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Trending This Week: New Items from KFC, Smashburger, and Sonic Drive-In

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This week on Nation’s Restaurant News the top story was BJ’s Restaurants trims menu and updates staff scripting. BJ’s Restaurants Inc. has reduced its menu by 15% in the third quarter and provided new scripting for waiters as it works to maintain traffic, company executives said Thursday.

Huntington Beach, Calif.-based BJ’s, which reported earnings Thursday for the third quarter ended Oct. 3, said same-store sales increased 0.4% in the quarter.

In other news, Following the death of a college student with a heart condition who went into cardiac arrest last year after drinking the Panera Bread caffeinated drink, Charged Lemonade, her family has filed a lawsuit against the bakery-café chain for the death of their daughter, Sarah Katz, as first reported by NBC News.

Considering the developing situation, Panera said that the brand has updated all of its in-store disclosures about the high caffeine levels of the drink, which now state in bold letters, “Contains Caffeine,” with a warning that states consumers should “use in moderation” and that the drink is not recommended for “children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.”

Also, The National Labor Relations Board just issued a final labor rule that broadens the joint employer rule to make companies jointly liable with their franchisees for labor terms and conditions such as union contracts, pay, scheduling, and more, reviving an Obama-era rule that was limited in scope during the Trump Administration.


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