Tuesday, November 22, 2005

about Fast Food News

a little background on this blog...

I started a web site called Fast Food Facts in 1998. See, there was this girl that kept asking me to look up the number of calories in different fast foods that she liked. As I got tired of looking up Taco Bell's Bean Burrito over and over again, I started to put the data in a spreadsheet, and eventually I converted the spreadsheet to a searchable database on my homepage. Eventually Fast Food Facts got its own web address: www.foodfacts.info

Even back in Fast Food Facts' early days, before I'd ever heard the term 'blog,' I had a section where I posted the links to the latest headlines about the fast food industry. In May of 2005 I started to transfer these headlines into blog entries and began to write about them. After years of following the fast food industry, I decided it was time to share my perspective along with the news on this blog: Fast Food News.

Fast Food News is written for the consumer. Although a food industry executive might find something interesting here, I write my entries to inform the consumer about what they'll find and what they’re eating at the fast food restaurant down the street, let them know about what's going on behind the scenes, point out some trends, analyze some marketing efforts, et cetera.

I write about fast food because it is fascinating on several levels: the extravagant marketing, the universality (first in America and now globally), the assembly line qualities of its décor and food, the fact that it is a first job for so many Americans, and the fact that it is an enormous part of the economy. The U.S. fast food industry had $128.2 billion in sales in 2004, meaning Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars.

One of my favorite quotes is from Gerald Early (in Ken Burns' documentary Baseball):
I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.
I certainly agree with Professor Early about those three things, but if there were a fourth item added to that list, for good or ill, it might very well be fast food.

||updated December 17, 2005||

Monday, November 14, 2005

KFC back to Kentucky Fried Chicken?

As the trend toward healthier eating approached full-swing some years ago, Kentucky Fried Chicken shortened its name so it could hide that dirty word: Fried. But now, according to a recent article, as people "eating hamburgers, doughnuts, French fries, and fried chicken like never before...KFC is considering bringing back the name Kentucky Fried Chicken in its full form."


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Self-service coming to fast food

Tech vendors like IBM and NCR were showing off the latest in self-service fast food kiosks at the 10th annual International Foodservice Technology Exposition this week.

"Ending years of flirtation, the fast-food industry finally appears ready to take the plunge into self-service ordering with kiosks, some restaurant technology experts say.

Taking a page from banks and airlines, major chains including McDonald's, Burger King and Subway are field-testing machines that allow consumers to order and pay for their meals without any human contact." - [more from WFAA.com]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Avian flu effect on KFC sales

from NRN:

KFC faces a potential 10-percent to 20-percent decline in U.S. and European sales because of customers’ avian-flu concerns, senior executives told analysts in an Oct. 25 meeting at which plans for airing reassuring TV ads were disclosed.

KFC faces potential disruptions in customer traffic and chicken supplies to its 1,500 outlets in China because of avian flu outbreaks in four provinces there and the Chinese government’s Nov. 1 ban on poultry imports from eight neighboring countries.


Fast Food photo

Some photos just don't need a caption:

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

RIP McRib... finally!

from Cattle Network:

McDonald’s is dumping the McRib sandwich following a last chance for its fans (editor's note: both of them) to "savor" the pressed and formed pork patty topped with pickles, onions and BBQ sauce on a special (editor's note: not sesame-seeded) McRib bun.

Select cities in California, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia are hosting the McRib Farewell Tour, the company said. (Editor's note: Was this voluntary?)

The McRib made its debut twenty-three years ago as an occadional promotional item - some say the occasion was spurred by an excess of pork trimmings that could be had at a cheap price. The McRib will disappear from the McDonald's menu at the end of the "McRib Farewell Tour."