IHOP Just Reported Its BEST Sales In More Than A Decade


Earlier this week, Burger King reported the best sales in almost a decade. It looks like IHOP is having a great year as is also boasting the best sales in the last ten years.

In a recent update of its fiscal guidance for IHOP, DineEquity Inc. reported the strongest quarterly sales rise in more than a decade, NRN reports.

For the quarter, net income rose 40 percent to $26.5 million compared to $18.9 million the previous year. Revenue grew by 7 percent to $171.5 million, versus $160.5 million the previous year.

With the momentum of the brand’s success, IHOP plans to focus on improving the food and menu. Improving guest experience and marketing is also a top priority.

This will be IHOP’s ninth consecutive quarter of positive sales. Sure, everyone loves good service and all-day breakfast. Though I wonder how many customers they brought in with that creepy new logo?



New Data Shows McDonald’s Franchise Operators Are Not Stoked With The Company


It’s not been a great year for McDonald’s. The fast food company has reported increasingly-low sales numbers this past year and with each financial quarter, it feels like they’re releasing promotion after promotion. In a recent survey among McDonald’s franchisees, things aren’t that with the chain’s franchise operators, either.

NRN reports that 32 operators, together owning a 215 total restaurants, were asked about McDonald’s current state of performance. While these operators only represent 1 percent of the company’s 3,100 US franchises, the survey gives consumers a look at the general impressions of the franchise owners.

According to franchisee polls, sales fell 3.7 percent in-store. While it was an improvement to the overall 4 percent drop in February, the numbers were only slightly better.

The 32 operators were given a scale representing McDonald’s turnaround overall. From one (poor) to five (excellent), a total of 1.81 was averaged. An all-time low. The running average currently sits at 2.8.

When asked about the relationship between the franchise owners and McDonald’s, only three called the experience “good” while the majority rated the experience as a “poor” one.

It doesn’t seem like the operators have too much faith in McDonald’s attempt after attempt to turn sales around with new promotions and constant rebranding in the last few months. One operator even went as far as saying the brand has “jumped the shark” with recent changes like Create Your Taste.

McDonald’s recent decision to begin paying its workers an extra $1 an hour caused a rift between the company and operators. That, and the increase cost of menu items, have seriously strained the relationship between franchisor and franchisee.


Fast Food

Taco Bell Declares First Step in World Domination With Plans to Construct 1,300 Global Locations


Americans can hardly go a day or two without someone bringing up Taco Bell. In the last few years, the fast food chain has blown up with the release of their Doritos Locos Tacos and redefined bathroom trips with its breakfast waffle tacos. Naturally, expansion was inevitable.

Taco Bell Inc. announced Thursday that they have plans to build 1,300 locations overseas.

With so many Taco Bells in the US, we just assumed they were just as plenty around the world. However, only about 250 international stores exist currently. That’s roughly the same number of stores as in the state of Georgia.

The addition of the proposed 1,300 stores will be a huge expansion for the brand. Taco Bell currently has 5,800 units within the US, opening 200 stores in 2014 alone. The new international stores will add an extra $2 billion in sales annually, said the company.

Parent company Yum Brands has plans to shift Taco Bell’s domestic focus to align with their other fast food babies, KFC and Pizza Hut, which have thousands of restaurants around the world.

That’s a lot of DLTs.

h/t NRN Picthx Taco Bell


Starbucks’ New La Boulange Menu Aims to Look Less Perfect, More Handmade


Last year, French baker and entrepreneur Pascal Rigo sold his “La Boulange” mini-empire to Starbucks for $100 million. Rigo is now leading Starbucks’ effort to roll out a new “artisanal” selection of products reminiscent of intimate, home-baked goods as opposed to their usual commercial fare.

The new line-up will offer “affordable, not intimidating” pricing and is designed with the intention of looking homemade. “It’s the habit of processed food to look pretty,” Rigo told the LA Times. “These aren’t pretty, or they’re about as pretty as what you’d make at home.”

The products are being introduced into Los Angeles throughout this week, with Starbucks hinting at the release via the above photo posted to Facebook with the words “Born by the Bay. Coming to the rest of CA.”

The new additions include a variety of items that are gluten free, void of artificial flavors and preservatives, and filled with sustainably grown fruits and veggies. Expect to see everything from  a spinach croissant made with whole wheat dough and flaxseed (below) to chocolate croissants featuring Colombian single-origin chocolate to a selection of pastries with customized glazes.

The company has also improved overall food manufacturing — trimming down production to consumption time from as long as six months to 60 days and relying on more smaller facilities (25 to 30 bakeries nationwide), as opposed to a few massive locations.

It’s the next logical step for Starbucks, as the coffee behemoth has yet to tap into the growing market of self-proclaimed “foodies.”

Still, Rigo promised that he hasn’t “sold out or gone corporate,” stressing that there will be “no compromises” moving forward.

H/T LA Times + PicThx Starbucks