Taco Bell and Chipotle Want to Shave Time off Food Deliveries

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“When it comes to restaurant delivery, speed matters. And the burrito chains want to be faster.

Taco Bell –– which now offers delivery at roughly two-thirds of its U.S. restaurants through GrubHub Inc. with plans to continue expanding the service –– says its average delivery time is 34 minutes. The company acknowledges that’s not good enough for today’s demanding customer.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., meanwhile, says it’s averaging between 28 and 32 minutes for delivery, but it thinks it can shave four minutes or so as it expands pickup shelves across the nation. It’s also introducing prepaid delivery so drivers don’t have to pay in stores. It’s all part of a digital push that is a key part of the comeback plan laid out under Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol in his first year on the job.”

“While restaurant delivery has long been part of the culture in major cities like New York and San Francisco, pizza was often the only option in many markets. That has started to change as on-demand delivery services like DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats have proliferated, joining GrubHub to expand delivery options.”

Read more here.

Sweetberry CEO predicts 300% growth in sales

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“Predicting a 300 percent sales increase for a 1-year-old brand is a pretty gutsy statement for any new business, but Sweetberry Bowls CEO Desi Saran is confident that he’s on to something.

The restaurant veteran and serial entrepreneur first opened the New Jersey-based brand, which serves acai, coconut and pitaya bowls, wraps, salads, smoothies, in 2017, and has since grown it to 13 locations. That was after he served as an operating partner at Playa Bowls, four years ago, helping to grow it from a beach-front smoothie stand to a national chain. He left that behind, however, to launch Sweetberry Bowls, which Saran said is on its way to becoming a global chain.”

“Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?
A
: Sweetberry Bowls is a brand new company, and we’re truly making a name for ourselves in the growing Acai bowl category, which is fairly new in the fast casual space. But, we’re not just a bowl concept or smoothie shop – we serve a full product mix of salads, sandwiches and wraps as well. As a result, our product offering isn’t just seasonal, but fully functional all year round.”

Read full interview here.

 

 

 

Papa John’s Accepts $200 Million Investment From Activist Hedge Fund

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“Papa John’s International Inc. is handing over the keys to the embattled pizza chain in exchange for a $200 million investment.

Activist fund Starboard Value LP is supplying the funds and its chief executive officer, Jeffrey Smith, is becoming chairman. He steps into the role vacated last year by Papa John’s founder John Schnatter after reports emerged that he used a racial slur. Schnatter tried to make his own similar deal and said he was shot down.

The infusion comes as the pizza chain also reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and last year that missed analysts’ estimates. The company had already been in a sales slump before the latest controversy began last summer. Papa John’s plans to use the proceeds to repay debt and invest in the business, it said in a statement. Starboard is making its investment through the purchase of new convertible preferred stock, and the deal includes the option of an additional $50 million investment.

Shares of Papa John’s gained as much as 11 percent to $42.74 in New York trading Monday, the biggest intraday jump since July.”

See more here.

Key Ingredients For Successful Organizational Change

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As we approach the end of 2018, many of you are probably planning business transformations for the New Year. However, the loftier the goals, the more care needs to be given to the process in achieving them. All organizations today face the need for more frequent and ongoing change in order to maintain their competitive advantages and relevance in the the marketplace. But change is exceedingly difficult in today’s more complex business battlefield. In the Navy SEAL Teams, we operated in what we referred to as VUCA environments: volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous. Sounds just like modern business doesn’t it?

Five Key Ingredients

Successful change formulas involve (1) vision, (2) benefits, (3) sponsorship, (4) resources and (5) methodology. If any of these five ingredients are left out, the outcome won’t taste all that great. For example, if aligned vision is lacking confusion sets in quickly. The key word being aligned. If senior leaders have varying ideas of what success looks like, things get messy really fast. When the benefits aren’t clear (or not clearly communicated), ambivalence occurs. Without full sponsorship from leadership, resistance spreads. Without resources, frustration. Without a clear methodology and approach, procrastination becomes the norm.

Read more in Forbes article here.

Dark Chocolate Oreos Are a New Permanent Flavor Hitting Shelves Soon

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“Oreo‘s newest flavor isn’t as crazy as their usual offerings—and even more surprising, it’s here to stay.

The beloved cookie company announced on Wednesday that Dark Chocolate Oreos will become a permanent flavor hitting shelves next year. The brand decided to announce the news timed to the upcoming winter solstice, the day with the shortest period of daylight (so the darkest day of the year), on Dec. 21 even though the cookies won’t hit stands until Jan. 2.

The new treats come with a dark chocolate creme—”made with real cocoa” as touted on the packaging—sandwiched between their classic chocolate wafers.”

See more here.

Fast Food Prices Rise to Better Reflect True Costs

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“Dollar cheeseburgers and discount nuggets are getting Americans in the door at their favorite fast-food joints, but the savings end there.

Even as the recent fast-food discount wars rage on, with Burger King advertising 10 chicken nuggets for $1 and Pizza Hut offering $5 pies, fast-food items that don’t make it onto value menus are actually climbing in price. Median fast-food hamburger prices have jumped 54 percent over the last decade to about $6.95, according to menu researcher Datassential. Chicken sandwiches are up 27 percent. Both surpass overall U.S. price inflation during that same time.”

“McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, recently started touting a $6 meal including a burger, fries, a drink and a pie, but it’s also offering plenty of items at the other end of the price scale. Its honey-barbecue glazed chicken tenders are more than $6 without any drinks or sides, and the new Bacon Smokehouse Quarter Pounder meal runs nearly $9 in Chicago.”

Read more here.

Designing a Chain Restaurant for 40 Million Travelers

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“The estimated 40,000,000 people that pass through Washington D.C’s Union Station annually were a major consideration throughout the 6-month development of one of its newest bars and restaurants. Legal Sea Bar (part of the 37-Restaurant Legal Sea Foods chain) opened this past July on the West side of the station’s mezzanine level, was designed with high traffic in mind.

And so the casual bar/restaurant combo is “primarily designed for people trying to catch a train.” Small details take travelers’ needs into account: there are designated areas to put suitcases aside where visitors are still able to keep an eye on them, sufficient space between tables to store luggage, and ample hooks underneath the bar for easier purse and backpack storage.”

Read more here.