Weekly Global News Wrap: Papa John's inks largest North America deal in two decades; Starbucks rolls out strawless cups; KFC, Popeyes launch chicken sandwiches in Canada

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

Papa John’s in the U.S. has signed an agreement with franchisee HB Restaurant Group to open 49 new stores in the Philadelphia area from 2021 to 2028, its largest development deal in North America in 20 years. As reported by Restaurant Dive, the pizza chain reported a 27% increase in North American comp sales, its best month in its 35-year history. Read more here.

Starbucks is rolling out recyclable strawless cups for iced drinks across the U.S. and Canada, Business Insider reported. The new flat lids contain 9% less plastic than the coffee chain's previous lid-and-straw combo. Read more here.

Inspire Brands-owned Arby’s is now selling meat by the pound for a limited time in the U.S. as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. As reported by CNN, the chain is offering three of its sliced meats (roast turkey, ham and corned beef) in half-pound and pound packages at nine Atlanta-area locations. Read more here.

Sweetgreen is launching meals that will be available only through its mobile app. As reported by CNBC, the chain said its digital orders have soared 178% during the pandemic. Read more here.

White Castle continues its digital push with the launch of the 99-year-old burger chain’s first-ever digital loyalty programme, Nation Restaurant News has reported. Craver Nation offers personalized rewards and perks for members based on purchasing habits gleaned from their apps’ customer data. Read more here.

A chicken war may be brewing in Canada, with KFC and Popeyes releasing similar sandwiches. Read more here and here.

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The latest opening is the chain’s 69th store in the UK.
This is a venture helmed by former Roti King executive chef Prince Durairaj.
Its UK operator Lemon Pepper Holdings opened its first restaurant in London and has since expanded to a variety of locations.
The company is also growing its roster of master franchise partners.
The coffee chain is also recruiting 2,000 more workers.
Consumer confidence is building despite COVID continuing to take a toll on trading.
The newly created role sees Miller lead the development and strategy of the brand’s customer proposition, marketing, digital transformation and management.
The company also saw a “significant step up” at their airport shops after travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers were eased.
But sales in London West End restaurants, however, are still below pre-pandemic levels.
The three new sites are located in Marble Arch, King’s Cross and Royal Wharf.
To celebrate the milestone, the chain is selling a limited-edition “hyper realistic” pizza cake.
Plant-based dish innovations and exclusive new menu developments and collaborations will also be unveiled at the store.
In April, the celebrity chef refuted the original breakfast Bacon Bap in a viral video seen on his official TikTok account.