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Restaurant SmartBrief

The minimum hourly wage is set to increase in 22 different states and municipalities today, including a 59 cent increase in San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., that would create the country's highest minimum wage. The wage in eight of the 22 jurisdictions will hit or exceed $14, and will rise to $11.25 in Oregon and $10 in New Jersey. Restaurant Business online (6/28)
Private-equity firm Lion Capital has acquired half of Gordon Ramsay North America with plans to invest $100 million to grow the celebrity chef's branded eateries in the US. The deal calls for the company to open 100 new locations over the next five years. Forbes (6/26)
Wingstop is moving its headquarters from Dallas to nearby Addison, Texas, in a move that could accommodate expected expansion. Wingstop will be the only occupant of the 78,000-square-foot, $18.3 million office building, and the company plans to include an innovation center, test kitchen and mock restaurant. Restaurant Business online (6/25)
KFC and Cheetos have partnered to create a limited-edition Cheetos Sandwich, which is being promoted by Chester Cheetah as the new Colonel Sanders. The campaign is running across TV with an animated Colonel Chester, who will also take over KFC's social channels. Ad Age (tiered subscription model) (6/28)
AL (Ala.) (6/28)
The relationship between restaurants and local farms can flourish if chefs understand that flexibility is key to maintaining the partnership, said chef Amy Brandwein, who partners with DC Urban Greens to supply her Washington, D.C., restaurant, Centrolina. "You need to prioritize the relationship and the quality of the food over any specific dish that you want to do," she said. Food & Wine (6/2019)
Chef Dan Barber hosted a seed-to-table dinner event earlier this month at North Carolina's Durham Hotel, in which chefs from across the South were invited to prepare meals using Row 7 Seed Company crops. The eight participating chefs also used crops from the nearby farm Southwind Produce, underscoring the importance of supporting local farmers. WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.) (6/27)
Hostels in popular tourist destinations are becoming new venues for chefs to create a variety of culinary offerings, from bar food to full-service dining. Hostels such as Miami-based Sydell Group's Freehand concept and Hilton's forthcoming Motto by Hilton brand offer scaled-back accommodations and a focus on social interactions and experiences, including dining. Restaurant Hospitality online (6/24)
This year's Summer Fancy Food Show featured new takes on ongoing trends including plant-based foods and specialty beverages. Innovative chickpea products, vegan baking mixes, tea made from avocado leaves and tea brewed like craft beer were some of the new products on display. SmartBrief/Food & Beverage (7/1)
About 1,000 Subway restaurants will test limited-edition, hand-spun milkshakes later this month that include ice cream from Halo Top Creamery as the main ingredient. Each of the three milkshake varieties will feature 20 grams or more of protein and 350 or fewer calories. Forbes (7/1)

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