Olive Garden heads back into kitchen as activists circle (Bloomberg)
The chain's head chef is experimenting with capers, kale and pistachio-crusted truffles to attract foodie customers.

—Marcella Veneziale

Pret A Manger sales break £500M for first time (The Guardian)
United Kingdom-based Pret A Manger said sales climbed 15 percent last year, to £510 million (US$859.9 million). The 350-unit chain’s chief executive, Clive Schlee, said the its bestselling products last year were porridge and bananas, and that the company now sells more cold-pressed vegetable juices than club sandwiches. The brand is also opening more units with seating.

—Ron Ruggless

The Cronut celebrates its one-year anniversary (Grub Street)
On the one-year anniversary of the Cronut's debut, Grub Street looks at its origins, including a preliminary diagram of the pastry sensation.

—Bret Thorn

Smashburger to offer gluten-free buns (Business Wire/CNBC)
Denver-based Smashburger has agreed to a partnership with Udi’s Gluten Free and will roll out a gluten-free bun as an option at its more than 265 restaurants in 30 states. Officials for the fast-casual burger chain cited the growing popularity of gluten-free diets for their supply chain decision, though the move would appeal to customers with celiac disease as well. The chain also said it would reformulate its seasoning for burger patties and chicken sandwiches to be gluten-free.

—Mark Brandau

USDA: U.S. corn yields to offset lesser acreage (Associated Press/Yahoo)
Corn prices later in the year could edge lower.

—Marcella Veneziale