This week’s 5 head-spinning moments: Glittering change

Woe to the restaurant that won't change with the times. But some recent results of social and business pressures were real head-scratchers, including developments at Sonic and Starbucks.


Sonic hits on a program to boost margins

The initiative teaches franchisees how to use their POS and back-office systems as more effective cost-cutting tools.

The app-based system will enable customers of the drive-in brand to place a customized order for delivery to their car window at a particular time.

The updated discounting windows are more likely to come during the day or at night, and the drinks are as likely to be nonalcoholic as full strength.

Competition between the buns heats up as operators raise their game to win customers.

The updated campaign will now include comediennes Jane Krakowski and Ellie Kemper, part of the chain's effort to draw more female patrons.

Starting Monday, the chain will offer a cheeseburger with under 350 calories.

The company also promoted Corey Horsch to CFO and elected a new director.

When the happy talk is all about taxes, you know this was a good spell for restaurants. Also on the plus side: a cover-up for breastaurants, a lovefest for the big burger chains and bitcoins make an inroad.

The chain expects as much as a 10-percentage-point improvement in its tax rate, thanks to reform.