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The Casual Dining Recession Is Hurting Bagger Dave’s

Plus, Little Caesar’s tests a new online ordering system

Facebook/Bagger Dave’s
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

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THE SHUTTER — Michigan-based chain Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern has shuttered three southeast Michigan restaurants in the past two weeks. The company cites the “well-documented” recession in casual dining as a key culprit fueling the closures. The employees were offered positions at other Bagger Dave’s locations or provided with severance. In 2015, chain abruptly closed its downtown Detroit location and the building located next door to Buffalo Wild Wings has sat vacant ever since. [MLive]

DEVELOPMENTS — The 1940s era signage for Detroit’s Sanders building, previously home to the iconic Sanders Candy company, is now on display downtown. The building, which is owned by Dan Gilbert (because, really, who else?) is undergoing restoration to become office and retail space. [Daily Detroit]

THE CHAINS — Hot-n-Ready pizza slinger Little Caesars is getting into the online ordering and quick pick-up business. The company revealed on Monday that it’s testing a new “Pizza Portal” system where customers can place orders through a mobile app and retrieve their food from a special pizza box-shaped locker that opens with a QR code. Apparently, now no one ever has to interact with another human behind a cash register again. The convenience tech is currently being tried out at 14 stores in Tucson, Arizona, and one shop at 2993 E. Big Beaver Rd. in Troy. Little Caesars expects to roll out the Pizza Portal at 100 locations this year and more nationally in 2018. [Freep/Little Caesars]

The “Pizza Portal” pick-up station is located to the left of this cashier counter.
Courtesy of Little Caesars

BEER HERE — North Peak Brewing Co. is still planning a Bay City expansion despite rumors to the contrary. The brewery, which operates side-by-side with Jolly Pumpkin, is aiming to begin work on the project in 2018. [MLive]