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Arby’s is Thinking New Leadership

In anticipation of having to explain Arby’s sales performance to Wall Street next month, Wendy’s/Arby’s Group President-CEO Roland Smith announced a leadership change for the troubled chain. When Q4 and full-year 2009 sales are reported next month, Smith at least has evidence the company is trying to make something happen. So Arby’s President-CEO Tom Garrett […]

Red Robin’s $5.99 Prime Chophouse Burger Revival Plan

[2011 Update: The Prime Chophouse returns! Read it here.] How does a chain bounce back from an 11.2% drop in same-store sales fueled by an 11.9% decrease in guest counts? That’s what Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (and Wall Street) asked itself after those negatives were the brand’s reality through the 40-week period ended Oct. 4, […]

Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s Menus: New, Old, Borrowed and Smart


CKE Restaurants this week recycles some menu ideas, reduces some prices and also launches something wholly new. Carl’s Jr. launched the Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger (left), a new menu item that the chain proclaims has “all the comfort and deliciousness of the grilled cheese sandwich mom used to make.” First girlie salads, now a reference […]

Ruby’s Diner Readies New Kobe Burger Menu

Ruby’s Diner certainly isn’t lacking burger choices on its menu, but there’s always room for more. Especially Kobe burgers. That’s why the chain on Feb. 2 adds a new menu of five “Ruby’s Ultimate Kobe Burgers” at its 33 Southern California locations. Each of the new burgers is 100% American Kobe beef served on a grilled […]

Mac Snack Wrap: The Clone Wars Begin

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? About 10 months after McDonald’s first introduced the Mac Snack Wrap in Canada and less than one month after being rolled out across the U.S., the burger-in-a-tortilla has its first impersonator. The only real surprise is who is doing the mimicry. The Papa Burger Wrap introduced this week by A&W All-American Food […]

McDonald’s Ends ’09 with Slow Sales But Greater Share

McDonald’s reported some impressive sales gains for 2009, but did so with little help from U.S. restaurants in the 4th quarter. Globally, same-store sales were up 10% for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, but rose only +0.1% in the U.S. (up 1% in December). For full-year 2009, global comp sales rose 3.8% and were […]

Chili’s Returns Ad Focus to Burgers As New Menu Rolls

[June 3 Update: See new Chili’s burgers here.] Chili’s Grill & Bar turns its advertising/marketing focus to its revamped Big Mouth Burgers and its Bottomless Express Lunch deal as it ends its “3 Courses, 2 People, $20” promotion and introduces a totally rethought and ultimately slimmed down menu. It likely won’t be the last casual-dining […]

NRA Forecasts an (Almost) Break-Even Year

The National Restaurant Association today released its 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast, and it’s just about as upbeat as anything gets in this economy: The rowboat will be taking on less water and sinking less slowly than in the past several years. In data terms, that means NRA sees the foodservice industry hitting $580 billion in F&B […]

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