There always seems to be restaurant news on the menu. As I do every week, let's take a look at some of this week's more appetizing stories.
1. My Facebook friend Bob
No good trend in the restaurant industry goes uncopied. Take the breakfast burrito, for instance. Bob Evans
I don't suspect the comfort-food spends a lot of time on social networks, but the online effort is a way for Bob Evans to cheaply reach a younger audience. The Meat Lover and Western burritos will supposedly only be available during the winter, but you can bet that they'll stick around if they're popular.
2. Denny's dodgers
Value-minded fast food chains are holding up well in this environment, but the same can't be said for bargain-priced casual dining. Denny's
Denny's is certainly trying, especially as it angles for the takeout breakfast rush with its innovative insulated containers. However, it just can't seem to compete with McDonald's
3. Wendy's skips breakfast
You know who else can't run with the golden arches in the morning? Wendy's/Arby's Group
Wendy's will slash the number of restaurants serving breakfast, test a revamped menu in a few key markets like Phoenix and Pittsburgh, then aim for a national rollout in 2011.
A lot can change between now and then, but these retreats are credibility killers. Folks driving to work in the morning like consistency and predictability in their breakfast choices. The last thing they need to worry about is whether the Wendy's on the right side of the road is still serving breakfast.
4. Landry's lament
It's been a rough week for Landry's
Landry's has taken the long way down. Shareholders thought they had an exit strategy when Fertitta presented a privatization offer to buy the entire company for $21 a share back in June. The price was taken down to a pride-swallowing $13.50 a share in October, before Fertitta walked out on the deal this week.
5. California dreaming
California Pizza Kitchen
On a reported basis, CPK will report a loss on non-cash impairment charges. As refreshing as it is for the casual-dining concept to deliver an adjusted profit, it had better win back its patrons, or more impairment charges will likely follow.
6. Apps happen
Some iPhone apps last about as long as a Landry's privatization offer. Chipotle Mexican Grill
Gee, and you thought the serving line at your local Chipotle moved fast.
Check out this week's dessert specials:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is the rare foodie who embraces restaurant chains. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.