Fast-casual chains have launched new ingredients and menu items designed to help customers stick to their New Year's resolutions to eat healthier and manage their weight. Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Jamba Juice offer kale, carrots, berries, seeds and other whole-food ingredients, and others including Panera Bread, MOOYAH, Einstein Bros. and McAlister's Deli have launched new lower-calorie menus.
Chipotle Mexican Grill ranked first on a Market Force survey of consumers' favorite fast-casual Mexican chains, followed by Baja Fresh and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Taco Cabana, Qdoba, El Pollo Loco, Taco John’s, Taco Bell and Del Taco rounded out the top 10 in the survey of 7,600 U.S. consumers. "[C]hains that are satisfying consumers' taste for fresh ingredients, friendly service and a comfortable setting are emerging as the category leaders," Market Force's Janet Eden-Harris said.
Small businesses are in dire need of credit to grow and create jobs, and it's tougher to get than ever before, making it clearer than ever that politicians need to put aside their differences and solve the problems in a bipartisan way, says Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in this CNBC interview.
Dallas-based Pizza Patron is poised to open the first of 30 planned stores for the Chicago area, expecting its appeal to Latinos to translate to the Midwest. Sales at the 101-unit chain that accepts payment in Mexican pesos and features chorizo-topped pizzas rose 77% in the past five years, with most of that growth coming as a result of an unwavering appeal to one core audience, said founder and owner Antonio Swad.
When Randall Grahm, owner of Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, Calif., decided to make every ingredient in his wines visible on their labels, he expected to surprise customers and inspire other vineyards to do the same. Instead, "people haven't really noticed," Grahm said. "I would have liked to see ... the start of a drumbeat about transparency," he added. Only a few other vineyards, among them Long Island's Shinn Estate Vineyards, have followed Grahm's initiative.