Ghost Kitchen Boom could be on Shaky Foundation

Those who have approached the rapid expansion of ghost cooking with some skepticism may feel justified this week, as Reef Technology, one of the major players in the space, is under scrutiny by regulators. .

Restaurant Dive reported Thursday, December 2 that in Florida, where the company’s headquarters is located, the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation found health and safety violations in 58 of 61 sites inspected. Additionally, 21 of those kitchens exhibited “high-level security breaches” and two of those locations were closed by regulators after sewage spilled onto unit floors, among other issues.

Reef did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the violations.

Also Thursday, Insider reported that Reef “has been frequently cited” for running its ghost kitchens without the necessary permits, and therefore without the security checks that come with those permits.

“To be clear, Reef understands the importance of allowing, and we want to be regulated,” a spokesperson for Reef said in an email. “As we have stated previously, in all cases we hold ourselves to the highest standards of food handling and safety training in all of our kitchens. The health and safety of our employees and customers is paramount. top priority of Reef.

7-Eleven takes a tip from Domino’s with Nuro’s standalone delivery

About a month after autonomous vehicle company Nuro announced a $ 600 million Series D funding round with the participation of an array of companies including Kroger and Google, the world’s largest chain of stores, 7-Eleven proximity to the world, announced Wednesday (December 1) that it was partnering with the company for robotic deliveries in California.

Related News: Autonomous delivery service Nuro cleans up $ 600 million for expansion in the United States

The partnership is part of the convenience retailer’s 7NOW delivery business, which centers its fresh food offerings in its promotional messages, putting the service in competition with quick-service restaurants (QSRs), albeit with a limited selection. packaged food is also available through the platform. .

“Our first foray into autonomous delivery was in 2016, when 7-Eleven became the first retailer in the United States to perform drone delivery to a customer’s home,” said Raghu Mahadevan, chief digital officer of 7-Eleven, in a statement. “Fast forward to 2021, and we’re pushing the boundaries of innovation even further to provide customers with the first commercial autonomous delivery service in California.” Can’t wait to see where we go from here.

In March, the big fast food brand Chipotle Mexican Grill announced its participation in the Autonomous Delivery Company’s Series C funding round, and in April, the leading international pizza chain Domino’s announced its partnered robotic delivery trial. with Nuro in Houston.

For the autonomous vehicle company’s partnership with 7-Eleven, deliveries will take around half an hour and the vehicles will be accompanied by a human operator, so these early trials won’t do much to improve the problems of delivery related to work in the short term.

See also: Chipotle invests in driverless delivery company Nuro

And: in Houston, Domino’s tests Nuro’s R2 robot for pizza delivery

Shake Shack will open its very first drive-thru

The fast and casual restaurant chain Shake Shack is settling in the QSR space with the opening of its first drive-thru point, the brand announced on Tuesday (November 30th). The restaurant, which is located in a mall in Maple Grove, Minnesota, will open on December 6.

“We have been considering drive-thru for some time now and are working diligently to make the Shake Shack experience unique,” ​​CEO Randy Garutti said in a statement. “We will learn a lot from this location and continue to optimize and adapt as we deploy more of these formats over the next year. “

PYMNTS 2021 Restaurant Readiness Index research, created in collaboration with Paytronix, reveals that drive-thru is even more important to restaurant customers than managers might have guessed, with 26% of managers and 40% of consumers say they believe they can choose Steering wheel controls will be important to the future success of restaurants. Plus, drive-thru restaurants outperform those without. Fifty-seven percent of top-performing restaurants offer drive-thru pick-up, while only 16% of bottom performers do.

Read more: Investment lagging behind QSR loyalty reward hurts innovation and sales

Following the opening of this location, Nation’s Restaurant News reports that Shake Shack plans to open 10 more drive-thru services in 2022.

Fertitta’s attempt to end the PSPC merger met with a legal threat

Almost 10 months after Tilman Fertitta announced that he was going public with his company Fertitta Entertainment Inc. via a merger with specialist acquisition company (SPAC) FAST Acquisition Corp, Fertitta attempted on Wednesday December 1 to terminate the agreement, Reuters reported. .

However, FAST refused, arguing that the reason the deal has still not been finalized, despite having passed the termination date, is that Fertitta was slow to release key financial information; as such, the company is not in a position to terminate the merger on its own.

“We intend to take whatever steps are necessary to protect PSPC and its investors,” FAST CFO Garrett Schreiber wrote in a letter to Fertitta, according to Restaurant Business. “You are hereby notified of a violation and if your violation is not immediately corrected, we intend to take legal action. “

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

On: It’s almost time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of US consumers plan to do at least some of their purchases online, up 13% from 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed over 3,600 consumers to find out more about what drives online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preferences.


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