Washington, D.C.-based salad chain Sweetgreen has raised $35 million in a new funding round, which it will use to expand to more new markets, the company said. The chain has 31 locations, including units in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and it will open its second Los Angeles-area eatery next month.
TGI Friday's is handing out codes to burger buyers as part of a social media campaign aimed at wooing millennials. Post the codes to Twitter feeds, and the first friend to click gets a free burger. "We wanted to connect with younger guests to come and try Friday's and see that it's something different," said CEO Nick Shepherd.
Des Moines, Iowa, might be the first market to test a standalone grocery store that is a cross between "an ATM and a very large vending machine," using a robotic system called Oasis24Seven, reports Ashlee Kieler of Consumerist. Grocery stores are increasing using technology to monitor shopping as well as tackle in-store theft.
The latest irreverent ad campaign from restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods urges consumers to convert to Pescatarianism. "We love the idea that we're elevating seafood to a religious experience," said CEO Roger Berkowitz.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's office will promote a proposal to expand the city's composting program and make it mandatory for hotel restaurants and other large venues to compost their food scraps starting next year. Eventually all restaurants in the city would be required to compost. "We want to be at the forefront of cities that are going to zero-waste-to-landfill," said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
Eight of Texas' largest school districts say they do not plan to serve fried foods or soda despite a recent statewide policy change allowing them to do so. "Despite the reversal, we believe the healthy changes that have been made to our school menus remain in the best interest of our students," said Melissa Martinez, a spokeswoman for El Paso's school district. "It also would be cost prohibitive to retrofit all of our kitchens with deep fryers."
CiCi's Pizza unveiled a new design and a smaller footprint with the opening of its Little Elm, Texas, restaurant last week, after spending 18 months on a revitalization strategy for the brand, CEO Darin Harris said. "The fun part now is the tools and strategies come to fruition," he said.
Private-sector franchises added 28,800 new jobs in June, led by restaurants which created 10,380 new positions, according to the ADP Research Institute. "Both restaurants and auto parts and dealers added jobs at a pace well above the previous month's totals," said Vice President Ahu Yildirmaz.
Clean labels that highlight short lists of simple and natural ingredients have become an industry standard, according to Innova Market Insights. The research firm found that use of "clean label ingredients" such as natural sweeteners increased in 2014. Fewer products are using the term "natural" on packaging, which can be confusing to consumers since it is not regulated in the U.S.
China has reached an agreement with France that will recognize the Bordeaux appellation as a brand in the Chinese market, a move that marks a "historic advance" in efforts to combat counterfeit wines, the French agricultural ministry said. The ministry has been in talks with the Chinese government since 2011 about the issue, and another 100 geographical labels between the two nations are also part of current, extensive trade discussions.