Red Lobster credits a mention in a new Beyonce song for at least part of the 33% jump in sales on Super Bowl Sunday, the company said. The song, "Formation," helped make the brand a trending topic on Twitter for the first time. "It's clear that Beyonce has helped create some Red Lobster fans, and we are very grateful to her for that," said CEO Kim Lopdrup.
Taco Bell's tongue-in-cheek strategy to build buzz around its newest menu item in advance of debut on Super Bowl Sunday accomplished its mission, the company said. Fans preordered more than 67,000 Quesalupas through the chain's online reservation system before they even knew what it was.
Bankrupt A&P has sold its SuperFresh banner to Key Food Stores Co-Operative, which will open stores under the banner as soon as this month, Key Food said Tuesday. The New York-based cooperative, which also acquired A&P's Food Emporium banner, plans to use the SuperFresh brand for large-format suburban stores.
Whole Foods Market will offer dozens of exclusive products that are Kosher for Passover through a partnership with Kedem Food Products. The retailer's Kosher for Passover selection will include the first Kosher for Passover Fair Trade coffee, ancient-grain matzo and the first biodynamic grape juice available in the US. The partnership, which was established about 10 years ago, aims to fill a gap in the market for natural and organic kosher foods.
Awareness of speed and supplier size are vital to Strack & Van Til's local produce initiative, which the retailer began testing at some of its 38 stores last summer. Through the test, the retailer learned that small local suppliers will only have enough product for a limited number of stores and that Strack & Van Til must be ready to buy local produce whenever it becomes available, said Dave Negron, the company's vice president of perishables and fresh.
Teacher sick-outs in Detroit have highlighted poor building conditions and a lack of resources in many city schools. The mayor has ordered inspections for all school buildings. District officials say they are working to fix the issues, noting, however, that a lack of funding is getting in the way of progress. The district is more than $500 million in debt.
Many of this year's hottest food and restaurant trends build on those of past years, from the shift to more veggie-centric plates to the revival of "heritage cuisines," according to an annual forecast from Baum + Whiteman. Also hot and getting hotter -- retailers from Saks to Target using restaurants to keep shoppers lingering longer and spending a bit more.
The International Franchise Association filed a brief in support of NRA's challenge to New York City's plan to raise the minimum wage for quickservice workers to $15 an hour. "Applying a new mandatory minimum wage increase to a narrow group of businesses significantly violates both the U.S. Constitution as well as fundamentals tenants of fairness," said IFA President Robert Cresanti.
Restaurants have to raise prices from time to time, to offset rising food and labor costs, and there are ways to make it relatively painless for customers, according to a panel of restaurateurs. Their tips: wait until it's time to make seasonal changes to the menu, keep the price the same on a signature item, work with suppliers to try and reduce ingredient costs before raising menu prices, and lower the price of some items at the same time that you raise others.
As the popularity of bison grows on restaurant menus and in home kitchens, producers are divided in their methods for raising the once nearly extinct animals. Ted Turner, the broadcast mogul credited with popularizing the meat, opts for a style similar to the way beef cattle are raised, while others opt for something that more closely imitates the animals' condition in the wild, including grass feeding and humane slaughter methods.
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