Between hanging out with the Basque Culinary Center folks earlier this week, flying over the Atlantic, and making it back to NYC just in time for The Spoon’s Customize event, I’ve had limited time to go in-depth into restaurant tech. That means this weekly roundup is as much a catch-up session for me as it is for you. And there’s a lot to catch up on this week. Read on for a few notable news bits from around the web this week.
Panera Launches Unlimited Coffee Subscription
In what’s likely a move to entice more customers to its loyalty program, Panera this week launched the MyPanera+Coffee subscription service. Membership can only available by signing up for a MyPanera loyalty/rewards program then adding the $8.99/month (plus tax) subscription service to your account. Those who do can walk into a Panera every two hours and refill their mug, regardless of its size, without incurring any additional charges beyond the monthly fee. The same goes for iced coffee and hot tea, too.
NYC Introduces Six Bills to Regulate Food Delivery
The New York City council introduced a series of bills this week that aim to regulate the third-party food delivery industry. Six bills in total would would regulate different areas of delivery. Restaurant commission fees, third-party services’ control over menu pricing, erroneous charges to restaurants, tamper-evident packaging, and special licenses for delivery services are just some of the issues the proposed legislation addresses. (Read the full breakdown here.) If one or more of these bills are signed into law in NYC, the impact could have a ripple effect across the delivery industry in the rest of the country.
Yum! Brands to Phase Out Polystyrene Packaging
The parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC is getting onboard with saving the oceans. This week, Yum announced it will stop its use of polystyrene packaging globally by 2022. Right now, the material is used mostly for side dishes on delivery/takeout orders for Yum Restaurants. Yum hasn’t yet said what it will replace polystyrene with, but that phasing it out will eliminate 100 million foam containers per year across the company’s restaurant portfolio.