Starbucks Opens Innovation Lab On Arizona State Campus
RestaurantDive.com reports that Starbucks and Arizona State University will open a new research and innovation facility, called the ASU-Starbucks Center for the Future of the People and the Planet, in December 2021 on ASU's campus in Tempe, Arizona, according to a press release.

The lab will leverage ASU's applied research and on-campus test stores to continue "reimagining customer experiences both in-store and through more personalized digital relationships," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in the release. The center's year-one goals include building out and open sourcing Starbucks' "Greener Stores" program and exploring alternative menu items, including plant-based offerings.
 
The Absolute Brands Debuts New Virtual Wing and Burger Concepts
QSRmagazine.com says The Absolute Brands is debuting two new virtual brands –JAILBIRD and Big Belly Burgers. The Absolute Brands – a restaurant group comprised of Dog Haus and other unique concepts – operate at virtual kitchen locations and Dog Haus restaurants, offering new items that are off-shoots of Dog Haus’ signature menu.

Led by Dog Haus’ culinary team and Culinary Director Adam Gertler, JAILBIRD and Big Belly Burgers will join The Absolute Brands’ virtual concept lineup – Bad Mutha Clucka, Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos and Plant B.
 
American Eagle Outfitters CEO expects ‘Roaring 20s’
CNBC.com says that American Eagle Outfitters CEO Jay Schottenstein said Thursday that the U.S. shopping mall “is not dead” and that the decade is shaping up to be a boon for business.

The apparel retailer anticipates extending its double-digit comparable sales growth streak to 27 quarters and retaining its position as a leader in denim, Schottenstein said in a CNBC appearance.
 
Facebook to Go After Clubhouse and Podcasts with New Audio Products
Vox.com reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a suite of audio products, including a Clubhouse competitor and a push into podcasting, that his company intends to roll out over the next few weeks and months.

Zuckerberg, speaking with tech journalist Casey Newton, also said he wanted Facebook to be able to let audio creators make money as the products go live.
 
Domino's First Store in Ghana is Now Open
Domino's Pizza is continuing its global growth momentum, as the first Domino's store in Ghana is now open. Residents of Accra can now enjoy hot, made-to-order pizza in-store or delivered to their doorstep by Domino's master franchisee, Fire Foods Ghana Ltd.

"We are excited to partner with Domino's on bringing this leading and much-loved pizza brand to Ghana's shores," said Karan Kapur, executive director of Fire Foods Ghana Ltd. "We are thrilled that Domino's delicious food, excellent customer service and efficient delivery are now available to customers in Accra."
 

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