Week in Brief: May 16-20

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more.  It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

Panera’s “Pay What You Want” Experiment Panning Out

Can you imagine visiting a restaurant missing one of the most important parts……prices?  Well for one place, they have.  Last year, a Panera Bread in St. Louis revamped its store into a “nonprofit pay-what-you-want” restaurant to help feed those in need and raise money for charity.  Some give more, some give less and it’s all evening out.  One year later, it’s turning to be a success!

Lady Gaga and Starbucks

Starbucks has teamed up with Lady Gaga in promotion of the drop of her latest album, “Born this Way” on Monday May 23.  Eater says “the album will be streaming on the Starbucks Digital Network that day, and they’re also collaborating on a QR iPhone scavengar hunt” which began yesterday and will run through June 7.  This campaign looks like a big win for one of the most popular coffee chains and one of the most popular pop stars.

The Latest Dining Tablet

We’ve seen many restaurants using the iPad and another invention is on its way: E La Carte.  Rajat Suri created this device which CNN’s Money website reported equips “restaurant tables with tablet computers that would allow diners to split checks, peruse menus, place orders, make payments and play games.”

Schools Nixing White Potatoes from School Menus?

Potatoes aren’t only in school lunch menus, but are in morning menus too.  But that could be changing according to this Wall Street Journal article which reported, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to eliminate ‘white potato’–defined as any variety but the sweet potato–from federally subsidized school breakfasts and to limit them sharply at lunch.”

Surviving the NRA Show

The 2011 NRA show begins tomorrow and runs through Tuesday May 24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.  Nation’s Restaurant News put together this survival guide to help those attending be prepared.

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