Roll the Dice on Gambling Partnerships
In the same
vein as national restaurant brands increasingly marketing to marijuana users as
states continue to legalize the drug, the restaurant industry is aligning with
sports betting to help boost revenue.
sports betting market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% and reach
$140.26 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research.
Betting at the State Level
30 states now allow some form of sports betting through retail or online
sportsbooks. Specific rules still vary across states, but one area that remains
unsettled is whether onsite sports betting in restaurants will become more
states where sports betting is legal on your phone, most do not yet allow
betting at restaurants. With that, many entities are looking to get in on the
York City Restaurant Association is one such group pushing hard for onsite betting. The
association in late 2021 partnered with gaming company Elys Game Technology
to develop a working model for restaurants once the practice is fully
legalized. Like many other states, New York does allow sports betting, but does
not have a framework in place for betting at restaurants. Also like other
states, New York's restaurant industry is increasingly pressuring lawmakers to
move ahead with implementing clear rules, reported Cheddar (Feb. 11). Full Story
states appear to be taking a measured approach.
the Ohio Lottery Commission published five pages of proposed rules for
sports-betting kiosks in Ohio bars and restaurants, including one rule that
restricted establishments to two sports-betting kiosks, which drew criticism
from bar owners.
Wild Wings has already
teamed up with MGM Resorts to promote the use of MGM's smartphone gaming
app in conjunction with brand promotions.
interim Dave & Buster's CEO Kevin Sheehan said last year that the
chain is going through a "new phase of innovation, growth, and value creation,"
and part of that includes sports betting.
Last week, Hooters
of America announced an alliance with sports betting company Draft Kings
and that it's close to completing a deal with PointsBet, another sports
betting firm. Hooters guests receive special offers via a QR code or can simply
visit the Draft Kings site and use a promotional code.
the increasing number of sports bettors across the country presents "an
opportunity to drive new customers into our restaurants," explained Sal
Melilli, CEO of Hooters of America.
Melilli expects the number of legalized-gambling states to grow, which would
add sports betting to more Hooters nationwide, reported Forbes (May 3). Full Story
is set. As fast as they become legal, the footprint is in place," he said. Food Institute Focus
Food Demand Continues to Sizzle
are still loving all things fried.
research service Mintel Menu Insights found that the number of fried
foods on U.S. restaurant menus rose 5% during the first three quarters of 2021.
And with that figure in mind, repairs for restaurants' deep-fat fryers have
doubled due to overuse, reported The Wall Street Journal (April 17). Full Story
consumers are becoming more adventurous home chefs and nearly half of U.S.
households now own an air fryer.
into what is driving this trend:
pandemic, many folks looked to comfort foods to provide comfort during an
extremely stressful, and long, period," Dr. Joan Salge Blake, a nutrition
professor at Boston University, told The Food Institute.
surprise me that some folks still want conventionally fried foods when dining
out, said Blake. "It could be because it's a staple in their present lives or
that it's a flashback to memories of consuming traditional fried foods
Popular with Health-Conscious Consumers
consumers are also looking to get their fried-food fix and air fryers have been
their appliance of choice.
40% of U.S. consumers now own air fryers, according to Mintel.
that cooking with an air fryer allows consumers to cook up crispy, fried foods,
that are healthier and quicker to prepare than traditional frying methods.
pandemic also caused COVID cooking fatigue," said Blake. "Any appliance that
helped consumer prepare dinner more easily was a winner."
With a high
percentage of consumers still working from home, many are still cooking more,
but are becoming more conscious of what they are making.
locked down and indulging in comfort foods, consumers are pushing to get active
and moving again to support their health journey goals, but without giving up
their newly discovered or rediscovered love for fried foods," Rifle Hughes,
innovation and strategy business partner at JPG Resources, told The
have become more savvy bringing their own creations to the table," said Hughes.
"We'll continue to see this expand as more consumers explore their culinary
skills." Food Institute Focus
Restaurant Supply Business Could Disrupt Foodservice Distribution
Kroger is trying its hand at foodservice
recently launched a restaurant supply business that offers next-day delivery to
businesses in the greater Dallas area.
offers an alternative to ordering in large quantities on a set schedule,
according to a press release. The service offers "competitive wholesale
pricing" by the case or unit for delivery seven days a week.
comes as supply chain bottlenecks impact nearly every restaurant and could be
particularly helpful for small and independent restaurants.
what impact this development could have on the foodservice distribution
Could this Move the Market?
foodservice distribution industry has evolved over the decades, proving
resilient to market entrances, territory expansions, consolidations, etc.,"
foodservice industry veteran Taylor Crown told The Food Institute.
that, should the move offer customers different sources of value or a highly
differentiated experience, it could affect the market.
there is something interesting about a 360 approach to food— traditional retail
grocery, prepared foods, foodservice-in-retail, to foodservice distribution;
but truly to be compelling it must add incremental value to B2B customers," he
For now, the
service is limited to businesses in the Dallas area. Should it expand, it could
create new distributor partners for suppliers, Crown noted, but it really
depends on the approach to national brand, private label, product assortment
and category management.
Dallas is among the most well served markets in broadline foodservice
distribution," he said. "Should value-creating innovations survive there, in
the crucible of such a competitive market, expansion may be forthcoming."
also builds upon the "grocerant" trend that picked up during the pandemic in
which restaurants acted as grocery stores and vice versa.
restaurants compete for the same share of stomach, particularly now that so
many grocers have become ‘grocerants,' with extensive prepared food and a
restaurant-style sit-down experience," Scott Moses, Head of Grocery, Pharmacy
& Restaurants at Solomon Partners, told The Food Institute.
compared Kroger's expansion into restaurants to the likes of Costco, BJ's,
Sam's and Restaurant Depot.
another manifestation of America's broad food retail landscape, which goes far
beyond supermarkets, and clearly demonstrates continued convergence of grocery
and restaurants," he said. Food Institute Focus
- McDonald's plans to reward employees based on
customer shoutouts. Under the company's "Thank You Crew" initiative,
franchisees will provide rewards to employees who go above and beyond and
provide extra special service, reported Restaurant Business (April 20). Full Story
- Meanwhile, McDonald's
is set to test Volvo electric trucks for restaurant delivery in Canada.
The company plans to transition its fleet to lower-emission vehicles "where
feasible" to service Canadian restaurants, reported Restaurant Dive
(April 14). Full Story
McDonald's expects the McPlant to be a part of the brand's reimagined customer
dining experience, reported Fast Company (April 27). Full Story
Mexican Grill announced
a new $50 million venture fund that will focus on restaurant tech. The
"Cultivate Next" initiative will focus on tech companies in the "seed to Series
B" stages, reported TechCrunch (April 19). Full Story
Chipotle is testing Garlic Guajillo Steak at 102 participating restaurants. Full Story
Chipotle is seeking more U.S.-made packaging, due to rising freight costs that
are making it too expensive to source from overseas. The chain said it may also
invest in a domestic packaging operation, reported Restaurant Business
(May 4). Full Story
- Yum China launched its first KFC Green
Pioneer stores in Hangzhou and Beijing. Full Story
- Jack In
The Box is testing Miso
Robotics' automated kitchen technology products Flippy 2 and Sippy at one
of the chain's standalone restaurants in San Diego, reported Forbes
(April 26). Full Story
- Chili's recently expanded the deployment of
its Rita robot server to 51 restaurants, reported Forbes (April 27). Full Story
Madness signed a
35-unit franchise deal. Full Story
kitchen network Reef announced Thursday its intention to acquire a stake
in pizza concept 800 Degrees Go. The move expands the concept's
previously announced plan to open 500 pizza outlets through Reef in five years,
reported Nation's Restaurant News (April 28). Full Story
- Grubhub is opening its first-ever virtual
restaurant with MasterChef. The concept will be available as a ghost kitchen
add-on revenue stream for current Grubhub customers and will feature dishes
from MasterChef alumni, reported Nation's Restaurant News (April
29). Full Story
Louisiana Kitchen is
introducing a new Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich, reported Nation's Restaurant
News (May 3). Full Story
Brands Inc. is
introducing a smaller Outback Steakhouse prototype as it anticipates
U.S. growth, shaving as much as 16% off the typical unit's size, reported Nation's
Restaurant News (April 29). Full Story
- The Halal
Guys announced a
partnership with the New York Yankees. Full Story
- DoorDash announced Monday the launch of a
delivery-focused food hall-like concept in Brooklyn. It will be the first
location within the DoorDash ghost kitchen network to have permanent indoor
seating and will offer five national and local brands, including Pies ‘n'
Thighs and Little Caesars, reported Nation's Restaurant News
(May 2). Full Story
- Starbucks said it will hike wages for tenured
workers and double training for new employees as the company and its CEO,
Howard Schultz, seek to beat back the union push from its baristas. However,
the coffee giant will not offer the enhanced benefits to workers at the roughly
50 company-owned cafes that have voted to unionize. Such changes at unionized
stores would have to come through bargaining, reported CNBC (May 3). Full Story
Bread expanding upon
its successful Coffee Club subscription service with the launch of the
Unlimited Sip Club, which offers unlimited self-service beverages including
coffee, tea, and fountain beverages, reported Forbes (May 4). Full Story
John's plans to open
as many as 1,800 more stores by 2025, reported Restaurant Business (May
5). Full Story
the parent company of quick-service brands Carl's Jr. and Hardee's,
has announced a systemwide plan to overhaul their restaurants, including
extensive remodeling that will involve some $500 million in investments,
reported Nation's Restaurant News (May 10). Full Story
on the Move:
Canada has named
Michele Boudria its first ever female president and CEO. She succeeds Jacques
Mignault, who will lead the McDonald's business in France effective June 1,
reported Meat+Poultry (April 25). Full Story
- Whataburger has named Peggy Rubenzer as its
chief people officer, reported Restaurant Business (April 20). Full Story
Bennett has joined Subway Restaurants as Vice President of
Non-Traditional Development, reported Nation's Restaurant News (May 2). Full Story
- Denny's has named Kelli Valade as CEO and
president, effective June 13, reported Nation's Restaurant News (May 3). Full Story
- Zaxby's appointed Michelle Morgan as first
chief people officer. Full Story