(extended epiphany)

Joe’s Crab Shack Tests No-Tipping Policy, Raises Server Wages To $14/Hour

Joe’s Crab Shack will become the first national full-service chain to test a no-tipping policy, following in the footsteps of several prominent New York-based restaurants that ditched gratuity last month.  [More]

Panera Pledges To Move To Only Cage-Free Eggs By 2020, Wants You To Eat More Plants

Panera Pledges To Move To Only Cage-Free Eggs By 2020, Wants You To Eat More Plants

As consumers continue to lean toward food options they see as healthier and more sustainable, Panera Bread is touting updates to animal welfare program. One big pledge the soup and sandwich chain is making: it’ll use only cage-free eggs in its supply chain by 2020. [More]

(Paula S)

Restaurant Critic Rails Against “Stupid And Broken” Star-Rating System

We’ve said before that star ratings for restaurants are often arbitrary and may not be an accurate representation of the review’s content or of other diners’ standards. You might think that critics who get paid to give such ratings would defend the practice, but at least one of them has come out swinging against the stars, bells, and other dingbats he and his fellow reviewers are often compelled to use. [More]

McDonald’s U.S. Sales Go Up For The First Time In Two Years

McDonald’s U.S. Sales Go Up For The First Time In Two Years

McDonald’s finally has some good news: after years of sliding sales and recent store closures, among other troubling signs, the Golden Arches has managed to see in an improvement in its U.S. stores for the first time in two years. [More]

Amazon Expands Restaurant Delivery Service To Portland, OR

Consumers in Portland, OR, hungry for a nice dinner, but too tired to actually head out into the world, can now order via Amazon’s newly expanded Prime restaurant delivery service. Using the Prime Now mobile app, members of Amazon’s $99/year subscription program can view participating restaurants, browse menus, place orders and track the status of their delivery. Once an order is placed, Amazon delivery drivers pick up and deliver the food within an hour or less. The service first launched last month in Seattle. [Amazon]

Why Lower Gas Prices Are Really Good For Restaurants

Why Lower Gas Prices Are Really Good For Restaurants

When gasoline prices fall, that means that consumers who drive have more money to spend on things other than fuel. The JPMorgan Chase Institute, a global economics think tank affiliated with the bank, analyzed their customer credit and debit card data to figure out what we did with all of those savings. It may not surprise you that most of it didn’t go into our retirement accounts. [More]

(Cpt. Brick)

Parent Company Of 13 Prominent NYC Restaurants Decides To Eliminate Tipping

Union Square Hospitality Group isn’t a household name nationwide, but it’s the parent company of 13 prominent restaurants in New York City. It was also previously the parent company of burger chain Shake Shack, which has since left the nest as a separate company. Today, USHG announced that they’re going to eliminate tipping in all of their restaurants, instead raising prices to give all employees a raise. [More]

Johnny Rockets Going Ahead With Kiosk-Powered Fast-Casual Restaurants

Johnny Rockets Going Ahead With Kiosk-Powered Fast-Casual Restaurants

Do you enjoy the pseudo-diner experience of the chain Johnny Rockets, but want your food faster? Last year, we learned that the chain was working on a fast-casual concept that would expand the brand away from standalone restaurants with waitstaff. The first of those restaurants is here: It’s called the Johnny Rockets Burger Factory, and it’s in Buffalo, NY. [More]

(Coyoty)

The Reservation Might Be For One, But You’re Not Alone When It Comes To Dining Solo

You might be eating alone tonight, but you aren’t alone. Well, physically, you might be dining solo, but you aren’t alone when it comes to making a reservation for one, according to a new report from OpenTable. And hey, that means fewer people you have to share dessert with. [More]

(@franklinbbq)

Popular BBQ Joint Bans Professional Spot-Holders From Long Lines

If there’s a long line somewhere, there’s probably someone willing to hold a place for you in that line — for a price. But one Texas restaurant is tired of seeing people lined up outside who are only there to make a buck. [More]

Restaurant Group Behind 17 N.J. Houlihan’s Sued For Allegedly Pocketing Workers’ Tips, Not Paying Overtime

Restaurant Group Behind 17 N.J. Houlihan’s Sued For Allegedly Pocketing Workers’ Tips, Not Paying Overtime

A New Jersey company that operates 17 Houlihan’s restaurants in the state is being sued by the U.S. Department of Labor over claims that bosses were skimming tips from employees, to the tune of $40,000 that should’ve gone into tipped workers’ pockets, but instead were allegedly “unlawfully” distributed to non-tipped employees. [More]

(Bob Reck)

Chuck E. Cheese Trying To Woo Parents By Tweaking Its Food, Expanding Beer & Wine Options

After getting new owners last year, animatronic pizza wonderland Chuck E. Cheese is trying to lift flagging sales by aiming at a new — albeit very familiar — target demographic. We’ll give you a guess — it starts with an “M” and rhymes with “shmillennials.” [More]

Rejoice, Pork Lovers: Chipotle Says 90% Of Restaurants Now Serving Carnitas

Rejoice, Pork Lovers: Chipotle Says 90% Of Restaurants Now Serving Carnitas

Sound the pork bell and toot the meat horn: if you’re a fan of pork in your tacos and burritos, you’ll be glad to hear that Chipotle is declaring an impending end to the carnitas shortage that started back in January. The other white meat is now available at 90% of its 1,500 restaurants, the chain announced today. [More]

Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, 17 Others Earn “F” Grades For Antibiotics Policies

Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, 17 Others Earn “F” Grades For Antibiotics Policies

While recent moves by McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A to reduce the use of antibiotics in the meat they serve may indicate a shift in the industry’s attitude about drugged-up cows and chickens, the overwhelming majority of large fast food and family restaurant chains continue to source beef and poultry raised on unnecessary antibiotics that could result in the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. [More]

Amazon Now Delivering Restaurant Food In Seattle

Amazon Now Delivering Restaurant Food In Seattle

If having Amazon deliver your groceries or farmers market produce wasn’t enough, the e-commerce giant turned deliverer-of-all-things-edible now plans to bring consumers piping hot meals right to their dining room tables with its foray into the restaurant delivery service arena. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Arby’s CEO Apologizes After Florida Police Officer Was Reportedly Refused Service

The CEO of Arby’s has apologized to a Florida police department after an employee at a local restaurant reportedly refused to serve a uniformed officer. [More]

(Eatsa)

At This Restaurant, Eat Quinoa With No Human Interaction

Would you eat in a restaurant where you don’t interact with the employees at all? There’s a new restaurant that’s either the next frontier in segregating our society by wealth, or an efficient way to grab a quick bowl of quinoa. Diners order and pay for their meals using tablet computers, then pick them up from glass cubbies, like a neo-automat. [More]

CEO Of Frisch’s Big Boy Planning Expansion, New Restaurant Designs To Attract Younger Customers

CEO Of Frisch’s Big Boy Planning Expansion, New Restaurant Designs To Attract Younger Customers

When’s the last time you went to a Frisch’s Big Boy? Can’t remember, or maybe you don’t have one nearby? The chain’s new boss wants to change that, and is pushing to expand to more franchise locations in the U.S., as well as retool the restaurants to bring in the younger set. You know the word, starts with an “m” and rhymes with “shmillennials.” [More]