Brian Sheehan dishes on what's hot and trending in the world of all things food and drink for Tuesday, August 16, 2016.
Panera Has Cleaned Up its Kids Meals and Challenges Other Chains to Do the Same
Would Happy Meals be happier if they were healthier? Missouri-based Panera Bread has cleaned up its kids menu, eliminating artificial colors and preservatives, banning “gimmicks and distractions,” and focusing on nutritious options paired with water and apples. The chain has issued a Kids Meal Promise, encompassing five tenets of a healthy kids meal, positioned as a challenge to the restaurant industry and its suppliers to move in a similar direction.
Ruby Tuesday to Close 95 Restaurants
Bad news for Ruby Tuesday. The Maryville, Tennessee-based casual chain will be closing about 95 underperforming restaurants by the end of September following disappointing fourth-quarter sales. The company blames the closures on imcreased competition and an overall decline in fast-casual restaurant sales. It is not yet known which locations are closing, but the company said that it would try to find positions for displaced employees at nearby restaurants.
Thief Steals $15,000 Bottle of Hennessy From Kids Charity
Talk about leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Police officers in Foxboro, Massachusetts, are searching for a thief who broke into a suite filled with items meant for a Rodman for Kids charity auction. The most notable thing stolen was a $15,000 bottle of Hennessy XO Cognac, which is 12 inches wide and 22 inches tall. Jewelry and sports memorabilia were also stolen, including New England Patriot jerseys signed by Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
Shake Shack to Give Away Free Burgers in the Wake of Disappointing Sales
Shake Shack, the king of the gourmet fast-casual burger, is giving out free burgers today to celebrate the opening of its 100th store at the Boston Seaport. Each stand-alone Shake Shack (i.e., not including those in airports, stadiums, or concert arenas) will be giving out at least 100 free burgers, first come, first served, starting at 10:30 a.m. This monumental giveaway comes on the heels of disappointing in-store sales and and an 8-percent stock dip over the past quarter. We imagine that the lines for free burgers will be incredibly lengthy, so if you’re in the mood for free Shake Shack, head there early.
Japanese Shrine Builds Drinking Fountain for Bees
Bees scare some people because of their stingers, but they also make honey and are key pollinators who are essential to the production of many food crops, so it’s generally best to keep one’s cool and avoid swatting at them whenever possible. One shrine in Japan has decided to go a step beyond that, and has just built a little drinking fountain for bees, so they can refresh themselves before getting back to pollinating. The bee fountain is a flower pot filled with rocks and moss, with a tiny stream running through it. Bees like running water, so a spout has been rigged with a piece of split bamboo to keep the water moving and refreshing.