Restaurant Chains in California Can Go Lean on Menu Labeling

California laws give them flexibility on how much information to share with diners and where to post it. But starting in 2011, chains will have to include calorie counts on their menus. Jerry Hirsch reports in the Los Angeles Times that diners at California Pizza Kitchen last week found some enticing new offerings such as white chocolate strawberry cheesecake, Baja-style tacos with sautéed mahi-mahi, and a Moroccan-spiced chicken breast salad.

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Experts Say Small Businesses Lag In Disaster Planning

CAROLINE MCDONALD reports in Property & Casualty National Underwriter that while a majority of large businesses have contingency plans for a pandemic or other catastrophe in place, many small to medium companies do not, which can result in their demise in the wake of a disaster, according to experts.
“Small businesses that don’t have a plan in place generally don’t survive after a disaster, whether it’s a flood or a tornado. We see that anywhere from 40-60 percent of those that are hit like that simply don’t come back to business,” said David Paulison, former executive director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in a phone conference with NU Online.

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A Battle in Canada Over Drive-Through Idling

KATE GALBRAITH reports in the New York Times Canadians are debating whether or not the drive-through lanes at Tim Hortons, a doughnut and fast-food chain, should be part of an anti-idling ordinance in Kingston, Ontario. According to Bill Glover, a councilor for the city, Kingston plans to restrict development of future drive-throughs. Tim Hortons, he said in an e-mail message, “seems to be rather belligerent about this” and is threatening to appeal the plan.

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McDonalds, Arby’s, Qdoba, Dairy Queen and Dunkin’ Donuts testing Tetherball’s mobile loyalty system

The results we’ve seen since launching our mobile rewards program in early July are greater than even our most optimistic projections,” says Brent Higgins of Aztec Partners, one of Qdoba Mexican Grill’s largest franchisees. “Some of the biggest brands in the US have jumped on the mobile marketing bandwagon with us” Fast food chains including McDonalds, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Arby’s, Dairy Queen and Dunkin’ Donuts are all now testing Tetherball’s contactless sticker-based mobile marketing system.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Opens In Overland Park

KCTV News reports that crowds were waiting outside the door for the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the Kansas City area to open its doors Thursday morning. Former Kansas City Royal George Brett worked the drive-through at the restaurant and will cut the ribbon at the store. The shop also teamed with Harvesters to collect canned goods. On Friday a trailer will be brought to the restaurant to collect canned goods.

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DDIFO Welcomes New Members!

DDIFO has been invited by a number franchise owners in a number of cities to come and meet franchise owners face to face. I am visiting Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners around the country in an effort to learn more about your issues and concerns as well as share with you the vision and mission of DDIFO. The meetings have resulted in many franchise owners joining DDIFO. DDIFO welcomes 100’s of new shops as members from the following states: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Georgia.

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What’s Eating McDonald’s

Matthew Boyle writes in Businessweek that McDonalds strength through the recession was much ballyhooed, but now sales are slipping . You’d think McDonald’s (MCD) would be a can’t-miss recession play for global investors. Yet shares of the fast-food giant are flat in 2009 during one of the most dramatic stock rallies in history. While the burger giant keeps growing overseas, same-store sales in the U.S., where McDonald’s generates half its operating profits, dipped 0.1% in October and are likely to stay weak for the rest of the year. In response, McDonald’s will soon launch a dollar breakfast menu and add smoothies to its lineup.

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Get Ready to Dunk, Quad-Cities

Quad City Times reports that the new Dunkin’ Donuts store in Moline is set to open in mid-December.
It originally was scheduled to open in mid-September in a former KFC restaurant at 3501 Avenue of the Cities. The franchise owner is Sam Patel of Moline.

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Starbucks CEO: McDonald’s McCafe Launch Made Starbucks Better

Reuters in USA Today reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said McDonald’s McCafe launch earlier this year made the cafe chain better. Starbucks (SBUX) executives have repeatedly said that the world’s largest hamburger chain’s entry into the market for espresso-based drinks, the first competitive pressure Starbucks had faced in the niche it pioneered, had no impact on Starbucks’ business. But comments beyond that have been few and far between

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