6/7: Panera Launches Drive-Thru Pick-Up Nationwide

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June 7, 2023  •  Issue 379


>> DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submit your listing for the 2023 Retail & Restaurant Facility Business Goldbook, a comprehensive directory of products & services for the retail & restaurant industries.  Submit your listing now.

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes Expands in New Markets; Hires Operational Services VP


Plano, Texas — MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a 90-plus-unit better burger franchise, has spent the first quarter opening three new locations and planning for an additional 13 openings for the rest of the year. MOOYAH is expanding in St. Louis, Mo.; Lubbock, Texas; Phoenix; Southern California; Dallas-Fort Worth; Boca Raton, Fla.; and Boston. Read more.

BJ's Wholesale Club to Open its First Location in Tennessee in June

BJ's Wholesale Club

Marlborough, Mass. & La Vergne, Tenn. — BJ’s Wholesale Club, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs, will open its newest club in La Vergne, Tenn., on June 14, 2023. The club, located 20 miles outside of downtown Nashville, marks the first BJ’s Wholesale Club in the state of Tennessee. The retailer will now have a total of 238 U.S. clubs, expanding the company’s footprint to its 19th state. Read more.

Panera Launches Drive-Thru Pick-Up Nationwide


St. Louis — On May 31, Panera launched Drive-Thru Pick-Up nationwide, combining the ease of the digital ordering experience with the comfort and convenience of the drive-thru window. Guests can now choose the Drive-Thru Pick-Up option when ordering ahead on the Panera app or website. Read more.

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LIDS Promotes SVP of Merchandising to President

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Indianapolis — Leading sports retailer Lids has promoted its senior vice president of merchandising, Bob Durda, to president. Over a 13-year tenure at the company, Durda has been at the forefront of Lids’ focus on building out its portfolio of exclusive product and lead the development of many of the company’s most successful programs including partnerships with Major League Baseball and more. Read more.

CRISP & GREEN Opens First Location in Manhattan; Continues Quest for 1,000 Units


New York City — CRISP & GREEN is set to open in New York City on June 1. Debuting in the popular NoMad neighborhood, this location also marks the company’s entry into its 10th state, with 10 additional states scheduled to open before the end of the year. Since its inception in 2016, the Minnesota-based company has consistently doubled its location count year-over-year, and the entry into this particular market symbolizes a very important turning point for the growth of the brand. Read more.

Vestar Names Industry Veteran to Regional Director Position

Charles Martinez, Vestar

Phoenix — Vestar, one of the leading privately held shopping center owners and managers in the western U.S., has tapped industry veteran Charles Martinez to be its new regional director overseeing its Northern California properties. Read more.

Digital Edition

>> COVER STORY: Retail Placemaking

Owners are incorporating new uses and tenants in their retail redevelopment projects that help foster an environment where consumers want to linger.

By Kristin Harlow

Have you read the May issue?


What’s next after ghost kitchens? Restaurants are expanding their reach with a new business model: a partnership with ‘Local Kitchens.’ By Andrew Munday


How restaurants and retail stores can capitalize on the post-pandemic revival. Interview with Tom Real


The benefits of bird abatement at your retail facility.

By Sarah Carter


Sustainability moves every retail owner should consider. By Krystal Vasquez


A bakery concept that features delicious design and a tasty layout. By Tony Hunsoo Ahn

Read the Digital Edition
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At Home Names Former Walmart EVP as President and Chief Merchandising Officer

Jeff Evans, At Home

Dallas — At Home, The Home and Holiday Superstore, has appointed retail industry veteran Jeff Evans as president and chief merchandising officer. He will assume the position on June 19. He joins the company from Walmart US. Read more.

Jersey Mike's Opens in 50th State, Alaska

Jersey Mikes, Wasilla, AK

Wasilla, Alaska — Jersey Mike’s Subs has achieved a major milestone with the opening of its first restaurant in Alaska. The sub chain now offers its fresh sliced/fresh grilled sub sandwiches in all 50 states. Read more.

Top Story

Top Restaurant Design Mistakes to Avoid, According to Architects & Designers

Ambiance and comfort, paired with good food and customer service, are the foundation of a successful restaurant. However, what many do not consider is the important role design plays in creating a dining destination that is thriving — not only does proper design create functionality, but it influences a customer’s overall experience. When designing restaurant spaces, it is important to consider even the smallest design details to avoid hindering project timelines and incurring added costs. Overlooking the following design mistakes can detract from the dining experience that is crucial to the success of a restaurant:

Errors in the floor plan. Mistakes in the overall layout of the restaurant can lead to poor service very quickly. It is important to design the floor plan with the service needs in mind, especially if tableside service or dessert carts are required.

Oversight in functionality. The location of switches, thermostats and fire extinguishers on the dining room floor where customers can accidentally interact with them must be considered. Intentionally designing in details like switch plates, while conceptualizing the interior finishes, elevates the design and so those details do not detract from the overall design.

Placement in lighting and acoustics. These elements are crucial to the dining experience, and any mistakes in those areas will certainly be noticed by the customers. Intentional placement of pendant lighting to align with the tables below needs to be considered as well as the use of acoustic ceiling tiles to reduce noise. These elements help create an enjoyable experience for customers.

Accounting for programming. Often, a space is chosen based on a desirable location and will need to be converted to function as a restaurant. Because of this, the structural capacity may not support the kitchen equipment load. As a result, menus must be reconceptualized to fit the exhaust and burner loads that the space can accommodate. 

To prevent these mistakes from happening, we must ask the right questions from the start of the project. By going through the due diligence process, the design team can identify potential challenges and more accurately program the space to be both functional and beautiful.

While unexpected challenges and mistakes are inevitable, it is important to note that all errors can be fixed. This may take time as the restaurant learns how customers are experiencing the space. Small details, important for the customer experience, can be added after the fact once the pain points have been identified. For example, details like dividers near the kitchen door or hooks for bags and coats can alleviate some interruptions in the dining experience and make customers feel that they are taken care of. Additionally, soft openings are a great way to hone the service and see where edits need to be made. They allow the owner to know what the needs are and what details may be missing.

— Kevin Albaugh is a principal, architect and technical director with MBH Architects, while Celso Rivera is a studio director and senior associate with MBH Architects. Learn more at https://www.mbharch.com/.

Vendor News

Lightspeed Reimagines How U.S. Customers Run Front-Of-House Operations


Montréal — Lightspeed Commerce Inc., a one-stop commerce platform for merchants and restaurateurs around the world, has released the latest version of its powerful restaurant solution: the Next Generation of Lightspeed Restaurant. This update, now available in the United States, revolutionizes restaurant operations by offering faster ordering and payments options on smartphones and by leveraging the power of data. Read more.

From the Magazine

The Big Squeeze

By George Lessmeister

3 areas of margin pressure on restaurants.

Operating a restaurant can feel like a roller coaster ride. Revenue and volume plummeted during the pandemic and then climbed back to pre-COVID levels in 2022. Rising costs, however, are now squeezing profit margins. These ups and downs can make it difficult to plan. What’s the outlook for 2023?

Supply Chain Challenges

While supply chain bottlenecks are easing somewhat, they are expected to continue as a problem for the restaurant industry well into 2023. Some operators are updating menus more often, even at the expense of more frequent printing, so they can pivot to new offerings when certain ingredients are unavailable or become too costly. Expansions or new builds will likely face delays or cost overruns as supply chain issues impede delivery of critical equipment or building supplies. These increased costs will contribute to the squeeze on profit margins.

Inflation’s Effects

January’s CPI reports showed that inflation continued to fall, but at a slower rate than in previous months. It appears while inflation is easing somewhat, it is not dropping at a rate that will see the United States back to the Fed’s target annual inflation rate of 2% anytime soon. Restaurant owners seeking to mitigate the effects of stubbornly high food prices are implementing creative ways to reduce costs, including offering menu items with less-expensive ingredients, reducing hours and doing away with costly third-party delivery services.

In addition to cutting costs, roughly 90% of restaurant owners increased menu prices in 2022, but the cost of food away from home (dining out) is still rising slower than the cost of food at home. Dining out visits are down 10% over 2019 levels, but this lower rate of traffic is being offset by price increases and greater per-spend transactions. This trend could slow or reverse if the economy enters a recession in the latter half of 2023. Read the full article.

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Katie Lee, Editor




Scott France, Publisher




M. Scott Royal, Associate Publisher



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