Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and fried chicken?
Here’s some rather unexpected mergers and acquisitions news: much-obsessed-about Filipino fried chicken chain Jollibee has purchased California coffee chain the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The chain is mostly known for hawking serviceable yet forgettable caffeinated brown bean juice in airports and shopping malls, and for being the place where actors read scripts in the nineties.
Jollibee threw down $350 million on the Los Angeles-based cafe chain, which has over 1,000 locations, just under 300 of which are in the U.S. This isn’t Jollibee’s first outside-the-box purchase: in 2018, it also snapped up burger chain Smashburger. The reason seems to be diversification: as unremarkable as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf may be, it’s profitable and, of particular interest to Jollibee, it has a lot of locations across Asia, where Jollibee wants to rake in more money.
And in other news...
- That In-N-Out burger that appeared on a New York City street wasn’t an advertising ploy: it belonged to a teen that had just flown in from San Diego. [Vice]
- McDonald’s wants to keep doing the thing where it brings items from its overseas menus to America. The next round will feature items like the McChicken McMuffin (from Japan) and France’s Grand Premium Chicken Sandwich, both sure to be rooted in countries’ centuries-long culinary traditions. [Business Insider]
- Restaurant reservation system OpenTable is getting into the delivery business. What’s next: Will Resy make fake meat? Perhaps Facebook will get into Zuckerberg approved meal kits? [WJLA]
- In the ultimate cradle-to-grave marketing strategy, 7-Eleven is giving a college fund to a baby that was born on July 11...at 7:11 p.m...and weighting 7 pounds, 11 ounces. At least they didn’t force the parents to name the kid 7-Eleven? [NY Post]
- Beans: they make you fart, and now they just destroyed a bridge in North Dakota that was structurally incapable of holding up a truck full of all that protein. [GQ]
- Frozen sugar-water treat Otter Pops have lost their zingy colors. The company switched to natural flavors, making the ice pops a rather muted because apparently “Louie Bloo Raspberry” is not a naturally-occurring color or flavor. [Foodbeast]
- Antoni from Queer Eye loved lunch class when he was in school. [Instagram]