Starbucks

New Restaurant Trend Really Pops with Diners

In 2007, Ludo Lefebvre did what no businessman should ever do: He made an important business decision out of fear.

Faced with the opportunity to use millions of dollars in investments to open a restaurant, the Los Angeles–based celebrity chef balked at committing himself to 10–15 years sweating in the same kitchen. Instead, he launched LudoBites, a series of temporary eateries that appear in different spaces around Los Angeles for a finite period of time—a few days here, a few weeks there—and then disappear after making Lefebvre heaps of money.

How to Spot a Good (& Bad) Brand Extension

What do Bic underwear, Harley-Davidson wine coolers, and Jamba Juice soup have in common? They’re all ways companies have tried to extend their brands—and they all failed.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the rough and manly image of the Harley brand wouldn’t fit with the light and girly product attributes of a wine cooler, but the fates of other brand extensions are harder to predict.

Sound the Siren: Starbucks Rolls Out 40th B-Day Changes

Starbucks announced that it will roll out its new in-store look focusing on the iconic Siren and a simultaneous global launch of handcrafted and artfully made beverage and food offerings in celebration of its 40th anniversary. Starbucks also introduced a company-wide commitment to community service as part of its ongoing mission to help create thriving neighborhoods.

Report: Keep It Simple, Like Subway

Subway was the top quick serve in a recent study measuring consumer perceptions of the “simplicity” of various brands.

The Global Brand Simplicity Index from strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale gauged more than 6,000 consumers’ opinions of what brands made their lives simpler. In the U.S., five quick-serve brands cracked the top 10: Subway at No. 2, McDonald’s at No. 3, Dunkin’ Donuts at No. 4, Burger King at No. 5, and Starbucks at No. 9.

Netflix was the top overall brand in the U.S.

Starbucks Coming to a Hotel Room Near You

Starbucks announced that it is entering into an agreement with Courtesy Products, a provider of in-room coffee service to hotels, to provide Starbucks ground coffees for use in Courtesy’s patented CV1 in-room and on-demand brewed coffee system in up to 500,000 luxury and premium hotel rooms across the U.S.

Starbucks VIA French Roast Set to Hit Stores

Building on the popularity and momentum of the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew product line, Starbucks announced the availability of Starbucks VIA French Roast in all U.S. and Canada Starbucks stores beginning January 4. The introduction of the new instant coffee variety further reinforces Starbucks coffee leadership and its commitment to offering customers high-quality products at a good value.

The Growth 40

Watch: Buffalo Tops Growth 40 List

Sitting on the edge of the U.S.-Canadian border and taking a backseat to another, more cosmopolitan, Empire State city, Buffalo, New York, often falls into the background. The city’s beloved NFL team plays the occasional home game in Toronto, its intense winters freeze out Niagara Falls–bound tourists, and the City of Good Neighbors’ meat-and-potatoes character doesn’t incite a barrage of flashy adjectives.

Top Fast-Casual Trends for 2011

Continued Commodity Pressures

Many of the forces that caused the crazy commodity price increases several years ago are still at work: concerns about supply, rising energy costs, growing worldwide demand, and financial speculation through recently developed financial instruments. As most restaurateurs have neither the means nor knowledge to protect ourselves through contracting things out, we will continue to feel this inflationary pressure throughout 2011 and beyond.

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