Category Archives: Burger

Culver’s just turned 34. Its butter burgers, custard are ‘exporting Wisconsin’ nationwide.

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PRAIRIE DU SAC – A hunk of fresh ground beef hits the hot flat-top grill in the test kitchen at Culver’s headquarters.

Craig Culver, 68, uses a large, perfectly polished metal spatula to press the beef into perfectly round patties, with the help of an equally well-polished round metal canister. That grill isn’t quite hot enough, by the way, he comments.

I’ve watched (maybe secretly wishing I was in) the Culver’s commercials with the restaurant’s co-founder surprising customers, offering to bring them into the kitchen as he cooks their burgers. That was a tricky shoot, Culver says, because they were doing it during lunch hours at a Culver’s in Tampa, Florida. Continue reading

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Filed under Burger, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Food, Menu, Press Release, Sales, Sales & Profits

What’s Fresh at McDonald’s? The Beef in Some Burgers

What's_Fresh_at_McDonalds

Associated Press
https://www.snopes.com/ap/2018/03/06/whats-fresh-mcdonalds-beef-burgers/

McDonald’s said that it is serving Quarter Pounders with fresh beef rather than frozen patties at about a quarter of its U.S. restaurants.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Quarter Pounder is getting a fresh makeover.

McDonald’s said Tuesday that it is serving Quarter Pounders with fresh beef rather than frozen patties at about a quarter of its U.S. restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. It will roll out fresh beef Quarter Pounders to most of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by May.

The fast-food giant, which has relied on frozen patties since the 1970s, said workers will cook up the fresh beef on a grill when the burger is ordered.

“The result is a hotter, juicier, great tasting burger,” said Chris Kempczinski, who oversees McDonald’s Corp.’s restaurants in the U.S.

Its pricier “Signature Crafted” burgers, stuffed with guacamole or bacon, will also be made with fresh beef since they use the same sized patty as the Quarter Pounder. The Big Mac and its other burgers, however, will still be made with frozen beef.

Fresh beef has always been used by rival Wendy’s, which aired a Super Bowl commercial last month criticizing the “flash frozen” beef at McDonald’s. A Wendy’s Co. representative gave a frosty response Tuesday, saying that “it’s awesome” that McDonald’s “is recommitting to using frozen beef on the majority of its hamburgers.”

McDonald’s, however, has signaled that it may use fresh beef in more burgers. Earlier this year, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company confirmed that it was testing a fresh beef burger that used a patty that was slightly smaller than the one in the Quarter Pounder, but larger than the one its hamburgers and cheeseburgers.

The change at McDonald’s is the latest as it seeks to shed its junk food image. It has removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, and made other tweaks, including replacing the apple juice in Happy Meals with one with less sugar.

“Fresh in the mind of the consumer really has a better-for-you connotation,” said David Henkes, a senior principal at Technomic, a food industry market research firm. “It certainly has a perception that it’s better than frozen.”

The company tested the fresh beef Quarter Pounder for about two years in Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Eight more cities are serving it now, including some restaurants in Atlanta, Miami and Salt Lake City. It’ll come to Denver, Houston and other cities over the next month before the nationwide rollout.

McDonald’s said the switch is a major change for the company, and has said the rollout takes time because employees need to be trained to safely handle fresh beef and to cook the patties only when ordered.

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Filed under Burger, Fast Food, Future Plans and Announcements, Menu, Menu Trends

Taco Bell overtakes Burger King as 4th-largest U.S. chain

Taco Bell Overtakes BK 4th-Largest U.S. Chain

Leslie Patton
Bloomberg
https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Taco-Bell-overtakes-Burger-King-as-4th-largest-12629994.php

Lovers of chalupas and crunch wraps have spoken: Taco Bell is now bigger than Burger King.

The Mexican-themed chain eclipsed its burger rival in U.S. sales last year, becoming the fourth-largest domestic restaurant brand, according to a preliminary report by research firm Technomic. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway Restaurants held on to the top three spots.

Taco Bell’s systemwide sales — the total sales of restaurants that carry the brand — jumped 5 percent in the U.S. to about $9.8 billion in 2017. The company, owned by Yum! Brands, has made inroads with indulgent fare, along with $1 items that appeal to budget-strapped millennials.

The ranking change also underscores the surging popularity of Mexican-inspired fare. Last year marked the first time that Taco Bell has overtaken Burger King, the data showed.

McDonald’s, Taco Bell, IHOP and other chain restaurants have hidden health gems in their menus

Though Burger King has fared better than many restaurants brands in recent years, it hasn’t kept pace with its biggest burger rivals — McDonald’s and Wendy’s Co. — or chains like Taco Bell. Its domestic sales rose just 1.5 percent in 2017, according to the Technomic report, which will be finalized in March.

Burger King faces a “resurgent McDonald’s,” David Henkes, senior principal at Technomic, said in an interview. Upscale burger chains, such as Shake Shack Inc., also are threatening its market share.

Taco Bell, meanwhile, has drawn customers with wacky new foods, including fried-chicken taco shells, and a marketing campaign dubbed “Live Mas.” In January, the chain introduced $1 nacho fries.

“They certainly continue to do pretty well, and bring out some interesting and new menu items,” Henkes said. “They’ve done a good job of connecting with the millennials and Gen Z.”

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Filed under Burger, Fast Food, Growth, Mexican, Sales, Tacos

How the Burger King deal could change Tim Hortons

burgerking

Merger will help expansion plans but could also change coffee chain’s more free-wheeling habits

Canadians aren’t likely to lose their beloved double-doubles or the Timbits that prove so perplexing to our American neighbours. But the planned acquisition of Canada’s Tim Hortons by the U.S.-based Burger King will undoubtedly bring changes.

Tim Hortons agreed Tuesday to be bought by 3G Capital, the investment firm that owns Burger King. The Miami-based burger chain said the new combined company would be based at the current headquarters of Tim Hortons in Oakville, Ont.

The $94-a-share deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, but is still subject to a shareholder vote. Regulators in the U.S. and Canada will also likely want a say.

If completed, the deal would automatically give the merged entity more clout simply by making it the world’s third-largest quick-service restaurant. The new company would have combined global sales of $23 billion and have 18,000 locations in 98 countries. Continue reading

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Filed under Burger, Casual Dining, Coffee/Cafe, Fast Casual, Quick Service

FROM THE FLOOR: Beverage Dealers Help Diversify

Diversify

As restaurant operators look to make sure that beverages continue to be a strong and growing element of their businesses, there are plenty of drink suppliers, product developers, and manufacturers looking at ways to help them boost their sales.

Hundreds of them are showing their wares during the four-day National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show that continues its run in Chicago. A two-day sister confab, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, also kicked off Sunday.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Burger, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Liquor, Marketing, NRA Show, Press Release, Skinny, Spirits, Wine

Pizza operators leverage growing demand for craft beer

Pizza Beer

The craft beer industry has experienced staggering growth for the past five years, including a 14 percent jump in sales in the first half of this year.

At the National Restaurant Association Show’s International Wine Spirits and Beer Show in Chicago in May, Technomic’s David Henkes said that beer mentions have increased 65 percent on top chain menus since 2006, “driven by craft.”

This is compared to the domestic light beer category, which has been flat during the last couple of years.

Drivers in craft beer’s growth

Drivers of this growth mirror trends in the food industry, according to Julia Hertz, Craft Beer Program Director at the Brewers Association, especially a bigger demand for localization and increased sophistication about what we eat and drink. Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Burger, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Marketing, Quick Service

Millennials Driving Adult Beverage Trends

millennials

Technomic report examines consumption, purchase behaviors

Diverse, highly educated, open to new experiences and eager to explore, the Millennial demographic group is already having a significant impact on the adult beverage industry, according to Technomic.

All members of the largest generation since the Baby Boomers will be of legal age to consume alcohol by 2018, and these consumers are already making their mark on the adult beverage industry, driving trends such as craft beer, boutique spirits and sweeter flavor profiles in wine. Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Bar, Beer, Burger, Casual Dining, Coffee/Cafe, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Fine Dining, Hotels, Liquor, lounge, nightclub, Quick Service, Spirits, Wine