In this file:
· McDonald’s reiterates beef support during Beyond Meat test-drive
· McDonald’s wins California joint employer case
McDonald’s reiterates beef support during Beyond Meat test-drive
Glacier FarmMedia Network
via Canadian Cattlemen - Sep 30, 2019
The world’s biggest burger chain has aimed to reassure Canadian beef producers that its trial run of a plant-based burger doesn’t mark a retreat from the company’s primary protein.
McDonald’s CEO John Betts, in a statement issued Friday directly to “our valued partners in the beef industry,” said he wants beef producers “to hear from me directly that our commitment to beef remains unwavering.”
Betts’ statement was distributed Friday as the quick-service chain announced it would test a new sandwich, the “P.L.T.,” exclusively at 28 outlets in southwestern Ontario for a 12-week trial period starting Monday (Sept. 30).
The P.L.T., short for “Plant. Lettuce. Tomato,” features a plant-based patty developed for the chain by Los Angeles-based meat-substitute processor Beyond Meat, which has been making similar inroads at other major quick-service and casual dining chains in North America.
In a separate statement, Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, McDonald’s senior manager for sustainability in North America, emphasized the P.L.T. test is a trial only and not a full rollout of a new nationwide menu item.
During the test run, he said, the marketing of the sandwich at those outlets will be at point-of-purchase only, focused only on customer choice, and will not include or imply any comparison with beef.
In his statement Friday, Betts said the chain’s recent focus on “Classics Remastered” and its “industry-leading work” on beef sustainability shows the groundwork the chain has done “to reignite passion around quality beef in Canada.” The chain’s Canadian arm has long made its exclusive use of Canadian beef well known in its promotions.
The “Classics Remastered” program was launched in August as a way for the Canadian chain to “enhanc(e) its burger experience through a number of small changes to how burgers are cooked and served.”
Among those changes are cooking beef patties in smaller batches for “hotter and juicier beef,” as well as changes to storage for “fresher and crisper produce,” and new bun recipes.
The chain, Betts said Friday, “has aggressive growth targets over the next few years, so when I talk about doubling down on beef, it’s efforts like these that will help accelerate our beef sales for years to come.”
Without going into specifics, Betts noted the chain’s customers can also expect “some exciting beef activations before the end of the year.”
As for the P.L.T., he said, “we have a responsibility to respond to industry demands and deliver on what consumers are asking for” and reiterated that the test is a way of “gaining insight to help our global markets learn about guest expectations and preferences, while understanding the impact to our restaurant operations.”
More importantly, he said, the P.L.T. test “creates increased diversity in our menu,” which is expected to “help create broader appeal and help drive sales overall, including beef.”
As another example, Betts pointed to ” the relentless focus we’ve put against coffee”...
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McDonald’s wins California joint employer case
Labor victory comes as the chain and Chipotle face union efforts in New York City
Nancy Luna, Nation's Restaurant News
Oct 01, 2019
Chicago-based McDonald’s Corp. scored a victory Tuesday after an appeals court in California upheld an earlier court ruling that said the chain was not responsible as a joint-employer for labor violations made by a franchisee in the Bay Area.
In an Oct. 1 ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, the panel said McDonald’s cannot be classified as an employer of its franchisees’ workers under California common law. The decision upheld an earlier ruling tied to a class action suit filed by employees who said that they were denied overtime premiums and meal and rest breaks required by state law. The employees worked for restaurants operated by the Haynes Family Limited Partnership.
“The panel concluded that although there was arguably evidence suggesting that McDonald’s was aware that Haynes was violating California’s wage-and-hour laws with respect to Haynes’ employees, there was no evidence that McDonald’s had the requisite level of control over plaintiffs’ employment to render it a joint employer under applicable California precedents,” the appeals panel wrote.
In other corporate news, Service Employees International Union is heading a movement to unionize McDonald’s and Chipotle Mexican Grill employees in New York City, according to The Guardian.
“We’re running a campaign for workers in an industry that has been abusing its workers,” a union rep told The Guardian this week...
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