FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Weekly Global News Wrap: Starbucks sees growth in digital; Wendy's unveils new concept in London; Taco Bell to roll out chips in groceries

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

Wendy's US is the only fast food chain that has refused to join the Fair Food Program (FFP), which was established in 2011 as a partnership of farmers, farmworkers, and food retailers committed to ensuring humane wages and working conditions for the laborers who pick fruits and vegetables on certain farms, according to an article by ELLE. Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, and Taco Bell are all on board, and yet Wendy's has held out.

Starbucks Corporation has hosted its 26th Annual Meeting of Shareholders, with more than 3,500 shareholders, partners (employees), invited guests and board members in attendance. Starbucks president and chief executive officer Kevin Johnson highlighted three core assets of the company which include increasing digital engagement, growing relevancy in China, and celebrating the Starbucks Reserve brand as the company’s innovation lab for the future. Read more here.

With revitalised decor, comfortable seating and other amenities, customers will enjoy a new Wendy's experience when they visit the new restaurant at 877 London Blvd. The new restaurant model, named the Smart 55, is designed with a smaller footprint than a traditional Wendy's restaurant and is energy efficient, including high efficiency HVAC units, LED lighting, and use of ENERGY STAR kitchen equipment. Read more here.

In France, everyone is required to take a day off per week. Even if you run your own business. That lesson was learned the hard way by Cedric Vaivre, who owns a bakery in the tourist region of Lake Bakey in Lusigny-sur-Barse, which is about 120 miles south-east of Paris. To meet the demands of the summer season, Vaivre made fresh croissants and baguettes seven days a week. However, local labour laws state that small businesses can only work six out of seven days maximum. Read more from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Panera Bread said that its retail sales for Panera at Home’s refrigerated soups exceeded $100 million in 2017. According to St. Louis Business Journal, Panera’s strong growth in refrigerated soups can be attributed to the company’s commitment to 100 percent clean food, which is free from artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors and colors, the company said. 

Taco Bell announced its plans to bring Taco Bell-branded tortilla chips — inspired by the flavours of their tiny sauce packets — to grocery and convenience stores around US. Read more here.

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