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Trending this week: Starbucks is investing in automation to halve the time it takes to make your Frappuccino

This week on Nation's Restaurant News the top story was NRN editors discuss Starbucks and Chipotle’s metaverse moves, Burger King’s big investment. The quick-service chain made its debut in the metaverse this past week with a design that was worth the wait. In something NRN senior editor Joanna Fantozzi called “Loyalty 2.0” on First Bite, our daily morning podcast, Starbucks is giving users the chance to use tokens they earn in the metaverse for real-world treats like Espresso Martini Tastings. The team discussed what this means for the brand and the industry at large.

In other news, Starbucks investor day — the widely anticipated annual event that was expected to usher in a new era of leadership and give details on the company’s teased reinvention plan — started with an introduction of a new beverage and ended the morning session with the discussion of store growth.

While big news was promised, the Seattle-based company mostly addressed investors in vague terms about the future of the Starbucks brand, from digital innovation (including its just-announced foray into the metaverse), and how the company plans to address turnover rates and the growing unionization movement systemwide.

Also, Outback Steakhouse parent Bloomin’ Brands Inc. will expand all its concepts to the Grubhub marketplace after having select Carrabba’s Italian Grill locations on the platform, the companies announced Thursday.

Tampa, Fla.-based Bloomin’ will add Outback, Bonefish Grill, Flemings’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and the virtual Tender Shack to Grubhub pickup and delivery, the companies said. 

See what else was trending on this week. 

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