Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Papa John's 10-minute pizza

The fast in fast food is about to take on frantic new meaning: the 10-minute pizza.

Papa John's today will announce head-spinning plans to roll out what it claims will be the fastest made-to-order pizza in America. If all goes as planned, the No. 3 chain would eventually become the first national pizza retailer to promise fresh pizzas in 10 minutes — or less.

It's dubbed: Papa's 10 Minute Carry-out Customer Guarantee. In limited test markets, the guarantee had been: if the pizza doesn't arrive in 10 minutes or less, it's free. Papa John's test stores are missing the 10-minute mark less than 1% of the time, the company says.

Over the next two years, Papa John's will spend $20 million to roll out 1,500 ovens with higher air velocity and higher-speed burners in about 750 stores. That will cut pizza cooking time from six minutes to four minutes at about one-third of the chain's 2,500 stores.

The 10-minute guarantee will apply only to carry-out orders at lunch time. That's when the clock is ticking loudest for many consumers. And it's when business is typically lightest for pizza sellers.

Arby's offers fast food gyro

Atlanta-based Arby's this week introduced the Market Fresh Gyro sandwich to its menu. The sandwich offers slow-roasted, thinly sliced, warm roast beef seasoned with traditional Greek herbs and spices (oregano, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper) and topped with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and sliced red onions. It is served on warm pita flatbread with cucumber gyro sauce.


Monday, April 10, 2006

New fast food recipe book

A new book (available April 18) will present 75 'healthy' recipes for some fast food favorites. It is called Fast Food Fix. The author is Devin Alexander, food columnist for Women's Health magazine.

The book claims to "demystifies the special seasonings and secret sauces of choice fast foods—showing how to reproduce their flavors quickly and easily from common ingredients," and "shows the reader how to transform 75 fast food favorites into healthier versions that are even more flavorful than the originals."

From the publisher: Fast Food Fix "offers the secrets to lower-calorie versions of a wealth of fast food temptations--everything from McDonald's Big Mac (save 174 calories and 19 grams of fat!) and French Fries (mimic McDonald's irresistible crispiness with 106 fewer calories and 16 grams less fat!); to KFC's Original Recipe Chicken Breast (save 107 calories and 15 grams of fat!)."

Frescata sandwiches at Wendy's

Wendy's will begin national television advertising next week for a new line of deli-style sandwiches they're calling Frescata sandwiches.

The sandwiches will feature "high quality meats and distinctive sauces" served on artisan bread that will be baked fresh daily in Wendy's restaurants. The Frescata sandwiches are:
  • Frescata Club: Slices of black forest ham and roasted turkey, topped with bacon, mayonnaise, tomatoes and Romaine lettuce, served on artisan bread.

  • Roasted Turkey with Basil Pesto: Slices of roasted turkey topped with basil pesto spread, Romaine and roasted red peppers, served on artisan bread.

  • Black Forest Ham & Swiss (pictured): Slices of ham topped with Swiss cheese, honey mustard sauce, tomatoes and Romaine lettuce, served on artisan bread.

  • Roasted Turkey with Swiss: Slices of roasted turkey, topped with Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, tomatoes and Romaine lettuce, served on artisan bread.

"This opens up a whole new menu category for us, and gives our customers more choices and more reasons to visit Wendy's," said Ian Rowden, EVP and chief marketing officer.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

US gov't promotion of Quizno's sandwich

The US Food Policy blog has an intriguing expose on Quizno's Prime Rib sandwich promotion and it's ties to the US Beef Board and the USDA; and, of course, Quizno's continued refusal to release nutrition data for their products.

In short, Quizno's has partnered with the Cattleman's Beef Board, a controversial quasi-governmental agency under USDA auspices, to promote a sandwich that is at odds with the USDA itself in that it does not supply nutrition data for the sandwich...data needed by consumers in order to follow the guidelines set forth in the USDA's much promoted new Food Pyramid.

Also, check out a photo of the actual sandwich at the Impulsive Buy and compare that with Quzino's official photo!

Regular readers of Fast Food News will be familiar with the Quizno's Prime Rib sandwich and our frustration with Quizno's refusal to supply nutrition data.

New BK breakfast items

Burger King has added 2 new items to their breakfast line-up: the French Toast Sandwich and Cheesy Tots.

The French Toast Sandwich features two slices of cinnamon and maple-flavored French toast bread, one folded omelet egg, American cheese and a choice of thinly sliced ham, sausage or bacon. Price: $2.19.

New bite-size "Cheesy Tots" feature a crispy outside and smooth, melted mozzarella and cheddar cheeses with potato bits inside. Cheesy Tots can be added to a value meal for 50 cents, or purchased individually for between $1.29 and $1.79.

No nutrition information has yet been released for these items.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sonic announces yet more drinks

Sonic today announced two new drinks to their enormous drink selection. So this is the perfect time for a few words about said selection.

On a hot summer day here in Texas, a Sonic on the horizon is practically an oasis and the reason is the drink selection. According to Sonic there are 168,000 possible drink combinations. And everyone I know has their favorite. Mine is the Diet Cherry Limeade; Route 44 size (that's big!).

Also of note are the cups and the ice. The Route 44 cups are made of styrofoam that might not be environmentally friendly, but that keeps my drink cool a long time. And the ice at Sonic is that little pellet ice that just can't be beat.

The 2 new drinks announced today, by the way, are flavored teas: red raspberry and peach.


Jack intros sunshine and chipotle

Two new items were announced by Jack in the Box today: the Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich and the Orange & Cream Shake.

The new Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich "features a choice of grilled or spicy crispy chicken with green leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes, bacon and real cheddar cheese topped with a smoky chipotle sauce on the chain’s signature hearth-baked ciabatta bread."

The Orange & Cream Shake, aka Sunshine in a cup, is part of Jack's "ever-expanding lineup of real ice cream shakes." It features orange flavor blended into vanilla ice cream.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Captain D's acquires Del Taco

The parent company of the Captain D's Seafood chain has acquired Del Taco. Sagittarius Brands purchase of Del Taco brings their total number of restaurants to 1,000.

Del Taco was founded in 1964 and has 400 restaurants in 13 states with system-wide sales in excess of $1 billion. Nashville-based Captain D's, which was acquired by Sagittarius last year, has 600 locations.