February 13, 2012 |
Looking to take your lady love or handsome paramour for a romantic meal this Valentine's Day? White Castle is there for you. Harold and Kumar's favorite burger joint plans to offer candlelit dinners with table service Tuesday. It's just one of many quick service chains angling for a piece of the estimated $3.4 billion that will be spent on holiday dining. Most of that money usually goes to fine-dining establishments. But with many consumers still price sensitive, fast-food eateries are betting that they can siphon some of the prix-fixe crowd.
February 10, 2012 |
Millions of Chinese have come to love Big Macs and Whoppers. So when a California-inspired chain put up signs in Shanghai announcing the coming of the Double-Double, local burger lovers rejoiced. The same can't be said of In-N-Out. The Irvine-based company doesn't operate any stores in China. So its owners were miffed to see a red-and-yellow doppelganger called CaliBurger laying claim to its signature burger, touting "Animal Style" fries topped with cheese, special sauce and onions, and planning to serve thick shakes in palm-tree-print cups.
February 8, 2012 |
Fast food's new love affair with healthful items may be less a marriage than a fling, if the new crop of milkshakes - think bacon, bourbon and shamrocks - is any indication. Jack in the Box just launched its bacon milkshake, which uses flavored syrup, not real meat, to simulate the porky taste. Add in vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, and according to our friends at the Booster Shots blog , the concoction registers at 1,081 calories for 24 ounces.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2012 |
Without a single liquor store, and legally smoke-free for nearly three decades, the tiny hillside town of Loma Linda brims with pride about its devotion to health and spiritual well-being. So news that the first McDonald's was coming to town, with its special-sauce-slathered Big Macs and 500-calorie sheaves of large fries, has triggered enough political reflux to put City Hall on the defensive. A noisy group of doctors at the city's landmark Loma Linda University Medical Center definitely isn't lovin' it. Already, there are whispers of election day payback and crafting a ballot measure to choke off a proliferation of fast-food joints.
January 21, 2012 |
Taco Bell struggled last year but is now staking its hopes for a turnaround on new menu items, including a "First Meal" breakfast lineup as well as tests of more healthful fare to compete with more upscale rivals. The Irvine-based fast-food chain, which serves mostly Mexican-style meals, will roll out an 11-item roundup of "classic American" breakfast options next week in 750 restaurants in 10 states, including California. The First Meal lineup will include Cinnabon Delights, breakfast burritos, Johnsonville sausage and egg wraps, Tropicana orange juice and Seattle's Best Coffee.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2012 |
A homeless man was stabbed to death behind a busy fast-food restaurant in Anaheim late Friday, the fourth such killing in Orange County in the last month, and police quickly took a man into custody for questioning. The suspect was being chased by two bystanders when police caught him on La Palma Avenue about a quarter-mile from the scene of the crime, according to Sgt. Bob Dunn, an Anaheim police spokesman. Authorities were cautious about linking the latest killing to the previous three, but said the suspect bore a resemblance to a man being sought in those deaths, which have been called the work of a serial killer.
December 28, 2011 |
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.
December 28, 2011 |
The San Gabriel Valley entrepreneurs who brought Panda Express Chinese food to malls and airports throughout the country are now betting that Americans will want the same standardization in something a little less tasty — dry cleaning. Co-Chief Executives Andrew and Peggy Cherng, who built a fast-food empire of quick-serve Asian cooking, now want to bring the same chain-venue principle to clothes. The Cherngs' new Rosemead-based company, Panda Dry Cleaning, plans to open as many as 200 standardized shops nationwide in the next five years in conjunction with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
December 22, 2011 |
The growing worldwide obesity epidemic has been blamed on a number of factors, but a study argues that it may be inexorably linked with wealthy nations and their fast-food restaurants. Researchers compared the number of fast-food restaurants per capita in 26 countries listed as advanced economies by the International Monetary Fund. They used one chain (Subway) as a proxy measure; at the end of 2010 the chain reportedly had the most restaurants worldwide. Countries with the highest density of restaurants per capita were the U.S. and Canada: 7.52 and 7.43 per 100,000 people, respectively.
December 22, 2011 |
Fast-food eateries are in the throes of drive-through Darwinism as more upscale upstarts, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Co., grab market share from the likes of Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy's. Chains that are fancier than fast-food options but cheaper than sit-down alternatives are part of a hybrid sector known as fast-casual that is maturing into one of the food industry's strongest. That category is tapping into growing demand for more healthful, specialty foods that are still speedily served and moderately priced.