Monday, July 31, 2006

Church's takes on Popeye's

Church's Chicken and Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits used to be friendly rival purveyors of chicken. They were, after all, owned by the same parent company.

That has now changed. Church's has gone on the offensive to promote their spicy chicken as the best... better than Popeyes.

Church's was purchased in 2004 by a subsidiary of the First Islamic Bank of Bahrain. Now they are running TV ads showing a Popeye's employee stating "Church's spicy beats Popeyes." As quoted in the AJC, Church's President and CEO Harsha Agadi said, "Whenever anybody mentions spicy chicken, we want them to think Church's."

Rob Calderin, Popeye's chief marketing officer, looks at it another way: "I think it is flattering ... that they are using Popeyes as the gold standard on which to compare themselves."

Back in December, we wrote about Church's new website.


By the way, did you ever notice the double logos on some of Church's restaurants and signs?

Evidently it really bothered the folks at 'i me mine productions' and they produced this 'documentary' on the subject, which includes an interview with and explanation from Church's Director of Operations, Mono Moitra. Watch it:


BK's marketing henhouse

Burger King has issued a series of marketing campaigns with chicken-characters in the leading roles. All these 'foul' campaigns have depended on elaborate, interactive web sites and viral video releases.

The latest (at right) is Huckin Chicken. The Huckin Chicken is simply a stuntman in a chicken outfit jumping and crashing motorcycles. The ensuing videotaped mayhem uploaded to YouTube constitutes the viral campaign. The videos lead you to the Huckin Chicken web site and even a myspace page.

Before the Huckin Chicken was the Buckin Chicken: Stuntmen in chicken outfits again, but this time they're being riden by cowboys at a rodeo. Here's a Buckin Chicken on YouTube.

But it all began with the Subservient Chicken. A person in a chicken suit in an apartment to whom you can give commands and watch them acted out. The Subservient Chicken web site is still there and you can still tell him to dance, fall down or roll over, etc.

Now you can even buy a Subservient Chicken, an 8" limited-edition vinyl one, for $65 (at right).

BK also has a new non-chicken web site to help promote their new Stacker sandwiches.

The site features the 'history & traditions' of the little plastic men (at left) that make up the 'stackers union' that build the burgers.

The site gives the fictitious history of the plastic men's culture, evolution and 'lifestyle.' And, of couse, you can buy a set of 3 of the little Stackers Union Figurines for $14.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Taco Bell site promotes '4th meal'

Taco Bell's Fourth Meal interactive web site promotes the concept of satisfying those late-night hunger pangs at Taco Bell.

According to Taco Bell, we need to formalize that hunger we supposedly get between dinner and breakfast and call it the Fourth Meal (and eat it at Taco Bell, of course).

The interactive site allows you to create a character you can use to stroll about in a late-night cityscape in search of "Melty, Crunchy, Spicy, Grilled" -- aka Taco Bell.

What the site fails to mention is that eating a '4th meal' late at night and right before sleep is the best way to ensure that you don't burn off any of the foods' calories!


Friday, July 28, 2006

McMuffin inventor honored

McDonald's has honored the Egg McMuffin's inventor with their Lifetime Achievement award.

Herb Peterson invented the McMuffin when he was a McDonald's franchise owner in 1971 when he decided his restaurant was missing out on breakfast business by not opening until 11 AM (like all McDonald's at the time).

Peterson's personal favorite breakfast, Eggs Benedict, served as his inspiration. A local blacksmith forged the metal rings to fry the right sized eggs for the hand-held sandwich.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pastrami burger back at Carl's Jr.

First it was Hardee's with their Philly Cheesesteak Monster Thickburger and now Carl's Jr. has a burger that features 'meat as a condiment.' Is this a trend?

Carl's Jr. has brought back their Pastrami Burger which is, as they say, the "marriage of meat that spawned a new way to think about burger toppings."

The Pastrami Burger was introduced as the original "meat-as-a-condiment hamburger" in late 2004. It is composed of thinly sliced pastrami, tangy yellow mustard, tart pickles, fresh produce, and an all-beef patty.

"The Pastrami Burger was one of the most popular limited-time burgers in our history," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl's Jr. "And it's understandable why, since it combines two great tastes -- a delicious Carl's Jr. burger and a classic, steaming hot pastrami sandwich -- into one awesome mutant burger."

Yes, he said "mutant burger."

Currently there's a $1 off coupon available for the Pastrami Burger on Carl's website (good until 11/8/06).


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CA Pizza Kitchen in Chicago with breakfast

California Pizza Kitchen has opened their first CPK/ASAP location in Chicago.

California Pizza Kitchen has 195 total restaurants; 26 are of the CPK/ASAP variety that are specifically for 'on-the-go' customers.

The Chicago opening coincides with CPK/ASAP's new breakfast menu which offers a "selection of hearth-baked breakfast pizzas including: Warm Apple Pie Pizza; Florentine Pizza; and Applewood Smoked Bacon and Italian Sausage Pizza topped with Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheeses." Omelets, bagels, granola, juice, Tazo teas and specialty coffees are also available.

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McDonald's sundial billboard

I have to say, I really admire the creativity of this McDonald's billboard in Chicago. The ad agency and an engineer did a great deal of research to find the perfect location create the effect. The aluminum set of McDonald’s arches (which are 4 x 3.5 feet) casts a shadow on a different breakfast item each hour until noon when it casts an undistorted shadow on a sandwich, signaling lunchtime. It will be removed in August when the sun's position changes.

from Chicago Business:

"Designed by ad agency Leo Burnett with the input of an engineer, the billboard features a real sundial whose shadow falls on a different breakfast item each hour until noon, when the shadow of the McDonald’s arches are dead center.

The billboard, which went up near the intersection of Clark and Addison on Friday, is the latest in a campaign aimed at urging Chicagoans to turn to McDonald’s for breakfast."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New flavored chicken rings at White Castle

White Castle has introduced two new flavored varieties of their chicken rings.

The new flavors are co-branded with Tabasco and Hidden Valley and are (obviously) flavored with either Tabasco sauce or Hidden Valley Ranch.

The new flavors are being promoted in a new TV ad, which says they will be available for a limited time only (July 23-August 19 according to QSRWeb).

The question remains: What the heck is a chicken ring?


Alderman calls out CEOs over trans fat

The Chicago alderman, Edward Burke, who has called for a city-wide ban on trans fat, has now called for the CEOs of the major fast food chains to appear before the City Council and answer for their use of trans fat.

He specifically ask for Jim Skinner of McDonald's, John W. Chidsey of Burger King Corp. and David C. Novak of Yum Brands Inc., the parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken to come and explain "why they continue to use an unhealthy process when they know full well that they're putting their customers at risk."

Burke was particularly critical of McDonald's for promising to eliminate trans fat over 4 years ago and still having made little progress to date.

He praised Wendy's, though, for doing just that and invited Wendy's interim CEO, Kerrii Anderson, to address the council on just "how easy it was to make the change." [via]

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'Best' response to Fast Food Nation

In a direct response to Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, the upcoming movie based on the book, and his new book Chew On This, a coalition of food industry groups* has created the "Best Food Nation" website. claims that it "offers the facts about the U.S. food supply, which is among the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supplies in the world. The food and hospitality industries have joined together to tell our story; the positive impact made by each participant along the chain, to separate fact from fiction, and to set the record straight about Best Food Nation."

Meanwhile, Schlosser claims since the May release of Chew On This the food industry is attacking him unfairly: "It was very revealing of how the (fast-food) industry operates. Rather than engage in discussion of the issues I raised, instead of talking about obesity or the treatment of animals or aggressive marketing to the poor, they attempted to besmirch my reputation. I got called anti-American, a socialist, anti-immigrant, a racist — completely crazy stuff. They are very eager to prevent young people from reading it" [Toronto Star]

*The industry groups behind the site are: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, Cattlemen's Beef Board, Corn Refiners Association, Food Products Association, International Franchise Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Potato Council, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, National Turkey Federation, Snack Food Association, U.S. Potato Board, and United Egg Producers.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Astros get 'fowl poles' from Chick-fil-a

Chick-fil-a and the Houston Astros baseball club will unveil new 'fowl poles' (aka foul poles) at Minute Maid Park in Houston tomorrow and the first 30,000 Astros fans at tomorrow's game (July 25) will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich.

The yellow right and left field poles at the ballpark feature three cows wearing Astros hats. The baseball-themed Cows are hanging off both poles in fair territory and carrying their message of “Eat Mor Fowl.”

The Chick-fil-A signage will also serve as a target for Astro players. When an Astro hits a ball that touches any portion of the poles, including the Cows, Chick-fil-A will award free chicken sandwiches to all fans in attendance for that game.

“The Astros are excited about this new partnership,” said Astros President of Business Operations Pam Gardner. “Activation is so integral in a sports sponsorship, and this is a unique and successful way to brand Chick-fil-A at Minute Maid Park.”

“The greater Houston-area Chick-fil-A Operators are excited to partner with such an outstanding organization as the Astros,” said Bryan Bullington, Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A Pearland. “The Cows on the ‘Fowl Poles’ are just waiting to give away free chicken sandwiches to Astros fans. We hope that there are several players who will hit the signs this season.”


KFC under fire from Taoists

KFC is underfire for a TV ad depicting an old Taoist surrounded by his apprentices excitedly holding a chicken burger and claiming it as a masterpiece.

The ad mimics a scene from The Seven Swords, a film that depicts historical events and is highly regarded among the Chinese community.

Asia News reports: "Yin Cheng'an, a leading Taoist in the Beijing Baiyun Taoist Temple, said that the old Taoist Fu Qingzhu in the fiction Seven Swords is a real historical figure, and that it is ridiculous to have Fu recommend chicken burgers because he and most Taoists are vegetarian and the faith dictates killing animals is wrong." [via Slashfood]


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Condiment package expiration guide

A common site in many office break rooms and desk drawers is a collection of those little condiment packages from fast food restaurants. Since most of them don't have expiration dates, the question is: how long can they be saved and used?

To help you out, here's a little guide with the unrefrigerated shelf lives of some common Heinz condiment packages:

BBQ sauce: 9 months
Chopped onions: 7 months
Cocktail sauce: 9 months
Fat-free mayonnaise: 8 months
Horseradish sauce: 8 months
Hot taco sauce: 4 months
Ketchup: 7 months
Mayonnaise: 8 months
Mild taco sauce: 9 months
Relish: 9 months
Steak sauce: 9 months
Tabasco sauce: 8 months
Tartar sauce: 8 months
Yellow mustard: 9 months

The most common break room condiment package of all may be the Taco Bell hot sauce pack. Taco Bell says their Fire, Hot and Mild sauce packages are best when used in 120 days. They are generally in Taco Bell for no more than 30 days. [via MilwaukeeChannel]

If you're interested, Slashfood has a guide to the shelf lives of condiments you might find in your fridge at home.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Del Taco goes bilingual for kids

According to an article in BrandWeek, Del Taco is probably one of the first fast food restaurant chains to offer a bilingual premium (or toy) in their kid's meal.

The premium is a comic book included in Del Taco's Kid Loco kid's meal. The comic book, which comes in 4 versions, is in English and Spanish.

From BrandWeek:
“Culturally, the U.S. as a whole is changing. We’ve recognized it and are looking to market to our customer base,” said Sharon Fogg, svp-marketing, Del Taco, Lake Forest, Calif.

“I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have something in the marketplace that kids of all ages, no matter what their ethnic background, could enjoy?’”

Friday, July 21, 2006

Jack's new value meal

Jack in the Box has introduced a new value-priced combo meal they're calling "The Big Deal." The meal includes a chicken sandwich, two beef tacos and a 20-ounce beverage for $2.59.

This is an addition to Jack's existing value menu. Jack is promoting this combo as a "response to rising gas prices," because "penny pinching has become a necessity for many Americans."

“Value is definitely top of mind for many consumers,” said Teka O’Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box. “The Big Deal is ideal for our guests who want a variety of menu items for a price that doesn’t squeeze their wallet.”

This value combo meal may be low-priced, but it isn't low-calorie! It has 892 calories, 327 calories from fat, 37 grams of fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 4.3 grams trans fat, 63 mg cholesterol, 1274 mg sodium, 114 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber, 58 grams sugars, and 25 grams protein. (These totals are calculated with Coke Classic as the 20 oz. beverage.)

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Hardee's, Carl's 'Burger Slayer' promotion

Hardee's and Carl's Jr. have initiated a new customer participation promotion called Burger Slayer.

The object of the 'game' is for customers to snap a photo of themselves devouring -- or "slaying" -- their favorite Carl's Jr. or Hardee's menu offering and then submit it for posting online.

Photos can be submitted via the Carl's or Hardee's websites or by e-mailing them to either or

Photos are voted on by site visitors and the winner is crowned "Burger Slayer of the Month." The winner's photo and bio (if desired) are posted on the sites and they receive free burgers for a month. The competition will renew monthly.

The sites will be marketed in the restaurants and word of the offer will be circulated via social networking sites such as, photo sharing networks such as Flickr, and banner ads on Yahoo!

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Subway introduces Bourbon Chicken sandwich

Subway has introduced a new toasted sandwich via their Subway Dinner Theater website (a site 'hosted' by former SNL actor Jon Lovitz). The new sandwich is called the Bourbon Chicken Sandwich.

The Bourbon Chicken sandwich is a "fresh Toasted sandwich of all white meat chicken strips, glazed with a non-alcoholic, Bourbon Street-inspired sauce that perfectly complements the chicken, all topped by your favorite vegetables, and placed on your choice of freshly baked, gourmet breads."

Since Subway does publish nutrition data for their sandwiches (unlike Quizno's!), I'll share them here. The 258 gram 6" Bourbon Chicken has 350 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat 1.5 grams saturated fat, no trans fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 1020 mg sodium, 54 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 16 grams sugars, 25 grams protein.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New 'Smokehouse' sub from Quizno's

Yesterday Quizno’s introduced another new sandwich, the Smokehouse Beef Brisket Sub. Of course we can’t tell you how many calories are in it because Quizno’s still won’t supply nutrition data for their US sandwiches, but this one looks like it's loaded with calories and fat!

The new sub is “a double portion of mesquite-smoked brisket that has been slow roasted for seven hours, then sliced thin with real cheddar cheese, topped with sweet and smoky barbecue sauce all toasted to perfection.”

The Smokehouse Beef Brisket Sub is available in small, regular and large sizes, priced from $4.99 to $9.99.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New 'Cow Shake' at Hardee's

Hardee's is introducing a new "Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shake made with M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies" The new shake features vanilla ice cream and milk, blended to order with M&M's milk chocolate candies pieces and topped with whipped cream. A scoop of malt powder can be added. The price is $2.99.

To launch the new shake Hardee's has a new TV spot, titled 'Cow Shake Off,' features dueling guys, cows, and the single 'Milkshake' by Kelis. This is a follow-up to last year's successful "Cow Shake" ad.

"Last year when we introduced our Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shakes and Malts with the original 'Cow Shake' ad, it was so popular and drew such an overwhelming response from consumers that we knew we had to create a sequel," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee's.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

El Pollo Loco's Tequila Lime Chicken

El Pollo Loco is introducing a new Tequila Lime Chicken for summer as a limited time offer.

The chicken dish is made with flame-grilled chicken. The grilled chicken is combined with lime juice and mildly spicy guajillo chile with the flavor of tequila.

El Pollo Loco’s new Tequila Lime Chicken is available in both individual and family meals through Sept. 3.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Chick-fil-a not pleased with ad imitation

The Lawrence Journal-World reports:
Doug Holiday — an owner of Lawrence’s Bigg’s Bar & Grill...received a letter from the company’s law firm asking him to “cease and forever desist” using an advertising campaign that plays off Chick-fil-A’s popular spots: a cow carrying a sign that reads, “Eat Mor Chikin.”

Holiday had put his own spin on the marketing gimmick by hiring employees of his barbecue restaurant to dress in a chicken suit and carry a sign that read, “Eat Mor Pork, the other white meat.”


Spicy Chicken out at McD, in at Wendy's

McDonald's confirmed Wednesday it is taking its spicy chicken sandwich off the menu less than six months after its heavily marketed debut, reflecting disappointing sales.

McDonald's Corp. called the Hot 'n' Spicy McChicken its spiciest item ever when it introduced it to its 13,700 U.S. restaurants in January and said it reflected changing consumer tastes. Its launch followed the success of a spicy chicken sandwich at rival Wendy's.

But company spokesman Bill Whitman said Wednesday that the results from a half-year in the restaurants "does not meet those hurdles that we have for products to stay on our core menu." He said the sandwich, which is still available in some markets, would be brought back periodically as a promotional item, citing its devoted following among some customers. [via Yahoo!]

Meanwhile, Wendy's has introduced a spicier option for their spicy chicken sandwiches. For an additional 30 cents, customers can add a slice of pepper jack cheese to the sandwich, which costs $3.19.

Wendy's also said it will begin testing a 4-Alarm Spicy Chicken sandwich featuring jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce in three markets. [also via Yahoo!]


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Burger King developing feature film

Possibly as a pro-fast food counter point to the upcoming Fast Food Nation film, or maybe for something like a BK version of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Burger King is apparently developing a feature film. From the LA Times:
Product placement apparently isn't cutting it in the movie business anymore. Not satisfied, say, with a mere passing shot of a mega-star munching a Whopper, Burger King is developing a film whose main character lives above one of its burger franchises, according to a story in this week's Advertising Age, a trade magazine.

Burger King, along with ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which is overseeing the script, envision a "character-driven" story along the lines of Garden State and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

KFC testing new Colonel

Louisville's Courier-Journal reports that KFC has trademarked and is experimenting with a new image of the Colonel, one of the most recognized logos in the world.

The trademark application describes the new representation of Colonel Harland Sanders as "a man with a black bowtie and red apron in front of a red background."

KFC is testing the new look in several restaurants. "It's still to be determined all the exact uses for it," said KFC spokeswoman Laurie Schalow.

See 4 versions of the Colonel in a poll by the Courier-Journal. At the time of this entry, people seem to prefer the 'traditional' look for the Colonel.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

McDonald's adds gyms to restaurants

McDonald's is now adding gyms to some of their restaurants.

But are they gyms or just modernized versions of the McDonald's Playplace (which debuted in 1971) with a new label? With McDonald's new focus on a 'healthy' image in the face of pending so-called 'obesity lawsuits,' calling a play area a 'gym' just makes good sense.

Here's how McDonald's describes their new gym in their press release:
A Whittier, Calif.-based McDonald's restaurant opened its doors to the world's second McDonald's R Gym (at right), a dedicated in-restaurant play area that features interactive game zones designed for children aged 4 to 12. Equipped with stationary bicycles attached to video games, dance pads, basketball hoops, monkey bars, an obstacle course, and a host of other games, the R Gym is intended to provide a fun, easy and convenient way for children to increase their physical activity.

"McDonald's, with its wide variety of menu choices at various nutritional profiles, now also offers a variety of activity for children that promotes exercise and physical fitness," said Bonnie Modguno, registered dietitian and McDonald's consultant. "It's important for kids to eat a well balanced diet but it is equally important for them to play. Now, parents can bring their kids to McDonald's to accomplish both."

The R Gym features the Toddler Zone, an active play environment with age appropriate games that develop physical coordination and social skills; the Active Zone, designed for children aged four-to-eight that promotes physical fitness through fun play; the Sports Zone which features a series of sport oriented activities to promote aerobic exercise for children aged 9-to-12; the Parent Zone which features comfortable seating and provides an excellent monitoring area for their children; and the Dining Area which allows families to spend time together while eating.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fast Food Nation and The Jungle

According to an op-ed in the Grand Forks Herald about the 100th anniversary of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, both the American Meat Institute (AMI), which represents the meat packing industry, and the US Department of Agriculture have embraced Upton Sinclair and his novel The Jungle. So, 100 years after Sinclair pulled back the curtain on the repulsive practices of the meat packing industry at the turn of the last century, his work is now acknowledged for it's effect by the very industry it vilified. But what about Fast Food Nation?

Sinclair's modern day successor could be Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation. Schlosser has famously criticized both the fast food industry and the 'reformed' meat packing industry that supplies it.

As Karen Olsson wrote at Slate:
Today it's Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation that, like The Jungle, documents the problems of the meat industry, but without depending on a dramatic narrative. We now prefer our exposés to come with figures and footnotes, not melodrama—Schlosser's book still weaves in moving human stories to illustrate the impact of industrial development, but as nonfiction it has a rigor and range that The Jungle lacks.
The meat packing industry certainly doesn't see it that way. At the 100th anniversary celebration of the Federal Meat Inspection Act where Sinclair's The Jungle was praised, AMI President Patrick Boyle was asked to compare Sinclair to Schlosser. Boyle said, "Despite the progress the industry has made in the past century, writers have not made as much progress."

I guess time will tell.

Lenny's Sub Shop continues expansion

Lenny's Sub Shop, a 600+ restaurant chain, now has plans for 41 restaurants in the Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, CA and Reno, NV areas. Recently Lenny's has opened several restaurants in new markets, including Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Charlotte.

Lenny's is on track to open between 400 and 500 restaurants in the next few years.

Len and Sheila Moore opened the original Lenny's Sub Shop, a genuine Philadelphia-style sub shop with fresh baked bread and the finest quality deli meat and cheese, in a Memphis suburb in 1998. Lenny's Franchisor Chief Executive Officer George Alvord and private investors acquired majority ownership of the company from Len Moore in 2004.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Weil calls for ban on hospital fast food

Andrew Weil, the director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has called for the expulsion of fast food restaurants from hospitals in a NY Times Op-Ed piece:
Expelling fast food from hospitals is an obvious step to better health, but suggest it and you run into the same tangle of inertia and apathy that has kept hospitals from serving patients appetizing and wholesome food — and has instead allowed large food service corporations to put profit ahead of quality. I hold my profession responsible for much of the apathy.
Weil says that according to a study done four years ago 4 out of 10 had fast food restaurants on their premises and that by now that number must have gone up. He adds:
We are constantly told to cut back on fat and sugar, but to my mind the greater problem is the processed food that, over the past 50 years, has increasingly displaced whole, natural food in the American diet. The proliferation of fast food is a glaring example of that change.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

British love their McJobs

from the Scottish Daily Record:
If you think working for McDonald's is just about flipping burgers and dishing up fries, you're about to be proven wrong.

McDonald's workers have one of the highest job satisfaction levels around, with nine out of 10 employees loving their fast-food jobs.

According to research by University College London, more than 62 per cent of workers also believe there's plenty of opportunity for promotion within the company. And a further three quarters would accept a long-term career with the well-known chain.

Cow appreciation day at Chick-fil-a

Chick-fil-a's 2nd annual Cow Appreciation Day promotion will take place next week. Chick-fil-a is offering a free combo meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who visits one of its restaurants fully dressed as a cow on Friday, July 14.

So go ahead... dress up like an cow and chow down for free.

Despite Cow Appreciation Day being an 'unofficial' national holiday for years, last year was the first time Chick-fil-a tied the holiday to their “Eat Mor Chikin” Cows marketing campaign.
“Cow Appreciation Day turned out to be a huge success,” said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president of marketing. “Although we really didn’t know what to expect when we planned the promotion last year, it was clear that our customers were looking for a fun way to celebrate and help the cows, and for a free Chick-fil-A meal, of course. I guess you could say it was ‘udder insanity.’”


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wendy's to add vanilla Frosty

After 36 years of only offering a chocolate Frosty, Wendy's is finally going to introduce a Vanilla version in August.

Created by Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas, the original Frosty was one of five products on Wendy's menu in 1969. The Frosty is a cross between a milk shake and soft-serve ice cream. Wendy's serves about 300 million Frosty's annually.

"Dave wanted a dessert on the menu that was so thick you had to eat it with a spoon," said Ian Rowden, Wendy's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "There is nothing quite like the taste and texture of the Frosty. It's a real treat -- one of the best known, most popular and enduring items on our menu."

"Over the years, many of our customers have asked for a Vanilla Frosty to compliment our chocolate version," Rowden said. "By adding another flavor and stepping up our marketing efforts, we will make a strong brand even stronger."

Wendy's has been testing the Vanilla Frosty in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pa.; San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and Youngstown, Ohio, where the customer response and sales results have been positive.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

BK Stackers and bottled milk

Burger King's BK Stackers come in 3 varieties: double, triple and quadruple layers of beef and cheese. "It's the flame-broiled meat lover's burger and it's here to stay - no veggie allowed."

BK Stackers Quad is 4 beef patties, 4 slices of American cheese, 8 strips of bacon, and BK Stacker Sauce (featuring high fructose corn syrup!) all on a sesame seed bun. It weighs 311 grams and has 1000 calories, 620 calories from fat, 68 grams of fat, 30 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of the dreaded trans fat, 240 mg of cholesterol, 1800 mg of sodium, 34 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugars and 62 grams of protein.

UPDATE: The BK Stacker is a permanent addition to the menu and is now available at all participating restaurants. The BK Double Stacker sandwich is available at a suggested price of $2.49, the BK Triple Stacker at $3.29 and the BK Quad Stacker at $3.99.

In other Burger King news, BK is now offering milk in re-sealable, eight-ounce plastic bottles. It is offering 1% white and chocolate milk with the Hershey’s label. According to AgWeb, the dairy industry has been pushing for these new bottles because they determined that "customers would choose milk more often when it was offered in fun, attractive packaging and in different flavors."

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Dunkin' Donuts converts Togo to Dunkin' Delis

In 1998 Dunkin' Donuts purchased the Togo's sub shop chain (which was established in 1968). Some Togo's are attached to Dunkin' Donut shops.

Now, according to a BrandWeek article, 45 Togo's sub shops that are attached to Dunkin's Donuts locations are being renamed as Dunkin' Delis. All the Dunkin' Deli locations are east of the Mississippi, the 357 western locations will remain Togo's for now.

Dunkin' Donuts will be offering the new Dunkin' Deli concept to new owners as they plan to grow from 6,000 to 15,000 locations by 2020.
Based on the higher-end Togo's model, the original Dunkin' Deli offerings were labor-intensive sandwiches. The chain "Dunkin'-ized" the deli concept, switching to toasted sandwiches that "were more efficient without sacrificing quality," Kufferman said. Choices include "classics" like ham and cheese, "favorites" (steak and cheese), "cravings" and 7-inch Pizzettas.
Here's a photo of a Dunkin' Deli on Flickr (from Steve in the comment below).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fast Food Nation film info and trailer

The film Fast Food Nation is due to be released in the US in October of this year. The movie is based on Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, a scathing indictment of the fast food industry.

The film's directer, Richard Linklater, has taken Schlosser's non-fiction tome and turned it into a drama with a star-studded cast including: Greg Kinnear, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Bruce Willis.

I've put together a Fast Food Nation, the movie, information page that I'll keep updated with more detailed information on the film. The page also include the film's official trailer and other videos from the film.