Food Focus 10/19/17 – Ruby Tuesday Finds a Buyer, Captain D’s Seizes Seafood Opportunity

October 19, 2017

After several quarters of closures and shrinking sales, Ruby Tuesday finds a buyer for their concept; we compare this deal to other recent deals for struggling FSRs. Meanwhile, Captain D’s sees white space in seafood, Sonic tries to find reasons for stalling same-restaurant sales, and Muscle Maker Grill seeks funding at a time when their balance sheet is only lifting the bar.


Food Focus 10/5/17 – Halo Top Goes Dairy-Free, PepsiCo Continues Reinvention Track

October 5, 2017

Halo Top launches a line of dairy-free frozen desserts in an effort to stake down even more market share—we frame their expansion through the overall trend of dairy-free products. PepsiCo continues to attempt to straddle the past and the present, and Monsanto sees an increase in seed demand in the midst of a proposed merger. We close with Taco Day promotions in the U.S., and reviews of a new pizza chain and a West Coast beer.


Food Focus 9/20/17 – Cracker Barrel Seeks Stability, Walmart Rolls Out E-Commerce EBT Payments

September 21, 2017

Cracker Barrel releases their most recent earnings report, but beyond that, we look into some signals the company may be sending with their messages during the earnings call. We also look into Farmer Brothers’ increased partnerships as a potential future revenue driver, Walmart’s rollout of EBT payment acceptance in two sample markets, and Albertsons’ acquisition of meal kit delivery service Plated.


Food Focus 9/13/17 – Chili’s Slices Down Their Menu, Starbucks’ Latest Cold Innovation

September 13, 2017

We begin with a major story from Brinker International, as they announce cuts to 40% of their current menu in an effort to simplify their offerings. We discuss whether this may actually work to boost sales, and potential hurdles for Starbucks’ latest development in cold-pressed espresso. We round out our show with legal news regarding Kroger & Lidl, and a look at El Pollo Loco’s latest LTO.


Food Focus 9/7/17 – Dave & Buster’s Earnings, Will “Ruby” Chocolate Boost Confection Sales?

September 7, 2017

Dave & Buster’s earnings were released this week, and we discuss the increasing chasm between entertainment and food in their business model. After a Swiss chocolatier releases the first new natural chocolate color since the 1930s, we look at dynamics of a suddenly struggling chocolate industry. We close with two NBA-related stories, as the owner of Landry’s agrees to buy the Houston Rockets and a former NBA player opens up a QSR inside…Walmart?


Food Focus 8/31/17 – Smucker’s Folgers Problem, Dominos Partners with Ford

September 2, 2017

Although J.M. Smucker saw increased sales in the pet category, Folgers and other legacy brands are beginning to hold the food manufacturer back. We discuss possible solutions, before discussing Dominos’ short partnership with Ford to explore self-driving delivery vehicles. We wrap up with a look at fall flavor challenges to pumpkin spice and a Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego.


Food Focus 8/24/17 – Zoe’s Kitchen Ratchets Back Growth Plans, Mushroom Demand Increases

August 24, 2017

We lead with Zoe’s Kitchen earnings, and a clearer picture of anticipated openings for 2018 that falls short of analyst expectations. We discuss why Zoe’s may be right to limit growth, and also how a new partnership between Walmart and Kroger may be beneficial for all parties involved. Finally, mushroom sales are on the rise as demand is up and volumes are down: we explore the edible fungus market to close the show.


Food Focus 8/17/17 – DineEquity Searches for Route to Growth, Two Craft Breweries Sell

August 17, 2017

The announcement of closures for DineEquity’s two brands—Applebee’s and IHOP—leads our show, along with their direction forward under new leadership. We touch on two buyouts of craft beer companies, with one purchase by a beer giant and another by a craft consortium. Our show rounds out with coverage of Taco Bell’s latest LTO innovations and potentially positive news from Famous Dave’s.


Food Focus 8/10/17 – Little Caesars Looks to Automation, Papa John’s Goes Gluten-Free

August 10, 2017

After beginning our show by glancing at Shake Shack’s recent struggles (and why warning signs lurk for the up-and-coming chain), we turn our attention to two pizza QSRs. First, Little Caesars, as they partner with a technology giant to boost customer optionality and reduce in-store wait times. Then, Papa John’s, as they roll out a gluten-free crust in all locations nationwide.


Food Focus 8/2/17 – Dunkin’ Connects With Franchisees, A Farewell To Teavana

August 2, 2017

Dunkin’ Brands earnings lead off our podcast, and we look closely at an upcoming reimaging program that may impact Dunkin’ locations throughout the country. After a brief glance at Del Taco’s own queso rollout, we explore Starbucks’ intent to close all Teavana locations and search for areas of positive momentum in the distilled spirits industry with Diageo’s annual report as a guide.