Red Lobster is heading into its 50th year with a plan to grow through online ordering, delivery and a focus on snack-size dishes, said Chief Executive Officer Kim Lopdrup. "Earlier this month, we turned on online ordering at 54% of our restaurants and we are now at 95%. We'll be at 100% by the end of the month," he said.
Panera Bread has adopted technology based on how new innovations can support the restaurant chain's main business, President and CEO Blaine Hurst said at Retail's Big Show. "It's the food. It's the experience. It's that total integrated experience that makes the difference," he said.
Kroger is actively recruiting managers, with an emphasis on the technology and digital field, as part of its Restock Kroger initiative, having plans for a $500 million investment in staffing. The grocer has also partnered with omnichannel solutions provider Myxx to offer shoppable recipes that are connected to 1,300 of its stores.
Walmart has applied for a patent for a system called Fresh Online Experience, which would give online customers the option of seeing and approving fresh food choices over the internet, according to data and analytics firm CB Insights. Meat, produce and bakery items would receive a visual stamp to assure shoppers they are receiving the item they saw.
Online grocery sales are expected to reach $100 billion and account for 25% of the total market by 2025, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by FMI. Amazon's current share of that market is 18%, according to data from One Click Retail.
Schools in Hawaii will have access to about 34,000 pounds of locally sourced bananas this month through the Hawaii State Department of Education's 'Aina Pono Harvest of the Month Program. One school will use the bananas in menu items, such as banana pie and banana crumble.
Away from beer-loving Prague, a group of winemakers in the Czech Republic's eastern half are creating momentum for natural wines in an association called Autentiste. The wines are made with regional grapes and in styles that are true to the region's central European roots.
Certifications in the beverage industry require a sizable commitment in time and effort and can be key to showing a person's commitment in the field, David Flaherty writes. "A certification is a positive flag that a candidate is serious about the industry, especially if it's someone who's trying to make a career change," said Christy Frank of Copake Wine Works in Copake, N.Y.
Burger King has launched the premium-priced Double Quarter Pound King Sandwich, made with two quarter-pound beef patties with cheese. The new burger, which will sell for around $5.39, is expected to compete head-on with rival McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
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