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Michael Symon Takes SoBe Burger Bash Top Honors

No wonder he’s an Iron Chef. Michael Symon‘s Cleveland burger joint B Spot is barely four months old but he was judged winner of the People’s Choice Award Thursday at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash. Symon’s “Fat Doug” burger was topped with pastrami, Swiss cheese and slaw. Runner up was Bobby [...]

BK Franchisee: $1 Double Hurt; Breakfast Bowls Coming

Carrols Restaurant Group executives alternately praised and slammed Burger King marketing and product-development strategies in explaining to analysts why the 312 BK restaurants it operates posted a 2.6% decline in same-store sales last year.

President-COO Dan Accordino applauded BK’s announced intention to focus on breakfast in 2010, saying the plans include introductions of a BK [...]

QSR Ad Spending Increased 1.3% in 2009

Quick-service restaurants’ advertising spending increased 1.3% in 2009 while overall ad outlays fell 9.0% to $36.1 billion according to new data from The Nielsen Company. Advertising by full-service restaurants declined 3.6% during the year.

Total ad spending felt the impact of sharp declines by automakers (-23.4%) and auto dealerships (-23.0%). QSRs were one of only [...]

Wendy’s Launches First Blue-Cheese Burger

Wendy’s today finally made it official, formally introducing the Bacon & Blue cheeseburger on its home page after testing the innovative burger for more than six months. It’s the first blue-cheese-topped burger from a national quick-service chain. The rollout follows Wendy’s CEO Roland Smith’s advisory to analysts last month that the chain would add the [...]

Monday News-Nugget Catch-Up for 2/22

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► Free Coke glass? It’s a familiar promotion, and McDonald’s is running that now in Austria. But in Germany, the Arches are modernizing that hoary tactic and giving customers a free coffee cup (at right) with purchase of a McCafé meal or McMenu combo. Which will be the first chain to adopt this in the [...]

Red Robin Rolls Chophouse, Readies Patty Melt, Menu Overhaul

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is accelerating new-product development—including introduction of its first patty melt—and marketing spending this year in an attempt to boost brand awareness and, of course, sales. That’s important given the chain’s announcement that 2009 revenues decreased 3.1% in 2009 as company-owned same-store sales dove 11.1% for the year.

As predicted here last [...]

Jack in the Box Bumps Its Head on $4 Price Ceiling

How real is the widely accepted $4 limit on what consumers are comfortable paying for a quick-service menu item? Real enough that it factored into Jack in the Box’s surprising 11.1% decline in same-store sales for the quarter ended Jan. 17, 2010.

In a conference call today, Jack in the Box Chairman-CEO Linda Lang told [...]

Burger King Chucks BK Joe for Seattle’s Best Coffee

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[Update: Miss BK Joe? Click here for a company that says it ships BK Joe/Douwe Egberts coffee.] House brands are nice; national brands are better. That’s what Burger King apparently decided in throwing its home-grown BK Joe coffee brand under the bus in order to take up with Starbucks-owned Seattle’s Best Coffee as it battles [...]