Posted tagged ‘McDonald’s’

Bill Clinton Hospitalized

February 11, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton has been hospitalized with chest pains at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

I’m waiting to start hearing the “Too Much McDonald’s” lines…

From CNN:

“Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest,” said Douglas Band, counselor to the former president, in a written statement.

“Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts. In 2004, President Clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries.”

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Snoop Dogg Bakes Brownies with Martha Stewart

December 21, 2009

This has got to be one of the funniest segments I’ve seen on TV this year!

Snoop Dogg was on today’s episode of “The Martha Stewart Show,” which featured the rapper baking brownies with the  host.

From MTV:

During the segment, Snoop jokes about knowing his way around a kitchen because he worked at McDonald’s, gets confused by the color of vanilla and, in the best moment perhaps ever captured on television, encourages Stewart to drop a special “green” ingredient into the brownie mix.

This isn’t Stewart’s first encounter with Snoop, as he has been on the show before to teach the host about street slang (he refers to her paring knife as “a shank”). This is also the latest in a line of otherworldly encounters with rap stars, a phenomenon that began at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, where she presented the prize for Best Dance VideoSpice Girls won) with the help of Busta Rhymes. (the

WSJ: Burgerville’s Health-Care Recipe

August 31, 2009

A great article in today’s Wall Street Journal, written by Sarah Needleman, featuring client Burgerville and their affordable employee health care program.

If you don’t believe that a fast food, quick serve or fast casual restaurant chain can provide their employees with affordable health care, you will be pleasantly surprised!

From the Wall Street Journal:

Four years ago, executives of Burgerville, a regional restaurant chain, agreed to pay at least 90% of health-care premiums for hourly employees who work at least 20 hours a week. Today, the executives say the unusual move has saved money by cutting turnover, boosting sales and improving productivity.

Burgerville’s experience is notable for the food-service industry, where turnover is high and fewer than half of chains offer health insurance for part-time hourly employees, according to People Report, a research firm. The chains that do offer benefits pay on average 49% of the cost for employees working at least 30 hours a week, People Report says.

Burgerville’s initiative “not only improves quality of service but it saves money by not having to replace staff as frequently,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic Inc., a Chicago consulting and research firm for the food industry.

Burgerville, a 39-restaurant chain based in Vancouver, Wash., and owned by closely held Holland Inc., has long followed a distinctive path. It offers hormone-free meat, uses wind energy to power its stores and prints nutritional information on its receipts.

Under Burgerville’s plan, individual hourly workers can enroll in a health-maintenance organization for $15 a month, with no deductible. A worker and spouse pay $30 monthly; family plans cost $90. Salaried employees, whose plans didn’t change significantly, pay $84 a month for individual and $240 monthly for family coverage, and have an annual deductible of $500.

Executives say the plan paid for itself, and more. Turnover in 2006 plunged to 54%, from 128% in 2005. That’s a big deal when it costs an average of $1,700 to replace and train a restaurant worker, according to People Report.

Fast Casual Restaurants Emphasizing Value Menus

February 4, 2009

Interesting piece written by Valerie Killifer of Fast Casual, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on numerous occasions.

It seems that value meals, often priced at $5 or less, increasingly are being launched by fast-casual restaurants such as Moe’s Southwest Grill, Quizno’s and Boston Market.

According to National Restaurant Association, expanded focus on value has become the top trend in full and quick-service restaurants.

From Fast Casual:

Everywhere consumers turn, retailers and restaurateurs are touting the value of a dollar. That doesn’t mean all fast casuals are going by way of McDonald’s and Burger King, but it does mean operators are recognizing the importance of strategically priced menu items.

Quiznos, Boston Market, Togo’s, Daphne’s Greek Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill have all within the past year launched menu items priced at $5 or less.

Fast casual operators have built their businesses and their reputations on quality products, distinctive atmospheres and décor. And more recently, reduced portion sizes have played a role in the shaping of fast casual menu items.

Moe’s launched its Joey Jr. value meal in early January for the price of $4.99. The meal, which features a snaller portion size than its other menu items, includes chips, salsa and a drink.

“We definitely don’t want to compete with QSRs and we feel like, for us, the way Moe’s defines value is the quality of the products as well as the portion size,” said Sara Riggsby, Moe’s director of marketing. “In terms of pricing strategy, it helps people keep us in mind as a place where they can eat affordably, but it’s also not trying to compete with the dollar menu because we’ve got a quality product.”

The Joey Jr. – once a staple on Moe’s kids’ menu – has moved to the adult section, where it will remain until the value meal deal ends in February.

“We found a lot of adults were ordering kids’ meals,” Riggsby said. “We wanted to make it easier on the adults and also provide a kids’ portion, so we reduced the kids’ meal size as well. It also allowed us to lower the price for the kids’ item.”

Denny’s Serves Up 2 Million Free Breakfasts

February 4, 2009

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get mine but it definitely was a great promotion for Denny’s!

From USA Today:

Some day, when Josh Richardson finally finds a job, he’ll pay for a meal at Denny’s. 

But in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, the unemployed medical assistant from Greenville, S.C., waited 40 minutes in near-freezing temperatures outside a Denny’s restaurant for a free Grand Slam breakfast. Roughly 2 million other Americans lined up at local Denny’s for the too-good-to-pass-up deal.

“It’s definitely a blessing,” says Richardson, 35, who has been out of work since May. “I’ve put in applications everywhere — Wal-Mart, Kmart. I haven’t heard nothin’.”

With the economy in a tailspin, Denny’s shook up the restaurant industry — if not the nation — Tuesday by doing something no family dining chain had done before: giving out free meals coast-to-coast from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.

An entire varsity basketball team came to a Denny’s in North Hollywood, Calif. Dozens of college students skipped class in Jacksonville. Hundreds lined up in Fresno. The pre-dawn line was so long in Fort Collins, Colo., the Denny’s opened 30 minutes early. The promotion was briefly halted and rain checks given out at a St. Louis Denny’s when parking lot traffic nearly cut access to a freeway artery. Most sites averaged hour waits on what’s usually the week’s slowest day.

By midmorning Denny’s in several places ran out of — horrors — pancake syrup. (The usually $5.99 Grand Slam includes two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausages and two pancakes.)

Denny’s was out to prove that it can play with the big boys in its business, and to get back on consumer radar. The chain that once owned breakfast — only to lose to McDonald’s (MCD)— gave away a Grand Slam breakfast to anyone who showed up at all but two of its 1,550 restaurants nationwide. No strings.

The entire promotion — including food, labor and airing an ad on Sunday’s Super Bowl — cost Denny’s about $5 million. “We’re re-acquainting America with Denny’s,” says CEO Nelson Marchioli. “We’ve never been thanked this much — and folks are saying they’ll come back.”

The gambit earned Denny’s something that money alone can’t buy: positive public relations, and lots of it. By Denny’s estimates, it got $50 million in free news coverage, almost all of it positive. No injuries — or police issues — were reported at any locations, say Denny’s officials.

“I’m very grateful,” said Jennifer Haslam, who waited in line more than an hour in Newark, Del., with son Joshua, 2. “That was four eggs that I didn’t have to use of mine.” Her family lives on her husband’s take-home pay of $400 a week. “I’ll be honest. I just paid my rent. I had $10 to my name, and that went to gas.”

McDonald’s Raises Price of Double Cheeseburger

November 26, 2008

Say it ain’t so Big Mac! McDonald’s is taking its double cheeseburger off the Dollar Menu on Monday. The popular sandwich will be sold for $1.19.

From the CNN Money:

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) is set to bump its double cheeseburger from its dollar menu on Monday, moving it to $1.19 after its franchisees complained that the price of popular sandwich was hurting profit margins.

The world’s largest restaurant company is replacing the double cheeseburger on its dollar menu with the McDouble, a sandwich with two beef patties and just once slice of cheese, Greg Watson, vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

“These changes will ensure we continue to satisfy our customers’ tastes and wallets,” Watson said.

The McDouble is 6 cents cheaper to make than the double cheeseburger, but in tests, McDonald’s has seen customers opt for the latter sandwich up to 70% of the time, J.P. Morgan analyst John Ivankoe said in a recent research note.

At that rate, the changes to the dollar menu could help boost the average McDonald’s franchisee’s cash flow about $20,000 a year to $310,000, Ivankoe said.

Michael Phelps Dives in With Subway

November 21, 2008

Subway has signed Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps to be its latest athlete-spokesman. The first campaign with Phelps will focus on the quickservice chain’s mix of healthier options, such as grilled chicken on wheat, and indulgences, such as a meatball sub.

Stuart Ramson

Credit: Stuart Ramson

From Advertising Age:

Michael Phelps is racking up endorsements like they’re gold medals. The Olympian has inked a deal with Subway to represent the brand “across all marketing channels” in a campaign touting the chain’s variety of offerings. Mr. Phelps also helps promote Kellogg, Visa, Speedo and Rosetta Stone.

The deal, which locks Mr. Phelps into an exclusive fast-food contract, is surprising because the swimmer openly campaigned for a relationship with McDonald’s during the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he won an unprecedented eight gold medals. But this isn’t his first surprising endorsement. Mr. Phelps spurned General Mills’ Wheaties in August for an exclusive cereal deal with Kellogg.

“We enjoyed a very positive working relationship with Michael, particularly at the Summer Games in Beijing,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Heidi Barker said in a statement. “As a top Olympics sponsor, we wish Michael and all the Olympics athletes the best in their future endeavors.”