Tag: Cops and Courts

Yum to issue 10M shares as part of China spinoff; Pizza Hut nabs Walmart exec for digital initiatives; and Kindred pays record $3M regulatory fine

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:24 a.m.

YUM‘s 7,200-restaurant China Division said today it would issue 10 million common shares to Yum Brands shareholders as part of its planned spinoff next month. The offering could result in Yum China receiving proceeds of up to $54.05 million, implying a maximum offering price per share of $5.405, according to a regulatory filing. (bit.ly/2ctqkQy) The China division, which operates in more than 1,100 cities, is higher risk and potentially more rewarding, while Yum  without the China division is likely to be more stable with greater cash flow (Reuters and SEC document).


PIZZA HUT has hired a Walmart technology executive to help develop digital ordering initiatives as its chief customer officer, a new position. The executive, Helen Vaid, will lead the international e-commerce, technology and operations business for the 16,000-location pizza chain. Vaid was Walmart’s vice president of digital store operations and experience. Before that, she was a general manager at Snapfish, a web-based photo-sharing and photo-printing company (press release).

KINDRED has paid a $3.1 million penalty to the federal government after failing to comply with a corporate integrity agreement it signed with regulators. The penalty came after the hospital and nursing home giant failed to correct improper billing practices in the fourth year of the five-year agreement. This penalty is the largest issued for corporate integrity violations to date, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said yesterday. The violations were discovered after several unannounced site visits were completed by the inspector general’s office. Under the agreement, Kindred had agreed to a number of corrective actions, including outside scrutiny of billing practices. In exchange for the agreement, the agency agreed not to exclude Kindred from participating in Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs (Home Health Care News).

chipotle-logoTACO BELL competitor Chipotle is launching a new marketing campaign today in a bid to convince people they can trust what’s in their burritos, nearly a year after two E. coli outbreaks sickened dozens of its customers in several states. In the campaign, the fast-Mexican chain says its now tracing ingredients back to the farm, blasting pathogens off chorizo with high-powered water jets, and requiring restaurant managers to receive food-safety certification (Wall Street Journal).

New York attorney general asks for $900M in penalties against UPS over untaxed cigarette shipping case

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:10 a.m.


UPS: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking $872 million in penalties from UPS for allegedly shipping 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to residences and unauthorized sellers — charges the shipper denied at the start of a trial yesterday. The cheaper cigarettes attracted young people who are disproportionately lured to smoking by lower costs, lawyers for Schneiderman say. UPS’s lawyer, Carrie Cohen, said the company was in full compliance with the law and that the dispute was triggered by the city and state mistaking cartons of legally shipped “little cigars” for cigarettes (Bloomberg).

Colorado Springs police release 312-page report on fatal July shooting outside Taco Bell

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants*.

Crime scene tapeNeighbors painted a conflicting picture of 80-year-old Jack Rogers, who fatally shot 23-year-old Jesse Garcia on July 17 with a semi-automatic handgun in a Taco Bell parking lot, according to a 312-page case file Colorado Springs Police Department released yesterday.

Charges were not filed against Rogers following the road rage-related shooting, a decision that was made July 28, according to the case file, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 outlets in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants across the U.S. and in five other nations. With that many locations, crimes inevitably occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.

UPS pilots agree to 5-year pact with 15% pay hike; B-F dives 4% on quarterly results; plus former KFC store goes to pot — a missed opportunity, BTW

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 6:05 p.m.

UPS‘s 2,500 pilots have overwhelmingly ratified a five-year labor contract with a bonus up to $60,000 per pilot, an immediate increase in base pay, and “more favorable” rest policies for overnight and international flights. The contract, which starts tomorrow, includes an immediate 14.7% pay hike, followed by annual increases of 3% over the life of the deal, the pilots association said today (WDRB). The shipper is Louisville’s single-biggest private employer, with 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub; more about UPS here.

Jack Daniel's Fire

BROWN-FORMAN said fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 5% to $856 million and earnings dropped 2% to 36 cents per share, citing weaker-than-expected results in emerging markets and a stronger U.S. dollar. The results were in line with analysts forecasts. The spirits giant also cited tough comparisons from a year ago on its flagship Jack Daniel’s, which lapped last year’s introduction of cinnamon-flavored Tennessee Fire in the U.S. Sales of Finlandia — the vodka brand rumored to be on the auction block — dropped 10% reported as results in Poland “stabilized somewhat” while they remained under pressure in Russia, given the “challenging economic backdrop” and ruble depreciation (press release). Brown-Forman has now filed its more detailed quarterly 10-Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both classes of the company’s stock fell more than 4% in the first 45 minutes of trading before recovering. The more actively traded non-voting B shares ended the day at $48.55, down $1.78, or 3.5%.

PIZZA HUT: The manager of a Pizza Hut outlet in Tokyo’s Koto Ward and three accomplices were arrested for allegedly beating the store’s deputy manager with a lead pipe and stealing 1.4 million yen (U.S. $13,500) from a safe on May 1. The victim suffered serious injuries including a fractured left arm which required more than two months to heal, police said (Tokyo Reporter).

TACO BELL and KFC: In Houston, police are investigating a smash-and-grab attempted burglary after someone crashed a vehicle into a combination Taco Bell-KFC restaurant on the city’s northeast side early today. The front doors and some of the interior were damaged, but it didn’t appear anything of value was taken (KHOU).

KFC Pittsfield
The former KFC location has already gone to weeds (heh).

And in Pittsfield, Mass., the appropriately named Happy Valley Compassion Center is proposing to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a former KFC restaurant building. Side note: It occurs to Boulevard that opening a KFC or any other fast-food outlet next to a marijuana store would be an excellent way to sell to customers with the munchies (Berkshire Eagle).

Yum hits 52-week high; Pizza Hut kicks off a new flick football game box; Papa John’s, Calipari in Louisiana flood-relief effort; and up to 100 students brawl at New Zealand KFC

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 4:59 p.m.

YUM shares traded at a 52-week high of $90.93 today, before easing back to close moments ago at $90.76. It’s all-time record high came May 20, 2015, when it traded for $95.90 a share (Google Finance).

AMAZON said this afternoon it plans to open a distribution center in Monee, Ill., an hour south of Chicago; it didn’t provide a timetable, however (press release). In the Louisville area, Amazon employs 6,000 workers at two centers, in Jeffersonville and in Shephardsville. More about the retailer’s area operations.

Pizza Hut flick football box
The flick football box promotion ends Oct. 14.

PIZZA HUT: Starting today, and just in time for the start of football season, Pizza Hut is serving medium pizzas in a Flick Football Field box, featuring a football field printed on top, detachable goal posts, football triangles and a scorecard. Flick football is a tabletop game played with a piece of paper folded into a small triangle. Players flick the “football” across a table, scoring points based on where the football lands. Adding a social media marketing component, the Yum unit is asking customers to share videos of their flick football skills for a chance to win free pizza from the chain’s $5 Flavor Menu. The promotion runs through Oct. 14. It follows Pizza Hut U.K.’s far more novel box less than two weeks ago: a very limited edition (as in just five) cardboard box with a workable DJ mixing board (CNBC).

John Calipari

PAPA JOHN’S and University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari are teaming up to raise money for victims of the Louisiana flooding. Yesterday, Calipari announced the pizza chain would offer a large two-topping pizza for $10, with 10% of the proceeds going to the Calipari Family Foundation, earmarked for flooding victims (Today’s U Sports). Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has supported the foundation in the past, donating $53,000 since 2012 for its programs helping children.

KFC: In New Zealand, four people were arrested today after a massive brawl involving up to 100 students from rival schools erupted at a KFC fast food outlet in South Auckland. Weapons used included knives, chairs and bits of wood, a police spokesperson told NZME, and witnesses said the students involved both boys and girls, with some appearing to be less than 16 years old (7 News via Yahoo).

Ronald Ganett

UPS: In Prattville, Ala., a UPS driver was taken to the hospital in stable condition after he was accidentally struck by a crossbow bolt fired by someone while he was driving. The driver wasn’t identified. The bolt went through his upper right arm and lodged in his right chest, according to an Autauga County Sheriff’s Office report. Investigators say 55-year-old Ronald Curtis Gantt has been charged with assault in last Thursday’s incident. Gantt told authorities he was taking part in target practice in his front yard when he shot the driver. Investigators are calling the incident an accident, but charged Gantt due to the reckless nature of his actions (Montgomery Advertiser).

With its Extra Crispy sunscreen going for $202 on eBay, KFC gave away 3,000 more rare bottles; plus, starting today: a Snapchat lens for fans to ‘Colonel-ize’ themselves

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:22 a.m.

eBay KFC sunscreen 500
An Alabama eBay seller is accepting bids through Monday.

KFC might want to get into the sunscreen business permanently. The chain offered another 3,000 free bottles of its fried chicken-scented Colonel Sanders Extra Crispy Sunscreen yesterday — and emptied its inventory immediately — after the marketing stunt succeeded far more than the fast-food chain expected when it launched Monday. The second round began yesterday for U.S. residents-only, but the order form is already gone, replaced with a notice saying “incredible free offer all gone.”

KFC suncreen offer already goneInitially, the Yum unit promised 3,000 bottles on a first-come, first-served basis. “But the Colonel forgot to hit the ‘off switch,'” the company said in a press release, “which resulted in more than 9,000 bottles requested in about two hours, with 5,000 of those requests in the final 10 minutes.”

The bottles were so popular, at least four are now being auctioned on eBay, with one seller in Birmingham, Ala., showing a current high bid of $202.50 — the highest of 55 so far; offers are being accepted through Monday. Bids on the other three bottles by different sellers now stand at $51 to $97.

Meanwhile today, KFC introduced a Snapchat lens that let’s  fans “Colonel-ize” themselves — “glasses, bowtie, goatee, age spots and all” — in a campaign to duplicate the success sister chain Taco Bell had with a Cinco de Mayo promotion last spring.

KFC Snapchat lens
You can look like  this.

The Snapchat lens capitalizes on the popularity of the chain’s series of TV commercials portraying resurrected versions of very long-dead KFC founder Harland Sanders — including the current version, famously suntanned actor George Hamilton, who plays the “Extra Crispy” one.

“Starring as the Colonel in our advertising may be an exclusive gig, but on Saturday, anyone can be the Colonel on Snapchat,” the company says.

For Boulevard readers over the age of, say, 14, here’s a more technical explanation, no doubt supplied by the mobile app company itself: “Sponsored lenses offer Snapchatters the ability to apply real-time visual effects and sounds to their selfies, allowing brands to take part in communication on the platform in the most interactive, fun, and personal way.”

KFC is aiming for the same result Taco Bell scored last spring, when its Cinco de Mayo lens smashed Snapchat records. That campaign turned consumers’ heads into a giant taco shell, resulting in 224 million views in one day, according to AdWeek.

GE Hair logoGE: A former GE Appliances employee has sued General Electric, saying he was singled out, harassed and ultimately fired for being transgender. Mykel Mickens worked at Appliance Park from October 2014 to June of this year. He says co-workers turned on him when they discovered he once was a woman named Michelle. It appears his suit is against GE Appliances, rather than the parent company that owned the division until late June, when China-based Haier bought it for $5.6 billion. Last night, GE Appliances told WDRB that it doesn’t comment on matters in litigation, but said the company “embraces diversity and supports organizations like our LGBT group” (WDRB).

Former parent company GE’s gambit to morph into something akin to a Silicon Valley start-up began five years ago, when it quietly opened a software center in San Ramon, Calif., 24 miles east of San Francisco. The complex, home to GE Digital, now employs 1,400 people (New York Times).