We spotted a number of notes on competitors over the past few weeks that we thought might be interesting.  Tim Horton’s launched a new Healthy Options Initiative involving nutritional value of various menu items posted on two distinct websites, one for their US stores and another for their Canadian stores.  On the sites, customers can see what allergens are present along with the dietary considerations of each of their products.  Starbucks reported their Q4 results met Wall Street expectations in an earnings call yesterday.  Their total Americas comparable sales were up +5%, with transactions +2% and ticket up +3%.  Average Americas company store EBITDA margin was 22.1% and they continue to work a wide range of initiative including a mobile order and pay module, as well as a high end “roastery”.  Lunch sales were reported to be up 15% and 46% of their sales were reported as occurring before 12 Noon.  Notwithstanding  these results, they announced last week that they will be laying off an unspecified number of employees at their company headquarters in Seattle.  The company described the positions being eliminated as “redundant or not in line with [their] growth strategy.”  Similarly, McDonalds also announced that they too would be laying off workers next month, with 63 individuals being cut from the payroll, part of a “restructuring” at headquarters.