A&W hopes to draw baby boomers’ offspring (The New York Times)
Lexington, Ky.-based A&W Restaurants continues to update its image using social media to move away from its drive-in legacy from the 1960s and ’70s toward a more contemporary brand that targets Millennials. The chain’s latest promotion for the Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender Texas Toast Sandwich is built around a 304-character hashtag.

—Mark Brandau

For restaurant owners, striking the right noise level is key (Boston Globe)
Are restaurants serving up more noise? “Gone are the days of carpets, thick draperies, and yummy chair fabric,” says hotelier Robin A. Brown, former general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Boston. “People got bored with boring energy levels in restaurants so there’s a general demand for more excitement and animation.” But not all customers agree. Noise “is the new secondary smoke,” says June Jo Lee, a strategist for The Hartman Group, a Washington state consumer research group. “Dinner is still the one meal where we do try to connect and socialize. Buzz is nice but the noise can be detrimental when you’re trying to make a connection.”
 
—Ron Ruggless

SodaStream surges 15% on Starbucks buyout talk (USA Today)
Israel-based SodaStream is getting attention on Wall Street as another round of rumors indicate that Starbucks may be planning to take a 10-percent stake in the company. SodaStream makes carbonated beverage machines that allow consumers to make their own sodas. Starbucks has been talking about the addition of hand-crafted sodas in its units.

—Lisa Jennings

Milk punch sees a revival (The New York Times)
The sweet, cold blend of dairy and liquor has become a hot item on bar menus across the nation.

—Marcella Veneziale

Behold: America's one and only cat café (Eater New York)
The country's first cat café — or a brief pop-up at least — opens in New York City this week. It's not a café for cats, but a place where people can go to drink coffee and play with cats.

—Bret Thorn