December 5, 2012 |
Face-lift fever is sweeping the fast-food industry as aging establishments swap ketchup-smudged Formica for mood lighting and gleaming stainless steel - all in the pursuit of profit. In a tough economy, picky consumers are being selective about where they spend their cash. Many tired outlets are losing sales to flashier competitors, experts said, forcing them to spruce up or lose out. Taco Bell is testing eateries, including one in Redwood City, Calif., that glow purple at night to attract the bar crowd.
November 29, 2012 |
New York -- A week after hundreds of Wal-Mart employees walked off their jobs to demand better wages and the freedom to form a union, fast-food workers from some of the nation's largest chains are staging a similar walkout. Employees from McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC are staging protests in locations around New York City today, demanding $15 an hour in pay - more than double the minimum wage some receive - and the right to form a union. “What we're finding is that there's huge support among fast food workers to form a union and to fight back against the poverty wages that they're being paid,” said Jonathan Westin, organizing director of New York Communities for Change , which is helping to organize the strike.
November 28, 2012 |
KFC is taking airplane food to a whole new level, pairing with Japan Airlines to serve its fast-food chicken on holiday flights between Tokyo and eight U.S. and European destinations. The chain's Japanese operation will provide a meal of a drumstick, chicken breast, flat bread, coleslaw and "special mayonnaise" to passengers on select trips out of Narita Airport from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28. The so-called Air Kentucky trays will be served during the second mealtime in the premium-economy and economy-class sections of planes bound for Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Paris and Frankfurt.
November 21, 2012 |
Food and restaurant analysts are already placing their bets for next year's top restaurant trends, including automatons in the kitchen, mini dishes, pricier drinks and something called “bar snackification.” Step one, though, is going casual. Categories including pizza, fish, Greek and Asian are all going the Panera route, delivering faster service than high-end restaurants but better ingredients and a more premium vibe than fast-food. Customizable sushi joints , easy Indian wraps and other options allow Americans to sample ethnic foods and new takes on once-boring standbys with minimal fuss and intimidation.
November 15, 2012 |
Umami Burger's Adam Fleischman seems intent on dominating the world of meat patties. With 14 Umami Burger locations currently open and several planned for New York and beyond, Fleischman is unveiling his newest concept: U Mini in Westwood. Open since Wednesday at noon, U Mini is Fleischman's answer to fast food (his people are referring to it as "fast-casual"). Despite its diminutive name, U Mini dreams big. If all goes as planned, the idea is to roll out dozens across the country.
November 6, 2012 |
A little hometown hoops for President Obama. A little last-minute campaigning and some fast food for Mitt Romney. The candidates for president of the United States engaged in entirely American activities Tuesday as the electorate - minus about 32 million citizens who already voted early - went to polls to pick their leader. Turnout appeared to be high in many parts of the country, though perhaps not on par with 2008's historic numbers. Some polling places had long waits, including in some of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
November 6, 2012 |
Here's a study result you might have seen coming: Children who eat at restaurants consume more calories and fat, regardless of whether those restaurants are fast food or full service, according to a new study published Monday in the medical journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Pediatric public health experts have long been concerned about kids' love affair with fast food, which they say is a major contributor to our nation's obesity epidemic. Children dine at fast-food restaurants far too often, they say, and when they do, they consume too many calories and drink too much sugary soda.
October 5, 2012 |
Mimi's new prototype restaurant design aims to deliver a thorough Parisian experience - the airy gardens! The bustling cafes! The romantic corners! The wine! The twist? Mimi's plans to incorporate each of these elements into a single building. In a shopping center in Santa Clarita, minutes from the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, hard-hatted workers are putting the finishing touches on the 34-year-old chain's so-called “revolution.” Instead of “Mimi's Cafe,” the restaurant will be known as just “Mimi's.” The new flagship, set to open next week in the shell of an older Mimi's, will expand beyond the chain's full-service background to include several themed dining spaces.
October 3, 2012 |
That young white dude munching on a burger with his girlfriend at the local quick-service restaurant? He's the typical customer at chains such as In-N-Out, Starbucks and more. From a survey of 38,000 customers of various fast-food and fast-casual restaurants, research group Technomic determined that the standard patron is a Caucasian man, 25 to 34 years old. He usually brings his spouse or significant other and chooses to dine in rather than take out. That's why chains such as Carl's Jr. focus so much effort on the so-called “young hungry guy” demographic, though companies such as Burger King and McDonald's have recently begun trying to appeal to moms, older professionals and other customers.
September 27, 2012 |
Purveyors of fast food such as McDonald's try to make impression on young consumers. And a new study of kids' brains shows that it's working. Researchers at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center did MRI scans of kids' noggins while showing them assorted corporate logos. Turns out that when a logo for a fast-food chain comes up - the golden arches, say - the pleasure centers of kids' brains light up, showing that a connection is being made to something considered a treat or a reward.