FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Global News Wrap Up: Arby's and Buffalo merge to form Inspire Brands Inc; Yum Brands to invest $200m in Grubhub; Dunkin' Donuts pledges to remove foam cups

Here is a summary of the most interesting QSR news stories of the week from around the world.

Renamed as Inspire Brands, Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. has merged with Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. to continue acquiring chains and targeting consumers in fast food and casual dining segments. According to The Wall Street Journal, the renamed Inspire Brands Inc. aims to acquire more chains to mitigate the threat of consumers losing their appetite for any one type of restaurant concept or cuisine. Chief executive Paul Brown said he envisions buying no more than 10 chains with systemwide sales of between $1 billion and $4.5 billion each. He said he is looking at a mix of franchise-owned and company-owned chains that offer a unique experience.

Chipotle has announced enhancements to benefits that will reach all of its 71,000 employees which will include bonuses, new training programs, and expanded parental leave for employees as a result of changes in U.S. tax law. Chipotle will reinvest more than one-third of its anticipated savings from tax law changes into its employees. The remainder of the reinvestment will be dedicated to improvement of restaurant facilities and operations.

As part of its commitment to serve the planet responsibly, Dunkin' Donuts announced plans to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain beginning in spring 2018, with a targeted completion date of 2020. In U.S. restaurants, Dunkin' Donuts will replace the foam cup with a new, double-walled paper cup. The majority of Dunkin' Donuts' international markets are currently using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal.

Yum Brands has announced a plan to invest $200 million in the online food ordering company Grubhub as part of a broad delivery and ordering partnership that will rapidly expand delivery at the company’s KFC and Taco Bell brands.Grubhub will be YUM’s only national partner providing dedicated support for KFC and Taco Bell branded online delivery channels, along with access to Grubhub’s online ordering platform, logistics, and last-mile support for delivery orders, and point-of-sale integration to streamline operations. KFC, Taco Bell and Grubhub will engage in joint marketing initiatives that will generate new diners and drive order frequency for existing diners.

To celebrate fifty years of Big Mac, McDonald's is introducing three new sizes of the burger. From February 7 until March 20, the Birthday Burger, Mac Jr., and Big Mac will be available to the guests in UK stores.

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