This Week In Foodservice

Jerry Stiegler aggregates key industry information and provides brief analysis to help foodservice professionals navigate the data.


More Chipotle News, Wendy’s Green Footprint and More!

Rounding up Chipotle news from the past week. Foodservice employment surged in January. Wendy’s pledges to cut energy usage by 20 percent. Furniture retailer Ikea becomes a destination restaurant and much more!

Chipotle Mexican Grill continues to make headlines for a variety of reasons. So it seems only natural to begin this week’s blog post with a roundup of a few of the more notable stories out there.

Economic News This Week 

Foodservice News This Week

  • Foodservice employment grew by 46,700 in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “jobs Friday” data. Not only does the industry continue to hire – which should indicate advancing sales – but also makes foodservice one of the fastest growing employers in the U.S.
  • Wendy’s commits to cutting energy usage by 20 percent. To achieve this goal by 2025 Wendy’s will install LED lighting, upgrade HVAC systems and install more efficient equipment.
  • Ikea says foodservice is becoming a core business. The Swedish owned furniture retailer said food sales, which include some packaged food products, rose 8.0 percent in the U.S. last year and traffic in its food sections is trending higher than the furnishings departments. Moreover, some customers come into Ikea stores just to eat. The company announced that all 41 of its U.S. stores will receive a restaurant makeover in the next few months.
  • Sysco reports case sales grew 3.9 percent, sales increased 0.6 percent to $12.2 billion and net earnings increased 72 percent.
  • For its second quarter, Performance Food Group Company reported case volume grew 4.2 percent, sales were up 2.7 percent to $3.9 billion and net income increased 36.7 percent.
  • A Qdoba franchisee says raising wages by $2 an hour cut turnover and improved service. Increasing hourly wages to $11 has been a “win-win” for everyone and the higher wage will be expanded to the franchisee’s other restaurants. The Greely, Colo., franchisee pointed out employees are required to show up on time, find their own replacements if they want a day off, and need to work as a team.
  • Corporate Stirrings: Food Management Partners announced the abrupt closing of 74 of the chain’s restaurants. The brands closed include HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain, and Country Buffet. The company stated the reason for shutting down the operations was underperformance.
  • Growth Chains: First Watch will open a total of 18 restaurants in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and College Station, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Domino’s Pizza will open 150 stores in India in the next 2 to 3 years. An Arby’s franchisee in Houston signed a new agreement for an additional 15 restaurants. Arby’s opened 60 new restaurants and remodeled 179 last year. Dunkin’ Donuts plans to add 430 to 460 restaurants in the U.S. Dickey’s Barbecue inked a development agreement for six locations in Nevada and two in southern California. Carl’s Jr. plans to open 10 restaurants in Australia.
  • Comparable Store Sales Reports: Arby’s up 8.1 percent, Ark Restaurants 7.4 percent, Baskin Robbins up 4.4 percent, Chipotle Mexican Grill down 14.6 percent, Dunkin’ Donuts down 0.8 percent, and YUM Brands (KFC up 3.0 percent, Pizza Hut up 1.0 percent and Taco Bell up 4.0 percent.)

For details and same-store sales of other chains, Please Click Here for the Green Sheet.