Portland, Ore.-based Salt & Straw has raised $4.2 million in a new funding round led by the Oregon Venture Fund. The 19-unit ice cream shop chain will use the funds to invest in new technology to build its delivery and direct-to-consumer efforts, CEO Kim Malek said.
A school district in Arkansas has expanded its summer-meal program this year, adding three additional locations, says Kathy Platt, the district's child nutrition director. The district offers free breakfast and lunch to anyone under age 18 and lets adults buy those meals for around $5 per day.
Fast-casual chain Sweetgreen will now offer five months of paid leave for parents who add children to their families through birth, fostering or adoption. The perk will be offered to full- and part-time employees who have been with the company for at least six months.
McDonald's is keeping an eye on the rise of plant-based meat alternatives but isn't ready to add a meatless burger to the menu, Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado told investors at the chain's annual shareholder meeting. Consumers have urged the addition of a plant-based option, but the company is still working to gauge consumer interest.
Restaurants looking to cut waste and trim their produce bills can join with local farmers, farmers markets and other food sellers to source imperfect fruits and vegetables, culinary arts professor Jonathan Deutsch writes. Overripe tomatoes can make a better sauce than firmer versions of the fruit, and consumers never see the whole veggies that go into soups and chopped salads.
A study by advertising technology company Viant looked at restaurant visits by nearly 1.9 million consumers over six months and identified five different segments to help restaurants target their marketing efforts. "With a better understanding of their customer base, [quick-serves] can build cohesive marketing strategies and drive traffic to their restaurants," Viant Chief Marketing Officer Jon Schulz said.
A California school district recently diverted almost 26,000 pounds of food from cafeterias that otherwise would have been wasted and donated the food to people in need. The effort was part of Kern County's Waste Hunger Not Food program, which collected milk, juice and produce from local schools.
A South Carolina middle school is offering a challenging, CrossFit-like gym class to help students perform better in their other classes. At least one teacher says the fitness program has improved the students' ability to focus and has reduced their behavioral issues.
Prompted to divulge the most expensive wines they've ever tasted, wine pros across the US named an array of fine vintages. Bill Burkhart of New Orleans' The Grill Room named a $10,000 bottle of Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Romanee 2010, while David Metz of Washington's The Jefferson recalls a 1959 Chateau Margaux poured from a magnum.
When asked to name the gin brand they'd choose if they only had one selection available, some bartenders looked to classics like Beefeater, which John Stanton of Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa in the Cayman Islands prefers. Josh Cameron of New York's Boulton & Watt leans toward Cotswolds Gin, a newer offering, for its balanced flavors and oily texture.
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