Insider Retail: VCs bet on hospitality — Taco Bell's "bellhops" — Amazon union fight

TGI… Thursday. Good morning and welcome to another edition of Insider Retail, where we share some of our top deep dives of the week. Today we’re exploring what hot food brands a top VC firm might invest in next, Taco Bell’s new “bellhops,” and plans for more self care in 2021. Let’s go.

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The pandemic has badly hurt travel and hospitality, but we spoke with six VCs who poured money into the sectors’ startups amid the pandemic.

These are the trends they are betting on.

CAVU Venture Partners has backed a host of food, beverage, and wellness startups — from Oatly to Beyond Meat — and it’s expecting a surge of ideas from founders as society opens up after the pandemic. 

Here’s what they’re looking to invest in next.

Taco Bell is adding 1,000 “bellhops” with iPads to take orders at drive-thru lanes throughout the US. This is merely one of the tweaks the chain is making for the post-pandemic world.

We have more details here.

Squeeze, a massage studio backed by the founders of Drybar, intended to fill the gap between high-end spas and discount chains. Its CEO shares her plans for an aggressive expansion in 2021 — amid a growing demand for self-care.

Inside Squeeze’s big plans.

Amazon workers leading a historic push for unionization in Alabama open up about their fight against the company’s anti-union tactics, from midnight “education” meetings to an unexpected mailbox.

More on their efforts here.

Plus…

  • The nine new restaurant SPACs you need to know.
  • Regal Cinemas is reopening in April.
  • GameStop’s stock price is still exploding — here’s what’s next.

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