Today in Food Commerce: Panera Goes Digital; Chili’s Tackles Inflation

Today in food commerce, food prices skyrocket, and major restaurant brands open new off-premise-focused concepts. Plus, Michael Breed, senior vice president of Marketing at Brinker International, discusses how Chili’s is bringing flexibility to its value menu to draw in inflation-concerned customers.

Fast Food Restaurants Feel the Heat as Gas Prices Hit $5  

Gas prices are breaking new records, with multiple sources revealing that about $5 per gallon is becoming the national average. AAA reported Friday (June 10) that the national average is $4.99, and gas price-tracking app GasBuddy announced Thursday (June 9) that the average price per gallon “has officially surpassed” $5, marking the highest price on record.

Restaurant Roundup: Panera, Tim Hortons Open Off-Premise-Only Locations

Panera Bread opens a “digital-only” location, Tim Hortons announces a drive-thru-only restaurant design, restaurant prices rise, and a major foodservice robotics company partners with Amazon Web Services to accelerate its expansion.

Food Content Meets Community-Style Commerce With a Side of Payments Innovation

Amanda Hesser of eCommerce marketplace-as-a-community Food52 explains how inspiring content converts readily to commerce when appropriately served.

America’s Soaring Food and Fuel Problem Drives 8.6% Increase in May’s Inflation

Double-digit increases in the price of gasoline and food combined to push the overall Consumer Price Index 8.6% higher in May, a move that not only topped economists’ already pessimistic fears but marked a fresh 41-year high in the cost of basic everyday life.

Chili’s Exec: Flexibility Is the ‘Guiding Principle’ of Anti-Inflation Value Menu

Casual dining giant Chili’s announced earlier this month the launch of its new “3 for Me” menu offering a beverage, appetizer and entrée starting at $10.99. Michael Breed, senior vice president of Marketing at Chili’s parent company Brinker International, spoke with PYMNTS about how the brand is using the breadth of options as the key differentiator from other value offerings.