visits from those with higher incomes. But that difference may not last for long.

Prices at table-service locations increased 8.7% year over year last month, and food-away-from-home inflation rose 7.2%. But grocery prices increased even more.

Company-operated stores’ profits declined on higher costs, but the chain had one of its best years for unit growth in its history.

The revolving sushi chain said a search has started for his replacement.

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