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Lisa Jennings

Executive Editor

Articles by
Lisa Jennings

Page 3

Sweetgreen's robotic Infinite Kitchen is finally open

The fully automated makeline is described as faster and more accurate, and could cut labor costs in half. A second location, converted from an existing restaurant, will come later this year.


BurgerFi CEO Ian Baines to retire in June

Baines plans to stay on as a consultant for another 12 months while a replacement is found. COO John Iannucci will lead as interim.

John Mackey and several former Whole Foods execs are building a restaurant brand around the notion that food is medicine. The plant-based restaurant is only one part of the brand, which will later include medical services and wellness programs.

He joins the growing chain as it nears its 100th store opening and accelerates growth into new markets around the country.

The long-awaited automated format will open first in Naperville, Ill. A second one is coming later this year at a converted existing restaurant.

In the ongoing effort to boost profitability, the in-store technology has proven to be the highest-margin channel for the brand and kiosk sales doubled in the first quarter.

Investments in national advertising during NBA and NFL games drove traffic during the first quarter. Also the new chicken sandwich line is attracting new users and boosting frequency.

But the research was underwritten by the SEIU, which also backed the controversial Fast Act bill. Industry reps say the data has "zero credibility."

The new Veggie Shack, made with mushrooms, sweet potato, carrots and grains, goes national this week. It's not vegan, but aims for consumers looking for less-processed meat alternatives.

Partners in the high-grossing restaurant are back in court to battle charges from investors who say they are owed millions. Maple & Ash owners call the charges "futile attempts to gain publicity."

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.

This year's promotion taps users of the new event-planning platform Partiful, with BOGOs designed to bring in people who have never tried Chipotle before.

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