"Helpings from the Heart," which Eric Holm founded in 1992, is his way of giving back to the community he serves -- and thanking The Salvation Army for providing a Thanksgiving meal to his family when he was a child. "This year's event takes special significance in that it is the 25th straight year we have had the privilege to organize it," said Holm in a press release announcing the annual gathering in Orlando. "It started off years ago as an opportunity to share the holiday with others and give people a good meal on Thanksgiving. Although the event has grown considerably over the years, the purpose remains the same and we look forward to spending time with everyone that comes out that day." The dinner is a joint venture between Holm and area nonprofit organizations, corporations, and local businesses, including The Salvation Army, Cheney Brothers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McLane, Ardent, Mills, Harvill's, Bubbalou's, Puff n Stuff, Universal, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
In its continuing efforts to revitalize the brand, Long John Silver's is introducing what it calls "the most technologically advanced digital drive-thru platforms in the restaurant industry, laying the groundwork for a fully automated drive-thru in the future." Up to 400 flagship units will be transformed over the next 2 years. The new platform will include three 55-inch, high-definition video screens, high-definition audio, and a computer platform, all intended to improve the ordering process. LJS partnered with Allure, a division of Christie Digital Systems USA, to develop the new drive-thrus, which will provide digital order confirmation and full-color, high-resolution animation, video, and graphics. The new system will allow for quick updates of menus, promotions, and changes based on local weather and events. "More than half our sales occur at the drive-thru and we want our customers to enjoy that experience with the best technology available," said CEO James O'Reilly in the announcement.
"Hispanic consumers continue to be one of the most important demographic groups in the U.S." That's how Marcella Veneziale began her article on consumer trends in a recent NRN. How much attention is your brand paying to this rapidly growing cohort? She offers 5 tips to increase your chances of connecting with this increasingly important group of consumers:
Juice It Up! is entering the convenience store business with its first location to feature a mobile app drive-thru and self-serve kiosk ordering systems. The first store, set to open in early 2018 inside a Fresh Fill Convenience Store in Los Banos, Calif., will be operated by franchisees Brian Rocha and Brett Windecker. The new store also will offer pick-up of common convenience store items at the drive-thru window, along with a gas station, car wash, and electric car charging stations. "We wanted to build a concept that would serve as a one-stop shop for busy consumers, adding a unique mobile ordering system enabling purchases without ever having to leave their car," said Brian Rocha in Restaurant News.
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