FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Weekly Global News Wrap: Starbucks US taps digital menus; Flippy stops flipping after two days of work; McDonald's US launches fresh beef

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

Starbucks Corporation - facing flagging growth in the US - is testing digital menu boards to boost sales, especially for the slower afternoon period. According to Bloomberg, the chain has installed the new menus in a handful of US locations. There are also digital menus in some Starbucks airport stores. Read more here.

He was supposed to revolutionize a California fast food kitchen, churning out 150 burgers per hour without requiring a paycheck or benefits. But according to Chicago Tribune, after a single day of working as a cook at a Caliburger location in Pasadena this week, Flippy the burger-flipping robot has stopped flipping. Read more here.

Pizza Hut has something special for this year’s March Madness: a pair of sneakers that you can use to order pizza. According to Fortune, the pizza chain is introducing Pie Tops II - a pair of limited-edition shoes that can be used to order pizza and also pause the college basketball game you’re watching. The shoes come with buttons on their tongues that can be used a bit like keyboards. Press the button one foot to order pizza, and the button on the tongue of the other shoe to pause the game. 

McDonald's is no longer testing fresh beef, it's launching it. In an article by CNBC, the burger giant said it has already brought fresh beef Quarter Pounder patties to about 3,500 domestic restaurants so far and it plans to reach some 14,000 U.S. locations by early May. Locations in Hawaii and Alaska are not included in this rollout.

In celebration of International Women's Day, McDonald's has flipped its ‘golden arches’ logo to show a ‘W’, according to restaurant officials. According to an article by Reuters, a McDonald’s in Lynwood, California, which is owned and operated by a woman, first flipped its ‘M’ at the sign in front of the restaurant to celebrate women everywhere, the company said in a statement. By Thursday, all of McDonald’s social media profiles, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, were displaying an upside-down logo.

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