Starbucks' upscale 23,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery, which opened in New York City last week, highlights the coffee chain's growing focus on creating experiences. "The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is one example of how we amplify the brand with the ultimate experience around all things coffee," said CEO Kevin Johnson.
As more restaurant sales shift to takeout and delivery, operators should worry less about the size of their eateries and more about how they're using the space to build brand loyalty, T3's Ben Gaddis writes. Restaurants can start by identifying the type of experience their customers want and arranging the space to feed those needs.
J. Michael Schlotman will step down as chief financial officer at Kroger next April after two decades in the position. Schlotman will be succeeded by Gary Millerchip, now chief executive of Kroger Personal Finance.
Boston's ban on plastic bags at checkouts has begun going into effect, starting with larger retail locations and being phased in over the next eight months. Retailers can still use recyclable paper, reusable or compostable bags if they charge at least 5 cents for them.
Many independent grocers are finding the right niches for their stores, putting themselves in a position to prosper as the business changes, says John Derderian, president and CEO of Allegiance Retail Services/Foodtown. "Independents can cater to the local population, by tying it to community programs and providing superior service and quality to what most of the major chains could do," Derderian says.
Restaurant chains can use location data not only to gauge customer visits to their own restaurants but also to see when patrons are dining at rival establishments. In one recent example of putting the technology to use in real time, Burger King used its mobile app to offer 1-cent Whoppers to users who were within 600 feet of a McDonald's restaurant.
Restaurant chains such as BurgerFi are starting to experiment with facial-recognition technology that speeds the ordering and payment process. BurgerFi has installed touch-screen kiosks with facial recognition for returning customers who have opted to have their pictures taken on previous visits.
As cell-cultured meat gets closer to becoming a commercial reality, the technology is raising questions for those who eschew certain animal foods on ethical or religious grounds. In Israel, rabbis have begun debating whether meat raised in the lab could be considered kosher.
Boston-based software startup Toast began as a mobile app that morphed into a point-of-sale system for restaurants. The company, which raised $115 million in a funding round last year, developed the Toast Go device that servers can carry in their pocket and use to take orders and process payments at the table.
Israel-based Aleph Farms has made a minute steak from cells collected from a cow and cultured in the lab -- the first cell-cultured meat that's not a ground-meat product. The steak won't be commercially available for two years or more, the company said.