Industry News

Top 10: Burger King’s Restaurant of Tomorrow, Jelly Belly branches out into chocolate

Grilling recipes and techniques were top-of-mind among readers of The Friday Feed as they headed into Labor Day weekend. Burger shaping best practices from The Kitchn, barbecue sauce wisdom from Food & Wine and a roster of diverse cookout recipes from Bon Apetit and Taste of Home all fed readers’ cravings for one last taste of summer. 

Readers of the brief, which is a partnership between SmartBrief and the Culinary Institute of America, paid attention to what restaurants had on the menu for the long weekend as well, and also read up on insights into the future of the industry from a group of chefs and restaurateurs. 

Readers also shared their thoughts on the poll question “Have you ever purchased a meal kit from a restaurant with ingredients you cooked (or finished cooking) at home? Check out the poll results and subscribe now. 

In restaurant news this week, stories about new quickserve formats designed to meet the needs of consumers still grappling with the pandemic proved popular. Restaurant drive-thru visits soared 26% in April, May and June, according to NPD Group data, and several chains unveiled new formats boasting smaller dining rooms and additional drive-thru lanes.

Burger King’s two new "Restaurant of Tomorrow" designs feature multiple drive-thru lanes, covered areas for drive-in dining where customers can order from their cars via an app, curbside pickup spaces and lockers that allow for contactless pickup of mobile and delivery orders.

Other chains including Taco Bell and Shake Shack are doing similar redesigns to meet changing customer needs. 

Bloomin’ Brands, the parent of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, is also catering to off-premise dining demand with the launch of Tender Shack, a delivery-only chicken concept created in partnership with DoorDash. Tender Shack’s food will be prepared in Carrabba’s restaurant kitchens. 

CPG news also made the Top 10 list, including a story about Coca-Cola’s new leadership team and its creation of five global business categories that ranked as the most-read food-and-beverage story of the week.

Jellybean brand Jelly Belly’s launch of gourmet chocolates caught readers’ attention too. The brand has created Gourmet Milk Chocolate Truffles in nine flavors and Gourmet Milk Chocolate Bars in cherry and mint. 

The most-clicked story in grocery retail this week was the news of an expanded partnership between Amazon and Kohl’s. The e-commerce giant is opening a 37,000-square-foot grocery store inside an 88,000-square-foot Kohl’s store in La Verne, Calif. 

Read the entire Top 10:

  1. Coca-Cola names operating unit team, 5 category units
  2. L.A. chef's babka is a braided and baked work of art
  3. Jelly Belly enters gourmet chocolate category
  4. Report: Amazon joining with Kohl's on grocery
  5. Bloomin' Brands unveils delivery-only chicken concept
  6. EPA approves Pine-Sol cleaner for combating coronavirus
  7. Burger King's new designs reflect the times
  8. 6 food, beverage trends resulting from pandemic
  9. Military experience prepped Campbell exec for pandemic
  10. Drive-thrus define new chain restaurant formats

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