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March 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Life may be getting easier for vegans and vegetarians - especially the ones who still crave meat - with more food choices available from manufacturers and restaurants. Activists participating in a nationwide effort Tuesday to convince consumers of the wonders of a vegan diet will be passing out free samples. The Great American Meatout hopes to serve 30,000 people and hundreds of events around the country, including several across the Southland. In December, a poll from the Vegetarian Resource Group conducted by Harris Interactive found that 16% of Americans say they don't eat meat, fish, seafood or poultry at more than half of their meals.
March 19, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The restaurant industry's royal line of succession has shifted, with Wendy's usurping Burger King as the second-largest sales-getter behind McDonald's. In its annual ranking of U.S. restaurants, r esearch group Technomic Inc. placed McDonald's - with its 5.5% boost to $34.2 billion in annual sales - first among the 500 largest eatery chains in the country. Next came Subway, which grew 7.5% over the year and then Starbuck's, whose sales spiked the same percentage. Wendy's placed fourth, with $8.5 billion in sales, followed by Burger King's $8.4 billion.
February 25, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Coming off a rough year, Taco Bell is ditching its old "Think Outside the Bun" motto for a new slogan: Live Mas. The Irvine chain plans to make a big show out of the switch, starting with a television ad airing during NBA All-Star events this weekend. Mas is Spanish for "more," emphasizing food as an experience instead of fuel, according to the company. The Mexican-style restaurant chain's revamp is part of an ongoing effort to recapture customers. Last year, a lawsuit — eventually dropped — over the content of the chain's seasoned beef filling hurt sales.
January 16, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Craving a Whopper but tied to your desk? Burger King Corp. is starting to offer a delivery option in a limited East Coast test. The fast food giant is sending its burgers to customers for a $2 fee from four Washington, D.C., restaurants. The chain told the Chicago Tribune that the test would roll out to a total of 16 stores by early next week. A website for Burger King's higher-end, booze-selling concept restaurant Whopper Bar in South Beach, Fla., also offers delivery, though the service is free with a $10 minimum order.
December 28, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Wendy's has a new burger, and it's not for the cost-conscious. It's a foie gras and truffle-festooned burger that costs $16. But the trip to the restaurant will cost you much more — this burger is available only in Japan. It marks the return of Wendy's — the third-largest fast-food chain in the U.S., now on track to overtake second-place Burger King — to Japan after a two-year break. The first new Wendy's in the country opened this week in a luxury shopping area in Tokyo.
August 15, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
The kids may have a blast at those fast-food restaurant playgrounds — but so did kids the day before, and the day before and the day before. So who's making sure they're kept clean? There are no national guidelines, and within states, counties and cities, oversight often falls through the cracks: Health departments may inspect restaurants for cleanliness and food safety but not necessarily the play areas. This really steams mother-of-four Erin Carr-Jordan of Chandler, Ariz., who has embarked on a crusade after encountering what she called "unacceptable" conditions at a McDonald's playland in Tempe.
July 13, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
French fries, slathered with ketchup and washed down with a pint of soda, are a favorite part of fast-food lunches and dinners for millions of American youngsters. But taking a cue from nutritionists, a group of 19 restaurant companies are pledging to offer more-healthful menu options for children at a time when concern is growing over the role of fast food in childhood obesity. Burger King, the nation's second-largest burger chain, for instance, will stop automatically including French fries and soda in its kids' meals starting this month, although the items will still be available.
November 11, 2010 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Faced with fresh assaults on fast food from politicians and anti- obesity activists, the restaurant industry is gearing up to fight back, emphasizing the role fast-food businesses have played in providing jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. Starting next year, major chain restaurants in California will have to include calorie counts of items on menus. Last week, San Francisco officials passed the so-called Happy Meal ban, which forbids toys to be included with meals that don't meet nutritional standards.
September 12, 2010
Good thing the ballot choices for the Nov. 2 national midterm elections don't include "None of the Above. " Or voters would turn Congress upside down. That's because a new Gallup poll out Wednesday finds barely one in three Americans approve of the job being done in Congress by either party — 32% approval for Republicans and 33% for Democrats. Gallup finds the parties' ratings near the low end of what they've been historically — the 30% bottom for Democrats in December 2007, 11 months after they took control of both houses; and the 25% for Republicans in December 2008 at the end of you-know-who's eight years of policies.
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