Industry icon Steve Ells says focusing on constant improvement has fueled Chipotle’s rise to the top of the fast-casual world. Former Chipotle partner McDonald’s, meanwhile, is fending off critics of its new financial advice website for employees. And more restaurant owners are adopting part-time-only hiring policies to skirt looming health insurance requirements. Two groups—baby boomers and diners who prefer to eat at the bar—are supplying growth opportunities for restaurants.
• Chipotle founder Steve Ells discusses the ingredients behind two decades in business. In a revealing interview, Steve Ells talks about building the Chipotle brand to 1,400 units in 20 years. (Denver Westword)
• Restaurant shift: sorry, just part-time. Concerned about the cost of health insurance, many restaurant owners are opting to replace full-time help with part-timers. (The Wall Street Journal)
• Restaurants rethink menus to woo baby boomers. After years of chasing the Gen X/Y and millennial demographic, restaurants have figured out that boomers are the ones spending money. (NBC News)
• McDonald's offers budget tool for workers -- who may need a second job. McDonald’s has opened itself up to broad criticism after launching a website designed to help employees manage their finances. (Los Angeles Times)
• The beauty of eating at the bar. Many consumers like eating at the bar—because it's more informal, better for a single and there's often seats available. (The Atlantic)