FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, UK

Global News Wrap Up: Burger King takes on net neutrality; Starbucks Coffee Company now offers sick leave; Krispy Kreme unveils new Glazed Doughnut flavour

Here is a summary of the most interesting QSR news stories of the week from around the world.

Inspired by global television show, the world's first Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN restaurant marked its official grand opening at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Designed to be an experiential and immersive destination restaurant, guests at Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN will feel transported to the studio set of the FOX television show. The inspiration from the show is evident from the signature pitchfork – direct from the set of the TV show – that marks the entryway, to the life-size video screen of Chef Ramsay that greets guests upon arrival, to the chef uniforms and menu items. The winner of current Season 17 of HELL'S KITCHEN All-Stars will be named Head Chef and have portrait hung with the other previous champions on the winner's wall.

After casting nearly two million votes online over a week, America selected lemon as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts' next, all-new Glazed Doughnut flavour. Fans selected from four flavours – blueberry, caramel, lemon and maple – from January 16 through 22 at Lemon was America’s top choice, garnering 36% of the vote. Caramel received 26% of the vote, blueberry received 20% followed by maple, which received 18%. Krispy Kreme will announce this spring the exact dates the all-new Lemon Glazed Doughnut will be available.

Burger King US released a video called Whopper Neutrality which replicates scenarios that show the potential effect of the repeal of Net Neutrality. The recent repeal of Net Neutrality means that internet providers can throttle bandwidth, offer paid fast lanes, block and prioritize content as they wish. During the Whopper Neutrality experiment, Burger King restaurant guests that ordered their Whopper Sandwiches at the regular price had to wait a very long time to receive their orders. Other customers received their orders swiftly, because they paid increased fees for faster service. “We believe the internet should be like Burger King restaurants, a place that doesn’t prioritize and welcomes everyone,” said Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer.

Starbucks Coffee Company announced a series of new partner (employee) offerings that span across wage and benefits. In April, all eligible U.S. hourly and salaried partners will receive a second wage increase in addition to the annual increases that they have already received this fiscal year. This will include an investment of approximately $120 million in wage increases that will be allocated based on regional cost of living and laws that vary from state to state. Also, a new Partner and Family Sick Time benefit will be available to all eligible U.S. partners, which will allow partners to accrue paid sick time based on hours worked and then use them if they or a family member needs care. When this benefit goes into effect this year, Sick Time will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, thus a partner working 23 hours a week can expect to accrue approximately five days of sick time benefit over the course of one year.

Jack in the Box Inc. announced two leadership changes in the brand. Frances Allen has informed the company of her decision to resign as Brand President, effective February 9, 2018, and Marcus Tom will join the company on February 12, 2018, as vice president and chief operating officer. Tom will oversee Operations for company and franchise restaurants as well as Strategic Initiatives & Operations Services.

Panera slammed chains like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks for using fake, 'hockey puck' eggs. According to Business Insider, the chain says breakfast sandwiches from rivals like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks contain additives and artificial ingredients. It also announced that it was petitioning the US Food and Drug Administration to establish a clear definition of the term "egg," something that it does not currently have.

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