A look at Taco Bell’s menu innovation process (Bloomberg Businessweek)
To create new products like the Waffle Taco, the centerpiece of this year’s breakfast menu launch, Taco Bell winnows down about 4,000 to 4,500 menu item ideas to about 300 to 500 products that will reach a test market in front of actual consumers. Ultimately, about eight to 10 menu items make it to Taco Bell restaurants systemwide each year. Menu and marketing executives at the Irvine, Calif.-based chain said they get new ideas by mining social media discussions, exploring new ingredients and tracking rivals’ menus.

—Mark Brandau

Papa John's CEO defends workers' wages (Inc.)
The pizza chain's franchisees face probes over workers' wages, but founder John Schnatter says the company goes above and beyond.

—Marcella Veneziale

U.S. consumer spending dips; inflation creeps up (Reuters)
U.S. consumer spending fell for the first time in a year in April after two months of solid gains.

—Marcella Veneziale

McDonald's to Thais: Stop hamburgling our arches (NBC News)
A McDonald's location in Bangkok has become an unwilling symbol of democracy in the country, whose elected government was recently ousted in a coup d'état. It has become a gathering place for anti-coup protestors, who have replaced the "m" in "democracy" with the Golden Arches. McThai, which operates the country's McDonald's restaurants and wishes to remain neutral in the conflict, has asked them to stop doing that.

Bret Thorn

Chefs tell all: How you can become a restaurant VIP (Seattle Times)
Chefs from David Chang of New York’s Momofuku to a number of big Seattle kitchen names offer advice to customers who want the special treatment of being a restaurant VIP.
 
—Ron Ruggless