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News items from the last few days as well as price action from last Thursday.  Also included is our fundamental view on select names.

  • DRI was fined over $25k in back-wages and $30k in fines after an investigation by the U.S. Labor Wage and Hour Division found that 140 current and former servers at the company’s Mesquite, Texas, Olive Garden were not properly paid.
  • GMCR announced that the Mr. Coffee single serve brewer has partnered with Keurig technology, joining the GMCR family of brewers.
  • MCD is facing a firestorm of bad publicity after a woman was badly beaten in an altercation at a Baltimore MCD restaurant that was filmed by a staff member and allegedly shows staff failing to aid the victim.  The video of the incident has gone viral.
  • SBUX is facing its own youtube risk today as a video surfaced of a rodent walking amongst the syrups on a counter inside the Terra Nova, MD, Starbucks.
  • PEP’s CFO has criticized US policymakers’ focus on “core” inflation, arguing that it overlooks the impact of rising food costs.
  • There is a seismic shift under way in how franchisees approach balance in franchisee/franchisor relationships. It is a multi-pronged strategy headed by the three-year-old Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) that utilizes market forces, collective bargaining and possible legislation.
  • MSSR has been offered an extension of the previously announced tender offer from Tilman Fertitta to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of MSSR for $9.25 per share.  The offer has now been extended until midnight on May 31, 2011. 


Howard Penney

Managing Director