Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Zero-Grams Trans Fat French Fry

The J.R. Simplot Company, the leading french fry innovator, introduces Infinity Fries - zero-grams trans fat french fries for foodservice.

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Highfields acquires stake in Wendy's

It's the second time this week an investor has disclosed buying a large amount of Wendy's shares. Boston-based Highfields Capital Management LP said in a federal regulatory filing Thursday that it bought 6.9 million shares of the hamburger chain in March. On Tuesday, Pershing Square Capital Management LP in New York said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had acquired stock and options that could give it a 9.3 percent stake in Wendy's, and that it may seek major changes at the fast-food chain.


McDonald's: A golden opportunity for apples

Last June, McDonald's began offering apple slices with the caramel sauce. A new salad, featuring apples, walnuts and grapes, is scheduled to be released in May. The shift towards healthier fare couldn't have come at a better time for the U.S. apple industry.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Fast food for US troops in Middle East

Taco Bells debuts in Kuwait - Servicemembers in Iraq and Kuwait are getting another taste of home, with the opening of several Taco Bell fast food outlets at U.S. bases in the two countries.

Troops in Baghdad have it 'their way' - Baghdad, Iraq - The Army and Air Force Exchange Service's newest Burger King in Iraq opened at the International Zone with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 12. The IZ PX food courtyard is now home to a Burger King, Pizza Inn, Gyro King and coffee shop.


How A New CEO Turned Burger King Around

The Tuesday edition of The Wall Street Journal includes an interview with Greg Brenneman, CEO of Burger King, who joined the company last summer and turned the company around. The report noted that the company has posted 14 months of sales growth in stores open more than a year and that traffic is up 7 percent for the first time since 1997.


Down Size Me: the other documentary

What happens when you make a highly successful, opinionated documentary? The detractors come out of the woodwork and they’re militant and aiming to take you down.

Annoyed by Spurlock’s blatant irresponsibility in eating McDonald’s three times a day for 30 days straight, not exercising between meals and then belly-aching about gaining 24-pounds, seeing his cholesterol level rocket out of control and generally feeling like shit, fitness expert and muscle-bound bodybuilder Chazz Weaver has taken up the challenge of the 30 day McDiet himself, claiming at the beginning of the experiment that he won’t only avoid the danger of becoming Grimace as Spurlock did, but he’ll actually lose weight in the process.

Finger finder eager to face charges

The woman arrested last week after claiming she found a human finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili told a judge Tuesday she was eager to return to California to face charges.

Anna Ayala, 39, waived extradition during a brief hearing before the same judge who issued a warrant for police to search Ayala's suburban Las Vegas home April 6. Records from that raid have remained sealed.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Corporate clown getting a McMakeover

Sure he looks friendly, with his big smile, colorful jumpsuit and playful repartee. But get ready for some McAttitude.

Ronald McDonald - the iconic character that is not only a corporate mascot but also a global symbol of everything good and bad about America - is undergoing a makeover that will change his look, sense of humor and role at the fast-food chain.

"We're letting Ronald escape from the playpen," said Larry Light, McDonald's global chief marketing officer. "So, Ronnie is going through a retraining program - taking courses in humor that kids can look up to rather than adults look down at."


Former Taco Bell Employee Sentenced For Poisoning Officer

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) - A former Taco Bell employee who poisoned a California Highway Patrol officer's food has been sentenced to nine months in jail.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Lawmaker wants to block lawsuits over obesity

South Carolinians who get fat eating too much fast food won't be able to blame the restaurants under a bill introduced in the House.

"People have got to be responsible for their own actions," said Rep. Herb Kirsh, D-York, one of the bill's sponsors. "Nobody makes you go there."

Under the Common Sense Consumption Act, restaurants and their employees would be shielded from civil liability claims if you gained weight, became obese or developed other health problems.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Man Pleads Guilty in French Fries Rage

DuBOIS, Pa. (AP) -- A Burger King customer who berated the employees when a drive-thru clerk told him the restaurant was out of french fries has been convicted of multiple charges and sentenced to 45 days in jail.

Authorities said Gregg Luttman made an obscene gesture at the clerk, cursed staffers and nearly hit an employee with his truck. When police tried to arrest him, Luttman allegedly scuffled with an officer and kicked out the back window of a cruiser.


Domino's aims for burger fans

Here's the blueprint for Domino's American Classic Cheeseburger Pizza: a hand-tossed crust covered with a layer of specially created "cheeseburger sauce," slices of white American cheese, shredded provolone and shredded cheddar cheeses, lots of crumbled hamburger, onions and chopped tomatoes.

CKE Restaurants Beefs Up Sales

The company, which runs burger chains such as Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, said it earned $7.1 million, or 12 cents a share, for the quarter. That marks a reversal from last year's loss in the same quarter, totaling $51.7 million, and it exceeded Wall Street's expectations.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

Woman arrested in Wendy's chili/finger hoax

A woman who said she bit into a severed human finger while spooning into fast-food chili at a San Jose Wendy's last month was arrested after investigators found inconsistencies in her story of the gruesome discovery, officials said Friday.

Anna Ayala, 39, was arrested Thursday night at her Las Vegas home on a charge of attempted grand larceny, including a penalty enhancement for inflicting more than $2.5 million in losses on Wendy's. She also was charged with grand larceny in an alleged real-estate swindle not related to the Wendy's case.

The arrest ends a public-relations nightmare for the national burger chain, which saw sales plunge at least 30 percent at its San Jose-area franchises after the March 22 report.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Dunkin' Donuts Sale Likely

The friendly takeover of Dunkin' Donuts' parent company was about liquor, not doughnuts and coffee, making it likely the ubiquitous fast-food chain will be sold, analysts said.

Allied Domecq PLC, the British parent of Canton-based Dunkin' Donuts, announced Thursday that it agreed to a $14.2 billion takeover by French rival Pernod Ricard SA.

'Kentucky Fried Chicken' moniker returning?

KFC is putting the "fried" back in Kentucky Fried Chicken. After 14 years of trying to downplay the image of its food as greasy and unhealthy by calling itself simply KFC, the chain opened a new restaurant in its hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday under its former name and plans 50 more this year.


McDonald’s reports jump in earnings

McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest fast-food chain, reported a 42 percent jump in first-quarter profits Thursday despite slower sales growth at its U.S. restaurants.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Yum Earnings Up

KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Inc. (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Wednesday posted higher quarterly earnings and backed its outlook for the year despite a supply-chain issue in China that is hurting profits in that market.

Net income for the first quarter rose to $161 million, or 53 cents per share, from $142 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

KFC's new image

KFC plans to become something that might seem contrary to its Kentucky-fried DNA: hip.

(KFC President Gregg Dedrick at a revamped store in Louisville.)

Make that hip with a decidedly Southern accent. Or, in the words of Gregg Dedrick, KFC's relatively new president who is eager to fix the feathers on his much-maligned bird: "old-school cool."


Monday, April 18, 2005

BK's new breakfast sandwich is a monster

Here's the Enormous Omelet Sandwich blueprint: one sausage patty, two scrambled eggs, two slices of American cheese and three strips of bacon on a fluffy sesame-seed submarine roll.

Total calories: 730. Fat grams: 47. Dietary fiber: 2 grams. Carbs: 43 grams.


Fast Food companies unite

Coalition formed to lobby on agricultural and international trade issues.

Fast-food companies are forming a coalition to lobby on farm legislation and international trade issues worldwide, former Agriculture Secretary and U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter said April 12 in Washington.

U.S. Lawyers Have Little Stomach for Obesity Cases

Fast-food chains that stuff diners with supersized hamburgers and greasy chicken fear being fried by obesity lawsuits, but the theory behind such cases has proven so far to be half-baked, legal experts say.

McDonald's plans to introduce specialty coffee drinks

Watch out Starbucks -- McDonald's could be brewing some trouble with plans to introduce its own specialty coffee. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based No. 1 fast-food chain will begin testing espresso drinks in select markets this summer.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

"Texas" Burgers

Fast-food chains have created regional burgers named after the Lone Star State:

McDonald's: Took note that Texans preferred burgers with mustard, onions and pickles and created the "Texas Homestyle Burger."
Wendy's: "Texas Double Cheeseburger" with two 2-ounce patties, mustard, onion, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes.
Burger King: "Texas Double Whopper," a traditional Double Whopper with mustard and jalapeños – no ketchup, no mayo.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

McDonalds celebrates golden anniversary

The Golden Arches are celebrating a golden anniversary.

Fast food giant McDonalds celebrates 50-years in business Friday. Since company founder Ray Kroc opened the first McDonalds on April 15, 1955, the chain has grown to more than 31,000 restaurants in 119 countries.