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Trending this week: McDonald’s new Grandma McFlurry shines a light on the loneliness epidemic

This week on Nation's Restaurant News the top story was Cracker Barrel unveils ‘strategic transformation’ amid financial struggles. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, a restaurant brand that has been struggling with sales and traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic, wants to be relevant again. That is the main goal behind new CEO Julie Felss Masino’s new “strategic transformation” for the family-dining brand. After several quarters of dwindling numbers — including, most recently, 4% traffic decline for the second quarter ended Jan. 26 — Masino is introducing a brand overhaul that includes five pillars: a brand evolution, menu enhancement, store remodels, digital and off-premises investment, and employee experience improvement.

In other news, Flynn Group LP has acquired Wendco (NZ) Ltd., the sole franchisee of the Wendy’s brand in New Zealand, the company announced Monday.

San Francisco-based Flynn Group, which also franchises Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Arby's, Pizza Hut, and Planet Fitness units, said Wendco had been operated by the Lendich family since 1988.

Also, McDonald’s is inviting its customers to celebrate their grandmothers with a new Grandma McFlurry, available beginning May 21 for a limited time. The McFlurry includes “syrup and chopped candy pieces” blended with vanilla soft serve ice cream.

See what else was trending on this week. 


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