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Restaurant Ad Spending Tops $5.6 Billion in 2010

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Although restaurant sales showed no growth in 2010, the restaurant industry increased total ad spending, according to data from Kantar Media. Spending by the category was $5.652 billion, a 2.3% increase over 2009. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales were off 0.2% last year.

For restaurants, Q1 was the strongest ($1.454 billion) for [...]

Five Guys, 5 Napkin Among AOL Burger Winners

5 Napkin Cheddar Bacon Burger

AOL announced the winners of its City’s Best program, where users vote for their favorite restaurants, bars, theaters, clubs, etc. We’ll skip the rest and home in on the Big Question: Who won Best Burger? As a resident of the state that elected Rod Blagojevich its governor, twice, I [...]

News Nuggets for 11/1

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Ξ Looking ahead: Trend forecasting, like Christmas marketing, arrives too soon. We’ve two months left in 2010 but the prognostication about 2011 already has begun. ● Mintel’s list of consumer (not necessarily foodservice) predictions leads with the dire suggestion, “Prepare for the worst.” The researcher foresees “the need for brands to demonstrate how a product [...]

Facebook Calls; Wendy’s Answers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-iToo45w60″>current

Ξ Give Wendy’s credit for making social networking truly social. So often it’s one-way nonsense like the endless “Tell us why you love us!” Facebook promotions and pointless “So what’s going on?” Twitter chatter. Most chains and indies would rather than speak than listen. After all, now that you’ve amassed several hundred Twitter and Facebook [...]

Chicken, Burgers, Hot Dogs and Discounts Fill the Menu

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RhvhARsIyQ If the recession really has bottomed out, as some analysts would like us all to believe, and consumers are sliding back toward their old spending habits, why are burger chains still discounting like this?

Jack in the Box yesterday rolled out its Really Big Chicken Sandwich Combo. For $3.99—still below the times-are-tough $4 price [...]

Red Robin, Checkers Bring More Melts to Menus

Checkers/Rally's

Saveur last year reignited the patty melt debate, noting that some contend it “isn’t technically a burger, because it has no bun.” The magazine didn’t take a stand (but provided a great recipe), claiming “We love it just the same.” Restaurant chains are voicing similarly amorous feelings, declaring patty melts the new mini [...]

Monday News-Nugget Catch-Up for 3/8

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[March 9 update: Hungry Jack's has met the throwdown and responded already with a "$4.95 Extra Value Brekky": The deal includes one of 3 muffin sandwiches (including Eggs Benny) plus hash browns and cappuccino. The muffin's in your court McDonald's!]

Ξ Don’t think discounting is done. Checkers/Rally’s has expanded its $1 offerings with the addition [...]

Monday News-Nugget Catch-Up for 12/7

If you were holiday shopping (or more likely working) and missed them, these were the best of last week’s lists, forecasts and analyses:

► Locally sourced produce and proteins rank Nos. 1 and 2 on the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” survey for 2010.

► A continuation of the “better burgers” bandwagon is among 20 [...]