Saturday, August 30, 2008

Interesting Facts from Taco Bell

Found some interesting company facts on Taco Bell's website today. Thought I'd share...
  • Originated by Glen Bell, Taco Bell became a reality on March 21, 1962. The first franchise was sold in 1964.
  • Taco Bell employs more than 143,000 people in company-operated and franchised units and corporate offices in the US.
  • Nearly 150 million people see a Taco Bell commercial once a week - more than half the US population.
  • Over 2 billion tacos and 1 billion burritos of all varieties are served in Taco Bell restaurants each year.
  • In an average year in the US, Taco Bell consumers, company and franchise restaurants, consume:
    • 3.8 billion corn and flower tortillas
    • 62 million pounds of pinto beans
    • 295 million pounds of seasoned ground beef (my note: that's about 600,000 cows)
    • 106 million pounds of cheese


Friday, August 29, 2008

Wendy's Double Stack on Value Menu

Wendy's has announced the national introduction of a 99-cent Double Stack cheeseburger to its value menu. The company plans to aggressively promote the menu option, along with the popular 99-cent Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and 99-cent Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

"The Double Stack is a proven store traffic and sales driver," said Wendy's interim chief marketing officer Paul Kershisnik. "While the sandwich has been offered over the years in a number of U.S. markets, this will be the first time we have rolled it
out nationally."

The Double Stack will feature two junior hamburger patties, cheese, ketchup, onion, mustard and pickles. The sandwich will replace the Stack Attack on Wendy's Value Menu.

The question is, can you get it anyway you want it or are the ketchup, onion, mustard and pickles mandatory?!?!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meatatarians Viral Video from Wendy's

Wendy's has a new viral video circulating on YouTube.

The video shows a 'Meatatarian' head of lettuce violently devouring a Wendy's hamburger (see video below).

The video info links to A site that describes itself thusly:
The Highly Esteemed Council of Meatatarians is an establishment of meat lovers and eaters whose goal is to eat meat, and only meat, without the inclusion of other non-meat products, while celebrating meat with the utmost regard. Our goal is to continue our dominance atop the food chain and bring meat lovers to a new understanding of their nature, their calling to become true Meatatarians.
The "Meatatarians Unite!" offers to let you sign up to receive an e-mail (from Wendy's). The e-mail includes a link to a printable "Certificate of Meatatarianism."

It also has a link to which asks you to install their "coupon printer" software in order to print a Wendy's coupon.

Note: 'coupon printer' program is installed on your computer and is reported by some websites to track your browsing. I'm not installing it, and Wendy's should know better than to make us install something on our computer in order to print their coupons! (Heard of .pdf guys?) If you're brave enough to install software from an advertising company on your computer, let us know in the comments what the coupon is all about (or send us an e-mail).
[Update] Sandy writes:
It’s for $1 off The Baconator. Expires 9/27/08.
I’ve had the coupon printer add on installed for ages.
Lots of companies use it to make sure printed coupons are legit.

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BK Wrappers on value menu

New additions to the BK Value Menu are 2 BK Wrappers. They sell for $1.39.

The Cheesy Bacon BK Wrapper is made with hash browns, crispy bacon, egg and smoky cheese sauce.

The Spicy Chicken BK Wrapper is made with spicy, crispy chicken, three blended cheeses and a southwest sauce.

Their move to the Value Menu will be promoted with TV ads showing the King as a "reverse pickpocketer," stuffing cash back into customers' pockets. (watch it below)

Review and 'real-world' photos at The Impulsive Buy.

Fast Food Critic also has a great review with photos.

The Cheesy Bacon BK Wrapper has 390 calories, 24 grams of fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 1.5 grams trans fat, 150 mg cholesterol, 1080 mg sodium, 29 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams sugar, 14 grams protein.

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Starbucks healthy breakfast upgrade

Starbucks has had a secret project ("Morning Source") to develop healthier breakfast items for their stores.

It will be unveiled today, and be available at your local Starbucks (if it's still open) on September 3.
"Food has been our Achilles' heel," says corporate founder and CEO Howard Schultz. He calls better-for-you food, part of Starbucks' evolving health and wellness program, a "billion-dollar" idea. "This is as big an initiative as anything we can do."
The new breakfast menu items include (fat, fiber & protein totals are in grams):
  • Apple Bran Muffin: 330 Calories, 8 fat, 7 fiber, 7 protein.
  • Starbucks Power Protein Plate (w/ peanut butter): 330 calories, 16 fat, 5 fat, 16 protein.
  • Starbucks Power Protein Plate (w/o peanut butter): 260 calories, 9 fat, 3 fiber, 13 protein.
  • Baked Berry Stella: 280 calories, 9 fat, 6 fiber, 6 protein.
  • Multigrain roll: 280 calories, 6 fat, 6 fiber, 7 protein.
  • Chewy Fruit & Nut Bar: 250 calories, 10 fat, 4 fiber, 4 protein.
  • Perfect Oatmeal: 140 calories, 2.5 fat, 4 fiber, 5 protein.
My wife will be devastated if they eliminate their Pumpkin Loaf! (330 calories, 16 grams fat, btw)

Starbucks plans to improve their lunch and dinner menus in 2009.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Consumerist: Wendy's requires toppings

The Consumerist has Brandon's story about visiting his regular Wendy's in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and ordering his regular sandwich, a double stack "plain" (as in no toppings, just meat & cheese on a bun) and being told that that was impossible.

Brandon was told that it was Wendy's policy to only serve the double stack the way it comes (with toppings).

Hmmm? Sure, I know it's Burger King that says, "Have it your way," but surely any fast food joint can serve a plain old cheeseburger without all the extras, right?

But no. Brandon ended up leaving Wendy's without his burger. No matter what he tried, they would not serve him a burger without all toppings.

Read the whole story
at one of our favorite blogs, The Consumerist!


Popeye's changes name & logo

Back December of 2006 we wrote about Popeye's spin-off franchise, "Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen."

Now it seems that Popeye's is going to re-brand their primary franchise, "Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits" as "Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen."

The "brand transformation" will include new menu items, national ads, and a new logo (pictured at right), in an effort to tie the brand to its Louisiana culinary traditions.

The change "reminds customers of the labor that goes into creating the brand's
authentic taste. Popeye's CMO, Dick Lynch, says "many consumers do not know the chicken is
marinated for at least 12 hours—-something he calls the Popeyes
Paradox, the company's ability to bring slow-cooked food to the
fast-food consumer."

Three new menu items already on the old Popeye's website are: the
Loaded Chicken Wrap, made with all-white meat chicken, red beans and
rice, and a cheddar tortilla; the Delta Mini, with all-white
meat chicken on a mini toasted bun with Delta sauce; and the Chicken
Biscuit, crispy all-white meat marinated in Louisiana seasoning on a
buttermilk biscuit. They are each priced at $1.49.

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Jack's Pita Snacks

Jack in the Box has introduced Pita Snacks. They call it "a new product platform of snack-sized, wrap-style sandwiches."

The Pita Snacks come in a choice of grilled or crispy chicken strips, steak, or fish fillet and include shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and a chipotle sauce. They are wrapped in a pita made with whole grain.

"Due to busy schedules, many consumers are eating at non-traditional meal times," said Teka O'Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. "As a result, snacks have really grown in popularity. Our Pita Snacks are ideal for in between meal grazing or as an addition to a larger meal."

The Pita Snacks will set you back $1.99. They are not yet available in all markets.

UPDATE: Review and photo at The Impulsive Buy


Denny's late night Rockstar Menu

Denny's is going after the late night fast food crowd with their new Rockstar Menu.

The special late night only menu items were created by rock musicians.
"We teamed up with popular bands in an out-of-the-box way to develop a menu by rock stars for our rock star guests," said Mark Chmiel, chief marketing and innovation officer for Denny’s. "Music and late night are a part of the Denny’s DNA. Denny’s has been a late-night destination for musicians, fans, crews, and crowds for over 50 years, so it is natural for us to have them create the meal they would most like to eat."
Denny’s will try to appeal to its late-night crowd, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., with alternative rock music playing through the restaurant and servers wearing T-shirts and jeans instead of their usual uniforms.

The new late night Rockstar menu items (and the musicians who created them) are:
  • Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries, created by New York-based band Taking Back Sunday, combines two of the artists’ favorite foods – bacon cheeseburgers and loaded cheese fries – in a new, sharable way with familiar flavors of fries, cheese, hamburger, crispy bacon, onion, tomato, and pickles. They even top it off with ketchup and mustard.

  • Plain White Shake, by the Chicago band Plain White T’s, blends whole milk, vanilla ice cream, creamy cheesecake, whipped cream, and white chocolate chips creating a heavenly, drinkable dessert.

  • Heart on a Plate, by California rockers Eagles of Death Metal, starts with heart-shaped pancakes topped with raspberry sauce, hot fudge, strawberries, white chocolate chips, and whipped cream. The Heart-themed entrée – a tribute to their soon-to-be-released album “Heart On” – is served with crispy bacon and eggs any style.

  • The All American S.O.S. brings the timeless classic and hometown favorite dish of Stillwater, Oklahoma band, The All-American Rejects, to life with hamburger, cheese, grilled onions, and gravy on top of grilled Texas toast and hash browns.
You can find out more about Denny's Rockstar menu at

If you're an all-nighter and check this out, let Fast Food News know what you think.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

BK gets clever, swipes Big Mac

This ad is pretty clever.

It's a Burger King ad that has been around for awhile on posters and billboards, but it deserves mention for its the creativity.

"Silly Whopper, that's a Big Mac box," creatively tells us that Burger King's standard burger (the Whopper) is bigger than McDonald's biggest burger (the Big Mac).

The nutritional facts tell the same story, by the way....

The Whopper weighs 291 grams, the Big Mac weighs 219 grams.
The Whopper has 700 calories and 42 grams of fat.
The Big Mac has 600 calories and 33 grams of fat.

But here's the real surprise

The Whopper costs $2.59 and a Big Mac costs $3.09!
That's 100 more calories for 50 cents less!

These prices are the sandwich only price (no combo) at my local McDonald's and Burger King in Texas. -Photo credit

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Domino's new oven baked sandwiches

Domino's Pizza now has hot, oven baked sandwiches. The
sandwiches are fully-baked in their pizza ovens and are available for delivery. They are priced $4.99.

There are 4 varieties (see nutritional info for them below):
  1. Philly Cheese Steak: steak, American, and provolone cheeses, with onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.
  2. Chicken Bacon Ranch: seasoned white meat chicken breast, bacon, ranch dressing, and provolone cheese.
  3. Chicken Parm: seasoned white meat chicken breast, tomato basil marinara, parmesan-asiago, and provolone cheeses.
  4. Italian: slices of pepperoni, Genoa salami, ham, provolone cheese, banana peppers, green peppers, and onions.
"This launch springboards Domino's into the lunch business by providing a product that is high quality, priced right and aimed at convenience-minded people without a lot of time," says Patrick Doyle, president of Domino's USA. "We have high-end ovens in our stores that cost $30,000 and bake our sandwiches at 450 degrees. It gives us a huge quality advantage [competitors] can't match," Doyle adds. "People fed up with brown-bagging or driving to pick up something cold, can save some time and gas by ordering a hot Domino's sandwich for delivery to their home or office."

Sure, but these babies aren't light on the calories or fat!
  1. The Philly Cheese Steak has 690 calories, 250 calories from fat, 27 grams fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 1 gram trans fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 2080 mg sodium, 72 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams sugars, and 41 grams protein.
  2. The Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich has 890 calories, 400 calories from fat, 45 grams of fat, 16 grams saturated, 1 gram trans fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 2210 mg sodium, 72 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 49 grams protein.
  3. The Chicken Parm has 770 calories, 270 calories from fat, 30 grams fat, 16 grams saturated fat, 1 gram trans fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 2140 mg sodium, 73 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 51 grams
  4. protein.The Italian has 880 calories, 410 calories from fat, 45 grams fat, 22 grams saturated fat, 1 gram trans fat, 120 mg cholesterol, 2560 mg sodium, 71 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 47 grams protein.

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Chick-fil-a's New Chick-n-Strips Giveaway

Chick-fil-a is promoting their Chick-n-Strips by giving them away free on Labor Day, September 1, 2008, to anyone wearing a football team logo.

Visit any participating Chick-fil-A restaurant wearing your favorite football team’s attire or logo on Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. until close and get one free order of our new Chick-n-Strips (3-count). Limit one order per person while supplies last. [complete giveaway rules]

The 3-count Chick-n-Strips have 350 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams total fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, no trans fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 1040 mg sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugars, 33 grams protein.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

McDonald's Olympic Marketing

As a huge sponsor of the 2008 Olympics in China, McDonald's has undertaken various promotions around the globe.

In Australia, for example, McDonald's offered "Limited Edition Flavours of the Game" sandwiches celebrating the Olympics. For 2 weeks each they offered the McEurope sandwich, McAmerica bagel, McAfrica burger, McAsia wrap, and McAustralia burger (in that order). [some photos of the sandwiches]

Why don't we get these special McDonald's creations in the US?

The McEurope 'burger' was "crispy chicken fillet burger with shavings of parmesan cheese and traditional Napoletana sauce made from rich tomato, oregano and basil." [read a review]
The McAsia Wrap was fried chicken strips, tatsoi salad, cucumber, with sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise, wrapped up in a tortilla (?).
The McAustralia Burger was a Pineapple ring, bacon, bacon, tomato, cheese, beef patty, lettuce with BBQ sauce.
The McAmerica Bagel was "a lightly toasted bagel with freshly cracked egg, premium rasher bacon and spicy ketchup." [photo by xamesm]

and then, the McAfrica Burger...

The McAfrica burger was withdrawn from McDonald's menu after some people pointed out that their are 12 millions starving people in Africa.

Click on the these McSandwiches to watch video reviews from down under by xReventonx: McEurope, McAmerica, McAfrica, McAsia.

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Organic fast food joint in LA

Organic Observer has an article about O!Burger: Organic fast food burgers:
"Has the organic food trend finally spawned a fast food restaurant?

The menu at O!Burger in Los Angeles fits the bill. The all-organic menu offers burgers, shakes, and fries."

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

DQ's new Iron Grilled Sandwiches

Dairy Queen has announced the launch of three new Iron Grilled Sandwiches at participating locations nationwide.

The Iron Grilled sandwich line includes:
  • Deli-style turkey with Swiss cheese
  • Classic Club with deli-style turkey, ham and cheddar cheese
  • Supreme BLT with seven crisp strips of savory bacon.
All are served on grilled Panini-style bread with leaf lettuce, bacon, tomato slices and mild garlic-mayonnaise. A grilled cheese will be added to the kids’ menu.

"We just saw it as an opportunity, given the growth of sandwiches, to add something that was a little bit different and uniquely suited to our target customers in an offering that we really didn’t have," said Lane Schmiesing, vice president of brand marketing of International Dairy Queen.


Wired: Should Fast Food Be Banned

Wired magazine's Wired Science Blog asks the question: Should Fast Food Be Banned?

In light of recent passed and proposed city ordinances prohibiting the construction of new fast food restaurants, the question is a timely one.

Sure, ""fast food is generally high-calorie, high-fat and low-nutrition."

But it is worth considering that "a lot of people eat fast food because it's cheap, especially in our recession-ravaged moment."

There are also lots of good comments from Wired readers:

Asad Quraishi writes:
"Groan! Now the poor can't decide for themselves what they eat. I guess being poor lowers your intelligence so much you need someone to tell you what you can and can't eat."
Gig writes:
Here's an idea. If the US government wants to prove they give a sh*t about their citizens' health, how about socialized medicine like in France, Canada, England, etc. America looks more and more like a third world country. I am tired of being around unhealthy people. There are McDonalds in France and people are healthy and thin there.
Matt writes:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure a McDonald's burger isn't any more unhealthy than a burger I cook myself on the grill or one I pay $10 for at some "classier" restaurant.
What do you think?

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Quick cattle and pig facts...

I was just reading an e-mail from Cattle Network News called "Quick Facts To Impress Your Friends At The Coffee Shop."

In it was this fact: 'Inventory' of Cattle and Calves in the US = 104,300,000"

The current US population (of humans) is about 301 million.

That's 1 cow for every 3 of us.

Does your family of 3 have a cow in the backyard?


Most of those cattle are on feed lots waiting to be eaten.

By the way, the us Hog and Pig population in the US is 67,661,000. That's 4.5 people for each pig/hog.

Here's a photo of a Hog Factory Farm in North Carolina after a flood. Tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of pigs/hogs died in the flood. River-soaked bacon just doesn't cut it:

images courtesy of

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Boston Market's new $5 menu

Boston Market has introduced their new $5 menu. There are 11 meals for $5 on the new menu.

"The $5 price point is an important part of the new vernacular in the restaurant industry," said Judy Cantrell, Boston Market chief brand officer. "It’s become a price point that consumers respond to, and we see an opportunity to increase the quality of choices with our slow-roasted rotisserie chicken meals."

The items on the $5 menu are:
  • 1/4 Rotisserie Chicken with a gourmet side and cornbread
  • 1/4 Rotisserie Dark Chicken with 1 regular side
  • Rotisserie Chicken Potpie
  • Whole Rotisserie Chicken Carver
  • 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken Carver with 1 regular side and drink
  • Whole Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich
  • 1/2 Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich with 1 regular side and drink
  • Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • 1/2 Chicken Salad Sandwich with 1 regular side and drink
  • Classic Chicken Salad, Soup & Side Salad
  • Three Side Item Sampler
The new menu will be promoted with a TV ad campaign.


New fast food drink T from Threadless

Our love for Threadless Ts continues.

There's a new one for all you fast foodies out there called "Get It To Go."


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Burger King employee takes bath in sink

Timothy Tackett celebrated his birthday by taking a bath in his employer's kitchen sink last week.

His employer: Burger King.

Another employee took a video (see below) of Timothy (aka Mr. Unstable) in the stainless steel kitchen sink. The manager is in the video, too. She's told of Timothy's bath, but is too busy counting cash to go see for herself.

The video, of course, was posted on MySpace and soon Timmy and his co-workers were out of a job. But not before the whole town knew and started savoring their next Bathwater Whopper!

Burger King has issued a statement on the incident: "We have sanitized the sink and have disposed of all other kitchen tools and utensils that were used during the incident. We have also taken appropriate corrective action on the employees that were involved in this video. Additionally, the remaining staff at this restaurant is being retrained in health and sanitation procedures.”

Here's some local news coverage of the fun! WSB-TV

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