Sunday, September 30, 2007

McDonald's billboard in Yass

I'm sure this billboard looks perfectly normal to the citizens of Yass in New South Wales, Australia. But the rest of us might wonder what message McDonald's is trying to send....

via Fastfood Weblog

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Arby's Toasted Subs

Arby's has introduced Toasted Subs to their Market Fresh sandwich line-up.

Toasted Subs seem to be all the rage since Quizno's popularized them. But unlike Quizno's, Arby's has already released the nutritional information for their toasted subs (and everything else). Good for them! (You can find the info below.)

There are 4 Toasted Subs: the French Dip & Swiss Toasted Sub, the Philly Beef Toasted Sub, the Classic Italian Toasted Sub, and the Turkey Bacon Club.

As part of the Toasted Sub announcement, Arby's Chief Marketing Officer, Cheryl Barre, said: "The majority of fast food restaurants that serve subs don’t have our combination of two things – high quality, fresh ingredients and the added convenience of not having to get out of your car – the drive-thru."

The subs will be advertised with a new "I'm Thinking Arby's" television campaign.

Descriptions and nutritional information:
The Philly Beef Toasted Sub (pictured top left) features roast beef, melted Swiss cheese, roasted onions, green and red bell peppers and roasted garlic sauce on a toasted ciabatta roll. It has 738 calories, 332 calories from fat, 35 grams total fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 1 gram trans fat, 86 mg cholesterol, 1881 mg sodium, 64 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 31 grams protein.
The French Dib & Swiss Toasted Sub (bottom right) features roast beef and melted Swiss cheese on a toasted ciabatta roll, served with a side of au jus for dipping. It has 621 calories, 181 calories from fat, 19 grams fat, 7 grams sat-fat, 1.5 grams trans fat, 79 mg cholesterol, 3397 mg sodium, 68 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugars, 37 grams protein.
The Classic Italian Toasted Sub (top right) has ham, salami, pepperoni, melted mozzarella cheese, banana peppers and garlic mayonnaise, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and red onion and drizzled with red wine vinaigrette, on a toasted ciabatta roll. It has 827 calories, 410 calories from fat, 45 grams total fat, 13 grams sat fat, .5 grams trans fat, 89 mg cholesterol, 2495 mg sodium, 69 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar.
And the Turkey Bacon Club Toasted Sub (bottom left) features thinly sliced turkey breast, melted Swiss cheese, chopped pepper bacon and herbed mayonnaise on a toasted ciabatta roll, finished with lettuce, tomatoes and red onion. It has 619 calories, 159 calories from fat, 17 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat, no trans fat, 81 mg cholesterol, 2052 mg sodium, 66 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 41 grams protein.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

BK's new $1 trans fat sandwich

Burger King is now serving a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich that only costs a buck.

The Spicy Chick'n Crisp Sandwich is a crispy chicken filet with a spicy kick served with lettuce and mayonnaise on a sesame seed bun.

It may not shrink your wallet much, but it will certainly expand your waist. For a smallish, one dollar sandwich, this thing is loaded with fat. And not just any's got 2 grams of trans fat!

I thought BK was planning on going trans-fat free like Wendy's and so many other fast food chains. Guess not.

It has 480 calories, 280 calories from fat, 31 grams of fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 2 grams trans fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 8 grams carbs, and 10 grams of protein.

UPDATE: Here's the TV ad promoting the sandwich as the latest member of the BK Value Menu. It's a strange ad made on the cheap (like the sandwich I guess).

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wendy's Baconator quite popular

Wendy's new "Baconator" sandwich has six strips of hickory smoked bacon on top of 1/2 lb. of beef with American cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise.

"This is one of the most successful new product introductions we've had in some time," said Wendy's Chief Executive Officer and President Kerrii Anderson.

Wendy's sold 25 million of the Baconators in the first 8 weeks they were being promoted.

That's over 20 billion calories and 2,810,893 lbs of fat! That much fat is equal to 439 H2 Hummers. (And you'll need a Hummer to tote you around if you eat many Baconators!)

Here's the nutrition facts for just 1 Baconator: 830 calories, 460 calories from fat, 51 grams of fat, 22 grams saturated fat, 2.5 grams trans fat, 170 mg cholesterol, 1920 mg sodium, 35 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams sugar, 57 grams protein.

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Fast food flash memory

Here at Fast Food News, we're always on the look-out for new inedible fast food products! Here's one now....

Greenhouse (an on-line technology store in Japan) is offering 2 gigabyte USB Flash drives that look like your favorite fast foods.

There are 4 different USB memory dongles: "Humburger" (sic), Hot dog, Pizza and Sandwich.

Besides not knowing how to spell "hamburger," Greenhouse has an important warning on their product info page: "Do not Eat!" Thanks for that! Maybe McDonald's should try that warning, too!

via Gizmodude and Akihabara News

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Fast Food Friends" paying it forward

Rob Hammond, membership pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, gave a sermon in July about helping others. In order to give his congregation the opportunity to help, he came up with a program called "Fast Food Friends."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Snake rings taco worker's bell

Pranksters at a Texas Taco Bell had drive-thru employee Bryant Simmons running for the border when they threw a 3-foot long Python at him through the drive-thru window.

Simmons has a fear of snakes and this one hit him smack in the chest. But a spokesman for the Taco Bell in Round Rock, Texas said Simmons was physically unharmed, just really shaken up.

Police are using surveillance camera footage in their search for the pranksters, described as 3 men in a truck.

And as for the snake, it turns out that an employee at a neighboring fast food restaurant, Thundercloud Subs, has 2 Pythons of her own at home, so she was able to convince police to let her take custody of the one thrown through the drive-thru window.

What is it that makes Taco Bell such a popular target for pranks?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

McDonald's towel-water milkshakes

WFTV-TV in Orlando, Florida, is reporting an interesting story about milkshakes at an Orlando-area McDonald's.

According to their report and photos, the McDonald's milkshake machine was seen being filled with 'milk' from a bucket clearly labelled "Soiled Towels Only." (see photo below)

The customer who snapped the photo of the incident reported it to McDonald's corporate headquarters and received the following e-mail:

"The machine was cleaned that morning. They sanitized the bucket to capture milk and after the repair work was done they put the milk back in the machine. This was an isolated incident."

The restaurant was sited for 12 different sanitary violations in August and now state inspectors want to see these photos.

Anyone for a "Towelshake?"

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Big Mac celebrates 40 years

McDonald's Big Mac sandwich was first served 40 years ago by its inventor Jim Delligatti (pictured).

To commemorate the creation, the Big Mac Museum Restaurant has opened in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, just 40 miles north of where the first double burger, triple bun sandwich was served in Uniontown for 45 cents.

from USA Today:
"The museum has it all: the world's largest Big Mac — 14 feet tall and 12 feet wide — a bronze bust of Delligatti, a high-tech global Big Mac map and wallpaper peppered the ad 'two-all-beef-patties-special sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame seed-bun.'

It took Delligatti, now 89, two years to convince McDonald's to allow him to serve up the sandwich. After the first day, he realized that two buns was too sloppy, so the middle bun was injected."
By 1968, the Big Mac was on McDonald's menus nationwide. McDonald's sells 550 million Big Macs each year in over 100 countries.

Delligatti said he still eats an average of one Big Mac a week...and you can tell it's true from the photo!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hardee's Hawaiian Chicken sandwich

Hardee's introduced a new Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich this week. It consists of a charbroiled chicken breast with a teriyaki sauce and a slice of grilled pineapple, swiss cheese, red onion, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise.

There is currently a coupon on Hardee's website good for $1 off the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich through November 11, 2007.

The sandwich has 460 calories, 16 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 46 grams carbohydrates, 1130 mg sodium, 33 grams protein.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wendy's red wigs

In other Wendy's news, Wendy's has delivered 5,000 red wigs with ponytails (like the red hair of "Wendy" of the Wendy's logo). The wigs are being worn by employees. There are also cardboard cut-outs that customers can stand under for photos of themselves giving them the red-top look. This is all in advance of a web promotion set to kick-off next week.

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Wendy's NYC nutrtional info

Wendy's has posted the following on their website regarding nutritional information posting in NYC:
We regret that Wendy's cannot provide product calorie information to residents or customers in New York City. The New York City Department of Health passed a regulation requiring restaurants that already provide calorie information to post product calories on their menu boards -- using the same type size as the product listing.

We fully support the intent of this regulation; however, since most of our food is made-to-order, there isn't enough room on our existing menu boards to comply with the regulation. We have for years provided complete nutritional information on posters inside the restaurant and on our website. To continue to provide caloric information to residents and customers of our New York City restaurants on our website and on our nutritional posters would subject us to this regulation. As a result, we will no longer provide caloric information to residents and customers of our New York City restaurants.

We regret this inconvenience. If you have questions about this regulation, please contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and refer to Health Code Section 81.50.
Subsequently, a judge has prevented NY from enforcing the new law, stating that the rules, which would have applied only to restaurants that already disclosed calorie data, "would have attempted to punish the very restaurants that are already providing accurate and comprehensive nutrition information."

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Captain D's new 'stop-motion' TV ad

from QSR Web: A new commercial from Captain D's features a mix of animation and trademark "stop-motion" technique. The spots are part of a multimillion-dollar overhaul of Captain D's restaurants and menu, under way marketwide in the chain's hometown of Nashville.

Birmingham-based ad agency o2 ideas brought in independent filmmaker David Russo to produce the new TV spots.

The commercial depicts an animated fish being painted by a seaside artist as it "swims" through crowds. The spots feature numerous people holding the fish paintings, perfectly still, while the passers-by represent the sea of humanity the fish is traveling through, according to a news release. Approximately 298 paintings of the fish were created for the project.

Producer John Andrews of ka-chew! and o2 ideas shot the commercial in two Seattle locations where it took Russo seven hours to film the opening ocean scene to produce four seconds of footage. The commercial concludes at the Captain D's Seafood Kitchen in Hermitage, Tenn.

You can watch the ad below (or on YouTube):

BK's pledge on advertising to kids

This week Burger King announced their new policy on advertising to kids with their pledge to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

BK's pledge limits Burger King advertising and product placement aimed at children under 12 to 'Kids Meals' that meet the following criteria:
  • No more than 560 calories per meal;
  • Less than 30 percent of calories from fat;
  • Less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat;
  • No added trans fats; and
  • No more than 10 percent of calories from added sugars.
As part of their 'pledge,' BK listed 3 items they are considering for their Kids Meal:
Flame Broiled Chicken Tenders (4pc): 145 calories, 6 grams fat, 54 calories from fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams added sugar, 370mg sodium.
MOTT’S® Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce: 50 calories 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams added sugar, 0mg sodium.
Hershey's 1% Low Fat White Milk: 110 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 22.5 calories from fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0 grams added sugar, 130mg sodium.
The total for the above Kids Meal would be 305 calories, 8.5g fat, 76.5 calories from fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g added sugar, 500mg sodium.

The 'pledge' is scheduled to take effect by January 1, 2008. You can read the entire pledge on Burger King's website.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

LA proposes limits on fast food

The LA Times reports that the Los Angeles City Council will be asked this fall to consider an up to two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A.

from the LA Times:
"The people don't want them, but when they don't have any other options, they may gravitate to what's there," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who proposed the ordinance in June, and whose district includes portions of South L.A. that would be affected by the plan.

In just one-quarter of a mile near USC on Figueroa Street, from Adams Boulevard south, there are about 20 fast-food outlets.

"To be honest, it's all we eat," Rey Merlan said one recent lunch hour at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. "Everywhere, it's fast food everywhere."

Merlan said it wasn't likely that a limit on new restaurants would change peoples' habits, even though he thinks it's a good idea.

A Times analysis of the city's roughly 8,200 restaurants found that South Los Angeles has the highest concentration of fast-food eateries. Per capita, the area has fewer eating establishments of any kind than the Westside, downtown or Hollywood, and about the same as the Valley. But a much higher percentage of those are fast-food chains. South L.A. also has far fewer grocery stores.

Thirty percent of adults in South L.A. are obese, compared with 20.9% in the county overall, according to a county Department of Public Health study released in April. For children, the obesity rate was 29% in South L.A., compared with 23.3% in the county.


McDonald's employee arrested for too much salt on burger

Kendra BullYes, you read that right. A McDonald's employee, Kendra Bull, in Union City, Georgia was arrested after a local cop claimed he became ill from an extra salty Big N' Tasty.

Bull told cops she accidentally put too much salt and pepper on the hamburger, but since managers had been concerned about waste, she "had gone ahead and used the hamburger."

Bull, 20, said she accidentally spilled salt on hamburger meat and told her supervisor and a co-worker, who "tried to thump the salt off."

On her break, she ate a burger made with the salty meat. "It didn't make me sick," Bull told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

You can read the arrest report at The Smoking Gun.