Missouri Minute: Panera plans to expand deliveries; Royals owner said to be exploring sale

Good morning, MBA readers,

In St. Louis, Panera is angling to get a bigger bite of the growing food delivery industry by opening its doors to Uber Eats and other apps. Meanwhile, the USDA has begun looking to fill jobs as two of its agencies move to Kansas City. Plus, Kansas City Royals owner David Glass is reportedly in discussions to sell the team. Read up on these stories and other top business news from around the state.


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Royals owner said to be exploring sale to KC entrepreneur
David Glass, who has owned the Kansas City Royals since 2000, is discussing selling the baseball team to a group led by John Sherman, multiple outlets have reported, citing unnamed sources. Sherman, a Kansas City energy entrepreneur, owns a minority stake in the Cleveland Indians. (The Athletic, Kansas City Star)

St. Louis steel mill sells to employee group
J & J Ventures has sold Alton Steel of Alton, Illinois, to a group of about 50 employees under an employee stock ownership plan. The company will retain its current leadership under the new ownership structure, which officials say could help attract and retain talent. (St. Louis Business Journal)

USDA posts jobs for KC headquarters
Two U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies have begun posting job openings ahead of their relocation to Kansas City. Officials say the agencies will hire between 50 and 90 people in the first round. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KCI reports second-busiest July on record
Kansas City International Airport saw more than 1.13 million passengers in July, 0.5% more than the same month a year ago. It was the airport’s fourth-busiest month ever. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Chicago ag tech firm moves to St. Louis area after Lewis & Clark investment
Aker Technologies, which has developed a “crop scouting” product, is moving to Creve Coeur after raising $2.6 million in financing led by Lewis & Clark Ventures. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC Port approves sales tax for redevelopment of historic building
Port KC commissioners on Monday approved a 1% special sales tax on the Jack Henry Building, which could generate roughly $350,000 a year for the developer. Drake Development, which is behind the 64,000-square-foot project in the Country Club Plaza district, declined to name its anchor tenant. (Kansas City Star)

St. Louis County councilman quits for economic development job
Michael Klinghammer has resigned from the St. Louis County Council to take an economic development job focused on business retention and economic development in St. Charles. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Columbia official expects deeper sales tax shortfall
Columbia City Manager John Glascock anticipates a dip of 2.5% — or roughly $1.1 million — in the city’s sales tax revenue for fiscal 2020. He initially projected a 1.75% decline. (Columbia Missourian)

Mid-Missouri county delays vote on CAFO bill
Moniteau County’s health board has tabled any action on large animal feedlots until a lawsuit challenging a new state law on the matter is settled. A court hearing for the case is set for Sept. 19. (Missourinet)

St. Louis Blues arena to require clear bags at all events
The Blues and Enterprise Center will require attendees to carry their belongings in a transparent bag beginning Sept. 3. The venue will also deploy X-ray machines throughout the building. (KSDK)

Missouri businessman indicted in $4 million fraud scheme
Federal prosecutors say Michael Dismer, who ran a boat building business in Rogersville, used $4 million of his clients’ money on guns, lingerie and a Hawaiian vacation. (Springfield News-Leader)


Say that again

“We have got to insist now that we get a good deal that we can enforce for the future. In the meantime, we’ve got to work to open up other markets on terms that are good for us and for our farmers around the world.”

That’s U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, who says he doesn’t expect trade tensions between the U.S. and China to ease anytime soon, Missourinet reports. Hawley, a Missouri Republican, said President Donald Trump told him that China has not agreed to “any enforcement mechanism” during negotiations. The senator added that any trade deal with China should include enforceable terms that are favorable to U.S. agricultural and industrial producers.


Go figure

7%
That’s the portion of Panera’s sales that comes from food deliveries, CNBC reports. On Tuesday, the Sunset Hills-based restaurant chain announced it is outsourcing its delivery service by partnering with third-party delivery apps including Uber Eats and DoorDash. Such apps made around $10 billion last year, taking a 15% to 30% commission from each order. Panera initially tested third-party delivery in 2015 and decided against it. Panera returned to the services with a few conditions, such as access to customer data and control over the ordering platform.


Hello, my name is

Gordon Ramsay
The foul-mouthed, Michelin Star-studded celebrity chef is set to open an eponymous steakhouse in Kansas City in November, The Kansas City Star reports. Gordon Ramsay Steak will replace ‘37 Steak in Harrah’s North Kansas City. The new steakhouse will have around 50 employees and seat up to 135 diners. In a statement, Ramsay said he’s “been wanting to expand to the Midwest for some time.”


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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