Here is a summary of the most interesting QSR news stories of the week from around the world.
Fast Company got an exclusive look at the updated Beyond Meat R&D lab in El Segundo, California, where scientists attempt to solve the question of artificial meat: particularly, how it can be mimicked, and how it can be made to look, feel, and taste like the real thing.
The El Segundo operation dedicates itself to flavor, aroma, appearance, and texture. Every day, a team of scientists essentially share one job: to discover how ingredients such as peas or fava beans can become an alternative to cows and other animals.
“Everything here is an investment toward that goal of making it indistinguishable,” says founder and CEO Ethan Brown. Read more here.
McDonald's is giving away free fries every Friday for the rest of the year to US customers who spend at least $1 through the fast food chain’s mobile app.
CNN reports that McDonald’s has started to focus a lot of attention on the app in an effort to revitalize declining sales and appeal to younger crowds.
The company has seen poor performance earlier in the decade, as new competitors emerged and consumers pivoted to healthier choices. However, the brand has rebounded, in part because of new leadership. But it is still integrating technology into its business model. Read more here.
Forbes examined the rise and fall of the founder and former CEO of Papa John’s John Schnatter. Under Schnatter’s leadership, the pizza chain’s business had grown to 5,000 stores and $1.7 billion in revenue, and his fortune tallied some $950 million. However, a recent string of flare-ups and controversy forced the company to evict him from headquarters and he lost his position as CEO and chairman.
Based on interviews with 37 current and former Papa John’s employees—including numerous executives and board members—Schnatter’s alleged behavior ranges from spying on his workers to sexually inappropriate conduct, which has resulted in at least two confidential settlements. Read more here.
Spanish startup Glovo recently received an estimated $134 million to beef up its on-demand delivery business, as reported by TechCrunch.
Glovo, whose platform lets app users summon a gig economy worker to shop on their behalf, be it for a takeaway burger or a multi-bag supermarket shop, has bagged a €115 million (~$134M) Series C round of funding. Glovo’s business was reportedly valued at more than €300 million.
The lead investors in the Series C are Rakuten Capital, Seaya Ventures and Cathay Innovation, which had also invested in its Series B.
Commenting on the Series C, Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, a managing partner at Rakuten Capital, told TechCrunch: “Delivery is becoming increasingly global in reach. At Rakuten Capital, we are very excited about outstanding companies like Glovo, which continue to strike a mark by operating with utmost efficiency and filling an obvious gap in demand in Southern Europe, LatAm and beyond.” Read more here.
In South Africa, Burger King is giving away 5,000 free mini burgers.
Business Insider reports that the burger chain is handing out free 'JR Whopper' mini burgers to the first 5,000 users to download its mobile app.
The app allows customers to pay for food, gift meal vouchers to friends and contacts, as well as making it easier for them to locate the nearest Burger King store. Read more here.
(Photo credit: Beyond Meat Facebook page)
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