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Advertising Pros Reveal Their Favorite Fast Food Mascots

Topix - Thu, 2017-01-19 23:57

Value menus, drive-thrus, and the ability to say "supersize it" on everything from French fries to sodas. It's no secret that fast food has left a lasting impact on our culture, both within our lexicon and the food itself, which has long been advertised by a motley crew of colorful characters.

Categories: Today's Food News

NRA petitions Supreme Court to hear tip-pooling case

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 23:45

The National Restaurant Association on Thursday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to existing laws that prevent cooks and dishwashers from sharing in tip pools.

The case, dubbed National Restaurant Association et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., is brought in partnership with the state restaurant associations in Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

The case stems from an ongoing court battle within the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over tip sharing. Despite divided opinions in the courts, the Department of Labor prohibits tip pooling with workers who don’t customarily or regularly receive tips, like cooks, dishwashers, chefs and janitors.

The NRA, however, sees the regulation as discriminatory.

“The Department of Labor has completely overstepped its regulatory authority and is unfairly discriminating against those restaurant employees who work in the back of the house,” said Angelo Amador, the NRA’s senior vice president and regulatory counsel. “The law here is clear: Employees who earn above minimum wage should be able to share their tips with fellow employees, no matter where they work. The Department of Labor cannot continue to trample on the rights of restaurant workers.” 

Whether or not the Supreme Court will agree to take up the case remains to be seen. Amador said a response is expected in about 30 days.

Amador hopes the high court will clarify what has been a contentious and complicated regulation at a time when labor costs are rapidly escalating for restaurant operators across the country.

In states where the minimum wage is reaching $15 per hour, the disparity in pay rates between servers who can accept tips and kitchen staff who cannot has grown ever wider.

The legal battle began in Oregon after a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2010, in Cumbie v. Woody Woo Inc., upheld a restaurant’s right to run a tip pool that included kitchen workers in some circumstances, in part because Oregon is one of seven states that do not allow a tip credit.

The Department of Labor responded by expanding regulations that prohibited tip sharing with workers outside the chain of service, even when employers pay the full minimum wage and don’t take a tip credit.

That regulation was supported in February 2016 by a Ninth Circuit court decision. Later in the year, however, a petition for rehearing went before a 10-judge panel with mixed opinions on the issue, which the NRA hopes will open the door for Supreme Court consideration. (LINK: http://www.nrn.com/news/operators-deal-tip-pool-ruling

Amador said tip sharing is another regulatory issue that could benefit from winds of change in Washington, D.C.

The incoming Trump administration is expected to appoint a new Supreme Court justice in short order, he said.

“We would rather have a judge that is more business friendly than we have right now,” Amador said.

The petition is also one of the first moves by the newly created Restaurant Law Center, an advocacy group established by the NRA to defend the restaurant industry from government overregulation on a federal, state and local level. The center is expected to take on issues such as the federal overtime rule, whether franchisors can be considered joint employers with franchisees, interchange fees and music licensing. 

“As well-funded special interest groups continue to use the courts to enact policy, it is imperative that the second-largest private-sector employer in the country have our voice be heard,” said Jay Stieber, the Restaurant Law Center’s chairman, in a statement.

Amador, who also serves as the Law Center’s executive director, added: “This creates a funding mechanism that will make it easier to move faster on cases like this.” 

Correction: Jan. 20, 2017  This story has been updated to clarify that this case is about tip pooling, a method of sharing tips. 

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

NRA petitions Supreme Court to hear tip-sharing case

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 23:45

The National Restaurant Association on Thursday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to existing laws that prevent cooks and dishwashers from sharing in tips.

The case, dubbed National Restaurant Association et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., is brought in partnership with the state restaurant associations in Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

The case stems from an ongoing court battle within the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over tip sharing. Despite divided opinions in the courts, the Department of Labor prohibits tip sharing with workers who don’t customarily or regularly receive tips, like cooks, dishwashers, chefs and janitors.

The NRA, however, sees the regulation as discriminatory.

“The Department of Labor has completely overstepped its regulatory authority and is unfairly discriminating against those restaurant employees who work in the back of the house,” said Angelo Amador, the NRA’s senior vice president and regulatory counsel. “The law here is clear: Employees who earn above minimum wage should be able to share their tips with fellow employees, no matter where they work. The Department of Labor cannot continue to trample on the rights of restaurant workers.” 

Whether or not the Supreme Court will agree to take up the case remains to be seen. Amador said a response is expected in about 30 days.

Amador hopes the high court will clarify what has been a contentious and complicated regulation at a time when labor costs are rapidly escalating for restaurant operators across the country.

In states where the minimum wage is reaching $15 per hour, the disparity in pay rates between servers who can accept tips and kitchen staff who cannot has grown ever wider.

The legal battle began in Oregon after a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2010, in Cumbie v. Woody Woo Inc., upheld a restaurant’s right to run a tip pool that included kitchen workers in some circumstances, in part because Oregon is one of seven states that do not allow a tip credit.

The Department of Labor responded by expanding regulations that prohibited tip sharing with workers outside the chain of service, even when employers pay the full minimum wage and don’t take a tip credit.

That regulation was supported in February 2016 by a Ninth Circuit court decision. Later in the year, however, a petition for rehearing went before a 10-judge panel with mixed opinions on the issue, which the NRA hopes will open the door for Supreme Court consideration. (LINK: http://www.nrn.com/news/operators-deal-tip-pool-ruling

Amador said tip sharing is another regulatory issue that could benefit from winds of change in Washington, D.C.

The incoming Trump administration is expected to appoint a new Supreme Court justice in short order, he said.

“We would rather have a judge that is more business friendly than we have right now,” Amador said.

The petition is also one of the first moves by the newly created Restaurant Law Center, an advocacy group established by the NRA to defend the restaurant industry from government overregulation on a federal, state and local level. The center is expected to take on issues such as the federal overtime rule, whether franchisors can be considered joint employers with franchisees, interchange fees and music licensing. 

“As well-funded special interest groups continue to use the courts to enact policy, it is imperative that the second-largest private-sector employer in the country have our voice be heard,” said Jay Stieber, the Restaurant Law Center’s chairman, in a statement.

Amador, who also serves as the Law Center’s executive director, added: “This creates a funding mechanism that will make it easier to move faster on cases like this.” 

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

How to create a guideline for EpiPen use

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 23:26

California has joined a growing number of states that allow restaurants and other businesses to take customer service to a new level: potentially saving a guest’s life.

The legislation in California, which went into effect on Jan. 1, allows businesses or other public entities to keep epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, on hand for emergency use. Thirty states across the country now have what are called “entity laws” allowing the practice, and similar bills have been proposed in six more states. 

The injectors deliver shots of epinephrine that can stop severe allergic reactions to foods, which is the stuff of nightmares for restaurant operators. 

While most people with severe allergies would likely carry the injectors with them when they eat out, there’s always a chance it could be left at home, or that a guest could be unaware of an allergy if exposed to new ingredients.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies, and a severe reaction sends patients to the emergency room about every three minutes. Food allergies account for 30 percent of anaphylaxis, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network, and about 150 to 200 people die of food allergies every year. 

Most states allow, and some require, auto-injectors to be available in schools. Entity laws expand on that access with the goal of making the injectors more broadly available in public places.

Not surprisingly, drug maker Mylan, maker of the EpiPen, is a backer of entity laws. Mylan came under fire last year for price gouging after the EpiPen topped $600 for a two-pack, up from less than $100 a few years ago. Responding to critics, in December Mylan released a generic version of the same medication, priced at $300 for a two pack.

The injectors are getting even more affordable: In January, CVS Pharmacies unveiled a separate generic called Adrenaclick priced at $110 per two-pack.

So should restaurants keep an auto-injector on the premises in case of emergency?

The decision is best discussed with legal counsel and your insurance company’s risk management specialist, said attorney Nancy Stagg, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LP in San Diego. State laws may vary.

“Obviously, you could save someone’s life by having it,” Stagg said. “It’s not just for your customers, but your employees eat at the worksite too. Years ago, we didn’t think anyone could use defibrillators, but now lots of people are trained to use them in public places.”

If a restaurant operator chooses to stock an EpiPen or generic, there are clear rules about compliance that offer civil liability protections, Stagg said.

In California, for example, “lay rescuers” who administer the injection to someone who appears to be experiencing a severe allergic reaction are protected from liability, so long as the injection is given in good faith and not for compensation.

However, the rescuer must also have complied with specific certification and training requirements, which must be updated every two years. The Adrenaclick, however, has a different set of instructions than the EpiPen, so businesses should make sure training is specific to the product.

Here are steps restaurants in California should take if keeping an auto-injector on premises:

  • Create a written plan for the use and upkeep of the auto-injector. Make sure the plan is readily available on site.
  • The plan should includes the name and contact number for the authorized healthcare provider who prescribed the injector and the names of designated employees that have been trained to administer the injections.
  • The designated employees must be recertified every two years, and restaurants should document the process. 
  • The plan should also include specific information on where and how the injector should be stored, as well as the procedure for inspecting the injector’s expiration date, and the process for disposal of expired injectors. 
  • Records related to the injector plan should be kept for three years. 
  • If the injector is used, the restaurant must also call 911. “It’s hard to imagine that people wouldn’t, but you can’t use the injector and then let the person walk out if they say they want to go to the hospital on their own,” Stagg said.
  • If the injector is used, the restaurant operator must also report it to authorities. Check with local legal counsel for guidance on where the reports must go.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

Papa Murphy’s targets busy moms in new ads

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 22:16

Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. hopes moms can pull the chain out of its sales slump.

The Vancouver, Wash.-based take-and-bake pizza concept, working to reverse a deep slide in same-store sales, is planning its first nationwide television campaign starting next week. The media move is a key milestone for the 1,600-unit chain that views itself as the next big national pizza player.

“Getting to national TV has been a dream of this brand for years and years,” said Brandon Solano, Papa Murphy’s chief marketing officer. “There are several markets where we’re on TV. But there are many markets where we’re not on TV.”

The campaign is titled “Papa Murphy’s Law,” and it targets the brand’s core customer of busy parents. The ads will start running on Monday.

Parenting is difficult and chaotic, the ads express, and Papa Murphy’s pizza brings simplicity and order because it enables parents to provide a home-cooked meal without the mess and trouble of making it from scratch.

“Moms have changed,” Solano said. “In the past, they really strove for perfection. There was a lot of judgment if you weren’t perfect and your kids were not perfect. But with the changing dynamics of parenthood and motherhood, being perfect is not a requirement. Parents are engaging with kids, spending time with them, and celebrating the imperfection of parenthood.”

The ad features real families, using humor to depict life with children. It plays off the Murphy’s Law adage that states that what can go wrong, will go wrong.

“Moms have a chaotic and crazy life with kids,” Solano said. “If they come in with Papa Murphy’s, they get a wholesome meal. There’s convenience and control for them. If you start with wholesome, at least chaos won’t reign at dinnertime.”

The first set of ads will feature a $9 all-meat pizza and run for three weeks on national cable TV. The company has also bought a set of ads on national cable TV featuring another topic that will run for another three weeks.

The television ads are the centerpiece of an integrated campaign that features social media and radio. Papa Murphy’s featured a post on Jan. 11, the birthday of Edward Murphy, who is the engineer who came up with Murphy’s Law.

Yet the TV ads are also a test, of sorts, to see if a national campaign can work to build awareness of the concept and lift sales.

Papa Murphy’s struggles became acute in the fourth quarter — the chain recently said that its fourth quarter same-store sales fell 7.8 percent. The company’s stock, trading at nearly $13 per share last May, fell below $5 per share in October, and has stayed there ever since. 

The chain’s CEO, Ken Calwell, resigned just before the end of the year, replaced in the interim by chairman, Jean Birch. 

In October, after reporting a net loss in the third quarter, Papa Murphy’s amended its credit agreement in order to provide enough financial flexibility to run a national ad campaign.

“I would say that, with success, we would advertise increasingly more nationally,” Solano said.

“We have every reason to believe this is going to work,” he added. “But we want to see it working before we commit to doing more.” 

Papa Murphy’s is different from just about any other restaurant chain in that consumers cook the food themselves. This gives the company high quality scores on many consumer rankings. And, Solano said, it gives the chain a loyal customer base.

“We have the highest loyalty in the industry,” he said. “When consumers try it, they get it.”

The problem is getting consumers to the point where they get it, and that makes the awareness campaign particularly important. Solano said that Papa Murphy’s is the top pizza player in a number of markets, including Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis.

The chain hopes the ads will help build awareness in other markets where it has less of a presence. 

“Any time you’re going to build a brand, before you get trial, you have to build awareness,” Solano said. “This is an awareness campaign explaining what’s different about Papa Murphy’s. This is a different way to make pizza.”

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

The IPO market slowly makes comeback

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 21:57

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

Last month, the fast-casual health food chain Freshii filed for an initial-public offering in Canada.

This week, Reuters reported that CEC Entertainment Inc. is readying its own initial public offering in the U.S., for the second half of the year.

The IPO market, it seems, is making a comeback.

Equity investors couldn’t get enough of the restaurant business from 2013 through 2015. Several companies had their IPOs in that period, some of which were remarkably small. Investors, hoping to find the next Chipotle Mexican Grill, gave these companies outsized valuations.

Non-public restaurant valuations went up at the same time, and sellers of restaurant companies upped their own asking prices, sensing the market had shifted.

But the overall IPO market slowed and restaurant companies opted against going public in 2016. The market for such companies turned sour after many newly public companies failed to meet lofty expectations and chains such as Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. and Noodles and Co. crashed.

One classic example: The sandwich chain Jimmy John’s was about to start promoting its offering with investors when it backed out in the fall of 2015. Last year, the sandwich chain was sold to Roark Capital.

Yet the overall IPO market is expected to improve this year — popularity of the Snapchat IPO, for instance, is anticipated and is generating heavy competitions among the major stock exchanges.

And after a relatively weak 2016, restaurant stocks in recent weeks have been on a comeback, thanks to the so-called Trump rally. An improving stock market is the best way to lure companies to the public markets.

Freshii’s filing in Canada last year was the first sign of a thaw in the restaurant IPO market — even if the Toronto-based chain is selling stock to investors in Canada, rather than the U.S.

The company recently said it plans to sell 10.9 million shares of stock at an expected range of $8.50 to $10 in Canadian dollars, or $6.39 to $7.52 U.S. — which would raise about $82 million if the stock sells at the top end of range. 

Irving, Tex.-based CEC would be a much bigger offering, however. It would also be a relatively quick return to the public markets for the operator of pizza and games concept Chuck E. Cheese. (Apollo Global Management took Chuck E. Cheese private in 2014 in a $1.3 billion deal.) 

The company could pursue a sale if it received the right offer, the Reuters report suggests. It’s not uncommon for companies to use a filing as something of an auction.

CEC has worked to improve its food and its operations in recent years with good results. Revenues in the first nine months of 2016 increased 3 percent, according to SEC documents. Net income quadrupled in that period, to $6.5 million.

Paving the way for a CEC offering this year has been Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc., which has thrived — the company’s same-store sales increased 5.9 percent in the quarter that ended Oct. 30, for instance. Dave & Buster’s stock is up 60 percent over the past year.

Jonathan Maze, Nation’s Restaurant News senior financial editor, does not directly own stock or interest in a restaurant company.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

What the San Bernardino McDonalda s museum owner has to say about a The Foundera

Topix - Thu, 2017-01-19 19:40

SAN BERNARDINO >> It all began as a single hamburger stand in San Bernardino and evolved into the largest worldwide fast-food industry leader. Now a feature film portraying how milkshake-maker salesman Ray Kroc partnered with Dick and Mac McDonald and transformed the lone hamburger stand into a franchising giant is being released on the silver screen bringing San Bernardino back into the spotlight.

Categories: Today's Food News

Making Big Data User Friendly For Small Businesses

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-01-19 18:30

What do you think of when you think of “big data?”

If you’re like most of us, you probably think of large-scale IT projects. You might think of detailed analytics that are designed to make your head spin.

I mean, who needs to bother with all those annoying numbers, right?

Well, here’s the thing: big data isn’t just for big business. Big data is also important for small businesses.

If you’re not focusing enough on your analytics, you could be missing out on amazing growth opportunities for your business. You might be making decisions that hurt your business.

Big Data And Small Business

Big Data is by no means a new concept for most people in the business world. For many small businesses, the use of data technology has been mostly out of reach due to budget constraints and lack of in-house technical expertise.

If that’s the case for you and your business, you are a part of the 77 percent that don’t yet have a big data strategy. The emergence of self-service solutions, however, has been slowly opening the gates for small businesses and the opportunities to leverage internal data are growing.

Rita Sallam, VP of Research at Gartner, says that there are “approximately 70 percent of users in organizations that currently do not use BI tools or have statistical backgrounds.” Therefore, “New approaches have the potential to transform how and which users can derive insights from data discovery tools.”

If 70% of users were able to leverage big data insights without technical backgrounds, the impact on operations and revenue could be enormous. This is even more true for small businesses, as technical expertise is often siloed in IT departments.

That is why many startups are making data accessible to low-tech businesses. Uday Hegde is the CEO and Co-Founder of USEReady, a data analytics firm that helps businesses implement data solutions.

Hegde believes that self-service data is crucial for making business intelligence a reality for businesses of any size. “As self-service tools become more prevalent, non-technical employees can access data like never before. This helps executives at every level of the organization to conduct analysis and speed up the decision-making process.”

Making Data More User-Friendly

One of the biggest challenges to small businesses that are developing data analytics and business intelligence strategies is the way in which data insights are presented. Complicated excel sheets and poorly designed dashboards make it virtually impossible for non-IT professionals to use their data.

Self-service solutions are working to use better designing practices to help solve this problem. “By making data sets visual, business owners can start asking the right questions and making decisions based on hard facts rather than speculation.” Hegde explains. “The result is often better allocation of crucial technology, people, and resources.” The key is making data presentable so all stakeholders can use it.

A perfect example of how impactful data visualization techniques can be is this video from statistician and TED talker, Hans Rosling.

Zeroing in On the Right Kind of Data

Self-service data solutions are opening up new opportunities for businesses to figure out which data sets are the most useful. The number of vendors looking to help is always growing. Using data tools like Tableau, or CRM software like Hubspot, enable organizations to identify more specific data points to help them evaluate business performance.

Web traffic is a great example. It’s one of the most important pieces of data that a business owner can have. But for most organizations, it fails to offer any actionable insights. When a business owner is able to understand which demographics and customer segments are spending the most time on her website, she can use this data to improve her marketing efforts.

Tracking Year-Over-Year Data

It is not uncommon for small businesses to operate without large amounts of historical data. However, self-service tools are allowing them to collect information over much longer periods of time. This helps business owners create a better picture of long-term growth that goes deeper than traditional revenue or P&L numbers.

By tracking historical data, companies can begin to evaluate the success of key business decisions, both in the short and long-term. Executives can avoid costly errors based on information from previous initiatives that performed poorly. Additionally, they could identify which parts of the business are most profitable and identify new ways to expand those services.

Small businesses that successfully deploy self-service data solutions can enjoy increased profits and reduced risk by identifying problems sooner rather than later. Hegde asserts that “all businesses need a clear data strategy to create a competitive advantage.” As the technology continues to develop and the number of providers catering to businesses of all sizes increase, it can be expected that data will continue to be one of the most important assets an organization can have.

Final Thoughts

Most small business owners assume that “big data” is for “big business.” But it’s not true. If you are able to improve the way your business looks at its metrics, you can make better decisions. You can avoid taking actions that waste time and money. In the end, a better business intelligence strategy will make your company more effective.

Data Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Making Big Data User Friendly For Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends

High Tech Entrepreneurs, Take Note of This New Heart Device (Watch)

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-01-19 16:30

How do you treat a failing heart? That’s a complicated question, and one that doctors and scientists have worked tirelessly to answer for years. But a new innovation takes a unique approach that actually makes a lot of sense — mimicking an actual working human heart.

The robotic device actually wraps around the human heart and then uses air pressure to mimic the squeezing motion that the heart makes naturally. So then if a cardiac arrest occurs, the robot can keep going and theoretically keep the heart pumping. Early tests on animals showed positive results, though the device hasn’t been adopted widely with human users yet.

With all of the tech innovations that businesses are working on today, there are plenty that are actually made to mimic things found in the real world. There are robots that vacuum, take photos and even answer questions using human language.

Real World Provides Plenty of Product Design Inspiration

Of course, there’s a lot that goes into making those products. But it’s also important for tech innovators to remember the actual purpose of what they’re creating. And sometimes, that means you need to go back to the source for product design inspiration. Remember this even when innovating in your own small business.

Commute Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "High Tech Entrepreneurs, Take Note of This New Heart Device (Watch)" was first published on Small Business Trends

Maryland dealership retools its approach to pricing

AutoNews - Thu, 2017-01-19 16:05
Koons of Silver Spring has launched Total Confidence Pricing, which includes a 30-day guarantee on the price buyers paid for a new vehicle.
Categories: Latest News

Priyanka Chopra celebrates People's Choice win with an In-N-Out Burger

Topix - Thu, 2017-01-19 15:07

The 34-year-old actress was voted the Favorite Dramatic TV Actress at the ceremony, which took place on Wednesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and after picking up her gong the stunning Indian starlet treated herself, her family and friends to "some real food" at the famous fast food joint. Speaking about her planned celebratory feast after her victory, the 'Quantico' star said: "I'm taking my mom and a couple of my friends out.

Categories: Today's Food News

Man dead in downtown Colorado Springs shooting Thursday

Topix - Thu, 2017-01-19 15:07

Police said shortly before 7:30 a.m. that they were investigating the shooting, which happened in the 200 block of North Wahsatch Avenue. The block houses several fast-food chains including McDonald's, Wendy's and Taco Bell, where several shootings have occurred in the past few years, including the Halloween shooting where gunman Noah Harpham killed three people before dying in a shootout with police in the Wendy's parking lot.

Categories: Today's Food News

Pizza Hut pledges to fill 11,000 jobs

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2017-01-19 14:00

Pizza Hut pledged Thursday to fill 11,000 job openings, including many as it gears up for its busiest sales day, on Feb. 5, Super Bowl Sunday.

The Plano, Texas-based division of Yum! Brands Inc. said the positions will be at corporate and franchised locations for everything from pizza makers and delivery drivers to store managers.

Kelly McCulloch, senior director of human resources at Pizza Hut Photo: Pizza Hut

Kelly McCulloch, Pizza Hut senior director of human resources, told Nation’s Restaurant News Wednesday that “as we head into one of the busiest weekends of the year, we wanted to make sure we had enough team members there to help us deliver a great experience for our customers.”

She said the 11,000 jobs were a combination of existing openings and planned positions, but prospective employees could apply for them all.

Pizza Hut has 120,000 employees across its 6,300 domestic locations, McCulloch said.

“The biggest component for preparing for something like this is to make sure our franchise partners out there are up to speed and prepared for what we hope will be an influx for the application process online, and even walking through the door,” McCulloch said.

More than 5,900 of Pizza Hut’s U.S. restaurants, or 94 percent, are operated by franchisees, she noted. The company has a centralized application website that candidates can use.

“They can apply at the central location and then that information is routed to the location that is nearest location to them,” McCulloch said. “Our metro areas tend to have the biggest hiring needs. Typically, that’s where most of our restaurants are located.”

Pizza Hut has participated in the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of employers spearheaded by Starbucks Corp. in 2015, but McCulloch said this is the first time that Pizza Hut has announced an initiative on its own.

“This initiative is unique to us,” McCulloch said. “As a brand, we have a high number we are going after.”

McCulloch said some of the hiring is aimed at growth for the brand ahead as well.

“There’s no real deadline for this,” she said.

Among incentives, McCulloch noted, is Pizza Hut’s “Life Unboxed EDU” program, which was launched in 2015. That program offers employees at company-owned restaurants and participating franchisees — and their families — 50 percent off tuition to attend career-boosting educational courses at the online Excelsior College. 

“All of our team members as well as their families can participate in that program,” she said. “Offering it to the family members sets us apart.”

Pizza Hut has more than 15,600 restaurants in 97 countries.

Contact Ron Ruggless at Ronald.Ruggless@Penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

3 tech trends coming off the back burner

FastCasual.com - Thu, 2017-01-19 12:50
While the majority of new technology is often found in the front of house, the real labor is saved where the dirty work takes place — the back of house.

Getting Well Soon

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-01-19 11:29
Hyatt Hotels Makes Commitment To Wellness With Acquisition Of Miraval Group

CLOSED: McDonalds in Taunton has closed for refurbishment works until February 9

Topix - Thu, 2017-01-19 10:18

THE Taunton branch of popular fast food chain McDonald's is closed while refurbishment works are carried out to the store.

Categories: Today's Food News

How Toyota used artificial intelligence for RAV4 campaign

AutoNews - Thu, 2017-01-19 10:03
IBM's Watson has struck again. The machine learning program, which has emerged as a popular tool for agencies and marketers, is powering a new highly targeted digital campaign for Toyota that uses an algorithm to generate ad scripts.
Categories: Latest News

Vesta Hospitality Acquires Embassy Suites In Brunswick, GA

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-01-19 10:02
VANCOUVER, WA-–Vesta Hospitality announced today that it has acquired the Embassy Suites ...