It's Thursday, January 14, and things might finally be looking onward and (slightly) upward for Chipotle: Following the burrito chain's disastrous E. coli outbreak, the stock had fallen to its lowest point in more than two years — but it rose slightly yesterday after the company revealed its plans to begin winning customers back with new advertising and, more importantly, free food. (It's still got plenty of lawsuits and an ongoing criminal investigation to deal with, however, and the CFO warned that 2016 would be "messy.")
In other food world news today: Yelp's CEO continues his anti-Google tirade, Danny Meyer just wants fair wages for everyone, and Taco Bell has a new, extra-cheesy creation it hopes will lure you to the drive-thru window. All that and more, right now:
— The Yelp vs. Google deathmatch continues: Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman appeared on CBS This Morning yesterday, and naturally the subject of the world's reigning search engine came up: "It's really compromised the consumer," Stoppelman said. "It used to be this turnstile, you just searched Google and it sent you to the best place on the web, and that's not how it works anymore. Google has its own version of Yelp that doesn't have all the content and they're trying to promote because that's where the advertising revenue is for them, but that's not necessarily what's best for consumers."
— Taco Bell is preparing to unveil its newest culinary monstrosity: the Quesalupa. The company apparently feels it's got another Doritos Locos Taco on its hands, as it's touting the new menu item — which is a taco in a Chalupa-ish shell with a "melted cheese core" — as "what could be its biggest launch to date." And they're certainly throwing plenty of money behind it, with a 30-second ad set to air during the Super Bowl on February 7.
— Zero-gratuity pioneer Danny Meyer truly wants to put an end to workers living on tips. In November, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to hike the minimum wage for hourly workers from $9 to $15, but Meyer believes it ought to be taken a step further: He believes restaurant servers and other tipped workers, who are typically paid less per hour with the expectation that tips will make up the difference, should also make $15 per hour.
— Got an urge to torch some stuff with an open flame? You're in luck, because the Searzall is finally back in stock on Amazon. The $75 attachment, created by cocktail wizard Dave Arnold with backing from Momofuku head honcho David Chang, turns a lowly hardware store blowtorch into a handheld broiler that can sear meats, reheat pizza, and brûlée desserts, all while impressing the heck out of your friends.
— Beloved craft brewery Oskar Blues is putting its canning equipment to charitable use this week: In the wake of the contaminated water crisis currently facing the city of Flint, Mich., the brewers began canning clean drinking water at their Brevard, N.C. facility and shipping it to a Michigan food bank for distribution; 50,000 cans were delivered on Tuesday.