Panera Bread expanded its "pay-what-you-can" concept to a turkey chili dish added to the menu at its 48 St. Louis, Mo., stores. Called "The Meal of Shared Responsibility," the suggested price for the chili in a bread bowl with chips is $5.98, but just as they do at the chain's Panera Cares cafes, customers can pay more, less or nothing.
The year's hot food trend lists all counted healthier dining trends at or near the top, and restaurants including quickservice chains seem to be feeding the growing demand. Smoothies, launched by McDonald's back in 2010, are catching on with more chains, Burger King recently added a turkey burger to the menu, and sibling chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's debuted a charbroiled fish sandwich.
Papa Murphy's CEO Ken Calwell paid for college with the landscape business he started before opting to further his education; this week, he spoke to students and alumni of his alma mater, Washburn University, sharing business lessons learned since his 1984 graduation. "Business is about people," he said. "It’s about people trying to do something as a team, and I love that."
Olive Garden’s Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken and Outback's Chicken on the Barbie were the only two dishes of 17 tested that had higher calorie or fat counts than the ones listed on the menu, according to a study from Consumer Reports. Overall, dishes from Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Denny’s, and Red Lobster varied widely when it came to portion sizes, researchers found.
Quickservice chains plan to push the seafood during the next 40 days, as millions of Americans eschew meat for the duration of the Lenten season. The season marks the return to the menu of limited-time offerings including Taco Bell's Pacific Shrimp Taco and Wendy's Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich, as well as new offerings including a line of Shrimp Tampico dishes at Taco Cabana and Baja shrimp tacos at Del Taco.