Chick-fil-A offers technology from Kallpod at around 10 restaurants, giving dine-in customers the ability to push a button on the table to order additional food. The button, which also offers options for calling the manager or requesting service, has boosted average order sizes in Houston-area restaurants, the company said.
McDonald's and Taco Bell are among the major chains rolling out self-ordering kiosks, but the average price tag of $5,000 apiece could make small operators think twice, said Rob Meiner of digital display manufacturing company Peerless-AV. Still, the machines often pay for themselves quickly by driving higher sales and labor efficiencies, he said.
A startup called Galley is developing software to help restaurants modernize and manage back-of-the-house functions such as ordering ingredients and managing inventory. Google's former executive chef, Nate Keller, is an adviser to the San Diego-based company.
Upscale movie theater chain iPic Entertainment considers itself a restaurant and hospitality concept first, offering waiter service and gourmet menus at its 15 locations. "We have research that says 61% of adults would rather spend money on experiences such as a restaurant or a movie versus buying an item from a store. It's a potent combination," said the National Restaurant Association's Hudson Riehle.
Noel White will step into Tyson Foods' CEO role at month's end, succeeding Tom Hayes, who is leaving the company. White is the group president of Beef, Pork and International, and he has been with the firm since 2001.
Kroger will consolidate the management of its Roundy's and Mariano's banners in Wisconsin into a single leadership team based in Milwaukee. Longtime Kroger executive Michael Marx, who had been running the Roundy's division, will lead the consolidated group.
The first no-checkout Amazon Go store outside Seattle is set to open to the public today in Chicago. The convenience store location is relatively small at just 2,000 square feet, and focuses on grab-and-go food, convenience items and meal kits.
LaCroix parent company National Beverage is working to widen the reach of its drinks, according to CEO Nick Caporella. "We are ... exploring packaging and distribution options to expedite the introduction of our sparkling waters into additional channels and markets," Caporella wrote.
New York dairy farmer A. Fay Benson is urging others in the state to look into crop insurance coverage by the Nov. 15 deadline. "You never know when you'll need it," he said.
Farmers are looking for certainty, and a new farm bill could help provide that if legislators act soon, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. "We're facing a perfect storm where we don't have a new farm bill yet, we have labor issues on the farm, commodity prices are low and then we have that negative influence from the tariffs that are out there," he said.
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