Check out the hottest headlines from the past week.
Pizza Hut, Taco Bell to Remove Artificial Ingredients from Menu
Two more national brands have just announced they will be removing artificial ingredients from their menus. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, two Yum! Brands, will be redoing their menu to accommodate for the changes this year. This comes as more fast-food and fast-casual brands are making the switch to natural foods to gain favor with consumers. Pizza Hut has been working on removing the ingredients for the past year. This will affect 95 percent of the Taco Bell menu.
(From USA Today)
Jimmy Johns is Preparing to Go Public
Sandwich chain Jimmy Johns Sandwich LLC is preparing for an initial public offering that could value the brand at over $2 billion, including debt. The deliberations are confidential, but founder Jimmy John Liautuad and private equity firm Weston Presidio are currently interviewing investment banks to serve as underwriters for the IPO. Currently, the Champagne, Illinois-based chain has about 2,000 locations and annual earnings of about $150 million before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.
(From The Chicago Tribune)
America’s Got Talent Runs on Dunkin’
Dunkin’ Donuts has announced a partnership with NBC and FremantleMedia for the hit show “America’s Got Talent.” As part of the season-long multiplatform partnership, Dunkin’ Donuts will be featured on the show with on-air integrations and digital activations. Key parts of the partnership include an “AGT Runs on Dunkin’” segment featuring several sponsored clips from the audition phase of the show, a “Dunkin’ Save” that will allow fans to save their favorite acts from elimination, and the Dunkin’ Lounge, where contestants will provide exclusive interviews during the live results show.
(From QSR Magazine)
Hit Route 66 with Johnny Rockets
The restaurant chain Johnny Rockets has just announced its new summer limited-time-only menu featuring the flavors of the iconic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. The menu includes three new sandwiches to pay tribute to the locations. Chicago’s influence is the Big Pastrami Pretzel Burger, the Midwest’s flavor is the Heartland Veggie Boca Burger, and the West Coast tastes come alive in the California BLT Avocado Chicken Sandwich. In addition to the sandwiches, the brand will also launch three new floats for the summer.
(From Fast Casual)
California Pizza Kitchen Plans Remodel for 2015
Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen Inc. plans to remodel half of the 192 company-owned stores in the U.S. by 2015. The updates to the locations include a kitchen theater where guests will see their pizzas being hand-tossed in front of them and a renewed emphasis on the bar with dedicated seating and a new menu. Currently, the chain has updated 20 locations. Chicago will be the first market to have all of the California Pizza Kitchen locations updated by year’s end.
(From Nation’s Restaurant News)