Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quinzo's $5 Subs and S-L-O-W website

You've probably seen the new ads for Quizno's "20 subs under $5" promotion.  Like this...

I wanted to do a little more research for you and see which subs were being offered for $5 or less.  The only way to do this online is to register for a pick-up/delivery account on their website.  So I did that.  Then I started to navigate through the ordering process and started to try and find the inexpensive subs.

Before I tell you what I found, let me tell you a little about the Quizno's ordering website.  It is S-L-O-W.  Once you click a category that you want to order from (ie. Subs, Sammies, Bowls, etc) the previous category items remain there from quite awhile after the heading for your new category appears at the top, which is a bit confusing in addition to being slow.  It would certainly be quicker to pick up the phone and order that way.  And you might have to order by phone anyway... the three Quizno's closest to me did not offer online ordering for pick-up or delivery.  That seems to defeat the purpose of offering online ordering.

Essentially the 'small' size of all the subs I could find on the pick-up/delivery ordering website were between $4.39 and $4.99.  There were not medium or large subs of any variety that were priced under $5.

Quizno's has been suffering since Subway started their $5 footlong promotion.

Subway offers 6" and footlong (12") subs.  Quizno's small sub is substantially shorter than 6 inches, so comparing it in size or price to a Subway sandwich isn't useful.

According to Quizno's:  "The price reductions on more than 37 Quiznos sandwiches, entrees and
other items, will be reflected on new in-store menu boards. The new
menu boards are divided into four core categories: Signature, Premium,
Everyday Value, and Flatbread Salads. Each category offers a single
price point for each size, and a simple option to create a
cost-effective combo meal."

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McDonald's at Texas Stock Show

I visited the famous Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo last week. Every year there is an area called "Planet Agriculture" promoting various agricultural products from cotton and corn to milk and beef. Sponsored by the Texas Farm Bureau, Cattleman's Beef Board (the "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" folks) and McDonald's, the section about beef had lots of information, but I thought I'd share the two signs clearly produced for McDonald's. I've included a transcription of the text below each photo.

McDonald's is clearly trying to promote their standard message that their food is healthy, safe and nutritious, but there have an additional marketing target here... the people of Texas.  They want Texans to know just how much money they pour into the Texas economy with their copious beef purchases.

McDonald's Beef Facts
(Sources: Texas Farm Bureau & McDonald's)

McDonald's provides nutrition and ingredient information for the majority of our products.

Lean Beef (as set by the USDA) is less than 10g of Total Fat, 4.5g or less of Saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving and 100 grams. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for Lean. The McDonald's hamburger meets this criteria too!

A 3 oz serving of lean beef is an excellent source of:
  • Protein (50% of the DV*)
  • Zinc (39% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B12 (37% of the DV)
  • Selenium (24% of the DV)
  • Phosphorus (30% of the DV)
Percent Daily Value (DV) is based on a 2,000-calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your calorie needs.

McDonald's purchased more than 87 million pounds of beef from Texas in 2005.

McDonald's spent more than $100 million dollars on beef purchased from Texas in 2005.

McDonald's uses only 100% USDA inspected beef, with no additives, fillers, flavor enhancers or extenders. Patties are seasoned at the grill with salt and pepper.

McDonald's Beef Facts
(Sources: Texas Farm Bureau & McDonald's)

Quality and sensory testing are conducted every two hours at McDonald's supplier plants. Patties are tested using the same grills found in McDonald's restaurants and scored to ensure consistent taste and texture.

McDonald's requires feed grain certification from all suppliers. Signed affidavits from suppliers verify that animals have been fed in 100 percent compliance with federal guidelines to ensure that cattle in McDonald's supply chain are feed with only safe, wholesome feed.

McDonald's has some of the most stringent food safety and quality assurance standards in the industry. Its safety regulations for beef meets or exceeds those required by the USDA.
  1. Beef is America's #1 selling protein!
  2. Beef cattle are found on more than 130,000 Texas farms and ranches.
  3. In 1968 McDonald's introduced the Big Mac sandwich as a core menu item.
  4. Beef is the #1 source of protein, B-12, and zinc in the diet!
  5. A three ounce serving of lean beef provides 50 percent of the daily value our bodies need for protein.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Panera to Celebrate Breakfast (Free Samples!)

On Wednesday, January 28, Panera Bread locations will be presenting their new "breakfast experience" to customers with free cups of their new Light and Dark Roast coffees and free samples of their grilled breakfast sandwiches and new Strawbery Granola Parfait.

Panera will also be inviting customers to donate a dollar on Wednesday to help support their Operation Dough-Nation Community Breadbox program.  In 2007 Panera donated a retail value of over $40 million worth of bread and baked goods to charitable organizations through this program.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved at breakfast at Panera,” said Ronald Shaich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Panera Bread. “We’re looking forward to celebrating breakfast with our customers and joining them in supporting our local communities.”
Panera Bread has been working for more than two years to perfect its two unique new coffee blends — a Light Roast and a Dark Roast. The Light Roast Coffee is a new blend of some of the finest South and Central American beans, roasted lighter for a smooth, classic taste. The Dark Roast Coffee is a new blend of top Costa Rican beans, created for customers who prefer a robust, balanced, full-bodied coffee. All Panera Bread bakery-cafes will continue to carry its current Hazelnut and Decaffeinated coffee blends, as well as a selection of specialty Espresso and Espresso-based drinks expertly prepared by trained baristas.

By the way, Panera's Strawberry Granola Parfait (that they'll be giving free samples of on Wednesday) has 310 calories, 110 calories from fat, and 12 grams of fat.  The full nutritional information is below.  They use Stonyfield Farm organic low-fat vanilla yogurt.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Lose 10 Facebook friends, get a free Whopper

Burger King has unleashed a unique technique to install itself as a social networking player.

Their website,, encourages you to install a Facebook app called "Whopper Sacrifice" on your Facebook page.

Once you've used it to 'sacrifice' 10 of your Facebook friends, you'll get a coupon for a free Whopper.

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