Photo credit: A&W

Weekly Global News Wrap: McDonald’s to spend US$250m for franchisee diversity; Starbucks opens first U.S. unionized cafe; A&W’s ‘anti-celeb’ meal

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

McDonald’s announced plans to invest US$250 million over five years to provide financing alternatives designed to build a more diverse base of operators. As noted by Nation’s Restaurant News, the programme will seek to reduce upfront equity requirements for eligible franchise candidates and will also leverage its network of banking partners to increase access to financing solutions. Read more here.

Starbucks will now have at least one unionized cafe in Buffalo, New York — a U.S. first for the chain. As reported by CNBC, the result marks the first successful attempt in the U.S. at unionizing within the giant coffee chain since going public nearly three decades ago. Read more here.

Jack in the Box is scooping up Del Taco in a US$575 million deal, CNN reported. The acquisition, which is expected to close early next year, will see the California-based brands have over 2,800 restaurants in 25 U.S. states. Read more here.

Poking fun at celebrity meal promotions, A&W is launching an "anti-celeb meal" hiring campaign which puts workers side-by-side with celebrity promotional images from competitors. As reported by Business Insider, the move is part of a hiring and retention campaign. Read more here.

Bringing a popular joke to life, Chipotle has launched a US$8 cilantro soap, Restaurant Business reported. The fast casual chain is even offering a Cilantro Lover badge to its rewards members who order menu items containing cilantro. Read more here.

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The “combined” concept features the operator’s PappaRich, NeNe Chicken, Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart and Kurimu brands.
Initially launched in Singapore, the feature will be rolled out across the rest of its APAC markets shortly.
The chain also introduced broccoli cheese balls as a new side dish option.
Burger King currently has around 150 and 440 outlets in Japan and South Korea, respectively.
More than 60 stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu now offer this ‘1971 Salon’ reservation service, with plans to expand.
The company expects approximately 50,000 jobs to be created as a result.
The promotional boxes have sold out, partly due to scalpers reselling the toys for higher prices.
The unmanned store chain, located in Wirye New Town, is selling about 120 kinds of products.
The fast food chain estimates that stocks will be replenished by late January.
The chain now expects to have more than 45 Shake Shacks across Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia that year.
Founded in 2017, it already has a presence in ten countries, including the US, UK and Australia.
The chain has grown to employ more than 3,000 staff in over 600 stores across 45 cities.