Restaurants
 
'The Timing Couldn't Be Better': Vending Machines are Entering A New Golden Age
 
A Modern Retail article has speculated that the timing might be great for vending machines to become a way for businesses to sell products.
 
"I started the business with that in mind," Luke Saunders, the CEO and founder of Farmer's Fridge, said in the above Modern Retail article. "A lot of the current situation has magnified trends that were already in motion." He suggests online grocery as one example. "It's similar, I would say, for vending — all the trends were already there."
 
Panera is Offering Free Unlimited Coffee All Summer
 
Panera Bread has announced #FREECOFFEE4SUMMER, which will let anyone that has signed up for My Panera+Coffee subscription will get free and unlimited premium hot coffee, iced tea, and iced coffee until Labor Day. Sign-ups started Monday, July 22, and are open until July 4.
 
"We asked America if they wanted it, and the answer was a resounding yes—so we're excited to kick off a summer of free, unlimited premium coffee for our guests through Labor Day," says Eduardo Luz, chief brand & concept officer for Panera, in the above QSR Magazine article. "This is our way of sharing the famous Panera Warmth in a new way, as we may be all celebrating summer a little differently this year."
 
Report: COVID-19 Spikes Not Affecting Restaurant Sales Yet
 
According to a QSR Magazine report, the new COVID-19 spikes are not affecting restaurant sales yet. According to this article, for the week ending on June 14, total restaurant chain transactions were down 12 percent compared to the same week a year ago, also one percent below the previous week, but the ninth straight improvement year-over-year per NPD.
 
"The only major variable in play with a case surge at the moment would be erosion in consumer willingness to dine out," says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America in a QSR Magazine report. "There are three main variables that will influence continued restaurant recovery: reopening of on-premise dining and expanding allowed capacity; the willingness of consumers to dine out and feel safe and confident in doing so; and the economic well-being of the consumer. Thus far, the evidence in restaurant transactional improvement confirms that dining rooms are opening, and there is consumer demand to fill opened restaurants."
 
Innovation
 
Starbucks Launches the Impossible Foods Breakfast Sandwich as America's Appetite for Plant-Based Meat Grows
 
Starbucks has announced the brand will be adding the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich to its menu for most of its locations in the United States.
 
"Starbucks' commitment to add more plant-based ingredients to its menu is a new benchmark for large corporations," said Dr. Patrick O. Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods in the above CNBC article.
 
IMAX Introduces Personalized, Live Digital Showroom Experience
 
IMAX Worldwide, the home accessory supplier, has launched IMAX Connect, a way for customers to preview products digitally. It will give a face-to-face connection without the need to travel and will allow customers to discover new products.
 
"While we cannot replace the in-person showroom experience," said Arda Bulak, VP of marketing, said in an HFN Digital article. "IMAX Connect offers our customer an amazing alternative that is safe, cost-effective, and convenient. We've gone to great lengths to ensure our customer is delighted- and the reception has been fantastic."
 

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