Panera Bread is readying the opening of a To Go store in New York City

Panera Bread readies To Go store opening in New York City, banking on tech advancements

Bakery-chain plans expansion of smaller restaurants, no-seating To Go stores, AI deployment

Panera Bread has doubled down on expanding its technology-centric cafes as it opens a To Go concept store in New York City in December. Digital sales at the bakery-cafe chain now account for 50% of total system sales, Panera revealed. In addition to To Go concepts, Urban Format stores will become a bigger part of the portfolio.

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The Gobbler and Turkey Leftovers Sandwich are two new plant-based menu items

Native Foods, Next Level Burger launch plant-based turkey sandwiches ahead of holiday season

Two fast-casual chains release limited-time, Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches, menu items

Two plant-forward restaurant chains added limited-time menu offerings, including The Gobbler and Turkey Leftovers Sandwich. As the holiday season gets into full gear, Next Level Burger and Native Foods released their creative versions of plant-based turkey. As vegan and vegetarian diets remain popular, the moves appear on trend.

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Farmer Boys promoted Joseph Ortiz to president and COO, replacing Dave Wetzel

Farmer Boys names Joseph Ortiz president, COO

17-year foodservice veteran takes over for Dave Wetzel, who is retiring

Farmer Boys promoted Joseph Ortiz to president and chief operating officer (COO), replacing longtime leader of the brand, Dave Wetzel. Ortiz had previously served as vice president of finance & accounting. In that position he had led the finance and accounting teams, also overseeing the information technology team. In that role, he also created new strategies and growth models, also improving workflow and development plans, noted a statement from Farmer Boys.

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Caribou Coffee launched an Egg Nog Cold Foam and Maple Waffle Breakfast Sandwich as part of its holiday menu

Caribou Coffee adds Egg Nog Cold Foam, Maple Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

Fa La Latte, Spicy Mocha, Ice Crafted Press with Egg Nog Cold Foam also added as part of holiday menu

Caribou Coffee launched an Egg Nog Cold Foam and Maple Waffle Breakfast Sandwich as part of its holiday menu. Among additional, festive holiday beverages added, Ho Ho Mint Mocha includes real chocolate melted into steamed milk and combined with espresso and mint flavor. The seasonal drink comes topped with whipped cream and peppermints, available iced, blended or nitro. Caribou also added Fa La Latte, Spicy Mocha and Ice Crafted Press with Egg Nog Cold Foam.

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Multi-unit restaurant chains keep fall menus fresh

Noodles, Pizza Hut, Taco Del Mar, Cafe Rio introduce new items, beverages

Multi-unit restaurant operators are forging ahead in the last calendar quarter of the year with new, limited-time and permanent menu items. The rollout of these items is an effective way of bringing customers in for something new and fresh.

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Sweetgreen returned Curry Cauliflower warm bowl, Chicken + Brussels salad and Buffalo Cauliflower side dish

Sweetgreen returns Chicken + Brussels, Curry Cauliflower bowl

Buffalo Cauliflower side dishes also back on menu

Sweetgreen brought back its Curry Cauliflower warm bowl, Chicken + Brussels salad and Buffalo Cauliflower side dish. All three seasonal items landing on the fall menu are appreciated by fans, Sweetgreen suggested. In fact, the Chicken + Brussels salad is the most popular returning dish, revealed the fast-casual chain.

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Aloha Poke opened its 20th location in the Village of Mount Prospect, just 24 miles northwest of Chicago

Aloha Poke opens store in Village of Mount Prospect

Location in northwest suburb of Chicago marks 9th location in region

Aloha Poke opened its 20th location in the Village of Mount Prospect, just 24 miles northwest of Chicago, today, October 18. The new store on Elmhurst Road marks the 9th opening in Chicagoland. Moreover, the fast-casual chain is celebrating a strong year, with a 13% year-over-year increase in comp(arable) store sales.

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