Published on: March 28, 2022
With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• Sbarro, which describes itself as "the global leader in the impulse pizza category," announced late last week that it plans to open 100 new restaurants - both company-owned and franchised - in the coming year.
According to the announcement, "Sbarro has established key franchise relationships with ARKO Corp's GPM Investments, EuroGarages, EG America and Travel Centers of America which are fueling the growth and development of the brand in the United States and United Kingdom. These strategic partnerships have allowed Sbarro to expand its existing footprint, which has been primarily in malls, airports and travel plazas into new venue categories."
Some of these locations will be in gas stations, which makes sense, because they can use the grease from Sbarro's barely mediocre pizzas to provide lubricant for cars that they happen to be servicing. I just hope that there are no supermarkets out there that decide to get into the Sbarro business … if a food store can't do better than this, then they shouldn't be in the food business.
• In Illinois, the Daily Herald reports that "the Sweetgreen restaurant Schaumburg trustees approved Tuesday night will be the first of the specialty salad chain's many locations across the nation to feature a drive-through pickup window for customers ordering and paying on its app … Though the building already had a drive-through system in place, PDQ's order window will be replaced by a round observation window through which motorists can watch employees preparing the meals while in line for the pickup window.
'Representatives of the restaurant told village officials that there will be no way to order from the outside line. The app will be the only way to place orders and pay for meals delivered to the pickup window. To-go orders may also be placed inside the restaurant, where dine-in service will be available. Current expectations are for about half of the sweetgreen location's customers to order inside and the other half to use the app."
• From the Washington Post:
"Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced plans … to phase out these chemicals in its food packaging worldwide by 2025. Chick-fil-A announced a similar commitment Wednesday evening on Twitter to phase out these chemicals in packaging by the end of this summer.
"The companies’ embrace of doing more to stamp out chemicals is in response to a just-published investigation by Consumer Reports that detailed how they found toxic chemicals in a majority of the food wrappers and packaging from chain restaurants and grocery stores that they tested … These chemicals, called PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are used in hundreds of products to make them resistant to heat, water, oil and corrosion. They are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they are resistant to breaking down naturally in the environment and can remain in people’s bodies for years. PFAS from grease-resistant food wrappers can seep into food and contaminate soil and water when packaging reaches landfills.
"Consumer Reports tested multiple samples of 118 food packaging products from major restaurant and grocery chains, including paper bags for french fries and wrappers for hamburgers, as well as paper plates and molded fiber bowls for salads. The organization found PFAS chemicals in more than half of the food packages tested."