Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fast Food Secret Millionaire on Fox

Todd Graves and his wife Gwen were on Fox's show "Secret Millionaire" last night. Todd (pictured below) is the CEO and Founder of Louisiana fast food fave, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers.

Raising Cane's is definitely an up and coming fast food franchise. I first wrote about Raising Cane's back in 2006. At the time I recall being impressed with their commitment to food quality and safety.

The show on Fox last night tugged on the heart strings... a necessity for good ratings for that type of show! But the cynic in me had to admit that Mr. Graves didn't flood the show with references to his restaurant chain. If he had, the $100,000 he gave to 3 groups trying to come back from Hurricane Katrina would have been worth it just for the exposure.

It was still great marketing, though, and today Raising Cane's has changed their website dramatically to cover the Graves' appearance on Secret Millionaire. I checked the site last night and there was no mention of the show or the Graves' genorosity, but today the title of the site is "Todd Graves | Raising Cane's | Secret Millionaire" to assist fans of the show in finding the site with Google.

Marketing aside, Graves did do some great good for 3 worthy groups. I especially liked Coach Cyril Crutchfield at South Plaquemines High School. Coach Crutchfield gathered the players from 3 rival high schools to form a high school football team after Katrina and 2 years later they won the state championship. Graves gave him $100,000 for his football program. You can read more about Todd and Gwen Graves' appearance on Secret Millionaire on the Raising Cane's website.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

McNuggets 25th Anniversary & Fan Site

McDonald's has launched a fan-site for Chicken McNuggets today (11/18/08) at in celebration of the McNugget's 25th anniversary.

The Nuggnuts fansite links to the McNuggets Facebook site, a Nuggnut Hall of Fame and the Nuggnut Pledge, which reads:
I, [state your name], do solemnly swear, that I am totally into Chicken McNuggets. I pledge to eat lots of McNuggets, especially when hungry, in any way I see fit. I understand that it's perfectly cool to write songs about McNuggets, to take pictures of ones that look like famous people, and to videotape them dancing. I promise to tell anyone who will listen about my passion for dipping, popping, dunking, sharing, sneaking and generally just bowing down in awe to original tender, juicy white meat Chicken McNuggets, even if it makes me sound like a paid spokesperson. Which is a job I would actually love. Because I'm a Nuggnut, and proud of it. Sincerely, [your name again].
“McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets have a vocal and enthusiastic fan base,” said Marta Fearon, director of marketing for McDonald’s USA. “We knew there was no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets than by embracing these fans and inviting them to share their passion with others.”

There's been much guessing over the years about what is really in a Chicken McNugget... it is truly considered the mystery meat of fast food.

To counter this perception, McDonald's has gone out of their way to reassure us all that the McNugget is a pure and healthy product by sending their Moms' Quality Correspondents to experience and report on the McNuggets trip "from farm to Happy Meal."

I think you should decide for yourself and even if you can't follow the chicken from the farm to the restaurant, you can at least know what's in the final product. Excluding natural and artificial flavoring components (which are considered trade secrets!) here are the rest of the indrediants in a Chicken McNugget (as supplied by McDonald's):

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, chicken flavor (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent).

Hey, Chicken is listed first! And they must use a lot of it since McDonald's is anxious to point out that, "Starting in December, McDonald’s will be featured on the National Chicken Council’s consumer Web site,, as part of a “Showcase of Chicken” feature on McDonald's."

McDonald's has supplied Fast Food News with this McNuggets Timeline:
  • 1983 McDonald's introduces Chicken McNuggets to its national menu. The national launch is supported by the "McNugget Mania" advertising campaign.
  • 1984 - Chicken McNuggets are introduced in Canada, Japan, France, and Germany.
  • 1986 - McNuggets Shanghai, accompanied by a pair of chopsticks, a fortune cookie and a choice of sweet and sour, teriyaki or hot mustard sauce, was introduced to the menu as a temporary promotional item.
  • 1988 - McDonald’s introduces the promotional product Fiesta McNuggets, which came with a collective coin.
  • 2003 - McDonald's switches to Chicken McNuggets made with all white meat to enhance the quality and flavor of the popular menu item.
  • 2008 - McDonald's celebrates the 25th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets by launching an online fan community for McNuggets enthusiasts at

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crazy Chicken Controversy by Tyson

Some fast food chains are starting to promote healthier, organic foods. Like Organic-To-Go and Chipotle.

The reason for making the switch is so that the fast food restaurant can make certain claims like "organic lettuce", "antibiotic-free chicken", etc., to attract the health-conscious consumer.

But wait, "Antibiotic-free Chicken" -- what if that labeling is meaningless?

Tyson, the largest US chicken supplier, is suing the USDA for the right to label some of its chicken "antibiotic free" even though the chicken has been injected with antibiotics... before it is born! Wow!

Here's more from Treehugger:
In a baffling case of doublespeak, the world’s largest meat processing company Tyson Foods has publicly admitted to injecting chickens with antibiotics—but it’s suing the US Department of Agriculture in order to keep the Antibiotic-Free label anyway. And how does Tyson plan on getting around the fact that the label is a bold-faced lie? By manipulating legal jargon of course! Tyson is claiming that since its chickens are merely injected with antibiotics before they hatch, they’re not really ‘raised’ with antibiotics.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Homestyle Chicken and Churro's From Jack, too

Okay, this is the third Jack in the Box post for today (and they would have been another if I didn't cover two topics in this one!), but that's just the way news happens... and, frankly, we haven't gotten any fast food news from Jack in the Box for quite awhile.

First, Jack in the Box is integrating their Homestyle Chicken Fillet into two new menu items, the Homestyle Ranch Chicken Club and the Breakfast Homestyle Chicken Biscuit.

The Homestyle Ranch Chicken Club puts the homestyle chicken fillet on a bun with bacon, 'swiss-style' cheese, lettuce and tomato, with ranch sauce. It has 760 calories and 38 grams of fat (complete nutritional information is below). It is priced at $4.29.

The Breakfast Homestyle Chicken Biscuit, is the chicken fillet on a warm buttermilk biscuit. No nutritional data yet. It costs $2.99. Both are served all day.

"Crispy chicken items are very appealing to consumers," said Teka O'Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. "We've had great success with our Jack's Spicy Chicken sandwich and think the home-made flavor of our new Homestyle Chicken will also be a hit with guests."

Secondly, Jack is introducing a new dessert to "reflect a growing trend...toward smaller desserts."

The Mini Churros are bite-sized pastries with a cinnamon sugar filling.

The come in a 5-count and 10-count size. 5 Mini Churros are $1.00, ten cost $1.89.

"Bite-sized treats, like our new Mini Churros, have been increasing in
popularity," said Teka O'Rourke, director of menu marketing and
promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. "They're ideal for guests who want
just a little something sweet after a meal or as a snack."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wendy's Flavor Dipped Chicken Sandwiches

Wendy's is currently promoting their limited-time-only Flavor Dipped Chicken Sandwiches.

There are two versions, BBQ and Buffalo.

The chicken breasts at the center of these sandwiches are fully dipped in one of the two flavors.

The Spicy Buffalo Sauce dipped chicken filet comes with lettuce, tomato and blue cheese sauce (on a bun, of course, as shown in the photo).

The BBQ sauce dipped version comes with onions and pickles.

The BBQ version has 450 calories and 12 grams of fat. The Buffalo version has 530 calories and twice the fat (24 grams).

Here's the complete nutritional information for both sandwiches:

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

El Pollo Loco: Grilled Chicken Tortilla Roll

Over the weekend El Pollo Loco introduced their new Grilled Chicken Tortilla Roll. It has citrus-marinated, grilled chicken with Jack and cheddar cheeses rolled in a flour tortilla and grilled.

The Tortilla Roll comes with a choice of 3 dipping sauces: avocado salsa, creamy cilantro, or queso sauce. It sells for $1.99.
"Despite their increasingly demanding schedules, people today want far more than fast food," says Karen Eadon, chief marketing officer for El Pollo Loco. "They seek bold flavor, great value, and the opportunity to customize menu selections to their individual tastes. El Pollo Loco's new Grilled Chicken Tortilla Roll delivers on all accounts and is served with a choice of dipping sauce from three signature recipes available only at El Pollo Loco."
Nutrition Info:
387 Calories, 144 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Jack's Nacho Cheese Value Menu

Jack in the Box has 2 new 'value menu' items for sale this summer: the Nacho Cheese Burger and Nacho Cheese Chicken Sandwich.

From Jack's press release on these 2 sandwiches: "Some truths can't be denied the earth revolves around the sun, water boils at 212 degrees at sea level, and everything, absolutely everything tastes better covered in cheese...Jack's new Nacho Cheese Burger and Nacho Cheese Chicken Sandwich feature a choice of a beef or chicken patty topped with cheddar cheese sauce and spicy, sliced jalapenos."

Both sandwiches will cost you $1.29 (pre-tax) at most Jack in the Box restaurants.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dress like a cow for free food at Chick-fil-a

For Chick-fil-a's "Cow Appreciation Day," on Friday, July 11, Chick-fil-a will be giving a free combo meal to anyone who comes in dressed as a cow "from head to hoof."

Visit Chick-fil-a's Cow Appreciate Day site ( for more info.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Dunkin' Donuts Southwest Chicken Flatbread

Dunkin' Donuts has introduced a new Southwest Chicken Flatbread Sandwich.

This is an addition to their Turkey, Cheddar & Bacon; Ham & Swiss; and Grilled Cheese flatbread sandwichs.

First it was gourmet coffee, now Dunkin' is continuing to expand their all-day food menu.

Dunkin' Donuts also has personal pizzas and hash browns available.

The Southwest Chicken Flatbread Sandwich has 400 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 1130 mg sodium, 51 carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber 7 grams sugar and 29 grams protein.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Free Southern Style Chicken at McDonald's

This Thursday, May 15, McDonald's is offering a free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich to everyone who purchases a medium or large drink.

You can get a free Southern Style Chicken Biscuit at breakfast (7am - 10:30am) and then you can come back and get a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich for lunch or dinner from 10:30am to 7pm.

McDonald's Free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, May 15, 2008

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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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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, May 29, 2007

Raw chicken at Wendy's

I recently related Susie Felber's experience of getting a raw McChicken sandwich at McDonald's. Now I've found this video of another customer's similar experience at Wendy's. The customer shows the "Spicy Chicken Sandwich" that he ordered at Wendy's and part of it does appear to be raw.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Raw McChicken at McDonald's

Susie Felber has e-mailed Fast Food News to tell of her 'raw chicken experience' at McDonald's.

Two Sundays ago Susie dined at a McDonald's in Windsor, Connecticut while driving to New Hampshire. It was her first time to eat at McDonald's in 15 years. She was not pleased. The Chicken Sandwich that she (finally) received was raw inside. The rest of her story, in her own words is below this photo of the sandwich:

"At McDonalds my husband ordered 2 coffees and two grilled chicken sandwiches -- what we considered to be the healthy option.

Much time passed. Ten minutes later neither the coffee nor the sandwiches were ready. The store was not busy at all, there was never a line. But people who ordered burgers and fries were being served. However, when we arrived, a guy was fighting with the employees because he had paid for his breakfast item, but apparently they were all out of breakfast food.

My husband noticed people shuffling back on forth from store to behind the counter, some of whom were not in uniform. He got the impression that they possibly didn't work there and were just hanging out with their friends. Not sure, but it was odd.

My husband asked where our food was. They said it was coming. Then he asked if the coffees were ready. They were. Apparently they had been put by the drive thru window.

After about 20 minutes the sandwiches arrived. I was hungry and in a rush with a squirmy baby, but surprisingly I didn't eat it immediately, as I noticed there was heaps of mayo spilling off of it, so I opened the sandwich to rake as much as possible off.

I ate two bites. It wasn't good, but as it was road food, I didn't expect it to be great. It was hard to eat as the mayo kept making the chicken slip out of the mushy bread. I noticed the cheese hadn't melted, but that didn't bother me. On about my third or fourth bite, I noticed something was very wrong. I spit it out and yelled, "Oh my god, it's raw!"

Long story short, the McDonalds workers didn't apologise. They gave back our money in a resigned way that suggested this wasn't uncommon. The manager looked dully at me and her only answer was, " don't know how that happened." But this was only after demanding an explanation as they seemed like my husband and I were making a stink over nothing even after showing them the raw sandwich.

It was a degrading experience, all the way around.

I was sick for a few days, but don't know how much was physical and how much was from the idea of it. I don't think I'll be eating chicken for a long time to come. And I'll never eat at McDonalds again."
Here's a larger version of the raw chicken at Susie's Flickr site. You can also read about it on her blog, Felber's Frolics.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

McDonald's adds new Snack Wrap

McDonald's has added to their 'snack wrap' line with the new Honey Mustard Snack Wrap. In addition to the new flavor, McDonald's portable wraps are now available in both grilled and crispy choices.

The new Honey Mustard Snack Wrap, made with either grilled or crispy, chicken breast meat, cheddar jack cheese, crisp lettuce and a sweet and tangy Honey Mustard sauce, wrapped inside a soft flour tortilla, will be offered for a promotional period at $1.29 at participating McDonald's restaurants nationwide.

"Offering our customers a variety of great tasting, top quality food choices at a value is always a key priority for McDonald's," said Don Thompson, President, McDonald's USA. "As the eating habits of people change and snacking becomes a way of life for many consumers, McDonald's is committed to offering our customers more portable, high quality food options that fit their needs."

The new Honey Mustard Snack Wrap has 320 calories, 15 grams of fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 1 gram trans fat, 30 grams cholesterol, 750 mg sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, and 14 grams protein.

And there it is, more trans fat. You'd think McDonald's would at least eliminate trans fat from the NEW items! A look at the ingredients list for the chicken used in the wrap reveals the trans fat culprits: hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ.

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