A key ingredient in pho, Chinese five-spice mix and biryani, star anise is also a fitting addition to holiday drinks and desserts. The Midwinter Night's Dream pop-up bar in New York City garnishes its Secret Garden Sangria with star anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs and edible flowers.
Hard Rock International has refurbished several US restaurants with hints of what's to come with the opening of a new Hard Rock Cafe prototype in London in 2019. The changes include updated decor and a "Burger Room" where beef will be ground on-site.
Panera Bread will give new loyalty club members a reward in their MyPanera account for a free bagel every day through the end of the year. Other chains are also offering free food for joining their rewards programs, including Captain D's, Cinnabon and Corner Bakery Cafe.
Heather Neary, president of Auntie Anne's, began learning the secrets to successful hospitality with her first job in a sub shop, and those lessons stayed with her as she rose through the ranks at Auntie Anne's. "We're a franchise-based business, and it's important we understand how the decisions we make at corporate impact every single store," she writes.
Consumers, including a majority of millennials, say they want to cook at home more often in the coming year, according to a survey from online grocer Peapod. The survey found considerable interest in using click-and-collect at 27%, followed by home grocery delivery at 26% and meal kit delivery at 20%.
Health outreach efforts including in-store clinics and dietitian-led tours have helped Albertsons win acclaim for innovation in pharmacy services, Seth Mendelson writes. "It just makes sense to teach patients about healthy eating and medication management for conditions like diabetes in the same place they buy their groceries and pick up prescriptions each week," says Donna Dolan of Albertsons Pharmacies.
Smithfield Foods is optimizing its product development capabilities in such recent launches as Prime Fresh Delicatessen packaged deli meat and Carando meatballs. "As Smithfield Foods continues its evolution to a world class consumer packaged goods and protein company, we're on a path to make innovation part of our DNA," said Will Brunt, chief innovation officer.
Eatsa technically was a fast-casual restaurant concept when it launched in 2015, but the automated model always was more of a tech startup, CEO Tim Young said. While Eatsa's restaurants have closed, other growing chains, including Wow Bao and Mac'd, are licensing Eatsa's technology as they expand.
Delivery-only concepts called "virtual restaurants" are poised to grow along with consumers' demand for convenience, according to NPD Group. Third-party delivery services, including Deliveroo and Uber Eats, are paving the way for the fast-growing concepts.