It's been an eventful day for the restaurant industry. Here's a look at some of the news of note, along with a few quick takes on industry trends that are pushing into view:
Starbucks to fire up push-button Seattle's Best units
After moving into new products through acquisitions, Starbucks is blazing new channels for selling its coffee. The company announced today that it’s struck a deal with CoinStar to sell Seattle’s Best Coffee in “several thousand” vending machines for $1 a cup. Read more
Chains challenge the magic of the $5 sandwich
The $5 hero, a powerful customer draw for Subway and its mass-market competitors, is getting new competition. Chains of a different stripe are challenging the sandwich giants’ signature value by introducing either lower-ticket alternatives or comparably priced options that promise better quality. Read more
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday (founder).
Sandy Beall, one of the last of the chain restaurant industry’s founder-CEOs, has agreed to step down as the leader of Ruby Tuesday as soon as a successor is found. Read more
Trends appearing on our radar
Restaurants named after U.S.
presidents (Washington already has Lincoln, and will soon have Teddy & the
Bully Bar, named after Theodore Roosevelt…Single-cup drip-coffee specialists, a
la Napa Valley’s Ritual Coffee…Restaurant partners trying couples therapy, even
though their relationships are purely business-based. Just ask the guys in New
York who run The Meatball Shop.
Indie small dishes
Le Bec-Fin, Philadelphia's landmark fine-dining spot, is reopening under the ownership of Nicolas Fanucci, marking the end of the Georges Perrier era...Pinot Luongo is closing his Centolire after filing for bankruptcy for the one-time New York hotspot...Mickey Mantle's, where the Yankee great held court in his twilight years, is also closing.