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As president and chief operating officer of McDonald's Corp., Mike Roberts, left, poses with McDonald's character "Ronald McDonald" during a media event for the 2005 World Children's Day'at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, Nov. 15, 2005. (FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)
As president and chief operating officer of McDonald's Corp., Mike Roberts, left, poses with McDonald's character "Ronald McDonald" during a media event for the 2005 World Children's Day'at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, Nov. 15, 2005. (FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)


Ex-McDonald's exec has healthy fast-food chain on his menu Add to ...

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Former global president and COO has kicked off LYFE Kitchen, serving up low-cal, locally sourced food

For 30 years, Mike Roberts worked for McDonald’s Corp., rising to its global president and chief operating officer. Now, the former McDonald’s exec has a fast-food chain of his own on his menu, and it’s not about burgers and fries but, rather,“low-calorie, locally sourced and sustainably grown food and wine,” as this story on BloombergBusinessweek and this one on Inc. recount.

Mr. Roberts left McDonald’s in 2006 and then raised about $15-million to open the first LYFE Kitchen outlet in California last year. (LYFE is an acronymn for Love Your Food Everyday). The premise, according to Inc.: “good-for-you food can taste good, cost less and be produced quickly.”

The BloombergBusinessweek story notes that Mr. Roberts was behind the addition of many health items to the McDonald’s menu, from salads to apple dippers.

Mr. Roberts, Lyfe’s chief executive officer, and his partners now aim to expand with about 10 new outlets, hitting major urban areas such as New York and Chicago, in the next year, acording to the stories. Among investors in the chain, notes Inc., is Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef.

Inc.’s story also notes that Lyfe does have a burger on the menu – but it’s grassfed and served up on a multigrain bun.

The greatest successes from Shark Tank

Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den: Aficionados of the popular U.S. and Canadian TV shows where entrepreneurs pitch their concepts in hopes of scoring investments from the venture capitalists in front of them, may wonder about the greatest successes that come out of those experiences.

Entrepreneur.com recently Sharks about which they considered their most successful investments. Here’s Entrepreneur’s look at their 10 top choices, along with another entrepreneur who turned the Sharks down flat, but still scored success.

Meanwhile, when Dragon’s Den returns to the air on Sept. 19, Canadian aspirants will have a new player to try to convince to dig into his wallet:: The Wealthy Barber author David Chilton, who is the latest Dragon to join the show.

Oh and if you’re looking for some reading material, Dragon Jim Treliving has a recently released book out, Decisions: Making the Right Ones, Righting the Wrong Ones. You can also read about it here.


CVCA annual meeting and awards

Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) will hold its annual general meeting (for members only) as well as a networking cocktail reception and a dinner and presentation of CVCA’s “deal of the year” and “community leadership” awards; the reception and dinner are open to non-members. The keynote speaker will be David Herle, a principal partner with The Gandalf Group. The event takes place on Sept. 19 in Toronto. For more information, click here.

Meshmarketing early-bird tickets

The next Meshmarketing conference is offering early-bird discounted tickets until Sept. 21. The one-day event that explores what’s next for marketers, advertisers, brands and communicators, will take place Nov. 7 in Toronto. For more information, click here.


Small budgets, big dreams: How to lure star managers

As startups grow, it’s not unusual for them to begin to show gaps in their management capabilities. To advance to the next growth phase – and in some cases, as a condition of getting financing – they often need to hire someone with specialized expertise or deeper experience in their market. But most startups can’t afford the high salaries of experienced executives, especially those who have big-company credentials. Read how small businesses with tight budgets but big dreams get star managers to work for them


‘You have 30 seconds for reality-TV pitches’

If you want to brush up on how best to score on shows such as Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, here’s a story we published back in February that advised entrepreneurs who want to use them as launch pads to “master the elevator pitch before delivering on-camera.”

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.comJoin The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzTOur free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe’s website, you cansign up here . Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit ’save changes.’ If you need to register for the site,click here .


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