President-elect Donald Trump yesterday announced his intention to nominate Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. parent CKE Restaurants, for labor secretary. Puzder has been vocal about his opposition to overregulation of businesses and will likely support rolling back some of the Obama administration's regulatory initiatives.
Kroger-owned Pay Less stores in Indiana are running a holiday food drive that encourages customers to either add donations to their totals or to buy full bags of food for the needy. Other grocers are also raising funds and awareness for charitable causes this season, including Fresh Thyme Farmers Market which has partnered with a group that provides moms and kids with vitamins.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent will be stepping down on May 1 from the position he has held since 2008, but will continue his role as chairman. The company's current COO and president, James Quincey, will take over as CEO when Kent departs.
Frankford Candy Company is seeing its Wonder Ball products "flying off the shelf" after relaunching the brand in Wal-Mart stores this year, said Director of Marketing Molly Jacobson. The treat-filled hollow chocolate balls currently contain Minions-branded characters, and the company debuted its "Wonder Ball is Back" contest to promote the relaunch.
Mountain Dew's Super Bowl spot featuring a "PuppyMonkeyBaby" was among the ten most-watched ads of the year on YouTube. The commercial uses a fictional animal to present the message that Mountain Dew Kickstart has juice, soda and caffeine, all combined into one drink.
Roger Verge left his mark on the culinary world before his death in 2015, but perhaps his most lasting contribution was the idea that culinary endeavors should come from a place of happiness and harmony. Top chefs including Daniel Boulud and Francis Mallmann prepared a dinner in September to honor Verge, who they remember as an affable man dedicated to delighting his customers.
Japanese sweets called wagashi are artful bites meant to be served with tea. The intricate designs rendered in bean paste often depict elements of nature, and shops offer inventory that changes with the seasons.
Five years after opening its first restaurant, PDQ has expanded to 55 locations in eight states and plans to open 45 additional eateries next year, adding four states to the lineup. The Tampa, Fla.-based fast-casual chicken chain recently rolled out a revamped website debuting its new tagline, "A Fresh Take on Fast Food," and landed the top spot for pleasant demeanor in QSR's 2016 Drive-Thru Study.
Taco Bell is working on a YouTube campaign that will produce two episodic series for YouTube next year and invite customers to submit their own content. A series called "Taco Tales" will share stories of unexpected events that happen in Taco Bell stores, and a second series called "Taco Bell Clips Show" will feature comedy sketches inspired by fan content.
Many restaurants enjoy increased traffic and tips during December, which can help offset slower traffic after the new year. A major driver of December sales is corporate holiday parties, which "typically include some of the highest single restaurant expenditures for companies," according to research by Dinova for the NRA, which found that 36% of companies budget between $50-$75 per guest, and 43% budget between $25-$50 per guest.
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