Fast Food Week: Quick Service Restaurant And Snacks News!

So many really great deals on so many menu items, from so many restos: All requiring you to use the mobile or website ordering app. I suspect even the major brands are battling customer resistance to using the apps, which the brands all want folks to adopt so they can strip their stores and staffs…

Wendy Spicy Chicken Sand - © WendysWendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Get one free this weekend
using the mobile or web ordering app!

… And save big money on overheads. The explanation? I think we need to look at the extreme popularity of food delivery services – which appear to have dominated the market for internet-ordering, cutting the major Fast Food names out of the game…

Info Nugget: FSRs, FCRs and QSRs explained…

Folks commenting on the headline of this weekly news post have been asking me, “What the heck is a Quick Service Restaurant?”

The short answer is: a Fast Food joint. But there’s more to it than that. There are currently three kinds of eateries officially recognised within the foodservice industry: FSRs, FCRs and QSRs.

FSRs are Full Service Restaurants, You go in, sit down, peruse a real menu, and order a drink while the kitchen whips up your chosen repast. The unpublished standard of service is max. 20 minutes from order to table. Nice atmosphere. Fine food.

FCRs, or Fast Casual Restaurants, are slightly less chic. They’re the newest classification to arise and comprise restos with some significant seating capacity. These places aim for a higher quality of food than burger joints and add a little more service. Staff may bring your meal to your table for you. But you order at a counter. Panera Bread is a prime example.

‘QSR’ is a ‘nice’ name for eateries otherwise known as Fast Food, Burger, or Junk Food joints. ‘Quick Service Resto’ is designed to preserve the segment’s minimal dignity. These restos are hallmarked by fast service (usually just a few minutes from order to service), minimal seating, minimal cutlery (usually disposable), no actual plates, and menu items all packaged to go.

The next thing folks ask me is, “What territory do you cover in Fast Food Week?” Well… We cover the QSRs, of course. But we also admit FCRs like Panera, whose patrons often take out and take home. One feature that unites QSRs and FCRs is their menus: They’re fairly limited, substitutions or customizations are not usually allowed and, aside from the seasonal specials all QSRs now offer, the permanent menus rarely change.

Now you know.

Jack in the Box to buy Del Taco!

Two of the continent’s second-tier fast food joints are merging under the Jack in the Box banner to form a new top level player in the Fast Food game. The deal is priced at $575 million.

Jack and Del Merger - Taco - © Elina Shatkin - Burger - WIllis Lam

Jack and Del (not really the names of anybody in the new organization) will apparently continue to run separate stores, many in the same market spaces. The total number of locations under the new corporation’s control will total over 1,800.

Wendy’s Goes BOGO for mobile app fans

Wendy’s is offering a BOGO deal on its Spicy Chicken Sandwich, if you order from participating locations, using the mobile app by December 12 (this coming Monday). Just click on the special offer in your mobile app to trigger an extra sammy at no extra charge. Yes, it’s a very limited-time offer, and yes it makes using the mobile app mandatory. But… How hungry are you for a Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich?

KFC partners with Capital City on Mambo Sauce…

Capital City is a Black-owned Washington DC area specialty foods maker renowned for its Mambo Sauce: a wing drench invented in the DC region in the 1950s, that has grown into a legitimate phenomenon. The stuff is available at the Capital City website and on Amazon.

Capital City Mambo Sauce - © 2021 KFC

And now, KFC is testing Mambo Sauce in DC, Dallas and Atlanta as a possible new flavour for its spicy chicken specialties. Order a taste from the online sources, or visit a KFC in the indicated capitals.

… Offers free large Secret Recipe Fries

KFC is offering a free large order of Secret Recipe Fries with any order placed via the mobile app or the website. The Fries usually cost around $5, depending where you live.

Jollibee turns up the heat

The Filipino Chicken Resto that came to North America just a few years ago is turning up the heat for its more discerning fans. The Bee’s rep was built on its fried chicken and gravy, but now its branching out with Spicy Chicken Joy, its familiar chicken cuts marinated in hot sauce before breading and deep frying. Filipinos aren’t big hot-and-spicy fans, but Jollibee now knows how much some North Americans love it!

Chipotle premieres new Pollo Asado

They call it ‘A Fresh New Flavour Of Chicken’. An interesting end-around on all the other QSRs and FCRs currently engaged in the Chicken Sandwich War…  And the Tex-Mex Burrito chain is testing it in San Francisco and Cincinnati.

Chipotle Pollo Asada - © 2021 Chipotle

Chunks of boneless breast meat chicken are given a spice rub of chilies, coriander and cumin before being grilled. Then they’re topped with fresh lime juice, garlic, fresh chili peppers and chopped cilantro. Hope this one tests well and shows up across the chain soon!

SONIC reprises Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap

The classic Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap features Fritos corn chips, chili, and cheddar cheese, rolled up in a warm flour tortilla.Clean, simple and mouthwatering. No other Fast Food joint does one exactly like this one – featuring real Fritos chips – and fans will be deliriously happy to see them back! Available in a regular and Jr. size, for the usual limited time only.

Pop Tarts reaches out to Boston Cream fans

Finally! After all these years! Kellogg’s Pop Tarts is launching a Boston Cream Doughnut (BCD) flavoured toaster pie. It’s a natural. What kept them? Same could be said for McD’s and their dessert pies: Why no Boston Cream, yet? Full disclosure: I am a serious BCD fan! The Pop Tart is filled with vanilla pudding and dipped in chocolate frosting. AND… there’s a new Apple Fritter Doughnut Pop Tart, with chunky apple filling and a white icing drizzle on top.

International Alert! Subway Korea does Dogs

Hot Dogs, that is. Subway South Korea is cutting its buns in half and stuffing them with oversized franks in three different versions. The Sub Dog features shredded cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, sweet peppers, onions, and jalapeños.

Subway Hot Dog - © 2021 Subway South Korea

The Double Cheese Sub Dog doubles the cheese. And the Avocado Sub Dog changes out the extra cheese for a layer of sliced Avocados. This is another one I want to see imported to North America, pronto!

International Alert! McD’s Indonesia flies Pizza Pie

No, wait. It’s not what you may think. It’s one of McD’s signature-format sleeve-delivered turnover pies filled with Pizza stuff. It’s headlini8ng a new. limited-time ‘Taste of Italy’ menu that also includes: a McAlfredo Burger and a McSpicy Alfredo Burger, a Tiramisu Iced Coffee (and matching Float), a Tiramisu McFlurry, and an Italian Cream Soda (with red, white and green layers! This wntire mene is available at all McDonald’s Indonesia outlets until January 16. Why not here, in North America? Arguably, Italian cuisine has a much greater following here…

International Alert! Beef Stew Pie at McD’s Japan

We’re used to seeing the ubiquitous Apple Pies at McDonald’s. They’ve been around for years. More of a tunnel-like turnover than a pie, really, but they do have crust and filling. We’ve even seen seasonal specialties come and go – and come again, like the Holiday Pie (Vanilla Pudding filling, white icing and sprinkles on top) which is back this season for the usual limited time.

McDs Japan Beef Pie - © 2021 McDonalds Japan

But McD’s Japan has broken new ground introducing a main course beef Stew-filled Pie. Same McD’s format, but no toppings and that savoury filling. I’ve gotten no closer to one than the official photo, but that looks pretty good….

And that’s the skinny…

… On what’s going to be making some of us fatter over the coming days and weeks. See you back here in 7 for the next edition of Fast Food Week!

~ Maggie J.