News Bites: Pokémon Go Catches Restaurant Fever, Starbucks to Increase Wages & More

Pokemon - food
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Nibble on this: 6 things happening in the world of food you should know.

1. Restaurants are cashing in on Pokémon Go fever.
When the Pokémon Go app released this weekend, many of us cracked a nostalgic smile—whether we were into the pocket monsters or not. But restaurants are smiling too because the game is now allowing them to cash in on the action. Gamers travel around their city to grab cool tokens and new Pokémon balls from “Pokéstops”, which are actual brick and mortar locations like diners and coffee shops. Since all that hunting works up a hunger (and an extra coffee or pastry sale), restaurants are taking advantage with signs and social media posts to draw in Pokémon trainers who “gotta catch ’em all”.

2. Starbucks will increase wages for its employees.
Last week, Starbucks announced a price hike on its menu items—but could some of those coffee profits be going to the company’s baristas? Starting October 3, all employees and managers will receive a pay increase of 5% or more. Additionally, employees with 2 years or more of service in their bean stock program (which basically gives employees a small stake in the company) will see a doubled annual bean stock award. In total, employees will see an increase in pay between 5 and 15%. This news, and the new summer drinks added to the menu, might make you feel a little better about paying more for your favorite Frappucino.

3. A 3D printing restaurant will open in London.
From July 25-27, Food Ink will begin a 3-day food tour in London—and serve a menu full of 3D-printed foods. During a 9-course dinner, chefs will be prepare, print out and serve dishes right in front of the lucky few able to snag a seat. Though no dates are locked down yet, the restaurant is set to pop-up in other major cities, including New York, Las Vegas, Austin and Los Angeles stateside.

4. Brides are going crazy over this wedding cake design.
Move over, naked wedding cakes. A new cake decorating trend has piqued our Pinterest interest: geode cakes. The wedding desserts feature edible rock candy embellishments that make part of the cake look similar to the crystal interior of a rock.

5. Lettuce clubs are an actual, factual thing among millennials.
Yes, teenagers are joining lettuce clubs and hosting competitions. These aren’t like, say, professional eating contests. These kids are much more casual (and cool) than that. But there are rules: 1) Eat a whole head of lettuce in 5 minutes, 2) The one who eats it the fastest becomes club president and organizes the next annual competition, 3) Using sauce is totally fine, 4) You’re banned from participating if you don’t finish your lettuce head in 30 minutes. It’s unclear how healthy these shenanigans are, but seeing kids this excited about eating their veggies has to be a good sign.

6. Denny’s is changing its pancake recipe for fluffier, fresher pancakes.

Mornings are getting a little better. Last week, McDonald’s added the McGriddle to its all-day breakfast menu and now Denny’s wants to up its pancake game. The breakfast chain will replace their powdered mix with fresh buttermilk, real eggs and a bit of vanilla. “Our old pancakes were fine, but America deserved better,” the Denny’s site reads. Right on Denny’s. Right on.

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